We're two games into the baseball playoffs, and all four series are at 2-0. How are teams getting ready for Game Three?
(See Part One)
Chicago vs. Arizona - Arizona leads 2-0
Seven hours before game time, Lou Piniella walks slowly around the deserted diamond. At first base he pauses, stoops down, and tears the base off its moorings. With the base held above his head, Piniella unleashes a string or profanity, cursing loudly and vaguely coherently until his breath gives out. Then, red-faced, Piniella heaves the base into the outfield as far as he can.
Lou continues his circuit around the field, stopping at each base and repeating his ritual. At home plate he stops and methodically kicks dirt over home plate. With each sweep of his foot, Piniella delivers another curse word, each new profanity more foul than the last. When home plate is completely obscured by dirt and mud, Piniella throws his cap onto the mound, stomps on it, and spits.
Exhausted, Piniella trudges to the dugout. "I'm ready," he whispers to bench coach Alan Trammell. "Let's get these motherfuckers."
Manager Bob Melvin: When's the last time you saw him?
Pitching coach Bryan Price: We were eating at Giordano's Pizza on West Belmont. He was finishing his eighth slice when he thought he saw a hot dog cart outside, and he just bolted.
Melvin: How'd he get away?
Price: He moves faster than you expect! He sideswiped me with his gut, and I tripped over a bench. By the time I caught sight of him again, he was running out of Panes Bread Cafe with an armload of sandwiches.
Melvin: What do we do now?
Price: I've been calling hospitals, all-night restaurants, and bacon wholesale outlets all night - no luck. Also, I've got Conor Jackson pushing a hot dog cart up and down Waveland Avenue.
Melvin: I guess we could have Owings pitch...
Price: I'm sure he'll turn up. Besides, I'm not sure it matters that he went off his diet. I saw him eat an entire fried chicken between the second and third inning once. As long as we can roll him out to the mound, he'll go five innings.
Melvin: I hope you're right. Meanwhile, let's heat up a tray of empanadas in the clubhouse. Maybe he'll smell them and come back.
Price: Got it. Oh, Livan, please come home!