Thursday, August 26, 2010

Go West, Young Man. Again.

Some of you might have noticed that my updates have been somewhat sparse lately, and I will plead your forgiveness by offering a few reasons why. You see, the month of August 2010 has been particularly busy for me, with work, weddings and travel galore. Also, the downtrodden Mets have left me with little to be excited about in sports beyond the start of Southampton's League One season and the run up to the Aussie Rules Football Finals, which Geelong should figure to impact rather heavily.

But y'all cats aren't necessarily interested in all that, though perhaps the coming start of Northwestern's college football season might excite you. Or maybe not. I'm sure my four readers would feign interest while I rambled about the Cats' prospects at a surprise Big Ten title or my Geelong Cats' prospects of a third premiership in four years, but I wouldn't want to make hypocrites out of all of you.

In any event, I will come clean and tell you all why this month has been so busy, and essentially, I will revolve it around my zany trip to San Diego to see the annual Comic-Con, and a trip I made two weeks ago to see my friends Dave and Caitlin tie the knot in Portland, Oregon. This would be the same Dave with whom I saw that magic moment for Ken Griffey Jr. last June. In between all of those events I've been juggling a typical work schedule, the precipitous downfall of my Mets, the impending start of the season for my Giants, the fact that Ilya Kovalchuk somehow still isn't under a contract that passes muster and my brother's impending nuptials this Sunday.

See how I slipped that in there? Eh? Eh?

That, my friends, is what we call burying the lead. Burying it after the jump is equally as bad, but you've got to entice the reader to keep on reading no?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Elliott, Emmy-winning comedy writer, terrible movie enthusiast and newly minted comic book author, is getting hitched to his fiancee Danielle this Sunday in Sonoma, California, which means, I have to book it to the airport tomorrow morning for a flight to San Francisco that will mark my third trip across the country in five weeks.

Yep. That's right. The third time in five weeks.

Fortunately, this is no longer the era of covered wagons like you see to the left here, so my accommodations -- the newfangled "airplane" -- will get me to San Francisco in at least half the time.

Now, surely none of you really care all that much about my travel plans to my brother's wedding, beyond offerings of congratulations and curiosity over just how big a disaster my best man speech is going to be, but here's why it matters for this space. There will be baseball. West Coast Baseball. The Mets would not exist were it not for the California-bound relocation of the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers half a century ago, and because the actual Mets are, well, terrible right now, I will instead scope out the forbears of my favorite team who are much better than terrible and actually even in contention for what they call "a playoff berth".

We Mets fans may be unfamiliar with that concept these days, but I assure all of you, it actually exists.

And so, because I will be on the left coast, my sister, I, and a few assorted others will be attending this Monday's Giants-Rockies game at AT&T Park, and while this will not be a new experience for me -- I've been there twice -- it just may be my favorite. Two days later, if we can wake ourselves early enough to make the drive from San Luis Obispo, we will be in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to, at long last, knock the second oldest park in the National League off of my list. I'm awfully excited about the prospect.

Oh yeah. And my brother's getting married. That's pretty exciting, too. One of my best friends in college, Luisa Badaracco of my venture to Fenway and TD Garden fame, was at her sister's wedding three years ago when Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his second career start for her Boston Red Sox. Will history repeat itself for my brother Sunday as the historically pitching-rich Mets finally get their first no-no? Well, the odds are a little slim, though this isn't the most unlikely thing I've banked on -- in High School I once told a teacher I'd have to miss a club meeting because I had Mets tickets and I liked their chances for a Perfect Game against the hapless Orioles. The Mets probable starter is R.A. Dickey, who already has a one-hitter under his belt in a surprising knuckleballing season that has him stunningly in the top ten of the NL's ERA chase. His foe -- the equally as hapless Houston Astros in the pitcher's haven of Citi Field.

The stars are aligned. You can pretty much take it to the bank.

On one last note, it was revealed this week whom the Mets will be visiting in 2011 for interleague play, which is always of great interest to me as I look to strike down stadiums on my quest. Despite much hub-bub that the Amazins would be visiting Minnesota's new Target Field, they will in fact be visiting Rangers Ballpark at Arlington and Comerica Park in Detroit. While I have already been to Comerica Park, the Texas Rangers are new on the list. Who's up for a road trip?

And that's all the news that's fit to print and a whole lot more that isn't in these parts. California beckons tomorrow, again, and the Kalan family will be changed forever. If I can keep my eyes open after crisscrossing the U.S. one last time this month, I'll be sure to tell you all about it next week.

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