Archive for May, 2008

Brothers Foster

Posted in Baseball Roadtrip with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2008 by manydn

Brothers Foster

By Daren Many

PORTLAND, Ore. — I would like to take this time to profusely thank the other Foster.

He goes by the name of Todd and our trip would probably be much more successful if he were along for the whole ride. He bought us everything while we were in Seattle: lunches, dinners, and multiple rounds of beer. We couldn’t get two blocks without getting a round and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Todd FosterLet us take a step back to where I mentioned that we are not experienced filmmakers. I barely know how to use my mp3 player. We have several high-tech pieces of equipment that we are still trying to learn how to use.

These pieces of equipment, believe it or not, are actually harder to learn to use after several beers. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate Todd’s generosity. In fact, it’s much easier to interview people after a couple pints. So again, thank you, Todd.

There is one thing I should add: I have now been called a “Sally” by both Foster brothers and, to make matters worse, I think Todd’s wife, Anne, agreed on the phone that I probably was a “Sally.” If you’re not familiar with the term, it basically means I wasn’t drinking up to the satisfactory level of the Foster brothers.

Todd is a father, so it’s not often he gets to drink with the guys, which showed on the first days of filming. He drank at a level that I was not capable of sustaining and, therefore, it was declared at numerous bars — in front of numerous women bartenders — that I was, in fact, a “Sally.” 

Boozing aside, I think filming is going quite well. Troy has been dressed up in an ’80s-era Athletics T-shirt for several days now as he asks people how to get to the Kingdome. The Kingdome was demolished eight years ago. His shirt smells like it should have been demolished nine years ago. It’s been hard to keep a straight face and keep the camera still during all of this.

The apex was going to the top of the Space Needle and trying to get a long distance view of the Dome, which was followed shortly thereafter by Troy declaring that he was going to take a dump at the top. For those of you who followed our Europe blog, you may remember Troy trying to take a crap unsuccessfully at the top of the Eiffel Tower. So you can imagine the sense of accomplishment that he feels at having succeeded this time.

I should also note that we actually saw our first game. We all agreed that it was anticlimactic and somewhat boring. This may come as a surprise, since we are filming a documentary about baseball, but it’s the truth: it was boring and we made several beer runs to remedy this problem.

baseball roadtrip Being at the park isn’t altogether boring, though. There’s a lot going on. Probably my favorite part of Safeco Field is the bullpen setup. The bullpens are literally right next to the concourse walkways. The only thing that separated us from Jonathan Papelbon was a chain-link fence.

This, of course, brought out the best in people. “Hey Jonathan, I’ve had turds that were better looking than you!” shouted one Mariners fan.

Of course the three ladies next to me disagreed strongly with that comment and shouted back their own obscenities that I won’t repeat here.

We made the push to Portland last night to stay with Troy’s parents. I actually slept on a bed last night. The past few nights I’ve been on the floor, which has helped my spinal alignment but done little to help me recover from my lack of sleep. Can I also mention that I have a torn hamstring? So riding in a car for long distances, sleeping on the floor, and moving large quantities of equipment that only Indiana Jones on some long distance crusade would move has not helped matters.

But hey, it’s a baseball road trip. I’ll suck it up.

Mets: 5.5 games back when we walked into Safeco. 6.5 games back when we left.

(There’s more on this and our other adventures at BaseCrawl.com.)

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You’re doing what?

Posted in Baseball Roadtrip with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2008 by manydn

baseball roadtrip

By Daren Many

SEATTLE — We think our conversation started on a walking trip to the Evel Knievel jump site on the Snake River canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. Fitting place, really, since we’re about to take our own huge jump into the unknown.

Troy and I had already been on a trip to Europe together and we both had the travel bug. I probably started the conversation because of my love for the game. The great thing about Troy is that he’s always up for an adventure. How many friends do you have that talk a big game but never act on it? Well, that’s not Troy.  He’ll do anything.

Our Europe trip seemed like it materialized out of thin air. Going to Europe for three weeks is one thing, but visiting every MLB stadium in the country in one summer? It’s one of those things you talk about — how great it would be and how it would change your life — but actually doing it?  Nearly impossible. You need some money. You need a huge chunk of time. You have to think about the other people in your life.

So when the subject was first discussed, I think Europe was fresh in our minds and we were holding on to the infection that is travel. Nothing at the initial stages of conversation really suggested that this would even be possible. But it was Troy and it was me. We don’t let things like that get in our way. We kept talking about it. The talk turned into quasi-planning sessions, which morphed into deeper discussions about actually making this thing work.

Documentary CameraFast forward to a night in Twin Falls. At some point we convinced Nolan to join in on this foray, and now we’re sitting in his dining room a mere six days from our first game. We’re talking anxiously about what’s to come.  It’s a time of mass confusion. Cameras, laptops, Web site design meetings, phone calls, beer, more Web site design meetings and research. Lots of research.

This isn’t just watching baseball. It’s a creation of massive proportions. It’s not a Hollywood blockbuster, but it might as well be for three guys who never had aspirations of making a documentary. Troy’s journalism experience is the gas that fuels this engine, but even Troy is not an experienced filmmaker, so that makes us even less than not experienced. Whatever that may be. 

Our time is short and our first game is only days away. We are on the road and there’s no turning back. We wouldn’t want to, anyway.

Mets: 5.5 Games Back

(There’s more on this and our other adventures at BaseCrawl.com.)

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