Friday, April 20, 2012

My Friend Ivan

I have this wonderful friend, or should I say WE have this friend. His name is Ivan. I met Ivan when I moved back to Vegas from San Diego back in 2006. My memories of him include, but are not limited to, late nights dancing with a ton of friends and getting totally twacked on red bull... Fight parties at his house and him laughing at me because I despise Anderson Silva... Trips to Zion and his great laugh... Him hanging my Mom's Christmas lights one year and her repaying him in cookies. Cookies are legal tender in this crowd :)
Here is what I know about Ivan: he's friends with EVERYONE... He's constantly helping new guys, I don't think I've ever seen him with an empty car. EVER. His whip is always full of people, and he doesn't discriminate, he's an equal opportunity friend. The guy is an inspiration.
I usually write these pieces on baseball, or famous people who have died, or my once crazy love life, but today I want to honor my friend, our friend. Who, in a few short days is moving to Uganda. I haven't been able to look at him lately without crying. When I think of the space that he is going to leave behind. I don't question his reasons, no one has to tell me about wanting to be closer to family, hell, I moved from the beach to the desert in the middle of July because I missed my folks so damn much. 6 years later, I've never regretted that decision and I know that Ivan won't either.
He's been a staple in our community for almost 8 years and I'm sad to see him go. Tomorrow we celebrate his home-going and we get to enjoy his company just a little while longer, of course, if I don't want to wait, I'm sure that I can pop over to Bachi Burger, cause chances are, he'll be there :) Maybe there's a way that we can overnight him some Bachi Burger to the U G A... Hmmm
Godspeed, our dear friend. Thank you for who you are and all that you have done. You will be missed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Get A Broom!!

So.... It's Jackie Robinson Day. The day where ever player on every team wears #42 with no name on their jersey. It's a special day. It's even more special for the Dodgers, since they were the team that broke the color barrier. It was extra beautiful today because Vin Scully was back and my lefty was on the bump.
Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw did not dominate the way he usually does. Matt Kemp in full BeastMode hit his 6th home run of the season and before I could say boo, the boys were ahead 4 to 1 in the 5th. Kersh walked three straight and all of a sudden we're tied at 4. Fast forward and the boys get a triple play. It happens so rarely in baseball, so it's truly special when it does.
So here we are in the bottom of the ninth and the bases are loaded. Hairston is in to pinch hit and he fouled out, then Dee Gordon steps to the plate. Skinny Swag had a rough day, he missed some key plays that could have saved Kershaw's bacon... But Flash came through. He hits a walk off single and the Boys in Blue win their 9th game of the season.
They are off to a 9 and 1 start, now I realize they've played teams who are just bad. But I'm still excited about the best start since 1981... When I was a mere 3 years old :)
It's been a good weekend. The Dodgers won Friday, Saturday and today. We went to a beautiful wedding yesterday, and the weather is finally settling down. There's a lot to be excited about!!! Yeah, it's the Padres & the Pirates, but back to back sweeps is something to smile about!!!
It's an extra special day for baseball and I'm a happy and hopeful Dodger fan!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hard Not To Be Excited...

It's hard not to be excited about this ball club. I mean, I'm excited and hopeful at the start of EVERY season... But this one, it just feels different somehow. I suppose I say that every year. I know that Dee Gordon is faaaaassst... Like rocket fast and he's so much fun to watch. I timed him on Tuesday, he was on first base for less than a minute before he stole second. He was safe at 2 before Barajas even knew that he was gone... He scored within 4 minutes of reaching first base. That's how quickly he manufactured a run. unbelievable.
I know that my Lefty, Clayton Kershaw, was battling the flu on Opening Day. He came out and dealt anyway, he pitched 3 innings, the infield backed him up... he hit a double and pitched himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the third before Donnie Baseball yanked him. He threw 77 pitches during Tuesdays game and struck out 7. This kid is special and so much fun to watch.
Andre Ethier has seemed to find his bat... Kinda, and it looks like he's actually having fun playing baseball again. Matt Kemp is Matt Kemp, he's also explosive and fun to watch. I'm excited about Justin Sellers, I'm NEVER excited about Juan Uribe, I'm curious as to what A.J Ellis may have up his sleeve.
But most of all, I'm hopeful. The Dodgers have a new ownership group on its way in... A group led by Magic Johnson (Magic loves LA and LA loves Magic) and baseball genius Stan Kasten. No one spends 2 billion on a team without intention of making it a dynasty. This gives me some hope, and peace that this storied franchise will no longer be dragged through the mud.
This is the time of year where everything is exciting, everyone has hope, I hear Vin Scully and I know that somehow, everything is right with the world... at least for those 9 innings....