The designated time and calendar coordinates having arrived, that is to say now just a month away from Pitchers and Catchers reporting to Spring Training Camps in Arizona and Florida, it is time also for me to once again make my annual pledge to be both a better Baseball Blogger and a better human being.
It’s most likely that I will only be able to do one of the two, and most people would concentrate on being a better person. But I am not “most people.”
Also we are anticipating a few major life events to happen to our family in 2016. First, it looks like – assuming that the insurance company finally agrees – that I will be having knee replacement surgery in late Winter or the early part of the Spring.
Then, we are planning to relocate to Tacoma, my wife’s hometown sometime between July and September, assuming my recovery goes well.
Lastly this will mean job changes for my wife and probably for me, unless the VA gets off it’s duff and approves my disability claim.
So how will all of this effect this blog?
Well, first off, leaving the Central Valley will make it less able to closely follow the Stockton Ports, although with the internet and such, it seems like that would be easy. The problem is that love fades with distance unless there is a hard connection like most people have with a MLB Team. Over time and distance, I have lost interest in my hometown Ogden Raptors (even as a Dodgers Affiliate) and my all time favorite AAA Team, The Tacoma Rainier’s.
But now that we will be back in Tacoma, albeit near the end of the season, they will again assume front burner status. Moreover, while the Dodgers, thanks to MLB.com and Extra Innings, will remain an integral part of my day, the return to the PACNORWEST means that I will once again, probably as passionately as I did in the 1980’s and 90’s follow the Mariners. Especially with no reasonable chance of them ever meeting in the World Series. The Facebook Page will continue to be the place for quick stuff like news and box scores. Here I will talk about what I saw and felt and liked and even disliked about a particular game.
The bigger thing though is that every year at this time I sit down and plan to write about Baseball. From my own perspective as a fan, not a Stat Wonk or or broadcaster or a player. Just a casual fan who loves the game very much.
And maybe that will help me to be a better person, too?
It’s no secret that my favorite Major League player – at least until Max Stassi gets promoted again – is A.J. Ellis of the Los Angeles Dodgers. So much so that I almost always carry him on my fantasy team (I only have one team) even though he isn’t exactly a points bonanza. Every time he does manage to do something I celebrate it and rationalize that I made the right move to start him over Buster Posey on that day. Seriously, I do that.
On a more realistic note, Ellis is a great catcher even if he isn’t an offensive juggernaut. when he is going good, he gets on base, and he draws walks like a man pushing the button at a crosswalk every ten seconds. A.J. Ellis simply walks into Mordor.
So I was very glad to see him get a new contract from the Dodgers. I certainly would love to see him have a great season, one where he doesn’t celebrate a no-hitter by jumping up and and landing on a carelessly discarded catchers mask screwing up his ankle. Naturally baseball is a business, and Ellis is going to have to step up the offense in order to stay in the lineup and move into the future with the Dodgers.
But in case things don’t work out for AJ Ellis in the long term, I would point out to the Dodgers that Max Stassi is still out there! Seeing Max in a Dodger uniform would be great to me!