Like "Dawn of the Dead," but less cheerful.
First thing's first. We will admit that the trip to Mesa was one long string of drinking and laying in the sun. It's not the best atmosphere for the serious reportage that you know and love from WAIW. The entirety of my notes come down to this - along with ketchup and mustard, there is a ranch dressing pump at HoHoKam park. A ranch dressing pump. A PUMP. FOR PUMPING EXCLUSIVELY RANCH DRESSING. AN IMPLEMENT FOR THOSE WHO NEED DELIVERY OF GREAT AMOUNTS OF RANCH DRESSING WITH EXPEDIENCY. My brain broke. There's your update. And thanks to College of Idiots for an excellent tailgate.
I have no idea why Robert Redford, and I do not give a shit about Robert Redford. But it's low on the list of Ricketts decisions I'm mystified by.
But there's no need to dwell on our, as Wolfie puts it, "bum"-ness. Because baseball's back. Real, honest to god, drink four pitchers before the game and fall asleep at 7pm, baseball. And it's glorious. Not so much the play, just being back in those hard plastic green seats and knowing after months off exactly which concession stands both take cards and sell Old Style. Even better, Wrigley Field now sells Vienna Beef hot dogs and D'Agostino's Pizza. While you may be familiar with Vienna's legendary mechanically-separated meat sausage, D'Agostino's is a Wrigleyville legend in itself. It's the place we always end the WAIW Pub Crawl, even if I'm sleeping. It's the place where Kerry Wood and Hendo hammered out Woody's return to the North Side. And damn if it isn't the best thin crust in the city. I haven't yet tried the ballpark variant, but it can't be worse than that horseshit from Connie's. The Vienna Beef dog, which I have tried, is heaven. Especially eight pints into Opening Day.
The mayor is a Cubs fan? This seems like something Sox fans will bitch about. As if they needed something else.
The WAIW crew, plus some alumni of Thunder Matt's Saloon, were in attendance for Opening Day, mercifully under cover during the shitty, shitty rain that persisted throughout. As shitty as the rain was, Dempster did it one better, giving up all six runs in the loss via long ball. Even Samardzija, who the entire stadium was having fun heckling, couldn't top Dempster's performance, where every batter seemed to start with a 3-1 count. That puts me at 2-3 all time on Opening Day since my brother and I decided to make it a tradition before the 2007 opener. I now have many memories of shitty weather, mediocre baseball, one incredible Ted Lilly start, and a fridge full of magnet schedules. It's a good life.
Keep reading, and see a new WAIW feature, after the jump
For the Weekend Recaps this year, we're going to give out two weekly awards - the Ronnies and the LaTroys. The former - in honor of our dear departed WGN Radio color man and Cubs legend - will go to the player or players who gave us the best reason to cheer during the weekend series. The LaTroys are quite literally the opposite. They're to be awarded to the player who fucks up so bad that you want to want to scream "fuck you, LaTroy!" until you realize they aren't LaTroy, they're just shitty and you're just drunk. We'll close with our observations for the upcoming week. And that'll be that for as long as we remember to update in the correct format.
Ronnie Award, Opening Day Weekend - Starlin Castro
A healthy .615 batting average. If he can keep this up over an entire season, then it's as clear a sign as any that we're in suspended animation in a videogame while robots feed on us.
Let's be honest, Starlin Castro is going to be the only reason to tune in a lot of days. Say we're eighteen games back in August and there's a road game against the Diamondbacks on TV late. Oh, but what's this? There's also a marathon of Quincy, M.E., on cable? Shiiiiiit, man. Decisions. But I think the exciting young shortstop gets the call. And given how a lot of this team played last year, he might be the lone deciding factor between staring at Mike Quade or Jack Klugman on TV.
LaTroy Award - Ryan Dempster
This would have gone to Alfonso Soriano, who was already getting boos by the end of Opening Day, but he had to go ahead and make a big hit in our lone win Saturday. Asshole.
Demp had a bad outing against the Pirates, no two ways about it. But it's just one outing, so we're reserving the hate that we're sure we'll feel for late-season LaTroy Winners. The kind of hate we would never feel for Dempster Baby, unless, say, he moved back to the closer's role.
- Tickets are already priced laughably low on the secondary market. You can thank everyone who bought a shitload of tickets but just wanted to see the Yankees.
- I bought a pair of those cheap-ass tickets for Tuesday's game, because it's the first bobblehead day of 2011, and you know I have a serious problem. Starlin Castro in his Tennessee Smokies uni. Dig.
- Is anyone excited to see how Randy Wells pitches today? It's been a long road from "exciting" to "#5 caliber."
- I'm predicting now that this Soriano situation turns ugly before All Star Break. He's a shadow of what he used to be.
- Lots of empty seats by the 7th inning on Opening Day. Sure, it was raining and we were losing. Lot of empty seats Sunday early on. Eesh.
- Opening Day bleacher seats cost $72 - FACE VALUE. It's official - I officially fucking hate the bleachers. Record it.
- Baseball's back, and I'd like to take this moment to enjoy that fact that I'm so happy for something that I know is going to leave me so pissed off. Happy 2011, kids!