An Exercise in Bi-partisan Baseball


(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

So lemme tell you, when you wear an Orioles Nick Markakis shirt and a Red Sox hat to Fenway for an O’s/Sox game, you get some funny looks. First there’s the “Oh, Orioles fan. Okay, whatever,” then they notice the hat and it’s all, “Hey, wait a minute.” One relatively attractive gentleman in an Orioles jersey asked me, “So…what are you?” I explained, “I’m a Red Sox fan. I’m from here. But my best friend (gesturing to Greta) is an Orioles fan. So because of that, I’ve grown to like the Orioles.”

“Right on,” he said.

All in all, the Sox fans were well-behaved and didn’t heckle or disrespect the few Orioles fans scattered around the park. Plus, the way I figure it, we certainly invade Camden Yards often enough (I refuse to call it “Fenway South”), that we can definitely use a taste of our own medicine. Plus, I do genuinely like the Orioles. And the Rays had already lost so no matter what the outcome had turned out to be, the Sox would still be in first place. A win-win if you will.

Additionally, my Markakis shirt made me some new friends. “I have to ask you,” a middle-aged woman decked out in Sox gear said to me during the seventh inning, “isn’t Nick Markakis smoking hot?”

“I’m saying,” I replied. Greta and I then shared the story of Markakis balancing stuff on his face for fun and tearing ass around Baltimore in wheelie shoes. You can’t say we don’t do our research.

The game itself was precisely what I wanted. A very solid start by Colon and Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell going deep. Also Luke Scott, whom I’ve adopted as well. But I do have some questions. Such as, what the hell is Kevin Youkilis using as his at-bat music?

I texted Kim – the resident Youk fanatic – said question during the game.

“You mean you’re not familiar with the smooth vocal stylings of Rick Ross’s ‘Push it to the Limit?’ For shame.”

I wrote back, “I was confusing it with Salt ‘n Pepa’s ‘Push it.’ Forgive me.”

Kim was excited, “THAT would be a fantastic song. Can we campaign?”

“Absolutely.”

So get on it, people. What can we do to get Kevin Youkilis to use Salt ‘n Pepa music exclusively for his at-bats? Perhaps even a little “Shoop” or “Whatta Man” thrown in for good measure. The world needs more incidences of Kevin Youkilis doing his butt wiggle to the words, “Spinderella, cut it up one time” and “Brother, wanna thank your mother for a butt like that.” Trust me.

That said, I am a little concerned about the music director at Fenway Park as, at one point during the evening between innings, Sade’s “Smooth Operator” could be heard.

“What?” said Greta.

“I feel like I’m in the world’s largest dentist waiting room.” I said.

The two guys standing behind us turned to each other with confused looks.

“I feel so sexy right now,” one of them said to the other.

This prompted another exchange of text messages.

“Sade and fruit cups? What is happening to Fenway?” I asked Kim.

“I asked myself that same question as I passed by the yogurt. Then I got in line for beer.”

“Keeping it real is very much appreciated” I replied.

Because…what? I’m a baseball purist, you might have noticed so I feel kind of squicky when fruit cups and veggie platters and wine spritzers make an appearance at sporting events. Especially at a place like Fenway which, thus far, has done a pretty good job remaining traditional. I just feel like baseball goes with sausages and Fenway Franks and beer. And despite the fact that my runner’s system no longer takes kindly to such delicacies, that’s what you eat at a baseball game.

Unless you’re in Baltimore. In which case you eat Boog Powell’s barbecue and $2 Natty Bohs at Slider’s prior to the game, which advice we gave to the woman admiring my Markakis shirt.

“I’m going down there for the Sox series next month,” she said.

“Are you going to behave?” Greta asked her.

“What do you mean?” she wondered.

“You know how Red Sox fans get,” said Greta, “I’ve been living here for ten years so I’m a Sox fan too but people have soured on them and I am only one person, I can’t defend or represent the whole fan base.”

“Put it this way,” I said, “would you want visitors coming into your house and disrespecting your team?”

“No way,” she said, “I’ll behave. Besides, I still love Kevin Millar.”

So really, Millar continues to bridge the gap of baseball loyalties and bring people together. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Myself, I will be in Baltimore this weekend watching a rematch of the 1979 World Series between the Pirates and O’s. Along with, I’m guessing, about seven other people. Nevertheless, it promises to be a good time. Hold down the fort for me, will you?

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