Monday, August 21, 2006

Lighting A Candle For Abe

The Old Lady struck the match, lit the black candle and began the chant. Abraham Nunez was at .198, and the Mendoza Line was in reach. Maybe this would be the push to lift him over the other side.

As much as I am a godless fuck, the Old Lady is into her religion. She’ll chant Hare Krishna as easily as Hail Mary, wear a sari as comfortably as a burka. Vegetarian? You bet – don’t kill a cow, they’re holy. But get her at a ballgame and ask, “Hot dog, honey?” and she’s all over the pig like white is to rice.

For all you single guys out there: Despite what internet dating services advise, don’t ever marry a chick with similar interests. Your dick stays a lot harder when, say, you’re an atheist like me who marries a nun or a wiccan. And there are fringe benefits. Take Abe Nunez’s struggle to hit .200 this season, for instance.

All year long, I’ve had to answer the Old Lady’s stupid questions about why this guy was on the team. Worse, I had to answer for Nunez and Alex Gonzalez until the latter retired in shame. (Some deep background: She knows little about baseball, but she does know when a guy can’t get on base, that’s bad.) So you can see the quandary I’m in. Or more accurately, the quandary Pat Gillick has put all of us in:

Why has Abe been so bad?

Which brings us back to the match and the black candle. See, tonight was santeria night at the house in Tacony, and seeing that Abe, hitting .198, was teasing the Mendoza Line, what better benefactor of that old black magic than he? So, short of slaughtering a chicken and smearing its blood over our flabby, middle-aged torsos, the Old Lady was content to light one of those black “Good Luck” candles for our Little Third Baseman Who Could to help him along in his efforts against the Cubs this evening.

The results were not entirely disappointing. In the fourth inning, Abe chopped a ball to short for a two-run fielder’s choice, a somewhat rare occasion that no doubt could be attributed to the Old Lady’s charming candle as much as an errant throw to home that kissed Baby Girl Burrell on the back and fluttered toward the Wrigley backstop bricks. While that didn’t hike his average, that at-bat’s result staked the Phils to a 2-0 lead. And Abe was just getting started.

In the eighth inning, our magical benefactor stroked a single to drive in a timely insurance run to make it 6-3, an enjoyable moment insomuch as Cubs reliever Roberto Novoa jumped off the mound in shock, awe and regret as Dusty Baker, his beleaguered manager, swallowed his toothpick and flung his ink pen into his notepad in disgust.

Fuckin’ Abe!

That run turned out to be the game-winner, as Arthur Rhodes, looking more like Arthur Treacher while subbing for Flash Gordon, allowed a two-run dinger in the bottom of the ninth to give the Cubbies hope for a comeback. But Team Shook Up held on for a 6-5 victory and Abe Nunez, our Little Third Baseman Who Could, finally went to sleep this year with a .200 average. The team he stewards kept pace with the Reds in the wild card chase, and with a pitching staff upgraded with the wily 43-year-old veteran Jamie Moyer, one can’t help but wonder if Gillick’s removal of David Bell, Bobby Abreu and the other zombies that had populated the roster reinvigorated the living dead that followed those voodoo dudes’ stultifying lockstep of mediocrity.

Leaving little to chance, the Old Lady and I are stepping out tomorrow to West Kensington and stocking up on live chickens, plantains and candles.


Anonymous Bill said...

As much as I am dreaming of someone else playing third base next season (Aramis Ramirez, anyone?), I was happy for Nunez for culminating his long struggle to a .200 batting average.

With regular playing time, he's been playing a lot better on both sides of the field.

Rowand sprained his ankle in the game tonight, and it had to happen when he was starting to play better. At least Victorino will see more playing time.

Any idea who they'll call up as a 5th outfielder?

21/8/06 11:47 PM  
Blogger Tacony Lou said...


Michael Bourn seems to be a real talent. He is a veritable triple-machine, a burner and hell-raiser on the bases. His time may have come.

21/8/06 11:55 PM  
Anonymous JG said...

Bourn is currently in Cuba for the Olympic Qualifying tournament. Perhaps, they pluck a veteran in a waiver deal?

22/8/06 12:03 AM  
Anonymous ChuckM said...

Lou, I am happy for the win tonite, but I have to vent on that frustrated football player Aaron Rowand. That knob was so hepped up on trying to put on a show for his fans in Chicago he stupidly nearly took out Chase Utley. Yo, this was wrong....That pop fly was Utleys ball, Chase clearly called for it, Rowand veered off for a second and then barrelled into Utley. I hope Rowand is on the DL for the rest of the season, is DFA'd by the Phillies and goes back to Chicago and plays indoor lacrosse or ref wrassling matches or some shit. Shane Victorino can take his place and easily track down any fly ball Rowand would and is more effective at the plate.

22/8/06 2:21 AM  

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