March 3, 2003
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad...
My apologies to Meatloaf, but I don't feel that way about our series this weekend. We started great on Friday night as Danny Core threw a complete game shutout to set a new school record for career wins. Danny was in control the entire way as he surrendered only two hits, struck out eleven and walked none. He did manage to hit one batter and continue his progress toward that record. His career has been an admirable one. Danny's a credit to his Mom and to Erin, the two women that have kept him on the straight and narrow.
Saturday's doubleheader saw us continue our hitting woes, while we threw in some bad defense and mental mistakes for good measure.
Randy Beam pitched real well in the opener, leaving after six with only one run and four strikeouts. The one run was tainted as the base umpire admittedly made the wrong call as the runner was trapped off base on a comebacker. A base hit followed and we trailed until the fifth.
Orton reached in the fifth and Yeager ran for him. After two outs and a passed ball, Mike Murray pinch hit a single to score Yeager and we were tied. Matt Ryan strolled to the plate. After another miscue moved Murray to second, Ryan laced a single to score Murray and we had the lead for good.
That left Chris Saxton to stay perfect out of the pen and notch his fourth save, and perfect he was. Chris has been a rock out there. He is so composed, some of us wonder if his heart is actually beating. I think he's just a laid back Lake Worth guy. Chris knows his music though. One night he was the only player to recognize Inagaddadavida when Kevin played it. Saxie says his Dad was a hippie.
The last game was a disaster that I would rather not rehash. We didn't perform well mentally or physically. Those types of games need to be minimized, and should never occur in conference play.
Now we are on the road Wednesday for the final game of the FIU series. We need a win to get a split. Then we get on the bus Thursday and head for Atlanta and Georgia State. Yes the same Georgia State that took the conference title from us that dark weekend at the end of last season.
I went to pay my respects to the family of Big Jim Blair. This was the third wake of a father that I have attended in the last three years. Each time, one of my own sons has been with me. It makes me stop and think.
Fathers are supposed to be allowed to grow old and see the children of their sons. Baseball is so closely linked to fathers and sons, that the tragedy somehow seems to get compounded when it's one of our players. Each of us has spent time playing catch or teaching a child to throw a ball, as we try to be the best parent we can. We do all that we can to give our children a good life, with the expectation that we will be around to see how the little rascals turn out.
Driving across Alligator Alley, I noticed every guy that passed me on a Harley. One side of me felt good for Big Jim because he died while was doing something he loved, but another part of me wished he had been driving a car.
I was listening to a bootleg cd of an old Springsteen concert. Bruce was singing Glory Days and the place was going crazy. There was so much joy evident on the recording, it had to cheer you up. Then as the applause rang out, you could here him yell..."I don't want to ever die! I want to live!"
I feel the same way.
All our prayers are with the Blairs as they say goodbye today. KC