(@LA.COM)
June 14, 1998
Reverse Dating/Cool Baseball Things

Two for one this week.  Enjoy!

Reverse Dating

Yes, itís the hot new trend thatís sweeping the nation.  Soon, all the kids will be doing it.  What, you mean you havenít heard of Reverse Dating?  Well, itís simple!  Just you listen up, and Iíll tell you how it goes.

See, the key to good Reverse Dating is to find someone you think you might be mildly compatible with.  Someone whoís extra time youíre interested in, as TAFKAP might say.  Itís got to be a good match, right from the start, or Reverse Dating wonít work.

Okay, now, go out on a "date" with this person.  (Note: "Date" is in parenthesis for a reason weíll get to a little bit later.)  On this "date," have a great time.  Flirt a lot.  Get a little closer than you normally would.  Dance, if need be.  You should also be very playful, and make sure the other person is right in synch with that vibe.  Every time you initiate something, theyíre right there with you.  Thereís lots of laughs, lots of smiles, and it all goes pretty well.  Itís a pretty good feeling, isnít it?  Yes, by all accounts, itís a wonderful first "date."

Now, hereís where the "Reverse Dating" comes in.

For a follow-up "date," see if thereís a way to totally get rid of that vibe from the first "date."  Instead, make sure things are much more on the friend tip, as the kids say.  For this follow-up, shoot for 70% less physical contact.  No real flirting, certainly no dancing, no whatever it was that seemed to make the first "date" crackle with potential.  Congratulations!  Youíre well on your way to being a successful Reverse Dater.

True masters of "Reverse Dating" move right on to the next step.  Instead of a third "date," try to make sure youíre back where you were before the first "date."  If itís someone you rarely talked to, then rarely talk to them.  If itís someone you saw on a regular basis, see them on a regular basis, but not "that way."

Yes, someday, Reverse Dating will be quite the trend.  Someday, Time Magazine will write cover stories on "Reverse Dating and Its Implications."  Someday, youíll be judged on your ability to Reverse Date.

Itís hard always being at the cutting edge of American social trends, but I try my best.

Now, this does bring up a very worthwhile question, and one which I earlier promised weíd address.  Just what is a "date?"

I guess Iíve always defined a "date" in rather scientific terms.  To me, itís a pre-planned encounter between two people, both available and potentially interested in each other.  To be a "date," there has to be an element of uncertainty.  Pardon my frank guyness here, but if you know for a fact that youíre home free, thatís not a date.  Thatís a gift from God.  But if you have no idea how things are going to go, then I think thatís part of the "date" experience.

See, the problem with the English language is that we ask words to do double, triple, and often quadruple duty.  "Date" is a word we use to refer to all kinds of hook ups between people, often in violation of the guidelines above.  "Itís a date," someone might say to you, but they certainly donít mean itís a date in the traditional sense.  "Whoís your date?" you might get asked, and the person filling that role could very well not be your "date" at all, merely just a friend.

Strangely, weíre getting back in to that whole "Can single men and women be friends" riff explored so deftly in When Harry Met Sally.  Thereís certainly no need to revisit that here, is there?

Okay, I guess there is.  Maybe next week.


Cool Baseball Things

On an entirely unrelated note:

One of the things I like best about baseball is that you never know when something remarkable is going to happen.  On any given day, in any given ballpark, you could see something thatís never been seen before.

Saturday, I finally saw such a thing.

Iíve always dreamed of being at a no-hitter.  A couple nights ago, Ismael Valdes scared me, holding the visiting Oakland Aís hitless until two were out in the seventh inning.  I figured that pretty much was as close as Iíd get to that dream for a while.

Instead, my moment of baseball history came in an entirely different form.  Saturday, for the first time ever in Los Angeles, for the first time ever at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers turned a triple play.

Now, granted, a triple play is not all *that* out of the ordinary.  But, then again, the Dodgers have played more than 3,000 home games in Los Angeles since 1958, and have never turned a triple play.  (They did turn the first ever by the Los Angeles Dodgers a couple years ago on the road, in Atlanta.)

In fact, the Brooklyn Dodgers only managed to turn one triple play in their history, stretching back to the turn of the century. So now, we're talking only three Dodger triple plays ever (poetic, no?) and I was there for fully one-third of them!

Thatís pretty cool, no?  It was unusual, too.  First and second, nobody out, batter bunts a pop-up to the mound, which the pitcher lets fall, then throws to second for the force, back to first to get the batter out, then on to third to get the runner from second, who got a late break.  Triple play.  Damn cool.

Of course, the people in the seats next to me had been in Arizona the night before, and seen Mark McGwire hit a grand slam home run.  If Big Mac breaks the seasonal homer record, theyíll have seen at least part of it.  (McGwire sat out the Cardinals only three games at Dodger Stadium with "back spasms."  Grr!  He returned to the lineup the day after the Cardinals left town and promptly swatted another homer.  Double grr!)

In terms of "cool baseball things Iíve seen," I would have to say the following count:
 

  • Hideo Nomoís first major league hit
  • Every time Mike Piazza ended a game by hitting a game-winning homer (he did it three times; I was very lucky to see all three)
  • Raul Mondesi hitting a homer which landed in the Loge Level at Dodger Stadium (only done four other times since the stadium opened in 1962)
  • Mike Piazza hitting a ball completely out of Dodger Stadium (only done two other times; Willie Stargell did it both of those times)
  • Iím sure thereís a couple more, but those are what come to mind.  And Iím hoping some day to add "No Hitter" to that list.  Iíll keep you posted.


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    Colin Campbell - jenolen@earthlink.net
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