Tagged: gustavo chacin

Gustavo Watch, Part 18

Ahh yes, Gustavo Chacin, the guy who stole a baseball from me on 8/1/06 at Yankee Stadium and promptly fell victim to the Hample Jinx

The latest piece of Gustavo news broke last week when I was snagging baseballs in Toronto. I didn’t get a chance to blog about it then, but hey, it’s never too late to discuss the misfortunes that befall him.

Do you remember, back in December, when I was chillin’ in Ireland and making fun of Gustavo for getting signed by the lowly Washington Nationals? Well, it didn’t take long for the Nationals to release him. (Tee-hee!) Here’s the story on MLB.com.

Now…don’t be fooled by the fact that he ended up signing with the Phillies; it was a minor league contract and we all know that the entire Phillies organization is going to fizzle in ’09.

But enough about the Phillies. Yuck. It’s all about the Mets right now. Last night, in honor of the official opening of Citi Field, the Empire State Building was illuminated with orange and blue. Here’s the view of it from my apartment. It’s way off in the distance (more than two miles away), right in the center of the photograph:


There’s a 50 percent chance of rain tomorrow, but I don’t care. I’ll be at Citi Field even if there’s a monsoon. Bring it on. I’m so ready…


Day 3 of our trip was Christmas, aka “Rickey Henderson’s birthday” to those whose religion is baseball. (More on baseball in a bit.) There wasn’t anything to do in Dublin. Everything was closed. So Jona and I hung around the house all afternoon with her aunt and uncles and cousins and their kids (a few of whom aren’t pictured below):


During the last hour of daylight, we walked over to Dublin Bay (less than half a kilometer away) and took a long, leisurely stroll along the promenade. The tide was way out, so it wasn’t as pretty as it normally is, but I still got a couple nice photos. Here’s the first…


…and here I am with Jona (and her pink mohawk hat) in the second:



Back at the house, we ate a traditional Irish Christmas dinner:


That’s right. We had turkey with gravy, mashed and roasted potatoes (or “spuds” as they’re called here), cranberry sauce, and stuffing. There were also a few vegetables that I avoided.

After dinner, Jona and I played a game of Scrabble (on a mini-travel set that we’d packed for the flight). We all watched a lot of TV, and Jona and I fell in love with a comedy duo that’s insanely popular here in the UK. It’s called “Little Britain.” Check them out on YouTube.)

That was pretty much it. Slow day. But I have a few baseball things to report.

Seamus (Jona’s aunt’s husband, whose name, as I mentioned in my Day 1 entry, is pronounced “SHAY-muss”) surprised me with his interest in baseball. Not only does he own The Ultimate Baseball Book


…as well as three major league caps and a 1986 Mets mug…


…but he’s related to a Hall of Famer; his great-grandfather was married to Ed Delahanty‘s aunt!

By the way, Seamus and his wife Joan had a funny exchange when he first put on the Sox cap. She thought it was perched too high up on his forehead, so she told him to “bring down the peak.”

“Don’t tell me how to wear me bloody cap!” he barked with a smile, then turned to me and said, “She’s a terrible woman.”

Seamus really DOES like the Mariners and reminisced about the days when Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Randy Johnson all played together on the team. Seamus gets a good amount of MLB games (and news) through his standard cable TV package, and he makes a point of watching the World Series every year. (He doesn’t understand why it’s called the “World” series when it only involves teams from North America.) His favorite player nowadays is Ichiro Suzuki, and he described a defensive play he once saw in which Ichiro “threw the ball nearly all the way to home base from the boundary.”

I’ve been keeping up with MLB news since I got here. First it was Teixiera, and now it’s…


jinxed_from_ireland.jpgYou remember the sad story of Gustavo Chacin, right? To sum it up quickly:

1) He stole a baseball from me on 8/1/06 at Yankee Stadium.
2) I put the Hample Jinx on him as punishment.
3) His career went down the tubes as a result.

The latest Gustavo news is proof that the Jinx is always with him, even during the off-season when I’m an ocean away and distracted by other things. Just within the last few days, he was signed to a minor league (Ha!) contract by the worst team in baseball. That would be the Washington Nationals. Chacin has become such an inconsequential scrub that the move didn’t even make front page news on MLB.com. Here’s the story.

Gustavo Watch, Part 16

I know I said I’d blog about my seat location for the Home Run Derby, and I will…tomorrow…but first I have to give an update about North America’s No. 1 ball thief.

you_are_jinxed.jpgYou all remember the sad story of Gustavo Chacin, right? On 8/1/06 at Yankee Stadium, he knocked a ball out of my glove while I was using the glove trick–sound familiar?–so I put the Hample Jinx on him and he began to suffer one misfortune after another. First he pitched badly. Then he got hurt. Then he was arrested for DUI. Then he got sent to the minors.

The the update is that he has spent the entire 2008 season pitching for Class A Advanced Dunedin in the Florida State League. HA!!!

But wait, it gets better. Ready for his stats? In 11 starts, he’s 1-7 with a 7.88 ERA. He has allowed more than 14 hits per nine innings. His WHIP is nearly 2.00 and he has surrendered more than one home run per start.

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. And you don’t mess with the Hample.