Poppy seed bagels led to a strange experience this week — and will kick off a Deezo Friday Five that still leans heavily from my New York trip and the All-Star Game.
1) There was no way I was going to leave Long Island without a dozen real poppy seed bagels. They threw in three more knowing I was taking them back home — though at least that many disappeared somewhere along I-80 in Pennsylvania during snack time.
I’ve been rationing my bagels, defrosting one every other day.
This concerned the clerks in my regular bagel stop here in Michigan, who wondered why I was buying a cinnamon crunch bagel for my wife and nothing for myself.
I told her about my frozen stash, and the clerk seemed surprised that a New York bagel would be different than one in her shop, which actually is called Big Apple Bagels.
Another customer at the register jumped in: "They’re much bigger in New York," she said, and I joyfully recognized the accent.
"What part are you from?" I asked.
"Long Island," she replied.
"What part of the Island?" I asked.
"Mineola," she replied.
"Massapequa Park!" I offered. I didn’t realize there were other Islanders out here. "I was back home to see a game at Shea."
I was all ready to bond and discuss our favorite Billy Joel songs.
Then she broke out with this: "Did you go see a game at Yankee Stadium? It’s the final year."
"Hell no, I went to see a game at Shea, which also is in its final year."
"Are the Mets getting a new ball park, too? I don’t follow them. I like the Yankees."
She might have said something after that, but I was instantly mentally disengaged. I politely but quickly ended the conversation.
I don’t converse with Yankee fans.
2) I have mixed emotions about the sidewalk art for the All-Star Game.
You have to understand that I love all things related to the Statue of Liberty. My tolerant wife even allows me to display part of my collection on a tasteful shelf in the family room. And they’re pretty sweet, too, especially the one that dances when you put it near the stereo speakers.
So you’re thinking, "OK, baseball and Lady Liberty. How can anything be wrong with that?"
Something was bothering me and it took a while to figure it out.
Basically, they took the statues and covered them with logos. That works fine if you are dealing with an inanimate object, like the Liberty Bell for example.
But the Statue of Liberty depicts a person. Well, a person representing a concept, but you get the idea.
These painted statues treat her like an object, with logos where they shouldn’t be. It’s almost disrespectful.
How much cooler would it have been to treat her like a person — and paint jerseys on the statues? She could be wearing a special number for each team, saluting their best player.
Lady Liberty would look like she’s heading off to the game with the rest of the huddles masses yearning to breathe free instead of appearing like a giant paperweight.
Detroit had the right idea when the Tigers went to the World Series in 2006, putting a jersey on the Spirit of Detroit statue.
When Detroit does something better than you do, well, that’s not something you want to boast about.
3) Speaking of artwork, the church coed softball team I coach is in the playoffs and we kicked some butt in the first game. I almost kissed the Nitro after my sweet double.
This week we’re facing a challenge, going up against the best team in the league that, well, has yet to know the agony of defeat. Hopefully we can do some educating.
At least I think we’re playing them. Here’s what the league sent over. I’m not sure if this is the playoff bracket, abstract art or a map showing local bus routes.
4) Back to the All-Star Game. I have more issues.
I collect the programs from each game. Yes, I am obsessive. This was a fairly easy task, and I have them going back to the early 1970s.
MLB started getting difficult by producing multiple covers. First it was about five, saluting players including Mike Piazza with old-fashioned portraits. I grumbled, but I rounded them all up, as MLB knew I would.
This happened to varying degrees in recent years, with the number ebbing down through 2006.
But last year MLB went nuts and produced a program with the All-Star Game logo, then one for each team, showing a player headed to the game. Horrendous. There was no chance — none! — that I would even consider attempting getting 31 programs.
I was seriously irked because my streak of having every program since the 1970s was snapped. Now I have to add a disclaimer, saying I have one version of each program since the 1970s.
At least last year’s Met cover boy was Jose Reyes. This year we get Billy Wagner, who was our sole representative until David Wright was added this afternoon.
And there are at least two generic covers as well, one being called a limited stadium edition or some such nonsense.
I know MLB likes to take not just some of your disposable, but all of your disposable income. But sometimes I just wish it wasn’t so blatant about it.
5) I’m a good Long Islander. I like Billy Joel. People out here don’t get it, and that’s OK because they don’t get proper bagels, either.
Billy’s got some Yankee taint, but I chalk that up to pandering to raise some cash during his lawsuit period.
He’s making up for it by performing the last concerts at Shea Stadium next week. Here’s a clip of my favorite song from the Piano Man.
Yes, I know this is from Yankee Stadium. David Wright is going to be playing there, too, on Tuesday and we're not holding that against him.
Get well Bob Klapisch
I sure do like to vent about Bob Klapisch, but this is nasty.
His paper reports that Klapisch might have suffered permanent damage to his right eye after being struck by a one-hopper while pitching for a semi-professional baseball team in Morris County. He was pitching in relief for the Morris Mariners when a ground ball took an errant hop and caught him in the eye. The accident broke four orbital bones around that eye and may require doctors to reattach its retina.
I need Yankee lovers like Klapisch so I have something to get all worked up about. Otherwise I might have to start worrying about things that actually matter.
So let's wish Mr. Klapisch a speedy recovery. Maybe he'll run into Moises Alou at the hospital.