4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Push When You're Hot

October 1 seems like a long time ago. Two and one half weeks is one way of calculating. Or, you could say it's a previous season using baseball time. Or, maybe it's no time at all, referring to the feeling of timelessness one has when living a king-hell streak.

Remember the night of October 1? The 13th inning of San Diego's 163rd game? The Padres were leading by two runs going into the bottom of the 13th. Then Colorado scored 3 to win 9-8. The last play was a disputed tag at home plate.

Bummer. Turn off the lights and call it a season.

But if you're living in Denver, the party never stopped. There was the Rockies' wild-card win over San Diego, then three in a row over Philadelphia in the NL Division Series, then four in a row over Arizona for the NL Championship. Thence, the World Series.

As anyone who has read this far knows, Colorado has won 21 of their last 22 games. Their streak started last summer, September 16, over a month in the rearview mirror from here.

It's getting to the point where you have to ask yourself, "Are they ever going to lose?" The correct answer is, "Yes," but the money bet is, "When?"

On September 15, back last summer, Colorado was fourth in the wild-card race, 4 1/2 games out. How many things had to go right for them, and how many things had to go wrong for those three other teams? Got the number? Good. Then, multiply that by all the teams those four teams played and the teams those teams played and we're getting into string theory.

When a team is in a zone like the one Colorado has been in, you can disregard odds. Which is one of the reasons why people like sports. And religion. And gambling. Impossible things happen.

The telephone rings. It's Todd Mehner, a Vegas cohort from the '80s and current Martha's Vineyard resident. His career path has remained the same in both locations: vague. Todd says, correctly assuming I'm watching the game, "You don't see this sort of thing often." Pause. "Can you feel it?"

Sure I can. "Colorado's not allowed to lose. They couldn't lose if they wanted to."

With one out, Arizona pitcher Micah Owings walks Brad Hawpe on four pitches, walks Troy Tuloqizki on a three-and-two pitch, and Yorvit Torrealba dribs a ball between the pitcher and first base. Owings makes the only play he has: throws to first. Two outs. Colorado baserunners advance to second and third. Rookie Seth Smith plops a ball over the third baseman's head -- almost on the foul line -- for a double and two runs score. Willy Taveras hits a soft grounder to the Arizona first baseman, who boots it. Colorado on first and third. Now Kaz Matsui singles, and another run scores. Matt Holliday hits a home run. It's 6 to 1.

Todd says, "That was quick."

We met in Vegas during the early '80s. He played poker at the Hilton, might have been the $25 table, but grind-'em-out 40-hour-week poker. Played by the book, every hand, not a gram of discretion.

I say, "You're not going to watch this to the end, are you? This will probably go on past closing time. Good lord, lad, baseball hates you East Coast wimps. The National League championships are on cable; this deciding game started on a weeknight past 10:00 o'clock. I expect it will be broadcast on tape delay next year, after the hockey game."

Todd says, "The men are strong on Martha's Vineyard."

Todd was witness to my longest casino streak. I forget the amount of money...it was in the low thousands; not enough to change my life, but enough to give it a nice stroke. I've had very few casino streaks because my play was betting NFL...never enjoyed gambling in casinos. In the '80s, the Horseshoe Casino was a locals place, served the cheapest imported beer in town, and we'd often meet there on Fridays.

Opinions have been known to change after a few shots of tequila, and on one Friday afternoon in March, I walked up to the blackjack table and put a $100 bill down. Bingo. I win.

I double up and do it again. I win again. I double up again and win again. This is starting to get interesting. Todd appears and hands me a beer. The dealer, a woman in her late 40s, leans forward and says, "Push when you're hot, walk away when it goes cold."

I pushed. At blackjack. Roulette. Craps. Baccarat. And everything along the way. It didn't matter what game. This is the way the world was meant to be. Me winning. And, you know, it's so easy to win.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Jefferson Jay’s San Diego Music Hall Of Fame chooses legacy over the latest

“This is not an award show”

October 1 seems like a long time ago. Two and one half weeks is one way of calculating. Or, you could say it's a previous season using baseball time. Or, maybe it's no time at all, referring to the feeling of timelessness one has when living a king-hell streak.

Remember the night of October 1? The 13th inning of San Diego's 163rd game? The Padres were leading by two runs going into the bottom of the 13th. Then Colorado scored 3 to win 9-8. The last play was a disputed tag at home plate.

Bummer. Turn off the lights and call it a season.

But if you're living in Denver, the party never stopped. There was the Rockies' wild-card win over San Diego, then three in a row over Philadelphia in the NL Division Series, then four in a row over Arizona for the NL Championship. Thence, the World Series.

As anyone who has read this far knows, Colorado has won 21 of their last 22 games. Their streak started last summer, September 16, over a month in the rearview mirror from here.

It's getting to the point where you have to ask yourself, "Are they ever going to lose?" The correct answer is, "Yes," but the money bet is, "When?"

On September 15, back last summer, Colorado was fourth in the wild-card race, 4 1/2 games out. How many things had to go right for them, and how many things had to go wrong for those three other teams? Got the number? Good. Then, multiply that by all the teams those four teams played and the teams those teams played and we're getting into string theory.

When a team is in a zone like the one Colorado has been in, you can disregard odds. Which is one of the reasons why people like sports. And religion. And gambling. Impossible things happen.

The telephone rings. It's Todd Mehner, a Vegas cohort from the '80s and current Martha's Vineyard resident. His career path has remained the same in both locations: vague. Todd says, correctly assuming I'm watching the game, "You don't see this sort of thing often." Pause. "Can you feel it?"

Sure I can. "Colorado's not allowed to lose. They couldn't lose if they wanted to."

With one out, Arizona pitcher Micah Owings walks Brad Hawpe on four pitches, walks Troy Tuloqizki on a three-and-two pitch, and Yorvit Torrealba dribs a ball between the pitcher and first base. Owings makes the only play he has: throws to first. Two outs. Colorado baserunners advance to second and third. Rookie Seth Smith plops a ball over the third baseman's head -- almost on the foul line -- for a double and two runs score. Willy Taveras hits a soft grounder to the Arizona first baseman, who boots it. Colorado on first and third. Now Kaz Matsui singles, and another run scores. Matt Holliday hits a home run. It's 6 to 1.

Todd says, "That was quick."

We met in Vegas during the early '80s. He played poker at the Hilton, might have been the $25 table, but grind-'em-out 40-hour-week poker. Played by the book, every hand, not a gram of discretion.

I say, "You're not going to watch this to the end, are you? This will probably go on past closing time. Good lord, lad, baseball hates you East Coast wimps. The National League championships are on cable; this deciding game started on a weeknight past 10:00 o'clock. I expect it will be broadcast on tape delay next year, after the hockey game."

Todd says, "The men are strong on Martha's Vineyard."

Todd was witness to my longest casino streak. I forget the amount of money...it was in the low thousands; not enough to change my life, but enough to give it a nice stroke. I've had very few casino streaks because my play was betting NFL...never enjoyed gambling in casinos. In the '80s, the Horseshoe Casino was a locals place, served the cheapest imported beer in town, and we'd often meet there on Fridays.

Opinions have been known to change after a few shots of tequila, and on one Friday afternoon in March, I walked up to the blackjack table and put a $100 bill down. Bingo. I win.

I double up and do it again. I win again. I double up again and win again. This is starting to get interesting. Todd appears and hands me a beer. The dealer, a woman in her late 40s, leans forward and says, "Push when you're hot, walk away when it goes cold."

I pushed. At blackjack. Roulette. Craps. Baccarat. And everything along the way. It didn't matter what game. This is the way the world was meant to be. Me winning. And, you know, it's so easy to win.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Jefferson Jay’s San Diego Music Hall Of Fame chooses legacy over the latest

“This is not an award show”
Next Article

Property astir on El Cajon Blvd.

Lafayette Hotel, Red Fox Room, Mississippi Apartments
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close