Two Guys Watching Two Games

Two Guys Watching Two Games

by Jack Randall and Ray Wisdom

Background: Lou Reed, The Bells, “With You.” The door is open and a pizza man is nervous about not having a pen for Ray. Once they get the pizza, they are sitting on a rug in front of a TV, watching baseball. John has the remote and is switching between two games. One is San Francisco at Milwaukee. The other is Philadelphia at Atlanta. It is April 14, 2001.

Ray: I’ve got coke, scotch & coke, and beer to choose from.

John: You know, there have been a lot of low-scoring games this season.

Ray: What do you think about Christian Guzman. He’s not gonna give you 140 RBI, but he’s someone you’d want to have on your team.

John: He’s having the kind of year we wanted Renteria to have.

Ray: I want him to be like Jeter. Now Viña, on the other hand is a bitch, he’s such a little bitch. This is the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. Is it unbelievable or what? It’s like Imo’s pizza. Hey, this is the CD that’s too long for me to burn, right? I’m so fucked up. I’m like – what are we watching?”

(John is just sitting there eating pizza, looking slowly back and forth between Ray and the TV.)

Ray: Think about Rich Aurilia. He puts up good numbers for a SS, but no one knows who he is because Jeff Kent is so much better at his position.

John: Aurilia: 22HR 80 RBI.

Ray: This is why SF is so good – Rich Aurilia, people like that.

(The Giants are on now, Barry Bonds is batting.)

Ray: 28 more stolen bases is going to take him four more years at least. Look at him dude.

John: (Laughs) Yeah, there’s no doubt.

Ray: I mean he can still hit 50 HRs, but he ain’t gonna steal no 50 bases. He’ll steal like 5. We don’t appreciate how good Bonds was when he was with Pittsburgh. He was hitting 40 home runs when no one was hitting 40. How did SF get 6 runs? It was 7-1.

John: God, you remember how Mike DeJean used to be with the Cardinals?

Ray: If I could be any athlete, I’d definitely be a baseball player. It doesn’t require you to have a great body or even be good looking. You can pretty much get away with whatever behavior you want. You know you’re going to get paid…and you’re going to get chicks. It is amazing to see these chicks that are in the clubhouse. It is amazing. There’s beautiful women trying to get into that clubhouse, or that do get into that clubhouse.

John: Which?

Ray: Both, you know? They’re trying to get in and they are gettin in. All these guys are dating hot chicks and there’s so many more that are hanging around. Viña, I mean, his girlfriend is like a supermodel. Viña’s a little-bitty Mexican. He’s a little bitch, just look at him. He’s not good-looking at all. He’s just like fucking Valentín—that plays for Chicago? Valentín? Dude, I hate that guy. He’s such a bitch!

John: You know who’s one step worse than Jose Valentín?

Ray: (Laughs) Who?

John: We might see him tonight.

Ray: For Milwaukee? (Laughs) Who? Who we gonna see tonight?

John: Jose…

Ray: Jose…who? I’m drawing a blank.

John: Hernandez.

Ray: Oh, no! That’s right. Remember what we said the first time we did acid? “I’m probably going to puke tonight.”

John: Oh yeah.

Ray: I feel so nauseous.

John: I threw up earlier today.

Ray: …It’s a good nauseousness. Just because my whole body is so sensitive to any perception. I can feel myself digesting shit and it makes me nauseous. But it’s a good nauseous. This background music is phenomenal. You picked the most perfect background music.

John: (Looking at the TV) The guy on the right looks like he’s about to crack up.

Ray: Man, I’m going to throw up looking at this. Look at this guy !

John: The guy in the back, the guy in the back, that guy’s still alive. Probably.

Ray: (Laughs)

John: You know? That’s the funny thing.

Ray: Shut up John. I’m eating the rest of this pizza.

John: Go ahead. Yeah, you can have more than half, whatever.

Ray: I want my cinnammon bread to be cold.

John: You want it to get cold?

Ray: I want it to get king of hard.

Ray: Buddy Groom is a poor man’s…finish my thought for me.

John: I can’t. Wayne Gomes is a poor man’s Buddy Groom?

Ray: No, Buddy Groom is a poor man’s Wayne Gomes. Because Buddy Groom is a washed up 40 year old white guy. And Wayne Goomes is actually pretty decent.

John: I think Gomes sucks. Buddy Groom’s actually pretty decent. (Laughs)

Ray: (Laughs) Yeah, you know why? Cause we each had the person on our fantasy team that we think sucks. The grass is always greener, John. That’s the perfect example right there. Now, what did I do with that thing? (He’s looking around for something, looks under a chair, gets up to look under where he was sitting, gives up and sits back down) Did you ever notice, I think the world is out to get Milwaukee. Here’s why. Look at this shot. It’s kind of grainy, right?

John: Yeah…

Ray: But if this was New York or Boston it would be so crisp and clean. Like, we want to perceive Milwaukee as this dirty place. And Cleveland finally got out of that with Jacobs Field. And Milwaukee’s just hoping their new ballpark gets them out of that and gets them sharp. Their image has got to get sharp. ‘Member Oakland in the early nineties, when they sucked? And Anaheim? Well, they still suck. But you’d see those games on Tuesday afternoons. There were all day games over there on this field that was really small and it was grainy film and it was like, ‘Where are these people playing?’ You know? Am I right? When I look back on AL West games, they’re always in the middle of the week during the day, when no one cares. And Tiger Stadium was part of this, too—‘cause they all looked really small. Like Tiger Stadium. It’s like 200 feet to hit a home run. How do people not hit home runs there all the time? That’s what I always thought when I saw Tiger Stadium. But it actually wasn’t that small, just down the lines it was. It was big in the middle.

John: Yeah.

Ray: And like it has that feel to it, you know? That’s what they’re doing in Milwaukee. I bet if you went to Miller Park it would be so fucking beautiful. I mean, think about how much better Busch Stadium is in person than on TV. Look at this field. Doesn’t this look so old-school? How I’m acting right now — How I feel right now is how Jack Buck must feel all the time. Because, he’s so…like, his mind is still there. But he’s totally uncontrolled. He does shit like this. (Makes a jerky movement with his upper body.) And he knows that he should be able to control it but he can’t. You know? He’s just like this. (Does it again, or maybe goes slack.) And it’s got to be the worst fucking feeling. To me, it’s really cool right now because I’m just fucked up but you know how you feel like you gotta shit and throw up at the same time when you feel like this? Imagine feeling like that all the time. When your mind’s sharp but your body is just falling apart? It’s got to be the worst death imaginable, to lose your exterior and your interior’s still there and to watch your faculties just go to shit. I can’t imagine — and it’s going to happen to me I know it. My mind, like, I think I’ll always have my mind, but my body’s going to fall apart. ‘Cause I already have… my neck hurts all of the time and my back? You know, I’m already fucking, I’m like deposing right in front of myself. I’m going to be like that, I’m going to have Parkinson’s or something. And it’s like depressing as hell to watch Jack Buck give it, but if you just sit there and listen to him, it’s amazing. Like, I have so much more respect for that man. Because I can just sit there and I can watch him, right, and be depressed, but he’s not there to be watched, he’s there to be listened to. And to be able to listen and see what he’ going through, you realize how much of a difference it is, and it makes me appreciate it even more. Like, he still gives a hell of a broadcast for someone who’s like 80 and falling apart. Like for an 80-year-old his mind is really good – and I’ve seen so much of that – and he doesn’t – he should put more of the stuff he says off the air on the air. Cause now he’s got too much of an image of like “Nice Guy” you know like, ‘Go Crazy’, I don’t know. I can’t explain it. It’s amazing just to watch that shit happen though. Like, I have so much more respect for broadcasting. Like, I want to be a broadcaster so bad I think. Like, some form of it. It’s cool as hell, dude. It’s a great life. (Starts to laugh at the TV.)

John: Pedro and Clemens are going tonight.

Ray: This year, dude, I don’t care about any of my teams. I want to see St. Louis and B-town do good, but I’m so more pumped for teams like watching like Montreal, Florida. Like Cliff Floyd is off to a great start dude. And Sexson and shit. Like watching people like that and teams like that is so much more fun for me now. And that’s what I’ve noticed broadcasters do. Like Mike Shannon. He fucking loves like talking to the guys on the other team. He doesn’t care if the Cards win or lose. Like you want them not to be pathetic, but if they’re .500 who cares? And it’s so much fun to witness that ’cause I’m like that. And it makes baseball so much more fun. A lot of fans get like that, though, you know? Your dad’s like that. Like he wants to see Boston do well. Like, he still follows them but he doesn’t care really. That’s how we care about St. Louis now. Like we want them to fucking win the World Series, but whatever. It’s funny how we notice the weaknesses in our teams so much more now. That’s the difference, is we are more pessimistic about our weaknesses than we are optimistic about our strengths.

John: Yeah.

Ray: Like we’re fans that are actually, ‘Look we suck in this area.’

John: Yeah

Ray: The Cards have so many weaknesses it’s pathetic. And Houston looks so good. Man, I wish I was a Houston fan. Our only bright spot is gonna be – our only fucking bright spot is on our pitching staff – we’re gonna have an OK pitching staff. Morris is gonna have a great year. But like, Kile is gonna go 14-14. And he’s gonna have games where – you know, he’s gonna be good, whatever. But he’s not gonna be a fucking 20-wins Kile, you know? He’s not gonna be an ace. And Ankiel, I think, the jury’s still out. I can’t really tell. I mean I obviously want to see him succeed, but I think he has just as good a chance to succeed as he does of failing. Or failing to succeed.

John: Yeah, I mean, he may just go .500

Ray: Yeah, exactly.

John: A 4.67 ERA.

Ray: Yeah. And he’ll have like 100—he’ll have almost 200 K’s.

John: Yeah.

Ray: Like. The thing is: Ankiel—people put too much pressure on him because he is going to be a dominant pitcher. But he’s only going to be a dominating pitcher for six innings. Like, he’s not going to be as fucking good as Randy Johnson. Cause Randy Johnson can pitch a complete game after a complete game after a complete game. And people just need to realize that about Ankiel. When he’s pitching, he’s fucking awesome and you know that he’s only going to give you six innings. Because he throws way too many pitches, you know? So he’s always going to be one of those guys who wins like 15, but he never — and he might have one huge year, but he’ll never have, like, all these 20 win seasons. But he’s going to be a guy that you fucking want on your team, you know? He’s gooing to be like Glavine, you know? Or Smoltz, you know? Like, he’s not Maddux though. Morris is fucking awesome. And he’s pitching on Monday. I cannot – I’m so pumped up for Morris’ days, cause he pitched so good the other day: seven innings pitched, one run. And he is dominating dude. It is fun to watch him pitch. His sinker just – they didn’t hit anything out of the – in the air, you know?

(Ray and John are both looking at the TV.)

Ray: They have a slide back there? (Laughs.) It’s like a County fair. That’s what they’re going for is like the county fair. And it works. In Milwaukee.

John: They had a slide in County Stadium.

Ray: Did they?

John: Yeah, in County Stadium. It was, ah, smaller.

Ray: You know how FOX has that ‘Beyond the Glory?’ You know what I’m talking about? Fox Sports?

John: Yeah.

Ray: You know who this week’s is?

John: (Thinking about it) Oh, yeah.

Ray: You know how Deion was there? You know who this week’s is?

John: Yeah.

Ray: Buckner. I want to watch that, dude. Because Buckner – everyone remembers him for the Boston thing. And that is possibly what they’re gonna (laughing) harp on a lot. Butthe funny thing about Buckner is that he is playing left field.

John: Yeah.

Ray: And everyone’s like, ‘Al Downing what an idiot!’ But we don’t realize that one of the most infamous idiots ever takes part in that, too.

John: Were you with me for that 7:15 / quarter-after-seven thing?

Ray: Yeah.

John: That was during the Braves game?

Ray: Yeah.

John: When were we watching a Braves game?

Ray: (Laughs) It was last week.

John: Hm.

Ray: It was last Sunday, I think. When we smoked. He said ‘I always refer to it as quarter after seven; I never refer to it as 7:15.’ Bill Buckner. It’s him, you know? He’s the one fucking tryin’ to catch that ball.

John: Good shit, man.

Ray: (Laughs) Bill Buckner has such a great story to tell. And too bad they’re going to harp on the ’86 thing when it’s so much funnier with the 715 thing. (Laughs)

John: (Laughs)

Ray: He’s like, ‘I’m the biggest idiot ever, I’m the biggest loser ever. He’s seen more than anyone in the history of baseball and no on knows it. Because everyone knows it’s Bill Buckner when they see the Mets game but no one realizes it about Hank Aaron.’

(The TV goes to a commercial on both channels)

John: (Gets up and bends down for the pizza box) I’m throwing this pizza away, man. You want anything?

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