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The Dugout by Charles Bukowski

By / 07.27.11

Last month, I introduced you to Celebrity Guest Dugout Week, a week full of Dugouts written by the biggest and brightest names in sports journalism. Well, there ended up only being one, by Bill Simmons of Grantland.com.

I was disappointed in the turnout (Peter Gammons didn’t return my calls, the guy who runs Bleacher Report just snail mailed me a box of crayon drawings and Spiffy Sean Styles of Lethal Entertainment is horrible), so I called Simmons up and asked him to find me another guest writer. After a four hour phone conversation wherein he compared his wife and kids to Kevin McHale, we found our next author — American poet and novelist Charles Bukowski. His unique brand of transgressive fiction and dirty realism is perfect for my webcomic about baseball players cursing, and here we are.

Today’s Dugout follows. People are finally going to start taking us seriously.

[editors note: Today's Dugout is actually guest written by a good friend of mine, Mr. William Hanstock of Progressive Boink and Baseball Feelings fame. Be sure to follow him on Twitter, or at least let him know what you think.]

[secondary editor's note: Today's Dugout about how nobody talks about the Angels was written before the Angels decided to pitch a g.d. no hitter.]

The Dugout

SportsGuy33:Hello, Grantlandians!1 I’m more excited than Teen Wolf’s best friend Styles when he found out that Teen Wolf wasn’t a homo! I’m more nervous than Johnny in the Karate Kid when he was asked to sweep the leg!

1. I’ve been toying around with a cool, inclusionary nickname for all our faithful readers. Something that would look real neat on the back of a satin jacket. Keep an eye peeled for the Grantland ShopZone, opening soon.
SportsGuy33: As you all know, we here at Grantland are dedicated to presenting the finest in contemporary literature. That’s why we staff the finest and most lauded authors of our generation, like the guy who investigates pop statistics, or the guy who likes ladies and music!  
SportsGuy33: So today, we’re pleased as Michael Keaton punching Martin Mull at the end of “Mr. Mom” to bring you one of the greatest authors of ANY generation! He’s one of my greatest inpirations as a writer2, and I couldn’t be prouder to present to you, Grantland’s newest guest author, the incomparable Charles Bukowski! 2. I feel like his influence in my work can be felt most strongly in my articles “The Top 10 Wrestling Entrances of All Time” and “How Hockey is Not as Cool as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
  **Online Host**
RhymesWithPuke has entered the chatroom.
 

RhymesWithPuke: Me and Carol went to see the
Angels play
back in the old days
when they used to play at
Wrigley Field.
we came all the way out from
San Pedro.

And we were drinking that stuff, boy.
that good old stuff
and stepping around the puke
and the hot dog wrappers.
I thought,
if Carol wasn’t here
I’d be down at Santa Anita
placing bets.
relying on good, strong
intuition.
I felt more sure the
superfecta
in a late race
than I did about the Angels
being able to swing a
summer day game.
too much left to
chance.

 
  **Online Host**
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have entered the chatroom.
 
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: Is…is someone writing about the Angels?  
DiscreetCharmoftheBourjos: Oh, wow! And on a big-time national website thing, too!  
GreasersAndScoscia: We haven’t seen pub like this since we choked all those times in the playoffs!  
BobbyFish: Holy moly! Is this really happening, Mister Coach Scoscia?  
GreasersAndScoscia: Shhhh, pay attention, kid. This is one of America’s greatest voices…and he’s talking about us!  
BobbyFish: Golly!  
RhymesWithPuke: I took in a spring training game
years later
with those same rotten Angels
playing up at Chavez Ravine.
a blistering afternoon
spent in the company
of a pair of cold beers
 
DiscreetCharmoftheBourjos: What prose!  
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: Nothing like fine, literary musings on ours, the most beautiful of sports.  
BobbyFish: /awestruck  
RhymesWithPuke: I was only able
to catch the first inning
before the sickness
overwhelmed me.
my guts clenched up
tight
and I ran to the bathroom.
“God o mighty!”
I shoved slow-moving
businessmen
out of my way.
I dropped to my knees in the first empty stall
and unloaded my guts.
“Jesus, what a mess!”
I wiped my brow and
had maybe thirty seconds of
peace
before my guts clenched back up
in a different
but familiar way
and the whiskey sh*ts set in.
 
GreasersAndScoscia: Uh…  
DiscreetCharmoftheBourjos: Well, that was…hm.  
BobbyFish: Wow! Real poetry! What’s a “whiskey sh*ts” Mister Wells?  
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: That’s a bad word, Michael, and I don’t want to hear you using it around the clubhouse.  
BobbyFish: /claps hands to mouth  
RhymesWithPuke: watching baseball on the
tube
while some old lady jaws
in my ear.
“You’re good for nothing!
I can’t even use what you’ve got
after you’ve had a few drinks in you!”
Listen, baby.
I’m not trying to hear about that
all I care about
is the score of the game.
trying to figure out
if the Angels beat the
Yanks.
But here she comes again,
yelling and hollering.
so I shove her out of bed
and she lands on the floor
on her fat ass.
and just my luck,
it gets her all riled up.
and here she comes again for this
big thing I’ve got
so I give it to her
just so she’ll shut up and leave me
alone
 
GreasersAndScoscia: /gasps
/covers BobbyFish’s ears
 
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: Can’t believe you, skip. Exposing the boy to all this smut.  
GreasersAndScoscia: Hey, I…I didn’t…  

LoveHerandWeaver: LOL this dude’s f**ken crazy. Reminds me of my great-uncle from San Bernardino. Give us some more of that poetry sh*t bro.

/lights cigarette
/revs El Camino

 
RhymesWithPuke: baseball
and women
have a lot in common.
 

LoveHerandWeaver: haha yeah okay I’m listening

 
RhymesWithPuke: you enjoy yourself more
with each drink.
but the only thing they care about
is whether your d*ck can get hard.
 
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: Terrible.  
DiscreetCharmoftheBourjos: how is that even an analogy  
LoveHerandWeaver: WOOOOOOOO this guy knows what I’m talking about /hoists bottle of Corona  
BobbyFish: /bursts into tears  
DiscreetCharmoftheBourjos: Maybe…maybe we should go, skip.  
BobbyFish: He used the bad word for tallywhacker!
/sniffles
 
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: I’m ashamed of you, coach. You oughta know better  
GreasersAndScoscia: B-b-b-but I…  
WhatchuTalkinBoutWells: /shakes head  
  **Online Host**
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have left the chatroom.
 
RhymesWithPuke: I put my head down
next to the typer.
my guts are rotten with booze.
I close my eyes
and think about the green grass
of a baseball field,
endless afternoons of my childhood.
when the sound of the bat
on the ball
was heaven on earth.
 
RhymesWithPuke: I wake up at ten o’clock
and take a satisfying beer sh*t.
Jane will be here soon
and she’ll want me to give it to her.
 
LoveHerandWeaver: haha man chuck klosterman has gotten a lot better  
Photos link to player info. WordUpThome.com

TAGSBaseballbill simmonschuck klostermangrantlandJERED WEAVERLOS ANGELES ANGELSMIKE SCIOSCIAMIKE TROUTMLBTHE DUGOUTVERNON WELLS

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