One of the perks of being criminally underpaid is that sometimes your employers toss in a little something extra to try to keep you from going and getting a job somewhere else. In my case, it was free Reds tickets in section 508. I’m sure this’ll come back to haunt me when I ask for a raise next month. “Raise? Did you already forget about those sick Reds tickets we gave you?”
The game was set to start at 7:10 in Cincinnati. We decided we’d leave at 1 so we could get there and maybe do a little drinking or even get some looting done, depending on if we had enough time to incite a riot. Sadly, we didn’t. For those of you not lucky enough to make it to the game yourselves, first of all, maybe try to be a little cooler and I would have invited you, and second of all, read this and it’ll be just like you were there with me! In a
blatant rip off tribute to Bill Simmons, I give you Scrap Irons running diary of the Reds Cubs game on 5/18. Except I like to call it a journal instead of a diary, because I’m a big, burly man.
8:30am: I wake up bright and early with plenty of time to go find a bowtie for the game. Y’see, Chris Welsh, award-winning(?) announcer for the Cincinnati Reds, wears a bowtie to each game on Tuesdays. Why? Well, I don’t know. Probably to compensate for his missing mustache. Regardless, I’m sure that he’ll really appreciate some other dude wearing one with him.
12:30: I wake up again, but for real this time. I shoot off a text saying I might be a little late and haul ass to the Goodwill. No sight of a bowtie.
1:00: Drive all the way across town to Cleveland Ave, no hint of a bowtie anywhere.
1:15: Check Marshall’s. While they had a large selection of some very tasteful shirt and tie combos at a very affordable price, they sadly have no bowties.
1:20: Check the thrift store next door. Not a single bowtie. I make a mental note to write a letter to E. Gordon Gee asking where he gets all those bowties and to tell him to leave some for the rest of us.
1:30: I go back to the first thrift store and buy some 4thof July lawn decorations and a cowboy shirt. Seven dollars well spent! Maybe!
1:45: I finally show up to our meeting place.
1:47: We stop by Speedway to stock up on some road beverages. I search high and low for their Four Loko cooler but for some reason they don’t have a single one. Not a Raspberry Lemonade. Not even a gross Watermelon. Nothing. So I have to do a little quick thinking and call an audible, I grab a Sparks Lemonade and a Sparks Iced Tea, because hey, I like Iced Tea and I LOVE alcohol, so this sounds like a match made in heaven.
2:00: We’re on the road and just about to hit the outskirts of town so I crack the Sparks Iced Tea.
2:01: I almost puke. It tastes like a warm can of Nestle Iced Tea with lemon, except it’s cold. Does that make sense? It’s like a really lemoney, warm, canned iced tea. Take that, and then let a shot of pure lemon juice sit out and turn rancid, if that’s possible, and mix it all together. You’ve got Sparks Iced Tea.
2:02: Crack Sparks Lemonade to try to make some sort of alcoholic Arnold Palmer.
2:03: Puke into my sunflower seed bag. Now not only do I not have a Four Loko, I’ve got two undrinkable Sparks, no sunflower seeds, and a bag of puke. This isn’t the start I was looking for.
3:30: I finish the Sparks.
3:45: The ride so far has been pretty much uneventful, save for a short bus that someone had converted into a mobile dog grooming van. That was pretty cool, I guess.
4:25: I decide to wear the cowboy shirt because it’s cool looking. I rip off one of the bows from the decorations and crudely tie it to my neck. I feel like Welsh would be proud.
4:30: We pull into a liquor store parking lot in Kentucky, just across the border of Ohio to go buy some more Sparks Iced Tea (just kidding) when we see a sign on the door. “No alcohol until 6pm. Election Day”. They really expect people to go vote sober? How the hell do they get any turnout? Kentucky really is backwards. This really, really isn’t starting out how I wanted it to.
4:45: We start walking across the bridge to Cincinnati and it starts raining. God. Damnit.
5:00: We get to the gate, which doesn’t open until 5:30.
5:10: The guard checks my bag, which is full of sour patch kids and gummy worms. Yes, I’m literally 6 years old. For some reason the Reds let you bring anything you want into the game, as long as it isn’t alcoholic or opened. Next time I’m thinking I’m gonna pack a full picnic basket and really make a day of it.
5:15: Really wish I had brought a flask with me.
5:20: Contemplate finding a liquor store in downtown Cincinnati.
5:25: Already lost.
5:35: Somehow make it back to the gate which is now open, immediately go spend $7.50 on a 12 oz beer.
5:40: We grab a spot dead center for Reds Live which starts in 20 minutes. I tear into the Sour Patch kids.
5:41: Think I broke a tooth. I didn’t know it was possible for Sour Patch Kids to actually go sour, but this batch sure has. Ugh, these things are the worst.
5:45: Finish the Sour Patch Kids.
5:50: Just now realize that my shirt is blue and white aka Cubs colors. Weigh the pros and cons of going shirtless.
5:51: Decide I’d probably get pneumonia if I popped my shirt off, so I claim it’s a tribute to Jonny Gomes. Anyone who knows me knows that’s ridiculous because I just think he’s the worst.
6:30: Reds Live actually starts. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a solid half hour later than we thought.
6:33: Camera man asks us “Whats with the bowties?” we answer “It’s Bowtie Tuesday!”, he chuckles and says he wants us to move over to the side and get in the front.
6:34: He moves people out of the way for us and tells Jim Day and Jeff Picoro that we’re dressed up for Bowtie Tuesday. Pic informs us that Bowtie Tuesday is for away games only and Welsh isn’t even in the park. Go fuck yourself, Pic.
6:35: Camera man tells us to get ready.
6:36: We’re on TV.
6:36.5: We’re off TV.
6:40: Pic yells over to us to ask if we voted today. Politics are a gentlemens game, Pic, and you sir are no gentlemen, so I politely decline to answer.
6:45: Someone tells me that he over heard Pic saying my shirt “Is the worst he’s ever seen” during a commercial break. And this is coming from a guy who see’s a lot of shirts.
6:46: Go fuck yourself, Pic.
6:50: I yell to Pic that my shirts in honor of Jonny, not the Cubs but he doesn’t hear.
6:51: I yell louder.
6:52: We’re politely asked to go to our seats.
6:54: We’re not so politely asked to go to our seats.
7:00: We go to our seats.
7:01: We realize our seats are horse shit, and that since it’s raining there are plenty to choose from.
7:15: We distract some poor usher and slide into some prime seats in right field, 5 rows back.
7:20: Pena hammers a ball a section to our left. He hit’s it so far that none of us stand up to see if there’s even a chance of it being caught, there isn’t.
7:35: It starts raining really hard and we expect a rain delay after this half inning, people start clearing out.
7:50: No delay and it is absolutely pouring but we stay in our seats because we’re real fans damnit. Also, it’s too cold to move and we’ll probably lose our seats if we get up.
8:00: Back to just a light mist.
8:25: In typical Chicago Cubs fashion, the Reds score 3 runs off of an error.
8:40: An usher shows some people to their seats which are right next to ours. We all nervously stare at the ground and bite our finger nails until the usher leaves. He didn’t ask for our tickets, but he knew. He knew.
9:00: Volquez leaves the game in the 7th after pitching pretty much lights out after a poor first inning. In other news, the Earth is round, water is wet, grass is green.
9:10: I ask to borrow someones binoculars to see if Chapman accidentally put on a Jose Arredando jersey, but it turns out it actually was Arredando doing his best Chapman impression by walking anyone and everyone who came up to the plate.
9:35: Ryan Hannigan lays down a bunt to move some base runners, Kerry Wood tries to throw to third and somehow winds up banking it off the left field wall and Hannigan ends up on 3rd. 2 runs score this time. Thanks, Cubs.
9:36: Scott Rolen cracks a double that takes Marlon Byrd to the wall right in front of us. I make a hilarious face and a lewd gesture while we’re on TV for another split second.
9:45: After yelling at the top of my lungs all game for Chris Heisey, he finally makes his appearance and hits a sac fly. Just before this, the scoreboard lets us know that Heisey is the leading the league in average, slugging, extra base hits, and runs batted in by a pinch hitter. Just a quick reminder that he sits on the bench in order to let Jonny Gomes play, who is hitting under 200 and is one of the worst outfielders in the game. Dusty Baker, ladies and gentlemen!
9:50: Joseph Daniel Votto knocks in Janish with a double. Ho hum.
10:05: Dusty decides to bring in Nick Masset to close the game because he can sense that I’m in the park and wants to do everything possible to piss me off. I also find out that Masset has his own minute long video set up to play when he comes in for a close. It’s supposed to make him look like a bad ass, but really it just shows him getting a couple ground balls, followed by him looking tough at the camera, but really he just looks like a chotch bag.
10:15: Despite Dusty Bakers best efforts, the Reds win!
10:16: We get the hell outta dodge.
10:30: We get in the car and listen to what Marty Brennaman has to say, but we’re too late, we’re treated to Mark Amazon who repeatedly calls out Tony La Russa for not showing up to the past couple games because he has shingles. Now, I hate TLR as much as the next guy, but calling the dude a bitch for not coaching with shingles is a little too much even for me, but shine on you crazy diamond.
12:30: Aside from a trip to a freezing cold 24 Hour Hardee’s, nothing eventful has happened on the way back until we see a cop while doing 85. We managed to slow down to about 75 but we’re probably 5 feet away from the dude. I say “good game” to the cop because I know we’ve been got and I put on my “respectible human being” face.
12:32: No sign of the cop anywhere. Hey, alright!
So that’s about it. I puked at 2, The Reds won, and I had a pretty okay burger at Hardee’s. Talk about living the dream. If this sounds like something you’d like to take part in, I’ll gladly take any free tickets anyone wants to hand out.