Howard emailed me in reply to last Friday’s post about the Dodgers:
You Bastard! While I was at home watching the Dodgers on T.V. and eating a peanutbutter sandwich, you were at the game lovingly wrapping your lips around a Dodgerdog. You sexy bastard! So your punishment is to have me ramble on about the Dodgers. You were lucky to see Russell Martin do well He’s had an off year. It would be nice to see him pick it up the last couple of months of the season. He’s one of my favorite players. Why is he one of my favorite players? Mostly because of his name and his background. His full name is Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin Jr. Now that’s a name. You may have noticed (I’m guessing you didn’t.) that on the back of his jersey his name is JMartin. He did that this year to honor his mother whose maiden name is Jeanson. The Coltrane was added by his father who is a saxophone player. Did I mention he is mix-raced? And he’s from Canada. His dad is an African-Canadian. His parents split up when he was very young and he went to live with his mother in France. When he got a little older he moved back with his dad in Montreal. His dad supported them by playing jazz in the subway. The subway terminals are much nicer in Canada and street performers are more well respected there. Russ always loved baseball but it’s hard for a Canadian to get noticed so his dad worked his ass off to send his boy to a junior college in Florida that’s known for it’s baseball program. It was a very nice moment a couple off years ago when the Dodgers flew Russell Martin Sr. out to see his son play in the majors. They also had him play the national anthem on his sax. That’s when I realized that just about any song sounds good when it’s played on a saxophone.
Speaking of songs, this is the first year the Dodgers have played God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch. And I hate it. Before it was just the more traditional Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I hate forced patriotism. Teams started doing it after 9/11. The New York teams have continued playing it ever since. I have no idea why the Dodgers started doing it this year.
One more thing. A grand slam is fairly rare. I am reminded of an announcer from an eastern team, possibly from New York, and how he would call a slam. When the ball went out he would say, “Call grandma and tell her to get out the rye bread and mustard because that’s a grand salami!” It’s very stupid. And now whenever I see a grand slam that pops into my head. Who knows when you’ll ever see another grand slam but if you do, hopefully, you will think of grandma and her salami.
Just in case it isn’t painfully obvious, Howard wrote “grandma and her salami” with the specific intention of giving me nightmares.