A Gonzo Sports Column Enjoying Snowy Baseball, Fishing for Trout, Investigating How Baseball Makes a 30-Year-Old Man Feel Like He’s 12 and Why the NBA Postseason Sucks.
The MLB season is off to a hot start, though there’s been nothing hot about the weather. It snowed for the first three innings at Target Field in Minneapolis on Friday night, with temperatures plunging into the low 20s by the end of the game. Sunday’s game against the Mets was postponed due to inclement weather and then the Mets traveled to Denver where they were welcomed by 4-6 inches of snow, so they were again postponed on Monday. Everything turned around in Minneapolis on Monday for Jackie Robinson Day, as the clouds cleared out and temperatures hovered around 40 degrees. The Twins responded with a dominant win over the hapless and helpless Angels, who fell to 4-9, tied with the Astros for the worst record in the American League.
The real story, however, was the dialogue between two Mikes. My friend Mike Haase, a 2007 MSU alumni, did his damndest to get a word out of arguably the best player in baseball, Mike Trout. He never got that word, but a game ball instead, which is worth a million words. After Darin Mastroianni popped to center, Peter Bourjos tossed the ball to Trout who came right up to us in the first row on the third base side and tossed Haase the ball, who had a shit-eating grin bigger than most 12-year-olds enjoying their first game. That’s what’s so great about this game. It keeps you young. Hell, even the players are kids for life. When his cousin, Shane, who has quite the man-crush on Trout, came back to his seat, Haase pulled the ball from his pocket and said, “Look what Mike Trout gave me.” Needless to say, his cousin was pissed. “It was the greatest experience of my life. I’m going to sleep with this ball tonight,” Haase said. On the phone with his friend in North Dakota, Haase said, “You may have a girlfriend and occasional sex, but I’m the one getting balls from grown men.”
In much more boring news, the NBA regular season has come to a close, which means we’re in for what feels like an entirely new season with the playoffs. Unfortunately, Kobe Bryant won’t be there to make it worth watching, as he tore his Achilles tendon and is out 6-9 months, perhaps for good. Being an immense fan of Michael Jordan, I can assure you Bryant is the closest thing to Jordan the league has ever seen and will ever see. LeBron James just doesn’t have his perimeter shot, and probably never will, but I do know Bryant won’t go down without a fight. He’ll be back, just like Jordan — again — and again.