Merry Christmas from Fan Interference

Hi fam,

I hope that you and your families have had a beautiful Christmas season, if you celebrate. If you don’t, I hope that you were able to experience some fun and/or peace during this festive holiday season.

The holidays are a difficult time for me, especially the last few years. But one thing I am very thankful for, and the gift that keeps on giving, is this group of awesome people – the regulars and the part timers alike – who comment, argue, support, and ultimately add to the fullness of this baseball community.

If no one has told you today that they care about you, let me be the first.

We only have a few days left in this year. Do any of y’all think we’ll see a huge hot stove move before 2019? Let’s talk about it!

17 thoughts on “Merry Christmas from Fan Interference

  1. As I wrote in the previous post, I had a marvelous pre-Christmas and an indefatigably slothful Christmas day, which is the way it ought to be. I lolled in bed reading Jim Harrison’s memoir Off to the Side, catching up on the history of Cincinnati after spending a few days there, and prepped what but for my sojourn to the north would have been our “Christmas goose” (but will now be our Saturday-after-Christmas goose). This year’s bird is humongous, so we named it Rodan. I spent about twenty minutes perforating it all over with a cornholder. This will enable it to baste itself while roasting in a few days. Now, it goes into the pot to boil for a minute each way to break up the subcutaneous golden fat, then gets patted dry, rubbed vigorously with a mixture of sea salt, paprika and black pepper, thence into the fridge, uncovered, to dry out. The drying process stretches the skin and widens the cornholder perforations, which makes self-basting easier and yields a paper thin, heavenly crisp skin. (We save the goose fat from the bottom of the pan in mason jars to add to the duck confit for the New Years day cassoulet.)

    So, all around, it’s been a pretty good Kitschpalooza (what we used to call Festivus until commercialism overripened it). I hope Prof and Scouts, whichever alternate dimension he has stumbled into, are having a fine time ushering out a weird year, as I hope everyone else is too.

    Incidentally, the Aztecs had “empty days” (a kind of ersatz leap year, condensed) to balance out their calendar. That tradition has come down to us inadvertently as the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, trying to pose as “business as usual” days when folks need to slog pointlessly to work (except maybe some Federal employees) while they mark time until they can uncork their bottles again. It’s an odd time when the passing hours feel like mucous and the world, as we know it, holds itself in abeyance until January 2nd.

    Then maybe we’ll have some more trades to talk about.

    Meanwhile, I was wondering if any of you remember J T Realmuto? He used to be a catcher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too had a culinary epiphany. The morning of Christmas eve day I realized that I had forgot to have my bedtime sliders the night before. Family was coming over for a Christmas eve taco dinner and I expected to tank up enough then to not need the bedtime sliders, so I decided to have a couple for lunch to tide me over to dinner.

      And guess what I discovered in the full light of the day, as it were? The damn things are terrible. Even just the smell is ugh. So I modified my recipe. “Do not eat when sober”. I had them last night and they were great!

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    • I suspect you may have stumbled into purchasing one of the first-ever-to-leave-the-lab-and-elude-the-FDA-approval-process, brand spanking newly “created,” GMO geese! (Raised on PEDs, of course.) OK, FYI, FWIW, TTFW, 10-4, 10-hut and toodeloo 2U2.

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  2. No one tells you the 2nd year of the rebuild is the most painful. The first is the death watch as they trade your stars for scrubs, and next year will have hope as new stars begin to emerge like the first cranberries to pop as you simmer them for chutney. But, this in between year…there’s no good news. Your roster is a jumble of has-beens and AAA guys. My dog, Miggy even wants to go to Miami. It’s a losing season in a crappy division ahead. The Tigers PR is so desperate, they’ve nothing but white savior stories about Boyd’s mission in Africa — at least it isn’t a leadership academy, but lordy, it’s uncomfortable. There will be no escapism in Detroit this year. And, Mr. President, it isn’t even marginal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh do tell me all about it, why don’t you? Watching the Feesh for the past fifteen years has been like rereading the first book of La Divina Commedia every week for a decade and a half.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, there’s a chance you get a used Miggy for a few years for a glory days lap. That’ll be exciting, and it won’t cost you but a couple of non-prospects and some big league chew.

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  3. Christmas at our house has been verging on surreal this year, as everything is out of order.

    Yesterday, my son, daughter and I went to my dad’s place about an hour away for a wonderful Christmas dinner. There were 13 of us in total, with only a few absences (my wife is ill and my brother is stuck out in the oilpatch in Fort McMurray, Alberta and won’t be home until New Years.) All in all, it was a great evening spent with extended family.

    For all that, we still haven’t had “Christmas morning” at our house yet, as we are waiting for our newest family member to get back home.

    Last spring we took in a 17-year-old friend of our daughter’s, originally from this area, but who was stuck in Columbus, OH, with her mother and an abusive asshole of a step-father. That she is borderline autistic and suffers from anxiety was not helped by the fact that he didn’t give a rat’s ass about her (or anyone, really) and got his kicks by tormenting her. She was desperate to get back “home” but there were no relatives in the area that were able to take her in. Our daughter, worried for her friend’s safety, asked if we could help.

    Anyway, long story short, we spoke with her mother and between us, we had our lawyers draw up a custody agreement and she is now legally a part of our family, and will be until she gets through high school in a year or so. She has responded well to a quasi-normal home life, and is in a much better place, both physically and mentally, than she was a year ago. She has an aunt in the area who invited her to stay a couple of nights over Christmas, so we have held off on opening any Christmas gifts until she gets back, likely tomorrow, so that we can do the proper family Christmas thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good on ye for reaching out to the kid. May her stepfather be brained by a frozen reindeer turd.

      Did your brother move out to Fort McMurray before or after the great marshmallow roast?

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      • He’s been working there off and on for a few years now. He hasn’t moved there, though… he usually spends two weeks in camp and a week home, depending on who he is working for at the time (he is a millwright by trade with foreman experience, and contracts himself out to whoever is hiring and meets his criteria). The money is good but the hours are long and the travel wears on you. He is 51 now and I can see him retiring for good at 55, and spending his time at his cottage at the lake.

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        • That means he didn’t have to buy a house or flat. I recall reading – before the big fire, at least – that houses and flats out there were (a) hard to find and (b) insanely expensive if you could find one. The city had a critical problem attracting school teachers and municipal employees because of that.

          Cottages by the lake, though, are as Canadian as seal blubber and poutine. I imagine a clay lined basin the woods filled to the brim with Molson’s with marinated steelhead floating around.

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        • Yeah, the housing price silliness started in Fort Mac in the early- to mid-nineties. In 1995, my wife and I took a drive up from Cold Lake to see her cousin Leah, who had just moved there with her RCMP officer husband, Yves. He mentioned that he and 4 other officers had just been posted in and had all bought similarly priced houses, and there was a running bet as to who would make the most profit when they sold in a few years’ time. At that point the oil patch was really starting to take off and there were a ton of workers and very few places to for them to live. Yves said that if you had a spare 8′ x 8′ room in your basement and you threw a twin-size mattress on the floor, you could probably get 500-600 bucks a month for it. When he was posted out six years later, he made about 200K profit on his house… and he wasn’t the winner of the bet. And things got crazier from there…

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  4. Happy Belated Holidays, all.

    SomeWifeInVA had the idea to go someplace warm this year over the Christmas holiday, and so we booked a cruise out of Tampa through the western Caribbean, planning to be on the boat from Sunday to Sunday.

    Things started out great, and we damn near decided to abandon ship in Key West on day one; in hindsight, I wish we had.

    Our trip went pear-shaped starting on Thursday, when SomeWifeInVA got sick as a dog. While she started to rally on Friday, thanks to the ship’s medical staff, we missed our shore excursion that day, as the waves and wind caused our captain to say “Nope” and sail on by the dock.

    That meant that we arrived in Tampa-adjacent waters much earlier than originally planned, with an idea that we might dock on Saturday evening, although we still couldn’t disembark till Sunday. Unfortunately, the port of Tampa was closed due to fog until about noon on Sunday, and we didn’t disembark till after 8PM, meaning we missed our return flight, had to book a hotel, and fly back to IAD on NYE, routing through ORD. My children had never been to Chicago, and I guess a semi-mad dash through the airport to meet our connection counts?

    Anyway, we arrived home safe and sound about 10PM on New Year’s Eve, 30 hours or so later than planned, but no worse for the wear, considering, and now it’s on to 2019.

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