So AAR asks me to do a recap “for old times’ sake.” How can I refuse? I start to thinking about “old times sake,” the Braves, and how much I loathe Chip Caray. OK. The last part wasn’t really necessary, but I haven’t been the most devoted Braves fan this year, and Caray is partly responsible. And the thing that bothers me most about him is a thing that doesn’t seem to bother anyone else: how many times he starts a sentence “Let’s see if…” It is my White Whale. So, for old times’ sake, I create a drinking game: I will take a drink whenever Chip Caray begins a sentence “Let’s see if…” Yes, I know. I’m 61 years old and drinking games are for amateurs, not professionals like me. But it’s for old times’ sake, and when I was in college I was participating in drinking games and the Braves were losing 100 games or so a year.
But I’m going to report on the game as well, so here’s my log.
Phillies’ first run scores with the ball not leaving the infield. Well, it did, but only from the strong arm of Kurt Suzuki. Reminds of Dale Murphy’s time as a catcher, when he threw three balls into center field and his father told him: “Dale, if they’d have been trying to steal center field you’d have had them every time.” Suzuki threw a ball six feet over Freddie Freeman’s head from 90 feet away.
Top 2: “Let’s see if Camargo can turn around a 1-0 game here in the second.” (answer: no)
Bottom 2: “Let’s see if Julio can help himself at the plate.” (answer: no)
Top 4: “Let’s see if Matt (Kemp) is able to continue.” (answer: no)
Bottom 4: “Let’s see if Julio can pitch around a leadoff error.” (answer: yes)
Top 5: “Let’s see if Ender can stop carrying his hands with him.” (answer: who knows, but he doubled and seems to have taken his hands with him to 2nd base. This had to do with a Simpson inscrutable comment on Ender’s previous at bat.)
Then Julio began to give up homers… and a few throws went awry and, well I’d already had 4 pretty stiff drinks and pretty soon it was 8-0, as Chip Caray’s dad said, at the bottom of another fifth. I hate this ballpark, but Blanton’s Bourbon is pretty damn good.
Then the game got a little woozy. Something called Hoby Milner started pitching for the Phillies. I think he was in Adam 12, but I’m dating myself again, and I’m not the best date.
Anyway, it got a little difficult to keep track of the “Let’s see if…” That’s the great thing about drinking games: they’re inherently self-limiting. Plus it started raining… (in Philly.)
We get to the 7th and Suzuki hits a homer….Then Rodriguez. Did I mention I hate this ballpark?
So at that point either Chip gave up trying to hype a comeback or I’d lost all sensibility. The drinking game was over and it was time for serious drinking to begin. The final was 10-3. For old time’s sake.