Saturday, March 12, 2011

And so it begins

My first post of the 2011 season comes to you LIVE from beautiful and sunny Phoenix, Arizona. There are two things that you need to know to understand how I ended up here. First, one of the things that has become clear to me during this off-season is that I am not particularly good at--nor do I really care to engage in--statistical analysis as a mode of player analysis. Others do it better; argue for particular trades or against particular player signings. I read what they have to say and hope like crazy that the Brewers will win a lot of games in the upcoming season. Despite my lack of rational analysis, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the Brewers have put together one of their best rosters in recent memory. If you can’t get excited about the additions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, you didn’t watch enough Brewer games over the last few years. I’m pretty flippin’ excited.

Second, on the day before Thanksgiving, a meth head (or group of meth heads) broke into our home while we were at work. [This is according to the police, who do not have enough evidence to charge them.] They took a lot of our stuff and most disturbing to me, they took all of my jewelry. Nearly all of the things Seth bought for me, things from my dead grandmother, birthday gifts, items I wore at my wedding, GONE. (Fortunately, I had my wedding and engagement rings on so I still have those.) It was and is devastating. I felt violated. And then I felt bad for feeling bad--I mean, it was not like they took the money I had saved for my cancer treatment. (I don’t have cancer, but this was what came to my mind when I started to feel sorry for myself. Others have it worse.) As the holidays approached, I couldn’t make myself really give a shit. Usually, I love Christmas. This year, I didn’t. After some soul searching, I discovered it was because I thought that all of the Christmas gifts that I would receive would be replacements for the things that had been stolen. And then I felt bad for feeling bad. And I felt bad for feeling mad. I was a mess.

So, on Christmas Eve, my husband handed me a letter sized white envelope, smiled and said, “Merry Christmas.” Right away I knew that it was not replacement jewelry. I opened the envelope and started to cry when I saw the contents. And then I started to jump up and down and yell, “I’m going to spring training, bitches.” [OK, I didn’t yell bitches because I was at my in-laws’ house, but I think it makes for a better story.]

Spring Training Day One: Sunblock, Sweat and Powdered Sugar

Seth and I arrived in Phoenix on Thursday and drove directly from the rental car place to the Maryvale Baseball Complex. We asked two different parking lot attendants if there was somewhere that we could change. (You know, like the Sausage Haus.) There was no where so we ended up changing in the car in the parking lot. After putting on shorts, we slathered on two different types of sun block. One with an SPF of 70 in lotion form and one with an SPF of 100 that we sprayed on. We then walked into the stadium and headed for concessions. It was at this point that we both realized that we had put on so much sun block that we had white lotion residue all over our faces, arms and legs. Strike one.

We then scarfed down multiple brats, beers and pretzels before the game even started. We had good seats, just a few rows behind the Brewers dugout. And we were in the sun. It was awesome. It was 88 degrees. And then it became less awesome. Seth and I estimated that we may have spent as little as 5 hours outside all winter (and that number is only that high because sometimes I do my back-to-run program outside). After two hours in the sun, I was drenched with sweat, which, when combined with all the sun block, left me with that not-so-fresh, slimy skin feeling. So, I did what anyone would do in my position. I went and got a huge beer and a funnel cake with extra powdered sugar topping. Then I was hot AND covered in the dreaded trifecta of sun block, sweat and powdered sugar. And it was only the fourth inning. Strike two. Then my stomach began to revolt. It started to scream, “What did you do???” Strike three. I felt like such a rookie.

I vowed that these same mistakes would not be made in Day Two.

The Ax got roughed up a bit. Man, does he look skinny. 
Oh, right, the Brewers. They lost in extra innings. Braun hit a three-run home run. Ax looked bad giving up two hits and two walks. Apparently he lost around 15 pounds because of the food poisoning. You can tell. I thought Prince looked thinner, too, but Seth thought he looked the same but was maybe wearing less baggy clothing. Chorizo won. Chris Dickerson was impressive. One of the highlights for me was when the “junior announcer” tried to announce Wil Nieves’ name and couldn’t quite get it right. Wil was laughing even as he stepped into the batter’s box and took the first pitch.

Despite my discomfort, the game went into extra innings allowing me a little more time to bake. Ron Roenicke and Jim Tracy made some hand signals to each other at the end of the ninth inning that I interpreted to mean that the game would go just one more inning. I love spring training. [I haven't heard any more about Tracy being sick after he collapsed at the winter meetings. He seemed fine during this game.]

Our new manager, Ron Roenicke, and our new pitcher, Zack Greinke. Hopefully they're still speaking at the end of the season. 

Rockies 9, Brewers 8 (10 innings)
Game played 3-10-11

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