Almost spring!

Pitchers and catchers report to Mesa on Monday. Meanwhile, Ryno should be arriving in Clearwater any day now, if he hasn’t already. I’m not sure about the reporting date for the Ironpigs, but the Phillies pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, so the minor-league affiliates should be along directly.

I need to get off my butt and figure out the Isotopes’ schedule so we can plan some trips to Albuquerque this summer.

On a related note, Grant couldn’t find anybody to coach baseball this spring, so he’s doing it himself. Meanwhile, Lil Miss informed me that the softball coach is a 22-year-old first-year art teacher who played one season of coach-pitch softball when she was in second grade and only agreed to take over the team because she is inexplicably terrified of Grant and will basically do anything he asks, whether she has any business doing it or not. Coaching softball, Lil Miss assures me, falls into the category of Things She Doesn’t Have Any Business Doing, as she knows almost nothing about the game, so I tagged along with Lil Miss to practice this morning (the past two days, incidentally, have been much warmer than the last couple of weeks have been) and offered my services as third-base coach.

I am pleased to report that Coldwater High School’s head softball coach now knows how to keep score, fill out a lineup card, and give signs to the pitcher. She still plays ball like a girl, but given sufficient practice, I think Lil Miss and I can cure her of that.

Wisely, I think, I elected not to tell Grant about my latest volunteer project until after I’d cleared it with Dr. Scherer.

Grant, predictably, was apoplectic. He is under the impression that “pregnant” is a synonym for “invalid.” I explained to him that when I played summer ball in junior high, my coach — who had been the star pitcher on her college team — threw BP for us in the middle of June, while she was eight months pregnant. Her daughter was born perfectly healthy, after less than three hours of labor, and grew up to lead her high-school softball team to the state championship four years in a row, with the lowest ERA in school history.

Grant remains unconvinced.

I remain unconcerned.

The girls’ home opener is March 14, if anybody’s interested.

— Sierra

Dear Mr. Ricketts …

… I don’t think you’ve done quite enough today to flaunt your utter lack of respect for the history of the Chicago Cubs. While you’re at it, why don’t you take a piss on the Harry Caray statue, pour some Roundup on the ivy, and build a shrine to Steve Bartman just behind the right-field wall?

Seriously: Why does Jim Hendry still have a job, much less the final word on hiring decisions? Harvey would make a better general manager. For somebody who’s supposed to be so gung-ho on sabermetrics, Hendry certainly didn’t seem to be interested in the cold, hard facts when he got all starry-eyed over Mike Quade. (Oh, wait — I forgot: Sabermetrics are only important to the extent that they give you an excuse to snub a legend. Marge Schott Tom Ricketts told Ryno that Hendry was hiring Quade on the basis of “a gut feeling” about him. Please. I’ve heard better excuses from Joey. Way to ruin what was supposed to be the best week of my entire life, a-hole.)

On a semi-related note, if a certain Hall of Fame second baseman needs a quiet place to escape the media circus while he figures out what to do next, I know of a little town in New Mexico where he can find a comfortable room and a sympathetic ear.

— Sierra

Friday night in Coldwater

It’s a cool Friday evening.

Grant drove down to Vaughn for the Roadrunners’ game. Lil Miss has horses to feed in the morning before she comes by to help me with breakfast and laundry, so she opted to hang out in the lobby and watch the Phillies-Reds game with Joey and me instead of driving an hour each way to a football game. I made some kettle corn and hot chocolate, and Lil brought Joey some leftover Fourth of July sparklers she found while she was cleaning her room the other day. She has promised to go outside and light them with him as soon as the game is over.

A nice couple from Wisconsin checked in half an hour ago, and an Englishman called from Amarillo a few minutes ago to see whether we had any rooms available. Other than that, things are pretty quiet around here. It’s a good night for popcorn and sparklers, I think….

— Sierra

Sign of the Apocalypse

There are only three things in this beautiful nation of ours that I truly loathe:

1. The interstate.
2. The neoconservative movement.
3. The New York Yankees.

That being said, I really need for Joe Girardi to stay the hell out of the Friendly Confines, and the odds of that happening are much higher if he has another World Series ring to tie him to New York … so for only the second* time in my life, I actually uttered the phrase “Go, Yankees!” this evening.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

I also think I secretly want to be Mariano Rivera when I grow up, but if you tell anybody I said that, I’ll have to hurt you.

— Sierra

* The first was in 2001, for obvious reasons.