Guess what, Colorado, I hate Ben Affleck, too.
This morning is why God put the coffee bean on the Earth. Insane fatigue hangs over me like a rain-soaked pea coat. I can hardly move, my back is like Jello, but I'm alive and I'm an uncle. More on that later, but we must go in chronological order. You're not going to believe this trip.
I should've known this wasn't going to be easy. I mean, getting tickets alone should've stood as example of what hell we would have to endure to make this trip work. But we did it. My lovely wife was a trooper as she, maybe for the first time, made the final haul into the Yellow as I sleeped like a newborn baby in the seat next to her.
After traveling Thursday and Friday of last week on business, I got back into work for 12 hours before leaving for the Series in Denver. I was whooped. Very tired. After packing, we met with some friends for a bite to eat, a drink and then went over to Tim's Halloween party to say hello before faceplanting into my pillow for six hours of sleep. That six was reduced to about five after I restlessly spun in circles all night. Visions of championship trophies maybe. Sox were up 2-0 going into Denver.
Got my coffee on and gave Matt a call who, with Francis, was going to meet us at the Starbucks on the far side of town. After getting our cash and gas, we were on the road. We're flying across the dimly lit landscape when we round a corner and are met with a sea of brake lights. We crawl to a stop, put it in park and sit in the middle of nowhere.
After a few brief moments, I decide to do what any curious Texan does...hop out and look. What Matt and I would find is a score of emergency vehicles and an overturned truck and trailer saddling the highway. Fantastic. We gave ourselves a little padding on our trip, but there was no telling how long this was going to take.
Unphased but realizing that time was of the essence, Matt hopped on his iPhone to check out the map and look for another route. It wasn't going to be easy, but we would backtrack about 10 miles, drive down to I-40 (about another 10 miles), over to Vega (about 25 miles) and then up the highway we were trying to get to until the accident (about 30 miles). Overall, we're talking a detour of about 80 miles, but it was better than sitting on a cold highway waiting for something to happen. We could have been sitting out on that highway for two hours. So we turned around and hauled ass.
We pull into Bushland on I-40 an hour fifteen later and only 10 miles down the road and, as a result of the cold air and a pot of coffee, I needed to stop for some bladder relief. Three minutes later, I hop in the car and we're on our way. When I begin to turn onto the access road, I hear the most horrifying sound coming from the front passenger side of the car. My car begins to rattle violently. I pull off to the side, throw it in park and then walk to the side of the car to see this.
Awesome. I got tickets to the Series. We're 10 miles out of town and I'm looking at a tire that is completely off the rim. Like any resourceful Boy Scout, I step to work without hesitation. Again, time is of the essence. Matt and Francis speed on down the highway. I would try to catch up somewhere along the road, but I knew it would be difficult.
The tire was swapped in about ten minutes and my lovely wife and I decided to head back to the Yellow to change automobiles and then, again, haul some ass. We arrive in the Yellow, throw all of our crap into the Toyota, stop by the store to get some fluids and fill up the Toyota with gas. Moments later, my lovely wife comes out with drink in hand saying that she forgot to pay for it as she just bolted out the door. Man, if she got arrested for stealing a fountain drink from the Toot N Totum, I know we would never make it out of town. After paying for the drink, now two hours late hitting the road, we bolt down the highway. In fact, knowing our chances that the wreck would be cleaned up on the backroad by now, we take the original route. Sure enough, the road was clear and we were catching up on time mile by mile. Still, however, I was pissed.
Keeping in touch with Elders on the road, I was certain we'd catch up, but we never would until right outside of Denver when they stopped for pizza. We busted a drive-thru instead. Got in town with a few minutes to spare--quickly made way to our hotel, got on our gear for the game (I in my Pedroia jersey and my lovely wife sporting the beanie and Manny jersey) and began making way. The lobby was littered (that's weird that I'd use that word) with Red Sox fans. Everyone of them greeting each other with, "Go Sox." Yes, go Sox. We split downtown to hook up with Elders and Francis, switched cars so we'd only have to pay for one parking ticket (I still owe Elders--remind me, homie). Not only that, if we got in a riot after the game, Elders' truck would have made a much better battering ram. You gotta think of these things when you're the visiting team. Here we are in a pretty standard tourist shot at Coors Field. I can respect an organization that names their stadium after a beer. Albeit, it's not a great beer, but it's local. Whaddya gon' do? The didn't serve Sam Adams at the stadium. Haters.
I kept confirming with my lovely wife that she had the tickets. Just showing me one wasn't working either. "I want to see both of them...both of them." This is my lovely wife with the tickets. And then there's a Rockies fan over her left shoulder totally pissed about something. Probably being down 0-2 to the Red Sox. I'd be pissed. That or the fact that nothing goes with purple.
We found our way to the seats enduring occassional heckles and stares. You would've thought we had some disease. I found it was best to tuck the head down and begin throwing shoulders. Beautiful park. It's not just a clever name. Much more sizable than Fenway. It's a good thing. They can fit more fairweather baseball fans in there--50,041 to be exact. I think it was when we were making our way to our seat that I really felt that the Red Sox were now the hated team in baseball. It was no longer the Yankees. It was the Red Sox. Just this feeling of such detest as I walked among the herd. It didn't help to have occassional Sox fans gloating and slapping high fives. Whatever, it comes and goes with the wind direction. We were pitied to loved to hated. That's fine. We got to our seats which were about 17 rows up from the field in left center.
Once again, another pissed off Rockies fan. Pre-game was rather uncerimonious for the most part. Got there to see the Sox take batting practice--launching souveniers into the outfield seats. They looked confident. The players had a swagger about them as they walked about. There was your typical fanfare that you're accustomed to seeing on TV--the American flag that covers the entire outfield, the high-brow celebrity/singer doing the national anthem (Carrie Underwood), the jets flying overhead. Not that typical is bad, but it was weird being there. I was like, "Thank you, Carrie, good job and here come the jets." I think we need to switch that up a little. Like when the national anthem ends, Bigfoot comes out and crushes like 70 sedans then drives off.
The lineups were set. Needless to say, even without Youks, I was feeling good.
If you didn't see the game, no worries, I won't go through all of the action. But I must say that, out of the gate, the Rockies fans (yes, they really do exist and they aren't all just bored Bronco fans) were really aggressive right out of the gate. I wasn't really expecting it. And, not only that, but they were just downright mean. And the guys right behind me didn't like any foreign-born player. So, if you're scoring at home, that'd be Lugo, Dice K, Papi, and Manny. I guess, though, they don't hold their own team to the same standards as their centerfielder's from the Dominican Republic, their catcher's from Venezuela and their second baseman's from Japan. Oh well. And they handed out those silly rally rags. I used mine to wipe my nose as it was a little cold outside and I kept dripping. The Rockies fans used them to hit us in the head. They knew every Sox player and had a joke prepared for each. I felt completely unprepared because I didn't know a single one of these cats from the Rockies. I mean, I knew Helton and Holliday, but that's only because I watch Sportscenter. Beyond that, I was quite short of material.
First two innings went without incident and it looked to be settling in for a good ol' pitching matchup. Dice K was mowing them down. Some cat named Fogg was pitching well for the Rockies. We get to the third inning, we had already put four on the board and they walk Lugo to pitch to the (easy out) Dice K. Bases were loaded, two outs and the pitchers batting. His warm-up swings were straight comedic. He steps into the batters box and kinda wags the bat like he's going to actually try to hit the ball. After fouling off a few good pitches, dude comes through. He drives a single past a diving third baseman and two runs score. Oops. Now the Rockies fans went from friendly banter and heckling to angry shouts and yelling. I sat rather quietly not trying to draw too much attention to myself. I mean, we were still the visiting team, but still though. After a while of enduring the taunts from behind us, I finally would speak up. I can't remember what they said, but I whipped around quickly and glared at them. "We're cool, man. It's all good, man." Alright, I thought. So long as I can play along. So I began trash talking back.
In fact, when the game got really out of hand, just to patronize them, I began cheering for the Rockies. Manny struck out and I'd go crazy. Pedroia missed his chance at a ground ball and I'd cheer wildly. Figured they needed all the help they could get. It had a soothing effect on the hatred between us. We actually bonded a little. Enough to get the following picture.
The better of the fans was sitting right in front of Elders who was the best sport about everything. I figured it was best to throw a picture of him in for good measure. Not all Rockies fans are hateful morons. As Elders and I would say, "He loves the game." But he still hates purple and opts for the black instead.
It was a pretty formulaic win from there on in. A few more runs, Okajima and Papelbon come in for the combo relief effort. Sox win. Getting out of there was a little hairy. Apparently, I put my hand on the back of a Rockies fan who was passing by just so I didn't run him over and he mistook my action when he, by my lovely wife's account, snapped at me, "Don't ****ing console me!" Fair enough. Your team sucks, dude.
You know, I've heard a ton of excuses and reasons why the Rockies didn't win a single game in the Series after winning 21 out of 22 games. It's the Sox's payroll. It was the eight-game layoff. It was the Sox having home field advantage and jumping out 2-0. It was everything but a lack of talent. What you witnessed if you were among the few that actually watched the Series was a pounding. It was a total mismatch. It was a methodical beating. And, in the short series, it bares worth mentioning, that there was no Papi or Manny longball. In fact, there would be only three homeruns and two of those were hit by rookies. The pitching was magnificent and young phenom Jon Lester would win Game 4 with a dominating performance. Hey, don't hate us because we came prepared for a battle.
Anyhow, Sox won. The world is a pretty good place after all. I don't care if it makes us the hated empire. Really, I don't. I'm used to hate because I'm just too pretty. We awoke the next morning and wandered around Denver taking photos of the changing trees. Gangsta! Gangsta! And then we made our way down to Castle Rock Outlet Mall for shopping. Even more Gangsta! Gangsta! than you can even imagine. You know how we do it. Actually, it was quite nice. I went into a ski store and bought a nice Obermeyer sweater and some pants for almost nothing.
When I was checking out, I got a call from Bro Bro in Midland.
He was calling to let us know that our nephew was on his way out of the shoot and he was coming fast. You know, Wyricks just don't play around. We go. And this kid meant business. We made the quick decision to call into work for Monday off and haul some ass to Midland. Now, as easy as I make that sound, I was not privy to the exact distance of that haul, but I knew it was about six hours back to the Yellow and about four from there. So I approximated about 10 just off the top of my head. We'll keep the stops to a minimum. Hold the pee as many miles as possible. Ration the fluids, keep it on cruise and eat plenty of sunflower seeds. It's helps dehydrate you so you can drink tons of water, but never pee.
Well, before we could even make it to our first stop, the guy came flying out into the world. And, the best part of all, we share a name: Parker Jeffrey Wyrick. Tell me that ain't the tightest. Nonetheless, we couldn't wait to see him so we went as fast as we could. I'd try and catch Game 4 on AM radio which, unfortunately, didn't own its own frequency, but rather shared it with some horrible Mexican radio station. It would fade in and out over a bed of tejano which, as a Sox fan, was horribly annoying. We continued to listen. You know the rest. And, in case you don't (because the Series almost set a new low for viewership), we swept them. In fact, for the Rockies to say they "made it to the Series" would be overstating it. They won the NLCS and got a free two-day trip to Boston. That's it.
We pulled into sleepy Midland at about 1:30--almost eleven and a half hours later. We crashed at Bro Bro's pad while he slept in the hospital room with his Sarah. That next morning we darted up to the hospital to see youngblood. He was still in ICU with some fluid in the lungs. But we got to stare at him through the glass as he wiggled around in his little pod or tanning bed or whatever it is. Patiently we waited though until we could actually see him.
At about 6:15 that night, our time would come. Sanitize those hands, folks. We got a newbie on the way into the room.
There wasn't a dry eye in the house as little Parker made his grand entrance for the first time around the family. Don't you love how the ladies couldn't keep their eyes off of him, but the two brothers had enough presence to pry away for a good smile for the camera.
We had to be so very careful with him and given his delicate state, still, we couldn't get to close on him, but we gave him pounds from a healthy distance. My lovely wife was first. Dude was just chilling it. Like I wish I could sleep through important meetings. Dude was just like, "Yeah, don't mind me. I'm just gonna sleep a little more."
Meet the newest addition to the family: Mr. Parker Jeffrey Wyrick.
Goulet died? Lance Armstrong was making out with an Olsen twin? If a tropical storm kills 81 people, wouldn't that, by fatalities alone, qualify it as a hurricane? Man, what kind of world did we bring this kid into? Eh, if he's anything like my brother, he's gonna get along fine. If he's anything like me, look out world.