With a surprisingly busy schedule last night (and the overwhelming desire for sleep dictating my every move for the last two days) it looked as if I wasn't going to be able to watch and report on a game that would probably go until well after midnight.
So here's a pinch-hit Game Report, from a fella most of you are familiar with. Take it away, Jobu:
Rob asks if I can cover the recap for Tuesday. I say, "Sure, but isnít the game gonna get out at like 1 am? I donít want to have to stay up till 4 trying to think of something productive and useful to say about the game." So we settle on ripping off Bill Simmons and writing useless updates live so when the gameís done, and I...hear that? Thatís the sound of 50 people hitting the back button on their browser at the same time.
For the rest of you, hereís a night in the life of Jobu that doesnít involve crime fighting:
9:45 So I set up shop at Casa de Rick (my loser friend). He's not here yet but since when does that stop me from making myself at home in his home?
9:47 I helped myself to a White Russian and some popcorn in honour of The Dude but still no Rick. Iím getting the pre game jitters. The Jays actually have first place to defend now. (Iím still not used to saying that. Itís like getting used to "Corey Feldman, Oscar winner". As great as it is, it doesnít sound right.)
9:55 Just dwelling on the Jays in First Place thing...If fighting for 3rd was the Robert Goulet Memorial Trophy and 4th was the Damn That Grecian Wind Award, we need something even greater for defending first. Iím thinking the Herb Alpert Oracle Award.
10:01 Fox Sports Net plays a slow motion montage of Aís highlights and then shots of fans to the tune of Tom Pettyís "Heart So Big". I laugh out loud.
10:03 Ray Fosse in the booth for the Aís. He looks a lot like Donald Sutherland, but as soon as he opens his mouth that illusion is throughly shattered.
10:08 Never seen Saarloos pitch before. Heís got some nasty downward movement on his pitches. I donít know if I can make fun of his name anymore as I originally planned as he strikes out the Cat.
10:14 Two on, two out. Jays new bat Shea at the plate. Letís see if thereís any difference from last year when this is almost definitely an out to end the inning.
10:17 Sheaís plunked and The Dude strolls to the plate in slow motion with the bases juiced. Iím a man who loves his gimmicks and The Dude is something I can get as excited about as a romantic comedy starring Corey Feldman, Steve Buscemi and Alan Rickman. Come on DUDE!
10:19 The Dude expertly pushes one into LF to bring in two runs and it feels oh...so...good. Someone give him a White Russian to enjoy -- lousy Swisher and his great sliding catches to end innings
10:21 Hilarious commercial: the new Aís pitchers asking "The Old Man" Zito for pitching advice. Jays should have taken notes...note the lack of unexplained puppets for example.
10:28 Chacinís no-hitter officially broken up by Jason Kendall. I guess he took exception to the "Stop trying to hit me and hit me" comment.
10:30 Rickís mom comes in to offer me some warmed up leftovers as soon as Chacin gets out of the inning safely. And Rick wonders why I hang out his house so often; Iím like Charlie Sheen at the Playboy Mansion here.
10:32 Rickís still not home, I can only assume heís dead. His mom walks back in just in time for Zaunís hit. "2-0 in the first? I thought it was the Jays playing." Ah it feels good doesnít it? And with that Thrillhouse moves Zaun to third by easily pulling 'Loos' not-cutting cutter. Everythingís coming up Thrillhouse!
10:35 The Cat with a base clearing triple! The Jays are looking beautiful. 5-0 in the second. Iím warning you if this game turns into a laugher as Rick and I lose interest, Iíll have nothing to report except our heated debates about which Rocky movie was the best (I still say IV).
10:37 Rick finally home. First thing he says to me when he walks in is "Did you know in U.A.E. they get robots to race camels instead of kids now?" You canít make this up.
10:44 After a delicious top of the 2nd Rick kicks me out of the main room and tells me to go watch in his basement. Thatís when I turn on the TV to realize I left Die Hard 3 on pause since last night.
10:46 Aís are 263-142 at home since 2002, best in the majors. Iím sure Beane finds that reassuring as heís now in the stadium boiler room bending iron pipes.
10:50 Bloop single puts Aís on first and third with 1 one out. Stadium plays "It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right." Nice to see they're still stuck in the 90s. Looking forward to a little Kris Kross myself.
10:52 Boo Ya... 5-4-3 to get Chacin out of the inning and keep the shut out. In-field mics pick up the discussion between Koskie and Chacin on the walk back to the dugout.
Chacin: I imagine that right now you're feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole.
Koskie: Seriously...youíre freaking me out now.
11:00 Aís announcers having an absolutely patronizing conversation about no one wanting to sign in Toronto and weíre gonna have to just "grow a team." All of a sudden weíre the Haim to their Feldman? Last I checked, Oaktown doesnít have a lot to its acquisition credit after MC Hammer stopped selling records
11:12 Is it just me or does Eric Byrnes come across as "the inept henchman in a college comedy" of the Aís sometimes? Always over the top and fidgety. Woefully misplays a Cat liner then makes a circle as if heís "walking off" a leg injury. It screams, "Iím sorry crusty old dean but they got away again!"
11:16 Shea with a screaming double in the 4th to put the Jays up 6-0. And with that Saarloos is pulled. I lean to Rick and drop this puppy: "Looks like heís the Saarlooser." For some reason I donít get a laugh.
11:19 The Dude comes up to bat with 2 on and 2 out. I say to Rick, "we should play 'Just Dropped In' by Kenny Rogers whenever he walks up to bat, see if it brings him luck." He says that sounds great. And I play it, and it DOES sound great. It was made for his entrance music. Someone get this to the RC.
11:25 Chacin is REALLY going after hitters. Itís not overpowering but heís pouring in the strikes and really attacking. It would make for a good slow motion power montage of the game.
11:26 I tuned out the Aís announcers but heard one of them mention to the other, "Youíre not cool enough to wear sunglasses." I like to pretend he meant that seriously and full of venom.
11:28 One good thing about Koskieís out at home is it lets The Dude come back up to the plate again, and you know good things are gonna happen. Kenny Rogers hits the speakers again. You just get that feeling that something "gooooood" is gonna happen, you know? Like when Jack Bauer gets angry in a room full of hostiles.
11:30 The Dude turns on a pitch and smacks a full count offering to RF for a single. Hopefully John Goodman doesnít come up with a "better plan" and advise him to try the "run straight for second trick" from Little Big League.
11:34 Funny shot of the Jays bench. Lilly is caught starring blankly into the field with his cap up, looking like a sedated giraffe.
11:36 7-0 after Thrillhouse singles with the bases loaded. "Oh man, this is awesome! Iím gonna get some sausages!" says Rick. He may treat sausages like champagne, but when the gameís going this good you might as well enjoy yourself.
11:38 The Inept henchman with a terrible throw to home that bounces in front of third even though he was very shallow in LF. Dean Beane could be heard yelling from his office. "OOO...ERIC!!!"
11:40 First signs of a blowout showing: Vernonís up with 2 on and weíre in a long discussion of how much Reed Johnson is a tank and looks like a triangle. You know, like Batman in that great cartoon a few years ago. But apparently, Vernon is a "rectangle."
11:45 The Molina! Brothers should really have their own "out of town scoreboard" segment on every baseball game.
"Hi Iím Bengie Molina and letís take a look at the-" Jose enters the studio "JOSE!? What are YOU doing here!"
To which Jose looks at the camera and replies "Dad said he wanted me here."
Then Ben says "but Dad said he wanted ME here!"
They then look to the camera and the trumpet "wah wah" goes off to canned laughter.
11:47 Our three year running joke of saying "oh boy, Mark Kotsay" whenever we see Mark Kotsay continues as he walks up to bat...donít ask.
11:49 Itís amazing thatís Chacinís first strikeout of the game just came in the 5th. Heís been throwing strikes all night. He said something about "welcome to the desert of the real" and then disappeared when he put the bullpen phone to his ear.
11:51 The Dudeís batting in shorts with some sweet shades now. Bloops a single by the Inept Henchman. The Dude rolls on.
11:55 Nine to nothing off the Rios single. Now Iím starting to get worried. If life is like an 80s sports movie (which it clearly is) no team can win so effortlessly unless it's setting up a big plot twist. Think Racki taking out Swayze in Youngblood.
11:57 More signs of a blowout: The Aís telecast crew shows replays of Huston Street jumping in the bullpen to get loose in slow motion.
12:01 The shut out broken by the Inept Henchmanís homerun. This is oddly reassuring. Now comes the crushing bad news and seeming bad guy success, just before the good guys of Blue Jay House pull together to beat crusty old Dean Beane.
12:08 The plot twist is pulling me back in the game. Chacin is gassed on 98 pitches, Gibby seems to want him to get out of the inning himself. You can do that when you have an 8 run lead. Although nothing seems funnier right now than a Morpheus/Boomhauer conversation:
Gibbons: "Dangolí sunglasses man... flimin tram serda dina 99 pitches man."
Chacin: "Do you think thatís air youíre breathing?"
Gibbons: "Dangolí freakin me out always talkin like that man."
12:20 We roll the dice and try to play Maximum Carnage during the commercial. We messed up and missed Chacinís exit. Chulkís in now. Stupid addictive video games. Are there any rules against Vinnie pitching in nothing but green body paint and purple shorts?
12:22 "Oh boy, Mark Kotsay!"
12:27 We go back to the Molina! Out of Town Scoreboard now with Bengie and Jose. Just then Yadier would walk in and theyíd all look at each other and go "What are YOU doing here!?" as they all point to each other. Then Dan "Dad" Shulman walks in, as swelling music plays:
"I invited ALL of my boys here because I wanted you guys to know that the most important part of a team.... is teamwork." They all hug and scores go unupdated.
12:29 Street's looking awesome. Fantastic location and he strikes out the side! Including The Dude! When he comes to, The Dude finds that the rug he laid down in the 1st base box was stolen. Heís really bummed, that rug really helped "hang the diamond together."
12:36 Quote of the night: "Itís great getting the first win, really gives you an opportunity to sweep the series."
12:45 Funny scene of the night: Foul ball goes into the stands, huge guy pushes down a kid whoís going for the ball on the ground, spills beer all over him trying to pick it up, then proudly displays the ball walking back to his seat. All that scene needs is a wrestling ring and a chorus of boos and itís perfect.
12:57 Gameís done, Speier closes it out. Man this feels good. I havenít walked away from a TV this satisfied since I found Snowboard Academy on CityTV one night. Thatís about it. Iíll take this time to abuse my power and welcome ALL OF YOU to the Cheer Club Home Opener on April 22nd versus Baltimore. Now if youíll excuse me, thereís probably a great bad movie on City right now.
Thanks, Jobu. It's not Bill Simmons, but it's close. In Molina! news, Bengie went 1-for-3 with a run scored, Jose struck out in his only plate appearance, and Yadier had the night off with the Cardinals.