The Frozen Iceball

“Ten million years from now, when then sun burns out and the Earth is just a frozen iceball hurtling through space, nobody’s going to care whether or not I got this guy out.”

How chill is that?

These words were spoke by Tug McGraw, the best reliever in baseball for many years. He, not entirely surprisingly, threw a mean screwball. Oddly enough nobody seems to throw screwballs in baseball anymore.

I learned how to throw a screwball. You turn your hand in the opposite direction of a curveball. Which is to say, your arm goes left and your hand twists right.

My father was a big time baseball fan. Every summer his idea of a vacation was to put his seven kids in a station wagon and drive us to a major league baseball game. I saw Mickey Mantle in his decrepit last playing days in the old Yankee Stadium. I saw the Mets, well before the miracle of ’69, from the scary steep upper deck of Shea Stadium. (Truth be told, the jets flying in and out of LaGuardia were more interesting than the game.) And I saw the Montreal Expos play the San Francisco Giants in Jarry Park in Montreal. Willie Mays took the day off. Ken Henderson of the Giants hit a home run that bounced into the pool beyond the right field fence.

My father told me the Tug McGraw quote long before McGraw said it. In my father’s version, the pitcher is in a bind. He is down to his last pitch. It is either do or die. He turns to his bench and says, “Either I do, or I don’t.” And throws the pitch.

All you can do is the best that you can. And, in the final analysis we are all bozos on this bus headed further into the universe. So give it a rest. Move on. Let it go. Because, as Tripper Harrison said in Meatballs, it just doesn’t matter.

Starting Monday, there are no more ties. Play ball.

[This blog post was inspired by Norman Wilson McCloud, the designated driver in section 418.]



Marching Out of Winter

March pretty much sucked. It always does. This March saw a nice steady projection from January and February.

January: 446.5 miles and 10 bike commutes

February: 506.5 miles and 15 bike commutes

March: 677.5 miles and 19 commutes

That’s 1630.5 miles and 44 commutes for the year.

My longest ride was only 41 miles, which included a commute and some cherry blossom watching.

I rode the Tour Easy (Big Nellie) 296.5 miles. The Mule came in second with 225.5 miles. Little Nellie came in third at 119.5 miles. The Cross Check did the Vasa ride and only a few random miles for a total of 46.5.

Although The Mule has the most miles so far this year, it’s going to the back of the line for the next few months. I plan on using it for my tour around Lake Michigan later this summer so it needs to rest up.

My miles probably will dip in April. We are having our floors refinished which is likely to cause chaos with our day to day lives for a week. Also, it’s birthday month for the Ladies Rootchopper. That means concerts and dinners out and such.

The really good news as far as I am concerned is that my body has finally awoken from its hibernation. The first ten weeks of the year, I have felt slow and out of sync on my bikes. Now that my bikes are in good mechanical order and I have settled into a riding routine, my body mechanics are vastly improved. I can’t wait for that first warm weekend day. Boom!

In the meantime, have some blossoms from the weeping cherry tree in front of our house.