Breakfast / …LIFE… / Baseball

Watch Baseball
BobLee
July30/ 2016

Between Breakfast & Baseball… I manage to cope with Life.  These be “trying times”. Whether your personal short list of daily concerns are (1) How UNCCH’s Great Unpleasantness will be resolved…. if it ever is …. (2) How, out of 350,000,000 possibilities did it come down to either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton …. (3) Will the ACC Network awaken your favorite “sleeping giant” ….. (4) Will your or a friend or family member’s biopsy come back positive ?? We all wake up each morning with some concerns weighing on our mind.

I’m not saying my strategy for getting through a day will work for you. It is a simple two-pronged approach:

Breakfast   /… “Life” … /   Baseball

I usually get up around 5:00 / 5:30. My Keurig is set for 5:10. I pour my one cuppa coffee with a splash of Amaretto flavored creamer. I fire up the Mac. I delete the dozen or so junk notices from “that Nigerian banker” (you know the one) and checkout all the folks who decided overnight they want to be my Facebook friend.  I am really popular lately with real estate agents in Charlotte and Wilmington… and some galoot in Uzbekistan named Omar.

I delete requests from girls named for herbs or constellations and anyone whose Facebook picture is obviously “a mug shot”.

I check 2-3 sports websites to see if UFC has gone away yet.  I keep hoping. Research keeps proving if I don’t check sports websites for a six weeks period, I will have missed absolutely nothing. ESPN will have gotten noticeably more aggressive in its overt politicial partisanship. ….. High profile athletes will have said something incredibly stupid on social media then said something even stupider when nitwit fans responded to their first stupid comment.  Like I said…. nothing.

I get Blondie her cuppa coffee around 6:30 / 7:00 depending on how dire the world situation became overnight.  How many are depending on her to talk them off the ledge. That number seems to be increasing daily.

Diner##


About 8:00 I go out for Breakfast.
I employ a four-restaurant rotation all within two miles of BobLee World HQ.  I am immediately recognized and greeted warmly by the staff.  We exchange sincere smiles but, unlike Cheers, Nobody Knows My Name.   I’m that tall man with the beard and the baseball cap.   There is that one place I am greeted with “Good Morning Mr (Sean) Connery”.  I order from my 2-3 usuals, and left alone to observe humanity personified by my fellow diners…. and to listen to my current audiobook.  I would not change a thing about How I Do Breakfast.

No. I do NOT meet 3-4 other guys at “our booth” to continue complaining about whatever they complained about the day before.

Between Breakfast w/ my books in the AM and 7:00 PM at night I am either composing an incredibly insighful commentary or coming up with a flimsy excuse not to.  I go thru spurts where I go to the gym every day…. also with my audiobooks.  Maybe I do lunch with A Somebody or just with somebody.  Odds are whoever, they are, they are at least “half a bubble out of plumb”.

I noted Blondie talking folks “off the ledge”. Who talks the talker off the ledge?  That be me – Blondie’s Safety Net.

Too often I surf the net or destroy braincells exposing myself to social media.  Hard-core porn is less dangerous to one’s psychological wellbeing than a standard Facebook or Twitter thread.  If Bread & Circus did in the Romans…. Social Media may do in America.

I rarely comment on social media other than to post one of these columns.  Five minutes on Facebook gets me contemplating “going off the grid” or reconsidering my personal policy on hallucinogenic drugs.

###

Then it’s 7 / 8:00 PM and Time for Cardinals Baseball. For the next three hours I will be totally removed from all the crap.  I wear noise-cancelling headphones to insure I’m “in the zone”.

Cardinals Baseball

I have followed baseball for over half a century but never game-by-game over an entire MLB season. I am not sure what I would do without that escape in these trying times.  I watched less than 15 minutes TOTAL of the two political conventions.

I subscribe to MLB.tv Premium. I get the telecast of every Cardinals game except when they play The Nats…. with the team’s play-by-play team. That service runs $120/season and is wonderful. You have to have Apple-tv or Hulu or similar receiving device.

The pure delight is not that it is The Cardinals; but simply it is a team which I closely follow and am familiar with the personnel and personalities. Watching “just any baseball game” would not be the same.  A connection to the team is a factor for me. I watch EVERY game regardless of who they are playing.  A recent four-game series against the totally anonymous Padres…. I watched every inning.

Baseball is an exercise in accepting the inevitability of failure. Over a 162 game season, the best teams will lose 60 games. Probably 70-75. The best players will “fail” 7 out of 10 times.   Even in this “off year” by Cardinals’ standards, they are on track to win 85-90 games and go into each game with a legitimate chance to win.  A sweep of The Cubs in Wrigley last month proved that.

My joy is each game is a pleasure all by itself.  Win or Lose it’s “one game”.  Tomorrow is another one. I like that.  The ones you win in April, you don’t have to win in September.   Baseball is also the only team sport without a clock.  “Not over until the last man is out” is always true ever how daunting the comeback might be. I rarely turn off a game…. until that 27th out. I prefer “my team” win; but the ebb / flow drama of the game is what I enjoy.

In politics I don’t “like” either side; but I do strongly dislike one side.  In Baseball I don’t dislike any team; I just really like one team.  Maybe it’s “the birds on the bat” and The Arch out beyond centerfield?

Following “my team” over 162 games I endure the slumps of each player… and their hot streaks. I get to know the personalities.  “My Cardinals” wMike Mathenyill probably miss the playoffs this season. The team’s “core” is about two years too old athletically versus their direct competitors. Some retooling is coming in the off-season.  I totally trust GM “Moz” and “Manager Mike”

They talk about changing Baseball to broaden its appeal to upcoming generations. I hope they don’t to any noticeable degree.  What I love about Baseball is exactly what millennial focus groups complain about…. the pace of the game…. the traditions.

I have never (1) played a video game; or (2) watched a Game of Thrones episode.  I can’t name any song by Katy Perry, Justin Beiber or any “rapper”.  I am a pop culture outlier. Not as much as “Albert” but closer to “Albert” than I ever want him to know.

At each game’s end – win or lose – I give Blondie the good/bad news. She doesn’t deal with Ls very well. Two straights Ls back in mid April and she wrote off the season.

Ready for bed, I ponder:  “Where do I want to have breakfast tomorrow morning?

###

Last Tuesday morning (After Breakfast) I got a phone call from some fella named “Danny”.  He asked for my permission to ask Kid to marry him.  Both times Kid brought him home over the past two years, he sent us HAND-WRITTEN Thank You notes.  WHOA!  That was enough Due Diligence for me.  Permission granted. …. Now I have three months to memorize “Her Mother & I”.

###

But Wait …. There’s More …. LINK!

BobLee
  • Jon Sasser Reply
    9 months ago

    BL,

    Congrats to “Kid” and Danny. Athletes who are not sports fans are much preferable to fans who never played the game.

    Hope Judge Bob, BOG Guy, and I do not have to put our game faces on once the UNC response comes out.

    Remember, it’s either “her Mother and Father,” or “her Mother and I.” Practice it too much, and you might blurt out: “her Mother and Father and I.”

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      I’m more worried with the “I” vs “me” snafu. TGU will NEVER end regardless… It is eternal.

  • BOG GUY Reply
    9 months ago

    Sounds like a pretty good routine to me. Good breakfast, good books (though I like mine in hardback, not on audio or, perish the thought, Kindle) and good baseball. My Ozzie Smith autographed hat and my Enos Slaughter autographed baseball are two of my favorite pieces of sports memorabilia. I also have a pair of really cool “bird on the bat” painted, die-cast cuff links. ECU almost had a “Trout” and N C State almost had a “Trot”, as in former Red Sox Trot Nixon. Trot was one of the best high school football players in North Carolina, and was coming to Raleigh to be the next great Wolfpack quarterback, until the majors came calling. I, like you, love the traditions of the game and hope they never change.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      Trout AND Trot !!! I forgot about “Trot”. One of UNC Mike Fox’s boys is in the headlines – Andrew Miller – goes from NYY to Cleveland. Maybe Miller will face Nationals’ SS Trea Turner in late October? Don’t think My Cardinals have the roster to “do it” this year.

  • TheCowdog Reply
    9 months ago

    Allow me to assist on pant length origins. The style is called “Blousing.”

    The first appearance shall be credited to the 1975 Clemson Tigers. When they showed up at Doak with those full lenghth unis, we jockeyed them unmercifully.
    …Then whooped their tails.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      “Blousing” ??? I have never heard that. If Sammy’s Boys beat Wilhem’s Boys then I assume our buddy Tom Hayes was NOT on the mound at Doak that day. Hayes claims Clemson “owned him”.

  • BC.in.PV Reply
    9 months ago

    Great column-I can relate! Congrats to “Kid” and Danny. That will be a very emotional day for you and Blondie!!!!

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      WHAT? You mean I’m not the first Daddy to have to “give his little girl away” ?? I’ve got the “Her Mother and Me/I” thing down pat. My remarks at the Rehearsal Dinner likely to generate “Who is this GUY? He’s nutz.” Won’t be the first time for that. 🙂

  • MAHA Reply
    9 months ago

    I aint never getting use to the long pants. Looks like they’re playing in their pajamas. When did that start anyway? Black thing? MAHA.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      I appreciate your opinion. I don’t think it is/was “a black thing”. Not sure of its genesis. … “Length of pants” seems an issue in another sport of course – basketball ?? … Whats I find curious is that it is each player’s option to go long / short and some go back-forth. The guys that go “knickers” do NOT wear the stirrup socks (w/ sanitaries) that was the style before “the softball pants”. So many questions ???

  • TJ Reply
    9 months ago

    Hey Bob,

    Heard HRC made slick Willy change his speech at the DNC. He started “In 1972 I met a girl then in 1974 I met two other girls and in 1976 I met four other girls but two were married and one was fifteen.”

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      I liked the part “I was so smitten by her (HRC) that I didn’t start cheating on her until after our 3rd date…”

  • OldWuf Vet Reply
    9 months ago

    Enjoyed the “day in the life of” an internet legend. Gives me something to aspire to.(without the column writing and a different MLB team). Congrats on the pending nuptials. Not sure I’m prepared for that phone call; hopefully I’ve got 4-6 more years. I still find myself contemplating sinister methods of disposing of some of the daughter’s suitors. So far she hasn’t been hesitant to kick them to the curb; but I feel the need to be ready. Sounds like Kid picked the right one.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      We certainly hope so. All the key components are in place. They have dated for 2+ years so “the get to know” is as complete as possible. Both are in their late 20s so not really “kids”. They will be living in Madison WI where he will direct a campus ministry (in a somewhat hostile environment). UnivofWiscy worked out well for Russell so we’ll see. 🙂

  • Bobby Reply
    9 months ago

    Cuz–Why don’t you eat one morning at the new Big Eds, Sammy, recently graduated from college, and now is washing dishes, Look him up. I’m sure I know Jim Ellis (from Goldsboro) and read his comment. Hope I know how to get this to you. Bobby

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      You did fine. The North Raleigh Big Ed’s is way too fancy for my little ritual, but I will go just for you. 🙂 … Yes, that is Goldsboro’s Jim Ellis.

  • Harper Cooper Reply
    9 months ago

    DEJA VU. Sitting here reading BobLee talk about breakfast and baseball. We ate at midnight and slept till noon. So, no breakfast for the players. At the same time,I’m watching the Fox Business News Channel with Oliver North and War Stories. This episode just happened to be about WWII and the boys of summer that served our country and interviews with some of them. If you can get replays, it is well worth watching. I’m sure there were some that weren’t mentioned but, these were : Jerry Coleman, Johnny Mize,Schoolboy Rowe,Bob Feller, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, the DiMaggio brothers, Monte Irvin, Warren Spahn, Yogi Berra, Morrie Martin. Some even served in Korea. None regretted their service to their country and some thought it was a greater accomplish in their life than major league baseball. Great Americans. Don’t think today players would have the same attitude.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      YIKES! Great hearing from you HC. I’m afraid you are correct, but the same might apply to society in general not just ballplayers.

  • Frank Styers Reply
    9 months ago

    Bob,
    It’s funny how lives are the same and yet different. I too have breakfast, but at home, then work out on my Cable system then, come home to watch the ST. Louis Cardinals. I doze until the 6th or 7th just to see my main man Seth Maness gets a call! I sit behind HP at ECU for baseball. I watched Seth for his 4 yrs. as he was a master at the art of pitching. I do wish he would have had a better first half this year but the second half looks better for him. Last Sunday night if they had started him I think he could have gone 7 and won that game. He was always a slow starter in college and would always finish strong in the late innings. You had to get to him early. Love my Red Birds too!

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      He (Seth) has been MUCH better since coming back from the elbow soreness. Last Sunday was a Nightmare Trainwreck for that young kid. Rough start tonight for Garcia, Seth might see action by 5th-6th inning tonight. Life as a middle reliever is a strange one. You get 1-2 inning under pressure. Not the glamour of a starter or closer but valuable in today’s game strategy. You know, of course, that Seth is from Southern Pines NC.

      • Frank Styers Reply
        9 months ago

        Yes, and a fine PIRATE Argggggggg!

        • BobLee Reply
          9 months ago

          He almost had a teammate in Greenville named “Trout”. Had Mike Trout not signed out of high school he was coming to ECU.

          • Frank Styers
            9 months ago

            Wait till the kid from Bunn get there next year! Trout like kid and player! Only HS All American not signed as a pro and attending school.

  • Jim Ellis Reply
    9 months ago

    I reckon I am an lost soul in many regards, but I do like baseball. I am The Last Great Yankees fan but, since I don’t have cable/dish/magic wands I seldom see one of their games unless it’s a weekend special. So, I watch watch I can. Last night brought a special reward.

    I was watching the Nationals-Giants game on TV. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the full house of Giants fans got all excited. Trailing 4-1, San Francisco loaded the bases. The batter hit a low line drive that was caught cleanly by the first baseman (Out 1). He doubled the runner at first (Out 2) and then threw across the diamond to the third baseman who had no problem stepping on the empty bag because the runner was almost at home plate (Out 3). The runner obviously thought the ball got past the first baseman. (The only name I can furnish is “Buster Posey.” He was one of the men on base.)

    It was the first triple play I have seen in all of the baseball games I have seen in person or on television. It happened so quickly and so casually that I was not sure I had really seen it. The TV people did a good job of replaying it from four or five different perspectives. To add a personal perspective, I am 83, an unreconstructed sportswriter and go all the way back to knowing that Charlie Keller, the great King Kong, played for the Kinston Eagles in the Coastal Plain League.

    I replayed it all this morning when I went to McDonald’s for coffee, worked a crossword puzzle and managed, as usual, to ignore the five “old guys” who sits across the aisle and have a strikingly familiar conversation every morning.

    The Expatriate

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      I heard about that 3-3-5 Triple Play last night! I don’t even think Kennel pulled off one of those (but he might say he did). Stay away from those angry ol’ men complaining about bowel movements, politics and Marilyn Monroe vs Jane Russell. Those guys are scary.

  • PeteM Reply
    9 months ago

    BL, where are you on the designated hitter rule?

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      I like it just the way it is. The one league has it / the other doesn’t is a wonderful oddity that I love. … I have also come around to the “long pants” but that has taken time.

  • Bob Kennel Reply
    9 months ago

    But does Danny pull for the Redbirds?😊
    Congratulations in any case!!
    Maybe you need to start charging for your humor, entertainment, and political wisdom. If it’s for Kid’s wedding, I’d pay for the first two.
    Understand your routine. Was up until 1:45am for Dodger win and strange Giant loss last night.
    Actually enjoyed the political conventions last two weeks. Understand why Judge Orr or you and most of your responding friends would not. Trump is beyond the pale and his Putin obsession is strange. I predict it will come down to business dealings in Crimea organized by his campaign manager😠
    Meanwhile my buddy Barber had a great message on morals rather than politics as well as a federal repeal of vote suppression legislation.
    The “bad” brother RNC chair is a good friend on NC State athletics but still needs a Judge Orr understanding of his Presidential candidate. Long 3 months coming up.😃

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      Actually Danny doesn’t. Not much of a baseball fan or avid sports fan at all. Chose Div III Wheaton over several Big 10 FB offers. Shares my cynicism with Big Time College Sports.
      .
      Anything I might say about “your buddy Barber” would hurt your feelings. Nothing to be gained doing that. He is adept at stage craft and knows his audience’s “hot buttons”… like every effective Democrat demagogue. … Elizabeth Warren? THAT crazy b*tch makes Nancy Pelosi almost seem sane by comparison. I say “almost”.

      • Doug Reply
        9 months ago

        All the social programs instituted since 1964 (The Great Society) through whatever is the latest, greatest political program to eradicate the poverty and all its ills and we still have the same issues in 2016? I’d ask Mr Kennel and the RBB. Is it more important to end hunger and the plight of the poor or is it more important to maintain that base as a reliable political tool? What could we, what should we, do differently? BTW, those pathetic buffoons in the NC legislature really screwed up on the voter ID law. Instead, they should have just scrapped all voting machines and go back to 100% paper ballots. Good old fashion voter fraud is far less scary than computer generated fraud.

        • BobLee Reply
          9 months ago

          In all of Kennel’s buddy’s Grand Orations you never hear a word about “the total dissolution of AfAm family” or “why black men won’t wear condoms”… or, of course, black on white or black on black crime. Until Kennel’s buddy can find a way to blame any of those on “Satan’s Party” i.e. Republicans we won’t hear a word from him. Give Barber credit for a total bamboozle of the Democ sheeple. Jim Jones, L. Ron Hubbard and Reverend Moon would be impressed. …
          .
          As for rampant Democ voter fraud, they are soooo good at that after 50 years, they would quickly find a way around Voter ID. … what Repub elected official would DARE to call them out?

          • NCSU68Grad
            9 months ago

            OK, who wins the pool? As Popeye says, “I’ve stands as much as any man can and can’t stands no more…”

            RBB is MORAL? Huh? When did he start going into the poor neighborhoods and admonishing the black girls to quit having sex as a reward for supplementing the family’s income with more “here’s your free feces stuff” babies? When did he admonish the youth (in Kinston who want to be NBA stars) that Condoms keep you safe and also keep you from having to quit school and support a family and also, if you DO make the NBA, keep the paternity suits from piling up? When did he join the Stop Hunger Now movement and put down his fork? I could go on…but I think that folks get the point.

            It seems to be a contest….who can be more liberal and dumb and squat to pee? Nancy, queen of the CA facelift with so much political graft and baggage from Obumer’s GIFT in 2010 to STIMULATE the Economy. Her hubby and relative and political allies made out like a bandit. When will some reporter actually ASK why her restaurants are NON-UNION (to make more profit for the owner?). Don’t hold your breath on that one….

            Pocahontas? Give me ALSO a break. She is a SHAM native American. The press will not call her out. Her liberal views of Wall Street and how she is gonna take them down….as in SHAKE THEM DOWN are the fodder of Barney and Chris…..BOTH of them were neck deep in the Mortgage Shakedown and Recession. SO, rather than take the blame, they, after they had THEIR fun….denounced it. Reminds me of some black social dogooder reverends that DENOUNCE the birth rate of the black girls, but have several out of wedlock little rabble rousers growing up. BUT, their wives, taking a page from the Hillary “Stand by Your Man” comic opera, stick around. THEY no longer have to provide conjugal services….but still get to be the Black Queen Bee. Not really a bad gig. And the Rainbow PUSH (Organized Black Mafia) pays the tow with money that they collect for NOT destroying a company’s reputation over an out of control employee.

            I think that Queen Bee Pelosi realized her title as the hippy dippy dummy Liberal female of the year (and THAT is saying something since Donna Brazille, Debby Wasserman Schultz, Huma, and the others are really GOOD at being liberal and dump and dippy) title was in danger of being taken away by Pocahontas….so she adlibbed the comment that MOST (all) white males will NOT vote for Crooked Hillary because they have the 3G virus (Guns, Gays & God).

            EOR (End of Rant). Call your next case

          • BobLee
            9 months ago

            Oh My… about 50 more words and that would qualify as a full-blown Bill Clinton speech.
            .
            You left out Jennifer Grantholm. She is chasing Eliz Warren for “The If Sheila Jackson-Lee was a Crazy White Gal” award.
            .
            I post a nice little piece about Breakfast / Baseball and it turns into “Roast BK and His Loonie Buddies on A Bayonet”.

  • Terri-Hickory Reply
    9 months ago

    BL, you mention your audiobooks. Found any good new authors lately? Our tastes are usually pretty close.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      As a matter of fact I have. An author named Raymond Benson received permission from Ian Fleming’s estate to carry on the James Bond series. I’m into my 2nd one and they are quite good… all the elements you expect to find. He has about a dozen stories. Check’em out. Also… reading the original Ian Fleming novels is a treat. He goes into how Bond became Bond.
      .
      One of my favorites – Harlan Coben has a new Myron Bolitar story coming out this Fall. Myron is “a former Duke BB AA” who becomes a sports agent/investigator. I picture Myron as Jim Spanarkel. Myron’s sidekick – Win – is a total Brooks Brothers BadAss.

  • robedixon Reply
    9 months ago

    Interesting your post on mornings and breakfast was posted right about the time my bride and I were discussing the same situation. As you, I get up around 5 AM, do some morning catch up reading, take a shower, and when at our inland home head out for breakfast at one of two places. Yes they know me both places, one by looks and the other by name. I do breakfast and do some more morning reading and occasionally listen to the table of older guys who regularly sit and discuss and not solve the world’s problems. Works well. However the discussion this morning revolved around where we are at today and that is our beach home.
    .
    For many years the place to go was a little diner called “Mikes”, owned by Mike who knew me and the wait staff who did as well. Nice cheap breakfast among people I really enjoyed being around, down to earth folks like the local military, fishermen, and the people headed out for a days work. That place closed in December last year when Mike retired and frankly I find myself lost as to where to go here at da beach for breakfast. As this breakfast thing is a biggy for me I actually considered buying Mikes place just to be able to go have breakfast there in the future, but decided that might not be the wisest idea at my age. So my choices are, Hardees..nope, McDonalds..nope, and two high brow cafes that attract those with which I prefer not to do breakfast. Yes this is not among the world’s real problems, and certainly does not rank up there with TGU crowd, but as you might expect I find it most concerning because doing breakfast out early is well just something most older guys I know find a most enjoyable part of the day.

    • BobLee Reply
      9 months ago

      Probably too far from your beach place but there is a great “breakfast place” over in Morehead on West Arendall. I think next to EJW Sports. Used to be Donut House. Also a nice “our kinda place” over in Beaufort. My choice on Atlantic Beach is that place at the main intersection, I forget the name. … Oddly, one of my local Raleigh places is Steak & Shake. They have 4-5 great B-fast choices and I’m usually the only one there. Just came back from there. 🙂

      • robedixon Reply
        9 months ago

        I know the place in Morehead and it is really good, just too far as you say. I got two others in one Swansboro on the river and another in Cape Carteret that I will be trying after the busy season is over.

        • BobLee Reply
          9 months ago

          I know the one in Swansboro. “OK”. … There is a WhiteSwan BBQ joint at PIne Knoll Shores near our condo I frequent. Also “OK”.

        • SonOf NC Reply
          9 months ago

          Try the Carteret Cafe just N of “the Bridge” in Cape Carteret. Been there a few times in the last year. Best sausage links around.

          • BobLee
            9 months ago

            Thats on the other end of the Island from us (in Pine Knoll Shores) but always good to know for Dixon.

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