So, Marty, how do you like this version of the Future?
What’s that? No, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series. Some things take more than miracles of technology.
So, Marty, how do you like this version of the Future?
What’s that? No, the Cubs haven’t won a World Series. Some things take more than miracles of technology.
And by “that man,” I mean almost any man but this man:
… current Major League Baseball Commissioner and former Brewers’ owner Bud Selig, a man who has visited upon us the annoyance of interleague play, the silliness of linking World Series homefield advantage to the outcome of the All-Star Game and the absolute abomination of the 2002 All-Star Game, which he called after 11 innings as a tie. The only previous All-Star tie came in 1961 because of rain. If there is any fitting monument to Selig, a man who has left the game more or less leaderless since his tenure as commissioner began — first in an acting capacity in 1992 and then officially in 1998 — it is not a statue. It is a scorecard with a tie game on it. Or better yet, a rainout.
Never in a million off-seasons would it have occurred to me that Lorde’s inspiration for “Royals” was, um, a member of the Kansas City Royals:
It took a few weeks of research, but National Geographic has confirmed that pop star Lorde was referring to a photo of Kansas City Royals’ baseball legend George Brett when she explained where she got the inspiration for her megahit “Royals.”
In an interview a few months ago with VH1, Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor) explained how she “had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’ It was just that word. It’s really cool.”
Someone, of course, would have to track that down, and someone did:
After The [Kansas City] Star wrote a story on Nov. 19 about the interview, an astute reader found a photo that matched the description.
The photo, published in July 1976, shows the star third baseman surrounded by adoring fans and signing baseballs. According to a National Geographic spokeswoman, “this appears to be the only photo in our archives of a Royals baseball player signing autographs.”
I have to assume that hearing “Royals” twice a day, to and from the K, had nothing whatever to do with the Royals’ 86-76 season, third place in the AL Central, their first finish above .500 in a decade — but you never really know, do you?
Mordecai Brown had a good year for the Chicago Cubs in 1908: he finished with a 27-9 record and an ERA of 1.47. He was not in the rotation for the most important game of the season, though: Jack Pfiester, who’d just come back from a tendon injury, was selected to face the New York Giants and Christy Mathewson. But Pfiester faltered early, and Brown came on to shut the Giants down and win the NL pennant; Fred “Bonehead” Merkle, who’d made that game necessary, was not available for comment, and the Cubs subsequently went on to their second consecutive World Series victory, 4-1 over the AL’s Detroit Tigers.
I have to wonder what Brown, nicknamed “Three Finger” for the most obvious of reasons, might have thought about the signature feature of Microsoft Windows. Bill Gates regrets it:
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has finally admitted that forcing users to press the Control-Alt-Delete key combination to log into a PC was a mistake. In an interview at a Harvard fundraising campaign, Gates discussed his early days building Microsoft and the all-important Control-Alt-Delete decision.
“It was a mistake,” Gates admits to an audience left laughing at his honesty. “We could have had a single button, but the guy who did the IBM keyboard design didn’t wanna give us our single button.” David Bradley, an engineer who worked on the original IBM PC, invented the combination which was originally designed to reboot a PC. “I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous,” Bradley said in an interview previously, leaving Bill Gates looking rather awkward.
Of course, no one ever has to reboot a PC anymore, right?
Still, Ctrl-Alt-Del persists into Windows 8. And the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since, um, 1908.
(Via this Adam Gurri tweet.)
As reported by Neil Best of Newsday, the Yankees and CBS Radio are close to a deal that would put the Yankees on WFAN starting in 2014, a person familiar with the negotiations told Newsday.
The arrangement would bump the Mets off the station that has carried their games since WFAN’s inception in 1987.
Of course, it’s a matter of money:
The Yankees currently are carried by WCBS Radio, which like WFAN, is owned by CBS. The current one-year contract is believed to pay the team $13 to $14 million.
The Mets are believed to earn about half what the Yankees do in rights fees but have been a money-loser for WFAN, which inherited the team when it took over WHN’s 1050-AM signal in 1987. The Mets then moved down the dial with WFAN to 660-AM in 1988.
Where the Mets would end up is still unclear, though I’m betting on WEPN, the ESPN Radio outlet in New York at 98.7 FM.
It was a “nightmarish start,” said the Kansas City Star of Wade Davis’ 69-pitch performance against the Twins last night, during which Davis managed to get only three batters out.
It didn’t seem so bad at the beginning. Clete Davis flied out to left; Brian Dozier drew a walk. Then things got complicated. Joe Mauer walked, sending Dozier to second; Justin Morneau doubled to deep center, scoring Dozier and Mauer; Trevor Plouffe homered, scoring Morneau and himself. At least the bases are empty, Davis might have thought, and surely he felt better when Oswaldo Arcia struck out. Then Chris Parmelee walked, and Jamey Carroll singled to second, sending Parmelee to third. Pedro Florimon singled to second, bringing home Parmelee and moving Carroll to third. Finally, Clete Davis came back; he went down swinging. Fifty-three pitches in all.
The second inning? Well, Dozier singled to right center, Mauer walked, Morneau walked, and with the bases loaded, Davis was sent off to Showerville, leaving Will Smith to get out of the inning. (Plouffe sacrificed to right, scoring Dozier, and then Arcia obligingly grounded into a double play.)
Said Davis afterwards:
“I tried a bunch of different things. I tried slowing it down and speeding it up. Different arm angles. It’s just one of those [things] that sucks.”
Says baseball-reference.com, this is a record level of futility, breaking the previous record (67) for most pitches for three outs or fewer.
Actually, they all have numbers, but some of them are duplicates:
The Yankees may not be short on cash, Alex Rodriguez distractions or veteran players, but the Bronx Bombers are finally out of something: Numbers.
With 83 players invited to spring training in Tampa, Fla., not to mention team coaches, the squad in pinstripes is out of double-digit numbers.
“Double-digit” matters because the Yankees have retired all single-digit numbers except #2, which is worn by Derek Jeter, and #6, which has not been issued since the departure of Joe Torre after the 2007 season. In all, the Yanks have taken 16 numbers out of circulation.
A side note, happened upon while looking up those retired numbers: in 1997, when MLB officially retired #42 as a tribute to Jackie Robinson, the players who wore it at that time were allowed to keep it so long as they remained with that team. Mariano Rivera, who debuted with New York in ’95, still wears #42, and they’ll certainly retire it for both him and Robinson when the time comes.
They’re yelling “Play ball!” at the Nickel Slots Ballpark tonight, and Greg Ezell notes in the Gazette that the concession food has been substantially upgraded from last year. For example, Franx, a hot-dog vendor, has this offering known as the “Memphis”:
[It's] a grilled dog covered in pulled pork and cole slaw. That doesn’t just hit the spot; it carpetbombs the whole area in case there are other spots around.
There is no higher praise for the humble America wiener.
Speaking of Memphis, their evil Redbirds, Triple-A farm club of the Cardinals, will be the visiting team tonight, and they have a new manager in tow: Ron “Pop” Warner, who ran the Double-A Cards affiliate in Springfield the last five years. (The S-Cards are in the Texas League, which makes even more sense than Memphis and Oklahoma City in the Pacific Coast League.)
Naming rights being a competitive sort of thing — highest bidder wins — here are the Top Ten rejected names for the ballpark in Bricktown:
You just don’t get this kind of coverage anywhere else.
Update, 4/5: The Chickasaw Nation, owner of said casino, has backpedaled a bit, and will now bestow the name “Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark” on the facility.
Zooey Deschanel takes on the National Anthem:
Allow me, please, a Marv Albert-ian YES!
(Since it’s their actual embed code, I think we can safely assume that this presentation has the express written consent of Major League Baseball.)
There are 2,430 major-league baseball games every season, and each and every one of them requires a minimum of 51 outs. I’d tend to expect that some of those hundred thousand calls will be blown: we’re only human, after all.
[I]s instant replay still an absolute, unavoidable, must-have-immediately necessity for baseball to maintain any integrity for its fans? I still question that, and would resist it deeply, if I were in any position to influence it. I bow to the fact that a whole lot of my (me, being baseball) fans are addicted to the 21st century electronic crack of Twitter and Facebook, and these people probably spend a decent amount of money to support my league and its teams.
But do we need to change the fabric of the game, just to satisfy a few shrieking maniacs, who are generally watching at home on a 46″ HD-capable flat-screen with six different camera angles beamed at super-slow-mo right into their laps? I said no, and I still say no.
This is, I suspect, more of an issue at the actual ball park, where you have one angle, based on where you sit, and they may or may not put up the replay on the Jumbotron or whatever.
Still, they’ve been messing with the fabric ever since American League pitchers were told they didn’t have to bat anymore, and I can’t imagine them stopping now.
I’ve tried out several variations on the theme “If you’re so X, why aren’t you rich?” So far, though, this is the only X that really seems to describe me:
A new study finds that agreeable workers earn significantly lower incomes than less agreeable ones. The gap is especially wide for men.
The researchers examined “agreeableness” using self-reported survey data and found that men who measured below average on agreeableness earned about 18% more — or $9,772 more annually in their sample — than nicer guys. Ruder women, meanwhile, earned about 5% or $1,828 more than their agreeable counterparts.
“Nice guys are getting the shaft,” says study co-author Beth A. Livingston, an assistant professor of human resource studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Well, screw ‘em. As Leo Durocher didn’t actually say of the ’46 Giants, nice guys finish last.
(Purloined — on my own time, mind you — from The Director. Now STFU and GBTW.)
Parking at Cowboys Stadium is, shall we say, on the pricey side:
The fees for premium parking at Dallas Cowboys games are estimated at $75 per game, based on season ticket holder parking charges. The fees to park at major concerts and other sporting events will be nearly $40 per space at the new stadium.
Today, during the TV Commercials Extravaganza, it’s — what? $100? $300? $1099?
Which gives me an excuse to mention something that’s not supposed to be mentioned on solemn occasions like this:
Anybody who has ever attended a professional or collegiate sporting event in America knows that folks like to throw back a few cold ones during the course of the game. But at the same time, we are effectively inviting people to drive home drunk by not providing adequate transit options. In Green Bay, a state legislator went so far as to suggest that installing roundabouts near Lambeau Field was a bad idea because it would be too difficult for drunk drivers to navigate.
One has to assume that Arlington, Texas is used to dealing with besotted fans by now. You can take a shuttle from Cowboys Stadium to the Texas & Pacific Station in Fort Worth, but DART doesn’t go to Arlington, except today.
New stadiums being built or proposed tend to fall in one of two camps: those in downtown cores, like LA’s Staples Center or San Diego’s Petco Park; or those nestled in exurban sprawl, like the aforementioned Cowboys Stadium. Los Angeles, in its quest to lure an NFL franchise back to the city, is torn between the two models.
Public transit in Oklahoma City is so ludicrously inadequate that facilities pretty much have to be located downtown, where there’s a mathematical probability that you’ll see an actual bus once in a while. (I mention this because there are a few hardcore types around here who believe that we should be trying to land an NFL team.) And while a drunken fan on the bus is not exactly high on my list of urban desiderata, it beats the hell out of having him on your back bumper.
[W]hat are the two most-cherished stadia in the United States? Arguably, Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field … both of which are situated in dense, old urban neighborhoods with good transit connections, and neither of which provides much in the way of parking.
The mathematics of the NFL require more seating capacity than either Fenway or Wrigley, but I retain my preference for in-town facilities. I’m reasonably certain that back in the Seventies, when I was perched in central Massachusetts doing Uncle Sam’s work, I’d have paid a lot less attention to the Sox had they been closer by: it was no trick to take the bus into Boston and then walk a few blocks. (To visit the Garden or the Arena, it was a short hop on the T.) No way would I ever have seen any of this stuff had it been in, say, Framingham. And come to think of it, while I’ve been to Dallas several times, and to Fort Worth several times more, I’ve never once had a reason to go to Arlington.
Not a Zooeypalooza entry, but worth the effort, especially since the Twitterverse (and others) made a point of telling me about it.
Note: This was posted without the express written consent of Major League Baseball.
Baseball, says Sonic Charmer, is “intricately complex,” and so it is, but there are a few simple concepts at its core, and this is one of them:
The new management at the Brick, I hope, knows this: the RedHawks ended the season with a 4-11 drought and were swept in the first round of the playoffs.
In 1962, the National League expanded to Houston; the Triple-A American Association expanded to Oklahoma City. It seemed almost sensible to pair off these two ball clubs, and while changes were on the way — the Colt .45s got a new name, and the American Association disbanded for a time — the Astros and the 89ers did eleven seasons together.
In the interim, the 89ers became the RedHawks, and the American Association, revived once, is dead again, but Houston and OKC are together once more: the Astros and the RedHawks have signed a player-development contract, as predicted here last year. The deal is for two years.
It’s too early to tell who’ll be coming over from the Houston organization, but there’s one person who definitely won’t be: Marc Bombard, who managed the Round Rock Express in its last year as the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate.
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth seems to be going on, judging by the comments on the newspaper story; I’m thinking it’s probably a shame that the Boids and the Rangers broke up, but hey, we’re getting a National League team, and as a confirmed DH-hater, I have to consider that a plus, even though it doesn’t necessarily mean that pitchers are actually coming to the plate. (Under Pacific Coast League rules, the designated hitter is used unless both teams are NL affiliates and both teams have agreed to forgo the DH.) Besides, now I have another reason to follow this guy.
The visiting Omaha Royals defeated the RedHawks Sunday 9-1, and then defeated the RedHawks Monday 9-1. (The Royals had 15 hits on Sunday, 14 on Monday.) Were this not the end of the season, I’d be worried about a pattern developing.
As it is, the Birds did manage to clinch the PCL American South over the weekend and will be heading into the playoffs, the first two games of which are on the road.
Which is just as well if things like this are going on at home:
Just from that headline, you might think, “Holy flurking schnitt, the poor guy comes in to watch a ball game, and some fool opens fire on him.” Of course, what actually happened is that Mr Prior, fighting his way back to The Show, earned a look from the Rangers, who sent him to their top farm team. (The version in the actual newspaper, incidentally, says: “Prior gets another shot in OKC,” which seems a bit less likely to be misread; the Web site sort of explains this in a subhead.)
The Rangers, incidentally, will not be a factor around here next year; they’re shifting their Triple-A affiliation to Round Rock.
Jason Phillips spotted a woman at Safeco Field last May and knew he had to make a choice: Be bold or be ignored. As the Mariners bullpen catcher, Phillips is used to anonymity, used to spending half the year tucked away in a box with pitchers. It’s a thankless job that he does well and without complaint. But this time, he needed to stand out or risk eternal regret.
He shared a few stares with the woman, who was entertaining business clients. Then he made a promise to the fellas in the ‘pen.
“If we go extra innings, I’m gonna make a move,” Phillips said. “If we go to extra innings, that’s gotta be a sign.”
I suspect he was met with snickers, or worse.
Then came the top of the tenth, and Phillips was good as his word:
Phillips grabbed a baseball, scribbled his number on it, got the woman’s attention and tossed it to her. And for the rest of the game, he was left to wonder how she’d respond. He couldn’t wait to return to the clubhouse and check his messages. Naturally, the game would drag for 15 excruciating innings.
But by then, she had sent him a text message: “My name is Molly. Nice to meet you.”
They got married this summer — in that same bullpen.
If there’s a rock and roll heaven, the Righteous Brothers assured us, you know they got a hell of a band. On t’other hand, you have to figure that the music is still pretty good on the wrong side of the Styx, simply based on the list of people you might suspect landed there.
This premise can be extended further. Consider the New Hades Yankees, who have been waiting all their afterlives for an owner like the late George Steinbrenner.
One inevitable starter in the outfield is Ty Cobb:
Cobb’s life consisted of two things at which he excelled: baseball and violence. He hit .320+ in 23 of his 24 seasons, and also fist-fought a fan in a wheelchair during a game. His career average of .367 is the highest ever, and he once drove to Princeton to beat his son with a whip for failing out of school.
Single-minded, he wasn’t.
I am really not a sports fan but I suppose that baseball, of all the sports, is the one that interests me the most. And it’s a lot easier to follow when you’re sitting right there watching it in person than it is listening to it on the radio. (Though maybe all the times I listed to Rangers games over recent years — mainly as “background noise” while doing something else — has led to my absorption of some of the basics of the game.)
Now for me it’s the other way around: I can follow a game just fine on the radio. Of course, I was doing that as a kid, back in the Jurassic period, or at least before the Braves moved to Atlanta, by which time I’d already figured out how to pull the nighttime Cardinals games from KMOX. (What else are you gonna do in South Carolina? It’s either some team way the hell up north, or way the hell out west. St. Louis, right in the middle, was right where I needed to be.)
So inevitably my thoughts on the matter are informed by the thoughts of Jack Buck, who worked the booth with Harry Caray during my years as a nascent Cards fan. CBS eventually signed him to do their TV game of the week, a gig that lasted only two years. Buck explained:
“CBS never got that baseball play-by-play draws word-pictures. All they knew was that football stars analysts. So they said, ‘Let [Tim] McCarver run the show … In television, all they want you to do is shut up. I’m not very good at shutting up.”
And with KMOX squeezed out of the picture, if I’m wandering up around Kansas on a summer day, I’m likely to hunt down the Royals games, knowing I’ll be able to squint in the sun and imagine myself at the K.
Meanwhile in the Pacific Coast League, the RedHawks were rained out last night, so there’s a double-header tonight against Nashville. The Birds are 2½ games ahead of the
Springfield Albuquerque Isotopes in the PCL American South.
I’m not quite sure what I think about the impending sale of the Oklahoma City RedHawks to persons yet unidentified. It’s not like there’s something resembling perennial ownership stability at the Triple-A level; the Boids have changed hands three times in the last two decades. (One of those owners, New York art dealer Jeffrey Loria, sold out in 1993 and went looking for a major-league club to add to his portfolio; you might not want to mention his name in Montreal.)
On the upside, this sounds promising:
Mandalay Baseball’s core business is to own and operate Minor League Baseball franchises throughout the United States. An organization unique to minor league sports, Mandalay Baseball’s executive team possesses an incomparable depth and breadth of entertainment, financial, and sports expertise. Its acquisition and venue development strategy, business model, and operating and management philosophy are unlike that of any other in minor league sports.
No one is saying for sure that Mandalay is the buyer — don’t want to jeopardize the negotiations, doncha know — but clearly we could do a lot worse. And if Bob Funk père is sick of wasting leather on those Bricktown paving stones, well, he’s getting up there in years, and Funk fils has that damn hockey team to run.
A handful of sports scribes are calling for MLB to credit Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga with a perfect game, what with umpire Jim Joyce admitting to blowing the call on what would have been the 27th out.
The Tigers didn’t protest the game (I don’t think, offhand, that a protest can be pursued by the winning team or on a safe/out call on the bases), so the one precedent (the 1983 pine tar game, when the league reversed an on-field decision to strip a home run from George Brett, requiring the game to be replayed from that point) doesn’t provide any support. And doing so just to preserve one player’s individual accomplishment is antithetical to the point of team sports, in which we celebrate individual achievements that are reached within the flow of the game. It’s not as if the league ordinarily does anything about blown calls even when they decide pennant races or postseason series. Galarraga will be remembered as the guy who earned the distinction, and in a way that’s close enough. Like Harvey Haddix, he’ll go down in history in a way that Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden won’t.
It’s not like we don’t understand blown calls here in the Thunderworld. And besides, Crank’s point seems obvious to me, if only because I actually do remember Harvey Haddix, pitching for the Pirates in 1959, who retired 36 batters in a row, only to lose to the Braves in the bottom of the 13th. As a kid shuffling stats, I found this more fascinating than, say, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Dodgers 4, Cubs 3, on April 29, 1983. Wrigley Field fans made with the boos, and manager Lee Elia spoke with the local media after the game.
(Neither the audio nor the written transcript comes close to “safe for work.”)
Yes, we have two:
(Linked to this.)
(Linked to this.)
Union workers, welfare queens and illegal aliens thrive under Democratic administrations, but not as much as the New York Yankees.
In this, the first year of the Obama Administration, the Yankees won their first World Series since … the last year of the Clinton Administration. You can blame George W. Bush for a lot, but you can’t blame him for a Yankee World Championship. While Clinton was having relations with Monica Lewinski, Derek Jeter was adding four rings and an untold number of venereal diseases.
Under GHW Bush and Reagan, the Yankees won no world titles and only one American League Pennant, in 1981 as America was still suffering from Jimmy Carter malaise. In Carter’s four years, inflation, unemployment, and Reggie Jackson’s # of rings rose exponentially (2 titles in four years).
In fact, the Bronx Bombers haven’t won a Series with a Republican in the White House for half a century:
You have to go back to Ike in 1958 to find the last Republican President to see a Yankee world title. Ike saw six pennants and three world titles. Then he waxed on about the military/industrial complex and gave birth to the modern left.
The GOP, if it is wise, will make an issue of this in 2012. Then again, what are the chances of the GOP being wise?
I wish they’d just agree to both perform the community service in the other city no matter who wins. I’d like to see Mayor Bloomberg do a hard day’s work. But I so want the Philly guy spending a day in a New York City public school! Who wants to bet on how long before the kids make him cry?
Nutter? If he makes it to recess, he’s beaten the odds.
The RedHawks’ season ended today, and there’s one more year left on the club’s Triple-A affiliation with the Texas Rangers, which began back in 1983 and has been regularly renewed ever since.
Matt Patterson, on the Boids beat at the Oklahoman, thinks there’s a chance it won’t be:
There has been speculation the Rangers would like to have both their Double-A and Triple-A franchises in Texas. Frisco is the current home of the Double-A Roughriders.
One landing spot for the Rangers’ Triple-A team could be Round Rock. The Express is about to enter the final year of its agreement with the Houston Astros. The Express is co-owned by Rangers team president Nolan Ryan. His son, Reid, is the chief executive officer.
Nolan Ryan might become part of the Rangers ownership now that current owner Tom Hicks is looking for buyers. Some have speculated Nolan Ryan’s continued involvement with the Rangers could help steer their Triple-A team to Round Rock.
A lot of speculation, to be sure, but this makes sense on several levels, not least of which is the fact that Round Rock’s affiliation with Houston ends at the same time the RedHawks-Rangers deal runs out. It wouldn’t be the first time the Astros had a Triple-A club here: the original Colt .45s, a National League expansion team in 1962, signed their first Triple-A agreement with what were then the Oklahoma City 89ers, which would continue through the 1972 season.
Says Patterson, some other teams might be looking for new Triple-A deals, including the White Sox and the Blue Jays. But the Astros would seem to be the front-runners should the Rangers pull out: historically, there’s been a definite preference for more-or-less regional affiliations. (Houston’s Double-A club is the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League.)
And a deal with the ‘Stros would actually make a slight difference in gameplay: current Triple-A (and Double-A) rules call for the designated-hitter rule — except in games between two National League-affiliated clubs, since the NL scorns the DH, and five of the eight teams in the American Conference of the Pacific Coast League, where the ‘Hawks play, are affiliated with NL clubs. (It’s a four-four split in the Pacific Conference.)
Up to now, the RedHawks had never retired a number. But at the home opener Friday night (would have been the ninth game of the season, PCL scheduling being what it is, but Sunday at Memphis was rained out), Oklahoma City’s Triple-A ball club will retire the number of a former New York Yankee: Bobby Murcer (1946-2008), born here in Oklahoma City, a four-time American League All-Star (and once for the National League), who most of the time wore #1. (After returning to the Yanks following his NL stint, he took over #2, Billy Martin having appropriated #1.)
I figure the next number to be retired will be that of another Yankee: #7, Mickey Mantle, born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. It makes sense, inasmuch as the ‘Hawks play in a park on Mickey Mantle Drive.
I don’t think I’m going to try this myself, but what the hell:
The West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball team, will be offering up major league cholesterol, carbohydrates and calories in an enormous hamburger being added to the menu this year at the Fifth Third Ballpark. The 4-pound, $20 burger features five beef patties, five slices of cheese, nearly a cup of chili and liberal doses of salsa and corn chips, all on an 8-inch sesame-seed bun. That’s a lot of dough!
Unfortunately, I am no longer allowed sesame seeds. Otherwise, I could see myself saying something like this:
I know what you’re thinking — “Finally, I can get a 4-pound burger at a ballgame! Oh, and a Diet Coke, please!”
Then again, I have known some semi-serious trenchermen in my day — more so than I, anyway — but even they might balk at this.
Oh, and if “Fifth Third” makes your cognition that much more dissonant, try this.