Like watching a drunken elk stagger around the forest.

I was in a sports bar tonight with some friends to watch the Red Sox/Yankees game. It wasn’t a place I’d been to before, but it turns out there were tons of TVs everywhere, most of them tuned to the Red Sox game, of course, but various others sprinkled throughout the bar tuned to other games around the league. We sat down at a table, since there were rather a lot of us, and looked at the bank of TVs directly in front of us. Two had the Sox game on, one was showing Braves/Mets, and one was sporting a familiar goateed form…

“Mario Impemba!” I squealed. “That’s FSN Detroit! That’s the Tigers game!” My friends (Sox fans, all) swiveled around to squint at the screen, then turned back to frown at me.

“Did you ask them to turn it on?” one of them asked. No. I did not. We arrived, and there it was, Comerica Park on a screen in a Boston area sports bar brimming with Sox fans crazed by alcohol, inept bullpens, and Yankee hatred. It was Fate, or Serendipity, or Whatever. It was, in short, ace.

I must admit that a lot of my attention was taken up by the Sox game and the fact that the Yankee pitching was so kind as to allow 17 runs overall, but my eyes kept flicking back to that one TV. Pudge came up to bat, and I immediately began hammering on the table and hooting at my companions about how awesome he is and how hot he is and Pudge! Pudge Pudge Pudge! A few launched into the “Pudge isn’t hot, you’re a crazy person” debate that we so often end up in (they’re lovely people, really, but they’ve got no taste), and my friend Amy started shouting, “WHO’S YOUR TIGER?” May that ad campaign never die.

Pudge promptly launched one into the seats.

“PUDGE! PudgePudgePudgePudgePudge!!! PUDGE WENT YAAAHHHDD!! (imagine it with a Boston accent)” All that accompanied by more violent hammering on the table. Probably there were quite a few people staring at me, since I was the only person in the whole place watching the Tigers game, and my friends were giggling at my insane reaction, but damn. Did you see that shot? I was totally justified in my reaction.

A bit later I noticed Dmitri wearing his sunglasses, which meant he was in the field. Aargh. It drives me batty when we play him at first base, I get all nervous about it. I started grumbling about this to my friend Steve, who was sitting next to me and had very patiently been dealing with me for nigh on two hours by now.

Then we saw DaMeat leap up into the air and snag a fly ball for an out. Only… he had a lot of room when he made that catch. And was that… was that fencing behind him?

WAS DMITRI YOUNG PLAYING LEFT FIELD?

Yes, yes he was.

The very next play he launched himself forward and made a beautiful diving catch while scuttering across the grass to make the last out of the inning. I couldn’t believe it. I could not. Believe it. Dmitri Young, in left field, and on two plays he makes a wonderful leaping catch and a wonderful diving catch. Dmitri Young! He’s mobile like a keg that two heavily inebriated frat boys are trying to roll up a hill. He’s mobile like a mobile home up on cinderblocks. He’s mobile like a drunken elk staggering around the forest.

In the dugout, someone (either Craig or Rondell, I don’t recall which) bustled up to Dmitri with a towel and toweled his face off, laughing all the while. They then flipped his shades up for him and walked off, leaving Dmitri there in his ‘do rag (my friends all delighted when I pointed this out– they took immense joy in the whole “come over here and loosen my ‘do rag”/Paul Quantrill event) with an enormous grin.

Later, Dmitri went yard. More table pounding.

I’m sure you can all imagine my reaction when The Farns took the field.

This was a great game overall, even if the home runs were coming against Jose “Giver Upper of Home Runs” Lima, and even if Fernando Rodney’s majestic 3 innings of 7 K ball were coming against the Kansas City “Not Hitter of Home Runs” Royals lineup (not nearly as majestic as his fantastically pharaonic and pointy goatee), it all counts just the same. And through pure, dumb luck I was able to watch it.

It was worth it just to see Dmitri go sliding along the grass on his stomach like an overfed emperor penguin to make that diving catch.

3 responses to “Like watching a drunken elk stagger around the forest.

  1. I hate to say it, Sam, but I suspect that when it comes to Pudge’s hotness, one must be a fan to fully appreciate it. I didn’t see it myself until I got sucked into the Tigers and decided I loved Pudge to bits. *Then* he became hot.
    I think the Theory of Hotness Relativity applies to a lot of sports players (all sports, not just baseball). There are the Bill Muellers and Barry Zitos, who actually are hot, and then there are the Pudges and the Jason Variteks. I mean, be honest – if you weren’t a Sox fan, would you look twice at Jason Varitek if you passed him on the street? I wouldn’t. But we love him, and therefore he is hot.

  2. Hmm. That seems possible. But I’m not a fan of the Mariners and I think Ichiro is quite hot, much to the horror of most of my friends. I maintain that I have an artist’s eye and simply view beauty in a more objective way than they do. :)

  3. I’ve been eyeing the “maybe it’s time to get rid of DaMeat” bus. And now I feel I may have been hasty. It seems like he’s getting his stroke back (though I still think he’s swinging for the fences too much – look at Red Pop Shelton, young man), and he’s definitely shown he’s a team guy by anticipating the need for him in left field, and then running out there when the time came.

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