Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Smell of Smoke

The Sierra Bears finished their regular 2013 season in the smell of smoke. The fires in Yosemite and other Northern California locations drifted all the way to Grass Valley. It meant that playing conditions were iffy in the last week of baseball. Athletes had to compete in bad air.

Maybe it’s just as well the team didn’t make the playoffs this year.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


When you’ve had a bad streak and you get it back, you feel like you’re whole again.

It’s like a warm shower after a chilly night game …
Like water in the desert …
Like a knot coming loose in your gut …
Like a sigh that runs down to your toes …

At the plate, in the field, you can see the ball, you can handle the ball, you want the ball.

It’s like a double play with a 1-0 lead …
Bad bounce snatches, full-length dives, bunts that defy imagination …

Baseball is a wonderful world.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Playing poorly. My head’s not in it. I want to stay up late, have a few brews with friends. I want to sleep in. If I’m not totally alert, if I’m mentally tired, the timing isn’t there. I can’t make the plays that are too fast to think about. I want a summer vacation, like any other American. At least a day without a game.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hiding the Ball

The good ones do it on every pitch. They keep the ball in their gloves until the last instant. They hide it so you can’t glimpse their grip and get an idea of what’s coming.
A good pitcher is part magician. He begins his windup and he’s all elbows and knees. All you can do is watch his moves until the ball pops out like a rabbit from a hat.
It makes it so hard to hit. It’s easier if you can get the pitcher out of his full windup and into the stretch.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Losing is like tripping and falling in the dirt. It hurts. The day is a waste. Sure, losing is part of baseball. That’s why there are so many games. There will always be off days, bad bounces, bad plays. But it still feels like you were cheated when you lose.  It makes you feel like a sad little boy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


You’re coming off a long, late ride with no day off. Or you’re playing an afternoon game after last night’s extra-inning loss.

You don’t know whether to scream or yawn. You feel achy, fuzzy, a half-second late. Grounds are growly. Liners are potentially lethal.

Baseball is way better than any other job I can imagine, but it’s not much fun on short turnarounds.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Congratulations to Jennifer Fong, who is the winners of our Bunt -- A Baseball Story Sweepstakes. Jennifer's name was selected randomly from the people who "liked" our Facebook fanpage.

Jennifer receives a $100 prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered.