Some links for late Tuesday night:
This happened with some frequency, and often we could use the bat to poke the ball out through the other side of the bush. This time, though, our efforts just pushed the ball deeper into the weave of thorns until finally it became stuck between branches, firmly entrenched. We stood there staring at it until my mom spotted us from inside the house. She stepped out, walked over, and without hesitation jammed her arm deep into the bush, grabbed the ball, pulled it out, handed it to me and walked back inside. Some badass mom stuff, and pretty indicative of my family’s approach to pain. More on that in a bit.
– Ted Berg, “St. Lucie and the sticker bush”
Lots in there about St. Lucie and pain and Johan Santana and how it all relates together. Also, Johan Santana is exactly as cool as Ted explains in there: Santana is the only person I’ve seen who commands everyone’s attention when he enters a room. Which is a cliche and one that I thought was hyperbole, until I saw it actually happen with Santana in PSL. He walked to his locker one morning, and everyone, every single person in the room, including me, was looking at him, at least out of the corner of their eye. He told some jokes, simulated his pitching motion with a towel as everyone stared, and actually gave a teammate a little speech about confidence that ended with Santana pointing at/poking the teammate in the chest with his (Santana’s) finger. And the little speech wasn’t corny at all. It was well done, not embarrassing for the teammate but definitely gave him something to think about in terms of confidence.
Adam Rubin reports on the Mets’ roster:
Lefty-hitting backup outfielder Mike Baxter, catcher Mike Nickeas and left-hander Daniel Herrera are clear-cut frontrunners for Opening Day roster spots, organization sources told ESPNNewYork.com.
– Adam Rubin, ESPN New York
No real surprises here, right? Nickeas, Baxter, Justin Turner, Scott Hairston and Ronny Cedeno make up the bench. Herrera, Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Acosta, Bobby Parnell, and . . . someone, Miguel Batista maybe, make up the bullpen. Which is what everyone was guessing before Spring Training started, only with Tim Byrdak in place of Danny Ray Herrera (who, contrary to rumor, does not share a name with the protagonist in any Cormac McCarthy novels, but really probably should).
Extending the thought: Herrera is a 5’6″ long-haired kid from Texas. And he throws screwballs, a fact that pretty much writes itself in terms of unsubtle literary devices. There’s some serious Mets fanfiction dying to be written here:
Herrera threw the pitch, the pitch his father taught him so many years ago in the dry Texas summer, throwing the ball against the wall of his grandfather’s barn over and over, the sun rising over the feeding cattle far out on the range, the father giving advice, the boy listening.
Turn your thumb towards the ground more
No. Further. It will seem like your wrist might rip off. It won’t. Your arm will follow your hand.
It’s hard. It feels so different.
Different is hard. But it’s also good. It’s okay to be different.
Herrera remembered all this as he looked to Thole for the sign. It is now dusk. They decide on a screwball.
And so on.