Last summer I drove to Milwaukee with a buddy from the paper I used to write for, along with our recently resigned sports editor, if for no other reason than to enjoy the best park in the game and maybe, just maybe, get a peek at a future Hall of Fame closer.
Along the way, beer, brats, and a declaration from the editor that not only would he score good seats (he met us outside Milwaukee without tickets) but he had every intention of flirting with the lovely ladies of Suds City.
Good times until Casey McGehee crashed the fuckin’ party.
We got to the park and found our seats situated right next to a sizzling 20-something chick with short shorts and knee high socks. Even if the dude she was with had shared a right cross for all the times I took a long, smooth drink — I am comfortable saying the company we kept was worth the price of admission.
Enough of my personal sickness, to the story.
We sat¬†first base side, maybe five rows from the bag. Kick-ass seats! Thank you, StubHub!
The editor settled into the second deck in right, a silhouette in the distance, but for all his trash talking about the “Hey sexy’s” he was gonna drop on the fair felines of Miller Park, a text revealed that while he had yet to say it aloud to any one woman in particular, he had dropped it about 37 times in his mind.
Beer does not always translate to courage. Even in Milwaukee. Unless you’re Tyler.
The Crew¬†led Atlanta 2-0 into the bottom of the eighth, and¬†as we kept¬†a watchful eye on the¬†Milwaukee bullpen in left-center in the hopes at a glimpse of Trevor Hoffman warming, we got our moment, one that I am prepared to refer to as giddy. Hoffman had begun to stir, certain to enter the game after the third out to the¬†soothing sounds¬†of drunken¬†encouragment and AC/DC.
As it happened though, it was an¬†out that, thanks to McGehee, never happened.
With two outs and the bases loaded, McGehee strode to the plate and delivered a pinch-hit, seven-hopper to left that plated a pair. The Brewers lead had doubled, and as our eyes apprenhensively darted back to that Milwaukee pen, our worst fears were realized as Hoffman unleashed one more warm-up pitch, then disappeared.
Casey McGehee, that beastly bastard, had denied me my Hell’s Bells!
At that point, we all decided that it was better to beat the traffic¬†out of¬†a relatively meaningless game to go play some poker at a casino along the path home, but¬†did so¬†sans Trevor Time.
McGehee may have blasted 23 homers and driven in 104 runs last year, but in the summer of¬† ’09¬†he was just the less-than svelte rookie¬†who ruined my chance to see one of¬†history’s great closers¬†shut one down.
In the end, the long-legged, knee-high-rockin’ chick left with the dude she came with instead of my editor, who was never quite able to pull the “Hey sexy” trigger, and all I¬†had to show for the trip¬†was a yellow tee that loudly proclaimed my Chorizo support in the Sausage Race.