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June 14, 2002

6-4-3

Czervik! The Musical

by Gary Huckabay

My apologies for not writing for the last two weeks. Like most of the BP staff, I've been spending days camped out in hopes seeing the first showing of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I just can't get enough of the on-screen chemistry between Ellen Burstyn and James Garner.

Anyway, I wanted to address a couple of specific e-mails I received after speaking with some baseball fans at an impromptu Pizza Feed in Walnut Creek recently.

This Feed took place at The Vista, which is the cafeteria for John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. I was down there, sleep-deprived and grabbing one of their delectable Chinese chicken salads, when one of the staff members from upstairs approached me and asked me if I was involved in baseball. Apparently, he'd heard me talking on the phone, and was just checking in as a displaced Houston Astro fan. We started talking, sat down for a bit, and a couple of his buddies joined us. Eventually, there were a few people around, arguing about pennant races, overrated players, lousy and great ballparks, and everything else baseball.

Two things we all could agree upon: First, watching the YES Network will make you hate the Yankees faster than spending time around Red Sox fans will make you hate the Red Sox. Second, the next Bay Area Pizza Feed will not be in a hospital cafeteria.

I mentioned that I had batted around the idea of team- and broadcast-specific drinking games, based on the foibles and strengths of various teams and associated broadcasting crews. We batted around a few ideas, and I wanted to share these skeletal drinking games with you, and solicit your input for new ones, improvements, changes, deletions, whatever.

Here are some starting points for a few teams. Our family orientation here at BP prohibits me from listing the best game we came up with in the 90 minutes at that table-the Jeremy Giambi drinking game. Mr. Giambi the Younger has picked up a rather fornicative gerund as a middle name in the hills around the Oakland Coliseum.

Here we go...

The basic rules are that one swig (of delicious Coca-Cola products) shall be taken for each occurrence of the event listed. In certain cases, more copious imbibing may be required-these instances are indicated by an asterisk at the end of the event description.

The ESPN Baseball Tonight Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Harold Reynolds speaks for more than 15 seconds without including any discernable content
  • A "Web Gem" results from a poor or misdirected first step
  • Any Baseball Tonight cast member contradicts themselves (only in same show)
  • A ballplayer is referred to using only their first name or nickname ("Pedro," "A-Rod," etc.)
  • A cast member refers to a movie connected with an Italian-American director or leading man
  • Chris Berman uses a Bermanism that was already really old several years ago
  • Baseball economics is mentioned, in any form
  • A team still under .500 after a six- (or more) game winning streak is pronounced "back in it"
  • Rick Sutcliffe or Rob Dibble touches their goatees
  • Harold Reynolds leans back in his chair and demonstrably spreads his hands
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Cut away to Barry Bonds
  • Obvious time-filler of more than 15 seconds
  • American League derided
  • Dilution referenced
  • Contraction referenced
  • Word "DuPuy" spoken
  • Cast member imitates local announcer* (Double imbibe if not Skip Caray)

 

The Tampa Bay Devil Ray Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Greg Vaughn makes an out
  • Ben Grieve grounds into a double play
  • Someone who looks younger than 17 steps in the box or on the mound wearing a Devil Ray uniform
  • Director cuts field shot overly close to avoid revealing empty Tropicana Field seats
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Promotional day (cap day, bobblehead day, etc.) announced with some premium item going to the first N fans, where N is a far greater number than will actually attend
  • A 4-5-6 hitter with a career or season SLG of less than .400 steps into the box
  • Struck ball careens off an ugly-ass, functionless overhang

 

The New York Yankee (YES Network) Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • A pretentious commercial for other YES programming is run
  • Camera work allows you to identify individual pores on a ballplayer
  • Nick Johnson hit by a pitch
  • Sepia-toned footage accompanied by uplifting music
  • Phil Rizzuto referenced* (Double Imbibe)
  • Undeserving HoFer referenced (Do not double-count for Phil Rizzuto.)
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)

 

The Pittsburgh Pirate Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Bridge outside PNC Park displayed on screen
  • Owner Kevin McClatchy referenced
  • Pirate hitter grounds first pitch ineffectually to pitcher, second baseman, or shortstop
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Pirates praised for successfully executing sacrifice bunt or hit-and-run
  • Pirate hitter other than Brian Giles hits home run (theoretical only)
  • Pokey Reese or Jack Wilson makes spectacular defensive play

 

The Oakland Athletic Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Gapper hit against the A's
  • Announcers reference A's failure to sacrifice or hit-and-run
  • Miguel Tejada takes any pitch after a questionable strike call during the same plate appearance* (theoretical only)
  • On-base percentage referenced by announcers in any form (patience, plate discipline)
  • Ball lost in sun results in base hit* (one imbibe per base)
  • Fan displays badly-made sign dedicated to bench player
  • Mount Davis displayed on screen in full, looming menace
  • A's blow save
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Barry Zito curveball causes left-handed hitter to consider retirement

 

Arizona Diamondback Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Player over 32 steps in batter's box or on pitcher's mound
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Hitter misses Randy Johnson pitch by more than 12 inches
  • Reference to Byung-Hyun Kim's 2001 World Series meltdown
  • Announcers refer to the swimming pool as if it's still novel
  • Commercial break sandwiched by shots of the metalworks for the roof
  • You mistake Jerry Colangelo for John Ashcroft

 

San Francisco Giant Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Hitter having mammoth fluke season steps in batter's box
  • Barry Bonds hits a single
  • A Giant player causes you to think "This guy's still in the majors?"
  • Dodgers mentioned
  • Jon Miller in desperate need of hair trimming
  • Tim McCarver causes you to turn sound off/down/to Spanish (Es Muy Bueno!)
  • Intoxicated or mentally ill boat occupants prominently displayed (not applicable if it's you)
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Mammoth home run dies as fly-ball out in front of the 421 sign in right-center field

 

Philadelphia Phillie Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Doug Glanville swings at a pitch out of the strike zone (for dedicated drinkers only)
  • Scott Rolen dispute/trade rumors/squabble mentioned
  • Phillie Phanatic clumsily hits on divorcee with ample decolletage
  • Reliever warmed up and not brought into game
  • Ball bounces on turf to a height higher than six feet (two meters if playing Les Expos)
  • J.D. Drew is mentioned or even vaguely referenced

 

Atlanta Brave Drinking Game
Imbibe When:
  • Andruw Jones camps under a ball Jim Edmonds couldn't get close to
  • Don Sutton's perm visible
  • Dale Murphy referenced
  • Leo Mazzone shown for more than three complete rocking cycles
  • Caddyshack reference* (Double imbibe)
  • Tom Glavine pitch 7-15" outside called a ball
  • Braves' middle infielder suffers injury that takes him out of game
  • Braves' announcers vaguely imply that Javy Lopez couldn't catch a cold, much less a ballgame
  • TBS's 93rd Clint Eastwood Weekend advertised

There's not really space here for expansive lists, but this should get you going. Create your own. If you e-mail them to me, I'll compile them and make them available online.

Of course, we at BP suggest that these games be played with delicious Coca-Cola products, and not alcoholic beverages of any sort. An interesting twist on this game is to play with a heavily caffeinated beverage.

--

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who wrote in with best wishes for the recovery of all parties involved in the car accident. I didn't expect the high number and thoughtfulness of your e-mails, and I am genuinely grateful and overwhelmed. You'll be happy to know that Annie and Odin are both absolutely fine, and Kathy is home from the hospital after 17 days, walking around, and getting sick of being at home.

I also want to thank the tremendous staff at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek for their efforts, which are nothing short of heroic. Try not to ever need a hospital, but if you do, you'll be in good hands there. Those people work their asses off, under some of the most stressful conditions imaginable. Thank you, JMMC!

Healing up nicely....

 

Gary Huckabay is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact him by clicking here.

 

Gary Huckabay is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Gary's other articles. You can contact Gary by clicking here

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Premium Article The Daily Prospectus: ... (06/13)
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6-4-3: Rounding the Ba... (05/24)
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Transaction Analysis: ... (06/14)

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