So: I am en route back to Macondo via the bad orificies of Logan International Airport, that mindless mishmash of motorways and terminals interminable to the orthopedia squatting in the effluvia of Boston Harbor. No, that dark color in the water isn’t tea. It’s sewage. My loyal readers (and even my disloyal readers) know that I travel a good deal, professionally (on the rare occasions I take my work seriously) and for the mere jouissance of being abused by gate agents, airport traffic cops and the Mephistophelian minions who love to change the gate of your departing flight to the other end of the terminal just as you get to your original departure gate. Go ahead, ship my Brobdingnagian bunny. Just try it. I ought to be stoic by now. Maybe someday I will be. But in the immortal words of Kurosawa’s Hyaaken Uchida, madadayo.
Anyway, what am I doing here? Well, while the Feesh were busy splattering against the strange attractor in Feeladelfia yesterday I was settling into my Richard Topcliffe designed original grandstand seat just behind first base at venerable Fenway Park behind – yes! – a couple of marinated Borg rooters for what until the advent of designatedhitterball used to be the purest and most virulent modality of the national game: Borg vs. Beanbags. I had flown up here on Wednesday, into fog and rain and chill, because a British colleague of mine only recently converted to baseball was in town for a conference. It was an unmissable opportunity to treat him to an alternate universe of purest mutual hostility surrounded by exemplars of two groups of the most vulgar and mindless fan bases in America.
But no. The Beanbags, who you would think would be up for a brouhaha (brouhaha? Hahahahaha!) with their ancient blood rivals, laid down flat as a crepe and got rolled in raspberries by the Borg behind Masahiro “Musashi” Tanaka while managing three hits and no runs, committed two fielding gaffes that led to two of the three Borg runs, made a couple of bad throws and committed a passed ball that put one of the runs in scoring position. Chris Sale pitched his heart out (10k, no BB) with no support and went to the showers probably wishing he had signed with the Cubs after the Borg nicked him for three runs, two earned.
But after all it was Fenway on a halcyon evening, watching the towers of Back Bay fade out and brighten into pillars of light around us. The Prudential Center no longer burps out an occasional upperstory window so that was a barren source of amusement. The high points of the evening were whenever that treacly little teratogen Jacoby Ellsbury came to bat to a shower of boos that got louder as the evening progressed. Sometime during the seventh inning a few fans in the lower gransdstands tried to rev up a “Yankees Suck! Yankees Suck!” cheer but on this night the celebrants were as lifeless as their team and it just didn’t get up any steam. About the only time the hometown fans seemed to come alive was for the seventh inning singing of “Sweet Caroline,” one of the dumbest, most cliched, most saccharine pieces of musical nightsoil ever discharged into popular culture. And there you have it – vulgarity and graciouslessness notwithstanding, arguably the second most knowledgeable and loyal designatedhitterball fans (after the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Cucamonga, Azusa, Garden Grove, Capistrano and the San Andreas Fault) rising in ecstasy to arguably the second worst pop song ever written (after “Crackling Rosie” and just barely ahead of “Yummy Yummy Yummy I’ve Got Love in my Tummy”).
The Beanbags went down to a humiliating 3-0 defeat, and my English colleague and I dined on lobster. And with good reason. The hot dogs at Fenway Park are execrable.