Thursday, September 25, 2014

thursday september 25th: the password is "2/7" ...

"Chances are?  You'll find me,
Somewhere on the road tonight.
Seems I always wind up,
Driving by.

Ever since I've known you?
It just seems to be on my way.
All the rules of logic?
Don't apply.

I long to see you in the light;
To be with you 'til morning light ...

I remember clearly, how you looked
The night we met.
I recall your laughter
And your smile.

I remember how you made me feel
So at ease.
I remember all your grace,
And your style.

And now?
You're all I long to see!
You've come to mean
So much to me!

Chances are?  I'll see you,
Somewhere in my dreams tonight!
You'll be smiling,
Like the night we met!

Chances are?  I'll hold you,
And I'll offer all I have.
You're the only one
I can't forget.

Baby?  You're the best
I've ever met!

And I'll be dreaming of the future;
Hoping you'll be by my side.
And in the morning?  I'll be longing
For the night.

For the night ...

Chances are?  I'll see you,
Somewhere in my dreams tonight!
You'll be smiling,
Like the night we met!

Chances are?  I'll hold you,
And I'll offer all I have.

You're the only one?
I can't forget.

Baby?  You're the best
I've ever met! ..."


--------------------

The Only Two Numbers That Matter:

Royals Magic Number For a Playoff Spot: 2.
Royals Magic Number For a Division Title: 7.

Standings As I Post:

Tigers +2 on Royals.

A’s / Royals Tied.
A’s / Royals +2 1/2  on Mariners.
A’s / Royals +3 1/2 on Indians.

(Note: I have to include Cleveland … because if all three (KC, Oakland, and Seattle) lose out (which, sadly, isn’t that far-fetched an idea) and Cleveland wins out, there’d be a four way cluster f*ck for the two wildcard berths.  And that is the ONLY way Cleveland can get in – their elimination number is uno.  One A’s / Royals / Mariners win, or one Wahoo loss, ends it.  Not even the NFL fan in me, that intentionally creates four way cluster f*cks in my NFL season predictions piece, would want to try to sort that one out.  Hell, not even the folks who figured out how the hell the 2006 Chiefs got into the playoffs, want to try to sort that one out …)

--------------------

I honestly – and for once, I’m being totally honest – I honestly had to rewrite parts of this, in light of the Mariners / Blue Jays outcome.  I'm holding some back -- hopefully to be posted tomorrow.  

So I apologize up front, for the less than epic post, about to, uuh, post.

But once that magic number hits one?

Prepare to cry your eyes out. 

Or at least be fist pumping, reading what is going to post.  Because folks?  I think I nailed the emotions, the feelings, we're all gonna be feeling, when that damned two, turns into one ...

--------------------

My initial choice for the theme, was “So Close” by Hall and Oates.  I had it ready to go.  Only (a) I try not to reuse a theme twice in a year (I used “So Close” for my 2014 NFL Season Predictions) and (b) Royals Review picked “So Close” as their theme of the day, and I try not to plagiarize any more than I already admit to doing, on this site.

But “Chances Are"?  Yes.  Yes, they are.

--------------------

So yesterday didn’t go as hoped for.  The Tigers pulled away late, scoring five after the seventh inning stretch.  The Royals basically threw in the towel in the sixth*, choosing to throw out the deadbeat flotsam, riff-raff, and jetsam that is the back end of the bullpen, and save the three that count, for when it really counts. 

But thank God for Toronto.  Because they ensured no damage done to the big picture, by scoring in the bottom of the eighth, then picking off a Seattle runner at first, to secure a 1-0 win, that puts the Royals so close to the postseason, grown up 37 year olds who may or may not be typing this are getting tears in their eyes, just thinking about the number two, means ... and how epic the number one might be, in about three hours.

--------------------

Today’s Matchups That Matter:

* Indians: bye.  Because of course the Fighting Braves of the Cuyahoga are going to lose their postseason dreams, to an opponent that is capable of beating one, and only one, man in this nation, and that is the (not even remotely) greatness that is, “Sur” William Callahan.

* Mariners at Blue Jays, 3:07pm CT.  The Jays go for the sweep, and more importantly, we’ll know before first pitch at The Cell, if this is the day we have waited thirty years for, or not.  The M’s send Tom Wilhelmson (3-2, 2.10) into an emergency start for Chris Young.  The Jays counter with Daniel Norris (never started before) for his first start in the bigs.  Let’s all hope this is a September miracle.  I wouldn’t bet on it.

(Update: glad I didn't bet on it.  Mariners 7, Jays 5, Final.)

* Twins at Tigers, 6:08pm CT.  We need a Twins win in a bad, bad way.  Trevor May (3-5, 8.39) draws the start for the Twinkies.  Against Max Scherzer (17-5, 3.19) for the Kitties.  In the words of the Spanish Bumblebee: “aye yay yay!  No me gusta!”

You might want to light an extra candle for this one, if you happen to step foot in a Parish today, Royals fans.  And please – light one for me as well.

* A’s at Rangers, 7:05pm CT.  Here’s where today’s salvation may lie.  The A’s send Jason Hammel (2-6, 4.52) in his first start since taking paternity leave.  Yes, baseball fans, there are things more important than baseball.  There will be no mocking Mr. Hammel abandoning his team for a few weeks for his child’s birth on this site.  (At least in the published portion; you all can mock away in the comments.)  The Rangers counter with Colby Lewis (10-14, 5.34).  The Rangers swept the A’s last week in Oakland.  Let’s all pray to God – every God there ever was, or is, or is to be, and the universe entire – that that?  Happens again this weekend.

--------------------

Royals Tonight:

* at White Sox, 7:10pm CT.  Tonight, “The Trade” is either justified, or crucified.  Because James Shields (14-8, 3.18) takes the mound for the Boyz N Blue.  He’ll face Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.22), who is 0-2 against KC this year, and 0-3 in his last four starts.

I’ll save my thoughts on tonight, for the next – and last – sections of this post.

--------------------

My Final Thought(s):

(And no, I’m not hauling out my Jerry Springer Voice for this.)

I had a great friend growing up, and into young adulthood, who was my “go-to” buddy, to attend a Royals game, during the darkest of the dark last thirty seasons.

It didn’t matter how sh*tty this team was, it didn’t matter how pointless the game seemed.  All I had to do was text or call or email James, and the only question left was who was driving to the game on Sunday.

(As a side note: I know many of you wonder why I care about The Champ as I do, despite our last few years.  It’s for the same reason I cared about James as I did.  You just have to truly know them, to get them.  And once you know them, they matter to you until the bitter end.  Even if you don’t, to them.)

We spent many a Sunday getting ridiculously drunk in (pick a lot) at the Complex.  We spent many a Sunday baking in the sun in Left Field GA, and since we were as classless as they come, usually a t-shirt was nowhere in sight.  We saw Sammy Sosa do his thing out there in 1998.  We watched George Brett inducted into the Hall of Fame out there on the Jumbotron in 1999.  We watched what (until this year) was my favorite Royals game I can recall, the Father’s Day rally against the Giants in 2003, when Barry Bonds literally hit a ball off the old Right Field GA concession stand’s roof.  We had a lot of great, fun, (usually) drunken times out there in left field, and (usually) in Lot G or H.

James passed away August 20, 2004.  Somehow, it’s always seemed fitting to me, that he passed during the season that killed baseball’s meaning to me. 

At least until the last few weeks.

Today, I can’t help but think of him.  Because it’s Sundays like we “suffered” through in 2001, in 1997, in 2003, in 1998, and even into 2004?

That make today matter to me.

As I finish typing this, the Jays lead the Mariners, 2-0, top 3.  Which makes the final section, relevant.  At least for now.

--------------------

Kansas City fans under the age of 38 to 40?  We are potentially less than seven hours away, from the greatest day of our baseball loving lives, coming to, uuh, life.

So let’s win this one.

Win this one for every Double Header Day experienced.  Win this one for the hurt of 2003, for the destruction of 2004.  Win this one for the promise of 1994, the heartbreak of 1989.  Win this one for the one hundred loss seasons.  Win this one because Tony Pena convinced us to “Believe”!  Win this one because Tony Muser inspired 5,000 “Tony Luser” jokes and counting.

Win this one for Carlos Beltran, for Johnny Damon, for Jermaine Dye: the foundation of a franchise traded or sold off before they could pay off.  And win this one for Mike Sweeney, the only one who stuck around.  Unfairly maligned; unfairly targeted.  Win this one, and let Mr. Sweeney throw out the first pitch on Tuesday.  Give him the ovation, the standing, tears streaming down our faces ovation, he has earned.

Win this one for every jaded Royals fan who’s given up hope.  Win this one to justify The Trade.  Because OF COURSE James Shields would take the mound, to justify everything we gave up to get him. 

Win this one to prove so many of us wrong regarding The Process, The Trade, The … Everything.  We all know, this franchise hasn’t exactly copied Barney Stinson’s Playbook, when it comes to how to succeed. 

Win this one for Buck O’Neil, win this one for Dan Quisenberry, win this one for Dick Howser.  Win this one for Splitt.  Win this one for Frank Black.  I mean Fritz Blue.  I mean … screw it.  Win this one for Fred White. 

Win this one for Ewing Kauffman … and chug a stiff one for Muriel Kauffman. 

Oh, yeah – and win this one for our Ol’ Pardner, Mr. William Grigsby … and give your dog an extra Meaty Bone, in honor of Harry.

Win this one for our kids, who have no idea what we have endured as fans of this team.  Let “My Special Little Guy”, let Garrett, let the Twins, let Heath Junior, let Lucas, let Miles, let Jack and Ethan, let Rocco, let every damned fan of their Daddy under the age of ten, enjoy something we don’t remember enjoying … and many of us never enjoyed.

And win this one most especially, for every Royals fan, who has pleaded with God above in the great beyond, to let this happen.

Royals?  Win this one for James.

--------------------

And God?  I don’t ask you for much.  (And in your defense, you don’t provide much, at least to me.)

But God?

Please.

Let them win this one for me.


Because I (bleeping) need this so (bleeping) badly …--------------------

The Only Two Numbers That Matter:

Royals Magic Number For a Playoff Spot: 2.
Royals Magic Number For a Division Title: 7.

Standings As I Post:

Tigers +2 on Royals.

A’s / Royals Tied.
A’s / Royals +3 on Mariners.
A’s / Royals +3 ½ on Indians.

(Note: I have to include Cleveland … because if all three (KC, Oakland, and Seattle) lose out (which, sadly, isn’t that far-fetched an idea) and Cleveland wins out, there’d be a four way cluster f*ck for the two wildcard berths.  And that is the ONLY way Cleveland can get in – their elimination number is uno.  One A’s / Royals / Mariners win, or one Wahoo loss, ends it.  Not even the NFL fan in me, that intentionally creates four way cluster f*cks in my NFL season predictions piece, would want to try to sort that one out.  Hell, not even the folks who figured out how the hell the 2006 Chiefs got into the playoffs, want to try to sort that one out …)

--------------------

I honestly – and for once, I’m being totally honest – I honestly thought this would be the theme song, for the Week Four Picks, coming later today or (far more likely) tomorrow or Saturday.

Because there are few things in life, that inspire me as much, as hearing this song blaring off the speakers, as the tailgate breaks down, the sun is setting behind us, and the smoke from all the grills in Lot G and beyond, is wafting over Arrowhead for the walk in, for a primetime contest.  (Which we have, in barely 96 hours, against the best franchise the NFL has to offer over the last fifteen years, your (because they sure as hell aren’t my) New England Patriots.)

But today?  Today is bigger than Monday could be.

Today, Royals fans?  We awaken with a chance to do, what hasn’t been done, in the cognizant lifetime of most of us.

Today?  The Kansas City Royals can clinch a playoff berth.

And that is not only not a typo?  You can pick what the password is.  Is it (allen ludden voice) “clinch”?  Is it (bill cullen voice) “playoff”?  Or is it (bert convy voice) “berth”?

--------------------

My backup choice was “So Close” by Hall and Oates.  Only (a) I try not to reuse a theme twice in a year (I used “So Close” for my 2014 NFL Season Predictions) and (b) Royals Review picked “So Close” as their theme of the day, and I try not to plagiarize any more than I already admit to doing, on this site.

But “In The Air Tonight”.  Yes.  Yes, it is.

--------------------

So yesterday didn’t go as hoped for.  The Tigers pulled away late, scoring five after the seventh inning stretch.  The Royals basically threw in the towel in the sixth*, choosing to throw out the deadbeat flotsam, riff-raff, and jetsam that is the back end of the bullpen, and save the three that count, for when it really counts. 

But thank God for Toronto.  Because they made today possible, by scoring in the bottom of the eighth, then picking off a Seattle runner at first, to secure a 1-0 win, that puts the Royals so close to the postseason, grown up 37 year olds who may or may not be typing this are getting tears in their eyes, just thinking about what 10pm-ish today, could mean.

--------------------

Today’s Matchups That Matter:

* Indians: bye.  Because of course the Fighting Braves of the Cuyahoga are going to lose their postseason dreams, to an opponent that is capable of beating one, and only one, man in this nation, and that is the (not even remotely) greatness that is, “Sur” William Callahan.

* Mariners at Blue Jays, 3:07pm CT.  The Jays go for the sweep, and more importantly, we’ll know before first pitch at The Cell, if this is the day we have waited thirty years for, or not.  The M’s send Tom Wilhelmson (3-2, 2.10) into an emergency start for Chris Young.  The Jays counter with Daniel Norris (never started before) for his first start in the bigs.  Let’s all hope this is a September miracle.  I wouldn’t bet on it.

* Twins at Tigers, 6:08pm CT.  We need a Twins win in a bad, bad way.  Trevor May (3-5, 8.39) draws the start for the Twinkies.  Against Max Scherzer (17-5, 3.19) for the Kitties.  In the words of the Spanish Bumblebee: “aye yay yay!  No me gusta!”

You might want to light an extra candle for this one, if you happen to step foot in a Parish today, Royals fans.  And please – light one for me as well.

* A’s at Rangers, 7:05pm CT.  Here’s where today’s salvation may lie.  The A’s send Jason Hammel (2-6, 4.52) in his first start since taking paternity leave.  Yes, baseball fans, there are things more important than baseball.  There will be no mocking Mr. Hammel abandoning his team for a few weeks for his child’s birth on this site.  (At least in the published portion; you all can mock away in the comments.)  The Rangers counter with Colby Lewis (10-14, 5.34).  The Rangers swept the A’s last week in Oakland.  Let’s all pray to God – every God there ever was, or is, or is to be, and the universe entire – that that?  Happens again this weekend.

--------------------

Royals Tonight:

* at White Sox, 7:10pm CT.  Tonight, “The Trade” is either justified, or crucified.  Because James Shields (14-8, 3.18) takes the mound for the Boyz N Blue.  He’ll face Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.22), who is 0-2 against KC this year, and 0-3 in his last four starts.

--------------------

Today's Final Thought:

Is being held, until that magic number hits one.  

Which God willing, is in about three hours.  And you'll have one epic, epic, uuh, post, to read on your commute in, or your first (and given that it's me writing it, second) visits to the "second office" tomorrow.

So for today, I'll just say this.

This is the first time I can recall in my lifetime, the Royals have a magic number, with four games to play, that isn't an elimination number, for them.

Sometimes?  I thank God, for the little things in life.

If the standings today hold through Sunday?

There's gonna be a mass campout on the grassy knoll of G30, with at least a few die-hard fans, for the game on Tuesday.

You're gonna need a backhoe, a forklift, five hired goons, half the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, and every well-built contractor from the Local IBEW, to get us out of there Monday night ...

No comments:

also, apologies on the layout ...

Something went bat sh*t crazy when I tried to upload the previous post.  I'll work on fixing it Tuesday.  I didn't change a thing; t...