When I heard about the possible Jake Peavy trade to the Chicago White Sox, I was the first one to know for sure he would not come. Because I have gotten drunk with Jake Peavy.
It was a normal night in Champaign, IL, at the University of Illinois in the Spring of 2008 before baseball season had started. I was making up a response paper to something I had barely read, and my roommate was in the living room pretending to be working while actually watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
As I was trying to fill the two-page requirement with complete fluff, I received a text from a friend saying Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, and Brad Penny were at Kams, a local dive bar where the beer tastes like urine and the floor smells like it, too. A place where you can find Illinois basketball players out on parole having some suds at the underage of 19.
What a glorious place.
I decided that I must go see this spectacle. I left my page of writing and put on some pants and walked out the door. My roommate did not want to go because he did not want to pay the $5 cover charge to get into Kams. This being the same roommate who purchased WWE 24/7, a channel which played wrestling matches 24 hours a day.
The walk to Kams was a quick one as the Champaign breeze was forcing me to practically run. As I entered Kams, I was surprised to see the crowd was not as big as I thought it would be, but anyone who was there was gathered near the dance floor.
I asked the bouncer if the players were there and he nodded, pointing toward the corner where everyone had gathered. I walked over and sure enough there is Jake Peavy with a camouflage hat of course and Roy Oswalt, the size of a horse jockey.
Peavy seemed to be quite intoxicated while Oswalt was pretty laid back. Apparently every year they go hunting in Rantoul, IL and make a visit to the University of Illinois campus. Who I could not find was Brad Penny and then a friend pointed me to a chubby, short hillbilly to which I replied, "No, Penny is a tall, chubby hillbilly."
People went right on believing he was Brad Penny, and I even told him he helped my 2007 fantasy team "do work" (I was trying to speak the language of the hillrods) just for laughs. He clearly was not Brad Penny.
People took pictures and got autographs, but I just shook their hands and had a couple of beers then called it a night.
As I walked outside the bar, I called my friend Mike to tell him I had just met two Cy Young Award winners. While I was talking to Mike, a drunk kid wearing a Cubs' hat went up to Roy Oswalt and was like, "My brother told me I have to meet you, but I don't know why." Oswalt just shook his hand and walked away.
This was one of those points where I did not care who I was talking to, I had to say something. I said to Oswalt, "Was that kid serious?" to which he responded "What a dumbass."
As I'm describing to my friend everything that is happening, I see Peavy come out of a bar and go use a bush to rid himself of some beer across the street. I turn my back and begin a slow walk to my apartment while sticking around to see if anything happens. Suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder and I turn to see Roy Oswalt.
Oswalt says to me, "Do you know where Station is?"
I respond, "Yes."
Oswalt then asks me, " Can you show us?"
I say to my friend Mike, "Mike, I have to call you back. I have to walk Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt to Station."
I could hear him say, "WHAT!" on the other line as I hung up the phone.
So it was Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, the family they hunted with and their friend claiming himself to be Brad Penny walking through campus to get to Station, a frat boy bar with extremely attractive women.
As we are walking, Peavy had his arm around the girlfriend of the boy who is part of the family they hunt with and some pink-shirted frat boy decided to say, "Have fun with that tonight," as we walked by.
Peavy was not happy. He stopped and began yelling at the pink shirt about respecting women. The fellow frat boys, none of which knew who they were messing with, backed up their pop-collared friend, who couldn't handle his alcohol, by telling Peavy and Oswalt to "go back to the farm," based on their accents.
I informed the tan group of "men" that these guys were worth more than their lives.
Things began to get more heated at which point Oswalt said to me, "Hold him (Peavy) back."
I told Oswalt to not use his pitching hand if he were going to punch someone, seeing as I was planning on drafting him in fantasy baseball that year. I then turned around and began holding Peavy back, explaining to him the art of the frat boy and the testicles they grow with always having at least 10 paid-for friends along with a couple shots of peppermint schnapps with them.
At one point, the frat boy felt he would look far tougher with his pink polo off than on, so he decided to remove it. At this point, Peavy said, with me holding him back, "Look at this roider," while laughing.
Of course, as all frat scuffles do, the situation died down as each party yelled things in the other direction while walking away.
A truck came and picked up Peavy and some of the family members and I pointed them in the direction of the bar and said I would walk Oswalt and the fake Brad Penny to it.
Finally, I got them to the bar and said it was nice meeting them and began to walk away as Oswalt said something to me I will never forget. He said, "Come in and get drunk with us." I immediately turned around as if a giant breeze had spun me and proceeded to do as he said.
Never have I felt cooler than walking in to a bar with a posse including Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt, and a fake Brad Penny. The looks on people's faces saying, "Why is that kid with Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt and Brad Penny," were priceless.
As the night went on, Oswalt got a little tipsy and began making fun of Peavy for making the playoffs with a team that did not even win 80 games to which I informed Oswalt he was in the worst division in baseball and he agreed with a laugh.
I took pictures for people who proved that rumors take over logical thought with the fake Brad Penny and drank whiskey bought by Roy Oswalt. I even told the fake Brad Penny that he was far too short to be the real Brad Penny.
At one point, I told the two pitchers that I felt weird for standing next to them and since the one guy got to be called Brad Penny, I told them to tell people I was Barry Zito, due to my shaggy hair. They laughed and introduced me as such.
It was a great night, but I knew I had one more thing to get off my chest and I had just enough whiskey in my system to do so. I had to find out the chances of the White Sox getting either of these pitchers.
Roy Oswalt said the White Sox couldn't afford him and Jake Peavy said eloquently, "@#$@# the White Sox and Ozzie Guillen."
There was never a doubt in my mind that Jake Peavy would turn down the White Sox and that is because we got heavily intoxicated together. That is true reporting.
We closed the bar and at the end of the night both pitchers thanked me and I responded by saying, "No, thank you." Then I almost got hit by a car crossing the street. I would have died a happy man.
(The picture was taken by a friend of mine at Kams - the fake Brad Penny is all the way to the left, Jake Peavy is kissing some girl in the middle and Roy Oswalt is all the way to the right.)
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