Walt Mankowski

All glory to the hypnotoad

Kyle Blanks' Hometown

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The regular season of Major League Baseball started this week, and that means it’s time for the annual free preview of MLB Extra Innings. The idea behind MLB Extra Innings is that you pay Comcast some extra money and you get to watch nearly every major league baseball game for every team, all season long. (There are similar packages for the NBA and NHL.) They always have it turned on for free during the first week or two of each season to try to get baseball fans hooked on it.

Yesterday was opening day for some teams so as I sat down to eat dinner I went to that block of channels to see what was on. The only game they were still showing (all the other games were day games in the east) was the Dodgers-Padres game. It was the Dodgers feed, and the play-by-play guy was Vin Scully.

Now Vin’s a legend — he’s been calling Dodgers games since 1950 when they were still in Brooklyn — but he’s also 84 years old and he’s not as sharp as he used to be. At one point the Padres sent in a pinch hitter by the name of Kyle Blanks. Blanks, Vin tells me, is originally from outside of Philadelphia (he was born in Souderton, the same hometown as the great Jamie Moyer) but he currently makes his home in Moriarty, Mexico.

That’s interesting, I thought. Since he plays in San Diego I figured maybe he was living across the border to try to save a little money. I’d never heard of Moriarty, but I assumed it must be a suburb of Tijuana. Must be hell trying to cross the border everyday to get to the ballpark, but whatever.

After the next pitch, Vin continued. “Moriarty, Mexico,” he said, “is a tiny town of about 2,000 people. It’s about 40 miles east of Albuquerque.”