Off Base
A Sign of Life

September 9, 2006

Gee, ya think?

I’ve been accused of a lot of things in my time, but trust me, being at a loss for words isn’t one of them. But in the aftermath of Monday night's jaw-dropper of a baseball game, well, we’re talking pretty damn close.

So I’m driving home from the Main Sqeeze’s house, on the 101, looking to Rick Monday for inspiration. I'm in a daze, remember, so cut me some slack, please. Instead of analysis, I get run-on sentences, zero subject-predicate structure, and nothing resembling a period at the end of a sentence.

The post-game show segues to Dodger Talk’s Bob Harvey and A. Martinez, who were, and there’s no other word for it, orgasming, on the air. But since it’s the Valley, and I’m a good six miles from the transmitter, KFWB fades out almost on cue, and I switch over to 1090 for a little San Diego perspective. There I get John Kentera's opinion of Cla Meridith’s performance in the sixth inning, in the form of a promotion for Castle Garage Door Openers. So help me; I coudn't make this up. The promo, called "Slamming the Door," goes to the prominent reliever of the game.

Once home, I’m scrapping titles left and right, searching for something worthy of a game of this magnitude (for those not paying attention, nor curious about garage door openers; it's 11-10 Dodgers), flashing back to 1988, where we in Los Angeles so often go for comfort.

What was it Vinny said about Dennis Eckersley? “Shocked to His Toes.” And who was it Vinny talked about that cool October evening? Why, “Tinkerbell,” of course. Both great titles, worth considering. And how about “Brake Lights” for another?

Shoot, I almost went with “Let the Naysayers Say,” which was straight out of “Rochelle, Rochelle,” the musical. (You know, “Oh, it's been a long journey from Milan to Minsk, Rochelle, Rochelle!").

A gay friend (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”) chimed in with, “that was a pretty exciting game.” A good title, thanks, but no., with a little help from Elias, had a brilliant “with apologies to Jack Buck, we don't believe what we just saw at Dodger Stadium” lead-in, which I wish I’d have thought of first. But credit where credit is due.

Props to ESPN and Prime, btw, for coming up with the other instances of four consecutive homers in baseball history as quickly as they did. And these are great names, aren’t they:

Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, Frank Thomas; Milwaukee Braves, June 8, 1961.

Woodie Held, Pedro Ramos, Tito Francona, Larry Brown; Cleveland Indians, July 31, 1963.

Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, Harmon Killebrew; Minnesota Twins, May 2, 1964.

And last night, Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, Marlon Anderson, Los Angeles Dodgers, September 18, 2006. Write it down. Or better yet, save the link.

With all the good titles in use elsewhere, I finally settled on an homage-to Russell-Branyon title, “Separating the Men From the Boys.” Then I remembered the old riddle about one of L.A.’s first all-night drive-in diners: “How do you separate the men from the boys at Dolores? With a crowbar.” Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but not a good baseball title.

And yes, I know; splitting a crucial four game series “is like kissing your sister,” or "kissing through screen doors," or whatever. I considered those old lines for two seconds. Charlie Manuel used one of them a couple weeks ago.

So “A Sign of Life” it is. If you don’t like it, well, I tried, so you can just go right ahead and bite me. The Dodgers are in first place. This is L.A. baseball. Dodgers win, Padres lose. Game over. Period, exclamation point…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged… Headline We Could Have Done Without: “Signed Confession? Rose Autographed Apology on Balls."

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend. More about statue...

Remember, glove conquers all….








About Us | Archives | Contact | Gift Shop | Home | Talkback | Where Are They Now | Write For Us....................
Copyright © 2005 by