Archive for the 'baseball' Category

The Bird

Here’s a nice story on the pitcher Mark Fydrich, who just passed away. Here’s another one.  He was a lot of fun to watch, especially if you were a little kid. Sounds like it was just as fun for him, too.

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wild pitches

So I listened to the Yank’s opening day game the other afternoon on the radio. Listened as C.C. Sabathia got knocked around in his big debut. I have this feeling I’m going to psycho -analyze the big guy all season. I’m kind of cool to him, after hedging for so long on signing with the Yankees. I like his stuff, no doubt. I chose him as a rookie on my fantasy baseball teams and won  a few leagues that year with him (that was pre-kiddo. Not time for such things now). It was only one game, but I have this sinking feeling that he might be one of those stars who can’t play in New York. You know, like ARod. Except I can’t hate C.C. like I do ARod. Arod just makes it too easy. C.C.’s a pitcher, besides. I like most pitchers, unless their names are Roger Clemens or John Rocker. Pitchers are known to be quirky. Wierd. Superstitious. Like Mark Fydrich back in the day. David Cone. David Wells. Jim Bouton.  Rick Ankiel. So many others. Actually, Manny Ramirez has a pitcher’s personality. They’d think nothing of his wierdness if he were a pitcher. Anyway, maybe C.C. knew something that he wasn’t when he was hedging all that time. Or not. Let’s hope.

We gave a pair of finches to the kiddo’s  best friend Charlie. Kindred spirits, they are. Artistic. Sweet. Sensitive. Can’t believe a nine year old will play with a six year old and not grow bored, but he’s the closest thing to a big brother that she has. Always wished I’d had one myself. Or a big sister. Ah well. Anyway, Charlie’s pair has laid fifteen eggs in their tissue box nest! Obviously, they won’t all hatch. Wow. We had a trio of three new baby birds a couple of months ago…two twin female fawns named Fern and Beatrice, and a pied male we named Homer. Beautiful. We also have a white female named Eva  I’d adopted from the pet shop (she was being pecked and plucked by the canary she was sharing a cage with…she had to be saved!). I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore birdies…or any other pets…anytime soon. Think what we have is good. Really, really good. For now. Really!

Picked up the kiddo early for a dental appointment last week. She had Art class. I like watching her when she doesn’t know I’m there. So she’s painting a flower and her art teacher comes up to me and says, “Oh, she is such an artist. I think it’s her first language. But you already knew that, didn’t you?”. Well, yeah. But the second sentance…brought on some tears. Because that’s exactly it. I don’t care to pressure her to become some famous artist. Or anything like that. But I’m thrilled that she just happens to be able to access art as a language. Her language. Unique. I’m very happy for her.

Happy Spring/Easter!

darling…

this is. I don’t know how Left Handed Scissors landed on my dashboard, but after a quick peek at this new blog, I’m charmed by her sewing projects. I’m in awe of people who sew…in this age, there’s a lot of love of the craft behind those projects.

other thoughts….

C.C. Sabathia…a Yankee? I love his durability and skills, but I’m skeptical in of a player who seems like one of the least enthusiastic prospects ever to consider playing for  this legendary team. C.C. always struck me as a Californian…as in, Angels. And wouldn’t he have loved to play in L.A. for Joe Torre? Ah, well….

I’m appalled by the Illinois governor, aren’t you?

I got a Plenty magazine subscription free in the mail and I have to say, this could be one of my favorites. Good read for the environmentally conscious.

I went there

I was on the patio last night, discussing collage with my neighbor next door (we both collage), when the subject of Norway somehow came up. It is, apparently, her dream trip. Who knew? I’ve been to Norway. Sometimes I sort of forget that. It seems like another lifetime ago. It wasn’t my dream trip (Japan is), but the opportunity (and a man) came along. I pondered it for awhile. I’d never been to Norway before.  I was in love. I take that back. I wanted to be in love. Quite off topic, but isn’t the heartbreak of a broken relationship sometimes more about wanting to be in love than perhaps  any actual or imagined feeling of love that existed? I digress. But the wanting to be in love thing capped it.

Off I went (only after I made Pentyne pray for me on the eve of the trip. In addition to never having been to Norway, I’d never flown on a jet before across the ocean), on a six hour plane ride filled with beautiful Swedes and surly flight attendants. Logan Airport was enjoying a pleasant, warm day when I left it. I wore a mini skirt. It was freezing on a typical August day  in Stockholm, Sweden; capital of the most beautiful people who’ve ever graced the planet. I think we stayed a week in Sweden, at some spa type place that served a lot of fish. I remember being rather hungry most of the time, because I don’t eat fish.

We visited a Steiner (that would be Waldorf) school. And that was the beginning of everything relating to my anti-traditional learning philosophy (as an aside, there’s a great article by John Taylor  Gatto about all that’s wrong with U.S. teaching in one of my favorite magazines, ODE). The school was set right smack in the middle of a forest, with beautiful buildings done up in rich cobalt blues and adorned with stained glass windows and terracotta roofing. Everything about the atmosphere was gentle, warm, and yet engaging. The kids were self assured; different than the kids I’d worked with during my summers as a theatre teacher. The curriculum focus was more holistic than the academic heavy menu of U.S. syllabuses, and it revolved around nature and the seasons. Most importantly, it was dependent upon individual child development, instead of broad requirements that were dictated by grade level. Some parents will hear the term “child led development” and will misinterpret that statement as “coddling.” That’s not so. To put it simply, when you were a baby, and  you were ready and willing to walk, you did. And what ever month you did accomplich that developmental feat, it was accepted. Why can’t that acceptance continue into elementary learning?

O.k., I’m off of my soapbox. Norway was a great trip, twisty, motion sickness inducing roads and all. Norwegians are some of the most well read people I’ve ever met. I met farmers who could discuss philosophy with me. Artists get prime time on t.v.—though I could watch Seinfeld and Friends if I’d wanted to as well. They are among the most even tempered, practical beings ever, and yet they have this whimsical side that embraces trolls, sprites, and other spirits that reside in the snow. I love that.

“Did you ever feel like you wanted to stay?”, my neighbor asked. I think I felt that way for two weeks. Then I started missing American newspapers. And baseball….the world series got exactly one inch of column space in the newspaper there. I missed pasta, too.  And turkey. They’re not much for poultry there, though they do eat eggs. With fish(!) on top of them. For breakfast. Shrimp paste, too. For breakfast. Gah! But that didn’t make me run screaming across the ocean. I’d just realized that I wasn’t going to be in love with that man, ever. And I was feeling personally stifled on top of that. So, I left.

Besides the man, there were things I liked about Norway, though. I liked the sod roofs, and the warm golds, rusts, and cobalt blues, they’d painted their houses. There are very, very few white houses there. I liked collecting starfish by the sea, and making a berry sauce out of these berries whose name I can’t remember, and then eating them with ice cream. It amused me that to get to the capital, Oslo, I’d take a ferry, a bus, a train, and an airplane to make the trip. I liked eating lunch between two boulders at the top of the fjords I’d climbed to catch a break from the bracing winds. Couldn’t understand why my friend regarded  one of my favorite cars, the Saab, as a farmer’s car, and yet loved Fords (Winnie, now don’t be insulted. I love you. I do.). Wierd. I liked that Norwegians read so much, everywhere, in public, and liked John Irving in particular.

It’s a nice country. I’m glad I went. I hope my neighbor goes, too.

notes

late to the party, again. I have a secret: I didn’t listen to or watch the last game played at Yankee stadium. I haven’t listened to many games this season at all, actually. I did buy commemorative newspapers of the passing event, though. For dear Mom, who collects such things. I have mixed feelings about the stadium closing. I truly believe is it is hallowed ground not to be messed with. Couldn’t they at least dig up the dirt and stick it over there? It’s practically across the street. They can afford the expense. And the right field tiered fence: take it, too.  And this bugs me. How can they not have  at least mentioned Joe Torre on this special night? Sheesh.

My first visit to the stadium was sort of a coming down to earth as far as the structure though. Once inside, past the facade that never failed to captivate me on passing trains and buses, I was let down by the somewhat discrepit interiors. Let’s hope that improves.

My favorite visit was en route in a stretch limo with dear Pentyne, alongside two Red Sox fans I’d never met. With the kiddo in utero. It was memorable even before we hit the stadium. Just like dear Roz (my mom) before me, any sight of cars moving in opposite directions brought out the morning sickness in full force. Thank goodness I thought to bring along a ziplock bag. I think the Red Sox fans assumed a hangover, until I confessed. Then they were all cool and got all nostalgic over their own experiences (they were middle aged and not the rowdy sort. At least I don’t think they were. But we didn’t sit with them at the game).

El Duque, the greatest post-season pitcher I’ve ever witnessed,  started that game and he was the only pitcher I’d wanted to see. It went into extra innings. We were late returning to the limo on account of our getting lost and  stuck at the barricaded exit for the players. Saw Jeter, natch. The best part was sharing with Pentyne the game I’ve so loved and studied since I was eleven years old. Oh, and the binoculars were handy for checking out the player’s bods. Seriously, they look sooooooooooo incredible up close. Distracting, but I wasn’t complaining.

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Another secret: I almost accidently killed Clinca the gimpy parakeet. While trying to help him, of course. He has splayed legs that stick straight out, spread eagled. He can’t perch in the normal fashion, instead he kind of lounges on his tummy while clinging to whatever is nearby. So I’ve modified all of his eating/drinking stations flush with a platform for him, since he can’t perch on a normal feeding cup. Well, I came home one day, after insisting to the kiddo that we not stop anywhere. Walked in, and thought to check on Clinca, who was in a new location in the house, where he can be a more active part of our “family”. He was face down in his drinking cup, soaking wet. My blood froze, and something, probably my heart, sank deep in my stomach. But he was ok. He’d thrashed all of the water out of the cup, and was “merely” stuck in the cup, but alive. It still took me the rest of the night to get my bearings though. So, to anyone cruising by  this blog on the search term “parakeet”, “splayed legs”: a regular fountain feeder will wet your birdy’s beak without possibly drowning the little guy.

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kind of not a secret, unless it’s the kiddo’s: Nathan has begun composing poems and gifting the kiddo with original works of art. Like the kiddo, he’s an Aquarius, and a talented artist. Anyway, if she’s anything like her mother, she’ll fall for this.

spring harbinger

Once again it’s spring training and I find myself both admiring and coveting the Red Sox pitching staff, and hoping great things for our own young phenoms, Phillip Hughes and Joba Chamberlain. It will be fun to watch, as I will, parked on my couch or by my radio, alongside my kiddo and the kitties. As much as I wish that my team could make a deal for Johan Santana, I’m happy that the era of breaking the bank and the farm system is over. Finally, there’s a front office that can hold off and have faith in the future.

I love baseball because it’s more than just a game to me. I love the process. And I see metaphors, though I promise no bad baseball movies will come about from them.

Great hitters and great pitchers make adjustments all the time, given whatever fluctuating circumstances. Fail six times out of every ten at-bats, and  you’re considered a success. And then there’s the wild cards…the hit and run, the squeeze play, and  double steals that make things interesting and unpredictable. I don’t believe in all or nothing in most situations anymore, I see more shades of grey and value a consistent approach to my undertakings. The team who is consistent is usually the team at the top when the long season ends. I’m finding that when I hit challenging situations, I  make adjustments too.

Still, I live for the wild card.

liar, liar, Rocket’s on fire…

This is an exerpt from an AP report on teammate Andy Pettite’s affadavit statement:

“Pettitte said in the affidavit that he asked Clemens in 2005 what he would do if asked by the media about HGH, given his admission years earlier. According to the account told to the AP, the affidavit said Clemens responded by saying Pettitte misunderstood the previous exchange in 1999 or 2000 and that, in fact, Clemens had been talking about HGH use by his wife [italics mine] in the original conversation.”

What kind of man sticks HIS WIFE under the bus like that?!??! Jesus, Roger!