|Edition No. 11||
March 31, 2010
DRAFT DAY IS UPON US!
Only three more days until the 2010 Hot Stove League Draft! Kind of like waiting for Christmas as a kid. You canít wait for it to get here, but then itís gone, over and done with, in the blink of an eye. Why does something so enormously fun have to be over with so incredibly fast?
This will be the first year since our inaugural Draft in 1985ówhen Possum could not be present and I drafted a championship team for himóthat one of our league members will not be physically present for the Draft.
Whatís that you say, Skipper, what bit of heresy doth thou utter?
Unfortunately, this statement is correct, in that one of our own has chosen instead to make his first-ever trip to Disneyworld in Orlando, and hence will not be physically present with us at the Draft on Saturday. And no, itís not Shamu, but said absentee owner is in fact an Iowegan by birth. When Jim Edís caper became known to certain members of the league hierarchy, there were a few anxious moments during which threats of expulsion from the league were uttered, but cooler heads have prevailed and it has been decided that Tirebiter will be allowed to participate in our Draft via teleconference, on his own nickel and at the penalty of drafting 13th each round instead of his earned position. He has also agreed to serve as B.T.ís butler for three months upon returning from his visit to see Goofy, Donald and Daisy, and the rest of the Disney gang. Seems right.
Anyway, our Draft on Saturday will start at 8:00 a.m. sharp. Be there or be left out.
SPRING TRAINING 2010
Several of our kith just recently returned from the Valley of the Sun, where they enjoyed golf, karaoke (picture Big Johnny crooning ďI Did It My WayĒ to a crowd of 55+ swooning AA females), and best of all, Spring Training. Our boys reportedly were not discouraged by the sawbuck price tag of a cold ale at Scottsdale Stadium, and Brother Itchie assuredly did not get cheated. You know, he was just trying to have a little fun for once in his life.
My own plans to join the boys for a long weekend of fun in the sun were scotched by a confluence of family issues and a hyperactive conscience, but I still did manage to sneak out to a game between the Angels and the Royals at Tempe Diablo Stadium Monday afternoon after an efficient deposition of an ob-gyn expert in downtown Phoenix Monday morning. Beautiful setting, Chamber-of-Commerce weather, and a seat on the aisle four rows behind the Royals on-deck circle. How could it get any better?
I got quite a charge out of seeing George Brett hitting infield and then throwing batting practice, looking tan and fit and like he could step right back onto the diamond and flirt with a .400 batting average again. What a total stud. And speaking of flirting, his brother John (not quite as fit and tan) sat in the front row of the seats, three feet away from George, and next to Johnís platinum-blonde niece and her beautiful blonde friend. At least I assume it was his niece, since John is pushing 60 and the platinum blonde was about 30 or 35. Come to think of it, John was a little bit more cozy and touchy with her than most of us would be comfortable with someone of such degree of consanguinity, but we should give him the benefit of the doubt. George was very nice to the nieceís gorgeous single friend, but of course I know that he was only being friendly and accommodating to the nieceís friend and not fishing near the company dock.
It was great to see all of the banter and horseplay between Brett and Kevin Seitzer and Dave Owen and some of the other Royals coaches and players. There is no doubt that they are all exactly where they want to be and doing exactly what they want to do, now that their playing days are over. You can take the boy out of the ballpark, but you canít take the ballpark out of the boy. Nor should anyone want to.
I overheard Shamu say one time that if he wasnít straight, he would have George Brett on the top of his list of prospects. Canít argue with that.
At the Angels-Royals game, I sat next to a likeable Canadian chap named Doug. He was down from Vancouver for a week of spring ball, his first such trip. Huge baseball and sports fan. Could name all of the starting players on the 1968 Tigers, the 1969 Seattle Pilots, the 1992 and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, and all of the names of the former ABA teams, and lots more. Not a braggart (like some of the show-offs we know who love to spout off the names, numbers and hometowns of former Huskers, Indy 500 winners, Heisman trophy winnersóyou know the type), but just a fun guy to talk with about baseball and sports. Hey, since Shamu wasnít there, somebody had to be Dougís new best friend and chat him up for 8-1/2 innings. Doug also thinks Brett is quite handsome and fit, and he even invited me up to Vancouver for a visit, insisting that I stay with him. I think he said something about being close friends with some guy from Detroit.
It was great being out to the ballpark on Monday, and I canít wait to get back to another game, which will be Opening Day in Phoenix next Monday with Joe and Will. As your faithful reporter, I will let you know about our annual Opening Day experience.
See you all on Saturday. Canít wait for the funnest day of the year.