Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

You might have already seen the story about the idiot from the Texas Rangers that threw a chair into the stands at a fan, which then bounced off that fan and hit an innocent lady in the face and broke her nose. Four and a half years ago, I could have been that innocent lady.

I went to a Baltimore Orioles game with my friends, Rick, Rich and Wayne. It was a day game and it started off as a beautiful day to watch baseball. The Orioles were playing the Detroit Tigers. We bought really good tickets and ended up sitting about ten rows behind the Tiger dugout.

So we did what most male American men in their early twenties to at a baseball game featuring two teams you couldn't give a shit about: We got drunk.

It was a good game, a pitcher's duel. Hideo Nomo vs. Someone Else (I forget). We yelled at a lot of players, but all in good fun. For some reason, we thought it was hilarious to heckle Brad Ausmus. No reason. I think we liked the way his name sounded when we'd say, "Auuusss-muuuuss... Auuusss-muuuuss." He turned around and looked at us a few times looking like, "What the hell are these guys heckling me for? I'm Brad Ausmus. I'm no one."

We also heckled Hideo Nomo a bit. You know how he has that wacky windup? Well, every once in a while when he would put his arms way over his head with his rib cage exposed, I'd yell out, "Tickle him!"

Anyway, the weather got weird around the eighth inning. It went from 80 degrees to about 60 degrees in about 10 minutes. The skies became dark and it started to rain. Not bad enough to warrant a rain delay, but enough to chase almost everyone out of the stadium. We were good and drunk by this point, so a little rain was a fun diversion.

Since our section was fairly empty, some of the riff-raff from the upper levels decided to come down and see how rich people like us live. There were these dudes, who seemed to be straight out of Limp Bizkit (they were probably the most popular band at the time) were doing a lot of yelling. Anyway, Doug Brocail, a relief pitcher for the Tigers was coming off the mound. On his way into the dugout, these guys said something to him, but nothing worse than, "Hey Opposing Player, you suck!"

Anyway, Doug Brocail came over to the edge of the seats, yelling like a mad man at these two guys. He actually was saying things like, "Meet me after the game." He wanted a fight. I'm pretty sure he didn't get one. A bunch of players came out of the dugout to hold him back, meanwhile anyone left in the section started yelling back at him, egging him on.

Why do I bring this up? Well, Doug Brocail is the fellow that seemed to start this whole debacle in Oakland. From the article:

Texas relief pitcher Doug Brocail was seen screaming at a male fan after the two appeared to exchange insults, and the pitcher had to be restrained by his teammates and bullpen coach Mark Connor.

Luckily for us, way back in 2000, Mr. Brocail didn't have an idiot teammate (Frank Francisco) to throw a chair at any of us. Or maybe it was unlucky. I'm sure that lady is going to get a fat settlement out of this, courtesy of the Texas Rangers, the Oakland Athletics (for the shitty security) and Major League Baseball.

Anyway, later that night we went to this bar/club. I'm sure we didn't need to continue drinking, but we did. (Except for Rich, who stayed home vomiting. He blamed it on Chinese food, but we all were pretty sure his ovaries were bothering him.)

At the bar, I was looking around and saw this Asian guy who kind of looked out of place. It was Hideo Nomo, standing by himself. So after some discussion, I decided it would be a good idea to go and talk to Hideo. Here was our conversation:

Me: You're Hideo Nomo, right?

Hideo: (Shakes his head)

Me: Yes you are.

Hideo: No.

Me: It's cool. I saw you pitch today. That was a good game.

Hideo: No.

Me: You are Hideo Nomo, right? Just tell me.

Hideo: No.

So that was it. We then realized that Doug Brocail was also among the players at the bar. He was with a couple of other pitchers and a bullpen catcher for the Tigers. They had a day game the next day, so only the guys who knew they weren't going to be playing were out at the bar. These guys were hitting on the nastiest looking girls. I guess, being from Detroit, they lowered their standards. (Zing! Take that, Detroit!)

I ended up having a chat with a guy who was one of the trainers for the Tigers. I asked him, "What the hell is Doug Brocail's deal?" He kind of laughed and just said something like, "He's kind of a high strung guy." No shit.

We also tried to get my friend Wayne to have a dance-off with Hideo Nomo, but of course, Hideo wanted nothing to do with it.

And that is my longer than I realized story about how I could have been the lady to get hit with a chair.
All material © Mike Toole; 2003 - 2006