With the World Series approaching, I miss baseball — in French, that is. Le lanceur est sur le monticule. Il lance la balle… (The pitcher is on the mound. He throws the …
With the World Series approaching, I miss baseball — in French, that is. Le lanceur est sur le monticule. Il lance la balle… (The pitcher is on the mound. He throws the ball).
It was unique covering baseball as a young, French-speaking sportswriter in Montreal, where Les Expos played until 2004. They had the best record in baseball in 1994, but a players’ strike cancelled the World Series. Quel dommage. (What a shame.) The Expos soon became the Washington Nationals, sadly/malheureusement.
In Montréal I also got to do the last interview legendary Jackie Robinson ever did. He was on the Expos’ broadcast team in the tolerant city he loved, and where he played his first season as a professional. I got to learn French for baseball terms. A knuckleball was a papillon (butterfly). Shortstop was arrêt-court. The distances on the outfield walls were in metres. It was wonderful and très unique. There are now reports Les Expos might return to the big leagues. Montreal has always been big league.
— Clever business name, on a Kearney Street store that sells old glassware: La Bottle Me.
— Shooting for pool: The Mountain View pool has been closed for a month. The Y, which took it over for the city, has hired a new pool director and exec Wendy Bart says it’s hoping to reopen it in early October. Great news.
— The Starkey Truth: It’s now been at least five years since a poster of Beatle timekeeper Ringo Starr has covered the front window of Pacific EyeCare. Time for a change? It don’t come easy. And no, a poster of Stevie Wonder would not be an appropriate replacement.
I once briefly met Ringo backstage at a concert in Montreal, and George Harrison, too, in my post-sportswriter/rock-critic days. But not John and Paul, alas.
Apologies for the namedropping, but speaking of famous rock drummers, I am reminded of seeing what was quite possibly the first video game to surface in Canada, circa 1973.
I was in Pink Floyd’s Montreal dressing room, and I was drawn to drummer Nick Mason. He was playing something he said was called Pong. I was transfixed and soon bought a Pong console.
— First time I’ve seen this in 15 years: A Marine honor guard as part of a military burial at the Fort Worden cemetery. Surprised the crowded place could fit any more soldiers.
— Why would Irondale appear on Seattle station KIRO’s weather-forecast graphics and not PT? I’m guessing someone on the staff of the ABC affiliate is an Irondaler.
— Thanks to the many readers who wrote to thank me for my column ripping the anti-vaxxers. I may have used insulting language in the piece, but I needed to vent. It was interesting to see two full-page ads last week in another Peninsula paper, signed by scores of local doctors and medical workers, many from Port Townsend, supporting Jefferson/Clallam health officer Allison Berry for banning the unvaccinated from entering restaurants and bars. Berry, who’s been threatened by anti-vaxxers, is nothing if not courageous.
And besides medical workers, we also owe a big thanks to restaurant workers for the risks they’ve been taking with unvaxxed customers for months. From a letter to the Port Angeles almost-daily from a reader: “I am glad to know that restaurant staffs and our community will now have some added measure of safety thanks to the vaccine requirement and since the majority of our citizens are vaccinated, I am certain you will see an increase in business.” Hope so.
— I miss volunteering at the Visitor Center, now COVID-shuttered. Where else could I meet someone using Google Earth to show me his neighborhood in Tasmania?
— Quite a change: It’s hard to believe that Simu Liu, who stars in the Marvel hit movie “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings,” is the same unassuming, low-key guy who works in a car-rental agency in the genial Canadian series, “Kim’s Convenience” on Netflix.
— Columnist Rick Lopez in the L.A. Times: “Please, unvaccinated dolts, if you won’t take the vax for yourself, do it for the horses and cows who have a shortage of deworming medicine.” Lopez again: “The problem is that the GOP, in California and the rest of the nation, is not a political party so much as a support group for grouchy saber rattlers.”
— Middle Age Riot tweets: “The biggest change in the 20 years since 9/11 is we no longer need to import our terrorists.”
(PT humorist Bill Mann has been a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, Montreal Gazette, Oakland Tribune, and USA Today.)