Hello from the back of a cab headed to downtown Chicago. I seem to have taken to writing in cabs today.
I wrote my game story for MLB.com in the back of a cab speeding to Lambert Airport.
This is one of the days where being being a baseball beat writer is anything but swashbuckling. Ask Jamie Ramsey how many times I wore myself out worrying if I’d make my flight today.
Because there is a day game tomorrow in Chicago, I really wanted to beat it out of St. Louis tonight. My only option was a 6:10 pm CT flight. I knew I was cutting it close but I’ve had closer ones. And to those wondering, writers do not fly on the team chartered plane.
As luck wouldn’t have it, Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson isn’t exactly a quick tempo pitcher. And there were some lengthy innings as both sides pit lots of runners on base only to strand them. And in the getaway day scenario that always creates some back sweat for a writer, extra innings.
Juan Francisco made my day when his RBI single gave the Reds the go-ahead run in the 10th (although I wasn’t rooting, I mean it). Francisco Cordero did me a solid with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th. Postgame, I managed to get some quotes from Dusty Baker and Bronson Arroyo and split since Francisco was still eating in the off limits area.
I was walking out of Busch Stadium at about 5:05 (remember flight is at 6:10). I ran with my suitcase to a nearby bar called Paddy-o’s where cabs are always lined up. Saw none.
Then I saw a yellow van going to a stop light. More running only to see the cab is full…but he honked a horn and waved to an empty cab on the other side of the intersection. Paydirt!
I got in the cab and to his credit, he got away from downtown traffic quick and headed to the interstate. Thankfully it was a Sunday and it was smooth.
I listened to those quotes on my iPod and wrote most of the game story. After I got to the airport check-in counter by 5:25 or so. Got to an empty security area and before going through, put the finishing touches and sent the story at 5:35. Then I exhaled as I went through security to the gate.
Hopefully the story doesn’t read like it was written in a cab. I’ve done it twice before, including once last season. It’s never fun but sometimes that’s life on the job. I’m fortunate to live in era with laptops, air cards and email. I doubt Studs Terkel or Dick Young beat deadlines or made flights in similar fashion with their typewriters. If so, they are even more legendary in this profession.
Time for dinner in Chicago….whew.