The Dog Days of Summer

With the beginning of August comes the official dog days of summer. This is the long hot days where we just lay around and catch a few baseball games while the thermometer blows it top like Old Faithful. As a child in Idaho, we would spend each day playing ball at the school field. Before each game we would select shirts and skins and then begin a game that would last six to eight hours. We never kept score and the game ended when the teams were reduced to 4-on-4. If you were lucky, you were chosen to play on the skins team or the team without the kid that had one arm and no mitt. At this point in the summer, you were far enough away from school ending that you had forgotten how much you hated that teacher or the countless hours you spent in the principal’s office for reciting the pledge of allegiance with wax teeth in your mouth when the teacher’s back was turned.

In Major League Baseball, it is the time when the trading deadline has passed. Your team has made pretty much all the moves it will make. What are left are the players that will hopefully take your team to the playoffs and ultimately the World Series. Each year, I hold my breath as I pick up the paper the day after the trading deadline to see what moves each team has made. To me, this is the second most optimistic day of the year right after the reporting day for Spring Training. For half of the franchises, there is still hope that the players can make the plays and get the hits necessary to establish a playoff run. In the case of the Arizona Diamondbacks, I am hopeful that they have enough pitching now to keep them in every game and that the starters will go deep enough to keep the bullpen rested. I have to admit that I am still nervous about the offense. Each day I pray to the baseball gods to help Matt Williams and Jay Bell get out of their funk and start producing some runs. So far, my prayers have not been answered. Maybe the baseball gods are looking for a sacrifice. I wonder what that one-armed kid with no mitt is doing now?

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