***I attempted to post this entry a week ago, but computer issues kept me from doing so. I decided to post it in addition to a new entry.***
Greetings once again. I am signing in on the morning of day two of a ten game, eleven day homestand. The week and a half will be a welcome respite from the road as we make a push through the end of the season and hopefully into the playoffs. The two upcoming days off will have to be cherished as well, as after this time at home we have 20 games in 20 days to wrap up the regular season, including a return trip from Northwest Arkansas to Midland with no day off for travel. Anyhow, moving the focus from the future to the recent past, we at the RockHounds are coming off a forgettable road trip. We pried one game each from Corpus Christi and Frisco, but in a week’s worth of hard fought games we would certainly have liked to take home a few more wins. However, as it stands we are still in first place in our division with plenty of opportunities left to put space between ourselves and the res of the Texas League’s Southern Division. Personally, I’ve had three outings since my last entry, running the gamut from poor to good. The good news is that there are a few easily identifiable and correctable mistakes to be culled from my less stellar outings and some positive things to build on from my good outing. I have also been throwing pretty well of late, which makes the occasional bump in the road a little easier to absorb.
Away from the field, there hasn’t been a whole lot to report of late. Other than burying my nose into one of a couple textbooks I’ve been at work on and continuing to hop-scotch my way through the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, my main extracurricular has been tending to my plant collection. I finally replaced my giant sequoia seedling and added a few pitcher plants as well. Perhaps the development I am most happy about, however, is the germination of all but one of my monkey puzzle seeds while I was gone over the recent week-long road trip. I also finally tied down the last couple loose ends of the plan for my trip to Slaughter Canyon Cave and Guadalupe Mountains in a few days. Should be fun and hopefully I won’t get eaten by a mountain lion (just kidding, they are an extremely rare sight and I won’t be there at night when they’re active). Anyhow, I suppose I should cut myself off there and leave you with the customary poetry (an old favorite of mine). Enjoy.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Hello again and for the last time from sunny Arizona. Today was the last day of spring training before breaking camp early on Sunday (as in 4 am early, the Indians don’t mess around) for Akron, Ohio. So my next installment will probably be coming to you live from the Canal Park clubhouse while I wait around to see if they can clear the two feet of snow off the field and get the game in (just kidding… hopefully), so look forward to that. As for actual baseball, I had my last outing of the spring Thursday and went out on a high note with two good innings, capping off a spring completely devoid of any road games–a “perfect spring” if you will.
With the obligatory baseball coverage out of the way, I’m going to devote some time to a completely unrelated topic. As I’m sure literally dozens of people across America are aware, April is National Poetry Month. Now I realize that reading poetry is not exactly at the top of the list of things that most people tend to spend inordinate amounts of free time doing, but it is a rewarding and engaging way to invest some spare time now and then in place of watching television or playing video games. As the great American poet Robert Frost once said, “Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat,” and amongst the many books I read over the course of the year the poetry tends to be some of the most impactful and memorable. Not being a poet myself (sad to say), I won’t make an extensive attempt to describe the virtues of poetry, but for those of you who are interested in learning more I’ll give you a list of some of my poetic favorites that would provide a great starting point. I would also direct you to the website for the Academy of American Poets at poets.org, where you can find information about poets and poetry, get information on events in your area, and sign up for the poem-a-day feature to get a poem from an American poet delivered to your email inbox everyday (one of the few emails I look forward to reading on a daily basis). Enjoy.
I first stumbled across Stephen Dunn about two years ago and he his books have quickly become some of my favorite reading material. His best known book is Different Hours which won the Pulitzer prize for poetry, and he has a number of other excellent books including Everything Else in the World, Between Angels, and what is probably my favorite collection of poems–The Insistence of Beauty.
Time and Materials, by Robert Hass
Repair, by C.K. Williams
Alive Together, by Lisel Mueller
Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
Radio, Radio, by Ben Doyle
The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot
Simple Language, by Jennifer Barone
Failure, by Philip Schultz
Floating City, Anne Pierson Wiese