Posted tagged ‘Baseball’

“The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them.”

April 4, 2017

The rain is heavy at times. I heard it pounding the roof just as I was involuntarily woken up by the ringing of the doorbell. It was a Comcast technician. It seems that somebody dug without calling Safe Dig, and they snipped my neighbor’s phone line. They were checking with me as I once had an invisible fence and that got snipped as well. The Comcast guy was glad to hear he didn’t have to worry about it. A couple of guys have been outside for close to 3 hours. They look miserable.

I’m supposed to take some comfort in April showers, but I figure May flowers would pop up anyway, and some sun would be a good thing. If it weren’t the crocus and the dafs in my front garden, I’d be wondering where spring is hiding.

The wind is fierce and is blowing all the pine tree limbs. They are stark and winter bare. I could lose more branches or small trees; of course, the yard was just cleared a couple of weeks ago. Isn’t that the way?

Gracie needs a vet appointment. Her back legs slide, and she has trouble keeping control on the tile floor in the kitchen and going down the inside stairs. The treads I ordered for the outside stairs are here, but I may use them inside as that’s where the problems are. I haven’t had a Boxer get this old before so I’m learning how to make life easier for her.

The Red Sox opened the season yesterday with a win over the Pirates. I am so excited that baseball is back for so many reasons, but the best reason is that opening day is the first indicator of summer for me. The countdown to summer has begun.

The second summer indicator is dinner at Captain Frosty’s with my friends. This year Captain Frosty’s opens on April 13th, and we’ll be there on opening day the same as we are every year. I can already see my plate filled with fish and fried clams (with the bellies of course), French fries, and a clam cake. I’ll have onion rings on the side to share. The last and final tradition heralding spring is Easter dinner at the Ocean House. We get dressy, and last year I added a hat. Well, it was not so much a hat as a spring fascinator, and it got lots of smiles. I’ve a new one for this year. Our small pink rabbit comes with us every year. She has a prominent place on the table.

The last and final tradition heralding spring is Easter dinner at the Ocean House. We get dressy, and last year I added a hat. Well, it was not so much a hat as a spring fascinator, and it got lots of smiles. I’ve a new one for this year. Our small pink rabbit comes with us every year and has a prominent place on the table. Dinner is always superb.

I feel happier. It may be cold and rainy, but spring is coming. One down, two more to go!

“Birds are the eyes of heaven, and flies are the spies of hell.”

March 26, 2017

Okay, I am confessing that I watched shark movies yesterday. The worst, by far, was Avalanche Sharks. Supernatural sharks materialized in the snow after an avalanche. Their fins skimmed the snow as if they were in water. The victims knew what was coming. The sharks were drawn, I suppose, to the Bikini Snow Day contest. Even sharks couldn’t resist those bikini-clad coeds. The sharks, from under the snow, fed on the skiers. Many shots were of skiers screaming as the shark munched on the lower parts of their bodies. I was rooting for the sharks.  One line was so horrific I wrote it down. The speaker was describing the death of his former girlfriend, “There wasn’t enough of her to make a sloppy Joe.”

The morning was sunny and warmish at 44˚, but since then clouds have covered the sky. Rain is predicted for tomorrow; of course, it is. Tomorrow looks to be the warmest day in a while.

I’m so eager for baseball to start, I’ve been watching Red Sox spring training games. Yesterday I was thrilled to hear Jerry Remy back in the booth. He and Don Orsillo, the former play by play announcer, were amazing together. They called a great game though they did tend to go off topic if the Sox were winning in a rout or losing by the same. The pizza slice video was my favorite. I don’t remember why the two men in the stands started at each other, but it culminated in a pizza slice being thrown. Don and Jerry were laughing so hard they could barely talk. They showed that video several times. They always laughed. Don left the Red Sox as his contract wasn’t renewed. He went to San Diego. I still miss him.

Tonight is game night. We always have something easy to hold for dinner as we play through. This week I am the dessert bringer or rather the dessert buyer.

The first fly of the season is in the house. It is probably enjoying the heat. I usually chase flies with a rolled-up magazine, hoping to swat them to oblivion. This fly looks little, a small target. I’ll have to hope my skills didn’t rust over the winter. That fly is mine!!

“Anyone who’s just driven 90 yards against huge men trying to kill them has earned the right to do Jazz hands. ”

October 13, 2015

My mornings rarely start early, but today the alarm jarred me awake at the God awful hour of 7:30. I had a library board meeting at nine and I wanted time for coffee and some of the paper. After the meeting I did my three errands. This has been a most industrious morning for me.

It started raining last night and was still raining when I woke up. Mother Nature must have looked kindly on me because the rain stopped for the few minutes it took me to get the papers then it started pouring when I got inside. The sun came out around 10 for a while then the clouds came back, but it must be a peek-a-boo day as the sun is back.

The day is warm. The morning was filled with the sounds of birds, and the rain brought a sweetness to the air. It is supposed to get really cold by the end of the week so I will savor today.

My father was a football and hockey fan. He thought baseball was boring and just didn’t enjoy basketball. We were poles apart. Basketball and baseball were always my favorites, and I never did like hockey. I abided football but didn’t understand much of it. Baseball has always been my top favorite sport. The cellar dwellers, the Sox, were a cheap Saturday afternoon in the bleachers when I was a kid. Now they are still cellar dwellers but even the bleachers are expensive. I usually try to go once each year but mostly I watch them on TV. I haven’t been to a Celtics’ game in a long while because I seemed to have lost interest. Filling the gap has been football. My dad would have loved to have someone watch with him, and he’d be thrilled at the success of the Pats. He watched them in their early days, their struggling years. He yelled a lot at the TV. I watch every Pats game, and I now understand the general rules of the game, most infractions and even some strategy. I’m hazy about some positions and their responsibilities, but that doesn’t deter me from enjoying the game. I yell at the TV. My dad would be proud!

“A critic once characterized baseball as six minutes of action crammed into two-and-one-half hours. “

March 12, 2015

The morning is downright cold. I’m thinking winter is trying to hold on, trying to keep spring away, but it’s too late. The temperature no longer matters. I have dismissed winter. I haven’t quite welcomed spring, but I figure we’re in the shoulder season betwixt and between and winter is losing ground, literally and figuratively. A snow storm isn’t an impossibility as we sometimes have one in March and even in April but they are the swan songs. This morning, after getting the papers, I saw a green shoot in my front garden. It survived the snow. I figure I have too.

The Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox are trying to entice young kids to the ballpark. It seems kids think the game is boring to watch, and they’d prefer their baseball as a video game. I get that. The games are long, especially Sox games. Other sports seem to have constant, or almost constant, action. The best played baseball games have low scores with nothing much going on. The fun games are usually when balls are hit out of the park and the score is high. When I watch at home, there is always plenty of time for bathroom breaks or a trip to the kitchen for snacks. I seldom miss any action. I wouldn’t dare do that during a Pats’ game. Nope, I wait for the commercial. There are new rules this year to speed up the game. My favorite new rule is pitchers no longer have to throw those silly way outside the strike zone balls on intentional walks. The manager can simply signal the umpire. The one I expect to cause the most problems is hitters must keep at least one foot inside the batter’s box at all times. David Ortiz comes to mind. He steps out of the box, leans his bat between his legs, spits on his gloves and then pounds his hands together after just about every pitch. I always think it’s a bit gross, but baseball players have rituals and superstitions which must, in their minds, be honored. Stepping out of the batter’s box to spit on gloves to David is essential.

I’m thinking a cattle prod might be more helpful. Give the players a couple of warnings then the next time they run afoul of the rules bring out the cattle prod. A zap or two should work.

“I see great things in baseball.”

February 19, 2015

The sun has appeared. The ice and snow are actually melting. How lucky for us it will get cold again tonight and all that water will freeze. We are on a treadmill. Last night there were flurries. Tomorrow night will be the coldest night yet. If I go to a dictionary to look up winter, I’m going to see a picture of the pile of snow at the corner of my street, the icicles on my house and my car stuck trying to get up the hill. Winter has been redefined this year.

Gracie and I are going out later. I need cream for my coffee and cat food. I also need food for my soul. I’m thinking of my favorite sandwich and a whoopie pie. We are going to the dump first as we never made it last week with all the snow. Gracie will be glad. Me, not so much.

I seem to be talking to myself a whole lot more since my involuntary hibernation, but I am not yet hearing responses. I figure if I do, I’m probably too far along the crazy spectrum to find it peculiar. I might even enjoy it.

My inside winter uniform never changes style. I wear socks, slippers (alternating between my two pairs), a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over it and kick around the house pants, mostly flannel. I am not dressed for company, but I don’t worry as I don’t expect any. I am wearing my Red Sox sweatshirt, the most hopeful sweatshirt I own. It speaks of spring and summer, a reminder that someday Fenway will be clear of snow, hawkers will be selling Fenway franks, and we’ll be hearing the crack of the bat hitting the ball and maybe, just maybe, watching the ball sail over the Green Monster.

“Hope is the thing with feathers-That perches in the soul..” I always think Emily Dickinson is right and her description perfect.

“I got hired by a newspaper to write a column on current events, so I wrote about Benjamin Franklin’s charting of the Gulf Stream.”

January 3, 2015

No new experiences can be had sitting in my den. I haven’t been outside for a few days except to get the mail and newspapers and fill the feeders. Last night I noticed two strings of lights on the deck rail were no longer lit so I went out and unwound them from the deck. It was cold, and I wondered why in the heck I was doing that. I didn’t have an answer but once I started I needed to finish. Now only half the rail is lit, and I’m wrestling with the half full, half empty concept.

We, Gracie and I, have to go out today. She is out of canned food, my trunk is filled with trash and I need to go to the pharmacy. It is an ugly day, cold and cloudy. Rain is expected tonight. It is a perfect day to hunker down, but that will have to come later.

I diligently read two papers every morning. When I write that here, I always get comments about reading on-line and why aren’t I. That’s easy to answer. I like the feel of the paper, the sound of the pages and all the small pieces of content. It takes me a while to read both papers. I skip over international news in the Cape Times as I had already read it in the Globe. I pick and choose what to read on the sports pages. I am first and foremost a baseball fan, but I have a while to wait before it resurfaces. I read football stories if they are about the Patriots. I am not such a football fan that anything else is of interest except I did read about Rex Ryan cleaning out his office even before he was fired on Black Monday. In college I seldom missed a home hockey game, but I don’t like hockey, never have. It was the pre-game festivities which drew me in college. I do like basketball, but I haven’t followed the Celts the way I used to.

The last thing I do in the Globe is the crossword puzzle. The last thing I do in the Times is the cryptogram. The puzzle gets finished. Sometimes the cryptogram doesn’t and that drives me crazy and frustrates the hell out of me. I tend to ball up the page and toss it. That makes me feel just a little bit better.

This morning I finished both of them.

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”

March 20, 2014

Last night it rained. This morning was cloudy and a bit damp, but we went to the beach anyway. Our festivities took place in the car. We sang our traditional songs, quoted authors on spring, and then when it was sunrise by our watches, we went outside the car and took pictures. The sun wasn’t visible behind the clouds, and the wind was cold, but we didn’t care. After the pictures, we went out to breakfast, our final tradition for the welcoming ceremony. Happy first day of spring!

Today will be warm, or at least warmer than it has been. It is a gift from mercurial Mother Nature because next week winter will back with weather in the 30’s.

An article on the sports pages this morning mentioned the permafrost on some baseball fields and the difficulty of getting them ready for their opening days. In Chicago, a sort of giant hair dryer is being used under a tarp to thaw the ground while crews chip away at the ice in right field. Baseball should be played on a warm sunny day with soft grass underfoot, not thermafrost.

I wish there was a way to make sarcasm ooze from the written word. Yesterday I had quite the chat with a Comcast representative about a problem with my cable TV. I had also had the same chat the day before, but that first problem seemed to solve itself, but when it reappeared yesterday, I foolishly called the chat line again. Both Comcast chatters were condescending and their platitudes  nauseating. I felt like a puppy or a little kid being potty trained with their good job, well done comments. I even told the second guy to stop the platitudes now. He also said a couple of times he could feel my frustration. I would rather he had felt my fist. He gave me an appointment between 8 and 9 am for yesterday. The only problem was it was already noontime. I asked him if he was going to charge me for missing that appointment. He didn’t get it so I explained we were long passed that time then I told him I understood his frustration. He didn’t get that either. The Comcast guy is here right now trying to fix the signal. I have hopes. He seems capable.

Yesterday I saw a male goldfinch with bright yellow feathers. His dull winter look has disappeared. Spring is arriving in dribs and drabs, and I couldn’t be happier.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

January 31, 2014

The day isn’t pretty, but it’s warmer than it has been so I’ll take it. Icicles are dripping and falling off the eaves. Gracie barks at the sound of them falling thinking we have an intruder. The snow is melting off the roof to the deck and sounds like rain. Miss Gracie has been in and out all morning, another sign of a warmer day. Her paw prints cover the kitchen’s tile floor. Maddie the cat, on the other hand, sits with her head inside the lamp shade close to the bulb. I’m thinking it is her way of fighting seasonal affective disorder. The light isn’t needed for reading any more but I’m leaving it on for Maddie.

I am bored with winter. I am sick of staying inside and tired of being cold. I want the snow gone. I want spring. This weariness, this languor, isn’t unexpected. It happens the same time every winter, at the beginning of February, two weeks from pitchers and catchers and three weeks from position players reporting for spring training. My mind gets filled with images and sounds. I can see the grassy, plush outfields and hear the crack of the bat hitting the ball. I think about watching the ball arc and sail over the wall followed by shouts and cheers. I can’t wait for baseball to start. I check the sports pages every day for even the smallest tidbit about the Sox. Forget the Celtics, easy to do this year, and the Bruins. Bring on my Red Sox.

My sister gave me a Red Sox sweatshirt for Christmas. I now have three: a blue World Series 2007, a green one with Red Sox across the front and now the new red one with Boston emblazoned on it for all to see. No one will doubt my allegiance.

I’m more than ready to hear Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park.

” I told you, I don’t shoot to kill. I want a silver bullet to be a symbol of justice.”

October 15, 2013

The night was chilly so the house was cold again this morning. I threw on my sweatshirt and started the heat. The house is now cozy and warm. The sun is streaming through the front door and Fern has staked her spot. Gracie is having her morning nap. All is right with my world.

I have a few errands today then I get to watch Red Sox baseball at four. I think that’s a strange time for any game, let alone an ALCS game.

The Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers were on this morning, and I watched them both with the critical eye of an adult. Poor Tonto was simply the “Injun” and was told to be out-of-town before nightfall. The town set was composed of building facades though a few long shots were filmed outside. The Lone Ranger explained as he did on every show that he was on the side of the law despite his mask. He and Tonto fought, defeated and captured the bad guys as they always did. The Lone Ranger and Tonto said good-bye, and as they were leaving, someone wanted to know who that masked man was. The sheriff said, “That was The Lone Ranger.” The end of the program was the familiar scene of the Lone Ranger and Tonto riding out-of-town on that dirt road with rocks on each side. The Lone Ranger shouted,” Hi-ho, Silver, away,” as our two heroes rode off side by side.

Roy Rogers was actually filmed outside, no fake scenes there. Roy had his whole crew: Dale on Buttercup, Pat driving Nellybelle, Bullet running along side and Trigger. Dale wore great outfits with lots of fringe. I chuckled at hearing little lady and old-timer being used. When I was a kid, I never thought about this program as being modern, 50’s modern. It was just a western to me despite the jeep. In this episode, a fake federal agent even wore a suit and tie, but Roy and Dale were faithful to their western roots. Roy wore his two-gun holster while Dale’s had only one gun. They both wore tooled boots, and Roy wore his cowboy hat. At the end of the program, I got to sing along with Roy and Dale. “Happy trails to you until we meet again.”

“(Baseball) is a game with a lot of waiting in it; it is a game with increasingly heightened anticipation of increasingly limited action”

October 12, 2013

The day is cloudy and fall cool. Later, I am going to put the storm door on the front. I hate to admit it, but the time has come. The days are only in the 60’s at best and the nights are even cooler. I put the comforter on my bed last night because I’ve been leaving the window open. The night air is sweet and still has a few summer sounds so I’ll enjoy it as long as I can.

The ALCS begins tonight. Our heroes play the kitties from Detroit. I get a chuckle out of some of the players on that team. Having an infielder named Fielder seems a bit much, especially a fielder of such girth. I always want to tell him to tuck in his shirt; slovenly is not fashionable even on the baseball field. What amazes me is that these two teams have never faced each other in a playoff but have played almost 2000 games against each other since the beginning of time. Fenway Park, voted the best park in baseball, was opened the same day and year as the Tiger’s park, now torn down. No sense of history in Detroit I suppose. I checked all the predictions and many favor the Kitties in a long series; the Sox are favored for a short series. That’s just the incentive the Sox need. Those bearded wonders love to beat the odds. After all, they came from last to first. Okay, I’ll admit Mr. V is the best pitcher, but the Sox got to him once and maybe are set to do it again. I wouldn’t bet against them. I suggest the Kitties adopt It’s Crying Time Again as their theme song. Go Red Sox!

My sister and I went to an Indian restaurant yesterday in Stoneham, where she still lives and where I grew up. The restaurant is at the site of what was The Children’s Corner. My sister’s memory of that is a bit hazy. She thought the store was in a different part of the square. Our table faced the street so I gave her a run-down of what used to be in the square. She was a bit amazed about the small restaurant, longer than it was wide, and the Spa with its lime rickeys, neither of which exist any more. She remembered Finnegan’s, a men’s store. Members of the same family were also morticians but out of the square, near all the churches. Later she went hunting on-line for a picture of the square and found one with the Children’s Corner and the old police booth. That was my up-town a long, long time ago.