Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The Dead Body That Claims It Isn't: I'm not dead.Seems that somebody has slipped by the Grim Reaper alerts that we here at RTFT monitor religiously (and by that, we mean the emails that Mary sends us). On February 17, Maurice Papon, a Nazi collaborator, kicked the bucket. That makes our second Nazi collaborator this year. Aren't these guys all dead yet? Anyway, one (belated) point to Team SoxLover.
The Dead Collector: What?
Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There's your ninepence.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
(5:35:24 PM) Dawn Summers: i think i could win!
Seriously, she's a lost cause at this point. Another donkey donating $1,000 into the WSOP Stud/8 tournament. Note to Ted Forrest: do something nice with that thousand.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
PUT THAT COFFEE DOWN. Coffee is for closers.I realize that some quarters are probably expecting a post from me about Gentile Summit 2007. Many of the lads are handling this quite admirably without me (I was a bit slower getting back from Chicago than they were, both by choice and not by choice), so I'll just add this little nugget.
Saturday afternoon, after the debacle that was the Cubs game, found us at a watering hole in Wrigleyville known as the Houndstooth. While enjoying some of the local fare and many a fine brew, a small fracas broke out near the front of the bar. Stumbling away from it in what could only charitably be called a side-to-side stagger was a young lass in her mid 20s. She looked like she could go toe-to-toe with Hemingway, and that she *had* gone toe-to-toe with Tyson.
The Rooster was hooked. Like a shark in the water, he smelled blood. ABC. A-Always. B-Be. C-Closing. ABC. Always Be Closing. It almost seemed criminally easy. Someone at the table offered him a $5 prop bet on top of his natural instinct, that he couldn't get her number. Who could blame him when he popped out of his seat and started jogging down the street after the young lady?
From our vantage, we were able to watch the proceedings. At first she seemed to want nothing to do with the Rooster, but he's wise to that game and kept at her with sisyphean tenacity. Soon he was holding her hair back as she puked into someone's front yard. Then her arms were around his neck, hugging him. A second round of puking, followed by more hugging. At that point, they disappeared down an alley.
Now, none of us know what went on in that alley. We did eventually decide to take off down the street after him, to "make sure he was ok". All we found when we got to the alley was the girl stalking out angrily, telling Joaquin "you're yelling at me!" He followed her down a second alley, disappearing from sight a second time.
We waited a bit, leaving him to his pursuit, before giving up and heading on to our next neighborhood without him. He would have wanted it that way. One of his last emails to the Boys of Summer prior to the summit read:
"Remember... we aren't the Rangers. If someone is puking it up on the curb, corner or fire hydrant (even if it is me), I don't want someone to say, 'no man left behind.' The troops must move on."
We never saw the Shuttlecock again.
Ok, that's not true. He did eventually rejoin us. It just took a while. And who should text him later that night but the very lass from the Houndstooth. A-Always. B-Be. C-Closing.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
It took almost two months, but another draft selection has finally fallen. Kudos to Team ACH / BigMike on their selection of Kurt Waldheim, who met the Grim Reaper today at age 88. As usual, tip of the hat to Mary for notifying me of Waldheim's demise. Random aside - it's wrong I keep hoping my dark horse special, Lindsay Lohan, does something truly spectacularly stupid that winds up killing her, right? I mean, I don't truly wish death upon her, but as long as she's going to continue to act like an idiot...
Monday, June 11, 2007
I visited the South Bronx with Chugarte on Saturday. His beloved, god-awful Pirates of Pittsburgh were taking on 44-year-old Roger "There's No Team In I" Clemens, in his first start of the season, and the New York Yankees.
My overall assessment of Clemens' performance: it was adequate. He struggled through his first four innings before the Pirates let him off the hook by grounding into a double play to end the fourth. Clemens seemed to settle down after that, retiring the side in order in the fifth and sixth and amassing seven strikeouts. For their part, the Pirates looked more like a AAA club than a major league franchise, making me wonder if MLB commissioner Bud Selig didn't call Pirates manager Jim Tracy before the game and request that the Pirates "dial it down" a notch against Clemens. "It wouldn't be good for baseball if Clemens gets roughed up in his first outing," Selig might have said.
[Somewhat-related aside: Did anyone else catch the irony dripping off of Joe Torre's remarks about Bernie Williams a few weeks ago? Commenting about the possibility of bringing Williams back mid-season due to an injury-depleted roster, Torre said "He had the opportunity to play. I'm sorry to say he didn't take advantage of it in spring training. To think someone  years old, without any spring training or practice, could be ready to play, it's just not realistic. You can't do it." Call the Yankees back in six years, Bernie.]
As I guzzled a beer and watched Clemens labor away on the mound, I was struck by the similarities between this Yankee team and a previous major league team from 18 years ago. To wit, both teams:
* have a closer who can't seem to find the plate at the beginning of the season;
* are starting a speedy rookie in center field (we can still call Melky a rookie, right? He certainly plays most fly balls like he doesn't know what the hell he's doing);
* feature a 40-something, over-the-hill veteran as a focal point of the starting rotation;
* overpay a primadonna, philandering star at third base;
* have a right fielder who would probably sacrifice live chickens in order to re-discover his swing [this was more true before Abreu started hitting the cover off of the ball in the last week];
* start a veteran catcher with creaky old knees as one of the few true ballplayers, in the classical sense, on the roster; and
* are managed by a grizzled veteran whose job is to mold this bunch of misfits into a winning club.
Still haven't figured out what previous team I'm referring to? Here's a hint.
The most salient difference, of course, is that the owner of THAT team purposefully assembled the worst talent that she could, in order to move the team, whereas Steinbrenner at least THINKS he's assembling the best talent that money can buy in order to deliver a 28th championship for the Yankee franchise. Still, I think I'm on to something here. We need to get Bill Simmons on this, post haste.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film "The Never-Ending Story".In March 2006, Signor Ferrari invited all of the regulars to shuffle up and deal "one last time" at the Blue Parrot. Coach, Joel, Marie, Chugarte, Pauly, Ferrari and I played into the wee hours of the night, toasting yet another home game gone belly up. At the time, I wrote, "God willing, we'll all meet again at The Blue Parrot II (The Search For More Money)."
God willed it. Over a year later, the Blue Parrot was back in business, at least for one night, at a new location, with a few new faces. We assembled for a Stud/8 tournament to give Coach some practice before he heads to the WSOP to take on the pros and the donkeyfish in the $1,000 Stud/8 tournament. The seating draw was as follows:
Seat 1: Chugarte, married since the last Blue Parrot game, with frequent phone calls from his wife asking him when he was coming home to prove it;
Seat 2: Joaquin "the Rooster" Ochoa, a cagey mofo;
Seat 3: Newcomer Mike, who Ferrari met in an underground poker club in NYC. Seriously Ferrari, we're inviting ringers to the game now?
Seat 4: yours truly, the classiest, most refined (not to mention ruggedly handsome) player at the table;
Seat 5: Coach, ready to take home a bracelet and playing the less-funny foil to Chugarte's rapier wit;
Seat 6: Dawn "Key" Summers, fresh from making up after her lover's spat with her co-blogger (we hear they're back to their old scissoring ways);
Seat 7: Derek, spotted chain-smoking cigarettes outside of the Blue Parrot before the tournament started in a desperate attempt to ingest enough nicotine to get him sanely through three hours of hearing Dawn Summers say "Huh? What's the bet? Doesn't matter, I call";
Seat 8: Signor Ferrari, the proprietor
Making a special guest appearance in the box was none other than Brooklyn's own version of Annie Duke, Mary. We attempted to conference in one of the Blue Parrot's regular patrons, Dr. Pauly, but he was too busy covering some itty-bitty tournament series in Las Vegas to fuck around with us little people.
Now, whatever else you may read about the stud/8 tournament on other sites, Dawn Summers did NOT win the tournament. Despite her "did does" calling station ways, she had the slimmest of chip leads when we got to 3-handed play. The stack sizes were roughly: Dawn - 3600; Newcomer Mike - 3400; me - 1400, thanks in part to a disastrous hand when I chased on fourth instead of folding, only to get myself absolutely clusterfucked when I made a flush, no low on the river, Dawn made a boat, no low on the river, and Chugarte made a low on the river. Oy. Since the tournament was intended to be primarily for Coach's benefit, and he went out in 8th place (we're all expecting big things from you at the WSOP after last night's showing!), a chop based on chip equity was proposed. All agreed. While Dawn was in the chip lead, she "won" nothing except the right to have me stack her with my mind TWICE in the .50/1.00 NLHE cash game that followed, and the right to be absolutely ridiculed for her calling station ways and total luckbox donkery.
Seeing her on tilt after the second stacking was totally worth the price of admission, which after playing like a jackhole in the cash game amounted to $45. Here's looking at you, kid!