Soriano and Jay-Z and Other Stuff
Not sure whether this is breaking news, because I'm riding shotgun in a Saturn while crusing through the outskirts of Morgantown right now, and my Internet connection isn't the world's fastest, so bear with me on this one. It involves Alfonso Soriano, Jay-Z and a high-end, upscale, NYC club.
(Actually, now we're lost, in a bar parking lot, with Mike Wise yelling "HEY YOU" at a young man doing wheelies on a motocross bike down a hill next to the parking lot. "I race through the woods with it," the young man said. He gave us extensive and complicated directions to the stadium. "What does he think I am, Magellan?" Wise said. I might throw up soon. The parking lot was for "Pierpoint Bar & Lounge, since 1947." ("Get to the Point," the bar's sign says.))) (I think that's the right number of end parentheses, but if I look down I will definitely throw up. In-vehicle blogging is no fun at all.)
(And now we're on the side of a road talking to a state police officer, asking for directions. This will end badly.)
Anyhow, I just talked to Ron Berkowitz, a spokesman for Jay-Z's 40/40 club in NYC. The club is named in honor of baseball's 40/40 club, and right now there are three members: Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and A-Rod. Their signed jerseys hang in the club's upstairs hallway leading to the memorabilia wing, and A-Rod and Bonds are frequent visitors. Well, the club has been in discussions with Alfonso Soriano's camp (not the Cub Scout kind), and they've now finalized a date for Soriano's induction: Sept. 21, after the Nats game in Shea Stadium. Soriano will sign and then donate his jersey from that day's game. He will be the first inductee since the club opened in 2003, although he also had them worried that season, when he had 38 HR and 35 SB. This is, needless to say, a momentous occasion; "a very special situation," Ron said.
(And now we're at "Attention to Detail Auto Detailing", asking for more directions.) ("Right at the first light, two more lights, and then a left, and the stadium should be right there at your right," or something like that.)
Focus, Dan, focus. Soriano. (Just passed two scalpers sitting next to each other with signs: "I Need Tickets" and "Tickets for Sale." "Why don't these guys get in touch with each other, I never understand it," Mike Wise said. "They could solve each other's problems.")
(And now we're listening to The New Pornographers. I hear they're big among tailgating 'Eers fans. I had to put some music on so Mike Wise would stop singing "Country Roads.")
Soriano. Ron Berkowitz told me that pro athletes stop in the 40/40 every time they're in NYC. A-Rod had his 30th birthday party there. Beyonce had her 25th birthday party there. A-Rod's foundation is hosting a poker tournament there. The decor is "upscale sports bar and lounge." There are many, many humorous details on the previously cited Web site, but I don't have the time right now. Go check it out.
(And now the guys made me switch to Johnny Cash. And there are cars parked everywhere. And WVU flags everywhere. We've gotta be close.)
The key points are: Soriano will be inducted on Sept. 21--"I just hope he doesn't get 50/50 by then," Ron said--and media are invited. Proprietor Jay-Z is on his world tour in Europe, and will still be in Europe on Sept. 21, but Ron promised that "stars come out for parties at the 40/40 club." "Elaborate," I asked.
"Listen, when Jay does parties they are over the top," he said. "It's not just open up the doors and people come in. You know, it's Jay-Z. It's not me opening the door to my apartment and saying 'C'mon in.' It will be over the top."
(Unbelievably, we're lost again. We're by Crockett's Lodge. And my battery is running out. Somebody help.)
UPDATE: We're here. It took us 3 and a half hours from D.C. To Morgantown's Ruby Tuesday. It took us 45 minutes from Ruby Tuesday to the stadium.
UPDATE: A police officer just told us we're in the wrong place. We see the stadium, but still, wrong. Fade left, fade left, then do a fly pattern to the corner or something like that. We did see hundreds of Maryland tailgaters, though.
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