Just got back from a trip up north last night after a weekend without Wi-Fi or cellphone reception. We went up to my dad’s cabin near Willow Creek, a small town on the Trinity River along Highway 299.
He and my stepmom were able to get their place at a great deal, the reason being the property was auctioned off “as is” after being seized by the DEA for obvious reasons. It’s a story that suits Humboldt County perfectly, except technically the place is in Trinity County. Close enough.
Speaking of close, in the neighborhood of my dad’s place there are several poorly hidden marijuana grows.
And no, my dad’s place is no longer a center of cultivation.
The bad news for my dad and stepmom: there were several renovations that needed to be made after they made the winning bid, like a completely new floor and roof for the main cabin. The good news: there’s a pool.
The pool is where I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend, usually floating on an air mattress with baseball games on the radio courtesy of satellite radio, the place’s only connection to the outside world. While on the drive to Mendocino on Thursday night we listened to the KNBR broadcast of the Giants’ win over the Astros, and while driving north on HWY 1 the next day we caught bits and pieces of the Giants’ loss to the Cubs as KNBR faded in an out. But XM uses the home team’s broadcast for each game, so at my dad’s place we listened to a lot of WGN radio on Saturday and Sunday. Probably too much.
Here’s the thing about baseball from the Cubs’ perspective: since the team’s play ranges from woeful to slightly below average, the game is secondary. Actually, it’s probably tertiary, behind trivia questions and Ron Santo nostalgia.
The Cubs broadcast doesn’t just have one trivia question, there’s one every two or three innings. Sorry if I don’t remember exactly how often they occurred; maybe I’m just getting revenge because Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland weren’t all that keen on keeping up with the games’ details. There’s bad radio, and then there’s announcers making guess after guess as to the answers of trivia questions … giving several hints to each other in the process.
Then you have the 7th inning stretch, where they play an excerpt of some Ron Santo CD they’re selling. That’s all well and good, Santo was a Chicago institution who should’ve been elected to the Hall of Fame while he was still alive. However, the excerpts are so long that when they come back to the broadcast you’ll hear Hughes say, “One away in the inning, count is 1-and-1 to…”
Other Cubs-related broadcasting items:
— Moreland sounds disturbingly like Tim McCarver. My dad was actually certain it was McCarver until I convinced him that a guy who spent 12 years as a St. Louis Cardinal wouldn’t be welcome on WGN.
— Hughes once announced that the Giants lefty warming up in the bullpen was either Jose Mijares or Javier Lopez. An inning later, he let the audience know that the reliever in the pen was either Santiago Casilla or Sergio Romo. Thanks for narrowing it down, Pat!
Hughes either needs to do more pre-series research … or for someone to hand him a good pair of binoculars.
— Moreland said that Pablo Sandoval is “solidly built,” which is perhaps the nicest description of Sandoval’s body type that I’ve ever heard.
— Jon Lovitz visited the booth for a half inning. After Lovitz made an observation about the game, Hughes said, “I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
Lovitz, not missing a beat: “That’s why I said it.”
And from Chavez Ravine…
— Thanks to Scully’s informative stories in the first inning on Saturday, I now know twice as much about Josh Beckett than I did before the weekend started. I know it’s almost sacrilege on a Giants-leaning blog like this, but Scully is still great.
— Charlie Steiner may or may not be popping Ambien between innings. Zzzzzzzzz…