Edition No. 7
March 19, 2013
As we inch closer to Draft Day this Saturday in the Valley of the Sun, the anticipation and excitement are palpable. Yet just four days to go before the big event, a number of questions come to mind, to-wit:
1. Will Possum make it through airport security with his usual Draft Day arsenal of wooden bats to be swung cruelly and obliviously without regard to the proximity of his fellow Draft Day colleagues?
2. Will Mouse be brightly festooned in his usual Draft Day argyle sweater and foppish fedora?
3. Will B.T. be able to provide sufficient eats in these foreign surroundings to keep Shamu from lapsing into a hypoglycemic coma?
4. Will Magpie show up in the same svelte condition that he surprised us with at the Winter Meeting and sans facial hair?
5. Will Itchie be able to make it to the Krause, Inc. Board Room in time after suffering the commute from his winter home in North Tucson?
6. Will Screech show up with friend Skeezix or alone?
7. Will McJester show up in medieval fighting armor or clad in Henry VIII regal spectator splendor?
8. Will Underbelly and SloPay be mentally sharp after their 26-hour Greyhound bus ride or numbskulled victims of road fatigue?
9. Is Commissioner Drews prepared for Possum’s 11th hour proposal to draft under the little-known Arizona Fantasy League Rules crafted to his full advantage?
10. Will Skipper be prepared enough to draft a worthy successor to his plucky 2012 Senators squad that escaped the league bowels?
11. Is there a live ball era championship in the cards for Big Guy this year?
12. Will B.T. have enough pencils, paper and other Draft necessaries for the 2013 Draft to even commence?
13. Will Bob first utter, “I hate my team” in the 3rd, 4th or 5th round of the Draft?
14. Has anyone told Shamu that Roger Clemens, George Brett and Greg Maddux are all retired?
15. Can Jim Ed shake off the effects of slurping down 29 beers on the Friday night pub crawl and draft a first-ever Hot Stove League champion?
16. Will Pope Francis make a surprise visit and provide a papal blessing for our 2013 HSL conclave?
17. Will the puff of white smoke emanating from Shamu’s mesh Nike coaching shorts clear the room or provide a prediction of the 2013 winner? Or both?
18. Will any of our follicle-challenged owners show up with full heads of blond hair after a visit to a Phoenix hair transplant emporium?
19. After which round will Itchie propose repairing to the Scottsdale Ballet for more titillating activities?
20. Will Dead Man Walking make an appearance at the Draft, or is our newly-engaged Brother Stretch so giddy about his new status that he will skip not unlike Tinker Bell from table to Draft Board for each and every pick?
21. Will Bender find a Phoenix-area Kwik Shop with a sufficiently-informed turban-topped attendant to query for Draft picks?
All of these questions, and more, remain to be answered. Take a baker’s dozen of set-in-their-ways Midwesterners and alter their surroundings and their routines, and you are flirting with disaster. Should be very interesting.
After the Mount Michael Knights saw their scheduled season opener at Nebraska City and then their home opener against Wahoo postponed due to wet grounds, their third scheduled game of the season against Bennington on Saturday, March 16, became their season opener. In the third coldest weather in which I have ever spectated a baseball game, the Knights put the wood to the Badgers on their home field in Bennington by the tally of 5-1. Mount Michael Junior Will Ernst got the opening day nod from the coach and took the hill in 39 degree weather, erasing four of the first six Badgers he faced with strikeouts. In the 3rd, he gave up a double down the first base line that would have been caught by anyone but the statue who was playing first base—the only hard hit ball of the game against the young gun—and escaped a bases loaded jam to come out unscathed. Will went 4-2/3 innings to earn the W for the Knights, yielding no runs on 2 hits and a walk, with 5 strikeouts before reaching his pitch count and moving over to first sack for the balance of the game. At the dish, batting clean-up, Will laced a double and a single and knocked in 2 of the Knights’ 5 runs, earning the following acclaim on the media posting of the game results:
A good start to the season for the Knights and No. 19.
On Monday, the Knights took to the road for a game against the Columbus Discoverers at Pawnee Park Stadium in Columbus, with the temperature at game time 38 degrees with gale force winds. The Knights struck early and hard, putting 7 runs on the board on 5 hits in the top of the 1st, and looking poised to go 2-0 on the young season. However, the Knights’ starting hurler walked six straight batters after striking out the leadoff hitter, and was pulled before he got the second out. The Discoverers scored 4 runs in the bottom of the first frame to narrow the lead, then tacked on 3 more in the 4th to tie it, and then 2 more in the bottom of the 6th to take a 9-7 lead. Will lead off the top of the 7th with a walk and advanced to 2nd on a passed ball and 3rd on a wild pitch, but was stranded there as the Columbus reliever retired the final Knight hitter on a filthy curve that froze him. The temperature at game’s end was a ridiculous 33 degrees, as the chilled and disappointed Knight players and fans hit the road for the painful drive home.
Next up on the schedule: The detestable Sky Hawks.
That’s it for this issue of From the Bullpen. See you all in Scottsdale on Friday!
Our 507th edition