Hello again and thanks for tuning in. Since last report my teammates and I have gone 3-4, sandwiching a three game losing streak between two road wins and our first home victory of the season. At present we stand at 6-5, which is perfectly respectable but obviously we’d rather not do things like lose three straight home games or lose leads late on the road so there is still some work to be done. From a personal perspective it has been both a very good week and a so-frustrating-I-want-to-pull-out-the-hair-I-don’t-have kind of week. I feel like I have thrown the ball very well every time out so far this year but unfortunately I had one of those outings last week where guys just keep hitting groundballs through the infield or to somebody with no play to be made, but that is how it shakes out sometimes. Unfortunately the life of a bullpen pitcher is such that when you have a blow-up outing like that it takes seemingly forever to dig your way out of it because you throw so many fewer innings than a starter. The good news is that I have been throwing a lot, as I’ve already appeared in six games, so if that trend continues I should be right back on track in no time. Away from the field there is not much to report from the past week. We’ve had three or four day games which makes it hard to get out and do anything and I haven’t really had the drive to do much anyhow. Hopefully I’ll have something a little more scintillating for you next time, but until then I’ll leave you with a poem and wish you happy trails.
by Daniel Johnson
We drank hard water.
Spoke in plain language.
Said what we didn’t
with a joke or a look.
One went missing–
let silence drill its hole.
A second fell ill.
We cloaked our mirrors.
Slashed a red X
on the door to our house.
Pass over us, I asked
the raven sky,
or burn in me
a second mouth.
Once again it is time for an update on my meanderings through the Eastern League, so come on in and stay for a while. Since last report the major new development is that of the season having begun. I and my teammates with the Akron Aeros opened up our season on the road at NYSEG Stadium against the Binghamton Mets, which was unfortunate on a lot of different levels. The first has nothing to do with Binghamton or the stadium, but instead simply with being on the road to start the season. Having broken camp Sunday we as players had until Wednesday afternoon when we departed Akron for Binghamton to arrange for our housing and all the various things that come along with it, which is an added stress that isn’t any fun for anybody. Some of us were fortunate enough to get through the background checks, credit checks and income verification processes that usually take a couple weeks and get our leases signed so we’ll have somewhere to stay the night we get back from the road trip. Some guys didn’t and even those of us who did will probably be making due until we can get some furniture arranged. Ah, what a wonderful life indeed. Beyond the fact of starting on the road, Binghamton has an older stadium and just isn’t that great of an atmosphere to play in. Much of the hype and excitement usually attendant to opening day was lacking and it was a lackluster experience to say the least. Whatever other issues there were with the road trip, however, we did take three out of the four games in the series from the Mets and I picked up two saves which has to bring me close to my season total from last year, which it now occurs to me to lookup. I felt good in my back-to-back outings, which is a very good sign this early in the year, as is the fact that my velocity was around my typical midseason range in the cool weather. Overall, an encouraging start to the season and something to build as the season moves forward.
Away from the field there has not been much happening other than getting housing arranged and sitting on the bus to Binghamton and on to Trenton, where we are opening a three game series tonight against the Thunder. As usual I have taken advantage of the time on the bus and in the clubhouse to plough my way through some reading material, including both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the sequel Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, neither of which I found especially interesting. The so-called “red queen effect” based on a sequence in Looking Glass is something I have always found interesting since being introduced to it in a book by Richard Dawkins, but other than that I was only marginally entertained by the two books. Of much more interest to me was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Mark Haddon. It is a bit different and may not be for everyone, but I would definitely recommend it. Anyhow, I suppose I should leave of there for now before I bore everyone to death and end with a poem in honor of National Poetry Month. Enjoy.
Here the Frailest Leaves of Me
By Walt Whitman
Here the frailest leaves of me, and yet my strongest-lasting:
Here I shade and hide my thoughts–I myself do not expose them,
And yet they expose me more than all my other poems.
Well, it is time once again for an update on all the happenings since I last posted. It has been an extremely hectic week. Thursday I had to show up at the park early to put some of my luggage on the truck to Ohio then wait half the day to get on a plane for the flight to L.A. for an exhibition game against the Dodgers. The experience of being in uniform in Dodger Stadium was cool, but I didn’t pitch and it did end up being a very long and tiring day, not that I’m complaining. Friday I backed up again and actually threw a couple scoreless innings against the Reds. Saturday was a quick day at the park, but between making dinner for my dad and my fiance’s family and packing up to break camp at 4am Sunday morning things were pretty frantic. Since then the days have mostly been a blur of sleep, workouts at the field, apartment hunting and all the little things that need to get taken care of at the beginning of a new season. Unfortunately, I will be starting this season off in the same place that I ended last season: Akron. Organizations all have to make their decisions on players every year and they certainly have their reasons, but it is pretty frustrating to be back after what was a good year last year. That being said, all that there is to be done is to keep working hard, performing well and hoping against hope for a promotion. The irony of week as scattered and frantic as this past one is that there really isn’t a whole lot worth writing about, so I’ll make this one a short one and get you out of here with a poem (it is National Poetry month so I have a temporary excuse).
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.
Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.
Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.
When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.