I am afraid the FBB has been sadly neglected over the past few weeks, but I promise it has not been without just cause! I have been to and fro all over creation (well, really just New Market, Chicagoland, and Washington DC) and have had few moments to spare for writing.
Instead of spreading out or just ignoring the happenings of my hiatus, as I would probably usually do, I’m just gonna cram them all here into one awkward post. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get to it!
Love & Marriage: I can’t not include this… My most loyal reader/commenter (who also happens to be my cousin and one of my favorite people in the whole wide world) was married on June 25th. It was pure joy being there with her on that special day. Congratulations, my dear Melinda!
Cubs: It was sort of nice to be able to ignore the Cubs for awhile, as both losses and injuries have continued to heap up. Marlon Byrd, Matt Garza, Reed Johnson and Darwin Barney all returned from the disabled list. Carlos Zambrano went in the opposite direction. Jeff Baker also came off of the DL, but then he hurt himself again. But I think he’s OK, now. Ryan Dempster was on the fritz as well. Marcos Mateo had a really lovely outing on the same day that Big Z went down, then he went down himself in his next appearance. DJ LeMahieu and Lou Montanez were sent packing to triple-A Iowa. Casey Coleman was brought up from the I-Cubs and promptly sent back down. Chris Carpenter was sent down to the I-Cubs and promptly brought back up. It’s all very mind-dizzying and, as I said, it was nice to not pay much attention for a week or so.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, however, the Cubs had pretty much ALL my attention, as I traveled with my siblings to see them play a pair of games against the Nationals in our nation’s capital. In classic Cubs fashion, they lost both games. Our experience was most fortunately redeemed thanks to our success in the “souvenir” collecting department (autographs, baseballs, etc.,)
A few notes about individuals:
“Professional” ballhawk and grade-A nincompoop Zach Hample was in attendance at Tuesday’s game. I watched him push by an innocent person right in front of me, saying loudly and flatly, “Watch out.” What ever happened to “Excuse me?” I was incredibly disappointed that no opportunity to bump, fall into or step on Mr. Hample by “accident” presented itself. It probably would have been wrong, but I would have enjoyed it immensely.
Koyie Hill: I have decided that Koyie is a really cool guy. And I think that people need to quit treating him like a kitten-eater. I don’t care what his batting average is.
Sean Marshall: Also a really cool guy. Sean probably does really deserve to play for a team better than the Cubs, but I am a selfish fan and I hope he never ever goes away.
Matt Garza: The Muppet Man definitely gained a few cool points in my book this week. We saw him outside Nationals Park and he declined to sign any autographs, saying he’d “get us inside.” I assumed he was just saying that, but he proved to be true to his word. I thought it was very good of him.
Tony Campana: What a sweetpea. That’s all I have to say.
Starlin Castro: Starlin gets his own heading in bold because he is just that cool. And because I love him. And because he was elected to his first MLB All Star team. Let us hope it is the first of many! Congrats, kiddo!
Rebels: As always, the New Market Rebels have been bringing much fun, excitement, and chaos into our lives. Last Friday I sat through the longest game (inning-wise) I’ve ever attended. It spanned 19, easily beating the previous record 17, and we won, so it was more than worth it.
On Saturday morning, Rebel Park hosted an open batting practice for whomever wanted to participate. It was a small group, but we had a good time. I managed to hit a few balls that made it past the infield grass, and I think one of them might have rolled all the way into the outfield grass if it hadn’t been fielded. That’s right! Look out, Albert Pujols.
Among our number were two Rebels alumni, pitcher Tim Adinolfi (1999) and third baseman Adam Frederick (2004-05.) It was extra awesome to have those guys there. I turned into a total fan when “Freddy” pitched to me on my last turn in the batter’s box. Is it fair to blame my poor contact skills on the fact that I was thinking more about that unforgettable playoff series in ’05 in which he drove in 6 runs? No? Well, I’m doing it anyway.
Elsewhere in baseball: I was definitely jealous of the hard-core campaign the Nationals have going to get Mike Morse onto the NL All Star team via MLB.com’s “Final Vote.” If I had that kind of fire-power, the Darwin Barney initiative might have gone somewhere. Oh well.
The Cardinals released former All-Star closer Ryan Franklin. On the surface, this was not a significant piece of news to me. BUT, as St. Lou chose to fill Mr. Franklin’s roster spot with none other than legendary 2006 New Market Rebels all star closer Cotton Dickson, it quickly became very significant indeed! Major, major congrats to Cotton! Here’s hoping he sticks around in the bigs for a good long time!
Well guys, I hope that my posts here at the FBB will be more consistent the next few weeks. Thanks for sticking out the craziness with me.