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Feb 27 2000: Spring Dreams

I know I don’t leave for Tampa for another seven days, but you know what I did last night instead of my taxes? I packed for my trip. Unbelievable, I know. But there’s a fully packed suitcase sitting in my room right now, full of shorts and tank tops and other hot weather clothing that I just am not going to need this week (even if it was 61 degrees in Boston today…)

I’ve been thinking about this trip to Spring Training so much that the other night, I was thinking about it as I drifted off to sleep, and had a dream about it. In the dream, my brother, my Dad, and me, are walking through the concrete hallways of a stadium, not quite sure where we’re going. We’re fairly running from one thing to the next, a hot dog stand, a souvenir vendor… not in a hurry, really, just excited, laughing, and having a good time. A few tantalizing glimpses of green field can be seen through doorways as we go along… I woke up before I could dream any actual baseball, though. I just can’t even imagine what it will be like.

Hey, anyone out there know if Spring training games are broadcast on the radio? Or, more specifically, on the World Wide Web?

The Yankees are set to play intra-squad games tomorrow and Tuesday. When I told corwin this, he said “I wonder how they pick teams?” Now, I’m sure Joe Torre makes up a list of who he wants to see play, and where, and how much, but we were kind of tickled imagining it like a sand lot game. Cone and Clemens picking their teams off the bench: “You want Bernie, eh? Well, give me O’Neill…” Man, what fun. In reality, none of the five starters are scheduled to pitch. Still, it’s fun to imagine.

Here’s a wild idea for a screenplay. The Yankees (or it could be any team, really…) are on their way to play an exhibition game in 2001 in Puerto Rico when their plane crash lands on a deserted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Injured in the crash are their tough-as-shoe-leather manager and their aging star pitcher who is probably on his last season. In Act One they remain hopeful of rescue, but are unable to raise anyone on radio, and as they brave bad weather and establish shelter on the island, we learn of various rivalries and tensions within the team. In Act Two, the team divides into two main groups. One group thinks their only chance is to explore the island further and settle in for a long stay. The other group thinks they need to build a boat and try getting into the shipping lanes or something. (Perhaps the Cuban defector on the team advocates this–or perhaps speaking from experience, he tells them they’re crazy.) These plans are quickly shown to be foolhardy and near impossible for a bunch of guys whose main skills are making round bits of cowskin fly.

To keep themselves busy, then, what do these guys do? They play ball. Many scenes here of them moving a coconut tree for a foul pole, making bases out of palm leaves, etc… Meanwhile, though, tensions get worse as the health of the injured manager and pitcher declines.

When things come to a head, the two groups of players end up duking it out on the field. As the game wears on, the pitcher rallies his strength to give advice to the young rookie pitching against the team veterans…

To give it a really Hollywood ending, of course, we have to come up with some way for them to not only resolve their conflict, but use baseball as part of their rescue–Maybe they get the attention of a passing plane by batting 500 foot bombs of flaming coconuts…

(Kevin Costner, if you’re reading this, I’d be glad to develop it further…!)

Okay, maybe not. Clearly the only thing that will keep me from such fevered imaginings is real baseball….

(Did you enjoy reading this blog entry? Please consider buying me a hot dog.)

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