October 22, 2007
This is one of those days when you just don’t really know what to do with yourself. There are no baseball games being played at the Major League level. The match-up has been set for the World Series and now you are in a waiting game watching the clock wondering when game time is ever going to begin. For the fans of the twenty-eight teams who didn’t make the World Series it is a time to wonder about what could have been had your team been able to put the pieces together to make a run like the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. Sometimes baseball is like a big puzzle made up of literally thousands of pieces and depending on how they are put together they can make a picture that looks like the front of the puzzle box or they can be a menagerie of ill-fitting parts that looks like the floor of a truck stop men’s room. This of course was not a mental image I wanted to dwell on today so I tried to put it out of my mind.
Continue reading ‘Putting the Pieces Together’ »
October 21, 2007
At the conclusion of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series I made a comment that this series had an eerie feeling of dÃ©jÃ vu hearkening back to 2004 when the Boston Red Sox fell to an 0-3 deficit against the New York Yankees only to reel off 4 straight wins to put them into the World Series where they demolished the St. Louis Cardinals in a sweep to win their first World Championship in 86 years. Rowdy and unruly players wandered the club house with the mantra of “Cowboy up” and claimed themselves a team of destiny. There was drama at every turn from close plays on the base paths to a gutsy performance by a pitcher complete with a “bloody sock”. These were the stories of 2004 that finally ended the curse of the Bambino. You could turn the clock ahead three years and feel many of the same things. The bloody sock is long gone although Curt Schilling remains a staple of the Boston rotation. Johnny Damon went to the dark side and now plays outfield for the “evil empire” yet the Red Sox continued to move forward.
Continue reading ‘And Then There Were Two’ »
October 20, 2007
I don’t deal well with death, I never have. I’d like to blame my parents (what kid doesn’t?) since they went out of their way to shield me from having to deal with the traumatic effects of losing a loved one. Even when we had to put our dog to sleep my mother took her to the vet while we were in school. When we arrived home she simply stated that the family pet had gone on a trip to a wonderful place where she would never experience pain. That was a lovely thought and helped us overcome the fact that we would never see the dog again but it really didn’t do much to prepare me for when I had to deal with a loss first hand. As I’ve gotten older I have had my share of opportunities to be introduced to the effects of losing a loved one. Each time seems to be harder and harder to try and understand why death is necessary. I promised myself that when I became a father I would not make the same mistake my parents did. I would find a way to teach my children about how death was a natural progression and that we must at some point face the realization of our mortality. Granted that is a little deep for a child to understand and I knew I would need to find a way to explain it in terms that they could understand without resorting to the analogy that my mother used on me when I lost my first pet.
Continue reading ‘Dealing with Loss’ »
October 19, 2007
Almost as soon as the Arizona Diamondbacks had clinched a play-off spot people began talking about how the team was ahead of schedule with the development of their young players and that this would be the first of many years when the Diamondbacks would be competing for a spot to represent the National League in the World Series. Even I have been guilty of looking blissfully into the future imagining a run similar to that of the Atlanta Braves where the Diamondbacks make the play-offs every season and expectations are similar to those of the New York Yankees where anything less than a World Championship would be considered a failure for the season. But now that I have had an opportunity to stop and reflect upon this season I am starting to question the wisdom in looking too far into the future.
Continue reading ‘Thinking About the Future’ »
October 18, 2007
Ever since the last out was recorded in the National League Championship Series I have been in sort of a baseball funk. Instead of my usual baseball-obsessed self I have tended to shy away for any and all news regarding the baseball front. Part of it was just that I didn’t want to be reminded that the Diamondbacks had been eliminated from the post season. About the last thing I needed was to hear yet another story of how the Colorado Rockies are the hottest team on the planet and that this year is a year of destiny. Sure it’s a feel good story especially the part where the Rockies are going to donate a full team share to the family of minor league coach Mike Coolbaugh who was killed earlier this year when he was hit in the head by a foul ball while coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers the Double-A affiliate for the Colorado Rockies but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to be reminded that my favorite team missed an opportunity to be in the World Series. But today I decided that I needed to return to the land of the living and see what was happening in the world of Major League Baseball.
Continue reading ‘Let’s Check in on the American League’ »
October 17, 2007
I awoke this morning, the first rays of the rising sun made their way through the window giving the room a warm Sedona Red glow. Ok maybe it wasn’t exactly Sedona Red but it was close. It’s funny; after Monday night’s game in Denver I wasn’t sure the sun would ever rise again a sentiment that I think was shared by a large contingent of Arizona Diamondbacks fans. No matter how much the 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks exceeded everyone’s expectations to make their way not only to the play-offs but all the way to the National League Championship Series there was still the painful realization that the home team had been eliminated and would not be playing any more baseball in 2007; or would they? Could it have been that I had just had a horrible nightmare and the four game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies was just a bad dream brought upon by eating Dryers Cookie Dough ice cream with maraschino cherries right before bed?
Continue reading ‘Wait, Where Is the Game?’ »
October 16, 2007
I’m still trying to digest the fact that Arizona Diamondbacks baseball is over for the 2007 season. I know I shouldn’t be disappointed with the outcome of this season but in the back of my mind I still feel slighted because I believe that the Diamondbacks had the better ball club in the NLCS. They just didn’t get the breaks they needed to show that. But I can’t sit here and dwell on the past. It’s also a little premature to begin planning for the 2008 season. Although I can hardly wait for Spring Training to begin, if I start talking about that now I am going to drive myself and more importantly Trina crazy well before Christmas. She is usually accustomed to be driven crazy around the last week in January so if I push the timetable up to December she is likely to go postal on me before I ever get a chance to buy Cactus League tickets. So that leaves me in a slight quandary as to what I can and cannot think about. I know there is still baseball going but watching the remaining ALCS games is kind of like pouring salt in an open wound. Hopefully I’ll heal enough to watch the World Series when in begins next week. If not I have at least got my Tivo set to record the games for when I am ready to watch. So please don’t anyone tell me the outcome of any of the games.
Continue reading ‘Melvin the Mad Scientist’ »
October 15, 2007
With the Arizona Diamondbacks down 0-3 in this series it would take quite an effort for them to come back especially against a team who has lost only once in the past month. It was even more of a reach considering that the Arizona Diamondbacks would send a rookie to the mound who has not pitched in a game situation for nearly 2 weeks. There was just no telling what would happen. At the end of the evening the story would go one of two ways. Either the headlines would read that the Diamondbacks still had life and had forced a game 5 or we would be reading how the Rockies were a team of destiny heading to their first World Series in franchise history. Diamondbacks fans everywhere were hoping for the former rather than the latter.
Continue reading ‘It Will Be a Cold Day in Denver Whenâ€¦’ »
October 14, 2007
You just have to love Eric Byrnes. Whether it is his all-out play running into walls chasing down fly balls or his head first slides into the bases where he comes up with his uniform a complete mess. The guy is just a fun dude to watch. He is one of those players who wears his heart on his sleeve. You always know exactly how Eric is doing based upon his mannerisms and actions. Some people resent that like the lovable Milton Bradley (the crummy outfielder for the San Diego Padres not the maker of fun board games) who thinks Byrnes practices “fake hussle” which is a Milton-ism for being a “show boat”. Of course no one puts much credence into anything that Milton Bradley says except maybe umpire Mike Winters.
Continue reading ‘Luck versus Destiny’ »