This is part two of my five-city travelogue broadcasting for the Seattle Mariners. Part one (Seattle and New York) was yesterday.
We were in Boston for two days. This trip was like the Newt Gingrich whistle-stop tour on Super Tuesday. Found a great diner for breakfast. Charlie’s. Try the cranberry pancakes. You’ll notice a bathroom sink in the corner of the dining room. Don’t know why but at least it’s not a urinal.
Stayed in town just long enough to lose two games to the Red Sox. The British had better luck in Boston than we did. The Bosox now had something like 74,286 consecutive sellouts at Fenway Park, but for our series many of those fans must’ve come dressed as seats. Especially the second game, which was played in a light steady rain.
Yet for sheer ambiance there’s no better ballpark in the world than Fenway Park. I love when the half-empty… I mean sellout crowd sings “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond in the 8th inning. What says baseball more than an ode to feeling-up Caroline Kennedy? Has anyone ever actually listened to those lyrics?
On to Cleveland and the Indians.
The big news there was the opening of a casino downtown. No, it wasn’t an “Indian” casino. It was the Horseshoe Casino and it debuted the day before we arrived. How starved is this city for entertainment? People stood in a long three-hour line in the freezing cold just for the privilege of losing their money.
It was “Puppy Palooza” night at Progressive Field for the first Mariners-Indians game. There were 500 dogs in the crowd. Little tykes were fighting angry German-Shepherds for foul balls.
Game two was a noon affair, or 9:00 AM back in Seattle. I thanked our listeners for setting their alarms for Mariners baseball. There were more people in line for the casino than at the ballgame. More dogs too.
We lost to the Sons of the Wigwam in ugly fashion then winged on to Colorado. I fully expected to see Phil Keoghan from THE AMAZING RACE waiting at our hotel to tell us we were eliminated.
Here’s the difference between Seattle and Denver: Mariners games are sponsored by the Washington State Dental Service; a Rockies’ sponsor is Green Mountain Guns.
Wandered over to the 16th Street Mall, a picturesque tree-lined outdoor mall featuring every franchise restaurant and shoe store in America short of Arby’s (which is both). It was a lovely warm night, folks were dining at outdoor cafes and in one block I encountered two guys beating the living crap out of each other. One spectator thought they were street performers. Bystanders were trying to separate the two brawlers and this girl tossed in a quarter. And this was six hours after there had been a shooting on the mall. Yeah, I guess you’re not going to get too much protection from the Washington State Dental Service when you hit the mean malls of Denver.
This may be the only town in America where there are more medical marijuana clinics than Starbucks. And they all have appropriate health-industry names like “Cannabis Street.”
Friday it was 85 and clear. Saturday it was 45 and snowed an hour away. But that’s Denver in the spring… and summer… and fall… and winter.
The Mighty M’s swept all three games! Our young catcher, Jesus Montero hit a mammoth home run. They put baseballs in a humidor now at Coors Field to keep them from flying out at alarming rates in the thin atmosphere, but I said on the air you could put that ball in the humidor, you could dip it in caramel, bake it at 450 for three hours and it would still leave the yard. What a bolt!
The Mariners headed home and I returned to Los Angeles, flying the crowded skies of United. What a culture shock to the go from the luxury of a charter flight to the cattle-train scene from DR. ZHIVAGO.
Thanks to the Mariners, 710 KIRO, my broadcast partners Rico, Kev, Blow, Big Sims, Big Ticket, Mark, and Shannon, and all the listeners who didn’t turn off the radio the moment I came on. I had great fun but it’s good to be home. Now what am I gonna do with all these hats?