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Not quite game for World Series


One fan's journal of the World Series:

8:35 p.m. -- OK, here we go. Batter steps in. Batter steps out to adjust 27 gold chains dangling from his neck. Batter steps back in.

Pitcher toes the rubber, looks in for the sign, shakes off the sign, steps off the rubber.

Catcher calls time, trots out to the mound. Pitcher and catcher confer animatedly. Catcher trots back behind the plate.

Batter hits a sharp ground ball to second. One out. Next batter grounds out to short. Next batter strikes out.

Whew, let me catch my breath.

"We'll be right back after these messages," says CBS announcer Sean McDonough.

8:46 -- Oh, God. Make him go away . . . MAKE HIM GO AWAY! It's James Earl Jones again. Hawking the Yellow Pages. Tell me something: Have you ever in your life seen anyone get this excited about a phone book? What would this guy do if you handed him the keys to a new Porsche?

"Now back to the action," says McDonough.

Let's hope so.

9:05 -- We're looking at a shot of the Braves' dugout. Player on the left spits. Player on the right spits. Player in the middle looks wistfully at his two teammates, obviously feels left out, so he spits.

Say, there's a pleasant sight. Yo, CBS, what's next? Do we follow one of the players into the clubhouse and catch him at the urinal?

9:15 -- Here's the obligatory shot of Braves' owner Ted Turner and wife Jane Fonda. Jane looks cranked up on Benzedrine as she throws her arms around Ted and practically sucks his lips off with a kiss.

Yo, Jane . . . chill.

During the National League playoffs, I saw her smooching it up big time with Ted while President and Mrs. Carter were in the next seats.

I mean, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, for God's sake!

9:20 -- Uh-oh. It's that annoying Burger King "99 cents" spot featuring crotchety old-timers talking about how tough things were when they were kids. Young hoodlums in next booth snicker -- probably making plans to smack one of the old geezers over the head with a tire iron and steal his money.

9:35 -- The game is an hour old and we're only in the second inning. God help us all. I get up and splash cold water on my face.

9:50 -- Tim McCarver's droning on and on about the mechanics of throwing a sinkerball vs. a split-fingered fastball.

Timmy, Timmy, Timmy . . . this isn't Chaucer 101, fella. We're supposed to be having fun here. F-U-N.

10:05 -- Here's the obligatory shot of some Braves' fans doing the Tomahawk Chop. No wonder they've had a few serial killers in Atlanta. Who wouldn't get a little edgy listening to all that noise?

10:45 -- Eyes growing heavy. Gotta stay awake, though. This is the World Series!

Maybe if I light this match and hold it against the palm of my . . . YEOW! G. Gordon Liddy used to do that?!

10:55 -- Here's a shot of some big, fat guy in the stands hoisting a beer at the camera and shrieking that Toronto is No. 1. He's got no shirt on and Blue Jays logos painted all over his face.

With my luck, he's the pilot on my flight to Florida tomorrow. Sure, they'll take away his car keys tonight, then let him climb into the cockpit of a Boeing 747 in the morning.

11:10 -- . . . barely know each other, Lorraine, so why are you kissing my neck and . . . huh? What the . . .? Whew, must have dozed off. What's happening with the game? There's a shot of Toronto manager Cito Gaston in the dugout furiously chewing his gum.

What's he all worked up about? There's nothing going on.

11:25 -- Hallucinating badly now. Swore I just saw the cast of jTC "Gilligan's Island" laughing it up in the kitchen. Severe sleep deprivation -- there's nothing worse. Exhausted American POWs on Bataan and Corregidor used to report seeing Betty Grable when they looked at their Japanese guards. My case appears much worse.

I consult a medical text, but there's no mention of what to take when you see Bob Denver mixing up a batch of Singapore Slings by the sink.

11:45 -- It's getting ugly now. Just woke up face-down in a bowl of Cheetos. What's this? It's a ground ball to third and . . . YES! The game is over! THE GAME IS OVER! Oh, Thank the Lord! Praise God! Tears of joy are streaming down my face.

I wave good night to Gilligan and his friends and stumble up to bed.

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