Friday, October 17, 2003
3:18 pm Arizona time (Pacific)
Oh my god I’m sore. My legs, my back, my butt, my feet. I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been in a car wreck. (Actually, I didn’t feel anywhere near this bad after my motorcycle accident!) Given how much ibuprofen i am taking to keep the arm swelling down, it’s scary to think how achy I would be if I weren’t.
And we didn’t even work out that hard yesterday! I think the combination of the altitude (3000 feet?), dehydration, and the lack of sleep have combined to give me lactic acid buildup in every muscle fiber I have.
The result of the soreness was that today I was pretty much a mess in clinic. I couldn’t get down on ground balls, couldn’t swing, and could barely throw. Throwing actually was not too bad in the catch portion of things. Jen Rado, who also plays for the Slaterettes, was my partner, just like yesterday, and we were both pretty accurate. But when we were taking grounders at second, I could not get the ball to the catcher on the fly.
And what is up with my swing? Yesterday I hit so well. Today I couldn’t even get the ball off the tee straight, and in the cage I was hitting these Baltimore chops, and even swinging and missing. I hope the soreness is less tomorrow or it’s going to be brutal at the plate. Hopefully I get a nice hot soak tonight and work out some of this.
So I never finished writing about yesterday’s clinic. John Denny, Cy Young Award Winner, came and addresses the group, and his son is one of our instructors, too. He talked about pitching, and also took questions. In answer to being asked who the most interesting player he played with was, Denny told the following story about Mike Schmidt. I’m paraphrasing here:
“Back when I played in Philadelphia there was this one guy, you know how there is always this one leather-lunged guy in the stands? We were always trying to pick him out, he must have been forty rows up behind third base but no matter where he sat you could always hear him. He would rag on anybody but he especially liked to get on Schmitty. Well one day, I’m on the mound, and I’m getting ready to pitch (Denny takes his stance) and suddenly the umpire calls Time! Time! The catcher hasn’t moved, the batter hasn’t moved, and I’m wondering what’s up? I look over to the first base side and nothing’s going on. I look over to the third base side, and there’s Schmitty, walking toward me. (Imitates a slow shuffle.) He eventually reaches the mound, picks up the rosin bag, dabs some on his arms and on his hands, puts it down. Looks at me. I ask him, what’s up? He kind of shakes his head, looks at his shoes, and then he says, ‘That guys been riding me all day. I just wanted to get away from it for a while.’”
Several former players from the AAGPBL (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the women’s league from the World War II era that the movie A League of Their Own was based on) are here to help coach. They even participated in some drills with us and shagged flies during BP.
Overheard during a barehand drill from one of these fine ladies: “Wow, this is hard with bifocals!”
For those of you who are not familiar with girl talk, it mixes uniquely with locker room talk in women’s baseball. Especially when you mix female baseball players with good-looking minor league players as coaches. While we were waiting for the shuttle bus back to the hotel yesterday several women were sitting on the curb comparing notes. All the coaches were well-liked and each taught us a ton. But as we were chatting we realized that we had each remembered the names of all the “hot” guys, but not all of the other guys. Are we really that shallow? Yup, can’t help it. The cuter a guy is, the easier it is to remember his name–just a fact of life. We then got considerably off the topic of hitting tips…
Overheard today during throwing drills. One woman was paired up with one of the aforementioned hot guys. At one point she threw the ball over his head and he went to chase it. The woman in line next to her: “You just did that to get a look at his ass, didn’t you.” (This was followed by more wild throws.)
Today we had a tour of the facilities at Tucson Electric Park, including the press box, underground batting cages, and the Diamondbacks clubhouse–which is now our clubhouse. Unfortunately the couches and the ping pong table have been packed into storage for the off-season, but it’s still pretty cushy. The card table with the dominoes set is still there.
Tonight we meet the founder of US Doctors for Africa, Ted Alemahyu, and we may also find out our teams and squad shifts for the game. Last night Rob unveiled the nice uniform shirts they made for us, and tonight they will be passing them out. Are we excited about this? Yes.
After the meeting: well, the batting order is not yet done. As Rob put it, “It’s taking me a while. I’m putting together the most complicated batting order ever compiled. And I challenge anyone to refute that statement.” We did have a speech from Ted Alemahyu and the medical director of US Doctors for Africa, a Dr. Fleming. Or as he put it, “Leave off the doctor just call me Fleming it’s shorter.” We’re sleepy now and going to turn in. I soaked my legs in hot water and hopefully I’ll feel less sore soon… more tomorrow.