On the same night that Barack Obama became the definitive Democratic nominee and furthered his journey by taking the next step to becoming the president of hope for all US Americans, I too made a bold move that finally gave the people what they wanted. Yes, dear readers, it is true that since late April, I have become somewhat of a recluse and have not made any public appearances at a baseball stadium near you. This decision had nothing to do with those endearing fans who have urged me to come back into the light and everything to do with the fear mongering Cub fans and subsequent paparazzi that have simply been unable to leave me alone. After my shotgun rise to fame, the careening death of my humility and myriad run-ins with the high demands of fans and foes alike, I ultimately found myself spent — empty of emotion, void of volition, destitute of destiny.
But sometimes the voice of the people is so loud and so strong and so motivating that not even I can ignore it.
And so it came to me in the middle of the night — that thunderous roar of resurgence inspired by the people — that no longer would I allow myself, my fans, my chimeric offspring, nor any other US American or world-inhabiting life form to continue down the path of never-ending disappointment. No. It was time to get out. It was time to go to The Joan.
The Royals were in town. The Sox were standing atop the AL Central (still are). And the people were ringing in my ears.
When I first stepped outside my Southside home I was pleasantly surprised to see that the paparazzi, hopeless that I would ever show my face in public again, were already gone. I walked the few short blocks to the #8 Halsted bus stop at 29th & Halsted and to my delight, this is what I saw:
What a beautiful sight to see no one around. The coast was clear. I could breathe easy. Then the bus came. Reality set in. Chaos ensued.
I barely made it out of there alive! As soon as I stepped on the bus it started — the ambush of photographers, autograph seekers, ill-parented children. Someone, somebody tipped them off to my arrival and I’m pretty sure it was my personal stylist, Miguel, who is, coincidentally, now dead. I had nothing to do with his death (he was hit by the #62 Archer bus in a freak accident) but it’s obvious that he deserved it. I’m lucky I survived on the #8 myself.
But I did. And I was determined.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t going to get any easier at the game. A fog had set in over the city, eerily setting the stage for yet another blitzkrieg on my stardom, and not even Jermaine Dye (who is much more looming in person) could protect me from the evildoing Royals fans:
Yes, folks, Royals fans hate me too. They hate me for my arrogance, righteousness, intelligence. They hate me because I’m a Cardinals fan. They hate me for my unending defamation of Don Denkinger, for my highly praised baseball-politico forum of RSBS and because I root for my neighborhood Sox. But the main reason they hate me is ‘cuz I’m always right.
And one Royals fan couldn’t stand to see me in my element — to see me make a graceful entrance to the section 110 box seats, greeted with fanfare and treated with respect. No. It made him turn blue and then it made him turn on me:
I only blacked out for a second, but in that time A.J. hit a single and Carlos Quentin knocked him in by blasting a 2-run homer that landed just feet from me and the RSBS entourage. I came to and noticed my cellphone was blowing up with text messages from my counterpart, Allen Krause, who was attending the St. Louis Cardinals v. D.C. Nationals matchup. At the same exact time that I was getting beat up by a drunk Royals fan, Allen was getting his teeth kicked in by the Nats’ Elijah Dukes, who actually read Al’s blog entry, way back when, attacking Dukes for his predatory passes at a 17 year-old foster child. It was raining heavily in D.C. and while the Cards were pounding the ball, Al just couldn’t take the excitement, the rain or the pain. He texted me to say he was going home.
But I stayed. The Royals fan was kicked out of the park by my — ahem — the White Sox security:
The Sox would continue to score runs, with homeruns from Alexei Ramirez and (hold your breath!) Nick Swisher, further adding to the Royals’ dismay.
And at the end of a colossally eventful night, the people got what they wanted: Obama won the nomination, Jenks pitched the 9th, the Cardinals beat the Nats, Elijah Dukes beat the snot out of Tiger-lover Allen Krause, and I got out of the house.
Life ain’t worth livin’ if ya don’t take some risks sometimes… and life ain’t worth livin’ if you hate me ‘cuz I’m right. Just ask that Royals fan.
So Alex Rodriguez makes more money than the entire Florida
Marlins team. Must be pretty hard to
live up to such high expectations – especially in a bullying market like New York. Until recently, I couldn’t even begin to
fathom what that kind of pressure is like.
…and then I (we, Allen Krause and I) became famous.
Sure, it all started out quietly, you know, like that hushing
wind that breezes across the plains accompanied by purple skies right before
the big storm. So the Detroit Tigers/Hillary Clinton comparison I made was masterfully quoted on the MLB.com homepage – big deal. Just doing my bloggin’ thang… fillin’ the role
I was meant to fill because all my sliders hung and I couldn’t get around on a
65 mph fastball. Some are born to play
ball, some are born to rant on ball.
And then it happened.
At 5 a.m. this morning I got the call:
PHONE CALLER GUY: Hey, is this Jeff Lung?
PHONE CALLER GUY: Whoa, it’s really you?
ME: Yes, it’s
me. What do you want? It’s 5 in the morning.
PHONE CALLER GUY:
Wow, I can’t believe it’s really you.
ME: Who are you and
what do you want!?!
PHONE CALLER GUY: Your picture is on MLBlog’s homepage and I just wanted to pick your brain about what it’s like to be on the internet underneath Jose Reyes?
Life hasn’t been the same since.
I walked out of my Southside apartment this morning to a deluge of paparazzi. I smiled and nodded, answered some
questions from my fans but I must be honest: it was tiresome, and I still have a day job, so I had to punch (WHAM!) one of them (one of the paparazzi, not one of my fans) to get away.
On the 29/State bus it was the same: mobs of people begging
for my autograph, picture, a Jason Grilli ERA Watch report. I obliged but I gotta admit, it was tiresome, overwhelming
and downright stressful.
It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Tomorrow I am going to my first game of the year: White Sox
v. Tigers at the Joan. Fearing more of the same mob
mentality from those who come within ten feet of my aura, I will do my best to ‘fit in’ tomorrow by wearing a disguise and I will certainly
not make any public statements. I’m sorry, but even a guy like me needs a break once in a while.
In fact, afterwards, I’ll probably have to go to Evanston — to take a breather and get away from it all.
So, while I’m relaxing, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m beautiful…or because I’m right. Please? Okay, pretty please?