Remember, supporting a Democratic presidential candidate is a fascist act, so don't do it!
There are plenty of good reasons to eat less meat. Going to be a tough sell, though as evidenced by the various levels of douchebaggery in the comments.
I still like Al Gore, but, you know, he drove a car once so we can ignore everything he says.
When GABP opened, it got mixed reviews from baseball critics. I get that first-hand now. It's not a bad place to see a game, but it could have been better. The gap in the stands, shown above, isn't the worst feature they could have come up with, but I don't really dig it, either. And the riverboat is just plain silly. But the park has good sightlines, ample concessions, and fans who are interested in the game rather than a Baseball-Centric Maximized Entertainment Experience™. Hard to complain too much about that.
We arrived plenty early and watched batting practice from the outfield seats. One member of our crew actually had a ball tossed to him by a Mets player, and he promptly gave it to a kid. Then while wandering the concourse, we found a cornhole setup, and proceeded to play that for fifteen minutes or so. It was Reds Hall of Fame induction night, which meant free hats for us, and a long speech from Barry Larkin, in which he thanked the Nationals' ownership and management, but asked Reds fans not to boo Jim Bowden's name until later.
Our seats were in section 135, right off the right-field line, giving us a good view of that Junior fellow, who I hear is a pretty good ballplayer. As I've gotten older I've become more acutely aware of when I'm watching a future Hall of Famer play, but that also makes me hope for too much from them. Every time Junior came up, we were begging to see homer #606, but we had to settle for an RBI double.
Can't go to the ballpark without sampling the local specialty, and I had long anticipated getting some of that Cincinnati chili. About the third inning we made for the Skyline stand, and ordered up ten of their chili dogs for our group of four ("They're small," Mike explained). They sure do put a lot of cheese on them. They were tasty good, in that weird way that many greasy regional specialties are, but what with drinking beer since about 2:30, there was no way I could eat more than two of them, and I regretted even that.
The game itself was plenty entertaining. Single runs here and there, including a no-doubt home run from David Wright, got it to 2-2 in the 6th. Wright and Beltran singled to start the 6th, but Josh Fogg got Damion Easley to ground into a double play and eventually got out of it. (Question for Andrew F.: is Damion Easley hated by Tiger fans for some reason? A guy in front of us in a Tigers cap hollered unpleasantries at Easley every time he came up. Easley does not strike me as a particularly offensive ballplayer, and I think the guy just wanted someone to hate on.)
A walk, a passed ball, and a David Ross base hit gave the Reds the lead in the bottom half of the 6th. The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 7th, but Mike Lincoln struck out Wright and Beltran looking, which has to be one of the gutsiest pitching performances I've seen in a while. The Reds got four in the bottom half to blow it open, highlighted by Joey Votto's 2-RBI triple, and the Mets went out meekly after that.
Mascot photos will be up later tonight.
Ballpark count: 19 of 30 stadiums currently in use, 9 retired. 21 of 30 major league teams. Still haven't seen all the teams in any one division--aside from the NL West, for each division in baseball I have seen all but one team play at home (bonus points if you can guess which ones those are). 2009's candidates: either or both of the new ballparks in New York, the Chicago Pale Hose, or San Diego.
Cincinnati on the whole looks like a pretty decent city, though the downtown doesn't seem to have many people actually living there. Sunday we went over to Newport, on the Kentucky side of the river, where they have an Inner Harbor-style shopping and dining area. The highlight of that was the Hofbräuhaus, where I drank this enormous beer.
Department of Prescience: Sure wish someone had listened to that Jimmy Carter fellow. And Hunter S. Thompson sure did call the post-9/11 world (via Will Leitch's HST story).
Joe Posnanski on Willie Mays' supposed snub of Josh Hamilton.
Finally... yeah, it's a muppet video. Another instance of Sesame Street bringing quality musicians to the kiddies.
I turned on the TV last night around 8:15. There were various aging ex-big leaguers milling about the field, and then they wheeled in George Steinbrenner on a cart to "deliver the balls to the pitchers' mound." I said, "I simply cannot stand to watch a long, smarmy Fox MLB broadcast," and turned it off. I am so glad I did. I've had my fill of marathon games lately.
Some pre-LFF All-Star link dumpin': Did you play the Home Run Derby drinking game? If so, how's your liver? Chase Utley is awesome, but you knew that. Yankee fans are bad people, but you knew that too. And the best thing about the All-Star break this year is that I haven't had to watch any Nats games.
I barbecued a turkey.
You heard me.
I followed a pretty basic methodology, using a simple spice rub, then indirect heat for about four hours (this was a 17-pound bird). No brining or basting, though I think I'll try that next time. It turned out pretty well, although the occasional scattering of ashes when reloading the fire meant that the skin was pretty well inedible. Served with grilled zucchini with garlic and a very nice pesto-esque potato salad.
And now we have more leftover turkey than we know what to do with.
Look, here's some of that famous right-wing civility we're always hearing about.
Kids I do have sympathy for. Yeah, the homeowners want peace and quiet blah blah blah. These kids could be doing far, far worse things with their time and energy.
Lastly: Songs you don't normally here at Chuck E. Cheese and the like.
The good news: since it was raining Friday night, the likelihood of our crazy neighbors' fireworks display setting our house on fire was significantly reduced.
The bad news: since it was raining Friday night, our crazy neighbors' fireworks didn't burn up so thoroughly while falling to earth. So my front yard, roof, back yard, and car were all covered in little bits of cardboard, ash, and other debris. I spent much of the rest of the weekend trying to pick that crap up so I can mow the lawn, which was a highly enjoyable activity what with the heat and the mosquitos.
The Fourth of July has long been my favorite holiday. If this keeps up, I may have to reconsider.
It's been busy week for actual work around here, and as such we're light on the linkage.
This Clark vs. McCain business is one of the dumbest kerfluffles yet.
Having a bad day? At least the mortgage holder of the previous owner of your house didn't break in and take all your stuff.
Happy 4th, evry'buddy. I'll be cooking meat on the grill and making sure our house doesn't catch on fire.
"OK, bottom 9, we got Aaron Boone, Kasto, Cousin Pete. Yeah, that sounds like a run."
"OK, bottom 10, we got Nieves, Belliard, Roger Bernadina. Yeah, that sounds like a run."
"OK, bottom 11. Maybe Guzman or Dukes can hit a home run."
"OK, bottom 12. Orr, LoDuca, and Nieves. Yeah, we're screwed."
But then with two outs, Young walked (and they couldn't put in a pinch runner--I though Langerhans was still on the bench, but apparently he's in Columbus). My mom said, "If this next guy hits one, they win!" Sure, Ma, no problem.