Monthly Archives: March 2010

So I guess I was kinda wrong about the rules of calling shotgun

TAMPA, Fla. — A few of you may remember a blog entry I wrote last week when I got a tad bit perturbed after a misunderstanding about the proper etiquette involved when calling “shotgun.”

In the post, I called a friend a “dirty, rotten, fuckin’ assclown who stole my shotgun seat.” Later, I insulted the state of Missouri, home state of the car’s driver, who ruled against my case for riding shotgun. In my anger, I charged that in the Show-Me State that it’s still “common practice for everyone to pile out of the covered wagon and reshuffle seats every time the horses need a shit break.”

Well, thanks to your swift and overwhelming response telling me that I was dead wrong, I apologized in person to my dear friend. Of course, class guy that he is, he insisted this was not good enough. Nope. Instead of letting bygones be bygones and moving on from this unfortunate incident, he demanded a full newspaper-style retraction.

So here it is:

Though my friend is still dirty, rotten, and a fuckin’ assclown, he is no thief. He called shotgun at the proper time and won the rights to sit there fair and square. I regret the error.

This, however, does not change the fact that he’s a punk-ass.

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Welcoming an important new acquisition

TAMPA, Fla. — In the last three years, I’ve written countless words about teams making new acquisitions. But I haven’t written enough about the new acquisitions that matter most. This morning, I thought I’d change that a bit.

The photo to the right was sent to my iPhone at 7:37 a.m. from my very excited big brother Richard, who with his wife Kelly, just welcomed to the world a beautiful, healthy, daughter (not son as previously reported, and here I was thinking that a text from the proud papa would be a reliable enough source).

At last text, Mom and Dad had not yet named the little gal. (I’ll send you word when they do). But because both are sane and reasonable people, I’m sure they’ll steer clear of “Lester.” (UPDATE: They’ve since decided Mia Brooke Hinal. Nice.)

Anyway, I call dibs on buying the future LPGA champ her first set of golf clubs.

Also, just wanted to offer one piece of unsolicited advice. Make sure to give her “the talk” early, or at least before mom has a chance to get to her. Trust me on this one.

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A day filled with random acts of nonsense

Here's a photo of the dirty, rotten, fuckin' assclown who stole my shotgun seat... which is why I'm back here pissed off and blogging.

BRADENTON, Fla. — I was in a juvenile mood on Sunday and I can’t explain why. Within an eight-hour span I was responsible for:

1.) Taking a rolled up newspaper from a colleague’s back pocket and spiking it onto the clubhouse floor.

2.) Kicking dirt onto three fellow reporters whose only crime was wearing nice shoes.

3.) Throwing sunflower seeds at a Yankees P.R. flak who was minding his own business while reading daily clips in the dugout.

4.) Giving a good enough fake body flinch while in mid-conversation to convince another reporter — who had his back turned to batting practice — that he was about to get smoked by a wayward baseball.

Though each move came straight out of the fourth-grader’s playbook, each clearly served its purpose, because by the end of the day I found myself entertained by these random acts of juvenile behavior.

Which I guess explains why my workday ended with an impassioned debate about the interpretation of an important childhood rule: calling shotgun.

Because the Yankees played in Bradenton today, several of the writers agreed to carpool. As we walked toward the car, I called shotgun and enjoyed an easy ride in the front seat. Good times.

Now, fast forward to the afternoon. Thinking that I had already established my front seat rights for the trip, I began my walk back the car looking forward to settling back in for the ride home.

That’s when my douchebag buddy called out “shotgun!”

What the fuck? By calling shotgun earlier, I thought I was set for the whole day trip. Because this guy grew up in some communist stronghold somewhere, he interpreted the rule to apply only for single rides. Total bullshit.

Of course, these matters tend to come back to the driver, who always holds the final judgment. Unfortunately for me, the driver in this case grew up in Missouri, where I learned it’s common practice for everyone to pile out of the covered wagon and reshuffle seats every time the horses need a shit break.

Obviously, after a childhood scarred by such nonsense, he ruled that shotgun needed to be called every time. This led to my final juvenile act of the day.

5.) Pissing on the back seat of my buddy’s spring training rental car and then blogging about it. Fuckers.

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Staying up (foolishly) for Nevada basketball*

* UPDATE, 9:40 a.m. Damnit!

TAMPA, Fla. — Just watching the Nevada-New Mexico State WAC semifinal game on ESPN 2. I probably shouldn’t be because the Yankees’ clubhouse opens at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow and it would be foolish to be late.

But it’s March and it’s college basketball and it’s my alma mater. So… yeah.

As they tend to do on all telecasts, ESPN is showing shots of Reno, and it makes me miss the Biggest Little City a lot. Don’t get me wrong, New York is an awesome place. Wouldn’t trade it. In fact, anybody who has a chance to live in the big city should do it at least once just for the experience.

The city is many things, but it’s not comfortable, not like Reno.

I covered the basketball team for one season, the year they went to the Sweet 16. There were lots of cool moments during that run, though none stand out more that Kevinn Pinkney’s dunk (see video above) against Gonzaga in the second round of the tournament.

After that season, I got off the beat and enjoyed some of the games as a fan. Lawlor Events Center can get loud, especially when the student section stepped up its game.

For instance, it’s pretty standard at plenty of gyms for fans to pull out car keys and start shaking them at the end of game: “warm up the bus.” Typical stuff.

But once, as Nevada hammered Hawaii, the student section surprised me with its creativity.

“Warm up the boat!” they chanted. “Warm up the boat!”

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Baseball Terminology 101: ‘When are they gonna bang this game?’

Waiting out a rain delay in spring training.

TAMPA, Fla. — Here’s the first installment of a series we’ll call “Baseball Terminology: 101.” It’s a list of (mostly) familiar words used in a unique context that I had never heard until I started frequenting clubhouses.

Our first entry is both timely and appropriate, considering that I’m writing this blog from the press box at George M. Steinbrenner Field, where scheduled first pitch came and went like 40 minutes ago. Fucking rain.

bang v. 1. to cancel or postpone a scheduled baseball game due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstance.

Proper use in a sentence: “We’ve got a day game in Viera tomorrow and we’ve got to be on the road by 7 a.m. For the love of God, can’t they just bang this goddamn game?”

***

Let me beat you to it:

Whether it’s a deep breath or a quick breather — a long post or two paragraphs of silliness — I’ll be blogging at least once a day. At least that’s the plan.

OK, that was three weeks ago. I clearly haven’t lived up to this promise. Work’s been busy. But I miss this blog. So from here on out, it’s on. Deal?

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