Great expectations and great TV
So, a guy gets a chance to poach a couple of baseball series because of scheduling issues and he sure lives right.
Fenway and Travis Snider’s return that turned into a good story.
The Alomar Day and that sure turned into a solid story.
And now Brett Lawrie.
Not bad, good breaks all around.
As a writer, all you want is something that’s out of the ordinary if you’re doing a team every day, or several days in a row. It’s kind of rejuvenating to get something “extra” or removed from the run-of-the-mill.
As a wise old Grunt once told me back when I was wet behind the ears, you have to be able to embrace these kinds of things instead of resent them.
The easiest thing for a beat guy to do is get trapped in a same old, same old kind of world. Notes, games, notes, games, lather, rinse repeat.
Hard not to but when things present themselves like the arrival of a newbie who carries a load of expectations, you have to want to do it, to relish the chance to see something new, not throw your arms up in the air and wonder you have this extra gig.
Now, here’s a question about Lawrie that’s been rattling around in this cranium for a night or so.
Is he the most anticipated pro athlete to hit Toronto in years?
I’d say yes.
It’s mostly got to do with the game he plays, where you can track the career arc of young players and watch them develop from afar.
Doesn’t happen in the basketball, where you don’t know who the next big thing is until the draft in June and then he’s in camp in October.
Doesn’t happen in the pucks, I don’t think, because the truly great young prospects hit the big leagues quickly; I don’t imagine there are a lot of people charting the game-by-game progress of some minor leaguer or junior.
Football? There are too many guys.
Soccer? Do they have professional soccer in Toronto?
Anyway, there is no question that the kid from B.C. hits the big leagues with a big target on his back and it gives some juice to an otherwise ho-hum part of the season.
And keeps alive my string of pretty good stories to do.
So, what is there about Baltimore?
Doesn’t seem to be an awful lot outside of crabcakes, to tell you the truth.
Except good TV. Gritty police TV, I guess.
Now, I have going to get beaten up by some friends for this (hello StackMack) but I’ve only seen about one episode of The Wire, which I’m told is a wonderful drama set here.
It may be, but it’s got to go a long, long way to beat this one:
That was as good a crime drama as there’s ever been. Luther Mahoney, the guy in the subway, and if Yahphet Kotto didn't have one of the great voices on TV I don't know who did.
Oh, and it had Melissa Leo.
And that’s never a bad thing.
You’re being a bit tardy this week but I guess that’s okay. With the game and travel schedule this week, not sure when we’ll do what so there’s no real urgency.
Shameless plug for the folks at Canada Basketball.
The senior men have their only home games of the summer next week against the mighty Belgiums. Saturday in Toronto and Sunday in Hamilton and I’m told there are plenty of good seats available.
If you click here, you’ll find out all you need to know.
Institutionalized Airport Paranoia, Vol. Too Many To Mention
I guess the plastic knives in the nice lounge at Pearson made me feel so safe because no one could get a real one and do something stupid.
Might have felt a tad more secure if they weren’t next to real forks that had four long steel tines that could have done as much damage as any real butter knife with a one-inch dull blade could have.
(Hmm, airport issues? I smell another series like our traffic one)
Remember, with having to get my bearings at a new ballyard, we’ll hold off on the IGBT to see how things work out tonight.
If all goes according to Hoyle, we’ll get ‘em done Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
Thanks to all for the various suggestions, I’ll try to get to as many as I can with today, tomorrow during the day and Sunday night to kill but if you get in this neck of the woods and don’t go to Elements in Pikesville and try the crab macaroni and cheese, you’re not living right.
Trust me, I know mac and cheese ‘cause it’s the best comfort food going and it was a good find for a weary traveller last night.
Oh, and Vaccaro’s for a hunk of cake.
So I wander out of the hotel yesterday to see what the city affords and, bang, there’s Camden Yards right in the heart of dowtown.
Wandered Eutaw Street behind right field and harkened back to the only other time I’ve been at the park.
It was late in the Horror That Was The 16-66 Season and Butch Carter, who knows people everywhere, decides when we’re in Washington for a game with the Wizards that we’re using the off-day to head to an O’s game.
Of course, he knows the guy who built Camden Yards or designed it or funded it or something big like that (Butch knew people!) so we’ve got great seats behind the dugout and it’s a nice enough night.
There’s four of us – Butch, me, an old Sun Grunt gone off to fame and fortune interviewing movie stars and, I believe, assistant coach and bon vivant Joe Harrington. Limo arrives, we make the drive from D.C. to the park, wander around a bit, have some barbecue at Boog Powell’s joint and around about the fourth inning we all look at each other and think: “Yeah, I’m tired, too. Let’s head back.”
Most fun I’ve ever had at four or five innings of major league game.
And we did get to see this; was nice to see him again yesterday on the walk.