"So, Rob," I said to him back in February, "can I live blog a game for you this season?"
He simply replied, "What in Joba's name are you doing in my foyer?"
The steps that led to this day, you see, were already written in the stars. The AL Middle leaders Kansas City Royals and the AL Waytheheckoutthere leaders Seattle Mariners shall do friendly battle today in is most certainly a preview of the ALCS in Buddy Bell's Strat-O-Matic league. But the real ALCS? Oh, you can dream!
Your pitchers for today are Brian "Staircase Protector" Bannister, and Jarrod "Court Jester" Washburn. The winner gets a baseball victory. The loser gets their fanbase to be slightly disgruntled for 24 hours.
Postscript: Many moons later, Rob would name that room in his condo "The Jamie Foyer."
Ooh, Powdery. This kind of blue makes me hope that George Brett runs out and tears someone's pharynx out.
2:13 PM -- Ichiro's infield single is the result of him running halfway down the line, throwing his bat through the batters box and laying down a bunt.
2:16 PM -- Continuing his menacity to Kansasociety, Ichiro takes second, with the help of ... [ponders] ... his grappling hook.
2:17 PM -- So, it's harder to transfer sound from a laptop to the TV. I've tried yelling at it, hitting it with my first, and a prayer circle. For now I'll glog the sights of the game, and deduce the sounds for the rest of you.
2:19 PM -- And now Jose Lopez reaches on an infield single. I should have mentioned that to curb steroid rumors, MLB's new rule is that any ball which reaches the outfield will be an automatic triple play. Infield singles only, please.
2:23 PM -- Russell Branyan, quick, do your best impersonation of a tower fan. Haha, that's just like one! Two outs.
2:24 PM -- Adrian Beltre gets caught with a buffered window, so I can only assume he exploded while in the batter's box. Shutout? Intact.
2:28 PM -- The sound has just been made my soda wench. And just in time to "hear" David Of The Jesus's leadoff double. George Will doesn't watch baseball. He hears and feels the game, and is richer for doing so. Be more like him.
2:33 PM -- Then some other stuff happened that didn't include runs. (Highway to the buffer zone.)
2:37 PM -- The screen froze with Griffey at the plate. This pretty much sums up the entire Seattle baseball experience.
2:42 PM -- Billy Butler reaches base on ... an OUTFIELD SINGLE? Ban him from Longhorn Steakhouse.
2:45 PM -- "There's the first scream of significance in the game." Untrue. Willie Bloomquist saw a spider in the clubhouse.
2:51 PM -- With all the technical confounderies resolved, it's back to Ichiro at the plate. (He's in the lineup six times.) Only this time, he dinks it slightly farther, resulting in a double. EDAMAME!
2:56 PM -- Jose Lopez just got back from the set of Grey's Anatomy to bat in this game. that's the only reasonable alibi for green surgical batting gloves. (I checked with a female to ensure that that TV show was based in Seattle. Topical AND factual!) Lopez fails to bring Ichiro around the foyer and home to score, resulting in melanoma for everyone.
ST. BOTTOM OF THIRDONICUS
3:04 PM -- Coco B. Crisp taught the baseball to roll exactly on the white line. A Milk Bone for ol' Hidey after the game! Suddenly Crisp grabs third base without anybody noticing -- a misdemeanor.
3:06 PM -- DeJesus works the small ball by scaring Ronny Cedeno into fielding it improperly. Crisp improves DeJesus's RISP. Know what that is? RUN-U-FACTURING! 1-0 Royals
TOP OF THE FOURTH TO YOU
3:10 PM -- Not my words: "Russell Branyan's bat turns into a box of toothpicks." Please ship the remains to Dusty Baker's office, stat.
3:13 PM -- FINALLY, an unfrozen Griffey at bat. Cavemen are not that impressed at the 3-6 double play. They are kind of scared of the fireworks, though.
This game is going remarkably quickly. Then again I am leaping through the boring parts, a la Scott Bakula.
As a result I fast-forwarded to the part where Ichiro made a sliding catch to denigrate Mike Jacobs' ancestry.
HIGH FIVE, UP TOP
3:22 PM -- Wladimir Balentien, the Spellchecker's Nightmare, flies out to the dapper gentleman standing in right field.
3:26 PM -- A highly science-laden poll of Royals fans and 12-18-year-old girls say that starting pitching is the key to the Royals' success. They also consider Sidney Ponson "grody" and there were several write-in votes pledging their heart to Edward.
DOWN THE FIFTH
3:29 PM -- I'm not certain who has a 10-game hitting streak: Willie Bloomquist or Mike Sweeney wearing Willie Bloomquist's skin.
3:32 PM -- An Olivo wacky sacky bunt and Mike Aviles' one-bag "hit ball" improves the manufacturing sector of Kansas City by another 0.4 percent. 2-0 Royals
3:35 PM -- David OfJesus falls backwards trying to avoid decapitation, which is interpreted by the umpire (and French impressionists) as a swinging strike three. I'd laugh but that was pretty much my approach at the plate in third grade.
LEVI STUBBS AND THE SIX TOPS
3:40 PM -- I hope you're sitting down. Ichiro's on base again. I think he just trots out there, hoping nobody notices. Yoctoseconds later, with Gutierrez at bat, Aviles manufactures a routine E-6, and Bannister weeps silently.
3:43 PM -- Teahen shows Aviles how to actually catch a baseball. Mr. Crumpets starts the 5-4-3 whirlygig. Ichiro remains on base, but he actually ran from first to third on a straight line.
3:44 PM -- And sure enough, Aviles learns the error of his ways, and makes the play he shoulda made back there. Ichiro will run across home and stomp on it a couple times, hoping it's one of those automated home plates and the run appears on the scoreboard regardless.
SIX BOTTOMED GIRLS
3:48 PM -- Two outs already? You're a lifesaver, Dr. Bakula!
3:50 PM -- The FSKCBBQ crew psychoanalyzes Bannister in the dugout. They're sure he's coming back for the seventh and also detect a sense of lost childhood resulting in an abnormal obsession with Pogs. You can bill them later, Banny. Also, that was a quick inning.
3:53 PM -- Wait, that's Ron Mahay! Bannister didn't come back at all! MALPRACTICE! Mahay mistakes the game for cricket and bowls a googly into Beltre's left ankle. The entire city of Islamabad can't believe the call.
3:55 PM -- Griffey's second Double Stopper With Cheese groundout in this game. A committee on Capitol Hill is furiously meeting around the clock ready to revoke his All-Century Team roster spot and perhaps his SNES game royalty checks. Not to be mistaken with Royalty Chex, which is what Sidney Ponson eats handfuls of before his starts.
3:58 PM -- Mahay, an avid anti-cricket lobbyist who heard my joke earlier, bounces back and embarrasses Mike Jacobs, yet again. And on his wedding day! (How ironic.)
SEVENTH INNING CINEMA
Since this is my first ever trek into the WoW blogging foray, I shall offer up a classic:
SEVENBOT, GYPSY, TOM SERVO, CROOOOOOOOW!
4:03 PM -- Washburn really, really wants that win. Either that or if he throws 150 pitches he gets a free candied apple.
4:06 PM -- Olivo scorches a ball off Beltre's glove, adding to the infield single contabulation and reminding people that small ball is, in fact, a direct result of staying in school. NO HOMERS.
Oh, look, I was five minutes behind everyone. Bakulifation brings us to one on with one out. Of course, it's Ichiro.
Yay! Manny banter! "Nothing at GNC is banned by Major League Baseball." Well, neither is anything at Toys 'R Us, yet I was under the impression that Ramirez ate some Play-Dough, which caused the positive drug test.
4:12 PM -- Juan Cruz pitches. Cruz pitches well. Pitch, Cruz, pitch.
4:14 PM -- Look, an ad for MLB.tv on the game. BUT ... I ... AM ... ALREADY ... [buys another premium subscription]
4:16 PM -- Professor Green Gloves gets 50 CCs of not hitting the baseball. Defibrilator. Incision. Doctorspeak. TACKED ON LOVE STORY. Thursdays on ABC. Catharses Welcome™.
EIGHT GREEN GLOBS OF GREASY GRIMY BOTTOMGUTS
4:19 PM -- Coco begins production on Run No. 3 by standing still and letting Sean White hit him with a pitch. OfJesus bunts the Veggie Crisper to second. Teahen is walked on purpose, like a labradoodle who hasn't pooped all day. Jose Guillen really needed more baserunners when he batted, didn't he?
4:24 PM -- Well, sure, hit Guillen too. In fact, just keep intentionally letting people reach base until you find the batter you want. Read: find Carlos Rebles, send him up there to pinch hit.
4:26 PM -- Intentional single! One run will score, but Wladimir's throw wgets Teahen out at the wplate. 3-0 Royals
4:29 PM -- What the balk just happened? White picked off pinch-hustler Mitch Maier at first in a goofy move, and Mike Jacobs, is humiliated once again, causing him to be declined for a new loan on a zeppelin.
4:30 PM -- The Mexicutioner, Joakim Soria, starts things off right with a balanced breakfast and two tablespoons of Russ Branyan swinging at ghosts.
4:34 PM -- Nobody's on base, eliminating the double play opportunity, so Griffey will redeem his backwards hatting ways with a long single. Two outs. Winning run somewhere in the lineup.
4:37 PM -- DON'T LET THAT WLASCALLY BATTER GET AWAY FROM YOU, YOU SCRAWNY LITTLE ... oh, never mind, you did let him get away. A walk gives the prodigal DH Mike Sweeney a chance to tie the game.
4:40 PM -- Rut-roh, Vermicelli O's. Sweeney singles, bringing Sr. Griffey Jr. home, destroying the shutout. 3-1 Royals
4:41 PM -- Yuniesky? Yubetcha. Betancourt pinch-walks, loading 'em for Ichiro. TENSION IN ROYALTOWN.
4:45 PM -- THE CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY STAYS INTACT. Ichiro grounds to shortstop, leaving the bases as loaded as the next GM to sign Richie Sexson to a multi-million dollar deal. Final: 3-1 Royals; (W) Bannister; (L) Washburn; (S) Soria; (D) All of the above.
I'm done. Right, Rob? ...Rob?
Hey, what are you doing in my solarium?