So in this edition of this brewski and Birds series, I decided to take my beat up 1980 cream colour Chevette to the land of the Lugnuts to see who this Hobo could interview.
I packed light, my Birds cap, Mulliniks jersey, and my Animal House tape cassette soundtrack, which would keep me singing as I drive down the beaten paved highway to Lansing.
I knew it would be important to have some feel good tunes for this adventure because the AM radio in the Chevette doesn’t pick up our good Birds of summer, so there would be no Jerry Howarth to fill the air. And that just plain ol’ (and since I’m not a man who likes his 5-dollar words) sucks.
So I figure worst case Ontario, it’s better to listen to The Kingsmen than nothing at all. So this Canadian Hobo was all set for this minor league adventure to the good land of America and it’s finer landscapes of Michigan.
So I hit play on my tape cassette, got on the Gardiner and took the 401 West across this great province. I ended up getting a little tired by the time I reached London, so I figured maybe a brewski and a burger would do this Hobo some good before he continued on to Lansing.
I stopped off at this Bistro – Pub called The Church Key hoping to find the Blue Jays game playing on a TV at the bar, so I could have a cheap burger, a beer, and the Birds — which would make this stop pure perfection.
But this place really wasn’t for this Hobo, that’s for sure. I thought that since it was called The Church Key it would be filled with baseball stuff, Blue Jays pictures, and a shrine for John Gibbons. But it wasn’t like that at all. It was fancy, and no one in this hoity-toity place knew who Rance Mulliniks was? I thought I saw Rosie DiManno there, but I wasn’t sure, so I quickly got back in the ol’ Chevette, stopped off at a Tim Horton’s, got me my double-double, and kept on driving to the promised land in the state of Michigan.
I crossed the border a few hours later, after the Border Security inspected my car for paraphernalia, but they found nothing. I told them that I was a beat writer for the Birds, but they didn’t believe me. They said I looked like a hobo and that I’m just coming into the country to drift. I said I am a hobo, but I’m coming to the country to get to Lansing and interview some damn Lugnuts.
They eventually let me cross into the good ol’ USA, so I took my Canadian bacon on the I-69 and puttered down the highway in my cream machine. I was starting to feel real hungry since I didn’t get that burger and beer in London, so I stopped off at a place in Flint, called the Soggy Bottom Bar. It was perfect. I shot the breeze with some hard working folk, ate a burger, had some kind of watery American beer and felt ready to press on to the land of the Lugnuts and the capital city of Michigan. After the wheels spun down the long strip of paved tar, which normal folks call a highway; I took S Walnut St to Townsend St and drove straight to Cooley Law School Stadium.
It was a bit late into the evening, so I parked the ol’ Chevette at the ballpark, put down the seat, and drifted off into Bird land for the night. The next day, I woke up with the good sun in the sky and saw Jesse Goldberg-Strassler walking into the park.
I ran over to him and I tried not to turn it into an awkwardly situation, so I was crystally-clear and told him that I was the Hobo In The Park and that I’d come all the way from the Great North to interview Bo Bichette. He told me he knew who I was, but that Bo’s in Dunedin, and I said that’s okay. I’m here to interview Vlad Jr. too. He said that Vlad is in Dunedin too. I said, damn.
And then Jesse said there are a lot of other talented young players here too and that he would talk to some of these ball players and see if they would be interested in doing an interview with the Hobo. I said, fuckin’ eh!
I told Jesse that I would need a little time to think up some hard-hitting ‘Carlos Delgado’ home run type of questions, so he told me like the straight shooter he is to meet him during BP when I was ready.
I sucked back a couple brewskis outside the park and did some good ol’ hobo thinking…
What’s your favourite baseball movie?
Pitcher Kyle Weatherly: Major League
Pitcher Connor Eller: Rookie of the Year
Infielder Nash Knight: Major League
Jesse: The umpire scene in Naked Gun. Also: A League of Their Own
Hobo: Damn it guys, those are all great movies, but c’mon everyone knows Field of Dreams is the greatest baseball movie ever. Okay, all jokes aside. Sandlot. Always Sandlot. FOR-EV-ER, Squints. But Connor you’re onto something with Rookie Of The Year. Chet Steadman is a boss.
Would you ever date a vegan?
Jesse: No (I’m married, haha – and she’s not a vegan.)
Hobo: Weatherly, Eller, Knight, c’mon guys. You love meat. You can date a vegan, but don’t marry one. That will lead to a lot of confusion in the fridge. Life is too short for that kind of confusion. Brewskis and meat. And good job, Jesse. Meat is always good and wives who eat meat? Even better. And if they like baseball too, homerun.
The Beatles or the Stones? And Kanye or Drake?
Weatherly: Beatles, Drake
Eller: Beatles, Drake
Knight: Stones, Drake
Jesse: Beatles, Kanye
Hobo: The only answer. The Beatles and The Stones. The. Only. Answer. That was a curve ball type a question the Hobo threw there.
Do you think dance music is bad?
Jesse: It’s tolerable
Hobo: You’re a damn good man Weatherly. Proper answer. I can forgive the rest of you, but dance music is always bad.
A burger or wings?
Hobo: The answer is always both with a beer.
Favourite ball player growing up?
Weatherly: Ken Griffey, Jr.
Eller: Albert Pujols
Knight: Michael Young
Jesse: Alan Trammell
Hobo: Damn it guys, Rance Mulliniks. Always Rance Mulliniks. C’mon.
Do you think soccer players cry too much?
Jesse: Definitely. It’s part of the culture of the game.
Hobo: Absolutely, boys. And it may be part of the culture of the game, but it doesn’t make it right. Toughen up, or take off.
Did you know hockey is a thing in Canada?
Jesse: Sure do
Hobo: It is? I only know da Birds. Just da Birds.
What do you think Canada’s favourite drink is?
Weatherly: Maple syrup
Eller: Canada Dry
Knight: Canada Dry
Jesse: I presume it’s beer. Labatt?
Hobo: You’re all trying to be funny here, eh! It’s a Caesar, eh! Spicy too.
Do you know what a hoser is in Canada?
Jesse: Some sort of insult
Hobo: It’s me.
Have you ever tried peameal bacon?
Hobo: That’s funny. It’s good. And with a brewski at breakfast, even better.
Do you know what a Tim Horton’s is?
Jesse: You bet. Love TimBits.
Hobo: You’re good men. Damn good men.
Greatest TV series of all time?
Weatherly: How I Met Your Mother
Eller: Prison Break
Knight: Walking Dead
Jesse: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Hobo: Damn it guys. All wrong. It’s The Raccoons and then The Trailer Park Boys and then any old SCTV sketch and then nothing. There’s nothing after that.
So this concludes the second edition of the Hobo In The Park, I want to thank Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and the Lansing Lugnuts for taking good care of me while I was in that great city!
And for the next edition of this brewski and Birds series, I will be driving south to Dunedin to find out how much Bo actually knows, so get ready because who knows what’s gonna come out of this Hobo’s mouth.
And remember kids, stay on the fastball, the rest is all bullshit.