Hey, didja miss me?
[Jace ignores silence.]
Up here in Maine, I was behind the wheel of a big pig of a U-Haul truck as game time neared. Flipping around the AM dial, I was able to pick up the Portland Sea Dogs playing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (at least I think that's who they were playing). Only they weren't really playing, they were in a rain delay and waiting for instructions. So they decided to replay a week-old Sea Dogs game until the real game's fate became clear. Fair enough — heck, I'd be pretty thrilled if next rain delay FAN replayed some game from the archives, the earlier the better. I'd only just started to warm to these anonymous players going through their week-old motions when the announcer came back on and said the Sea Dogs/Fisher Cats game (which sounds kind of like a kid's book, come to think of it) had been called, so goodnight and see you tomorrow for the first game of a double-header. And that was that. Kind of strange, but that's how they do it in Sea Dog Nation, I suppose.
I scanned over to WFAN, which by now was a sea of static, interrupted periodically by blasts of skull-cracking interference vaguely related to power lines and accelerating — a mess from which would sometimes emerge strings of barely intelligible words. But hey, it was 7:05, so you know perfectly welll what I did. The early innings went something like this: “Zambrano…faced the minimum…play Cameron didn't make….” I was able to sort of tell what had happened based on little scraps of Gary/Howie.
I didn't really mind this AM-radio archaeology — I've done this innumerable times while driving at the outer limits of radio range, and too many nights when I was living in D.C., aided by antennae made out of hangers, crackpot signal amplifiers and other desperate strategems. Reminders of simpler times and all that. (And driving a U-Haul in rural Maine doesn't present a smorgasbord of alternative entertainments.) When I finally got to my folks' house a little before eight, I flipped on their AM radio for more occasional snippets of Gary/Howie, but didn't pay very close attention. Besides wanting to be at least a vaguely good son, I knew the game would come in strongly enough to be readily understandable after the sun went down, which should give me the last couple of innings to hear.
Let the record show that it got dark enough for reception to become reliable at the exact moment Ramon Castro was chugging home too late to score from second on a double. In other words, I heard about 10% of the part of the game where Victor was masterful and we were a mighty team whose errors were worthy of the kangaroo court but not otherwise fatal. The part of the game where we fired shotgun blasts at our feet until Humberto Cota finally knocked over our bloody, expiring bulk? I heard 100% of that.