That's yer man there, M.C., in the middle, sportin' a 500-peso Oaxaca Guerreros jersey. The Mystical One, Señor Zo, is on the left of the photo. The groom himself, I-Ron Man, is on the right, with a 50th year SFG cap. Photo and cap by Tami--muchas gracias, Tami! That's the Parque de Béisbol in Oaxaca. Fittingly, we met and became friends one summer in a ballpark--Candlestick, of course. Our amigo cuarto, Dr. J, did not make the trip. (Section 30 was well-represented--you were there in spirit!) I'm wearing my beloved Elliot Glacier Public House ballcap, which I purchased in the brewpub in Parkdale (Hood River Valley) on another memorable holiday. Alas, I lost it after the wedding. It is in a taxivan somewhere in the Ciudad de Juárez.
Baseball is great, as we know. Our southern neighbors love it as well, and it has been a dream of mine to watch a ballgame in Latin America. (They call their outfielders jardineros, which also means "gardeners." Jardinero Derecho, J. Centro, J. Izquierdo, R to L.) We saw two, and got rained out of a third. It is the wet season in Oaxaca, and we enjoyed a long rain delay in one game as well. The fans get a kick out of watching the theatrical but efficient tarp crew. Coronas, poured and delivered, were 15 pesos ($1.50 US), and home-made empeñadas, stout enough for dinner, were 25 pesos. We sat in the second-best seats, the centro, and they set us back a whole five bucks American (50 pesos). Apiece. Of course, every night is Ladies Nite in Oaxaca--damas are charged half-price. My lovely bride and I sat behind home plate, under cover, for seven and a half dollars total. I love the Minor Leagues! The game was loud and crazy, with typically nutty minor-league promotions, as well as cheerleaders, the Guerreritas. It was festive and fun--they blast music videos and rock riffs for the local guys, and taunt the opposition with insults and foul language. Sporting events are a great way to meet locals and experience the spirit of a place. (We've seen hurling in Ireland and cricket in England!) Our first night, the beer vendor adopted us right away, made sure we knew where to sit, kept the cervezas coming, and chatted with us during the delay. We felt right at home.
Meanwhile, I'm very excited about the MC-CC matchup (can't we all just drop those pesky periods?) on Friday. Let me clarify: I'm NOT at all excited about our weak offense trying to hit off Sabathia. I AM excited about a chance for Cain to go toe-to-toe with one of the best.