My 46th birthday was pretty fantastic. The Cheesecake Factory is always great, and I had a slice of their latest concoction, the Basque cheesecake, with fresh berries and a burnt top. Delicious. I’m still sad it no longer has the Kahlua cheesecake, my favorite, but I still have Tiramisu, Cinnabon and now Basque. I’ll live.
I knew for a long time two of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ most important games in franchise history occurred Oct. 13. Until today, I didn’t know there was a third.
The two I knew of were:
–Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, when Bill Mazerowski hit the single most important home run in MLB history to give Pittsburgh a 10-9 victory over the Yankees. The Pirates prevailed despite being outscored 55-27 and out-hit 91-60 by the Bronx Bombers in the series. New York won games two and six at Forbes Field 16-3 and 10-0, and also won game three 10-0 in the Bronx. Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson, who set a then-World Series record with 12 hits, was the series Most Valuable Player. The Yankees fired manager Casey Stengel a few days later.
–Game 4 of the 1971 World Series, the first postseason night game in MLB history. The game drew such high ratings that Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ordered all future weekday games in the World Series be played at night. By 1985, Kuhn’s successor, Peter Ueberroth, determined all World Series games would be played at night. Prior to 1971, all World Series games started at 1 p.m. local time (except Sunday games in Baltimore, which had to start at 2 p.m. due to a municipal ordinance, one which played a part in the Colts leaving for Indianapolis in March 1984). Before 1967, Daylight Savings Time was not uniformly observed, meaning games in New York started at 11 a.m. in cities like New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City and Little Rock.
Today, I found out the first World Series ended 13 October 1983, when the Boston Pilgrims wrapped up the championship in eight games vs. the Pirates. The Pilgrims are now the Red Sox.
The Pirates also played in the World Series on 13 October 1979, losing game four 9-6 to the Orioles at Three Rivers Stadium. Pittsburgh was pushed to the brink trailing 3-1, but the Pirates rallied to win game five at home, then the last two at Baltimore.
The Pirates have not played a game as late as 13 October since they blew the seventh game of the National League Championship Series in Atlanta on 14 October 1992 (the Pirates won game six the previous night). It’s a shame how far this once-proud franchise has fallen.
FYI, the 1960 World Series was the last to wrap up on 13 October. There hasn’t been a World Series game played on my birthday since 13 October 1984, when the Tigers defeated the Padres 4-1 in game four at Detroit. The Tigers won it the next night, winning 8-4 on the strength of Kirk Gibson’s three-run homer off of Goose Gossage in the eighth inning.
The winner of the first MLB game of my lifetime? I’m currently in a hotel approximately 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of that team’s stadium.
Yes, the Kansas City Royals stayed alive in the 1976 American League Championship Series with a 7-4 victory in game four at Yankee Stadium. First pitch was about five hours after I was born.
The next night, Kansas City was in agony following Chris Chambliss’ home run off of Mark LIttel on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth, giving the Yankees a 7-6 victory and their first AL pennant in 12 years.
Speaking of baseball, the first notable person I knew of who was born 13 October was Eddie Mathews, the slugging third baseman for the Milwaukee Braves.
Mathews hit 512 home runs during his Hall of Fame career, which began in 1952, the Braves’ last season in Boston. He led the NL in home runs, clouting 47 in 1953 and 46 in 1959. Mathews, Hank Aaron and Joe Adcock formed one of the most feared slugging trios in MLB history. Had they played in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, their fame would have been enormous.
After Mathews, I soon found out I was born exactly 51 years after Lady Margaret Thatcher, the one and only Iron Lady of the United Kingdom, in my opinion the second greatest UK female behind Queen Elizabeth II.
Preceding my birth on 13 October were legendary NFL receiver Jerry Rice (1962), U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington (1958), actress Kate Walsh (1967), singers Sammy Hagar (1947) and Marie Osmond (1959), jockey Pat Day (1952) and figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (1969).
Those with the bad fortune of being born 13 October after me include NBA standouts Paul Pierce (1977) and Jermaine O’Neal (1978), singer Ashanti (1980), Olympic gold medal swimmer Ian Thorpe (1982), Tiffany Trump, The Donald’s only child with Marla Maples (1993) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) (1989).
AOC was born on my 13th birthday, which was Friday the 13th. Apparently, she isn’t as cursed as me.
That’s all for the first day of year 47. Time to sleep.
The Cubs won the World Series.
I hate it.
I turned the game off in the fifth inning last night, with the Cubs leading 4-1. I couldn’t take it anymore. The Indians came back to tie in the eighth, but still lost 8-7 in 10 innings.
I have never liked the Cubs. NEVER. I got sick and tired of them in 1984, when they won the National League East division (although the Cubs should have been in the West), and Harry Caray gloated over them on WGN. Since then, they’ve been one of my most disliked sports teams.
One good reason you should hate the Cubs, too: Hillary Clinton loves them. That would be enough for me, but I hated them long before anyone outside Arkansas knew who Hillary Clinton was and how insatiable her desire for power is.
The Cubs are one of four MLB teams I truly despise.
Another is the other team in Chicago, the White Sox. I hate their black uniforms, which are not only ugly, but they evoke memories of the biggest cheaters sports has ever known, the 1919 White Sox, who threw the World Series to the Reds, another team I am not fond of.
I loved the uniforms the White Sox were wearing when I was born. I’m sorry, but the jerseys with the big floppy collars were cool. I bought the hat this summer, not only because the uniforms were awesome and it was the team’s hat when I was born, but because asshole Chris Sale cut up the throwback jerseys in July.
The White Sox play in a shitty ballpark in a shitty neighborhood. The original Comiskey Park had charm. The current park, now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, is the complete opposite of charm. It has a steep upper deck, and if you have a seat in the upper deck, you cannot move, period. Not even to sample the concessions. What a bunch of turds the White Sox are.
The biggest reason to hate the White Sox: BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA or Barry Soetoro or whatever his real name is.
The third team in my axis of MLB evil: the Atlanta Braves.
I hated the Braves from the first time I saw them on TBS. I got sick and tired of hearing them proclaimed as “America’s Team”.
First, Georgia does not speak for all of America. Maybe for itself, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, but not all of the South, and certainly not all of the country.
Second, the Braves were shitty for the vast majority of their first 25 years in Atlanta. The only things mitigating it were (a) Hank Aaron setting the home run record (he still is the legitimate home run king; I will never recognize Barry Bonds) and (b) winning the NL West in 1982 with Joe Torre as manager. I loved watching the Braves lose, which happened often between 1985 and 1990.
Third, the Braves were owned until recently by supreme asshole Ted Turner. Not only is the son of a bitch far to the left, but he also has bought up all the water rights to the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides water to most of central United States, including all of Kansas. Now farmers and the states will have to pay this piece of shit to reacquire the rights. What a fucking turd.
The fourth MLB team on my shit list: the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins are owned by another real fucking asshole, Jeffrey Loria. Jeffrey Loria, the man who ruined the Montreal Expos by running them on a shoestring budget and then selling them for a handsome profit to Major League Baseball, giving Bud Selig and his minions the excuse they needed to abandon Montreal and return MLB to Washington DC for the first time since 1971. Yes, Washington deserves a team, but Montreal should not have had to lose its team.
Somehow, the franchise has won more World Series (2) than division championships (0). The Marlins bought both championships, 1997 and 2003, by using high-priced free agents, then dumping them when their contracts expired after one year in most instances. For all of you who bitch and whine and moan about the Yankees buying their teams, shut the fuck up. The Marlins perfected it, simply because they went back to being shitty after their one year of glory on both occasions.
Right now, I’m sick and tired for all of the sympathy the Marlins are receiving.
Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ ace pitcher, died Sept. 25 in a boating accident. Turns out he was high on coke and drunk. Too fucking bad. Did himself in. Just like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and millions of others.
Four of my most hated teams. Here are some of the others.
—Anaheim Ducks–Don’t hate them, but California needs only ONE NHL team. The Kings fit that bill long before the Ducks or The Mighty Ducks. At least they can beat up on the Coyotes.
—Arizona Coyotes–The team moved from Winnipeg in 1996. That made me hate this team forever. Winnipeg has a team again, but it should not have been forced to go without the NHL for 15 years. That’s bullshit. Not only did the team leave Winnipeg, it refuses to let the new Jets have the old Jets’ history. What a bunch of shitheads. Bobby Hull and Dale Hawerchuk never skated one second in the state of Arizona. Why should the Coyotes get to claim their achievements?
The Coyotes also went bankrupt many years ago. Yet commissioner Gary Bettman demanded the team stay in Arizona. Heaven forbid the franchise move to a city which can actually support an NHL team, like Hamilton, Hartford, Quebec City, or Toronto, which could easily support two teams. Even Seattle would have been a major upgrade.
The Coyotes will always be the sixth most popular team in Arizona, behind the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Suns, Arizona State and the U of A.
—Carolina Hurricanes–Stole the Hartford Whalers thanks to shithead owner Peter Karmanos. Hartford supported the Whalers when they would get their brains beat in regularly by the Bruins, Sabres and Canadiens, which was most nights. The Nordiques even took their turn for several seasons. Karmanos said FUCK YOU to the loyal fans of Connecticut and moved the franchise to that hockey hotbed, North Carolina. The first two seasons, the Hurricanes played before empty seats in Greensboro, while the arena in Raleigh now known as the RBC Center was under construction.
What do you call a Hurricanes season ticket holder? One who is (a) too poor to own North Carolina State basketball season tickets or (b) someone who is too stupid to realize the NHL has no business in your state.
—Colorado Avalanche–Don’t hate them. Colorado should have a team. However, it still depresses me they were once the Quebec Nordiques.
—Florida Panthers–Florida should not have hockey. Period. Especially not the NHL. Gary Bettman is a fuckwad. Putting teams in Miami, Nashville, Raleigh and Tampa, yet teams can’t survive in Hartford and Quebec City? Or Hamilton? Or Saskatchewan? HOLY SHIT. Bettman, you fucking suck. Then again, you learned from the ultimate piece of shit, David Stern.
—Nashville Predators–First and foremost, Nashville does not deserve a hockey team. ANY CITY WHERE YOU CAN’T SKATE OUTSIDE IN THE WINTER SHOULD HAVE AN NHL TEAM. Second, my pissant brother and his wife are huge Predators fans, so another reason I hate them. Third, Carrie Underwood forced the Ottawa Senators to trade her husband, Mike Fisher, to Nashville. Since when does Carrie U. Fisher run an NHL team? The Senators should have sued Carrie and the Predators for extortion. I refuse to listen to Carrie’s music. She’s on my no-play list as much as Bruce Springsteen. At least in Carrie’s case, it’s not because of toxic politics. The Boss hates America and always has.
—San Jose Sharks–California only needs ONE NHL team. The Kings were around long before the Sharks came along.
—Tampa Bay Lightning–Again, Florida should not have any NHL teams. Worse, Tampa is a real piece of shit city with piece of shit people. It’s a cesspool. Yet somehow three of the four major sports organizations in North America see fit to place teams in the area. Steven Stamkos’ wife must look hot in a bikini. That’s the only reason he would re-sign with Tampa over going to Chicago, Detroit, Toronto or any other REAL hockey city.
—Atlanta Hawks–Once owned by Ted Turner. Good enough reason to hate them. Also, Atlanta is a shithole with no redeeming value. The only reason to even like them was the cool pea green uniforms they wore when Pete Maravich played for them in early 1970s. Otherwise, they’re a bunch of turds.
—Brooklyn Nets–Russian shithead owner who tried to buy a team. Great to see the team fail miserably.
—Charlotte Hornets–Owned by Michael Jeffrey Jordan. FUCK THEM.
—Chicago Bulls–Michael Jeffrey Jordan. His arrogance is all you need to know about why I despise this franchise. I do not worship Jordan. I do not believe he is the greatest of all-time. I do not believe the 1995-96 Bulls are the greatest NBA team of all-time. Jordan benefitted from a watered-down NBA, one which let him get away with everything. I’m sure he could have murdered someone on an NBA court and nobody would have said a peep. FUCK JORDAN AND FUCK THE BULLS.
—Dallas Mavericks–Mark Cuban can go fuck himself. He’s a complete asshole on Shark Tank, the same way he’s a complete asshole owning the Mavericks. I would love to see Kevin O’Leary (MISTER WONDERFUL) kick him in the balls on Shark Tank. Better yet, it would be much sweeter if Barbara Corcoran kicked Cuban in the jimmy.
—Miami Heat–The Heat committed collusion for FOUR YEARS and David Stern didn’t give a shit. Dwayne Wade begged LeBron and Chris Bosh to come, and of course, who were they to say no? FUCK THEM.
—New York Knicks–James Dolan is a big piece of shit. Cunt. Asshole. Motherfucker. Good enough reason to hate them entirely.
—Sacramento Kings–Left Kansas City in 1985 to move to the cesspool which is California’s capital city. Team was going to move to Seattle, but mayor (and former Suns guard) Kevin Johnson, an admitted criminal, bribed NBA owners to keep the team in Sacramento. Bought by a Russian turd who is just as big a turd as the one owning the Nets. FUCK SUCKRAMENTO.
—San Antonio Spurs–Bruce Bowen got away with attempted murder against the Suns during the 2007 playoffs, thanks to degenerate gambler/”referee” Tim Donaghy. Bad enough. Then there’s the gigantic piece of shit Greg Popovich. The walking definition of CUNT.
—Washington Wizards–Changed name from “Bullets” to be politically correct. FUCK THEM.
—Atlanta Falcons–Once employed dog killer Michael Vick. Also, Atlanta has no redeeming value.
—Baltimore Ravens–Where do I start? Let’s see: Art Modell stole the Browns from Cleveland because he was broke and desperately needed to pay off 700,000 creditors. Ray Lewis got away with murder. Ray Lewis flaunted his “innocence” and Baltimore fans thought he was the greatest athlete in the city’s history, not remembering men like Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken. Okay, that’s enough.
—Carolina Panthers–Once employed murder mastermind Rae Carruth, who was so callous as to order a hit on his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Cherica Adams, after she refused to get an abortion. Adams died; the baby survived, but is mentally retarded. What a total piece of shit. Why Carruth didn’t get the death penalty, or at least life without parole, is absolutely sickening. North Carolina has some really fucked up people.
(S)Cam Newton has done anything nearly that bad, but he’s an arrogant turd who can’t take it when things don’t go his way.
—Chicago Bears–They play in CHICAGO, home of BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA and birthplace of HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. There.
—Miami Dolphins–Sick and tired of the overrated 1972 Dolphins celebrating when a team loses so their perfect record can’t be equaled. The 1972 Dolphins played an absolutely shitty schedule. Would have lost Super Bowl VII had Redskins coach George Allen not been so fucking paranoid. HE lost the game for the Redskins. Not Billy Kilmer, Larry Brown, or the Over-the-Hill Gang Defense. George Allen was responsible. Hope he’s rotting in hell over it.
—Tampa Bay Buccaneers–Employ gigantic asshole Jameis Winston, who got away with rape and only a slap on the wrist for shoplifting. Once employed gigantic asshole coach Jon Gruden and gigantic asshole player Warren Sapp. Have disgusting uniforms which they stole from the Raiders. Tampa is a shithole. Need more?
—Tennessee Titans–Nashville is a shithole. I hate that city. I hate it. Vanderbilt is the only thing making that city remotely tolerable. I also hate Nashville stealing the Houston Oilers. Yes, Houston has another team, but for the nation’s fourth largest city to go without an NFL team for five years was very bad.
I do not recognize Major League Soccer as legitimate. Not as long as they want to have playoffs to determine its champion.