Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, or, Drumming My Fingers on the Keyboard, Waiting for the Season to Begin

When Eric Byrnes was on KNBR yesterday, he said he had packed four days ago. He’s champing at the bit for the regular season to start. So am I. So is Red Sox Chick, so is just about anyone who plays or watches baseball. Let’s GO already!

Byrnesie was 1-4 in today’s 7-4 loss to the Cubs. His 6th inning line drive single off the pitcher’s leg was good for 2 runs. The pitcher is OK, which is better luck than the Snakes’ third base coach had a while back. He caught an Eric Byrnes line drive foul with his shod but ungloved foot and ended up on crutches.

So the good news was the RBI hit; Byrnesie’s got a five-game hitting streak going. The bad news: Byrnesie himself didn’t get driven in that time. And The Snakes had the bases loaded twice, in the 2nd and 9th innings, but got no runs in the 2nd inning and only 1 in the ninth. Since there was no radio or TV coverage (GRRR!), With the box score listing Byrnesie with one strike out and 3 runners left on base, and him batting 7th, I’m figuring that the strike out came with the bases loaded in the 2nd. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the likely scenario. (And if I am wrong, it’s due to the lack of info that occurs in spring training. Another reason to be anxious for the regular season to begin!)

I’ve seen Byrnesie have some rather ugly at-bats with the bags full. He has yet to hit a grand slam in the major leagues. I think it’s a mental thing. Sometimes he tries too hard. I’m hoping this year he relaxes at the plate a bit. (This seems to be the case with what little I have seen so far, but bases loaded is always a stressful situation for all concerned). I’m looking forward to him driving in more runs with the bases loaded this year. I hope that in 2006 he does hit a grand slam, and that I get to see it as it happens. But, in general, a single or a double in those situations would be just fine!

The end of the rain in the Bay Area would also be just fine! Yup, the precip came down again today. It’s March 30th. We have had rain the Bay Area for 24 days this month. That’s a new record, as is the amount we’ve gotten. And this is going to go on into April. Don’t be surprised if the A’s-Yanks Opening Night gets rained out. Not that I would have gone anyway. I went to Opening Night in 2004, and froze my you-know-what off. During the 7th inning stretch, I went to the concession stand; I was still some 20-30 feet away when the vendor said to me, "We’re out of hot chocolate and coffee." Was I that blue from the cold that he knew I wanted to order one of those? (Hot Chocolate. I gave up coffee in college after OD’ing on coffee and Vivarin during a final exam period). After that, I swore off "Opening Night." The only way I would have gone this year is if "My Friend, the Yankees Fan" had made it out here. But she didn’t.

I had an attack of hives today. Maybe I’ve grown allergic to the rain.

The Opening Night game is a sellout, but the reason this is the case is that the A’s have decided to reduce the seating capacity of the stadium in 2006 by not selling third deck seats. I’ll gripe about that more fully in another post. The various social/political implications of such a move deserve the kind of thought I can’t give the subject this late at night.

Apparently a lot of the West Coast is getting the wet weather. I was listening to the Dodgers-Mariners game tonight and heard that the Mariners are going to play their Tacoma farm team this Saturday; if it rains in Tacoma, the game will be moved to the dome at Safeco. Tickets purchased for the Tacoma game will be honored at Safeco, AND anyone else who wants to attend the game at Safeco can get in free. (Just what the people who bought tickets in Tacoma want to hear, I’ll bet).

Of course, a lot of rain in the Seattle area, or in Portland, Oregon, is no surprise, but this is more rain than we’ve had in a relatively short stretch in the Bay Area since 1983. Climate change, anyone?

There are big puddles in the ground in the park across the street from me. The ground is so saturated in the bay Area that shallow-rooted trees are falling into power lines, causing blackouts. Certain neighborhoods are starting to get mudslides, too. The drainage at the Oakland Coliseum and Whatever-They’re-Calling-It-This-Year Park in San Francisco is no doubt better than what’s across the street from me, but still, this is not a good time to be an outfielder in the Bay Area.

To make the matter more depressing, the D’Backs are opening in Denver and Mother Nature is calling for snowshowers there on April 3rd. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen until AFTER the game. It’s already been too long (and too wet) a spring.

Go Byrnesie! Go Snakes! Go AWAY, Rain!

Kellia "Soggy" Ramares
Oakland, CA

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