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Scenes from Spring Training: The Most Interesting Man in the World

Mar 7, 2012, 7:51 AM EDT

TT Roadhoue

After I left the ballpark yesterday afternoon I came back to my hotel and placed my health first among all other things. First, I moved into my new non-smoking room, which was good for my lungs. Then I went to the fitness center and ran on a treadmill for 45 minutes which was good for my heart, body and soul.

Then I went to In-n-Out Burger and ate this followed by a trip to a dive bar called TT Roadhouse where I hoisted the moist with a friend of mine. No, I don’t think it’s safe to say that I’m in the best shape of my life after all of that. Hell, I’m not even in the best shape of the bloggers on this site.

The friend of mine was a former sportswriter and former blogger named Connor Doyle who I met back in the Shysterball days.  When I was here last year, as some of you may remember, I had beers with him and DIPS legend Voros McCracken and nearly started a race riot. Last night wasn’t quite as scary, but it definitely turned strange.

We had been there a little over an hour or so when a man with a gigantic head wound came up and sat down at our table and began talking to us. He began in mid-sentence as if he had been with us all night, and took up the political conversation Connor and I were having. Well, OK then. He did pause long enough for Connor to ask him what happened to his head. Seems he was walking with a girl last week when a man ran him over with a car and then drove away. He treated the explanation as though it was bothersome and unimportant and continued on with his political monologue. Well, OK again.

The substance of the monologue: if he had a time machine and could go back and change one historical event, it would be to prevent women getting the right to vote. Really: that’s when he believes all of our country’s problems began.

“The 50s were great,” he said. “Everything was going just fine until women got the vote.”

“You realize that by the 50s women had been voting for over 30 years,” I said.

He just kind of stopped for a second, considered the thought, ignored it and moved on. And to be fair to him, he did expand the point: it wasn’t just women voting that was the problem. It was all racial minorities, homosexuals and “children.”  I thought I’d comfort him by telling him that children still don’t have the right to vote, but I couldn’t really get a word in.

From there we moved on to evolution (“So you believe we came from monkeys? That it went ooze-fish-monkeys-man? Really?”) and then on to religion (“I’m not one of those crazy people, but religion has done more to disprove science than science has to prove evolution”).  He noted at one point that he got a concussion in that hit-and-run last week. I nodded.

Eventually our friend — who would not let me take his picture sadly, because I believe that by that time he realized (a) I was a writer; and (b) I was taking mental notes — mentioned that three women were coming to meet him there and implied that, if we played our cards right, maybe  Connor and I could get lucky.

I figured that was his tallest tale of the evening but I’ll be damned if three women didn’t eventually show up. One had a boyfriend with her. None of them seemed like people who would hang out with our friend, here. Indeed, when he went to use the restroom, one of the women said that she didn’t know the guy’s name and that they just call him “the guy who got hit by the car.”  I am still unclear on why they would all meet him out at a bar.

I was likewise unclear why I was still talking to him, but eventually he disappeared into the night.  I’m still not 100% certain that he existed. It’s possible someone spiked my Double-Double animal style or slipped a mickey into Moose Drool brown ale.  But if he did exist, just know that people like him walk the Earth. Well, sort of stagger the Earth, but still.

Freakin’ Arizona. Drink here at your peril.  Or maybe just don’t go out with Connor Doyle, because for as great a guy as he is, he seems to attract the weird ones.

Back to baseball this morning. I’m heading to the Peoria Sports Complex where I will witness the debut of Yu Darvish.  A man who, until last night, I figured would be the most interesting person I’d meet in Spring Training.

Reports from the ballpark later, my friends.

  1. The Common Man - Mar 7, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Moose Drool: Solid choice, my friend. Solid choice.

    • 4d3fect - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      Right on the Moose Drool, but with a mickey slipped in? Alternately nauseating and somehow reminiscent of something out of HST.

      • foreverchipper10 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        Better then having moose drool slipped into your Mickey’s.

  2. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    There’s still places with smoking rooms? I didn’t know those still existed. Ick.

  3. dparker713 - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Ever consider you attract the strange ones? How many times a year do you leave your mother’s basement and yet these people keep finding you.

  4. bfphantom - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Still can’t believe they let you off the “Defender Of Ryan Braun’s Groin” beat to go on a work field trip.

    • Old Gator - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Still convinced that Ryan Braun’s groin is where his testosterone comes from, eh? There’s a cushy job as a baseball arbitrator waiting for you someplace.

  5. dexterismyhero - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    great story. better than most of the other stuff you write. you should try for a novel.

  6. bigjimatch - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Let’s be honest, you spent the night trying to convince this guy of Braun’s innocence.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      I’m discovering that the great thing about Braun Bashers is their inability to deal with a reality that would exonerate them if they ended up in a sticky situation.

      But, hey. You guys know it all. I don’t even have to ask you and you’ll tell me that.

      Awesome.

      • bigjimatch - Mar 20, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        If I were exonerated on a technicality I would just shut up and not run around acting as if I have been “vindicated.”

      • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Wow. How big of you! Would you mind, however, pointing out anywhere in this blog piece about how Ryan Braun is running around and doing anything other than play the game he gets paid to play?

        Or is your problem the fact that Ryan Braun is actually “running around”? I can only guess that’s the case because your comment pretty flimsy. In fact, I have no idea why you felt it necessary to respond to a comment posted almost two weeks ago.

        LOL. Loser.

  7. Jonny 5 - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    So this guy spoke to you two on every single topic that you don’t ever want to speak about with strangers, while drinking. This man was obviously testing you. The question now is not “who this man was”, but “what this man was”. I’d bust out the tinfoil hat right now if I were you. You sir, are a marked man.

    • The Rabbit - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      Jonny,
      As a cross-country, solo, motorcycle riding blonde, I meet similar crazies all the time: Different topics sometimes, but the same level of weirdness. I kept a journal entitled “Beam Me Up Scotty.”

      Craig isn’t marked. He just needs to get out more.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        Speaking as someone similarly pigmentally challenged as Craig is, be careful what you wish for, Rabbit—vampires stay out of the light for a reason.

  8. klbader - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    You can get the fries animal style too. Man I miss In N Out Burger.

    • foreverchipper10 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Really? Hot damn! I feel I messed up on my one and only trip to an In-N-Out. It was in Fisherman’s wharf and I did not see anything like animal style on the menu. I heard about it but didn’t ask because I didn’t want to be an idiot. Was I just at an express one that maybe didn’t have a full menu or did I order wrong? These are things I need to know the next time I am on the West Coast.

      • scatterbrian - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        They have a “secret” menu. Google it….you won’t sound like an idiot, you’ll appear to be someone in the know. Fries animal style are topped with cheese, spread and grilled onions, and are ridiculously delicious.

      • foreverchipper10 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Awesome. Thanks!

  9. frankvzappa - Mar 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    Maybe it was the Second Coming of Christ. It’s always the person you least expect, and it would explain his all-knowingness about religion and what-not. And ending women’s suffrage? Brilliant. Only if he actually used the word “suffrage” though.

    And damn, I try not to think about it much because I start getting all sentimental, but I miss a double-double animal style more than just about anything else on the west coast. Five Guys is good, but it just doesn’t do the trick.

  10. Old Gator - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    You should have asked him what’s making the horned toads invisible. The malign effect of estrogen in the water supply, no doubt.

  11. capeporpoise - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    It doesn’t matter how many times I read it; I see ‘Voros McCracken’, and I think: made-up name for non-existent guy.

  12. cur68 - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Read this, and every link that went with it, in its entirety, including comments. Your time spent being harangued by the lightly insane was not wasted: I laughed. Gleeman’s time spent becoming a thin man was not wasted and was quite admirable and inspiring, but I’m feeling smug about being a lifetime skinny person. Smugness is definitely bad for my heart. Leads to a fatty buildup of ego. Which is bad enough, because the blood vessels on my heart clanged shut at the sight of that burger and fries concoction you ate for dinner. Respect your heart, Craig. Too much of that shit will kill ya DEAD, man, no matter how thin you are.

    That being said, my overarching impression was that Mike Aviles’s gastrocnemius muscle is a better carved in stone edifice than Mt. Rushmore.

    • Old Gator - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Scrawny bastard. Why don’t you get your bowels lengthened? Surely you still have access to cadavers?

      • cur68 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Actually I haven’t seen a cadaver in 3 years (touch wood). Don’t hate me for my thinness, bro. Its not like its a talent or something. I just have a metabolism that’s like lightening. I’ve been trying to gain weight my whole life, too. Its not like I want the med-school’s skeleton-on-a-stick to stare at me like I’m a freak…

  13. bfphantom - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Dear Craig,

    It was great chatting with you last night. Thanks for turning me on to champagne cocktails! We’ll do it again the next time you’re in town.

    - Tom Morrissey, Arizona RNC Chair

  14. jeffthomasb - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Kudos to Gleeman for being in the BSoHL! The rest of us are on the clock.

  15. bfphantom - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Actually, I thought Rick Santorum was spending Super Tuesday in Ohio, not some Arizona dive. Who knew.

  16. koufaxmitzvah - Mar 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Who wouldn’t love the ’50s? When Fonzi and Richie populated the Midwest, while Ricky and Lucy each had their own bed and one foot on the ground in Los Angeles. Sweet times, unless you were or were not a member of the Communist party.

    • Old Gator - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      Or of the Writer’s Guild. Dalton Trumbo lives!

  17. randygnyc - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Bravo! Well written musings.

    • El Bravo - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      What? Stop yelling at me!

  18. stex52 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    You talked to him, Craig, for the same reason we all occasionally walk down the back alley or go to the bar where we know trouble is or go to the countries that the State Department bans. It’s in our DNA to see what resides on the other side. We can only sit at our desks and send messages for so long.

    I don’t know. This women’s suffrage thing may catch on, too. I happened to hear Ann Coulter (something I usually avoid) suggesting on a news show that maybe female suffrage had been a bad idea. I guess she figured it wouldn’t apply to her.

    • badmamainphilliesjamas - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      Maybe Ann Coulter is The Most Interesting Man in the World?

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Mann Coulter?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        The only interesting thing about Ann Coulter is whether that really is an Adam’s apple.

  19. yankeesfanlen - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Move back to the smoking room, Craig. Get’s you channelling O. Henry with great verve. Next up: Great philosopher: Damon Runyan or Johnny Damon?

  20. marshmallowsnake - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Go south on Scottsdale road to the SW Corner of Scottsdale & McDowell and visit Papago Brewing (in Papago Plaza). It is not far from TT’s and is well worth the visit as it has the best craft and imported beer selection in the valley (including takeout prices!) – Try an Elsie’s while there. It is their own Irish Cream Coffee Stout…and it is quite good! You bloggers need to unite there! (Tonight they have a special keg of Blue Moon’s Chocolate Bacon Porter…if you like that kind of thing… at 6pm).

    • sportsdrenched.com - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Coffee Stout? Ick. However, Chocolate Bacon Porter sounds interesting.

      • marshmallowsnake - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        The coffee stout is pretty amazing, but much like the bacon, it is personal preference. I would not go for the bacon one…smoke and beer do not mix well in my mind :)

      • marshmallowsnake - Mar 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

        Apparently, there is a Blue Moon seasonal selection party at Papago tonight…three beers are fighting it out:

        http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150774659179097&set=a.450104129096.228711.204659979096&type=1

  21. shaggylocks - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    It was nice meeting you last night, too!

  22. Brian Murphy - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    “Eventually our friend — who would not let me take his picture sadly, because I believe that by that time he realized (a) I was a writer; and (b) I was taking mental notes …”

    After reading this recap of your night with this lovely gentlemen, I highly doubt that he had the awareness level to think either of those two things.

  23. foreverchipper10 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    You mean, you actually MET massive head wound Harry? Jealous. (I would post a pic but I know I would eff it up.)

  24. scatterbrian - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Did this cat mention anything about fluoride in the water?

  25. deathmonkey41 - Mar 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    This is evolution- the monkey, the man, and then the gun.

    • jwbiii - Mar 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      Robert Oppenheimer had it “monkey, man, hydrogen bomb.” I’d get the exact quote, but my copy of David Halberstam’s The Fifties is in my in father-in-law’s minivan, for reasons which are too complicated to discuss.

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 7, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        Mine is from a Marilyn Manson song- wasn’t quoting Oppenheimer- I’m sure he was though.

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