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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Detroit Tigers Win The Central Division !

At the end of the regular baseball season, I was present at Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Minnesota Twins. There was a close race with the Kansas City Royals to the championship of the American League Central Division.
Earlier in the week I had listened to the local TV news by some gross error on my part, and if was reported that there was a weird machine of statistics that was non-Gould-computable (after Stephen Jay Gould, baseball nut and fine scientist) which said that any combination of Tigers wins or Royals losses that equaled 3 would mean the local boys would win.

It went down to the wire.
So here we were on a fine, warm Sunday.
My friend required a free parking space, so we parked a mile and a half away from the stadium in a George Romero-type neighborhood. I knew this because a large abandoned building had "Zombieland" painted across the upper floor facade.
This did make it easy to find the car after the game, since Zombieland was visible well beyond the ball park, a feature that made up for the fact that there were so many buildings with boards over the windows - just like the fenestral barricades in "Night Of The Living Dead" and "28 Weeks Later" and other memorous flicks of the nouvelle onde de zombies ( I don't use "nouvelle vague" since that has been patented by earlier Frenchies, and I hate to pay des royalties !!)

I had worn my least comfortable shoes, my docksiders. It was a tough walk until the pain numbed me up. Even my "Milkman" shoes would have been better. ("Milkman" shoes is what I call my flipping Tevas, since the name reminds me of "Tevia", who happens to have been - and still is - a milkman.)

My friend bought peanuts on the outside of the stadium, significantly cheaper than those inside. This fact of life was significantly established by Dr. Carver years and years ago. Same goes for beer and bottled water.
I eat the entire peanut; I just throw the whole thing into my mouth and chomp away on it. Since there is a good deal more salt on the shell than on the kernels, I do not eat many peanuts this way... unless there is a bottled water monger nearby.

Speaking of which, we sat on the third-base line about five rows higher than the top of the home team dug-out, and about 15 seats from it away from home plate.
These were great seats until the 5th inning when the crowd became thirsty from the sun and wind and the beverage mongers I mentioned - water and beer - decided to encamp between ourselves and home plate, waving bottles of refreshment in their hands, two or three cans or bottles per hand, waving them like plastic date palm fronds in a frenzied oasis.

My friend and I had decided to make a bet on the outcome of the game.
We both picked the Tigers to win - probably based on the irrefutable fact that "they were due!" - so we had to modify the wager.

He said to pick how many runs they would win by.
I considered this. One run or two runs seemed to hardly register in my mind. I saw three, four, or five runs, and nothing greater than five. Then four and five faded, leaving a big old  staring right at me with my own mind's eye.

So I held up three fingers, saying that the Tigers would win by three runs.

Long story - or at least 9 innings duration - truncated and made brief, they won by precisely three runs.

We went to eat afterwards. I ate a club sandwich with an enormous wooden "waif-pole" crowned with curlicues of plastic clingfilm. I was thinking of  Ahab, Tashtego and Dagoo, not my extraordinary prowess at prognostication.
When we left the eatery, my friend said he had left my winnings as my portion of the tip.

I told him first that he was a scoundrel's sibling, and then that when it comes to betting on future events, I valued being right over the money involved.
Since he could not thimblerig me out of that, he decided to drive home by way of the Past.
He drove through the sketchiest neighborhoods, then by the street where he was born, then down Chandler Park where I was born.

I hungered for a madeleine to nibble, but the Cadieux Cafe, the neighborhood Belgian bar, was closed and eerie, wild grasses trespassed lawns in a drunken stagger, and I took solace in being right, for the joy of youth was lost in the translations from concrete isle to concrete isle within the asphalt archipelago.

photo: James D. Griffioen

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