Remember the last time you hung out a bar and saw a former Montreal Expo making out with some random chick? Well friends, unless you just answered “Yeah, I totally remember this time my buddies and I saw Tim Wallach going to town with some broad,” then I invite you to read on.
While visiting St. Petersburg with my cousin Charlie and buddy AK-47 for the Ultimate Tropicana Field Experience last week, good fortune and solid advice from our meth, crack or possibly speedball-addled cab driver brought us to the right nightspot for seeing the Cubs and Rays after the game was over.
According to our cabbie, one of the best places to find classy ladies looking for the company of strapping young lads like ourselves was called Bishop’s. That seemed to be confirmed upon our arrival, as the door was manned by a large, well-dressed bouncer who automatically gave the bar more credibility than anywhere I usually go.
In fact, I had some doubts as to whether he’d let three dudes dressed up in Cubs gear through the door.
“Pop quiz,” the bouncer said as I walked towards him.
“Who’s that guy standing over there?” he asked as he pointed into the door. “Derrek Whats-His-Name.”
That would be Derrek Lee. And so like children learning that a snow day has been called, we excitedly scurried through the door to see who else was in attendance.
All three were willing to talk, though Lee politely declined a photo with Charlie under the premise that “If I take a picture with you, I have to take one with everyone.” It made sense to us, so we didn’t complain.
AK-47 made the same request of Dempster, who asked if we’d be at Thursday’s game. We said yes, and he told us to come down to the dugout before the game and he’d take care of us then. (Unfortunately, by the time we got to the park there were about 1,000 Cubs fans crowding the area and there was zero chance of that happening).
In a moment of great personal satisfaction, Dempster also agreed with me when I suggested that his time as a reliever has helped shape him into a superb starter this year due to his ability to work out of whatever jams he seems to get himself in to.
But as chill and relaxed as Lee and Dempster were, nothing could prepare us for the all-out awesomeness of former Cub and current Ray Cliff Floyd. While the rest of the guys sort of hung out in the corner, Floyd made sure to put himself at the front and center of the bar and keep ‘em coming.
I decided to make nice with Cliff when I walked up to the bar to order a drink.
“Hey, Cliff, we miss ya man,” I bluffed. “You killed us last night.”
“Thanks man (or bro or dude or bud. Some name you give a guy you don’t know),” he replied. “I’d still rather be where you guys are right now, though. 18 games over .500.”
I wasn’t sure whether it was cooler that he referred to me like I was a member of the team or that he admitted that he wanted to be where the Cubs were at in the standings, but I decided at that point Cliff Floyd was a cool dude. And he’d only continue to prove my theory as the night proceeded.
Dempster, who was briefly followed into the bathroom by a girl at one point (this seems to be a recurring theme when I go out — as you may recall, Julie “The Cat” Gaffney once followed my buddy Steve into the bathroom) was the first to call it a night, heading off into a cab by himself. (On a further sidenote, our cab driver on the way back to the hotel, Jose, was the one who brought Dempster back to the team hotel — certainly not the one we stayed in — and reported that he is a very good tipper. Also, Jose became our official cab driver for the rest of the trip thanks to his sheer coolness. If you’re in St. Pete, make sure to call Yellow Cab and ask for Jose. Thankfully it’s not a common name in Florida, so you should get the same guy).
And while there was no lack of pretty women surrounding Lee, it was clear that there was no chance of him doing anything with them.
The youngest ballplayer in the group, B.J. Upton, was probably surrounded by the most chicks. (I have to say B.J. was also very cool, even though he said “Aw man, a Cubs fan!” when he saw me). However, it wasn’t clear if he was going to execute with any of them. Perhaps the fact his pants were falling down enough to expose a good portion of his Calvin Klein boxer-briefs had something to do with this.
That’s why it is important for B.J. to follow the veteran leadership of Floyd. Cliff, who is this week’s feature interview in Sports Illustrated’s “Players” segment, showed us why the title should have been “SI Playas” by making out in the middle of the bar with some girl I had feebly attempted talking to earlier in the night. Unfortunately, we respected Cliff enough to not use flash photography, so the only picture we got was a grainy cell phone image. Sorry kids.
But Floyd’s bold performance inspired me to see if I could do the same thing. After all, what could make for a better story than “Yeah, I was making out with some chick at a bar next to Cliff Floyd while he was making out with a chick?”
So I found my first target — a tall brunette who was clearly in top physical shape — and boldly walked up to her.
HER: Are you trying to talk to me?
ME: Yes, if that wouldn’t be too much of an imposition.
HER: I’m a lesbian.
Struck out looking and headed back to the bench.