Yesterday XL and I were treated to the rarest of all occasions: a perfect day. It's not that everything went right during the day. Far from it. We didn't find any parking where we thought we would and we didn't get to eat where we had initially planed to. In the end, however, none of that mattered. It's hard to be glum on opening day even when it's raining or snowing, both of which XL and I have dealt with. What greeted us when we arrived in Charm City yesterday was one of those perfect weather days, with temperatures in the high 70's and hardly a cloud in the sky. So we were off to a good start.
Then, we made our way down to South Howard Street, between the Baltimore Convention Center and the new Hilton. That is where the vendors who push various food on ballpark patrons have been relocated thanks to the construction of the aforementioned Hilton. We had some cheep, but delicious food including burgers, Italian and Polish sausage and even a half-smoke. After getting some cheep bottles of water and bags of nuts (huh huh huh) to take into the ballpark we crossed step two off of the perfect day checklist.
The last part was mostly out of our hands. We took our seats behind the O's dugout and waited for the pregame festivities to end. At that point it was all up to the Orioles to bring our perfect day home. And bring it home they did. The game had a bit of everything in the form of pitching, defence and the three run homer, made all the more poignant with Earl Weaver in town to throw out the first pitch. When it was all said and done the O's had a 5-1 win over Detroit and they improved to 4-0 on the young season. You can't ask for much more...
I didn't ask for it, but I did get more. Among the fantastic upgrades to the now 20 year old stadium over the last few seasons, the O's put a fancy new video board in center field a few years back. On this board they have a spot reserved for the "K count" like a lot of other ballparks have to count the strike outs for the home pitchers. When Jake Arrieta got his first two strike outs the board read "K K" as both were of the swinging variety. That is when I heard the loud, dumb ass rednecks behind us start talking about how funny it would be when the next player struck out so the board would say KKK.
Only the next strike out was of the called third strike variety meaning the next K that went up was backwards. Anyone who has ever been taught how to score a game by their father knows that a caught looking is scored with a backwards K. Hell, just about anyone who has ever watched baseball knows that. But the ring leader of this group of hicks obviously didn't know this. Although listening to him talk throughout the game it was apparently the only thing in the world he didn't know. He kept telling his buddies that the reason they put the K up backwards was so it wouldn't say KKK and offend the black folks (my words not his) in the crowd.
Since the third strike happened early on in the game XL and I had to hear this fuckwit say this over and over again, interspersed between his thoughts on missing Sean Hannity to be at the game, NASCAR, beer, money and most importantly: how awesome Captain Morgan's is. In the 9th inning the subject of the K's came up again when one of the more intelligent (but less drunk/loud) hicks said that he didn't think head-hick was right about the K's. At that point I had enough and turned around and said something like this: "Dude! The backwards K is for struck out looking. You're killing me with this shit. It's un-American that you don't know that. You've fucking killing me."
Just the exclamation point on an already perfect day.