Another beautiful spring day, temperatures in the 70s. Spent some time sitting in the garden under pristine blue skies. No airplanes passing overhead, no sound of traffic. It would be heaven under other circumstances.
Watching the replay of the White Sox 2019 home opener as I write this. It made me think how just five or so years ago Charlie and I would be getting started with another season playing baseball down at Horsham Junior Baseball Club. I really feel sorry for all the kids who aren’t able to go out and play baseball, or play anything really. I can’t imagine what it must be like having young children locked down and unable to burn off their boundless energy.
Now Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital for “tests”. Except their are no tests. Rumours abound that he’s really in worse shape than they have let on. I hope he pulls through because surely it will change his perspective and so his policies.
I’ve never been a big fan of the monarchy, but I found the address the Queen gave to the nation today very moving. These are extraordinary times.
The past few days it seemed that time was passing very quickly. But today things seemed to slow down considerably.
Tomorrow is another day.
Well it has been a pretty shit day that turned from bad to worse just after I posted yesterday’s entry. I made the classic mistake of checking Twitter one last time before I put the lights out and learned that Adam Schlesinger, who was in Fountains of Wayne, one of my favourite bands, had died from Covid-19. It was like being punched in the stomach. I wrote about meeting him once, almost, over on Facebook. He was a great songwriter along with Chris Collingwood.
So I didn’t sleep that well and then of course today I learned that Ed Farmer, former White Sox pitcher and their radio play-by-play man for 30 years, had also died. I knew he had not been well and hadn’t been on many of the Sox spring training broadcasts, but it was still another body blow. Owing to the time difference I spent a lot of nights in bed with my earphones in listening to Farmio and DJ on the radio. I have really been missing baseball and recently discovered all of last season’s White Sox radio broadcasts were archived on TuneIn Radio, and had been listening to a few this past week. It might be a while before I can listen to another one. Ed Farmer was a great announcer who knew the game inside out and had a dry sense of humour. He was Chicago through and through. The city has lost a favourite son.
The worst part is I think we’re all going to have to get used to losing people who mean a lot to us in the days ahead.
They don’t call Jim Thome Mr Incredible for nothing! What a game! What a trio of games! I feel emotionally drained already and the playoffs are only starting. I love the photo below of Alexi Ramirez taken the moment he realises he has just hit a grand slam in the game against the Tigers. It will go down as a baseball classic, and might even win a Pulitzer Prize. This team believes now. They have momentum. Anything can happen.
Charlie holds up a sign we made for last night’s Arizona Diamondbacks game at Chase Field. Despite holding it up between innings througout the entire game, for some strange reason the cameramen decided not to show it on the giant screen in center field. Hmmm, and we thought we were being nice by saying thanks!?
Watching the soap opera that is Mark Buehrle’s contract negotiations with the White Sox is like riding a rollercoaster. Up one day, then a sharp drop the next. This morning we’re at the bottom of the sharp drop, and hoping the ride goes up again before it ends. A no-trade clause appears to be a deal-breaker, with Buehrle wanting it and the Sox management not wanting to give it. This seems totally ridiculous. Buehrle wants to stay, and by finally (apparently) offering him a long-term contract (which the Sox never do with pitchers), it would appear they want him to stay. So what’s the problem, Kenny? He wants to stay, you want him to stay. He doesn’t want to be traded, you don’t want to trade him (if you did, he’d be gone by now). So do the right thing and give him what he wants. Mark Buerhle will be the cornerstone of the Sox rotation for the next four years. His likes are not easy to find, or replace. Just do it, dammit!
The disappointment of the White Sox failing to make the playoffs was eased at least a bit by two former Sox stars getting their chance at the big prize. The Big Hurt had a great year, but failed miserably when it really mattered. But Magglio Ordonez lived up to our expectations and then some. We’ll be cheering for Mags and the Tigers to sweep whichever of the inferior league’s teams end up in the World Series.
As for the Sox, no point in asking what went wrong. What went wrong were the Tigers (and to a much lesser extent, the Twins). The Sox won 90 games. Only four teams in the Majors won more (only one in the National League). Unfortunately, two of them were in the AL Central. So no big changes needed next year. But we do see Juan Pierre in the outfield (replacing Scott Podsednik) and Barry Zito joining the pitching staff (with Juan Vasquez moving to the bullpen). How many days until spring training starts?
Sitting here watching the White Sox play the Rangers live on mlb.tv while also watching (and listening to) Red Hot Chili Peppers live on stage at Rock in Rio in Lisbon. The future? It’s here.
I’m feeling very confident as the new baseball season is about to begin. Although not that confident that tonight’s game will actually be played, given the weather in Chicago today. But I think the Sox made all the right moves in the offseason – e.g. bye-bye Big Hurt, hello Jim Thome, who hit eight homers in the last week of spring training! Best of all I’ll be able to watch the game live at the reasonable hour of 5pm Arizona time instead of waiting until tomorrow to watch on mlb.tv. So you read it here first (or second or third), the White Sox will repeat! Last season proved I no longer have the power to jinks them by posting here.