I blew off work Friday afternoon to watch the Spokane Indians play the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at Avista Stadium.
I know. My lack of work ethic comes as no surprise, least of all to my editors.
But this time my indolence was for a worthy cause.
Helping Bobby Brett.
See, I haven’t been to a local baseball game in years. Had anyone asked me what Salem-Keizer was, I would have guessed it had something to do with cigarettes and aluminum.
But on Friday morning I read in the paper that Indians owner Brett has put his 20,500-square-foot mansion on the South Hill up for sale.
He and the missus, according to the story, have already moved into a 3,000-square-foot condo overlooking the river.
This made my heart break like a splintered Louisville Slugger.
I’m so ashamed. I should have been going to more games, buying tickets and eating overpriced stadium food.
And let’s not forget hockey.
Brett owns the Chiefs, and I haven’t been to a game since forever.
What I’m trying to say is that if I had been doing my part, perhaps Spokane’s version of George Steinbrenner would still be living the luxurious lifestyle to which he’s accustomed.
Look, I know what Brett told the newspaper.
He’s not asking $3.25 million for his palace on Sumner because he has to. Brett said he just doesn’t need such a mammoth manse anymore.
He wants to “downsize.”
I never figured Brett for one of those “less-is-more,” Zen kind of guys. And I’m not about to start now.
I’m a professional when it comes to reading between the lines and jumping to wild conclusions. So let’s look at the facts.
Brett is selling a kingly domicile built in 1917 by genius architect Kirtland Cutter.
The estate comes with seven bedrooms, a ballroom, eight fireplaces, a carriage house and its own bowling alley.
It has eight bathrooms.
I said EIGHT BATHROOMS! What man, for crying out loud, walks away from eight freaking bathrooms?
The only way you’re dragging me out of Brett Acres is with an eviction notice, a SWAT team and the National Guard.
A thought about that 3,000-square-foot condominium. It’s probably not big enough to hold Bobby’s Rolex collection.
But here’s the kicker: Basketball legend John Stockton lives next to the Brett abode on Sumner. Get real. If I lived next door to Stockton I’d be over there every day.
Hi, John. Can I mow your lawn, John?
Wanna shoot some hoops, John?
Can I borrow a few of your old Jazz uniforms, John?
Sure, John, I’ve heard of a restraining order.
But getting back to baseball …
Friday’s contest between the Indians and Volcanoes was the last game of the year at Avista Stadium.
It couldn’t have been better.
The weather was perfect. There was plenty of action, like when the Volcanoes manager (I believe it was in the bottom of the sixth) threw a royal fit over a call.
He yelled. He gesticulated. He kicked his hat. He pushed dirt all over home plate with his foot. Then, to top it off, the guy turned to the crowd and gave a theatrical bow.
Oh, the game was magical, too.
The Indians beat the Volcanoes 11-10 with a 10th inning solo home run blast by catcher Doug Hogan. That tied the teams at one game apiece in a best of five series for the Northwest League championship.
Next season I’m definitely going to try to help Bobby Brett more often.
My buddy Dave Cebert joined me at the game. He has the same disdain for work as I do.
I sprang for two box seats, two programs, two Italian sausages, two Longhorn rib combo meals and three frozen lemonade cups.
Plus a souvenir red Indians baseball cap for me.
Please, Bobby. There’s no need to thank me. It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to the wealthy.
Especially when I can put it on an expense reimbursement form.