LeBron and His Hat, Stories from the John, and Other Playoff Observations

Finagled a press credential for last night’s Game 1, and made almost zero insightful observations related to the game of baseball. Thank God for real sportswriters. Here’s what I did observe: - Before he took batting practice, Alex Rodriquez, allegedly a different kind of dude this year, was lingering near the cage with Bobby Abreu, staring into the stands and smiling/laughing. I turned to see what he was looking at, and noticed only one possibility: a busty lass in a tight NY tee, standing behind the Yankees' dugout. I presumed he was staring at her, then presumed that I was just being an asshole by trying to make A-Rod into an asshole. Then the dude next to Busty Lass, also in a Yankees shirt, yelled, quite loudly: “A-Rod! Give her a baseball! Or stop looking at hers!” Priceless. - Tribe GM Mark Shapiro is all about instant replay. Asked about it before the game, he said he believed the issue would get plenty of attention this winter, following the debacle in Colorado (not to mention the near-debacle in the first last night; how do these dudes miss this stuff?). “I don’t think you can do it on every play,” he said, but he argued that examining homeruns and foul balls on tape would take no longer than the current arrangement – wherein one manager comes out to argue (5 minutes), the umpires huddle to discuss where they’ll be eating dinner that night before reversing their call (8 minutes), and then the other manager comes out to argue (7 minutes). “If we can get it right,” Shapiro said, “we should get it right.” You think? - During the game, lots of fun stuff happened, but none cooler than what went down in the bathroom. What a weird place – men’s rooms at sporting events. Everyone stands silently until someone randomly starts a chant, any chant, and everyone joins in. Last night’s included everything from the predictable (“Yankees Suck,” “OH-IO,” etc.) to the ironic (“Jeter Smokes Pole!”). There’s nothing weirder than a gaggle of men, half of whom are holding themselves, boisterously arguing (in rhythm) that another man happens to be gay. And at the time, there were no Yankees fans around. Who were they trying to convince? A Yankees fan did eventually have to pee, and he entered the bathroom to a chorus of boos. Then, weirdly, it went silent, like we wanted him to make a speech. Even weirer, he did make a speech, but he was wasted (most everyone was; that’s why they have to piss bad enough to miss the Tribe’s at-bat), and you couldn’t really make out what he was saying. Too bad; I bet it was poetic. - A couple of outlets reported that LeBron and his Yankees hat showed up on the Jumbotron last night. If he did, I was in the bathroom, because as far as I could tell, the only people who knew he was in the building were the people who saw him in person and the people in loges who saw TBS’s interview with him. And I never heard boos loud enough to make me believe he was on the Jumbotron. I was hoping they’d put him on the big screen. What a mind-fuck for Clevelanders: a situation in which they have to – by their own laws of fandom – boo the hell out of the greatest thing that ever happened to sports in this town. It’s that sort of thing I imagine tearing a hole in the universe. Here's hoping he shows up again tonight. -- Joe P. Tone
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