Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Feels Good to be Back

Hello again. Have you missed me? For all of you avid readers out there who sign on every morning hoping and praying that I have updated this blog of mine, today is your lucky day. After a weekend vacation, sleeping 16 hour straight to recover, and a double-header today, I finally have some time to write. Which is good because this is becoming sort of an addiction of mine. No, not the type that is a gateway to worse blogs, but the kind where I can put down into words my experiences and thoughts during these couple of months.
Before I get to the weekend that was, a quick update on the Express. We have been struggling mightily as of late. We are 0-3-1 in our last four and have been regressing in every defensive category that I can think of. In addition to that, three of our eight pitchers are hurt right now. And I have no doubt that there is a direct correlation between our 50 (+/-15 not ruled as such) errors and the injuries to our pitchers. The reason is because for each error committed, there is on average an extra 10 pitches thrown per inning. The workload incurred by our staff has to be more than any other staff in the league. That combination, and the fact that the treatment facilities here are much worse than par has resulted in our pitching staff being more bruised up than offensive lineman after an NFL game.
On top of that, our baserunning is flat out atrocious. We probably have been either picked off, thrown out stealing, or back-picked 70 times in 30 games. And no, you did not misread that. An astounding 70 times. I mean, you really have to try in order to be that bad on the bases.
Personally, I'm finally starting to hit the ball well and have consistently good at bats. Alert the average is above the Mendoza Line. I attribute this change in fortune to picking up the pitcher's release point much sooner than I had been. It seems to be working for now so I'll have to stick with it. It only took 25 games to make the adjusment. I'm sure all my prior coaches would be real proud.

Now, before I tell you about my weekend vacation, allow me to explain Eilat to those of you unfamiliar with the territory. Imagine if you will, a four hour drive originating in a major metropolitan city. About two hours into your journey, you make a quick pit stop along a barren highway to get some gas and food (think:Barstow), and begin to wonder if you car will soon overheat. In addition, the people at the gas station speak some ancient tongue that you don't understand and you pray they accept all major credit cards. You somehow make it the other two hours and out of the darkness of the desert appear lights so bright that they light up the night sky. Remind you of anything? If that description doesn't make you think of the amazing road trips you've had from LA to Vegas, then you either A) need to get your head examined, or B) need to stop reading this immediately and go make that trip. Because that is what Eilat is, the Vegas of Israel.
There are resort style hotels at every corner, a plethora of opportunities awaiting you in the Red Sea including deep sea fishing and jet-skiing, and Egypt and Jordan a mere minutes away. And who wouldn't enjoy their time as a Jew in Sinai, Egypt? We stayed at a place called the Royal Beach. Think five-star hotel, a room overlooking the boardwalk on the ocean, a comfortable mattress (trust me, it matters after sleeping for six weeks on wood boards), fine dining, and great nightlife. See, Vegas right? It was a great place to spend the all-star break. And there is just something about going on vacation during the break that makes you feel like a pro. In the middle of the relaxing weekend, a pitcher on my team named Nate and I went to Petra. Petra is an ancient city originating in 6000 B.C.E. Once we crossed the Jordanian border, it was a two hour drive to the site.
A quick side note: I can't really explain the feeling that overwhelms you immediately after entering an Arab country...but allow me to try. Think of the last time that you entered a room full of people that you weren't supposed to be in. Or overheard a conversation that you weren't supposed to be listening to. Or better yet, when was the last time that you saw your boss firing someone. All very awkward situations, correct? Well multiply that feeling by a thousand.
But I digress...
Petra is basically an ancient city inhabited by cave dwellers. It is a city home to humongous rock structures twenty or more stories high in which the people carved square rooms out of the rocks to live in. If you can imagine families living in doghouses then you are on the right track. Take a look at the link to get a better idea. Oh, and apparently it's one of the new seven wonders of the world. Only six more!
We got back Monday night, watched the Angels vs. Tigers game on the delayed very delayed Sunday Night Baseball telecast, and went to bed. Because after four straight nights of partying, who doesn't need to sleep a full day to get their rest. I felt like I was in college again. But man, what a great feeling.
So there you go. My weekend in a nutshell. Hope you enjoyed the synopsis. There is a lot more to add but I would be here all night. Feel free to ask me all about it when I get home. Talk to you all soon, surely on a more regular basis.


Anonymous said...

Wow.. what a great trip. Can't wait to hear more details when you get home. Continue to have fun and enjoy the rest of the time on your trip... We can't wait to see you. Love and miss you sooooooo much! Mom

Anonymous said...

Our first trip to Eilat only had one small motel to stay at. Now it's a real resort. I think your cousin Allison from England goes to Eilat every year for Passover.
Did they tell you that one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark movies was filmed in Petra? Glad you found your bat.