Coverage: MLB All-Star Game

PITTSBURGH – Because of a large allotted sum of cash which was originally intended to fund a business proposal between executive Duncan Idaho and a group of right-wing, religious, militant, Norwegian arms dealers next month fell through, I was able to attend the annual display of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Usually getting additional funds from the knee-bobbling, nitrate-fiending, tight-wadded executives here at L4L headquarters is a formidable task – this time, however, the sweaty wad of two thousand dollars and a plane ticket that Duncan tossed on my desk was attained without issue.

“”Take this money and get the fuck out,”” Duncan told me as he passed by my office door, in a hurry to get to some board meeting or golf game, or whatever it is those weirdo scabs do to get off. “”I don’t want to see you until there’s a goddam story on my desk.””

I gathered together my high-end camera equipment, filled an old one-gallon intravenous sack with a delicious Sea Breeze mixed drink, and grabbed the leftover bottle of amyl nitrate that Egbert left in my office the last night – when he and I were up until 4am watching old 1930s highlight reels of Notre Dame effectively executing the Box Formation – and headed towards TWA for my already scheduled 8 o’clock flight.

Once airborne, the flight attendant kept asking if I’d like anything to drink, which I continually declined. When you’ve got a gallon or so of a highly potent Vodka drink strapped to the upper portion of your thigh (itching you as your leg hair is yanked and pulled as you shift your legs) inside of a diabetic’s used insulin sack – there’s no amount of peanuts or club soda one could consume to equal the Zen you’ve already achieved. On the plane’s close circuit radio was the worst play list of the most awful and inane music anyone should ever be subjected to: Damn Yankees playing their famous ‘High Enough,’ random Sammy Hagar tunes, and a collection of contemporary Christian music, such as ‘Mighty Is Our God’ and ‘Shine Jesus Shine’. What a nightmare?

I arrived at PNC Park with about an hour to spare before the first pitch was scheduled to be thrown. I got behind a late push orchestrated by Ben Stiller to allow former MLB All-Star and Phillies catcher Darren Dalton to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The plan almost came through – I had Dalton on the phone while I set up accommodations to have him brought to the game, while Stiller was talking to commissioner Bud Selig, trying to convince him to let it happen. The plan may have worked if Dalton didn’t insist on having a conference call with Selig, where he proceeded to confess to him that he had, in fact, boned Selig’s daughter while she was high on mescaline, which he gave her, at the opening of Waterworld back in 1995. It’s a shame that such a strange person like Dalton isn’t directly involved with baseball – because the way the game is looking, nowadays, under the knife of Lord Selig and consumed with the drug habits of bear-skulled Barry Bonds – they could really use him.

I declined to watch the game from the press box in favor of getting down to the first row next to the American League dugout. Being in the good company of blokes like Ozzie Guillen is much more gratifying than hearing all the Pittsburg beat boys debate about who can piss the furthest.

Action down on the field level was pretty lame throughout the majority of the game. Paul Konerko and I drew lewd pictures of N.L. manager Billy Wagner fucking Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker with a jagged stick to pass the time during the 7th inning stretch.

I vaguely remember hearing an awful version of ‘America the Beautiful,’ sung by some R&B pop star that I didn’t recognize, but assumed he was well-known and well-liked, considering the grand stage and the applause following his performance. It is moments like those when I wished the musical visionary Wesley Willis were still alive and able to perform for all of the mindless, drunken straights there in Pittsburgh that night. Then we’d have the kind of righteous, wild entertainment that baseball could use. I don’t care how far the skin drips off of Bud Selig’s face; if he’s the main freakish attraction, those of us who are there to be entertained will lose interest soon. Having a true brute like Willis would put asses in the seats. Maybe baseball could work something out with John Madden?

The game turned out to be mildly dramatic by the end, with the A.L. stringing together a single, a double, and a triple in a row, with two outs in the ninth to take the lead for the first time in the game. Mariano Rivera came in to shut down the N.L. side in the bottom of the ninth to steal the game away from the National League yet again.

Now, when the Mets, or whomever in the N.L., end up with possibly the best record in baseball, and maybe make it to the World Series, they have Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman to thank when they board their plane, destined for some American League city for Game One. Thank you, Bud Selig, for the worst ruling in all of professional sports.

Pittsburgh was an awful city and I couldn’t wait to get back to my beloved Tampa Bay. Even the melting, drenching humidity of Tampa is a step up from what good people are forced to endure in the Steel City. The only thing I regret is not running into Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Rothelisberger while I was in town? I would’ve let him know how much both myself and all of my colleagues simply adore him? or I would have finished the job the Pittsburgh concrete couldn’t complete?



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