Category Archives: Baseball

Sunday Self-Care: Countdown to spring

“The one constant through all the years … has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past … . It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”

— Terence Mann, Field of Dreams

The 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs* have announced their spring-training reporting dates. Pitchers and catchers are due to arrive in Mesa on Feb. 14.

In other words: It’s 37 days to spring.

We are SO having Chicago-style hot dogs for lunch on Valentine’s Day. And probably either gooey butter cake or Ted Drewes’ Frozen Custard for dessert, because Ron’s Cardinals report the same day.

Spring is coming. I am at peace.


* I promise I won’t be insufferable about this, but I really never expected to utter that phrase. Let me have my moment. If history is any indicator, it may never happen again in my lifetime.

Long weekend

We had today off in exchange for working Thanksgiving. I took advantage of the free time to get an eye exam and order new glasses, which look about the same as the old glasses. They were having a 60 percent off sale, so I also ordered a pair of single-vision sunglasses with a gradient rose tint in them. (Protip: If you’re basically blind without your glasses, make sure your sunglasses are light enough to wear indoors juuuuuust in case something happens to your daily drivers. I’m partial to rose, as it tends to be the least annoying in low light, but any gradient will work, as the bottom third of the lens will be practically clear.)

We didn’t accomplish much else today. It was cold and gray and nasty outside, so I spent most of the afternoon taking a nap. I’m still tired. Short days and cold weather wear me down.

Ah, well. Spring training starts in two and a half months. Phillies and Rockies haven’t announced their reporting dates yet, but I’m sure they will in the not-too-distant future.

Also worth noting: Kate Pierson has a new album coming out Feb. 17. January is really going to have to put in some effort to justify its existence this year.

Oh, P.S.: Sarah over at New England Permaculture Homestead posted a Q&A featuring yours truly today as part of a series she’s doing on people who are trying to reduce their environmental impact. Go take a look. (Bonus: She included a photo of me at age 5 with a birdhouse Daddy designed and let me help put together.)


A word on Ebola

Started my morning ridiculing some particularly irresponsible headlines about Ebola, which has now infected a grand total of three people in the United States (two of whom were treating the first one, who picked it up while rushing a sick woman to the hospital in Liberia).

Got to work late (largely because I’d wasted half my morning on Twitter, making fun of the panicky headlines) and was promptly assigned a last-minute story about whether our local hospitals are prepared to handle an Ebola patient if one shows up.

God bless our local public-safety folks, who all said, in essence: “Yes, we’re taking logical steps to deal with it in the unlikely event it happens. No, you’re not going to get Ebola. Now, go get your damn flu shot.”

Here’s a cold, hard fact: In the United States, your chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are significantly higher than your chances of dying of Ebola.

Things that are far more likely to kill you than Ebola:

1. Lightning
2. Your dog
3. Obesity

Are you afraid of storms, household pets, or bacon cheeseburgers? If not, you probably need to quit worrying about Ebola and focus your energy on something more pressing — like whether San Francisco can get into the World Series so I don’t have to root for the damned Cardinals this year.



November is traditionally National Blog Posting Month, but BlogHer offers the option of jumping on during any month. Two months into my Facebook boycott, I’m still not blogging as much as I’d intended, so I went ahead and signed up. I figured that’d keep me honest, and I might score a few new readers as well. My traffic went straight to hell with my posting habits, and efforts to bring it back have yielded less than stellar results.

The theme for this month, as assigned by BlogHer, is “CRUNCH.” Today’s prompt: “Tell us about your favourite autumnal sound.”

James Earl Jones’ voice has to be my favorite autumnal sound.

Stay with me.

I generally loathe fall. It’s the end of summer, the end of my garden and the end of baseball season. That’s basically the trifecta of suck.

I get through the long, painful slog between the World Series and the first day of spring training by watching baseball movies. I basically spend the entire winter watching baseball movies. And there is not a single baseball movie I love more than Field of Dreams, which I used to watch with my sophomore English students. I will never get tired of hearing James Earl Jones deliver that speech about baseball being the one constant. It sustains me.

When I can’t deal with one more minute of dismal weather, I break out my DVD collection and let Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones pull me through.

Baseball has marked the time.


Little feet



Y’all know I pretty much hate winter. One of the few things that makes it tolerable: itty-bitty footprints in the snow. I think these are little squirrel footprints.

One of the other things that makes it tolerable: the contrast when you walk out of a warm gym on a cold night after a good workout. I don’t like being out in the cold very long, but the walk to the car is a nice way to cool down. (A nicer way to cool down is to walk out of a warm gym on an 80-degree night and hit a shaved-ice stand on the way home, but sadly, we’re still a good three months from that.)

Ah, well. By my calculations, there’s only one day of winter left.

That’s right, kids: Phillies pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. Whee!



It is 93 days until the Phillies pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Just putting that out there as I rinse parsley and put it in the dehydrator ahead of the cold snap that’s going to destroy my entire garden tomorrow night.




The Phillies have fired Charlie Manuel and bumped Ryne Sandberg up to the top step of the dugout.




Congratulations, Ryno. I remember when you were just a skinny kid teeing off on Bruce Sutter on a sunny afternoon in the Friendly Confines, and here you are now, all grown up and taking the reins. (Why do I suddenly feel so old?)

Now … go turn over some equipment, explain to the young’uns that THIS is a SIMPLE game, and give Ricketts & Co. a reason to cry in their Old Style. Your boys aren’t eliminated yet. (You’re an old Cub. Don’t act like you can’t stand 20.5 games away from the top and see a Series ring shimmering waaaaaay out in the distance.)

Woooooooo hooooooooooo! Eep! Yeep! *Cartwheels*



It’s a chilly, quiet evening in Red Fork. I’ve got the Mamas and the Papas on Spotify and visions of art projects dancing in my head. I feel a creative outburst lurking around the corner, but I think I can keep it at bay long enough to get some much-needed sleep tonight.

Phillies pitchers and catchers report to spring training in nine days.

Life is good.