Guys, I did it. Jake Einstein here again. I’ve barely left the lab since last Saturday, aside from a few late-night runs to Zaffiro’s. I’ve been so preoccupied with trying to figure out what happened to me last week I totally forgot my friends had tickets for Tuesday’s game against the Braves. I still managed to listen to Uecker on TMJ, though. That idiot who ran onto the field? That was my buddy Pete. Ordinarily, I’d feel kind of bad about it. Pete’s always had a bit of a wild side, and I’m usually around to rein him in. But I have more important things to worry about right now. I’ll try to explain.
After my professor dismissed my "little incident" last weekend as nothing more than lack of sleep and an overactive imagination, the first thing I did was hit the books. I ran home and grabbed everything I own that has anything to do with theoretical physics, then hit up Boswell’s on my way back to the lab and ransacked all of their Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, and Brian Greene.
After going through twelve books, seventeen scholarly articles, and 47 Mead spiral notebooks, I was ready to start working. I’ll spare you most of the gory details. Suffice it to say that I think I’ve discovered a "Roman ring," or stable group of wormholes. This is huge – as I understand it, this ring isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I’ve only made one more trip through, so far, just last night. It’s a physically and emotionally draining process. And I really can’t emphasize how lucky I’ve been. If it weren’t for the Roman ring and its closed timelike curve, I wouldn’t be able to travel back and forth with such relative ease. Who’d have thought that I, Jake Einstein, would discover an Einstein-Rosen bridge? There’s no relation, of course. But it’s a hell of a coincidence. Opening it up requires an extraordinary amount of negative energy, which I’ve so far been able to harness only by bombarding the lab with electrons and table salt while playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on a Wurlitzer organ. I don’t know if that last part is crucial, but I was playing it when it happened last night, and I don’t want to take any chances.
Anyhow, like last week, I remember a blaze of white light. I was able to stay conscious for a little bit longer this time. My memory is pretty fuzzy, but I remember banging into some kind of long table, and hearing the buzz of a distant crowd. I groggily tried to look around, but everything was sort of soft and blurry. As I felt myself slipping under, I fumbled around for something to grab, in the hopes that I could analyze it once I got back to the lab. I got pretty lucky. Once again, I’ve included what I found below.
Cream City Hops Week in ReviewBy Margaret Piper
The Hops look to regroup after a rough-and-tumble first week. But with the team’s pluck visibly slackened so early in the season, is it even possible? Maggie Piper has the scoop.
It was a week to forget for the Cream City Hops, who find themselves off to their worst start in twelve years.
A crowd of 34,431 was in attendance to witness the slump kick off, as fans poured into Schlitz Stadium from miles around to greet the world-champion Missouri Bluebirds on opening day. Guillaume Guy-Homme strode to the mound for the 1:00 start looking for all the world like an overbearing peacock, and served up a first-pitch fastball that clocked in at 96 miles per hour. Unfortunately for the Hops, Missouri leadoff batter Jasper Katz clocked it into the left-field seats for a quick 1-0 lead. Guy-Homme settled down after that, allowing just two further Bluebird hits over the next eight innings. He walked one and struck out six on the day before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the eighth.
In a move that’s sure to be scrutinized the world over, player-manager Wrench Ruxley opted to bring in Gary Grant to pitch the ninth, citing the pair’s long working relationship dating back to last decade. Grant, erstwhile known as "Gopher Ball," walked the first two men he faced before dishing up the three-run homer to Bluebirds catcher Clarence Case that snapped a 1-1 tie and sealed the Hops’ fate. Ruxley had this to say about the inning: "I’ve known Gary for years and years. When it comes down to it, I just trust the guy. I know he’s had a bit of a hard time with the long-ball these last few seasons, but the stuff is still there. Should I have gone to him in the ninth? Well, I did, so I’m not gonna mess around with this hypothetical [stuff]. But I’ll stand by my guy. Did you see those last three batters he faced? Strike out, ground ball, strike out. Why don’t you write about that?"
On the offensive end, the Hops didn’t fare much better, managing six singles on the day and scoring just one run on a sacrifice fly from first-baseman Chaz Simmons in the bottom of the sixth. Tom Rant, who came in to hit for Guy-Homme in the eighth, stranded runners at the corners when a backdoor breaking ball from Brent Bullstrop caught enough of the plate to coax a called strike three from the man in blue. Ruxley started his season 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
After a day off on Tuesday, the Hops traveled to our nation’s capital for a one-game bout with the Washington Wigs. Red Bailey got the start for the Hops, and tossed seven effective innings, giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and five Ks. Griff Jones connected for his first home run of the year, and the Hops rode that majestic blast all the way to a 4-2 victory.
Another day off on Thursday set up the three-game weekend set with the Bluebirds back at Schlitz Stadium. The less said about it the better, but in the name of dutiful journalism (and because I am paid by the word), I will re-print the scores.
Friday: Hops 2, Bluebirds 3. Robbins – 6 IP, 3ER, 4 Ks, L (1). Simmons – 1-4, 2B (1).
Saturday: Hops 0, Bluebirds 6. Moto – 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 Ks, L (1). Ruxley – 0-4, 4Ks.
Sunday: Hops 4, Bluebirds 5. Grant – 1 IP, 3 ER, 1K, L (2). Calatrava – 1-3, HR (1).
Up next, the Hops travel to Kansas City, for a three-game set against the Swing, before continuing on to Baltimore to tangle with the Blue Crabs. Both clubs finished last season over .500, and are expected to contend once again this year. Wins won’t come cheap for the Hops, but Wrench Ruxley, owner of a combined .320 average against the two teams, isn’t concerned.
"I’ve been playing these teams for years. I know their players like I know my own. No, Peg, I don’t think it will be a problem whatsoever."
Guillaume Guy-Homme figures to kick things off against the Swing. I asked him about his rumored new pitch, which was mysteriously absent his first time out.
"I’m not gonna talk too much about that," he said with a laugh. "Let’s just say it’ll be there when I need it. There’s no way you’ll miss it. No way."
Perhaps not. But here’s hoping that opposing batters will miss it, early and often. And that the Hops are able to improve on their dreadful 1-4 start to the season. See you at the ballpark, folks.
– Maggie Piper
Jake here again, Brew Crew Ball. I managed to filch a trading card, too. It isn’t quite what I was looking for, though. I’ll try again next time. Anyway, here it is:
See you next time,