Welcome Back

Welcome back. Rather than procrastinate and write my next entry at
the last minute (like I did with papers in college after my dad warned
me not to) I decided to start thinking about this one right away.
Needless to say, easier said than done.

While still hoping to avoid that last minute writer’s block, I stood
in the outfield one evening as we took BP, hoping something would pop
into my head. Suddenly, a ball sailed over the left field fence, and
it finally came to me.

It was a rare evening game, so batting practice that day was in the
late afternoon, with a stiff breeze blowing 20 to 25 mph toward
center. As I stood there waiting for a ball to come my way to help
ease the monotony of BP that was beginning to set in, I couldn’t help
but gasp as balls were getting hit out of the park left and right.

Granted the wind was gusting that day and the ball travels well in the
Arizona air; but I couldn’t help but stand there in amazement as balls
were hit over the center field wall which is listed at 410 and is also
50 feet high.

It was probably the most I’ve ever enjoyed batting practice all year
(except when pitchers get to swing occasionally, which is rare) and I
had the hitters to thank.

It is widely known that there is immense talent in the AFL; however,
during the context of a game you can’t always see the power that can
be put on display during a BP session. This holds true for alot of
games that you may attend.

So getting back to my point. I believe, from a fan’s perspective,
this gives all the more reason to show up early for a game. It gives
you a chance to see raw power that may or may not present itself
during a game. Or on the other hand, it will allow you to see the
precision (and/or velocity) at which a pitcher executes his bullpen.
If nothing else, you will definetely gain a greater appreciation for
the hours of work and preparation that are put in everyday before a
game takes place that most people who show up right before the first
pitch take for granted.

Moving onto this past week with the Peoria Javelinas. I guess it is
safe to say it’s been a roller coaster ride so far. After opening the
season with three straight wins, we then preceded to lose four in a
row before winning our last two on Wednesday and Thursday to settle at
5-4 as we get ready to head to Scottsdale tomorrow for our first game
with the Scorpions.

After our third win last week, we also got a team mascot. Humberto
Sanchez got a guinea pig to keep in the bullpen during games. The
idea behind it was that a javelina (which was our first choice, but
they are wild and pretty mean) is similar to a wild boar which is
similar to a pig; so you can see how we thought it was an applicable
mascot. However, after subsequently losing the next four games, he
had to be returned to Petsmart.

On my end, after starting off with two solid appearances, I stumbled a
bit in my third outing making a mistake on a pitch inside with the
game on the line in the 9th. To put it simply, that is a mistake I
have learned from and will not make again. It’s one thing to be told
not to go inside with a pitch with the game on the line, unless you go up or to move
feet, but until you make the mistake yourself and have to suffer the
consequences, it doesn’t really set in.

That about wraps it up for this week. Sorry to those of you who may
have questions that I have not been able to get to, my computer access
is limited. See you next week.

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