Free-Floating Hostility

Friday, March 31, 2006

If You Don't have Anything Nice To Say Come Sit Next to Me

It's minor league baseball season again, which means that pretty soon you'll be subjected to another vocabulary post. There's a lot of talking that gets done around a ballpark, given that you spend more time waiting around and bullshitting than you do actually watching baseball or writing. And once you tell a story, mostly you spend time thinking of ways to tell it better.

Thursday's game didn't count for anything, but it was the first of the year, which gave everyone a chance to catch up. And it was so cold that by the fifth inning that I was tempted to put my hands in the chafing dish of mashed potatoes sitting at the back of the press box. I actually seriously considered this for multiple seconds. When I confided this story to Anna upon my return home, she asked, "You couldn't have just sat on them?," referring to my hands not the mashed potatoes. That was a very good question.

There was also this story, which is a little long, but bear with me. Our paper had an intern, Homeboy, who was a talented writer but not a particularly accomplished human being. Mostly, he created source relation problems as he managed to chap everyone he came into contact with. At the minor-league park, that went from the on-field manager to the other reporters to two different PR guys to pitching great Rollie Fingers. Homeboy left our paper last fall for the big paper across the river where he worked as an agate clerk/prep writer. That didn't work out and he landed back with us for a couple of months. Then, halfway through a softball doubleheader, Homeboy washed out, saying he just couldn't write for our paper anymore. He said his life was in Barry Bonds-style shambles and that it had something to do with the cops and a town in the South Bay.

Midway through the game, the big paper's sports editor showed up and the big paper's beat writer, not knowing the Homeboy was gone, suggested I try to get him to rehire Homeboy at the big paper. I explained the story and the big paper's beat writer began to look more and more incredulous. Since we don't actually know what happened, we speculated. My assumption is that it had something to do with subtances or maybe a hit-and-run type thing.

"It couldn't be hit-and-run," the big paper's writer said. "He would hit someone and then get out of his car to talk to them."

So it seems that everyone is as sarcastic and cynical as ever, which means I'm looking forward to the upcoming season.

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