Monday, May 11, 2009

They Haven't Classed Up the Joint Too Much

I took a solo trip to Bailout Ballpark on Saturday and had another lovely visit. There were some autism awareness activities going on, which were pretty sweet.

About a half hour before game time, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row fame (not sure if you can really say he's of Jekyll & Hyde fame) took the field and sang a couple of Queens covers (We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, of course), 18 & Life (the Skid Row hit), and another song I didn't recognize. It's probably from a new album.

But let me just say for the record: Sebastian Bach fucking rules. I mean, the songs weren't particularly good or anything, but he had the toughest job in the house there for a solid ten or fifteen minutes. The stadium was still mostly empty, and there were exactly zero people sitting in the seats he played to directly.

From my seat I had a pretty good view of the Taste of New York food court at the stadium, and that's where the throngs were. Shake Shack trumps Sebastian Bach, apparently.

God bless him, though. Sebastian was doing everything he could to get the tiny crowd excited. In that high-pitched hair-band voice of his, he screamed, "YOU READY TO ROCK THIS GAME, NEW YORK??" to which the crowd offered back a very tame, "Yay..." No matter how quiet the response, that Sebastian Bach kept on calling out for that response, bless his heart.

A couple of guys from the Howard Stern Show were involved in the awareness day, too, so naturally Sebastian Bach changed the words to include a little "Bababooey" also. Bababooey drank it up.

When it was finally time for the ceremonial first pitch, Bababooey (that's Howard Stern producer Gary Dell'abate, if you're not familiar with the show) took the ball. The stadium had filled up by this point, so Bababooey was pitching to a full house.

Now, it's pretty common for the ceremonial first pitch to fail to make it to the catcher on the fly. People who haven't ever thrown off a mound (or haven't since Little League) usually fail to compensate for the angle. So there tend to be a lot of bounced ceremonial first pitches. Most fans accept this and cheer anyway, even Mets fans.

Bababooey threw what had to be the single worst ceremonial first pitch I've ever seen in my life. Not only was his form horribly awkward, but the ball went off in a direction I didn't even think possible. It ended up so far from the catcher that it was an umpire who caught it.

And boy, did the boo birds rain down on Bababooey's head.

I actually felt a little bad for the guy. Back when it was on terrestrial radio, I would occasionally listen to the Howard Stern Show, and Bababooey is a massive Mets fan. I don't know if he's ever thrown out the first pitch before, but I'm sure it's been a dream for a long time. And he blew it. Man, he blew it bad.

After Mets ceremonial first pitches, the pitcher takes a photo with the catcher and ball as a souvenir. Bababooey's face was on the jumbotron at that moment, and he was bright red and looked absolutely miserable, forced smile notwithstanding. Poor bastard.

This is one morning I wish I had Howard to listen to. They are almost certainly busting his balls. After all, Artie Lange was there to witness the thing up close, and that guy was apparently an all-star third baseman in high school.

I'm just glad, though, that the pre-game included Sebastian Bach and Bababooey. With that fancy new stadium, it would be too easy to invite, say, Vampire Weekend and Ira Glass. For the Mets, it's really gotta be Sebastian Bach and Bababooey.

Late update: Because you know you want to see it, here's the disastrous pitch from Bababooey. Unfortunately, you can't hear the Baba-boos. Still, that's some pitch.

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