The One Week Mark

Hello and thanks for stopping by as August becomes September and, as was said in Ken Burns’ Baseball, spring’s new hope gives way to the hard realities of autumn.  Of late we at the RockHounds have basically been holding serve, maintaining our prior four game lead over San Antonio throughout the ebb and flow of wins and losses.  After a so-so series against Corpus Christi, we just completed a series win against second place Frisco, which puts our “magic number” to clinch a playoff spot at four heading into a big series against the aforementioned San Antonio Missions, which means two wins will put us in.  However, just for a little perspective, last place Corpus Christi is still mathematically alive so work remains to be done.  I have only had two appearances over the past week or so, a byproduct of both happenstance and our starters giving us a lot of quality innings of late, but I have thrown the ball fairly well of late and that is the main thing that matters with the playoffs looming.


I really wish that I had more to report in the way of exciting off-field adventures, but unfortunately I have had a fairly nondescript week.  The most notable event of the past week was packing up and moving out of my apartment and into the team hotel for the duration of my time in Midland, which was exactly as exciting as it sounds.  In the process I did manage to find a number of things I misplaced in the course of my previous cross-country move and sloppy unpacking job, but really there is no part of the experience that I can imagine anyone wanting to read about so I’ll spare you any further details.  Otherwise, I have spent most of my time on buses, studying for one or the other of the two classes I am enrolled in this semester, hop scotching through a library copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (the book that made poetry a relevant part of my daily life), and sketching out what promises to be a painting utterly beyond my technical capabilities and which will have to wait until I get home and unpack my painting stuff.  After stretching myself a little bit for my last painting and having it turn out much better than I had expected (a comment on my expectations rather than my artistic proficiency) I decided to try something even a little more ambitious, but given my overall shortcomings in most areas artistic it promises to be an adventure.  I guess I’ll see once I have the opportunity to try it, but until then I’ll fight the impulse to bore you with more details and sign off until next week.  Until then I will leave you with a few selections from old Walt and hope you enjoy them as I do.


A Noiseless Patient Spider

by Walt Whitman


A noiseless patient spider,

I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,

Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,

It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,

Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.


And you O my soul where you stand,

Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,

Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,

Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.



Among the Multitude

by Walt Whitman


Among the men and women, the multitude,  

I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,  

Acknowledging none else–not parent, wife, husband, brother, child,

     any nearer than I am;  

Some are baffled–But that one is not–that one knows me.  


Ah, lover and perfect equal!

I meant that you should discover me so, by my faint indirections;  

And I, when I meet you, mean to discover you by the like in you.



Clear Midnight

by Walt Whitman


This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,

Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson


Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the

            themes thou lovest best,

Night, sleep, death and the stars.



    Hey Neil. Not sure if you read these comments that get posted, but I just figured I’d say something here. It’s always been neat to see what a guy working his way through the minors has to say, and of course your bits of poetry are always a good touch. I was disappointed to see you shipped to the A’s, being an Indians fan I’d looked forward to you being in a tribe uniform someday. Hopefully someday we’ll see you pitch against us. In any case, keep the blog up, and good luck on your trek.

  2. contractyear

    Hi, Neil,

    I really enjoyed reading your post above. You sound like a pretty intellectual guy, which explains why you’re a pitcher. I am an avid A’s fan and welcome you to the A’s organization. I know that misses the opportunity to see you pitch in a Tribe uni, but his loss is obviosly our gain. I’ll check our your AFL article.

    I write an A’s blog (really a baseball blog with emphasis on the A’s) at Check it out. Maybe I’ll track you down at Spring Training next year. I’d love to interview you for my blog. Let me know what you think (

    Good luck in the playoffs. I’ll follow you and the Hounds and wish you all the best of luck.


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