Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Geek in Vegas (II)

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Betting on sports. Drinking all day. Watching a half dozen baseball games at once. You’re probably wondering exactly how you can get to Vegas right about now, especially if you’re married with kids.

I hear you. For a half dozen years I preached to The Voice of Reason about the wonder that is Vegas, and received nothing more encouraging than an eye roll. Now, TVOR will be the first to sign up for a trip.

Las Vegas is Disney World for adults, and I mean that in the most reckless and wonderful way possible. Remember when you were a kid, and wanted to do all those things you couldn’t because you weren’t old enough? And now you laugh at your kids when they tell you they wish they were grown-up, because you know all the responsibility that accompanies it? Well, welcome to Vegas: adult fun without responsibility.

Which brings us to rule #1 about Vegas: DON’T BRING THE KIDS. Bringing kids to Vegas is like visiting a strip club blindfolded. Why, exactly, would you want to be there? You don’t have the irresponsibility. You don’t have the grown-up fun. You’re running interference half the time for events you’d prefer the kids don’t see. I know EXACTLY how tough it is to line up a sitter for several nights for the kids. I understand not being able to do it. But there is no compromise position. If you can’t dump the kids, then put Vegas out of your mind and take ‘em to the Dells. At least then half of your family will have fun.

But let’s say that you think you can dump the kids. Or even better, that you were really smart, and never had them. How can you talk your spouse into that trip to Sin City? Here are a couple of suggestions….

1. Bring friends

I’m not totally sure that Vegas is made for spouses. Mostly, it’s for friends. Guys want to do guy things, like spend hours upon hours in front of a wall of cathode rays. Ladies like to ladies things, like drink frozen margaritas by the pool. It’s nice to have another couple so you don’t end up doing these things alone.

Also, Vegas nights often end weird. We’ll get to the gambling rules tomorrow, but the bottom line is that when you gamble late at night, you will want the night to end at different times. Winners want to keep winning, and losers run out of money and fun. Being with a group gives you more flexibility for quitting at different times.

2. Vegas is for relaxation

Don’t chince on where you stay in Vegas. I’ve found that the hotel needs to have at least three things:

A pool for her.
A sports book for me.
A food court for when we want/need to eat fast.

She needs to understand that she’s going to be able to spend a good part of the day sitting by the pool and having someone bring her frozen drinks. And another good part of the day sleeping in. And another part of the day eating romantic dinners. Did I mention the dinners yet?

3. Romantic Dinners

Vegas is filled with great places to eat, and only half of them are buffets. Plan a couple of late-night nice dinners, something that she can look forward to all day. Anything after 8:30 likely won’t get in the way of your sports gambling, because Vegas is two hours behind Minnesota. When you’re spending your fourth solid hour gazing open-mouthed at the Brewers/Pirates game, that reservation will buy you a world of good will. Plus, frankly, she deserves it for putting up with you. (Make sure you have reservations before you arrive in Vegas.)

OK, on to the baseball stuff…

The Twins
I expect when Brad Radke retires, he’ll mostly be remembered for his control and consistency. But I’m also going to remember performances like yesterday’s, times when he rose to a challenge in a big game and executed flawlessly. I’ll admit it. I didn’t think he had that in him anymore. Gawd, I hope this team makes it to the playoffs for him.

The Outfield
Lost in Crain’s outing on Monday night was that the big inning was made possible on Michael Cuddyer getting a late break on a short fly to right field. Last night, the outfield came up just a bit short two more times. First Hunter (granted, at a full gallop) had a ball go off the heal of his glove. Then he also got a late break on a short fly ball. Maybe there’s something going on with the fielding eye in that stadium, but the outfield defense has not been an asset for the Twins this series.

Tyner’s arm
Except for Jason Tyner, who has been exceptional. His throw yesterday to gun down Ordonez at the plate was Hunterrific, and far beyond what I expected. I didn’t think he had a shot at that play. Tyner has answered every question this year about whether he can be a starting major league center fielder. He won’t be an all-star at the position, but he won’t hurt a team either.

The Bets
Let’s get this over with. I lost $100 bucks last night on two extra-innings games. In the first, Mariano Rivera blew a save. In the second, the tying run was made possible by a strikeout/passed ball AND an error on the catcher ON THE SAME PLAY. Nice work Navarro, you punk.

For today’s games, I got nothing. Mostly because I’m still bitter. I should know better than to bet on the Yankees, even if they are facing the White Sox. When I go online to publish this, I’ll try and find something.

Other Stuff

  • Ryan Freel gets Catch of the Year. Honestly, it looked like a commercial for an energy drink. It was that good.

  • Another wonderful moment in yesterday’s Padres/Mets game when Shea rose as a single unit to applaud Mike Piazza. Sports is the best kind of drama.

  • Five words you don’t hear every day: Dmitri Young with a triple.

  • I suspect that if put to a general election, a law allowing people to pummel cigar smokers with 2x4s would gain approximately 108% of the vote.

  • Hey, tough young studs. Here’s something to keep in mind when you’re putting that tattoo around your bicep. In approximately 12 years, you’re going to be pushing a baby stroller around some public place, and your two-year-old daughter is going to be throwing toys and bottles out of the stroller, strictly because she likes watching you stop to pick them up. And it will be ten times more amusing to everyone around you because of your ring of thorns.

  • Batting third for the Yankees yesterday was Bobby Abreu. So let me get this straight. The best lineup in the major leagues was able to trade for – strike that – was able to purchase a #3 hitter at the trade deadline for little more than money. Three words: HARD SALARY CAP.

  • Some of the best casino stories seem to come out of mens restrooms…

    “Oh what a night. Late September back in ’63….”

    That’s what I hear sung by a tipsy gentleman over at the sinks. He leaves, and two minutes later, when I’m at the sinks, I hear:

    “Oh what a NI-I-I-GHT! Doo-da-doo-da-doo. Doo-da-doo-da-doo.” coming from a different pleasantly buzzed guy standing at the urinals.

    Apropos of nothing, it’s exactly 5:55 PM.

    You gotta love Vegas.


Anonymous said...

This was your best entry since the site went down.

ubelmann said...

Tyner has answered every question this year about whether he can be a starting major league center fielder. He won’t be an all-star at the position, but he won’t hurt a team either.

Whoa. Let's not get carried away here. Tyner's at best an average fielding CF, and he's currently sporting a replacement level .233 EQA thanks to the world's emptiest .300+ batting average. Tyner's not much better than a replacement level CF, and that could certainly hurt a team if you have to deal with it for the majority of the season.

Johnny said...

I will be there in exactly 4 days sans the wife and kid. I know exactly where you are coming from. My goal is to drink as much as I can, eat as much red meat as I can and play as much blackjack as I can. Is anything better?

Third Base Line said...

"I suspect that if put to a general election, a law allowing people to pummel cigar smokers with 2x4s would gain approximately 108% of the vote."

It's got my vote! Now, is it too late to get it on the ballot this fall?

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