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The World Baseball Classic Blows Almost As Much As Posting Stories From A Fuckin iPod

posted Mar 19, 2009, 1:18 PM by Steven Seagal
In pursuit of our goal here at of total coverage, I broke out the credit card and booked a trip to California to cover the World Baseball Classic Japan vs Cuba game at Petco Park.

I checked into the lovely San Diego Grand Hyatt (it's a hotel, not a Klansman), promptly met 9 dudes, and headed to Petco (where the pets go.). We quickly realized that our preferred method of transportation was bike rickshaw, so the 9 of us jumped into 2 of them (really.) and we headed to the park.  I just want to say there's nothing like riding to a ballpark with a dude on your lap. Everyone should try it. Now. I'll wait.

We arrive at the park as the Star Spangled Banner is playing.  Unbeknownst to us, this will be the final indication of the evening that we are in America.  All announcements will be in Japanese, which won't do much to help hold our interest.  Petco has a park seating section, which is where our tickets are located.  It turns out to be a small grass covered hill outside the wall in right center, with a view partially obstructed by the scoreboard tower in dead center. There is a television conveniently located on the back of the structure to provide continuity of view. The place is empty and we don't want to watch the game on tv, so we head into the stands.  We don't want to push it, because each aisle is closely guarded by what appear to be homeless people in camouflage shorts and straw hats (which outnumber fans by a wide margin), so we end up in the upper deck behind home plate.

We watch baseball for about 15 seconds before diverting our attention to comparing the few Japanese and Cuban fans' cheering styles.  The Japanese have a tight, thunderstick centered cheer down that is reminiscent of a military operation, specifically, a sneak attack on a major American military base. The Cubans, by contrast, are all over the fuckin' place.  There is a cowbell involved.

We are immediately huge Cuba fans.

Japan takes the lead at some point, somehow.  We are drinking heavily. A thick fog rolls in off San Diego Bay and my colleagues wonder if this is what baseball is like in Heaven. I tell them I have no plans to find out, but hope that the games in Hell are played in lava.  And I DO plan to find out.

We get bored as Japan is widening it's lead and the Cuban cheering section apparently seems not to have registered, because they continue to go absolutely bananas for no reason.  We decide to head back to the park, where we noticed a small wiffle ball field on the way in.  When we arrive, there are, predictably, no wiffle ball supplies.  Some children are rolling down the park hill while one of the homeless guerilla ushers is acting as referee.  Our thirst for competition not sated by the wiffle ball field, we ask the vagrant if he will act as impartial judge for us.  "No," he replies, "I only watch children.". "Sweet Jesus, we're calling the police!" we exclaim.  Undeterred by the threat of law enforcement, he goes back to the races.  "God bless him," I say.  "What the fuck is the matter with you?" my colleagues ask.  A lot, friends. A lot.

We're pretty drunk at this point, and we saw some dart boards back at the hotel bar, so we pile into some rickshaws and head back.  The "driver (?)" is talkative, so we strike up a conversation with him.  He's been doing this for 8 years and doesn't seem the least bit depressed about it. I, on the other hand, am devastated by the news.  He implies that the bike rickshaw industry started in San Diego, so I ask him directly if he means they invented it. He tells me that they did, and that it's "the biggest industry on the planet." I'm not sure if he means his company is the biggest bike rickshaw company on the planet or that bike rickshaw is indeed the biggest industry, but it seemed like the latter - so I promptly agreed.  Seems reasonable.

We were back at the bar, where things make sense, so we did the only rational thing - drank until we forgot what little we may have remembered about the game.  In conclusion, the World Baseball Classic SUCKS - bike rickshaws rule.