The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Twins’

Bring on the playoffs

Posted by keithosaunders on September 30, 2017

This was a terrible year to be a Mets fan.  The team suffered a barrage of injuries early on, unloading much of the 2015 World Series lineup by the trading deadline.  It appears that Matt Harvey, thanks to overuse during the 2015 post season, is all but washed up. Mea culpa:  I was one of those who supported pitching him during that post season, and I still believe it was the right thing to do.  You don’t get many shots at a World Series ring, especially if you’re a Met.

This was also a terrible year for pennant races.  The National League seemed all but decided by the All Star break, although the Brewers made a run for the Central, and at this writing are still alive for a wild card slot. (although the Rockie’s magic number is 1.) I really can’t get too excited about wild card races, however, especially when the Mets are not in it.

Much to my chagrin the Yankees are good again.  I’m hoping that the upstart Twins can take them out in the gimmicky one-game play-in, but who am I kidding – the Twins are the Yankee’s bitch.

In the junior circuit I’ll be pulling for either the Astros or Indians.  Houston has never won a World Series and has only played in one of them.  It would be nice to see them get through.

In the NL I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers.  I can’t stand the Cubs fans, who I find insufferable, so I’ll be content with their team bowing out.  The Cubs seem to be peaking at the right time, however, and I would be surprised if they do not make it back to the Series. The good thing about the Dodgers going deep into the post season would be to watch these idiot Giants fans up here suffer. (I live in the Bay Area)  Talk about front runners!

Well that’s it.  I don’t have a dog in this race so I’m hoping for some good games and a minimum of exposure to Joe Buck.

Let’s go!

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Cajun food and land locked islands

Posted by keithosaunders on August 10, 2011

There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to driving, I am an animal.  I could make this trip once a month.  If i had another driver I could do this in three days, but with my kids with me, and being that I’m the only driver, I am not pushing that late into the evening.  Still, I managed a good 500 miles today, and tomorrow, if I get an early enough start, I envision doing 600. 

To me, the country appears smaller when you drive its length.  Smaller as compared to flying, that is.  Flying never feels real to me — it’s almost magical, the idea that you can traverse the country in a matter of hours.  I’m always pleasantly surprised at how many states you can cover in one day from behind the wheel.  It makes the country seem more tangeable.

The other great thing about road trips is that you’re your own boss.  (assuming the wife isn’t along for the ride)  I decide when to stop, how far to go, and where to stay at night. 

 There’s nothing as infantalizing plane travel — being told when you can stand up, eat, or go to the bathroom.  Not to mention the demeaning aspect of having to remove clothing while being cattle prodded through security. 

 I love seeing these old, beat towns that you would never get to see from the air.  Des Moines, Iowa  has a  beautiful old state building with a golden domed roof. 

 We stopped took a walk around downtown Des Moines.  Even though it’s fairly well maintained, it has many vacant buildings, and aside from a street with three or four nice looking bars, there isn’t much by way of commerce.  You can see from these old towns that the America of todaydoesn’t produce anything.  There are no jobs.  Places like Detroit, Syracuse, and Des Moines, once thriving cities, are now practicallyghost towns.

We had dinner at a Cajun restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska.  I had the shrimp etoufee, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but ten minutes after we had resumed our westward drive, I exited the highway at the first rest stop I saw and sprinted into the MacDonald’s bathroom.

Omaha

Fully revived I pulled back onto route 80 and began scanning around the AM dial for some baseball games.  I was able to pick up games out of Chicago, Kansas City,Colorado, and Minnesota.  We’re in the plain states now so AM reception, particularly at night, promises to be impressive.

We are in the plain states now and everything will be flat as a pancake for the next several hundred miles.  Most people think of these states as being boring and monotonous, but I have always found a kind of stark beauty in them.  I loved the rolling hills of Kansas when I drove through it several years ago.  There is something about how much sky you can see out here that is amazing.  The sky goes all the way to the horizon and it makes the light beautiful and intense.

We’re bedding down at a Super 8 in Grand Island, Nebraska.  Don’t ask me why they call it an island — I’m as land locked as can be.

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The dawn of the evil empire

Posted by keithosaunders on October 8, 2010

My Yankee hatred is palpable.  It is a living, breathing organism which shows no signs of receding with age.  I spend the entire season rooting for them to lose every game they play.   I have tracked their magic number for playoff elimination as early as June 1st, and for the past 15 years and I have been disappointed each year, save one.  Once the playoffs begin I calculate how many outs they are from elimination.  Presently they are 81 outs away — unfortunately for me, the effete Minnesota Twins have only 27 remaining. 

I can trace the seeds of my bile back to my late teens when I still lived in Los Angeles.  I saw the Dodgers blow a 2-0 lead in the 1978 World Series, losing the final 4 games in embarrassing fashion.  This on the heels of the ’77 Series when Reggie Jackson famously hit three home runs against three different Dodger pitchers in the final game.

The Brooklyn lore had been passed down from my father, who spent his youth in Flatbush enduring year after year of Yankee domination.  Those “boys of summer” lost to the Yankees in 1941, ’47, ’49, ’52, ‘and ’53, before emerging victorious, thanks to a game saving catch down the left field line by Sandy Amoros in game 7 of the 1955 Series.  

When I moved to New York there was no doubt I would fall on the Mets side of the equation.  The Yankees were a free agent laden team comprised of disparate parts.  Their owner, George Steinbrenner, would change managers yearly, sometimes more than once.  He routinely lambasted his players in the press, sometimes exiling them to the minors for mere fielding errors.  Those mid 1980s teams, although competitive, never had the pitching to get to the post season and by the end of the decade they were mired near the bottom of the 7 team (yet to be realigned) AL East.

 How quaint it seems now to look back on the Stump Merrill era of the early 90s — an era in which I actually experienced a sentiment akin to pity for the hapless Yankee fan.  If I had only known what fate awaited me I might have savored the years when the AL East was dominated by, of all teams, the Toronto Bluejays.  I should have relished my ability to watch the American League playoffs without an iota of stress.  Little did I know that while George Steinbrenner was serving a two-year suspension, GM Gene Michael was using his new-found autonomy to build up the Yankee farm system and to nurture their talented prospects.  Storm clouds in the shape of Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera were ahead, and with them would come the end of my stress-free Octobers and the dawn of the evil empire. 

To be continued…      

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