Wasting away in <STRIKE> Wrigleyville </STRIKE> Mesa: Part One

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wasting away in Wrigleyville Mesa: Part One

. Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Apologies for the lack of posting - I was in Mesa, making all you Chicago-based readers think homicidal thoughts born of jealousy. I considered the following before departing - maybe the anticipation would mean that I'd be disappointed with the experience, maybe the desert would be hot and miserable, maybe the baseball would be dull due to the lack of star power. Wroooooong. Holy shit were all my pessimistic worries kicked in the ass. No one wants to read a long-paragraph travelogue, so if you will, selected anecdotes.

Friday, February 27's Weather: Chicago - 50/22, Mesa 76/45. Cubs at Rangers (Surprise Park)

Surprise Party

"Surprise Park - Where the Royals and Rangers peak every year!"

Surprise Park in Surprise, Arizona is a great place to see a game. As a baseball blogger and an Irishman, I don't believe I'm allowed to describe a venue of athletic contest as "adorable," so I won't. But look at it's little feet! Awwwwww.

Blue v. Blue

The Cubs and Rangers both showed up in blue uniforms. How embarrassing. Surely Page Six will have a field day.

You know what's funny? Yelling "Blue team sucks! Go blue team!" until your girlfriend hits you.

Close Enough to Hurl Abuse at So Taguchi

"Hey ... whoever you are. Throw Strikes!"

I'll never get this close to the field at a regular season Cubs game, so we took the opportunity to move to the first row in the 9th inning of a 10-4 Spring Training game. Shockingly, we were not disciplined. You know the first thing you notice from the fat cat seats? Malibu Mike is one short sumbitch.

Some Assembly Required
With my first breath in a ballpark in 2009, I stepped up and ordered two beers (the lady does not go in for Mike's Hard - unlike Steve) and Monster Nachos. Frightening hunger calls for frightening nachos. Ten minutes later, I was still waiting. It took three senior citizens with a combined age of 275 or so to make me a cardboard tray of nachos. It may have been incompetence, but I choose to believe instead that it's because them's good nachos.

Sexism Nullified
I'm an intelligent, enlightened man. I tell myself so in the mirror each morning right after the violent sobbing stops. Yet something gratifying resonates in my male DNA when I get to answer a question on baseball from my equally baseball-intelligent girlfriend. We've ticked up a bunch of games over the years, and the questions come with less and less frequency - a sort of Fibonacci sequence of sexism. Well, this all gets turned on its head when you're watching Spring Training. I challenge any one of you to answer the following questions with a beer in each hand and Monster Nachos balanced on your lap:

- "Who is pitching now?"
- "Who is #95 in left field?"
- "Who just came in to play second?"
- "Why are you saying 'Fuck' so much?" (I knew the answer to that one - Neil Cotts was pitching)

Suffice to say, Spring Training is a time to warm up the mind and acclimate oneself to day drinking and pickled jalapenos (oww - my colon) again. Because when it comes to a roster full of A and AA players, no one knows shit. Especially me.

Le Chaim!

Your own tag - today you are a man. Also, I got you a nice pen and pencil set

I know the following things about Sam Fuld
- He is Jewish
- He has Type 1 diabeetus, but is no Ron Santo
- He was once considered a top prospect, but has failed to live up to even that tepid praise
- I hope he makes the major league roster, so I can call someone else "The Chosen One" now that Jason Marquis is gone

Sam Fuld looks to me like a career AAA player, maybe a major league bench player at best. We'd be lucky to end up with a Gabe Kapler type. But this day, he saw his pitch and jumped. The ball soared ... then sorta stayed there. It eventually hit the wall and dribbled over the top. He hit one of the few homers I think he'll ever hit with the big league club, but most likely took crap from the team for the way it went over. It was sort of like sinking an under-handed free throw to put your team ahead. Poor bastard.

Warning, No Murder Allowed!

Oh good, now I feel safe

After the game, it was time to check into the hotel. The first thing you see at the Mesa Marriott is a picture of a Unabomber looking chap with the all-caps warning NO HOODS, GLASSES, HATS INSIDE LOBBY AREA. WILL BE ASKED TO REMOVE BEFORE ENTERING. Clearly, this is frightening as fuck. It connotes a problem in the same way that "NO MACHETES ALLOWED IN DAY CARE BUILDING" would imply a history of kindergartner dicing. Also like how all the bars with a long list of rules next to the doorman are filled with white trash and gel-headed Jersey Shore cats who want to fight.

Love and Projectile Vomit
Walking out of my room later, I looked left and spied this.

Aw, fucking gross. Some poor bastard heaved all over the hallway. And, as we all know, red vomit is the angriest, most painful vomit. Ask any sobbing sorority girl holding her head between her knees on a Daytona curb. Of course, I had to have a closer look

Oh, it's a sprinkling of rose petals - que romantico. Two ideas occur (a) did someone propose or go on a honeymoon at the damn Mesa Marriott? (b) What does it say about my world view that I thought vomit first, roses second?

By the way, "Vomit First, Roses Second" is now the title of my memoirs.

Tomorrow: Hohokam, Cubs/Sox, College of Idiots - The Good Stuff


meggie said...

is this the courtyard in mesa that is basically square in shape w/ a pool in the middle? pretty sure we stayed there with the team last feb... (as i told emily, everyone in AZ is on meth.)