Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Challenge!

Country Mouse has many mint baseball cards and they ain't going anywhere soon. Especially after she learned that her pre-adolecent "investment" (very heavy in the Dwight Evans category) retails on the used market at about a dime a card. Anyone interested in a Topps 1987 Jim Fregosi manager card?

I'm a relative neophyte when it comes to baseball. Growing up in England I had little exposure to the game, prefering cricket when opting for a summer sport with its own arcane language that ate up lots of idle spectator time. I fully blame the England/West Indies 1991 Test Series for my less than spectacular performance in my A Level high school exit exams. In the halcyon days of my youth, the chance to listen to Graham Gooch do battle with Curtly Ambrose trumped scoring highly on my classics final. I could always retake the exams; the test series would never be repeated in exact form.

My father had occasion every now and then to travel to the United States on business and he would bring back various baseball related goodies; a Mets jersey in 1986 (how I wish I still had that to offer to Listmaker et al), a replica Brooklyn Dodgers pennant, and most dammingly a New York Yankees cap. I cannot deny the latter's existence, as photographic evidence of me wearing it (innocent of the implications) sits off in a shoe box to my left as I sit here typing. I also recieved an Atlanta Thrashers beer stein and an aligator wrestling t-shirt, but this post is not about hockey or the Redneck Olympics.

After I moved to the United States in 1995 (in the pre- mass internet age) I lost touch with much British sport and had to find something to fill the gap. My first adoption was American football, as Maine winters are long and conversation topics among men thin on the ground when the mercury plummets and daylight grows scarce. However, as my summers became less filled with partying and work as I aged, baseball cast its agreeable spell on me. After a decade in the States it is far and away my favorite excuse to flick on the radio, slap on some bug dope, and fart about in the perennial beds.

Furthermore, the until-recently hopeless passion of Red Sox nation held an instant attraction to me, not just because I happened to live in New England. As a Norwich City FC fan and an England supporter, I could really only be happy with a team whose entire ethos was based around attempts to capture glory last experienced way back in the mists of time. Actually, scratch that as regards Norwich, as in 104 years "glory" has never been objectively used by outside observers to ever describe any of the club's achievements. But you get the point.

And speaking of the point, I seem to remember mentioning a challenge somewhere above, about four days ago. Yankee fan and fellow blogstronaut Bill Norris, over at Notes From A Former New Yorker has thrown down the gauntlet for the first Sox/Yanks battle of the regular season:

"...on May 1, my beloved New York Yankees will be traveling to the heart of Red Sox Nation for the first time this year. It is a dark place, full of men who fight while wearing masks and others who take their aggression out on very old men (As opposed to hapless groundskeepers: Weasel's note), but I fully expect the Yankees to come away victorious despite their uneven start to this year's season.

So, I propose some sort of bet, to be played out here and in his own pages. Not anything of monetary consequence, as I am poor and he's soon to be betrothed, but rather something visual, to be blogged, a picture perhaps, of Wisdom sporting an "I Heart Jeter" shirt should the Yankees win the series and something equally mortifying to me in these pages should the unthinkable happen and the Red Sox win.

Then, as the season progresses, we can continue this, in the spirit of good natured ribbing and mutual mortification. I'm willing to take suggestions on the terms, keeping in mind that the embarrassing gesture need be: a) cheap, b) easily blogged and c) funny.

What say you Weasel?"

Weasel says yes. Oh yes.

What I need now is help with suggestions for appropriate gestures of mortification to be performed by Bill when I inevitably win. Dressing like a member of the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones for a day? Wearing his hair like Manny? Every time he goes to make any physical movement he has to mutter a prayer, look skyward, and kiss a crucifix a la Curt Schilling? Draw a tiny moustache on his sternum, draw eyes around his nipples, and tell everybody that his chest is an exact replica of Gary Sheffield's juiced-up head? Help, please....


Bill Norris said...

Well, as someone who likes to honor his bets, I'd suggest you stay away from things that involve hair--I have about six functioning hair folicles on my head.

Joe said...

I guess getting a feathered haircut like the Eck is out. Back to the drawing board....

Listmaker said...

the sheffield idea is too enticing.

weasel said...

And walking around with his wangdoodle out saying "Hey look everybody! Its Mike Timlin!" would get him arrested faster than Karim Garcia at Fenway.

I'm thinking that it can't be too humiliating as over the course of the season the pendulum is going to swing both ways... If this had any Red Sox stuff in it, I'd buy it and ship it for Bill to be pictured reading as his pennance. Not a bad idea though, to find some ghastly ghosted Red Sox autobiography for him; Why Right Field Is The Best Spot To Be Raptured From by Trot Nixon, or something.