Circus Mexicus: Day 2

So I’m doing these out of order, sue me. I’m a busy man. *sucks straw*.

Phoenix stop on Diners, Drive-Ins and DivesSo the long awaited day 2. This would be our baseball day, one of the two real reasons behind the trip in the first place. Most of you likely know I seek a new MLB park to see a game in every year as part of my goal to see all of them before I head to the great beyond. This day would start with a trip into the downtown Phoenix area to fulfill another of my many travel-related hobbies: food at a stop from “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” This one would be Matt’s Big Breakfast, home of the breakfast pork chop and the “paid retail” thick-cut bacon. I need to tell you a couple things about this place, if your search for it brings you here. First, it’s very small. Because of this the lineup is very long. In fact, we’d wait over an hour outside for our chance to stride to the counter and try a breakfast. That said, once we finally arrived it didn’t disappoint. The wait staff were awesome and the food was delivered quickly and tasted great. And given the lineups the prices aren’t unreasonable, not sure I’d have the same constraint if I were in that position.

Former Toronto Blue Jay knuckleballerFrom there we did a slow tour through downtown, snapping pics of whatever we could find, until we finally found ourselves outside Chase Field. We signed on for a tour of the facilities, something I’ve actually never done at a ballpark before. Thinking about a tour of Chase Field? Comes highly recommended by yours truly. It was tons of fun to see the passion of the staff and the attention to detail by those who manage it. There’s a legitimate love not only of the Dbacks and the game, but of entertaining the fans that attend the games. Nothing but the field level itself seems off limits, up to and including press boxes and the dugout (where, yes, I satisfied the oft-discussed “basic ball shift” life list item). Here’s where things get fun.

So I hope I’m not blowing the secret if I note that a friend of OA, KP Wee, is currently involved in a book project surrounding former Toronto Blue Jays knuckleballer, Tom Candiotti. Tom is currently employed as a broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and I had offered up mine and Paul’s services to KP earlier in the year should he require photos for the project. KP indicated that, indeed, photos could come in handy, and he put me in touch with Tom. I had been texting him throughout the day to ensure things were still on schedule, and indeed at 5pm Paul and I hit the lobby of Chase Field to meet and greet Tom and be escorted into the back halls of Chase to the press boxes. Paul, with his good photographic eye and solid equipment, proceeded to snap a large number of shots ranging from the press box to field level. The whole process took less than an hour, we shook hands with Tom and he was off to the night job whilst we took our seats to take in the Dbacks vs. Cardinals game.

Chase Field tamale.Sidenote on baseball stadiums: Rogers Centre sucks. Hard. Having now been to Fenway Park (2007), Progressive Field (2008), US Cellular Field (2009), Wrigley Field (2009) and Chase Field (2010) I have come to see exactly what makes a good park. Things like sightlines, seats, atmosphere, amenities, food and drink. Chase was happy to fill us in that each seat was redirected towards home plate, discussed their luxury “pool” box, HD screen, and even focused on foodservice things like fresh tamales, tequila on tap and craft beer pavilions. Enjoying a tamale with a bomber of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in my seat facing home plate only reinforces that Toronto, truly, doesn’t yet have a baseball stadium. It’d be nice to see it happen some day.

Cheers,
Rick.

Judge Kevin McCarthy: Village Idiot

I had honestly meant to cease with the venting today and post something nice about flowers and birds and pretty girls with naturally curly hair. Then I turned on my radio.

Superior Court Judge Kevin McCarthy, you are an idiot. I hope you read this, and I hope it angers you, and perhaps you send me a fancy cease and desist letter that I can use to clean up spilled tequila during my pending New Year’s Eve party. However, seeing as how you apparently have no actual knowledge of law, this is very unlikely.

As a bit of backstory, when Barry Bonds hit his record-breaking 73rd home run a couple seasons back, a gent by the name of Alex Popov managed to snag the ball before he was sent sprawling to the ground by a trample of Bay Area jackalopes with dollar signs in their eyes. Contrary to the cited article in a moment, Patrick Hayashi physically reached into Popov’s glove and stole the baseball, claiming it as his own. He would have gotten away with it if he hadn’t made an immediate attempt to sell it at which point Popov had his name, filed a lawsuit, and the bitter war over the ownership of this $1,000,000 ball began. It should have been a foregone conclusion – North America does not run on the ‘might is right’ philosophy where I can own everything of yours because I’m bigger or stronger. Possession is 9/10ths of the law – unless, of course, you’re a slack-jawed knob like Kevin McCarthy.

“Their legal claims are of equal quality and they are equally entitled to the ball,” McCarthy ruled. “The ball must be sold and divided equally between the parties.” (Read the report here)

Does this whack-job even realize what can of worms he’s just opened? He’s just made it not only acceptable, but totally within the law, to own something of someone else’s simply by taking it! We can now effectively show up at one another’s houses for Christmas, and immediately upon watching you open your gift, I can take it. It’s mine now, I’m bigger and stronger than you. You want it back? Sorry, let’s sell it to the highest bidder and split the profits.

Many years ago our society took a monster step back when someone of the same ilk as Mr. McCarthy decided that it was illegal to sell coffee without first ensuring the client was aware it came hot. This little atrocity has turned us into a society of laughing stocks to any other nation that fully have the ability to use their minds and act accordingly. Did you know that it’s illegal to sue for your own stupidity in New Zealand? If you go bungy jumping and the chord breaks, tough luck. Yet here, a woman can burn her chin on a pickle in her hamburger and her husband can sue McDonald’s for “lost services”. Bovine corn-fed men can launch lawsuits against the Hamburglar because they’re morbidly obese. And now, we can own at least half the value of something we want simply by stealing it.

In the words of the great Gary Cherone, “stop the world, I wanna get off.”

Cheers!

UPDATE: Back from the chiropractor/sports

UPDATE: Back from the chiropractor/sports doctor. He’s a former NY Ranger and knows his way around injuries like this, which was good. The results aren’t impressive. In my right arm alone I have an injury I kept under wraps for the last 11 years which I discussed with him today. Turns out that all our muscles have a plastic-like coating called a ‘sheath’ over them to keep them in place. The sheath over my bicep is torn, hence the fact my bicep comes out the side of my arm. Injury two: tendonitis in the left elbow which only really came about since I began weight-training. Finally, the big one from Sunday, my shoulder separated. As noted in my Biography I have always had the ability to disclocate both shoulders on request – over time, this adeptness to dislocation in my shoulders has worn that area down. On one particular throw from the outfield on Sunday my shoulder came out and snapped back in. Did it a second time on the bench. I’ve now done some decent damage to the entire area, from muscles to tendons to cartildge, etc.. They did some minor massage therapy, then some ultrasound, and I’m back in two more times this week for follow-ups. He thinks it can be fixed over time by icing it and keeping it mobile through weight training and so forth, but if it doesn’t, it’s a one-way ticket to surgery for me. Needless to say, no more heavy throwing for me. New gym opens on Monday and then it’s wrapping the elbow to stabilize and try to strengthen up the entire arm.

BTW, we can add these to the previously posted back problems, as well as a broken rib, two broken toes, and patella-femoral syndrome (no cartildge) in both knees. Not a bad record for 28 years. ;)

Cheers,
Rick Jessup

Week three of my return

Week three of my return to softball on Sunday, our team blew them away. My batting picked up a bit (still not what it once was) but the defense was still there. Unfortunately I’ve done something nasty to my right (throwing) shoulder. I’ve been having arm problems but had heretofore ignored them. I threw a hard one in from centre trying to nab a runner at third and it felt like I’d been stabbed right in the tricep. I finished the game, but come last night, couldn’t handle it. Mar had to dope me up on a couple pills, iced, and basically finally fell asleep. This morning, no big difference. My amateur Internet diagnosis at webmd.com basically told me that if your shoulder cracked (which it did) and then has perpetual pain, it’s either a) a tear, b) a sprain, or c) a separation. I would think if it was separated I’d be able to see something but there’s nothing visible, not even bruising. So I guess it’s off to the doc with me today. *sigh* Hopefully the diagnosis is better this time than when I finally got my back checked last year (after 16 years of ignoring it) to find out that the muscle bump in my back was actually a sideways disc protruding out with four-to-five discs above it slipped out. That was nice. :)

Wish me luck.
Rick Jessup