We are born with two kidneys, and, having been told that we really only need one to live, I decided to sell my surplus to fund my trip to game six of the American League Championship Series. The stakes were high, both in terms of my back alley medical procedure and the ramifications of the sports contest.
Here are my observations concerning the game. (The less said about the kidney thing, the better. Question to the readers, though– is it normal that I’m coughing up tiny bits of urine today? Let me know, please.)
Holy hell, what a game. I mean, I’m never going to see another game like this again, right? I was there opening day in 2004 when Mendy Lopez (!) hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie it against the White Sox, and then Carlos Beltran hit a two-run shot to win it. The K exploded that day, unlike anything I’d ever seen.
Until Friday night.
When Lorenzo Cain scored from first on Eric Hosmer’s single in the bottom of the eighth, I was pretty sure I was going to die. Later, when Wade Davis got Josh Donaldson to end the game by grounding out to Mike Moustakas I did die. I collapsed to the rain-soaked ground, littered with the corpses of a thousand peanuts, and my soul flew high above I-70, into the clouds, above the fireworks and passing Peterbilts. I am dead now, writing to you from the great thereafter. It’s nice here; the weather is always whatever you want it to be and you can wear pants made out of pizza. Moving on.
Kansas City fans made me proud. There was a row of genuine Canadian dudes in front of me. They reeked like maple syrup and kept acting out skits from SCTV. Anyway, when the Jays were doing well, they remained quiet, and who can blame them? It’s scary to be 16 hours from home and in enemy territory. But then the Royals won and they started the long, slow procession back to the land of mooses and Tim Horton’s.
But on the way out, a curious thing happened: most fans on the aisles stopped them as they passed, shaking their hands, high-fiving them, and assuring them that their team played a tremendous series. No one spat on them or made really bad Canadian cliches (like me, just before).
We are good fans, and it made me happy.
My section was pretty quiet, though. Which was weird, considering the circumstances. It seemed loud elsewhere, but I was a little surprised that it wasn’t exactly “thundering” in 208.
Except for a handful of loud assholes. I’m pretty sure the group in front of me ended up at the game by accident. You know, like their bus took a wrong turn en route to the Blue Collar Comedy show. They were chomping Skoal and yee-hawing and between the seven or eight of them, took down approximately 175 25 ounce cans of Bud Light. (I spent an extended period of time of real concern wondering who was piloting their tractor back to Fucksville.)
And then there was the dude behind us wearing a choker like the guitarist from the band Creed and absolutely nothing featuring a Kansas City-based logo. He spent the last four or five innings shouting things like, “JOSE BAUTISTA YOU FUCKING FAGGOT. YOU ARE A FUCKING FAGGOT WHO NEEDS TO DIE,” in the vocal styling of “Man Who Has Been Kicked in the Throat.” I glared several times– not really for me, but mostly because the adorable little red-headed eight-year-old girl in front of me looked terrified, and, holy shit, have some fucking decorum when there’s a kid within 800 feet, asshole. He stopped eventually, though I don’t think I necessarily had anything to do with it. Maybe his lady–who appeared to be hanging on by a thread herself–finally sobered up enough to ask him to stop.
The worst person at the ballpark is the guy who never drinks, then gets shitfaced and doesn’t know how to act like a normal human being. If you’re the kind of person who gets aggressive when you drink too much, stay the fuck home. Nobody likes being around you.
Anyway, it was a totally amazing experience, regardless.
And now the Royals go on to face the New York Mets in the World Series. The Mets, unfortunately, have the best starting pitching trifecta of anyone the Royals have faced this season. (And quite possibly, the best three starters in the majors.) They throw hard, and throw hard often. The good news, as counter-intuitive as lots of 95+ MPH fastballs may seem, is that the Royals are a good fastball hitting team. So the Mets’ pitchers can either: feed the Kansas City batters what they love to eat, or work off-speed and lower their effectiveness.
I’ll leave you with two fun facts that, while completely useless in terms of real life, make me feel better anyway.
Five AL teams have made a return trip to the World Series the year after losing a “winner take all” game and all five won it on their second shot.
The Mets will have five days off between clinching the NL and playing in the World Series. Five of the last six with that much time went on to LOSE the World Series.