Thursday, March 03, 2005

Welcome to the jungle

Hello. Call me frightwig. I've been posting to online bulletin boards for about a dozen years, since I was a regular member of the Prodigy communities dedicated to Jazz and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Really, you should have seen my deconstructive analysis of the episode "The Care and Feeding of Parents," circa 1993-94. A real benchmark in the annals of dramatic criticism.) Some members of the old *P Jazz board still talk at the Jazz Asylum site listed in my Links. If you like to talk about eclectic music, films and books, folk art, or even basketball and baseball, I'm sure they'd be glad to meet you. In recent years, I've been a moderator and member of the Twins and Mariners forums at Scout.com (formerly FanHome, formerly BaseballBoards), also posting at the Twins DTFC forum and angling into the conversations at Batgirl's site. After all this practice, I guess it's time to set up a place of my own.

I am an avid baseball fan, some may say an obsessive or a freak. Since growing up in Bremerton, Wah, I have rooted for the Seattle Mariners going back to the late '70s, when I was really too young to know any better. Living with a local club like the Mariners, however, well, you can't blame a kid for occasionally straying to flirt or take up with other more exciting, winning teams. In the '80s the Angels were my favorite AL team because of Rod Carew, and when my parents took me and my sister & brother to see the Angels and A's play at the Big A during a trip to SoCal in the Summer of '85 (8/16/85, a 5-2 Angels win, Brian Downing hit a HR, Carew was 1-for-3 with a walk and scored twice), it was a highlight of the vacation on par with Disneyland. My NL favorites were the Mets, because I loved the young Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry--and really the whole team were larger than life to me. I still remember how they finished 2nd to the Cubs in '84, then finished 3 games behind the Cards despite winning 98 games in '85, and I confidently told anyone who would listen during spring training '86 that it was the Mets' year to win the World Series. The whole season, they had a knack for turning up just the right card at the most crucial moment of the game. They felt like a team of destiny. When they beat the Red Sox in October, I was as thrilled as any kid in New York. Sorry, Mariners, but you hadn't even drafted Griffey yet. I can't be blamed.

Anyway, I was there for the M's in the '90s, after they tied the ship to Griffey, Edgar, Buhner, Tino, Omar, and Randy Johnson. I was there for the magical '95 run, an interesting year because we still felt burned by the strike, Griffey broke his wrist making a Spiderman catch in May and was out until August, and the team treaded water at around .500 while he was gone. They were part of the environmental background of the summer, until Griffey came back and in late August suddenly it seemed they just could not lose. "Refuse to Lose." Another season of destiny. From 13.5 games back at one point, it seemed like every day in the last five weeks of the season they found a way to slip the noose and cinch it tighter around the necks of the Angels. What an exciting daily rush to be there to see it, to be a part of it. We were an undeniable force. Is there any other sport but baseball that can give you that kind of sensation from day to day? It's like the lunar pull on the tides. When my baseball team is on a winning streak, I'm riding the slipstream right along with the guys. When they're in a funk for a month (or, God forbid, the whole season), I feel the pull down into the pit of despair, too. It's said that baseball is designed to break your heart, but what about encouraging bipolar disorders?

I am still a Mariners fan, but since moving away from the Northwest and landing in Minnesota in 2000, I've cozied up to the Twins, too. The Twins were horrible when I first moved to the Twin Cities, the joke of the league, but I was won over one day late in the 2000 season, some meaningless game when TK was giving new kids a chance to audition for the next season. There was a close play at the plate, A.J. covering the dish, and he took the throw and held his ground, getting knocked flat and coming up with a bloody gash across his face... but he still had the ball. The savage... er, baseball connoisseur deep in my heart swelled up and laughed with approval. Peanut, that's Rockin' Good News. I figured that any young player who showed that kind of toughness and desire in such a meaningless game had to be a sign of better days to come. I thought, that's a player and a team to watch. I tuned in again the next day, and the next, and here I am. It's been fun to watch this club develop at this point in its history; and I still feel like the wave is just three feet high and rising.

In this blog, I plan to dedicate at least 3-4 days of the week (Mon-Thurs) to baseball, probably concentrated mostly on the Twins since I see them nearly every day on local TV or at the Metrodome--and I'm not sure whether I'll get to follow the M's on MLB Extra Innings this year. The weekends will be a medley of other interests... music, photography, cats, politics, books, films, travel, English soccer, more baseball, or whatever. I hope to incorporate podcasting into the blog, as well. I used to host a radio show in my college days, and I've missed having that outlet to share the music I enjoy. So getting that kind of thing launched on this blog will be a primary goal. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes, and I hope you'll be riding with me. Be patient, it should get better. Welcome.

6 Comments:

At 3/07/2005 7:50 AM, Anonymous YankeeFan said...

frightwig,

I will ride with you, if you will have me as a hitchiker...

YankeeFan

 
At 3/07/2005 3:07 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

You and I, we're peas in a pod, YF. :) I'm glad you came to visit.

 
At 3/07/2005 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You use "Eraserhead" as your secret identity photo, and don't list it in your favorite films?

Hmmmm...

Actually, I prefer some of David Lynch's other works myself (Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks come to mind), but I do find some of your other choices of fave films interesting & eclectic, and similar to some of my own favorites.

It seems you and I have more than just the defense of Doug Mientkiewicz in common after all...
A love of the Beatles, Woody Allen films, British films starring Emma Thompson, (I'm also partial to the films of Kenneth Branagh.)

Mind if I hitch a ride as well?

bubblemint

 
At 3/08/2005 10:10 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

Glad to have you, bubblemint.

Actually, Blue Velvet is one of my favorite films--a complete oversight not to include it on my list. I've seen it at least a dozen times. The second time, I remember very well, I saw it in an auditorium at my university, and towards the end somebody shouted at the screen, "This is one weird fuckin' movie!" At the time I might have agreed--although that was really a lot of the appeal, wasn't it? But every time I've watched it since then, it seems more and more 'normal' to me. I don't know if it's me, or if it shows how the world is becoming more and more like a David Lynch film.

I'm also partial to Wild at Heart ("Peanut, that's Rockin' Good News!") and I thought Mulholland Drive was pretty interesting. I saw Eraserhead once, and it really did disturb me so much I'm not sure I'd like to see it again. I love that picture of Spencer, though.

 
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