Down in a hole

Hello again, thanks for stopping by.  Due to some maintenance work being done on the blogs I wasn’t able to log on this weekend and then I just didn’t get around to posting anything the last few days.  At present my Rock Hounds teammates and I are in Frisco, TX finishing up a four game series against the Frisco Rough Riders.  We have had a string of high-intensity games of late, both because of the manner in which the games have played out and the unusually high attendance figures.  Since Saturday we have had two “kids days,” 11 AM games featuring thousands of screaming kids, and our other Frisco games have been packed as well but for a slightly different reason.  Frisco’s games tend to be better attended than most in the league to begin with because of their proximity to both Dallas and their big league team (the Rangers), but this has been further enhanced by rehab stints by both Nelson Cruz and some guy named Josh Hamilton who won the A.L. M.v.P. last year (I assume this means Appalachian League MVP, but I can’t be sure).  While the atmosphere has made the games a bit more exciting, the results on the field have been frustrating for us.  As a team we have been scrapping and battling for this whole series, only to come up just short in excrutiating fashion late in the game.  The good news is that the way we’ve been grinding out every at-bat and every inning it isn’t going to take much to push us over the top and back into the win column.

Away from the field I have been focused primarily on planning my honeymoon to Australia, or more accurately, on helping my fiance in any way I can since she is doing most of the actual planning.  It seems like hiring a travel agent would make the process a lot smoother, but it hasn’t worked that way so far.  I have also worked my way through a few books, Not For Specialists by W.D. Snodgrass and Early Frost, a collection of the early poetry of Robert Frost.  The main problem I have with Robert Frost is the same problem I have with Walt Whitman and Stephen Dunn, namely once I start reading a collection of their work I tend to get stuck and have a hard time moving on to something new.  Not a terrible problem to have I guess.  The most interesting part of the last couple weeks was a trip I took to Carlsbad Caverns on one of the two true off days we have scheduled this year.  It is the third trip I have made to Carlsbad in the last year, but all three trips have been a bit different.  On this trip I did a couple off-trail tours and spent some extra time in the cave’s twilight zone (the zone inside the cave penetrated by natural light) and one of my favorite cave features, Iceberg Rock.  Iceberg Rock is a 200,000 ton rock that detached from the roof of the cave and now rests on the cave floor.  To truly get an idea for the size of this enormous boulder you need to go down into King’s Palace and see it from below, but even from the main trail it is impressive.  Needless to say it was definitely worth the five hours of round-trip driving it entailed, but I was very disappointed that the wind conditions made the additional hiking I had planned in Guadalupe Mountains impractical.  Anyway, before I ramble on any further, I’ll call that good and leave you with a poem as usual.

Hyla Brook
By Robert Frost

By June our brook’s run out of song and speed.
Sought for much after that, it will be found
Either to have gone groping underground
(And taken with it all the Hyla breed
That shouted in the mist a month ago,
Like ghost of sleigh bells in a ghost of snow)—
Or flourished and come up in jewelweed,
Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent,
Even against the way its waters went.
Its bed is left a faded paper sheet
Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat—
A brook to none but who remember long.
This as it will be seen is other far
Than with brooks taken otherwhere in song.
We love the things we love for what they are.

Don’t call it a comeback

Hello again, sorry for the extended interlude between my last posting and this, but it simply could not be helped.  My time away from the field has been absorbed by both the seemingly endless string of arrangements that need to be made for my wedding in October and the extra attention required to complete all of my end-of-semester course work.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, however, since I will be done with all three of my classes once I take my last final on Monday and scrapped the ill-advised plan to take summer courses.  Once everything is wrapped up I should be able to settle back into my typical routines, including posting on here a couple times a week,  which I have enjoyed doing for the last couple seasons.
Anyhow, our start to the season here in good old Midland has been a bit up and down.  After a scorching start against the other division, we settled in with a few steady series wins before running into a buzz saw in the form of the San Antonio Missions.  We split our most recent series and are now headed home for eight games, with one of our only three true off days thrown into the mix.  I have thrown well in all but one of my outings so far, but in a story that typifies life in the bullpen, I got touched up for 5 runs in that outing and that has skewed my overall statistical situation.  I’m not alone in having one bad outing that has marred my season, so nothing for it but to continue grinding out appearances.

Into My Own
by Robert Frost
One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
Into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
Or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e’er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him they knew–
Only more sure of all I thought was true.

Opening Day is Here at Last

Hello everyone, sorry for my long absence, although to a certain extent I plead innocence.  I usually post something about once a week, which I have been slightly behind pace on so far but in my defense I did write out and hit the “post” button for two entries during that time and they never showed on the website.  I’m not sure exactly what the deal is there, but I suspect it may be a rather unsporting and delayed reaction to my blog adress being linked to the Indians.  Whatever the cause, I am now going to be posting on this address.  The past 3+ weeks have been pretty eventful.  I threw very well throughout minor league camp but am frustrated to once again be back in AA, taking up residence in Midland, TX.  Obviously it is not a situation that I am pleased with, but it cannot be changed and I have resolved to be unflinchingly positive about the experience and not let it ruin my enjoyment of the game.  As if to test my resolve on this point right out of the gates, the shortage of housing caused by a large influx of oilfield workers has left me without a long-term housing solution as opening day dawns.  The process has been agonizing so far, not aided by the fact that a couple times I thought I had resolved the issue only to have plans fall through.  Hopefully something snaps into place soon so I don’t have to go to super-secret option #456: commuting back and forth to my apartment in Phoenix.

 

The baseball activities of recent days have been fairly minimal, consisting of some light workouts and some inter-squad work.  We do have opening day to look forward to tonight, however, and whatever my situation it is a day I always look forward to.  If you don’t like your assignment it is the first opportunity to start making inroads into doing something about it and it represents the beginning of what we all work so hard for all offseason.  As players we can finally start getting into our normal game routines and the fact that there is usually a packed house never hurts either.  I have had a couple unique opening day experiences in my five previous years.  Included are games that got suspended due to snow in 2007 in Charleston, WV and a power outage after the third inning in Kinston, NC in 2008.  Away from the field much of my time has been devoted to the aforementioned fruitless housing search and to doing homework as the courses I am taking approach the home stretch.  I have managed to squeeze in some planning ahead for our next off day (May 11th, not that I’m looking forward to it already or anything) and to make significant progress on the book March by Geraldine Brooks, which has been great but not necessarily what I had expected of a Pulitzer Prize winning novel to this point.  I will end there for now and check back in about a week (the whims of the internet permitting) and leave you with a couple poems to compensate you for not having posted one in a while.

 

A Man may make a Remark
by Emily Dickinson

A Man may make a Remark -
In itself – a quiet thing
That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
In dormant nature – lain -

Let us divide – with skill -
Let us discourse – with care -
Powder exists in Charcoal -
Before it exists in Fire -

Before
by Carl Adamshick

I always thought death would be like traveling
in a car, moving through the desert,
the earth a little darker than sky at the horizon,
that your life would settle like the end of a day
and you would think of everyone you ever met,
that you would be the invisible passenger,
quiet in the car, moving through the night,
forever, with the beautiful thought of home.

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