Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

The Winter of Our Discontent

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of…

…Puerto Rico?

Who knoo?

Good grief!

Snow last week, snow predicted this weekend…

Covid, Omicron, Boebert, Greene, Gaetz, Paul, striated stink bugs and a host of other such plagues in the air…

Tornados, floods, robo-calls…

Frettin’ ‘bout my non-existent student loan, the expired warranty on my 13-year-old car, whether I’m getting’ all the benefits I deserve, whether a jerk from half a planet away from our house will be allowed to play tennis and infect another continent another half a planet away…

It’s too much for a geezer to keep track of, especially with it all happening in a season bereft of…

Baseball.

And now it seems there may be a disruption and delay to the beginning of spring training if not the regular season itself.

What’s an old frettin’ fool to do?

Lo!

Behold!

Tonight on channel 261 (who knew there even was a channel 261?), the fifth game of the semi-finals of the Roberto Clemente Puerto Rico Winter Baseball (Beisbol) League is being televised live…on at least three cameras.

Yes!

On a TV station that may only exist in Diagon Alley, baseball is being played on green grass on a warm night in a place Trump can’t get to (it’s an island, you know). The Mayaguez Indios are leading in this best-of-seven series 3-1 over the Carolina Gigantes. Mayaguez is also leading in this game 4-1, and if they hold on, they start playing in the finals this weekend, unthreatened by snow.

Fierce

The game is being played in Mayaguez’ home stadium. I believe it seats about 12,000. Tonight it looks to me like a crowd of about 1,000 devotees (and me) are watching this titanic struggle.

And the announcers.

The announcers are enthusiastic and under the sway of the Puerto Rican Travel Department. There are frequent digressions extolling palm trees and ocean breezes. S’okay by me – I like those things. Besides, their digressions are not as frequent and distracting as the current trend of US baseball announcers trapped in their home studios with no ocean breezes. No, tonight’s patter is mostly about the baseball game they’re watching…I think.

The accents are foreign to my untuned ear (go figger). But I pick up an occasional word or phrase and their enthusiasm for their game and their obvious embarrassment for bad plays resonates with me. I sense my Spanish becoming better with every entrada (see what I did there?).

What else is foreign?

Uh-uh
  • There are no player names on the jerseys.
  • Every fourth or fifth batter gets a caption below his at-bat that shows his name and few hitting stats.
  • The hitters don’t look like transformers. The only hitting equipment I’ve seen is a tattered protector on the pitcher-facing elbows of a few hitters.
  • No pitching speed figures appear on the screen.
  • No moseying. The pitchers stay on the rubber, ready to throw. The batters stay in the box, ready to hit.
  • I just saw a foul ball land in a sparsely populated section of the stands. The nearest attendee let it lie. It was apparently too many rows away from the comfort of his beer.

I’m kinda wishin’ I was there.

Ocean breezes…

Baseball…

It’s an island, you know…

Tough Day

Man!

It’s been a tough day.

  • Hurricane Maria, determined to out-muscle Harvey and Irma, is bearing down on our “51st state”, Puerto Rico with winds that may be an all-time record for a landfall.
  • Mexico is hammered with a second major earthquake in a week.
  • The Rohingyan Muslim refugees are dying in the mud of Bangladesh.
  • My country’s president gave a scary speech to the United Nation General Assembly that only lacked him banging his shoe on the podium to complete his descent to the level of Khrushchev.
  • My beloved Reds just imploded from an incipient no-hitter and a four-run lead to a one-run deficient and a pitching change in about two minutes.
  • My undefeated college football team is playing Florida this weekend. We haven’t defeated Florida since alligators crawled out the primordial swamp.
  • It rained most of today. This affects me more and more…dammit.

And yet I cling to an apparently ludicrous optimism.

‘Splain dat.

It’s the little things.

  • I just got a picture of a 5th grade class in Louisa, Kentucky after an OperaLex-supported performance of “All About Teeth”, a 45-minute opera about dental hygiene. This was part of the SOOP (Schmidt Opera Outreach Program) tour. Everyone in the picture was smiling. You could say they were “all teeth”. The performers were smiling as well. Everyone involved was made bigger and better. Something perhaps, for my state’s governor to ponder.
  • I spent time with a young plumber today (young being anyone who is younger than me – which is just about the whole world). He did excellent work and made excellent suggestions. He has gifts that I do not. He is a veteran – he has physically contributed to make my life and freedom possible. He noticed the odd accumulation of whiskies and brandies in the house (the result of an adulthood well-spent in the alcohol industry). He lit up and we discussed his home winemaking efforts with passion on both sides. I suspect, from other comments, he may have little admiration of our governmental agents (elected or employed) and may be a Trump voter. He’s a good guy with a bright and inquiring mind. My house was made better by his visit, as was I. I can only hope he feels the same.
  • Over the decades, I have developed the resilience of a UK football fan. I believe, against all history, we will beat Florida this weekend.

I wish I could change the path of a hurricane.

I wish I could calm the surface of the planet.

I wish I could dry up mud and prejudice.

I wish I could make every day a sunny one.

And yes, I wish I had a different president.

I can’t.

What I can do is try to do as little harm as possible, try to make things bigger, try to make things better…

Try to be civil.

Little things.