Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's STILL Our Time...

Last night I listened to the  Royals game on my phone while I did the dishes, went to the store for asparagus and coffee, and made dinner. The Royals hung tough in all three games with the Tigers.  It was really a pretty good series.  But they got swept.  Three good starts, three close losses featuring missed scoring opportunities.  Last night, for every time we ground into a double play with runners in scoring position, they seemed to hit a run-scoring single up the middle.  Cabrera and Fielder did what our three, four, and five hitters did not do (this week.)  They delivered clutch hits.  Our big clutch hit came from light-hitting shortstop and super glove man Escobar.  He smacked a two-run homer, batting ninth.  Then our bullpen couldn't hold it.

I like that good feeling you get listening to your team in the kitchen, win or lose.  It may not be a circa '75 transistor radio, or the Sears console stereo from the living room in the house I grew up in, but it makes for some continuity.  The sound of Denny Mathews' voice; the bad A.M. radio commercials.  The song they use on The Parking Spot ad may be the worst music I've ever heard.  EVER.  I think it's a person imitating a trumpet, but I'm not sure.

I don't want to see my team drop to ten or fifteen games under .500 by the end of April.  I recently finished waiting for next year, about two weeks ago, and am not ready to give up on a decent season for this team.  And I don't want the Royals graphics and signage department to switch this season's motto ("It's Our Time") to the roof of the opposing team's dugout, to their water cooler, their complimentary Snack Paks, and to the doors of their bathroom stalls.  I don't want Prince Fielder taking a whiz in an ironic, defeatist toilet stall that says "It's Our Time" after a three-game sweep.

Jim Leyland is very complimentary to the young Royals, and thinks they will be a team to be reckoned with soon.  Three close losses to the division-favorite Tigers is better than three blow-outs.  Nothing embarassing happened, that I'm aware of.  And all of the starters pitched out of nasty jams, and had quality starts.

My tax man Tom Hunnel helped me kindly this year, depreciating the value of my Costco Super Peckerwood Banjo and my Wal-Mart Streudal Phaser pedal, and so with my refund, I bought my first ever brand-new computer, a MacBook Pro 13".  Last year's high-end model, for about the price of this year's low-end model, from Mac Mall. It's like I discovered automatic transmission and air-conditioning after years of driving an old tractor.

I am into the additional chapters of Ball Four by Jim Bouton--Ball Five, Ball Six, and Ball Seven.  Ball Four, like Atlas Shrugged, is a book I took a crack at when I was ten or eleven, and couldn't get into.  I waited a long time on this one, and loved it.  I don't think I'll ever take another crack at Atlas Shrugged.  Even as an eleven year old I could tell that Ayn Rand's writing was emotionally stunted.  That's why it appeals to people whose idea of civilization is throwing pretty much everybody else under the bus. 

There were adult-level books I did make it through: Midnight Express being one.  Dad didn't take much interest in my reading habits (he was heavy into Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman at the time) but he did think that one  was out of line.  Mom said "he has to know the bad to know the good."  I can't say now whether it was good or bad--but I felt pretty cool reading it, sitting by the miniature Statue of Liberty in front of Franklin Elementary School.

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