Mile High (Fantasy League #8)

Games: 17 (4/17 @ Rockies, W 14-2), 18 (4/18, @ Rockies, W 5-3), 19 (4/19, @ Rockies, W 14-3)

With Ramona, I watched the “Pittiesburgh” game from the stands of the VCP track. We saw the last couple innings of a getaway day blowout against Colorado, whom they swept at Coors Field in some pretty lopsided contests. The only full inning we saw with the Pirates at the bat, the Rockies pitcher was none other than Daniel Bard. What a treat to see him back on the mound, doing what he used to do almost as well as he used to do it. Not so nasty, but very sharp. 


I’ve never been to Denver, but I did live in Oregon for two years. I was young when I was there, 25, 26, 27, and one of the things I’d still do was stay up late to finish work for school, late as in over night, late as in, two and three am. I don’t know why I did this. I think it reflected some kind of effort in my mind, and effort was equal to a quality product. I was inefficient, grossly inefficient, not least in how I asked people for help, in how I utilized my own power. 

In Oregon, I had a computer, some early 2000s Macbook, on which I could use iTunes to listen to radio stations from anywhere on earth. I’ve always been a radio nerd, kind of ever since I went to Quaker camp in 1991, the summer before sixth grade, and I met Serge and Tolye, two kids from what would for a few more months be the Soviet Union. They didn’t speak a lick of English, and I don’t think they liked me at all, but I was fascinated by them. It led to an obsession with the USSR, to clipping newspaper articles from the Boston Globe, to using our VCR and every available videotape to record news stories on the brand new cable station on our brand new cable box that broadcast news all the time, CNN. 

But in Oregon, when I was up late enough, the time difference between east coast and west coast allowed me to fall asleep to Morning Edition. The station I would most often listen to was WNYC. 

There had been a predictive quality to radio before — I’d done the same thing, earlier, with Oregon Public Broadcasting — and later, when I considered leaving New York for Portland, Maine, or this past year for Pittsburgh—radio was central to my imagining of what life might be like in these places. Yet the other thing about listening to the radio in the middle of the darkness, was that I didn’t have the responsibilities I have now, I could be up that late and it wouldn’t affect much. Now, when I need to get things done, I don’t stay up late, I get up early, and this is what I did the other day, this is how I missed the 14-2 game in Colorado, this is how I listened to the first inning with Rich Hill battling through a bunch of hitters and stranding a bunch of Rockies, and then I turned it off—preferring to talk with Seema while folding clothes, the set up of the projector not being ideal for folding clothes and watching a game. You can’t half-watch a game on a projector, it’s all or nothing. 

You can half-listen. Or listen to half, as I did with the Astros-Blue Jays, where the Astros just bombed Kevin Gaussman, poor toe-tapping poster child of the new rule changes around balks, called out in the GM’s winter meetings by name, seven runs in the bottom of the first, right? Yikes. 

But instead of half-watching, I chose to catch up later. 

I wonder how Andrew McCutchen learned to harness his power, how he’s a different player, or if he is, now in his second time around with Pittsburgh, than he was in Colorado. What did that distance do for him? The return?


The other note on radio from this period is listening to the radio broadcasts of the Yankees. Jon Sterling and Suzyn Waldman (apparently known in some circles as “Ma and Pa”) are old school broadcasters and they crack me up, talking through the game as if nobody is really listening. Suzyn Waldman went off on a tangent about one opposing player–I forget whom now, and I forget the team even (was it the Blue Jays?), wistfully remarking in an awestruck kind of way that this player was now 32.

Maybe I’m having the same sort of reaction about Daniel Bard.

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