Arg, Matey! We Be Losin’ Again

In June 1995, two friends John Baur and Mark Summers were playing a racquetball game. One of them were hit with a ball and screamed in pain with an outburst of “Aaarrr!” that sounded very much like a pirate movie. The two men hatched an idea.

What if they could create a holiday where everyone talked like a pirate for one day? They chose September 19 as the date since it was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday (how appropriate). International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) was born.

It began as an inside joke between two friends but gained coverage after Summers wrote a letter to humor columnist Dave Berry. Berry loved the idea and began to promote it. With the advent of social networking on the Internet, ITLAPD has gained popularity.

It is mostly a parody holiday concocted for fun but sometimes there are other implications. Looking at the Arizona Diamondbacks schedule it seemed somewhat fitting that the Diamondbacks would play the Pittsburgh Pirates on ITLAPD.

I found myself torn. Do I dress like a traditional pirate and take on the linguistic musings of a pirate or do I wear Sedona Red thumbing my nose at ITLAPD and root for Arizona to overcome a two-game losing streak ending a dreadful road trip?

As a loyal Diamondbacks fan I chose the latter. With the game scheduled for this morning I awoke early putting on my jersey, opening a bag of peanuts and settling into my recliner for a day of baseball.

Daniel Hudson was on the mound and he has been dominating since coming over from the Chicago White Sox. If anyone could get the team out of a losing streak it would be Hudson.

I knew I was in trouble in the bottom of the first inning when Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Hudson. “AAARRR!” I screamed at the television suddenly empathizing with Summers when he was hit with the racquetball 15 years ago.

My spirits were lifted in the fourth inning when the Diamondbacks scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead. I briefly considered calling my wife a wench and doing some pillaging and plundering but did not want to get too far ahead of myself.

Looking back that was a wise decision. After Hudson left the game in the seventh inning, the bullpen was asked to get the final eight outs of the game. If 2010 has taught us anything it is never to rely on the bullpen.

Reliever Sam Demel came in the seven inning and induced a double play to the first hitter he faced to retire the Pirates. In celebration I poured myself a bowl of Cap’n Crunch cereal complete with red and purple crunch berries.

I may have just jinxed the game. It started off well enough with the Diamondbacks adding a run in the top of the eighth to give them a 3-1 lead. Surely the bullpen can maintain a two-run lead?

Aaron Heilman came in to work the bottom of the eighth before turning the game over to Juan Gutierrez to close it down in the ninth. Unfortunately it never got that far.

Ronny Cedeno hit an infield single that dribbled to third baseman Mark Reynolds. After striking out Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen comes up and singles to center field putting men on first and third with one out.

A double-play ball would get the Diamondbacks out of this predicament. Jose Tabata hit a shot down the third base line that was miraculously snagged by Mark Reynolds who threw to second. The Diamondbacks could not turn the double play and Cedeno scored making the score 3-2.

With two outs, the Diamondbacks needed just one out to maintain the lead. Before I could even put down the spoon in my Cap’n Crunch, Heilman would give up a home run to Neil Walker to dead center field.

Just like that the lead and the game was blown like a cannon ball to the hull of a ship. It could not have been any worse if pirates had commandeered my ship and stolen all of my cargo.

It is times like this I wish I had two eye patches just so I didn’t have to watch the bullpen blow another game. I began cursing like a pirate that would make even a sailor blush.

They say dead men tell no tales; I wonder if the same can be said about bad relievers? About the only thing that could make me feel any better would be if Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson would have made the relievers walk the plank.


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