Angry Ward Wednesday: Talkin’ Baseball

Big Dickie

ICE STATION ZEBRA, NY – It’s President’s Day as I sit here dutifully at my keyboard clickety-clacking out another column. I usually wait for Tuesday, but it’s freezing cold out. there’s more snow on the way, and there’s really nothing to do. Anyway, let’s try to think some warm thoughts and talk a little baseball.

Spring Training. Though I confess to not watching a whole bunch of exhibition games on TV, one of my favorite things since I was a kid was traveling down to Florida to soak in the sun and take in a couple of Spring Training games. It started in Fort Lauderdale, where the New York Yankees used to train. I would lug around a ridiculous Kodak camera and ask nicely (“please” and “thank you” per Dad’s suggestion) if I could get a picture. I only wish I could find some of those snaps, especially the ones of Ed Figueroa, Dick Tidrow, and Cliff Johnson dressed in hilarious 1970s duds as they walked out to the parking lot. The past few years it’s been all about seeing the Mets in Port St. Lousy, as my father-in-law calls it. Nothing better than sitting out on the berm, having a nice cold beer and watching guys wearing numbers like 62 and 97 playing a little ball. Also take in the occasional Cardinals or Marlins game at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, though I think it’s hilarious that they share a facility when the Marlins actually play in Florida (Loria, ya cheap f***).

Ballpark Cuisine. Talk about your oxymorons. Most of what we humans consume at sports stadiums and arenas can hardly be considered food, let alone a five-cent word like cuisine. Yet, there we are, happy to shell out $5.25 for a hot dog that really shouldn’t cost more the a buck or stand in line for three innings waiting for a Shake Shack burger. My favorite non-traditional baseball snack to this day were those mini-Ellios pizzas they used to sell at both Yankee and Shea Stadiums. They came in a single small rectangular box and sold for something like a buck fifty. Those were good. Speaking of Mets and Yankees food, that’s one area where the Mets have always been ahead of the Bombers, dating back to when the Mets concessions were run by the classy Harry M. Stevens and the Yanks were selling warm germs courtesy of Canteen. I’ll take a Kahn’s hot dog over a Yankee Frank any day. A single Yankee frank could produce more diarrhea than a thousand Reggie Bars. Finally, please get rid of the cotton candy already! And while you’re at it deep six its inbred cousin Cotton Eye Joe.

Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 10.37.29 PM
NPR Sports. (Click).

Baseball on Radio. The idea that regular local radio stations and programs still exist is kinda cool. I mean the word “radio” alone conjures old-timey thoughts of a family gathered around a radio listening to an episode of “The Shadow” or FDR telling them how we were faring against¬†the delicious-but-deadly Brat-Sushi-Spaghetti¬†axis of evil. Today when you hear about people listening to radio it’s either satellite or NPR. But the one thing that has endured has been baseball on radio. The game lends itself perfectly to the pictures in words format. Not even John Sterling can kill it. Yes, listening to a game on the radio is still pretty damn cool.

Mets Rockies BaseballSeason Predictions. I’m not gonna run down division winners and such because, I mean, who really gives a rats ass what I think? Instead here are a few things I think we can fairly expect this season. 1) The New York Mets will get their second no-hitter in franchise history. 2) There will be six 20-game winners in the bigs this year. 3) Cookie will invite me to a Yankees game despite the fact that I still owe her a Mets game. 4) No one will hit 40 home runs but someone will strike out 200 times. 5) David Wright will return to form… meaning the form he’s had the past two years. 6) I will stop drinking beer at the ballpark. 7) Short Matt will be banned from Citi Field, as well as McFadden’s.

That’s it for this week. Come back tomorrow for… somebody?


Share Button
About Angry Ward 747 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.