Driving down the street the other day, I saw a group of youngsters sliding from one end of their lawn to the other via the most dangerous means of travel, the Slip and Slide. Just the sight of the uncontrollable wet tarp death trap/fun summertime activity flooded my brain inbox with good old toys that they just don’t make anymore, like that uranium-filled chem set from the ’50s.

Anyhoo, it was a slow night and I was playing Sonic the Hedgehog behind the bar (we’ve got the Sega plugged in this week)  between pitching changes during the Oakland A’s eleven inning tilt Wednesday night, and I brought up the slip and slide to one of our regulars, Randy. After Randy and I argued whether or not you can still buy slip and slides (turns out you can, there’s just a “no adults” disclaimer), Randy dropped the mother of all mothers on me.

“Oh yeah, Jarts, I still have a set in my garage. Never use them.” Before I could even plan my extraction strategy, Randy offered them to me. “I’ll trade you the set for a few beers.” I said I’d let him drink free for a week. A trade I’m surely to regret, but in the moment, that moment, I had to seize it. I finished the night with a permanent smile. I dreamed of Chaos Emeralds and dangerous lawn sports that night, friends. It was a wonderful dreamscape.

By the time Randy rolled into the bar on Thursday, it was late afternoon. Randy had begun his free week the night before, and had to be driven home. So he walked back to the bar the next day. Eight miles. I can only imagine what a hung over Randy trudging down a dirt road with a set of Jarts looked like. In my mind it looked like the beginning of an awful 70’s adult film, slap bass theme song and all.

The money shot of his erotic journey ended with the transfer of glorious goods. The Jarts. No longer in the original packaging, and one of the flights needed replacement, but there they were. In front of me in all their banned goodness. We immediately bought a round for everyone, so we could go outside and try them out. Holy shit, this was a bad idea. Accurately throwing sharp projectiles through the air disguised as a “lawn sport”/ time waster /drinking game touches on just about all the bad idea branches of the dumb tree.

Of course we’re going to play it all the time. If everyone stands on one side it’s almost impossible to hit someone. Almost is the key word there. What fun is life unless it’s filled with a little danger and poor decision making? None. None at all.

On to the crushes:

Alfonso Soriano

Welcome home old friend. After a long and winding road littered with mountains of gold at the end of every rainbow, the old warhorse has returned to his initial stable. With a contract no human could live up to, Fonzie became the posterboy for the Cubs recent woes, but in reality he’s as decent a player as any post-steroid (what a joke) era 37 year old could hope to be. The consummate pro, Soriano is inching towards 400 home runs (396) and recently bagged his 2,000th hit. But no one gives a shit about the numbers anymore. That is, unless you slug thirteen RBIs over a 24 hour period. Alfonso hit 1999 in the time machine and went medieval on Angels of Anaheim. For perspective, he got half of Ichiro’s 27 rbis in 390 less at bats. It seems fitting that Alfonso returned to the pinstripes the same time A-Rod did. Two very expensive roads diverged, only to come back together and show us the value of being earnest.

Brandon Beachy

 Welcome back new friend. After climbing back aboard the Braves playoff freight train, Beachy has been rounding into shape, winning his last two starts after coming back from Tommy John surgery. Most people forget he lead the NL in ERA before he went down with elbow trouble last year. After getting ground into a fine powder by the Rockies and Cargo’s 5 for 5 performance his first night back on 7-29, Beachy has been spot on. It’ll take a while to get back into form, and expect a few steps back, but with Kris Medlen regressing a bit, look for Beachy to be a big factor in the post season coming up. I dig any guy who has to come back from injury. I once broke a toe on a coffee table after a few too many, and damnit if I wasn’t drinking the next night. We’re all day to day, as the saying goes.

Miguel Cabrera

 I feel like he could be here every week. Virtually playing on one leg, he’s bashed five dongs over the last week, and does it with a smile. There really isn’t much to say here that hasn’t already been said. Playing a surprisingly decent hot corner, Miguel Cabrera is setting himself up for another triple crown run and AL MVP battle with Mike Trout. Detroit gave up Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller to get this guy. Amazing. To get him back, the Marlins would probably have to give Mike Ilitch the deed to the team and stadium. And maybe that wouldn’t be enough. It’s impossible not to root for this guy. And as an occasional binge drinker, we hold him in the same rarified air as Micky Mantle and Wade Boggs. Guys that get it done on the field and in the tavern.


English Premier League kicks off in a matter of hours. Day drinking.

Wagering on the youngsters of the LLWS.

Yasel Puig’s Arm Cannon

The Braves batboy’s bat trick.

Any time the Cardinals and Pirates get down, it’s must see.

Enjoy the weekend, tip a glass, and let a little love into your life.