"The Mesa"

Look at that monster

I don’t feel like it would be fair if I didn’t lead off with this little story. When George and I were spending the last few days trying to think of an adequate name for this blog, I really wanted to name it Joe Table Wants us Dead. Translation: Jose Mesa Wants us dead. George shot it down saying that it was “gay”, and that our readers wouldn’t fully appreciate it because it was an inside joke. I disagree, because all along I was going to share this little inside joke with our readers.

It was a warm summer day back in 2004. I was living in Cincinnati with my uncle Frank, working as an intern for his law-firm back before I found out that to be a lawyer, you have to be a) hard working, and b) a huge prick. George flew in to spend the weekend + a couple days at Uncle’s daddy warbucks-like golf course mansion. There were obvious perks. A liquor cabinet stocked full of goodies. An empty house since Uncle Frank was out of town on business many times. There was green #9 in the back yard, which served as a relaxing side game of “chip and putt” while sipping skotch or Jack Daniels. Most of all, Uncle Frank was just a short drive from Great American Ballpark in downtown Cincinnati. This served as our oasis when George came out to visit. Since we’re baseball junkies it figured to be a prominent part of our weekend festivities. To sweeten the deal, uncle frank landed us tickets to friday night’s ballgame (scout seats behind home plate) and saturday night’s ballgame (Diamond Seats).

What ensued was a 2-day donnybrook of boozing and lippers. By the time sunday rolled around, I think we rolled out of bed around 11:00, still drunk easily and wondering what the day would bring.

A conversation went something like this:
Me: “Why don’t we go to the ballpark”
George: “Aw fuck man I don’t know if I can handle this 90 degree heat, I’m still drunk”
Me: “Come on lets go, theres nothing else to do,”
George: “I’m in, but my pussy hurts.”

We showered up and off we went. By about the 3rd or 4th inning, I started to feel the intense sun biting at me. We were fucked. To make matters worse, the Reds must have done the same thing all weekend that we did, because the lowly pirates were kicking their ass. I love baseball, and I usually stay in my seat the entire ballgame. On this day I was no better than a kid with ADD and fresh out of ritalin. My attention span was firing on every widget. I had to do something.

“Lets go take a walk around, get out of this fucking sun, man.”

Off we went. Walking around the ballpark. We went out to right center field, to the Pepsi “Smoke Stacks” that are supposed to cool you down on a hot summer day. It’s a fucking farse. There’s about 200 sweaty kentucky hill-jacks underneath them and they aren’t budging. You’d have more luck having someone inhale your queef in an elevator then getting someone to move out from under those misty little pieces of heaven.

Our journey continued. We saw one of our good friends, Mr. Adam Dunn hit a homerun to dead center from the right field seats. We checked out several angles. Nothing seemed to work. We ventured around to the visitors bullpen, the Pittsburgh Pirates Bullpen. Looking, looking, I know I can see something good in here……looking closer…..closer…..scanning with my eyes……

No luck, all the Pirates pitchers were tucked away safely under the bullpen bench area, in the shade of course. Then suddenly my eyes struck gold. There he was. “Senior Smoke”. Jose Mesa was sitting on a bench directly below us. JACKPOT! He was probably the one Pirates Pitcher I knew something about, and had some material on. Make no mistake about it, I love me some Cleveland Indians. While I have been to many more Reds games I follow the Indians pretty hardcore. I had a bitter taste in my mouth this day, and it wasn’t because of the Jack and Cokes and Budweisers I’d thrown down the hatch the two days previous to this episode.

“Hey George, watch this shit. ‘Mesa! MESA! Senior Smoke!”

“You screwed us in the ’97 Series Mesa! We were two outs away and you fucked us!”

He was now turned around and giving me the evil eye. Not just any evil eye. A scar evil eye. You see Mr. Mesa was a bad man. I know this for sure. While he was in Cleveland, his last memory was well, blowing the World Series for a team believed to be cursed since Abe Lincoln freed the slaves, and he jammed his middle finger up the vagina of an underaged girl, fine, but she said it was against her will.

He was staring me down. I kept up. It was a lousy game and the weekend was coming to an end. I was going to take out my frustrations on Mesa, for making me cry back in 1997 over that Game 7 loss to the Marlins. George seemed mildly interested, and I looked at him and laughed. Sure, we were 21 going on 12. But Mesa earned it. He blew the biggest game in Indians history. Fuck him for that. I turned to George to see how he’d like my next line, to see that he’d gained from bravery earlier in the day. George was inserting a hog, a b
ig pinch of Skoal dip. Straight to be exact. Now, Skoal is like a man’s woman. It’s personal to him and only him. At a ballgame, it can make a man feel like a million dollars, like he’s just snagged a prized marlin on his yacht. On this day, with the hangovers we had, I don’t know that skoal was an entirely good idea.

I looked around Mesa for anything to get a rise from him. I saw next to him a gym bag. In that gym bag was no icy hot, no rubber bands, or baseballs. All I saw in that gym bag was…..candy! And lots of it. Gummy savers, a candy bar (king sized), and lots of other shit that would rot out what is left of his mexican teeth.

“Mesa you fatfuck! Nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger!”

George delighted in this. He really caught fire with that remark and I could see he was getting a second wind. Dip in, and full throttle, he chimed in.

“Hey Joe, how are you gonna get warm and go in and get anyone out if your fingers are still sticky from all that candy?”

Stragglers were coming around now. Other banterers were joining in. Clearly, Cincinnati houses more Indians fans, or just Mesa haters than I had initially realized. That or everyone else was bored because it was 90 degrees, and 11-1 Pirates, and none of us had any business being there anymore. Soon it was like a brush fire out of control. Mr. Mesa was getting pumped with insults from both ends, he was getting it ass to mouth now!

Mesa gave me a Clint Eastwood-like stare, and mouthed some foul words at me. I lauged at him and continued to be-little the fine year he was having in a Pirates uniform. Finally he said something to the effect of: “Usted, Usted, Fuck you-Security!”

That was all I needed to hear as I could see the large bullpen pitcher from Tijuana rise up, and march towards the bullpen cop. The cop went for his walkie-talkie. I went for the nearest seat, and told George to come with, so we could avoid trouble.

Long story short, we sat down and tried to look cordial. Minutes later a ballpark security officer came over, and quickly kicked out a kentucky hill-jack and his plethora of children out of the ballpark. I tensed up. The cop tapped me on the shoulder. Fuck.

“Mesa says you spit on him. Said one of you two blonde haired jokers spit on him. Do you spit on ballplayers?”
Now harrassing is one thing. Spitting, that stuff is for gatorade bottles and christening fields with. Not Mesas.

“No sir, talked to Mr. Mesa. Never spit on him. George did you spit on Mr. Mesa?” George nodded and said no.

“You didn’t spit on him? I have to think you spit on him. You guys need to go find somewhere else to sit or leave the ballpark.”

And with that, we got up and walked away. It was time to leave. Still, I couldn’t get over the mystery, the spit?

“George I can’t believe that rat fuck. He blew the only game that ever mattered to me, and he lies and said we spit on him. Fuck him.”

“I might have spit on him.” George said, after we were out of ear-shot of our cop friend.

That was all I needed to hear. George later admitted fully to spitting somewhere in the vacinty of Senior Smoke with his hog-juice. From that day forward, I’m convinced that if I ran into Jose Mesa in starbucks, or a fine mexican restaurant, he’d want me dead. I couldn’t help but think of this whole incident when Uribe from the White Sox had someone whacked over in the Dominican. Those Dominican ballplayers don’t fuck around. You fuck with them and they’ll cut your pig heart out with a bayonette and feed it to their warthog.

And that is my story about Jose Mesa.