Sunday, September 28, 2008

What makes you think I'm drunk, officer?

It’s a good thing I wasn’t stopped by a cop on the way home.

I was drenched in alcohol. A walking frat house. I would have failed a breathalyzer test from a block away. Just imagine that drunk uncle you always avoid at Thanksgiving.

The explanation I would give the officer, as I dripped on his shoes, was that I was in the Dodgers’ clubhouse celebration at Dodger Stadium. They had just clinched the National League West championship and as is the custom, celebrated by pouring champagne over each other’s head. It’s a wild scene and certainly a unique experience to be a part of.

My job was to interview crazed players for the Dodgers radio network. Try telling a guy putting ice down your back that you need them for a couple of minutes to talk coherently. I was doing okay avoiding the suds until pitcher Chad Billingsley blasted me with a full bottle. Thanks, Chad. From what I could taste, wearing was better than drinking that champagne. Winos would send back this swill.

I felt like I was back in Jr. High, asking girls to dance, except instead of adorable coeds in party dresses these were sodden behemoths in their underwear.

What made the celebration a little bizarre was that it came ten hours after they had clinched, thus cutting down the spontaneity factor by just a tad. The team that was chasing them was eliminated earlier in the day. And the Dodgers still had a game that night. I suggested to manager Joe Torre that they celebrate before the game. I would love to have seen nine guys just staggering out to their positions. The crowd cheers. They all hold their ears. Someone tries to stretch a double to a triple and throws up on the shortstop. They could still beat the Padres, by the way.

I managed to snare a few players and ask them the usual questions. Isn’t it exciting? You never gave up, did you? You get the idea. The question I wanted to ask but just didn’t have the time was:

“How much money did you lose in the stock market this week?”

Thanks to Andre Ethier (pictured above), Jeff Kent, Casey Blake (pictured right), Mark Sweeney, and Joe Beimel for agreeing to go on with me. And Howard Hoffman for the pictures. And Chan Ho Park for spraying that Fox Sports chick and missing me. Howard, I wish you had a shot of her.

I’ve been covering the Dodgers since way back in February and have gotten to know many of the players. I’m happy for the fans but thrilled for them. They’re terrific guys all. The playoffs begin this week. Good luck to your favorite team. Unless they’re playing my favorite team.

Meanwhile, I’m buying a poncho. And lining up a designated driver.

9 comments:

D. McEwan said...

Many long years ago, during their KFI days, Lohman & Barkley decided that regular folks, who heard about and saw these champagne shower Bacchanals on TV, but never got to participate in them, might like to experience one.

They arranged for the use of The Rose Bowl, and took a busload of listeners (One designated driver for all.) from KFI to The Rose Bowl, where, down in a locker room, they all got to whoop and holler like banshees for no actual reason whatever, and douse each other with the cheapest champagne KFI could cough up.

I was working for Whittington there at the time, and had done some free-lance writing for L&B, so I got to come along.

Thus I have been soaked, head-to-toe with cheap bubbly booze by Al Lohman himslef, and I'd take Al over any Dodger past or present.

But, not being a drinker myself, I was still cold sober for the bus ride back. Man, that was one smelly bus ride. And there's nothing quite like being almost the only sober person in a small, confined space with a hoarde of booze-soaked drunks.

At least I got to wash-off and change clothes back at the radio station before my drive home.

Al & Rog. Man, I miss those guys.

Congrats on scoring a couple more weeks work.

DrBear said...

Just have the Dodgers beat the Cubs, plskthxbye. If so, we'll see you in Milwaukee.

Mary Stella said...

Goooo Phillies!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know, some people go to exclusive, expensive spas and pay exorbitant amounts of money to soak in bubbling jet spas filled with champagne.

I wonder if Dom Perignon is better for skin exfoliation than Korbel.

John said...

Hey, you could have told the officer you were headed downtown to be Heather Locklear's designated driver.

(And it could have been worse -- you could have been the guy stuck doing the farewell to Shea Stadium event after the Mets lost to the Marlins, where right in the middle of it, they posted the Brewers' 3-1 final over the Cubs.)

DodgerGirl said...

We were watching the final Dodgers-Giants game on Sunday, and were unfortunately stuck with the Giants announcers for the broadcast. One of them said that Jeff Kent is beloved in San Francisco and the boos he receives every time he's up to bat are only because he is missed so much in SF.

I didn't know baseball commentators were capable of such deadpan humor. Present company excepted, of course.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Go Cubs. If they flop, Go Phillies. I'd love to see a Cubs/Devil Rays World Series. A team that has never been there versus a team that hasn't been there in human memory.

And to no one in particular: The hoard/horde error is common, and we must needs know the correct usage. I won't even mention the hoarde/whored question.

temparoo said...

Ken,

Love your posts, Love the Dodgers. Do they still have the blue crew? You know the monthly newsletter and certificate signed by Tommy Lasorda, well I guess now by Joe? I am trying my hand in this blog business, and failing miserably, maybe I am not the gifted writer you are. You have the common sense to write about Sports, and I write about homebirthing, and the olympics, and Trial perscription medicine, and whale oil being the answer to our dependency on foreign oil, oh well. Thanks again for another entertaining blog.

MB
temparoo.blogspot.com

Jayne said...

I was able to catch a glimpse of the bottle Mark Attanasio was holding during the Brewers celebration. And yep, it was about the cheapest stuff you can get!

Never had the pleasure of a Champagne Shower but if the Brewers win the series by some miracle on earth, I may break out the Andre Champagne!

GO BREWERS!!!!

Ref said...

Sorry, pal. I know they're a capricious bunch and all that, but the Gods Of Baseball should never let Manny near the Promised Land again after the crap he pulled in Boston this year!