Notes from Chicago: Altuve’s on Twitter, Keppinger’s whirlwind week and Curbing our Enthusiasm in the press box.
A few notes and observations from steamy Chicago, where we’re chuckling, just a little bit, at the masses freaking out over the current “heat emergency.” (In Houston, we just call it Friday)…
Jose Altuve, fluent in English and Spanish, has recently taken to Twitter, where he is sharing his thoughts and observations in both languages. His Twitter name is @josealtuve27.
You can probably decipher from his recent tweets that he’s pretty thrilled to be here. Brian McTaggart captured Altuve’s first impression of Wrigley Field with this Twitpic.
Jeff Keppinger’s whirlwind couple of days will become even zanier early next week when his new team hits the East Coast on its next road trip.
The San Francisco Giants, winners of last year’s World Series, will travel to the White House on Monday to meet President Barack Obama. Keppinger watched the World Series from home last year after completing an injury-riddled season with the Astros, but due to the recent trade that sent him to the world champs, the second baseman is now a part of the “in” crowd.
The Giants had hoped to make their White House visit during their trip to play the Nationals at the end of April, but White House officials told the team that the president was unavailable. Turns out, Obama and his staff were preoccupied with the pending killing of Osama Bin Laden, which was carried out on May 1.
Speaking of being pre-tty, pre-tty, pre-tty happy, Friday was a hugely significant day for a few of us in the press box — namely, Jim Deshaies, Dave Raymond and myself.
We’re all big fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the HBO series created by and starring Larry David. This show is pretty much “Seinfeld” on steroids — an over-the-top, cable-only version of the popular 1990s sitcom (which was, incidentally, also created by David).
Anyhoo, Curb is funny, outrageous, offensive and at times completely inappropriate. In other words, it’s fantastic. The show revolves around the bumbling but lovable David, his wife/ex-wife Cheryl, his agent Jeff Greene and Jeff’s wife, the foul-mouthed show-stealer Susie.
On a typical Astros charter flight, you can find Dave, JD and I all sitting in different rows, all watching different episodes of “Curb” on our computers/portable DVD players, all laughing hysterically. Books, iPods and direct TV are all fine ways to pass the time on flights, but for the three of us, there’s really no better way to get through a two-plus hour flight than four or more episodes of “Curb.”
The character of Jeff Greene is played by actor/comedian Jeff Garlin, and you can imagine our delight when we found out he was singing “Take Me Out” during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field on Friday. With our broadcasters busy broadcasting, I was nominated to intercept the burly actor and ask him to pose for a picture. Garlin was more than happy to oblige and offered to meet up after the seventh, when he was done with his interview with the Cubs TV announcers.
We all met in the hallway, and after JD introduced himself, Garlin, in his booming voice, said “Jim! We’ve met before!” Garlin, a Chicago native, proceeded to remind JD that they hung out at the Improv in Chicago in 1992, when JD was in town as a member of the San Diego Padres. Not only did Garlin remember that night, he rattled off the names of JD’s teammates who were also in attendance — namely, Larry Andersen and Rich Rodriguez.
To put it mildly, JD was slightly taken off guard. He vaguely remembers that night at the Improv, but has no recollection of who was there. Apparently, the night had a more lasting impression on the famous comedian who was, 19 years ago, slightly less well-known.
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