My boyfriend Jon Garland is coming to Denver! !!!!!

Jon Garland

This is an old picture.

In 2005, I fell in love with baseball, the Chicago White Sox, and in particular Jon Garland. My love for baseball, the Chicago White Sox, and in particular Jon Garland has continued over the years, even though Jon Garland and I have kind of lost touch as he moved from one team I don’t really care about to another and then spent the last season and a half recovering from shoulder surgery and not playing.

Today he was signed by the Colorado Rockies. He’ll be a starting pitcher. Holy shit you guys! This is the most exciting baseball thing to happen to me . . . well, since Philip Humber’s perfect game.

This is pretty much the only thing that could’ve made me care about the Colorado Rockies this year. Jon Garland!!

Hawk Harrelson Article

There’s an awesome article in The Wall Street Journal about biased baseball announcers. It focuses on my favorite baseball announcer of all time, Hawk Harrelson, finding him to be the biggest homer in baseball. Hawk’s response? “That’s the biggest compliment you could give me, to call me the biggest homer in baseball.”

I don’t usually read the comments, but there was a good one here, from Anne Halverson:

The White Sox is my team, so I honestly didn’t know there was any other way to hear a game! Now that I know, I’m glad I hear a biased game! When I watch the games, I feel what Hawk feels, so what he says is usually exactly what I want to hear. Its like watching the game with your Dad, and why would you want it any other way?

Yes, exactly!

I’ve mentioned my love for Hawk and his homerism before and everything I said then is still true now.

Here’s hoping we (apparently I’m a homer, too) squeak by Detroit and make it to the playoffs.

Rockies At-Bat Music 2012

Hey sports fans! It’s time once again for my annual post about the walk-up music of Colorado Rockies players. As always, I’ll update the list as I find out more and I’ll make a Grooveshark playlist ASAP. Enjoy, and comments are on for this post.

Pitchers

Matt Belisle:
Rafael Betancourt: Give Me Everything by Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo
Rex Brothers:
Jhoulys Chacin:
Tyler Chatwood:
Jeremy Guthrie: Tonight is the Night by Outasight (pitching), What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction (hitting)
Jamie Moyer:
Juan Nicasio:
Matt Reynolds:
Josh Roenicke: Imma Star by Jeremih
Esmil Rogers: Winner by Jamie Foxx feat. Justin Timberlake

Catchers

Ramon Hernandez: Ven Morena by Oscar D’Leon, Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Telo
Wilin Rosario: El Cafe by Tito Swing, International Love by Pitbull feat. Chris Brown

Infielders

Jason Giambi: Wolfpack Theme by N.W.O.
Todd Helton: Springsteen by Eric Church
Jonathan Herrera: Riscate by Alexis & Fido
Chris Nelson: What’s My Name by DMX
Jordan Pacheco: Square Dance by Eminem
Marco Scutaro: Danza Kuduro (Club Mix) by Denoizer feat. Don Omar
Troy Tulowitzki: Levels by Avicii, Gotta Have It by Jay-Z and Kanye West (apparently Gotta Have It was for Opening Day only)

Outfielders

Tyler Colvin: Hold on to Black Metal by My Morning Jacket
Michael Cuddyer: Kyoto by Skrillex, I Can’t Stop by Flux Pavilion, Mind Your Manners by Chiddy Bang
Dexter Fowler: Grind 24 by Torch, Arab Money by Rick Ross
Carlos Gonzalez: Donde Estes Llegare by Alexis & Fido
Eric Young Jr.: Headlines by Drake

Family Traditions: Opening Day

When you’re not religious and you live 1,000 miles away from your family and don’t travel because you’re poor and have 900 animals and are a John-Madden-level claustrophobic who’s afraid of flying, you don’t really have much opportunity for traditions and rituals. Well, we don’t, anyway. For example, we don’t have family gatherings for holidays like when I was a kid, where my parents and I hung out with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Now, we tend to do whatever presents itself with friends, or nothing. Either way, it’s cool, because we’re not big holiday people.

The thing is, I’m not sure I want Soren to grow up with absolutely no holiday or holiday-like traditions. I mean, they can be really nice! When I was a kid, my spoiled only-child little heart spent weeks looking forward to Christmas at my grandparents’ house and the mountain of presents with my name on them. And my nana’s homemade noodles. Holy crap you guys the homemade noodles, drizzled with lightly browned butter — they were the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten and I haven’t had them since well before nana died in the 80s.

We don’t have big Christmases and homemade noodles and a nana who writes your name on plastic Easter eggs with goodies inside and hides them around their sprawling ranch house in Park Ridge, IL, but maybe we should have something. Maybe the answer is to create traditions where they’re meaningful for us. And if by “meaningful for us” I mean meaningful for me (and this is my blog so of course that’s what I mean), the answer is sports.baby's first Rockies game

I figure MLB Opening Day (capitalized because it’s a holiday!) is the best place to start. When you’re a sports fan, MLB Opening Day is exciting. It’s the start of so many things! It’s the start of summer, of biking to the game, of drinking beer while waiting for the sun to dip behind the Coors Field scoreboard, of missing Chicago, of laughing out loud at Ed Farmer (he’s funny!) and hearing commercials for Chicago pizza places, of waiting for Hawk Harrelson to yell “You can put it on the board . . . YES!!!” and Instagrammed pictures of baseball players nobody cares about except me and reading The Dugout (which seems to no longer exist) and watching the guys in the bullpen because the bullpen is one of my favorite things ever.

And seriously, if I can get kind of ridiculous and sappy for a minute, it’s the start of hope. Nobody makes me hope as much as the White Sox. This could be the year. Well, I mean, this probably won’t be the year what with the “R” word being thrown around and a manager who has more experience charging the mound than, well, managing, but still. With baseball, I always feel like it’s at least possible.

The question is which MLB Opening Day to celebrate. Opening Day in general? The first White Sox game? The first Rockies game? The first home game at Coors Field?

To tell you the truth I’m not a big fan of going to the first home game at Coors Field. It’s always way too crowded and they charge too much for tickets (for a while, if you wanted to buy tickets for Opening Day, you had to buy tickets for another game in that series, too — I don’t know if they still do this) and they run out of good beer (you almost don’t mind this because the lines for the good beer and the bathrooms are ridiculous). With a toddler, it’s even kind of hard to hang out anywhere around Coors Field that day — last year, I remember trying to go to Falling Rock Tap House and it was so ridiculously crowded even after the game started we gave up on the idea.

So at least for now, I’m thinking our MLB Opening Day will be a low-key event that involves watching the Sox, eating pizza, and hanging out. This year, it’ll have to happen for game 2 because we didn’t take Friday off work. But in the future, I think we should all take the day off of work or school for our Opening Day celebration. I mean, it’s fair to take holidays off, and this is our holiday. At least until Ben (the Cubs fan who, in typical Cubs fan fashion, can’t name 3 players on the active roster — love you, Cubs fans!) objects to the way I’m trying to make our kid a Sox fan.

We’ll miss you, Ozzie.

Ozzie GuillenAfter tonight’s win over the Toronto Blue Jays at US Cellular Field, the Chicago White Sox announced that, per his request, Ozzie Guillen was being released from his contract. He’ll be going to the Marlins.1

As I’ve mentioned before, I was a bandwagon White Sox fan in 2005. I’m not proud of this at all, but it’s important today for one reason. My entire (albeit short) baseball-loving life has had Ozzie Guillen as its skipper. Ozzie Guillen is the only manager I’ve ever known with the only team I’ve ever loved. I know this is lame as hell, but I feel like I’m losing a buddy.

I love Ozzie Guillen. I love the way he says what he wants to say. I love the way his sons, especially Oney, say what they want to say. (Sorry for all the links to my own shit — I’m feeling very sad and very nostalgic tonight.) He was an awesome manager for my team and he’s the kind of guy with whom I’d like to have a beer (well, several beers — could you imagine throwing back a few with this dude, holy crap).

The only certainty with professional sports teams and professional athletes these days is uncertainty. Change is everywhere. Players get traded or dropped. Teams move. Managers and coaches get fired. Strikes are threatened or happen. Lawsuits are filed. Guys leave their teams for Lithuania or China. Entire seasons are called into question.

I’m well aware of these things but I get attached anyway. I totally take sports too seriously and too personally. It’s just how I am. I’m not a fan who wants my team to win at all costs. I’m a fan who wants my team to win with the guys I love.

It’s been sad watching the 2005 World Series White Sox team be dismantled over the years. I try to keep up on everybody but it’s hard and some of them have gone to teams I hate — it’s just insult on top of injury when my boyfriend Jon Garland (who had season-ending surgery a while back) goes to the freaking Dodgers and Freddy Garcia goes to the freaking Yankees and I can’t even. But there have always been four constants — Mark Buehrle, Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, and Ozzie Guillen. Ozzie Guillen was always the most important of all. He was the face of the White Sox for me, the shit-talking dude who you either loved (me) or hated (haters), who managed the hell out of the perennially underappreciated team from a city that generally, in its own drunken annoying way, prefers the northsiders (ugh).

One thing Cubs fans have on White Sox fans is that their best days as fans have to be ahead of them (possibly so far ahead they won’t be alive to witness them, but still). As a White Sox fan, I worry sometimes that my best days as a fan are behind me. Don’t get me wrong — I’ll be loyal to the Sox forever (sometimes I even think about getting a tattoo of the exploding scoreboard, as ill-advised as that would be). But shit like this? It makes me worry about the future. And it kind of puts crying in baseball.
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Note
1. I have a marlin joke! A million years ago, my ex worked for a small law firm that focused primarily on bankruptcy law. One of the partners was really into April Fool’s Day. One year on April 1, he left a message for the other partner. The message was from Mr. Marlin, who said he was “underwater in debt.” The phone number was for the Shedd Aquarium. Dude called the number, asked for Mr. Marlin, and was told that “the animals aren’t allowed to use the telephone.”