Manny-less. Trout-full.

I’m pausing from my days-long Ripken-is-better-than-Jeter email exchange with my baseball guru Jay, to share a non-Jeter moment from last night.

(I like Derek Jeter and all, but Cal Ripken was better. Jay disagrees.)

But, this isn’t about the oldsters …

I used to think that the Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, just 22, would be baseball’s next great superstar.

But, his knees are wobbly.

One knee surgery kept him out of the lineup until May. Then surgery on the other knee ended his season in August.

The Orioles could certainly use a third baseman – as in someone actually schooled in playing third and not a journeyman tucked in over there and told to just dive at anything that comes remotely close and could be a baseball and try not to break anything. (It’s rarely pretty.)

Manny should be a-ok by next Opening Day. And, maybe he will be back to superstar form. Or, maybe those knees … those wobbly, unreliable knees … oh, I can’t even say it.

Manny did not take the Orioles to the post-season this year – they got there with those journeymen and other guys, giant holes at third, and very little Manny.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, on the other hand, owe a lot to baseball’s just 23, superstar, centerfielder Mike Trout.

Good grief, he did this last night.

trout catch

And, he did this, too.

trout homer

That’s all. I just wanted to make sure you saw that.

The Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California will both be in the post-season.

(I’ll be cheering the Manny-less Orioles, of course, but those Trout-full Angels are very good.)

Oh, and back to the Ripken vs. Jeter thing for just a second …

Our friend Jay argues that part of why Derek Jeter is a greater player than Cal Ripken is because he won more World Series (5 vs. 1). This, of course, means that Aubrey Huff (two World Series victories) is a greater player than Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, Ken Griffey, Jr., Harmon Killebrew, and Rod Carew, who won zero.

I argue that Cal Ripken is a greater player than Derek Jeter because he is.

ripken jeter

Baseball, Barn, Life … (and me)

When I first started this blog one year ago (happy birthday, blog!) I thought that the slow, simple, and beautiful game of baseball reflected the same energy that I experience on my Yoga mat.

Simple on the outside, but intricate and complex and insanely sweet on the inside.

Deep, yeh?

But, now I’ve realized that the slow, simple, and beautiful game of baseball is also a lot like the barn that we are building …

the barn july 19 13

… and building …. and building.

And, the second half of the baseball season …

And, the second half of the barn building …

begins now.

Our old barn served us well. It had been a good old barn for many decades before we turned up. The previous owners probably used it as an actual barn. We used it as extra storage for items that didn’t mind that it listed a bit to the north, the wood was worn thin, the walls were porous, and it rained as hard inside as out.

It’s hard to say goodbye to a good old barn. In the same way, it’s hard to say goodbye to baseball players as their better days, their greatest games, fade.

I still miss Cal Ripken.*


But, hope springs eternal.

And, just as spring training got underway, we started a new barn.

Now you see it …


Now you don’t …


And, as the baseball season has worn on, so has the barn building.

The barn’s been slowed by paperwork and rain delays.

It’s been slowed by crew members being traded to new teams, being put on the DL, or just plain disappearing.

But, it’s coming together.

And, as the second half of baseball begins, our barn project continues, too.

Still waiting for a roof.


And, some walls.

barn july 19 13

But we saved the old barn door and it will be put up inside somewhere.

barn door

A place of honor in our barn “Hall of Fame.”

Time moves forward for barns and baseball.

We’ll have a new barn.

And, Manny Machado.  (You gotta watch this …)

Manny july 13

And, the World Series will come. And, the Orioles will be there. And, the barn will be awesome.

I’m sure of it.

My amazing Barn Dude – the Player-Manager of the Barn Building – will tell you that the barn is well beyond halfway. It’s well into the playoffs. This is good for us since it means the barn will be a real barn before October. (Barn Dude’s not a baseball fan, but he remembers seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. What is it with all these Red Sox fans in my world?)

*And, Billy.

#2: Look It’s Me! The Orioles in St. Petersburg

When I started this Spring Training series, I had my Top 5 list ready to go.

But, my editor/husband insisted that the Spring Training I attended should be included.

So, apologies Limestone League – the World War II-era years when teams held Spring Training north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi. French Lick and Terre Haute. Bloomington and Muncie.

You’re off the list. (Maybe next year.)

Number 2 on my list of amazing Spring Trainings is the one I attended in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Many people believe that attending Spring Training is the mark of a true baseball fan.

They’re wrong.

To be a true baseball fan is to watch a 17-inning game, start to finish … and then watch it again when the local sports network replays it on Thanksgiving Day. (It will take six hours and seven minutes, in case you’re wondering. And, yes, we won.)

To be a true baseball fan is to sit – or, more correctly, stand – through a freezing two-and-a-half hour rain delay during the playoffs only to have your team go down in bitter defeat in the 9th.

To be a true baseball fan is to watch your beloved team lose more often than it wins and still love them. To watch them lose 100 games in a single season. To watch them lose 21 in a row. And, still love them.

To be a true baseball fan is to say, “We’ll get ‘em tomorrow,” no matter the odds. And, mean it.

Spring Training, on the other hand, is just a lovely way to spend a vacation in Florida (or Arizona) during the chilly, waning days of winter. Sandwiching ballgames with a little beach time or tee time or margarita time.

For a few years in the 1990s, the St. Louis Cardinals shared St. Petersburg, Florida and Al Lang Stadium with the Baltimore Orioles.

There's a lot of milling about at Spring Training.

There’s a lot of milling about at Spring Training.

So, in 1992, I went to Spring Training by myself. I was much younger of course (12 would be a good guess, but since I was driving a rental car and drinking beer, though not at the same time, perhaps I was a bit older).

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