February 2010

More Snow… and Snow… and Snow

Today is the last day with no baseball until sometime late
next October or early November. How great is that? Pitchers and catchers begin
reporting tomorrow and Thursday, with workouts beginning next week. But many of
the pitchers and catchers that are due to report tomorrow have already
reported, so it won’t be long now before there are actual highlights on TV of
baseball activity. 

Spring is just around the corner!

 My enthusiasm is curtailed only by the fact there is over 18″ of
snow on the ground at my house right now. Growing up in Sacramento I never had snow at this time of
the year in my yard. Then again, I think it had only snowed two or three times
in my life. So I’m not really sure how to handle all of these
conflicting feelings. Snow/spring. Snow/pitchers and catchers reporting.
Snow/warm weather in Florida and Arizona.

I don’t know how many emails I’ve received about the snow and the construction
on the stadium, so let me take this space to set the record straight. The
ballpark is going to open on time. The snow is having little to no affect on
the progress of the construction. I’ll touch on the construction more later.

New manager Randy Knorr was here most of last week, thanks to the snow. He was
supposed to arrive here on Tuesday and go home on Thursday, but with the
blizzard that took place last week he didn’t get home until after midnight
Friday into Saturday morning.

He didn’t seem to mind though as I’m not sure how much snow he’s been around,
at least while it is falling.  He was able to tour the ballpark and home
clubhouse and he seems genuinely excited about the ballpark.  We had a
chance to get to know one another since we spent a lot of time together. 
If you want my unsolicited opinion, I think he’s going to be great. 

Construction update time… the ballpark is still on schedule. Just outside our walls we can hear the work on the new Senators merchandise store. On a side but related note, I’m not sure what we’re naming the store, but if you have any ideas let me know at tbyrom@senatorsbaseball.com.

The boardwalk connecting the main seating bowl with the existing boardwalk in left field is nearly finished, which is exciting. Work continues on the luxury suite level and on the main level, finishing the concession stands, restrooms, etc.  The clubhouses should be finished by the first week in March and I heard a rumor that the seats should be installed by the middle of March.

I want to personally thank everyone that donated money towards the Haitian relief in hopes of winning a luxury suite for a night. I’ll be announcing the winners later today so stay tuned to the Senators website for that big announcement.

One last note, one of my co-workers, Jonathan Boles, made his TV debut today when he was interviewed by cbs21.  The interview will take place this Thursday so if you’re in the area you can see it “live” on the 5pm Thursday newscast. If you’re not in the area, it will be on their website beginning Friday (www.cbs21.com).

I think that’s it for now. I need to go do some digging so I can take some updated pics of the ballpark.


Playing Hooky…

Living in the east means dealing with Snow. When I first moved away from California back in 1998 and to Indiana, the first few times it snowed were pretty cool.  Now, well, not so much.  Although I must admit it was gorgeous this morning at 7am. Unfortunately, I was shoveling it instead of admiring it.

With snow on the ground and the potential for more this weekend, the thought of pitchers and catchers reporting in less than three weeks is a strange one.

Kids in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and other places throughout the country wake up to snow and either want an “official” snow day, or they just want to play hooky to play in all the snow.

Growing up in Sacramento, we never had a snow day. I had one fog day, but never a snow day. I had to find other reasons to play hooky.

Every year when I was a kid, I would mysteriously be sick sometime the first week of March. Why you ask? Well because sometime during that week was the first Giants broadcast of the spring.  What a glorious day that was (and still is).  It signaled that spring was just around the corner. That baseball season was just around the corner. And it meant that the end of the school year was finally in sight!

Over the years there were other days that hooky was played as well. If you’re under 35, you probably don’t remember that back in the “old days” the playoffs were just a best of five and there were games played in the daytime. Without looking it up, I don’t think the first weekday World Series game was played at night until the Pirates and O’s played one in 1971.

So in the fall, I didn’t really pretend to be sick, I just stayed home and watched the games. Come on, they were the playoffs! And yes, I’m talking about PLAYOFFS (screeching my voice high and pretending to be in a post-game press conference).

There was also another day that I’m happy I played hooky and that was in October 1978. The Yankees and Red Sox had just finished an incredible division race that ended in a tie. If my memory doesn’t fail me, the Red Sox had a huge lead in August and worked themselves into choking (something they did quite well until 2004) allowing the Yanks to catch them.

My mom wandered through the living room that afternoon and before I could get the channel changed to whatever movie she thought I was watching, she saw the game on and realized I wasn’t sick.

Just drive through Boston yelling the name Bucky Dent and see what kind of reaction that  still gets, over 30 years later.

Speaking of hooky, how many of you are going to play hooky on Monday? And how many of you think that the Super Bowl should either be on Saturday, or that Monday should be an official U.S. holiday?

Speaking of the game here’s what I think for what it’s worth… Colts 38 Saints 21. Of course, my World Series prediction was exactly the opposite of what happened.

Stadium Update… things are going very well. Pictures continue to be updated weekly on the Senators website of the construction.  Excitement is growing in the offices over the construction and certainly seems to be growing in the ballpark as well.

Until next time, have fun and well, if need be, play hooky for a day and just do something fun (like playing in the snow)!