Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hope springs eternal...

Not to jinx my entire fantasy team, but I’ve now gotten TWO saves in a row from Huston Street. (Okay, that’s it. I jinxed it.) My second closer, J.J.Putz, was afflicted with some sort of cartilage inflammation in his ribs – what kind of weirdo injury is THAT? Who gets inflamed rib cartilage? (Well, major league pitchers, I guess…) So I decided to pick up the guy who is pitching in his absence – and of course he immediately decided to blow a save. Sigh… But I am SLIGHTLY encouraged by Street’s recent performance, and the fact that my offense is picking up ever so gradually. Tonight, Rick and I have pitchers playing on opposing teams. So ONE of us will be disappointed after that game. (Judging from the past couple weeks, I’m guessing it’ll be me…)

Anyway… spring has definitely arrived in Austin. The bluebonnets have been popping up in every grassy field around the city, and thunderstorms have been popping up whenever they darn well feel like it. As long as they’re not spawning tornadoes, they’re not so bad. Although I’ve never been terribly fond of thunder and lightning, either. And it’s funny, because the WORST thunder and lightning storm I can remember in recent memory was actually in New Jersey – we got a thunderstorm one night that seemed to be full of non-stop lightning. Just one flash right after another. Rick thought it was great. I, however, was huddled on the stairs in the hallway, away from all doors and windows, waiting for it to stop. Yeah, spring storms are GREAT (that was sarcasm…).

I remember when we first moved to Texas, when I was nine years old, after I’d lived in Buffalo for my entire young life – we moved down here in February, when Buffalo, I’m sure, was still encased in a layer of ice and snow, and “spring” was a distant, far-off, wistful dream. It must’ve been cold when we left our house on Ivygreen Court for the last time… I can’t really remember. But what I DO remember was our first day in Austin, when we were temporarily housed in a Comfort Inn (or a Holiday Inn… or a Red Roof Inn… I don’t know… some kind of inn…). We had our dog, Sheba, with us, and she needed to go outside for a short walk, so I snapped on her leash and took her outside. I stood on a grassy area near the parking lot, overlooking the interstate, and marveled at the warm breeze and sunshine. For a kid from Buffalo, 80-degree weather in February was such a novelty.

At the time, I was probably thinking something like, “I could get used to this… Texas will be great!” And NOW, of course, every time February rolls around, I am once again lamenting the total absence of any sort of WINTER. I guess NOW the novelty is visiting Chicago during a snowstorm (“I could get used to this… Chicago will be great!”).

It’s a good thing that baseball always returns in the spring – whether it’s warm OR cold. If it weren’t for bluebonnets, thunderstorms and baseball, I would barely even notice the transition from “winter” to “spring” in Austin. Now if only my fantasy baseball team could transition from “sucky” to “awesome.” THAT would be a great way to welcome the spring…

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