Today was the first Spring Training game for my Rays and while of course I was excited to have my team back on the radio, it was all about Dirk Hayhurst in my book.
I anxiously counted down the hours until game time. Ok, that’s dramatic. After all, it started at 11:05 my time and I didn’t rise until 8:30. I nearly forgot about the time difference, my head telling me it wasn’t starting until 1:05. Thank goodness I remembered in time!
Yesterday I had difficulty loading a game on my media player at mlb.com but luckily did not have to panic since I tested it in plenty of time. I called customer service straight away and they had it fixed within ten minutes of my hanging up. They are by far the best non blind site I know of with regards to accessibility. Thank you, mlb.com!
I promptly opened the feed for WDAE at 10:30 and there was a sports talk show rather than the usual Rich Herrera pre-game. Towards the end of the show, Andy and Dave talked to the host and oh how happy I was to hear their voices!!! It was especially cool to hear Dave Wills since I have a voicemail from him saved on my phone.
Of course it was exciting to hear the beginning of the broadcast and know a game was about to get underway and it was awesome when David Price threw the first pitch but I was anticipating something else. Not Evan Longoria’s first at bat or a spectacular double play, but Dirk Hayhurst’s first appearance on the mount.
This off season, I was introduced to the likes of Dirk Hayhurst, explained in this post about an email from him. I also discuss how he helped me through a really hard time without even knowing it, by tweeting me a trick I could play on friends. That post also has a link to a story that explains what the Garfoose is. Check it out.
Dirk Hayhurst has quickly become a role model for me, not as a baseball player, but as a writer and an all around good person. Sometimes I fear I tweet him too much and I have to think that’s gotta be as annoying as all the fans saying, “can I have a ball? Hey, can I have a ball? Hey you, can I have a ball?”
So I couldn’t wait to catch him pitching today. It was going to be my first time and the pitchers slated for today would be throwing one inning. I had no idea when he’d come in and wile I was enjoying the game tremendously, I had butterflies in my stomach when it was announced he had come into the game.
Excitement and terror for my guy flowed through my muscles and I dropped the granny square I had been crocheting while listening. I suppose I could have been taking notes or tweeting, but it’s hard to focus on the game when my screen reader is rambling in my ear.
I can’t tell you who he faced or how many pitches he threw. I know it was the fourth inning, and we were either down by two or tied at two. I don’t have a head for remembering. With every pitch my heart jumped and he was doing fabulous and before I knew it the inning was over and no one had walked, no one had hit. Flawless! I clapped my hands and squealed, tears in my eyes, so happy for him. I sent him a tweet even though he said yesterday he doesn’t really want to talk about the games. I couldn’t help it.
I can’t tell you when Evan hit a home run, or when Rodriguez hit another to tie it. I don’t remember. I know when it was time for the bottom of the fifth, Dirk Hayhurst was pitching again. Again! I thought I’d only get him for one inning! Flawless again! He pitched two perfect innings and got two strike outs. I was so happy!
Andy and Dave were impressed and I’m sure Joe and the brass were as well, but it’s still early, very early. This is audition time for everyone and we have only three, I think, bullpen spots to fill. The other guys did great as well and the bullpen threw like four or five perfect innings. There is definitely a lot of competition.
Whether he makes the team or has to spend some more time in the minors, Dirk Hayhurst is my ace. It’s simply amazing how you can be so in love with a team, a team in a sport you never even liked, have your favorites, think you know what you love and then one person comes along, one pitcher with a story, a story he has told, and suddenly life takes on a slightly different meaning. It’s not the stars that have affected me like this. It’s a man who was a veteran in the minor leagues, with dreams of the majors who decided to write a book.
I’m just so happy he did well today and I hope he’s happy too. I had B look at the pic of Captain Kirk on today’s Shatnometer reading and Kirk was holding a phaser. I’ll keep my thoughts on the possible meaning of that to myself.
Oh, are you wondering how the game turned out? 9-5 Rays over the Pirates. Everyone looked great and I have high hopes for this team. It’s not even phasing me, all the guys we lost, because it looks like the ones we’ve gained are great. I know I know, it’s early. But you know me, positive till the end.