Category Archives: matt joyce

Tampa Bay Trip – Day Five: Ducky’s , Field passes and TV oh my!

*Just previewed this post and there are mucho mistakes but I’m tired so I’m not fixing them.*

I certainly didn’t mean to take a few days to get back to the trip posts but life doesn’t care about your plans eh? Anyway, onward we go to day five.

Knowing what was going to happen on this day was a big part of all the nerves I was feeling. It was April 2 and I knew I would be going on the field for batting practice. I knew I would be meeting players and I knew I needed to tell Evan Longoria that he saved my life. I had one chance and if I chickened out and didn’t tell him, I might not ever get the chance again. Just think back and pick out a certain athlete or musician or whatever it may be that was a part of your life during a huge turning point. Now imagine you knew there was a really good chance you would meet them. Imagine the fear that you wouldn’t, like when it could have happened the year before but didn’t, that fear mixed with excitement. No wonder I had a hard time eating haha!

Oh yeah, and before all this I was going to Evan Longoria’s restaurant, Ducky’s. Man who gave me baseball and saved my life, dream maybe coming true later, going to his restaurant which was HIS dream come true, where he had his engagement party, going to his space, are you getting a taste of the level of my nerves? Am I doing a good job of describing it? My hands are shaking as I type the memories.

Dave Haller had told me to be at Tropicana Field at 4:30 for batting practice Ducky’s is in Tampa so Davis came to pick me up with Manda And butch at 1:00. How on earth did I kill time? I can’t remember. That whole day is a blur. Luckily the really awesome parts stand out in high definition.

We drove to Tampa and when we arrived at Ducky’s I felt so happy. I checked in on Foursquare. Coolest checkin next to the Trop? Probably haha. Some other friends were meeting us there so we sat at a big round table. The walls were nothing but big TVs. I got a Dr. Pepper and it came in a Rays glass. How cool! Davis said there wasn’t Rays memorabilia everywhere. The glasses were a nice touch. I pictured it very understated. It was quiet but I’m sure when people gather to watch games it’s loud. It was elegant though. Chic. I asked everyone if Longoria mentions a favorite food there. Manda named a few things and the pickled crab cakes stuck out so that’s what I ordered. I wondered if I’d even be able to eat.

while we were waiting for our food we wandered over to the mini bowling. Way back on Twitter when the trip was just a dream, someone (Professor Twain?) said I should try the bowling. There was no way I wouldn’t try it! The balls you roll are like Skeeball balls. Someone put the bumpers up and you can here me whine, “noo!” Hahaha. Hear me? Oh yeah, there’s video. We each had two turns.

My first turn didn’t start out so well.

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My second turn was much better.

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We didn’t finish our whole game since our food came out and friends got there. The pickled wait not pickled. Deviled? I can’t remember, crab. Crab cakes haha. they were so good! Can’t beat crab in a coastal town. I managed to eat them all and try a piece of Manda’s candied bacon. Oh my yum! I had some of Davis’ fries too. They remind me of In and Out fries. I wondered if Evan did that on purpose with the fries since he’s from California. I took a souvenir from Ducky’s – Evan’s sauce.

There was a monkey dish of spicy sauce on my plate and right as we were nearing the end of our visit to Ducky’s I knocked the dish off and spilled it on my pants, purse and #ROTOTROP jersey. Before I could even think, the girls at the table jumped up, stripped the jersey off me and ran away. Davis was at work getting the sauce off my purse and all I could do was laugh. I had Evan’s sauce on me. Too perfect. the girls got the stain off the white jersey like living Tide stain sticks. Yay!

I visited the restroom before we left and was even impressed by that. The stalls are completely enclosed. No gaps in the doors or doors that didn’t lock. They were like little closets with glass doors. Very nice. We took Jayden to pee in the grass and then headed back to St. Pete. Oh my! Would I meet Evan?

Tina was going to meet us at the Trop since she had to work and missed out on Duckeyss. We got to the Trop early and waited around outside the gate. When it was time to go in, there was a surprise. Everyone got to go on the field with me! Originally there were only supposed to be two passes but Davis had asked Dave Haller if everyone could come inside to kill time before gates actually opened. He wasn’t expecting everyone to be allowed on the field but Dave worked his magic again so Davis, Tina and butch came with Manda and me on the field! I was so happy they could all be there!

We walked into the Trop and it was pretty cool to be the only fans inside. It was just us and the team! Oh yeah, and the bluejays haha. We were led down a ramp and passed the Rays clubhouse! We passed Alex Cobb! Alex freaking Cobb! We said hi as we passed and I was told he waved. I love Alex Cobb! Too bad he didn’t stop to chat haha.

And then we were on the field! As soon as I felt the turf under my feet I hit my needs and ran my hands over the fake grass. It felt like real grass! It was short and tight and I could feel the filler they put in. I was touching the Tropicana Field grass! We were in the area behind home plate. We weren’t alowed to go very far. There was a rope set up like they have to form lines at the bank. There was no music on yet.I started a voice note on my phone and kept my phone in my pocket. I hoped to record everything that happened down there for my memories.The place was so quiet! When you stand on the field in a dome like that you can really feel the enormity of the place. I remember noticing that at Chase Field last year.

Eventually the players started coming out for batting practice and I started meeting them! They all asked Jayden’s name and gave him love. Jayden was in puppy heaven! I think Wil Myers wanted to take him home. Manda was telling me who the guys were as they came up. I got hugs from all of them! Wil Myers, Sean Rodriguez, James Loney, Matt Joyce, Yunel Escobar, Ben Zobrist, Desmond Jennings, Jose Molina, and Logan Forsyth. Logan was the last one for me to meet that would round out the starting lineup for that night’s game. I also met reliever Joel Peralta. At one point a ball from batting practice rolled over and I had it in my hands when I met Loney and Forsyth so they both offered to sign it. Steve Carney came over and I asked for a real hug since we had only met briefly in the radio booth the night before.

Who am I forgetting? I’m forgetting someone. Tee heeeee heeeeee YES I MET EVAN LONGORIA! Video or it didn’t happen right?


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What Davis didn’t capture and I’m glad is me hitting my knees as Evan walked away and crying. He said he’d come back! I didn’t want him to walk away. I wanted to talk to him forever, to tell him that baseball saved my life and he started it and I wanted to ask him about Elle and tell him about Jayden and just talk and he walked away but I hugged him I hugged Evan Longoria!

Jayden licked my tears from my face and I stood up, pulled myself together and met more people. Players and coaches and media guys Marc topkin, Joe Smith, Roger Mooney, Todd Kalas, Dave and Andy again and Neil Solondz came over and I finally got to meet him. He also dropped a surprise on me. He wanted to interview me later for that Sunday’s episode of This Week In Rays Baseball!Whaaaaaat? Wow. Oh that wasn’t the only surprise for that day. Dave Haller had emailed me that morning to let me know to be back on the field at 6:30 for a surprise. Hmmm. I was already going to be back on the field at 6:00 because Kelly nash wanted to talk to me for TV. Neil was trying to pin me down for an interview, I had met Evan longoria, wow wow wow! Evan was supposed to come back, would he come back?


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I did get to tell him he saved my life! the picture that was taken of us was for the Times. Evan put his left arm around my shoulders and my right arm went around his waist. Luckiest girl ever! Well except maybe jaime. Jayden was on my left and that picture was in the paper. Davis cropped it for me so I could make it my Twitter profile picture. I’m told we both have big genuine smiles and look very happy. that picture captured my utter happiness. I’ll never change it!

I haven’t yet uploaded all the videos with the players but I uploaded to more two share in this post. First is my meeting with Ben Zobrist.


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He is so tall! I didn’t know that until I hugged him. He was so fun to talk to. My face hurts from grinning as I listened to that just now. What a great guy!

And my face hurts again from grinning as I listened to this next video.

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Longoria, Zobrist and Maddon were all apart of that magical 2008 season that saved my life. I got to tell Joe too! How many people from Tucson can say they stood on a major league field and talked to Joe Maddon about scouting and Mexican food? I must be the only one right? Wow. You can here how happy I was to meet Joe. What a dream! I’m so grateful there’s video or I might not believe this all happened!

Oh yay, time for lunch and a break.

I remembered while I was eating to explain why I wrote a few posts ago that on the jersey the hashtag was in all caps, #ROToTrop. I showed the jersey to Marc topkin on the field and he pronounced the hash tag so it sounded like Robocop. It was funny but maybe you had to be there.

When the Rays were done with batting practice the Jays were coming out on the field. We started discussing whether to stay on the field when someone, I can’t remember who, said we could go check out the new 360 walkway before gates opened. We did talk to one Bluejay though, Jose Bautista. He strolled over to say hi and I asked for a picture since B is a blueJays fan.

We left the field and took a walk around the Trop. They opened up the walkway so you can walk around the whole place now. It was cool to still be the only fans inside. I could hear the Jays taking BP below us. Davis pointed things out like the gong and the TV area and stuff. We ran into Enrique Oliu again. He was talking with Orestes Destrade so I got to meet him too. Sweet!

Davis and I both walk really fast so before I knew it everyone else was left behind. We ran into someone from Twitter who works at the Trop and then Tina was there. We used the ladies and then went over to see the Ray tank. I was getting a little stressed about time since I had to be back on the field to talk to Kelly Nash. The visit to the tank was a quick one. They told me to put my hand in the water straight down and the ray would graze my fingers. When it happened I jumped and squealed since I couldn’t see it swim towards me haha! There was a sink to wash hands and then we were off again, hoffing it back to the field. I had wanted to swing by the suite for some water but there wasn’t time. We were getting in the elevator and Suddenly Manda was there. Butch was off to start letting people in since we had the tickets. We walked to the edge of the barrier again and Kelly Nash came over. it was wonderful to meet her! I exclaimed at how tiny she is. She might be tiny, but she’s a force! She prepped me on the interview we would do. she asked the questions so I could start thinking about them. Then it was time to head over to the dugout. wow! Manda came with us and I was sat in a chair facing the dugout with the field behind me. Kelly sat next to us and Jayden lay down between us. Kelly started prepping me again and then Manda was there with cold water. Oh sweet relief! At one point Kelly said Matt Moore walked behind us. matt Moore! He was starting that night.

We sat for awhile and then it was time for the interview. This was live TV! kelly let me know they were talking to her through her ear piece and then she was talking to me. It was over pretty fast. It’s cool to see how that stuff works behind the scenes! When I stood, Dave Haller was there and told me I’d be throwing out the first pitch! Wow! I had wondered if maybe that was what the surprise was since the timing was right. Beyond the first pitch though, I was to be inducted into the Super Fan Hall of Fame! Dave walked Jayden and me over to two other fans who were also getting inducted and handed me a ball. I remembered my pitching lesson with Adam Pendleton the day before and gripped the ball to throw a four seamer haha! They told me I’d be throwing the ball to Raymond, the Rays mascot. I could hear that the Trop was filling in and then the PA guy, I’m sure it was rusty, introduced each of us and told a little of our stories. There had been no preparation in my head for this haha! Cheers and cowbells rained down on us and we threw our pitches. Raymond missed the ball haha. I can’t remember who was there to tell me. Dave Haller? manda? Raymond came up to me and I think they got a picture of us. Talk about a blur! Jayden was like what is that thing and why is it hugging you? Then we were leaving the field. “Bye Field,” I said wistfully.

I was oh so ready to sit down in the suite and drink some water. It wasn’t over yet though. As we approached the suite, Neil Solondz was there ready to do my interview. We stood in the hall outside the suite as the game was starting. After the interview I mentioned having told Dave and Andy I’d stop by and bring cookies and Neil walked me to the booth. I had the first pitch ball with me and decided I would have everyone sign it. Dave and Andy were happy to see me again and during a break they wanted pictures. I asked them to sign the ball. I think I had Dave Haller sign it there too. It was tough to leave the booth again. the emotions of the day started welling big time and leaving Dave and andy was the cincher. I could feel tears spring to my eyes.

We were walking towards the suite and I was trying not to cry. I had a whole new group of people to meet that night and I was excited. Someone said my name and it was Professor Twain! That was it. I started bawling. Great way to meet someone for the first time eh? I through myself into his arms and my tears soaked his Tampa Smokies Jersey. Mrs. T was there too and we decided to take Jayden out for a potty break. He’d done a lot too! We almost lost Mrs. T coming back inside. Security stopped her. What? We called back to them that she was with us and they let her go. Crazy.

Finally we made it up and into the suite and I got to meet the others. Ed and his wife are from England and they brought me a bunch of British goodies! Not just for me either, goodies for Jayden, too! ed’s wife was telling me what everything was and I got a kick out of her saying “biscuits”. She’s so very British! That was a little later in the evening after I’d rested from the day and chugged water. I also desperately needed coffee which the suite didn’t have, so Ed ran out and got me a cup. Yay, friends!

I didn’t even use my radio during this game. Professor Twain sat next to me doing play-by-play. It was awesome! We thought we were going to be on the jumbotron for the seventh inning stretch but since I wasn’t with the other super fan hall of fame people, we weren’t. that was fine by me! There had been so much excitement that day, I’m not sure I could have handled more.

Mrs. T and I went and checked out the team store on the suite fllor. We had our own freaking team store! Butch came with us to by a hat. Mrs. T bought me a Longo shirt and a baseball bracelet! I swear I hardly spent any of my own money on that trip. While we were in the store I heard Metallica playing and knew that would be Grant Balfour coming into the game. Darnit, I was bummed to miss him. The Rays lost that night but they got him in for some work.

I was sad to leave the suite. It had been home for three games. They even let us keep stuff in there, like Jayden’s mat and stuff. A lot of pictures were taken with me and friends and Jayden and then it was time to go. “Bye suite, “I said wistfully.

What an amazing day! I’d be back the next day as a normal fan, sitting in normal seats. That hadn’t been the original plan, but I couldn’t be in St. Pete while the Rays were playing and not be at the Trop. So it was bye field and bye suite, but not bye Trop yet!

When I got back to my room I called B and got ready to pass out.

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Happy Game 162 Anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of the “wonderfully improbable” game 162. If you’re a Rays fan, that needs no explanation. I don’t think there’s a single one of us who doesn’t smile at the mention of game 162 and today kinda feels like a holiday. I started feeling it last night when the Rays were on the verge of their eighth straight win to put them two games out of the final wild card spot. It’s all so reminiscent of last year and it’s impossible not to have hope that it could happen again. When Dan Johnson, now a White Sox, came to the plate in the ninth inning last night I held my breath out of fear and respect for what that man can do in a clutch situation. Luckily he just made an out, but a scary out at that. If Matt Joyce hadn’t caught it…

This morning I ran across this highlight montage of this date last year. I had forgotten that it wasn’t just the Rays with the magical night. It was magical around the entire league! As I listened to the highlights, I started feeling emotions well up inside me at the memory and when I heard ‘Safety Dance’ begin to play the tears began to fall as I knew what moment that would be. Dan Johnson would hit a home run to tie the game, and last night I had cringed while Dan Jo, the Great Pumpkin, was at the plate against us. The clips continued and when I heard the electric violins a happy sob escaped my throat as I listened. I remembered last year, listening to the game in the bedroom since it had gone to extras, chatting with my fellow Rays fan friend JB in Boston and tweeting with all my friends in Florida. All the memories came rushing back this morning as I listened to that montage, and then I remembered I have a recording of the radio broadcast of “those six minutes”…
In those six minutes, the Red Sox lost to the Orioles, the Trop finds out and goes nuts, the Rays are tied with the Yankees, at worst the Rays would have a play-in game with the Red Sox but if they won…

And then Dave Wills says, “I’m ready to party lets go…”

Here is what Evan Longoria said about the anniversary when asked about it yesterday before the White Sox game. The way he remembers it is the way I remember it, so many feelings, a jumble of memories really. For me the memory is completely untainted. It is pure bliss. It is unlike anything I remember ever feeling and probably like nothing I will ever feel again.

Until they do it again…

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Hanging with Ro Episode Nine

I must figure out another way of recording stuff because my handy little iPod is being stupid lately and deciding when to shut me up. I restored it once and it was fine after that for awhile but again today it cut me off before I had even begun to wrap up. Maybe it’s a good thing, since it was already like sixteen minutes haha.

Topics include:

*Updating the iPhone and using a wireless keyboard with it

*Coffee

*Baseball and Evan Longoria’s injury

*I can’t remember what else

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My Epic #RaysFanFest Recap

Today was such a whirlwind and I didn’t even leave my apartment. It was Tampa Bay Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL, and I was stuck in Arizona. However, as long as you’re armed with a computer and a phone, you don’t have to miss everything in life. If you have fantastic friends on Twitter that is, which I do.

Last year, Matt Joyce called me from Fan Fest. This year, so much more happened. I began taking notes in a text document to try and capture it all, and just a bit ago got rid of the headache that was keeping me from writing. Excitement and nerves can cause some gnarly pain haha!

Two of my friends on Twitter, Amanda )@MandaGator) and Heather (@Rocky20106) had planned weeks ago to try and get me a call from a player at Fan Fest this year. Unlike last year, I’ve had plenty of time to look forward to it. Last year I had no idea anything so amazing could be orchestrated by a stranger until the day before. I still wonder whatever happened to that fan who got me a call from Matt Joyce. Anyway, back to today.

Last year I missed a call from Dave Wills. I had the voicemail he left saved for months before I lost it. This year, I didn’t miss his call. Here is how this morning went. I slept in a bit and had settled down to drink coffee and read Twitter after feeding Jayden. Let’s take this directly from the notes I took after the phone calls, shall we? (I’ve periodically added times and such to the notes but aside from that, they are as I jotted them down as the day went.)

***

9:58am Manda Texted telling me to get by my phone, told her I was and then shortly after another text, first calls coming in in 5 minutes.

***

The texts aren’t word for word, just what I jotted down as the morning progressed. At that point, I knew it was too early for the Phone-A-Fan thing to begin, so I wasn’t sure what she meant by “calls”. We had talked about having her just grab people, but I had no idea what to expect.

***

Dave was excited.

He said to let him know if I get there and I’ll get the royal treatment. Said he was glad not to leave me a voice mail like last year.

***

I knew his voice the moment he spoke and asked him if it was Dave Wills before he could tell me who he was haha! I don’t remember why I wrote, “Dave is excited”. I think he said he was excited to talk to me because he remembered getting my voice mail last year. I was very low on caffeine unfortunately so the memory is foggy. I do remember thinking I should have asked him if the royal treatment meant hanging out in the radio booth during a game. Oh, thinking back, I think he was excited the season was near, because we both mentioned that. He said he and Andy would be on my radio in a couple weeks. Yay!

Not long after that call ended, my phone chirped again. I had given Amanda the crickets ring tone so I’d know it was her and because crickets remind me of her. I answered the phone and it was Steve Carny! (@stevecarney)

***

Steve Carny was fun and scolded me for not being there, the one person he wanted to see was all the way in AZ haha!

***

When he got on the phone and said his name I got excited. He’s a name I hear a lot on Twitter and he had me laughing with his talk of disappointment I wasn’t there. He had me promising to be there next year and I said I’d start saving now.

Shortly after that call ended, more chirping. Neil Solondz!

***

Neil was very gracious, I asked if it was his first fan fest and he said yes, I could hear his wonderment over the phone. He said he’s usually in Durham this time of year, when he said his name I got excited, so I hope that made him feel very welcome, not that he isn’t already feeling welcome, but yeah. Very cool to talk to him.

***

I was very excited to talk to Neil Solondz. I listened to him call a number of triple A games last season and liked his voice and his knowledge of the game. He is the Rays new pre and post game host on the radio, news I was very happy about, so when he said his name into the phone, I gasped. I wasn’t expecting him and it was so cool! After he said this was his first Fan Fest, I said something about him meeting the crazy Rays fans. I think he definitely got to see how cool the Rays family is, as did Steve and Dave.

That was it for phone calls for a bit. Amanda and Heather basically just stuck the phone at people and asked them to talk to me hahaha!!! I love it! Can you sense my excitement? Are the unedited notes and tone of this post conveying to you just how amazing this was?

Oh, I think it was when Neil and I had wrapped up and he tried to get Amanda to talk to me, I could hear her and Heather in the background giggling, saying they weren’t talking to me. I asked about that on Twitter and they said they didn’t want to detract from the experience. Ladies, talking to you would have been a highlight. You can be honest and say you were conserving battery. 😉

I knew it was getting close to Phone-A-Fan time so when I didn’t get anymore calls, I figured the girls were in line. I started reading through Twitter and jotting down notes about the calls. If you tagged your tweets with #RaysFanFest, you could win prizes and/or have your tweet show up on the video board at the Trop.

I got a tweet from the Rays Baseball account addressed to me and a few others that read: “check the video board, your tweet will be up soon, thanks!!! #raysfanfest”

***

Which tweet? Hmmm. Apparently it was this one, and Heather got a picture:

@Raynaadi: The #RaysTwitterFamily is the best!!! They are totally making me feel like I’m at #RaysFanFest. Sooo coool!!!!!

But Claudia said I made it on the board again, so not sure.

***

Claudia (@RaysAndGymChick) said more than one of my tweets made it on the board and one of her tweets said something like, so you are here buddy. I was, wasn’t I? *grin*

***

Aaron let me know Dave Wills was on the radio so I tuned in online. I had just talked to him on the phone and there he was, back on the radio where he first became part of my life.

***

It really was awesome to hear him on the radio not long after talking to him on the phone. I left the radio broadcast streaming for the rest of Fan Fest, having forgotten 620 WDAE would be broadcasting live from the Trop. Steve Carny was on at one point and I got to experience the “whoa, I just talked to him” feeling again. So cool!

***

It’s 11 now, listening to the radio, tweeting with Morgan as we both wait for our call. Who will it be? Was it about 11:20? Manda’s ring tone chirped. It was Marc Topkin!! We actually talked baseball. Like, early talked baseball. He asked what I thought about the season, i told him 97 wins, the ALE was going to be hard, the whole AL was going to be hard, he talked about the west, we talked about Jonah Keri’s book and how Topkin was quoted, he said he was the consolation call and I got to say nooo I love him etc etc. It was awesome!

***

Marc Topkin writes for the Tampa Bay Times and I don’t believe any Rays news until I hear it from his Twitter account. He has been the Rays beat reporter since the beginning of the franchise and he was quoted several times in Jonah Keri’s book, “The Extra Two Percent”. We talked about that and had a good laugh and I got to tell him how much I enjoy his interviews with Dave Wills and Andy Freed before the games on the radio broadcasts. I couldn’t believe how easily we slipped into baseball talk and it was incredible to talk about the sport with someone like him. I think we can say I’m awe struck at the memory. I wonder if his prediction about the AL West will come true. Oh, what prediction you ask? I’m sorry, that’s between Marc Topkin and me.

All of the phone calls were amazing and each one was more unexpected than the previous, at least as far as the calls on Amanda’s phone were concerned. I really felt like I was there! Soon it was time to wonder which Ray I would talk to. Another Twitter friend of mine, Morgan (@morganfox19), who lives in Minnesota, was also waiting for a call from the Phone-A-Fan booth. Amanda was in line for me, Heather for Morgan. She’s a huge David Price fan and he was one making calls along with Sam Fuld between 11am and noon my time. Morgan and I were both on clock watch, wondering who we would talk to. I at least had the call from Marc Topkin to break up the wait haha!

***

Is Manda still in line? I don’t know what’s up.

Almost noon. Manda just texted and said a few minutes. Morgan is waiting still. Nervous making!

***

Morgan and I were chatting in direct messages, waiting. Heather was sending Morgan updates and she was getting closer and closer to David Price as the clock ticked closer to the end of his shift. I just wanted Morgan to be able to talk to him.

Just after noon my time, Morgan tweeted that she had just talked to Sean Rodriguez. I was about to reply to her that that was fast when my phone rang.

***

Ok, I think Morgan got the first call from Sean Rodriguez, I was right after her I think.

The call probably came in about 12:05 or so. I was jumping up and down, I couldn’t help it. I told him so. He laughed. We talked about AZ, he told me where he used to live, I told him I’m in {city}, he said he’s been here. I asked if he was excited for the season and then said that was a silly question, he laughed and said there’s no silly questions.

I paced all over the house while I talked, he said Manda was videoing, he was looking right at the camera. I don’t remember what else we said. Lots of laughing like there was with Matt Joyce. Oh, I said he’s doing great on Twitter, he said he had slowed down because they had just bought a house, like we were buddies talking about our daily lives. we talked about tweeting during the season, tweeting not eh planes and such.

***

It was incredible! We really did talk like we had been friends who had lost touch. When he explained he had slowed down on Twitter due to his new house, it really did feel like he was just filling in a friend. When he found out I live in Arizona, he fondly recalled where his home had been and how he had done spring training here when he played with the Angels.

I’m not sure what the last sentence in the notes meant haha! I know we talked about how the guys tweet when they travel and how he could do that now. Come to think of it, we talked quite a bit about tweeting during the season haha!

I’m pretty sure the call was longer than last year. In fact I remember thinking that while we were on the phone. I could have talked to him for hours. He was just so easy going and laughed a lot! I’m soooo glad it was him I got to talk to. David Price or Sam Fuld would have been awesome too, but I feel like I’ve just “gotten to know” Sean since he joined Twitter. I hope he wins the short stop job! He can really play just about anywhere in the infield though.

I’m pretty sure he said to make sure Manda and I keep in touch with him on Twitter as we wrapped up the call. Hopefully his end of the conversation will be audible in the video. I can’t wait for that!

After the call with Sean I just tried to get rid of my excitement induced headache. I started catching up on Twitter and took some more notes. I wonder when I finally started writing this. I know it’s a long post, but I had to capture as much of the memory as possible. Heather got video but I’m not sure I’ll have it before I post this.

Morgan already wrote her blog post about her phone call from Sean. I look forward to her Q & A with him when she posts it! It was so fun to wait with her for our phone calls, both of us being long distance Rays fans.

I’m going to close out this post with the remainder of the notes I took, after other friends began posting about their day at Fan Fest. Another huge highlight for me was when Kaitlyn posted a pic with the caption, “Me and Jeremy Hellickson!!! OMFG I CRIED MY EYES OUT!!! “. When I heard that, I knew she had met him, and she’s his biggest fan. Very, very happy making!

Today was amazing!!! So, so amazing!!! Thank you, Manda and Heather, for making this happen. I will never forget this! (How could I, with this epic post written?)

Here’s the remainder of the notes. I suppose this is where movie credits would roll haha!

***

Now I’m just tweeting, naturally had to tell everyone I talked to him. My head hurts so bad haha! nerves and excitement.

Nearly two hours later, Morgan and I are talking in direct messages about our experience talking to Sean. It’s great to be able to share this with another! Both of us are just so happy to have been able to talk within and since our friends stuck together, we talked to him back to back. Yep, she just said the call came in at 1:00 her time. I checked my recent calls and heard: Incoming, 727-873-**** FL, USA Last call: 12:03 pm.

It’s 2:56 pm now. I think FanFest will be wrapping up there at the Trop. The last couple hours are a blur. I’m completely exhausted and all I did was stay at home glued to my phone and Twitter haha! I’ve been nursing a pretty awful headache I think I gave myself. I haven’t yet begun to write the blog post. My brain feels too foggy. I definitely want to get the frost up today, though.

I just checked Twitter and Kaitlyn got to meet Jeremy! I was so excited I covered my face with my hands and started squealing.

Everyone is starting to tweet about their day at FanFest. I’m so glad Claudia had a great time.

Kaitlyn is telling me about Reid Brignac recognizing her from Twitter.

Another fan tweeted that Sean Rodriguez stayed an extra hour to make sure every kid got a call. Wow.

Oh, Sean signed Heahter’s jersey.

***

I just checked Twitter and I had a tweet from Dave Wills @davewills34, saying he was glad we were able to chat today and he looks forward to seeing me at a game at the Trop soon. How cool is that? I wonder how many long distance fans of other teams have this much fun? Thank you, entire Tampa Bay Rays staff!

I’m still here. Steve Carny tweeted about talking to me and hoping I’d make it there and then I got a tweet from a fan asking if I had been there. I feel a bit like a tiny Twitter celeb haha! Maybe that’s just hunger and exhaustion talking. I think I’m really going to go post this now.

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Filed under baseball, fellowship, gratitude, Jayden, matt joyce, plugs, Sam Fuld, sean rodriguez, twitter me this, wow

Audio: Hanging with Ro – Episode Six – Rant sing baseball and stuff

This monster is forty-two minutes. Actually I’m writing this as I upload so that number might be wrong. The forty-two might have just been how long it’s gonna take to upload. Holy crap. I have no idea how long it is. There was something I was going to warn you about, towards the end of the recording I freak out over a song but I can’t remember what I was talking about to warn you.

Topics include:

*Rant about the show Stolen Voices Buried Secrets, the main reason for recording audio.

*Baseball, a spur of the moment season preview. There’s a plug to BRaysBallTalk.com so I thought I’d link it. Do I have that on my blog roll yet? I don’t think so. What the Fuld?

*Evan Longoria, naturally.

*Singing. Oh yes, there’s singing. Sorry.

*Brief mention of politics, but who wants to hear about that.

Twitter suggestions and things that made me laugh.

*Weird dream about a C-130

There’s probably more I’m forgetting. Grab a beverage and sit back, this is silly, as per usual.

Direct youtube link

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Filed under apple Inc, baseball, coffeeholic, dream, evan longoria, hanging with ro, Jayden, matt joyce, music, plugs, random stuff, rant, Sam Fuld, silly girl, spoons, twitter me this, working dog, youtube

#NaBloPoMo – Experiencing the Game (I miss baseball)

I’ve had this post just sitting in my computer and since I’m really missing baseball, I thought I’d share. I was working on it during the season but it’s just been collecting dust. Here it is, as it was when I left it, I just took my name out. Oh baseball, I miss you…

***

Baseball is an experience. Finding your seats in the park, smelling hotdogs and beer and cracking salty peanuts between your teeth. Listening to vendors shout about their goods as you keep track of balls and strikes on the scoreboard and quickly take in your breath as a ball flies across the field. The baseball game is nine innings, sometimes more, of excitement and sensory overload.

I have never been to Tropicana Field. I have never even been to Florida. Living in arizona and being a rabid Rays fan comes with its own set of challenges as far as showing my support to the team I love so much. The Rays made me a baseball fan in 2008 and before that, the only sporting events I had been to were some college basketball and football games. I’ve only been to one baseball game since becoming a fan. In 2009, B and I drove to Phoenix for a Diamondbacks/Angels game. The most exciting part of it for me was the fact that B.J. Upton’s brother Justin and Willy Aybar’s brother Erick would be in the same building I was. They were brothers of Rays, the closest I ever thought I’d be to my beloved ball players.

I don’t remember much about the game other than the Angels won it 2-1. I remember we had great seats, behind home plate and up a level or two, and we even had a server. We didn’t have vendors in that era and we never had to leave our seats to get food. These seats were in one of two sections at Chase Field for people with disabilities. Since I am blind, we took advantage of such wonderful seats. The customer service desk had given me a radio so I could tune into the broadcast of the game. I remember pressing the radio to my ear, listening to the broadcasters while trying to take in the noise of the crowd and feel the enormity of the place. I remember the thrill and excitement of just being at a major league game more than I remember any spectacular plays. I think there might have been a home run. When I listened to the All-Star festivities this year I thought, I was there. I imagined the place the way I imagined it being there in person, though I could not see it. My guys were there, Matt Joyce and James Shields and David Price, in the building I was in once. It brought me just a little bit closer to the Rays, in a very odd way.

My dream is to have the in person experience at the Trop some day. I’m hoping to go in April, if the cards fall correctly. It’s hard, being a huge fan of a team that plays so far away. Rays Index correspondent, Jordi Scrubbings, wrote an article about the guilt of not going. I feel that guild, even though I quite literally cannot swing physically being present at the Trop. I experience the game in my own way. While season ticket holders might get to know their seat mates, I have gotten to know my Twitter mates. We tweet about great plays or bad calls and groan and curse together. I have gotten to know a few of my Twitter mates on a more personal level and they have niched my life in ways they’ll never know, much like the Rays team has. It’s online that I experience the game, listening to all the radio broadcasts through my subscription to Gameday Audio at mlb.com. Dave Wills and Andy Freed have become part of my life on a daily basis, their voices filling my home, or traveling through my wireless headphones as I move about the house.

I have my own little rituals, personal mantras I say to myself when the guys come to bat. Some of them are quite personal, so I’m grateful for the solitude when uttering them out loud and when not alone, repeating them over and over in my head. When things get tense during a game I tend to pace around the apartment and I’ll never forget one game in particular. It was the Rays first win of the season this year, on April eight. It was against the White Sox. Dan Johnson was at the plate with the ability to get the Rays closer to the win. It was the ninth inning, I had my wireless headphones on and I was wearing the carpet down pacing so fast. I walked into the kitchen when I heard the call. Johnson hit the ball hard with two men on base. I held my breath and clutched the wall as my heart raced and when that ball left the park I sank on to my haunches, the air released from my lungs in a tight squeal. The Rays had taken the lead. They might finally win a game!

During the game on Sunday August seventh, Dave Wills tweeted a question, “if there was a movie about the Rays…who would play Andy Freed?” I thought about this for a second. Not knowing what Andy Freed looks like, I thought about his voice and the first actor to pop into my mind was George Clooney. I tweeted Dave, explaining that based on voice, I would pick Clooney.

About ten minutes later, Wills told Freed during the broadcast that he had a new best friend, I can’t remember word for word. I had called the post game show a few nights earlier, when Dave and Andy were filling in for Rich Herrera. I knew I had to call and talk to the men I invite into my home every day. Dave Wills somehow knew I was the same woman who had called and had now tweeted him because he said to Andy, “remember {Ro} the girl from Tucson who called a few nights ago?” Andy remembered. Dave went on to explain what I had said in my tweet about George Clooney. Andy said something about telling his wife that, who loves Clooney. They went on to talk about the game and I was left feeling ecstatic!

In that moment, I almost felt a part of. I almost felt like I was there, showing my support for my team and all because my name had been mentioned on air, a discussion taking place between the two broadcasters who for me, are just as important as the athletes themselves. The broadcasters help me “see” the game. Since I hadn’t been a baseball fan in my sighted days, I can’t picture the parks. The only players I can envision are Randy Johnson and Derek Jeter. Why I have images of them in my head, I’ll never know. Through descriptions during the game I have my own images of what the Trop looks like, the catwalks and the Rays tank. Discussions with women on Twitter have given me ideas of what the guys look like. Those are fun discussions, thanks ladies!

Because of the hundreds of games I’ve listened to, I quickly call to mind what a double play would look like, the way the dirt appears after a hard slide, the ball rolling just foul along the line. I have an image of the Green Monster at Fendway and the ivy at Wrigley. I’ve come to know certain sounds at certain parks like the annoying whistle that plays at New Yankee Stadium when a guy is out or the soothing sounds of the train in Seattle. All the auditory experiences during a broadcast are what I’ve come to love instead of peanut venders and the beer guy. It wasn’t until this season that I realized a sound I heard at the Trop was the repetitive “beer, beer, beeper” call and not a fan making a strange bird sound.

I even find myself speaking along with the commercials I hear so regularly, or shouting along with the featured calls of Wills and Freed during station representation announcements at the top of the hour. Game time is quite sacred for me. I hate when I have to miss a game which luckily is a rare occurrence. When I do, the best way to catch up seems to be by reading all the tweets and getting minute-by-minute updates with feelings attached.

During the bottom of the ninth on August 31, 2011 Kyle Farnsworth was on to save the game against the Rangers. Dave Wills helped me experience what a pitcher feels when he uses a split finger grip. Farnsworth was struggling and had thrown over twenty pitches. Wills talked about Farnsworth’s recent elbow tenderness and said they had been concerned about that particular grip. Wills explained the grip, spread your index and middle finger as far as they will go. Try it and you will feel it in your elbow. I did this with my right hand and instantly felt a pulling in my elbow as well as an ache in my forearm. I did it three or four times and five minutes later, my hand was still stiff from it. It was incredible to experience that since I find it difficult to imagine the pitchers’ grips.
For me the words “baseball” and “Rays” mean more than a game or a team. They are emotions I find very difficult to express. Jordi Scrubbings recently wrote Fields of Solace, a piece I deeply related to. While I don’t get the escape at Tropicana Field, I experience the escape of the game at home and for those three hours, all is good and right in the world.

***

Just a few more months to go before the world is right again.

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Filed under baseball, matt joyce, NaBloPoMo 2011, plugs, twitter me this

So much more than a baseball team

I made it through the Rays’ loss to the Brewers last night by hanging out with friends on Twitter and discussing the looks of Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and Sam Fuld. Pleasant images swam in my head as I imagined what some of my favorite players look like. The conversation eased the pain of the bullpen’s continuing slump and the team’s eventual loss and I was still in a good mood, looking forward to today’s game.

Not long after the game ended, as I was wrapping things up to go to bed, Evan Longoria retweeted something a “fan” tweeted to him. I won’t repeat the tweet as it was vulgar and disgusting. I could feel Longoria’s disgust as he asked for someone to tell this jerk he was out of line.

I took it personally. The wave of disgust that rose in my stomach mixed with the sadness of the loss for the team I love and to add insult to injury, this guy lashed out at the player who brought this game to me when I needed something to cling to.

Several of us sent endearing tweets to Evan, attempting to soften the blow. I can only imagine how it must have felt for Longoria, who is harder on himself then anyone else could possibly be and my heart ached for him.

Was it silly of me to want to reach through the computer and hug him? If so, I don’t care. The Tampa Bay Rays are so much more than a baseball team for me.

A couple months back, I got into an argument on Twitter with someone who was basically saying baseball is a waste of money and we spend too much on games and such, when the country is in such financial trouble. I lashed out a bit, telling him what I spend on baseball, which is nothing compared to those who get to go to games. For me, every penny spent is completely worth it, for the enjoyment it brings. Maybe it is an escape for three hours, maybe when I’m listening to the Rays I get to forget my problems. Is that so bad? At least I’m not doing it with beer.

As the radio broadcast starts with the pre-game, the excitement begins. I love hearing Joe Maddon’s comments before the game but I also wish time would fly to first pitch. When Andy and Dave come on and give the starting lineups I begin to feel an anticipation only baseball brings me. If it’s a road game, my guys are batting first. Will they get a hit? Will they score in the first inning? When it’s time for my pitcher I pray he’ll throw that first pitch for a strike. If he doesn’t, my heart sinks a little. When he retires the first batter, I relax a little and when he retires the side, I anxiously wait through the commercial break and cheer my guys as they step up to the plate.

I can’t think of anything that gives me such joy on a daily basis. When I listen to the games, I feel a little transported, imagining the park, the stands, my guys in their road grays or alternate blues and maybe even the old stirrup socks. I imagine Jeremy Hellickson calmly chewing his gum as the bases are loaded with two out. I imagine Evan Longoria at third base, eyes locked on the batter, ready to pounce the moment a ball is hit toward him. I imagine Sam Fuld in the outfield, wondering if he’ll go crashing into a wall or dive into the warning track.

As I listen to Dave and Andy I find myself nodding along to their conversation, laughing at their banter, answering their questions as one of them looks up a stat I might know. I feel like they keep me company every day. I learn about the game from them, imagine plays as they describe them, widen my eyes and hold my breath as the cadence of their voice changes while they call something exciting.

I didn’t have baseball growing up. However I’ve had baseball as I grow in my new blind life. While I’m adjusted and positive, I still have moments of despair, times when I feel alone, moments spent pitying the fact that I can’t gaze longingly at Evan or Matt as they step to the plate. There are times when I am so sad I can’t see this team that has done so much for me without even knowing it. I have days when I’m terrified of what the MS might choose to do next, if I feel a tingle in my leg, or my ear has a ringing. I have days where I feel useless. The summer months are the hardest, since heat makes the MS wake a little. Coincidence that during the hardest months of my year, I have baseball to help me through?

I suppose this is why I took that tweet from that jerk so personally. For me, it was almost like someone saying that thing to my best friend. The Rays, in a way, are my friends even though I don’t know them. I can’t think of anyone else I spend more time with, not even my boyfriend.

Without the Rays I wouldn’t know all the amazing people I know on Twitter. I wouldn’t have conversations with the girls about Sam Fuld’s curls. I probably wouldn’t even be on Twitter, since the only reason I joined last year was when Jason Bartlett got injured and I wasn’t getting news fast enough.

I knew I had to write today as I lay in bed last night, still reeling from the loss, the jerk’s tweet, the images of the men dancing in my head. I love this team, win or lose, I love the guys, hitting or not, I love the radio broadcasts whether I enjoy the outcome or not, I love the people on Twitter I’ve met. I need this team in ways I never thought I’d need a sports team, because they’re more than a team, they bring light into my darkness. Thank you, Tampa Bay Rays. In a lot of ways, all of you have saved my life.

*Update: The Rays beat the Brewers today, 6-3, taking the series 2-1. I’m so happy I made my head hurt…

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, baseball, evan longoria, matt joyce, misty eyes, Sam Fuld, spoons, twitter me this

Keyword Gems (aka They Landed Here)

They searched, and landed here.

9 Apr www.google.com +”i had to pee” +”there was not enough time to find a bathroom”

* +”what were you hoping to find with this search?” +”I wish you’d finish the story cuz I really want to know what happened next”

12 Apr www.google.com everyone loves sam fuld

*That sounds like a new TV show

12 Apr www.google.co.uk screen reader nonsense

*Makes sense to me.

23 Apr search.yahoo.com evsn longoria

*Evan. E-V-A-N. Evan.

22 Apr www.google.com sam video catch fuld love life

*Ro blanket tangles crochet yarn

9 May www.google.com “human vet”

*I should hope so. Wouldn’t want to take my dog to a chimp vet.

9 May www.google.com. waffles tick

*Case of the syrup bomber

6 May www.google.com who on the commercial with the little boy walking thur the

*Movie with man run with dog in

5 May www.google.com hi i’m matt joyce

*Matt? Are you ok? I’m Ro by the way. You called me from FanFest…

5 May www.google.com duck graceful but paddling like hell

15 May www.google.com Wow me cat xxx pic

*Looking for kitty porn?

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It’s fun to be a dork on youtube

I got a little hooked on recording stuff for youtube after I did that screen reader demo and you mix a silly addiction with some boredom and you end up with a really dorky recording of pretending to call a baseball game. I had read an article about a blind kid calling games and wondered how on earth that would go. He didn’t have commentators in his head, but I did…

I had the game feed with Dave and Andy piping through my headphones and decided to add my own commentary to what they were saying. I wasn’t sure I would upload it, but being a dork is who I am, so why not? It worked out that our Jeremy ended up going all nine innings in a shutout victory against the Orioles and Matt Joyce did something cool during the second inning, which I had luckily decided to “call” after a very quick first inning.

Here is me being a dork during the first inning. Here is the bottom of the second where coolness happens.

I have to tell you what started all this youtube stuff. During spring training, the Rays had a talent show and one of the players in the organization did this fabulous performance. Since I’m a singer, a retired singer but still a singer, and since this man also plays baseball, I was instantly hooked. He happens to be on Twitter and he started linking to his covers of songs, which are all great. His name is Emeel Salem and here is his youtube channel. Go check it out. Seriously. Shiny.

How did he kick start my youtube addiction? Well I like his voice and found myself singing along to his videos. I didn’t know most of the songs and thought if he ever did a song I knew, I might try recording a virtual duet. The craziest thing happened and a song I didn’t know kept being stuck in my head, so I decided to learn it the way he did it. I refuse to listen to the original. After learning it and adding my own little twists and harmony, I recorded this. Here is Emeel’s original video. I played it and recorded myself singing with him using my iPod. It was fun. He liked it. 🙂

So that’s what started it and it led to me being a total dork yesterday during the start of the Rays game. The Rays are doing incredible right now; it’s so fun!!! After starting the season 0-6 they are now in first place in the American League East, two games above the second place Yankees. It’s all a rabid baseball fan’s dream!!

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Filed under baseball, emeel salem, matt joyce, proud geek, silly girl, youtube

A fairweather Rays fan I am not

Some fans of the Tampa Bay Rays might be asking, what have you done for me lately? The Rays have started the season 0-6 after today’s loss to the Chicago White Sox. There is another team in major league baseball who have started the same way and they are in the same division as the Rays. That team just happens to be the Boston Red Sox. It’s a silver lining, you have to admit.

Unfortunately, a team in the National League was also oh for the season, the Houston Astros, who are dreadful. They won today. Sad.

Now that that ugliness is out in the open and those of you who know me probably feel my pain, I will go on to explain why I’m with this team for better or for worse. A lot of you know the story, but I can’t tell it enough.

I don’t have to ask the question of the what have you done for me lately variety of the Rays because just their existence influenced my life in ways I’ll never communicate in a blog post. I only wish I could tell them.

After losing my vision in April of 2008, my life was shattered. One of the hardest adjustments to make, and one I’ll never fully be able to make, is no longer having the ability to play pool. I was an amateur pool player, but a competitive one, playing on two teams at the time I went blind. After first losing the vision in my right eye in 2006, I thought I’d never play again, but found I actually shot better with only one eye, and luckily enough, I lined my pool cute below my left eye. My skills just got better after losing the right eye. Unfortunately, there’s no way to do it with no eyes, at least not one I’ve experimented with. I have some ideas, but who knows if I’ll ever get the chance to try.

What does playing pool have to do with baseball? Finding baseball has helped to bring me back into some kind of competition, even though it’s not me who’s participating. I’ve since tried playing Goalball which was awesome, but too much on me physically. We’ve got a beep baseball team here, but it’s too hot for the MS. So by listening to baseball, I get to participate in competition as a third party, so to speak.

I wasn’t a baseball fan until towards the end of the 2008 season when I was a few months blind. B always had it on and one day I heard ‘Down and Out’ by Tantric. “Hey, it’s that song, why’s it playing?” I asked B, being fond of the song.

B went on to explain that it was Evan Longoria’s walk up music. He told me all about the Rays and how terrible they had been until Joe Maddon took over the team and dropped the Devil from the Devil Rays. Suddenly the team was winning with a shot at the post season. Cool story, I thought, as I went back to whatever it was I had been doing, most likely laying in bed listening to stupid stuff on TV.

I remember when B told me he ordered MLB Extra Innings on our cable package and when I expressed consternation at the price, he said not to worry, he’d pay for it. “Unless I find you watching baseball in the bedroom,” he had said, to which I rolled my eyes.

Ahem, well yeah, I ended up with baseball on in the bedroom during the first round of playoffs. Ever since that day I heard Tantric, I had followed the Rays’ journey through B.

Eventually B told me the games would be on the local sports radio station and might be easier for me to follow. Were they ever! I caught every game of the post season in 2008 and cried when the Rays lost to the Phillies in the World Series. The Rays made me a baseball fan in the space of a couple months.

B figured it was a fluke and that I’d never stay a baseball fan. In the off season however, I caught wind of a support desk for blind computer users. On an email list I’m on, there was a forward about the help desk and what they do and it mentioned helping blind people tune into radio broadcasts of baseball teams from all over the league. Really? I instantly emailed the help desk and found out about what was then called Gameday Audio at mlb.com. The help desk is through Lighthouse, I believe, though I’ve since lost their contact info.

There I was, a new Mac user, learning how to navigate the web using a screen reader, which was very slow going. As the 2009 season approached, I waited anxiously to try Gameday audio and start following the Rays from the start of a season. How awesome it was when it was finally time! Dave and Andy, the Rays radio announcers, quickly took up residence in my apartment daily, calling the games and and giving me daily lessons in baseball. Before I knew it I was reading Rays blogs and posting on the forum at mlb.com. The Rays didn’t make the post season that year, but I listened to every game.

Nothing changed last season except that I was an even bigger fan, more experienced in the game, more knowledgeable about the rules and intricacies and more informed about other teams. B laughed one day when I said I was listening to the Rangers since the Rays were playing them next and I wanted to scout out the players.

It’s only gotten more fanatic. I don’t know how much Rays apparel I have now. I made my first ever online purchase using a screen reader at mlb.com to get my first Rays shirt. I’ve called the post game show and Talked with Rich Herrera and he sent me a gift box laden with giveaways they give fans at the park. Just last month I talked to Matt Joyce on the phone after a Rays fan on Twitter arranged it at Rays FanFest.

Every day since opening day I’ve listened to games, not just the Rays, but the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Rockies, Cubs, whatever game is on. I listened to the spring training games to get a feel for the prospects. I’ve read baseball books available in audio format like ‘Moneyball’ and ‘The Yankee Years’, which gave me even more insight to the sport and how it works behind the scenes, how trades work, what free agency means, etc.

Regular readers will know how much I love ‘The bullpen Gospels’ and the writer, Dirk Hayhurst, and how excited I was when he signed with the Rays. I learned about the minor leagues from him and even emailed him and had a few Twitter exchanges. He has inspired me as a writer. I’ll follow him closely as he pitches in AAA this season and when I listened to his pitching appearance in spring training, I got tears in my eyes.

This team is personal for me. This team is so much more than a collection of guys who throw balls around and swing the bats. This team is something I can put my energy into, a way for me to participate in competition again, something for me to learn about, something for me to cheer. Hearing the crack of the bat and Andy and Dave call the games brings me joy I will never express with words. I cried when men celebrated like boys last year when they won the AL East. I love this team.

This year is just sad and heart breaking. Evan Longoria had to come out of the second game with a strained oblique and has gone on the DL. The rest of the team just seems to be trying too hard in his absence, scoring just one run in every game save for one in which they scored three but lost. The starting pitching has been good and the pitchers don’t deserve the losses on their records. It’s heartbreaking. I’m with them though even though each of these last six games have made me want to vomit. I have been so tempted to turn the game off just about every day but I just can’t do it. I can’t desert them, not after everything they’ve done for me.

I wish I could show my support by going to games at the Trop but that’s rather impossible living here in Arizona. B and I are talking about going to see them in Anaheim though, so I might just get to cheer for my guys in person.

It’s great when your team is winning. It’s heartbreaking when they lose. Sticking by them no matter what makes a true fan though, and a true Rays fan I am and will always be. They’ve given me a gift they’ll never know they gave, the gift of baseball in my time of darkness.

This post isn’t going to be polished and perfect, because when I’m writing about things that mean a lot to me, I like to truly capture how I felt at the time of writing it. Maybe that’s what has been so hard about writing my story, as Dirk Hayhurst inspired me to do. Not only do I know how every chapter ends, I have a hard time editing it down haha! Maybe that’s what is so great about baseball. The game tends to mimic life. Just when you think you’ve lost the game, a tremendous play happens behind you and you’ve won.

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Filed under Adjustment to blindness, Audio books, baseball, evan longoria, gratitude, matt joyce, misty eyes, pool, screen reader, twitter me this