Big Sex • April 7th, 2019
BROOKLYN - The wind blew in through milky sun as the Mothership began her eleventh season two Sundays ago, with what I have got to say was a bit of a whimper. With some exception, soft hits and wind-robbed would-be homers marked the day, but I'm talking about the whingeing -- the sobbing -- from those of us who “couldn’t go” to the Galacticos the week before.
At 7 a.m., the foghorns blared from the East River, and once again I awoke in my government sack under the visitor’s dugout at York Cathedral. But as I rummaged in my hair for a match, I was delighted, on this morning, to see the Secret Agent, Lefty Moses, Long Balls, the Diamond, and the Shepherd hopping onto the pitcher’s mound out of a matte-salmon Lyft XL, all five singing my name with pity; singing all of my names.
“Oh, Christ on a canvas,” I said, to myself I thought, carefully folding my sleeping cap into my coat, “am I glad to see you guys.” For here were the six of us, six hours early, with one more chance, before everybody got back, to reassure one another that not going to Mexico had honestly been the best thing for our lives.
“My passport would have expired the second day of the trip. And I was afraid if I sent it in for renewal I wouldn’t get it back in time to go at all.”
“Don’t get down on yourself. I mean Jesus I’d had Broadway tickets for months, and you know how it is trying to sell those things. Well, I don’t know if you know.”
“Ah sure. I got a cat this winter -- I needed it -- but she’s had a lot of surgeries, and she finally had a playdate last weekend... Feel me?”
“I hear that. And the other thing is, from what I understand it sounds as though there’s no weed in Mexico. So.”
“Same same. I mean, I’ll drink a beer, but...?”
“For real, though.”
But as we defended our decisions to stay behind the week before, we handful of sad bastards, we knew we’d made a mistake; that we’d made so many mistakes. Whatever paths our lives had taken, that had led us to stay behind during the greatest sporting event in world history, had been the wrong paths. The fucking wrong paths! Silently, we understood that we each understood. We could no longer pretend otherwise -- we fuckin’ should have been there.
One of us took a dead potted tree from the garbage and planted it in the Parks Department’s pothole, but it wouldn’t light. And there we did cry ourselves to sleep, all together in an awful little pile in shallow right field.
Before long the glorious regulars showed up, most still rouged from the Baja sun, and while we hurried to dry our eyes we had nothing but questions for them. They told us that yes oh man it was so fucking great, the food was so fucking great, the stickball was so fucking great, the intra- and interscholastic camaraderie was so fucking great, it was all just so fucking well planned; but, they added mercifully, that it was far more sweet to see us; that they’d missed us; that we had to make it to the next one. We nodded, again and again. And again we cried, and for us they pretended to cry, too. And we started to play.
Game 1. The wind coming in from the BQE stopped two sure bombs at least (but, Surge told Party Boy, nothing compared with the wind in Mexico, which changed three times a day). There was no score until the bottom of the 8th. Dazzler hit a triple to right center. I should have had it; Time Machine and I agreed. Next up, Double Dad Jack hit one of those humpy liners to left; the wind pushed it down, and it died like a sinker just outta reach and bounced to the wall for a double. The home-field Black squad was now up 1-0 after 8. I dug a lukewarm tallboy out of someone's backpack and found a way. And with two down and the Reds licking last, Surge pork-chopped a screwy eyebrow-level pitch into a handsome triple, but it wasn’t enough. The B-words took the first game of the year, 1-0.
Game 2. As you might imagine, the “score” and “what inning [...] it [was]” got a little hazy after the first game for me. “How many outs are there?” prayed Cobra with a li’l grin, knowing I wouldn't know. We did notice, despite ourselves, the Nerf Dolphin’s dog curled up in the dugout. There she'd been, watching us politely the whole time -- Luna was back for her first outing at York since Operation: Find Luna -- outfitted now with a noticeably more substantial harness and leash apparatus. “Fucking amateurs [...]--” screamed the dog. We apologized to her one by one. She did not respond to my scritches, but, who does? The Black team won the second game, 5-4.
Game 3. The lefties came to get it that day -- Shep & L’ Balls & CHK & Moses all spankin’ balls left to right. Among other things Lenny push-launched one over the left-center-center wall, but once more the Black team eked out a few more sloppies than the beleaguered Reds. Dark tidings came forth from our postgame cheers. The Black squad won 6-2, to complete the sweep.
From what the boys fresh back from Rosarito told us over the course of Opening Day, here’s what I gathered happened in Mexico the week before:
Katfish baptized scores of new disciples in the Pacific Ocean, whales dancing behind him. The Minister announced the inaugural season of YFS Jakarta, who will play entirely underwater and be 100% Paleo except for the hard drugs. Following some sort of wire-crossing at the control tower, Max piloted an aircraft, weaving the rattling jalopy around a mountain and saving the lives of everyone aboard and invaluable flora and fauna below. Nerf Hoops, a.k.a. Dazzler, a.k.a. Meat Dolphin, won a prestigious North American woodworking award. The Magic Man’s company went public during his satellite-streamed TED Talk, assuring us that none of us have to worry about anything any longer, which is particularly great. Over the course of the weekend, 60-some bombs resulted from Stinkmitt’s meatballs, and he hit a dozen of his own using only one arm to hold the bat. And Rizzo hit 50 bombs, played a seven-hour-no-break set with a local band, didn’t speak a word of English for four days, and completed untold research for my next film. Ten minutes into the first game, all eight benches cleared when il Consigliere put a knife in one of the L.A. guys to show his loyalty to Brooklyn. Soy Peligroso reunited with four generations of Peligroso family members after many years. 8 Ball got married. Time Machine discovered a bird thought extinct, and so decided to stay, but, as we know, where and when Time Machine “is” matters not. 8 Ball tamed a horse and taught a child to swim at his own wedding reception. As we were made to understand it, the trip was a massive success, and no one even minded that New Orleans won.
On Opening Day, Season XI --
The Black squad were: Soy Peligroso, Rizz Everywhere, El Cobra, Dazzler, 8 Ball, Party Boi, The Secret Agent, The Cobble Hill Kid, and J. Cole & the Sugardoll 5
The Red boners were: The Shepherd, Big Sexico, The Surgeon, Long Balls Lenny, Lefty Moses, Stinkmitt, Time Machine, and The Diamond
G1: B’s: 1, R’s: 0
G2: B’s: 5, R’s: 4
G3: B’s: 6, R’s: 2
HRs: Meat Hoops: 2 (2), L. Nuts: 1 (1)