Adrian Beltre: Part 1/2

Billingsley then retired third baseman Adrian Beltre for the third out of the inning.

via Billingsley looks sharp in first action | dodgers.com: News.

This is by no means going to be THE Adrian Beltre post. THE post will have to detail a fabulous 8-year crush that consumed me and pretty much tortured anyone that had to sit with me at a baseball game during that span. Actually, even prior. The truth is, I had a crush on Adrian Beltre before he ever made it to the Dodgers.

Yup! He had me at Jacksonville. And I was pretty sure for awhile there that I would marry him.

All I’m going to say for this intro post about Adrian Beltre is that it still sends a sharp pain to my heart to read that he is with any team other than the Dodgers.

My Week and My Mood

I have this rule about waking up in a neutral mood, and I’m pretty sure that I managed that every single day this week.

Unfortunately, it was just a crappy week. And I’m sorry to anyone who didn’t contribute to the crappiness and had to deal with my mood. I think part of it had to do with anticipating my trip(!!!!!) and the other part of it had to do with just some not so fun stuff going on.

It was kind of like “when it rains it pours” and from all directions this week.

I don’t really want to make a laundry list of all the stuff that occurred because I’m finally feeling better, less worried, less stressed.

I guess it just happens sometimes and there’s nothing we can do about it.

So, I’m happy that I will be getting on a plane tomorrow morning and my prayers and thoughts can transfer to a different environment.

Okay, here's my issue.

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers today received a letter from Scott Boras, the agent for Manny Ramirez, rejecting the offer that the club made yesterday. This rejection is the fourth by the agent in the club’s attempts to sign Manny.

via Boras rejects Dodgers’ offer to Ramirez | dodgers.com: Official Info.

Everybody’s talking about how much Manny Ramirez is a distraction. How he’s being lazy so he won’t have to play in spring training games. How he’s greedy. Yammer. Yammer. Yammer.

I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again and again until everyone believes me.

SCOTT BORAS HATES THE DODGERS.

He does this on purpose. Notice the title of this article on the Dodger website: “BORAS rejects Dodgers’ offer….”

AAAAAH.

Foiled again. Apparently, Mike Piazza wasn’t enough….

Things

I think I finished enough things on my mental to-do list to make out an actual written to-do list. T-minus 2 days!

I do wonder, though, when I thought I was going to run all these errands that I need to run. I suppose I should prioritize….

It’s weird because I feel like the next week has the potential to be a dividing point of some sorts. I’m hoping that I come out on the other side with a clearer picture of…..well, of everything.

If anything, I should be a little more refreshed and a little less stressed out because this—this—has not been fun at all. Hopefully, help is on the way….

A Virtual Box

I have this box.

I think, besides my family who saw me create it, only 2 people have seen it. It’s basically a collection of all things baseball. Newspaper clippings. Magazines. Scorecards. Box scores. A glove. Baseball cards. A couple of books are in there.

It just dawned on me that this blog is probably going to turn into a “virtual box.” Only, it will be a lot more organized and take up a lot less space in my closet!

That being said: Day one of spring training games. Woohoo!!

dodgersgame1

What I Love About Baseball

I think I wrote this when I was 16. I found it when I was looking for something that would shed light on what happened to Darren Dreifort.

the Dodgers…pitching…suicide squeezes…sac bunting…stole bases….hustle doubles…head-first slides into 3rd…hanging breaking balls…99-mph fastballs…pennant races…hating San Francisco…shutouts…complete games….strikeouts…tunnel baseball caps…Dodger double plays…balls that clear the pavilion…0.61 ERA’s….362 batting averages…mud-caked jerseys…doubleheaders…smeared chalk…double substitutions…broken bat doubles…sun triples…inside the park homeruns…sidearm deliveries…pick-off moves…uppercut swings…1-2-3 double plays…diving stops…third outs recorded 9-2…leaping catches…slamming into the outfield wall…grandslams…dog days of summer…dirt….wild pitches…peanuts…7th inning stretch…shoestring catches…pitchouts…line drives….0-2 pitch counts…bottom of the 9th…the wave…rally caps…bunt singles…the 60 in 2.7…bloop singles…pinch hits…the stretch drives…scorecards…the warning track…knee-high socks…mud-caked cleats…bubble gum…glove-covered conversations…double-steals…evening games in July…sunshine…pitching aces…bullpens…flying down the 3rd base line…superstitions…rain delays….the on-deck circle…lineups….Opening Day….Vero Beach…spring training…the 40-man roster…deuces wild…full counts…extra innings…signs….hit and run….IT IS GONE!!!

That was absolutely awesome to type because it just brought back some amazing memories. Some of these things are very specific to players…

The 0.61 ERA was Pedro Martinez’s in 1999 for the first few months of the season.
The .362 belonged to Mike Piazza.
The sidearm deliver was Darren Dreifort’s.
Slamming into the outfield wall was specific to Roger Cedeno in Wrigley Field.
Third outs recorded 9-2 was Raul Mondesi to Mike Piazza. (Gives me chills remembering!)
The 60 in 2.7 was how quickly Wilton Guerrero ran the 60-yard dash.
Knee-high socks was Raul Mondesi.
Head-first slides was also Mondesi. (I remember the heart attacks.)
Balls that clear the pavilion was Mike Piazza (I remember that game!)
Broken bat doubles was Guerrero again and coincidentally how they found out it was corked.
Uppercut swings was Roger Cedeno.
1-2-3 double plays always ended in Piazza and Eric Karros.

Ok! I’m going to stop, but I’m officially way too excited for baseball.

Darren Dreifort

dreifortcardSomething I read today made reference to a Dodger that I have forgotten about, one that I absolutely loved and lobbied to make the team every year he was in spring training.

I remember the first game I ever saw Dreifort pitch for the Dodgers. It was raining in Houston, and he was brought in late in the game. It was pretty much out of control and the bases are loaded, but his face was steel. It was almost as though he was going to will not only the outs but the exchange of runs from the opponent’s tally to the Dodgers’.

I think he cried. I remember telling my brother that I thought he was crying. He had pulled the bill of his cap down over his eyes and it was raining. So, David thought maybe not. I still think he was crying.

The most important thing was that I really liked him. Coming off of a Tommy John surgery I remembered thinking what guts this kid has. A powerhouse out of Kansas, he threw hard as could be. I loved the power pitching h brought to the team. And for one awesome year (my favorite year in baseball), he was a starter.

Unfortunately, Dreifort had Tommy John a second time. I don’t think he ever recovered from that or the knee (or hip?) problems he developed. I think now it may have been hip because I remember Vin Scully saying that he was overcompensating for the fact that his arm had been operated on for the second time. I think the knee was probably where the cartilage came from.

It was almost painful to watch him play towards the end. At some point the Dodgers put him in long relief and at another at set-up. I supported both. I know people thought he was overpaid, but I think the Dodgers were paying for potential. There was lots of it in Dreifort. From guts to power, he was a phenomenal athlete.

I’m glad for the memory and sorry that Dreifort simply faded from baseball and my memory in that way…

dreifrortDreifort on a Dodger ticket…reminded me of 1. the price (!) and 2. how nice the tickets used to be!