Yesterday was the 12 year anniversary of MLB video streaming. The first ever game free of charge on mlb.com; Yankees hosting the Rangers. El Duque on the mound, 2002. I clicked anywhere on the time line and landed on A-Rod followed by Rafael Palmero. I was more interested by El Duque; Orlando Hernandez.
What a contortion with that high leg kick and body tuck; skinny like an ostrich, occasional euphus pitch. I wonder how he got that nickname. What the hell is an El Duque? A Duke? A duck? One of the announcers-John Sterling called him a jazz artist I guess because he was unpredictable. The other announcer-Charlie Steiner seemed to disagree; called him a bus driver instead, but both agreed El Duque was always in control.
Baseball announcers suffer lots of on air dead space. Reminds me of the marriage I never enjoyed, but what better day than today-this 12 year anniversary of married to the TV to dream about my imaginary wonderful wife.
The imaginary day starts regular, so very regular. We decide it that way; me and my honey bunny of a wife; crawling out to the back patio. It’s my turn to make the coffee so I do. We spot an older lady with a head covering and long free flowing dress-Ukranian accordion colors. She appears to be studying a grocery store receipt.
A man across the street wears dreadlocks. He’s washing his car. My wife and I talk about breakfast cereals. The Muslim looking women is not contemplating free will. The Rasta looking man is not envisioning ganja growing during droughts. And we’re not romantic. Just grocery store receipts, car washes and breakfast cereal conversation..Regular, so very regular.
Our cereal naming game sucks all the magic and miracle out of the air and turns the world into nuts and bolts; just the way we like it. We’re determined to slip through our lives like ghosts and be outta here before ever waking up and worrying about stupid things.
Penny says Sugar Smacks. Penny is my wife. I say Raisin Bran. And so it begins. It could be ancient philosophers, lines from a poem or cereal types. All just names and trivia and killing time. She knows poetry lines. I don’t. All I can muster up is a few rock and roll lyrics. And philosophers? Forget it. Earl Weaver and Doug Moe; that’s it for me.
Corn Flakes, Golden Grahams, Crispix, Wheaties. But then I say Graham Crackos and Penny says YES like I just touched her in a never before spot.
“The cereal that looked like a traffic light without the lights, ” Penny sort of asks.
“You’re damn right,” I insist.
I should have known the end was near. We walked that morning to the public swimming pool. It was filled with cold water, but was still and silent like a funeral home. The pool was closed.
Stupid rules. Stupid Augustus Caesar Roman rules. Stupid dates on a calendar. It was humid and hot and yet the pool was closed. Made no damn sense.
Penny didn’t care; just like she wouldn’t care when the water got sucked down the drains in a few days; replaced by dry leaves crunching around the chipped cement. She knew the skateboard trespassers would transform the emptiness into a half pipe acrobatic.
I forget who left who, but we were finished as a couple. Timing is everything and we both knew it was time. We didn’t bother sending postcards or birthday well wishes and all that, but we wished each other well just the same. Imaginary marriage. Imaginary divorce.
Meanwhile back in reality, the Brewers are a 500 team and have been since the middle of May and that’s ok. It’s been a very regular season since May, but the division is very regular so who knows, maybe the Brewers will squeak into the playoffs. It doesn’t really matter. Until death do us part still in effect, always in effect.
Yovani Gallardo is 4 punch outs away from becoming the all time Brewers leader in strikeouts; ahead of Ben Sheets and Teddy Higuera. Last night he didn’t strike out anyone,but didn’t give up a run either in 6 innings. Blown save by K-Rod. Extra innings won by Padres in the tenth.
Final Score; Padres 3, Brewers 2.
The Brewers are 73-60