Montag, 12. September 2011

75.) October, 15, 1898, Montego Bay, A letter from Ran (part 2)

His letter continues thusly:

Let me talk to you now about a matter that matters. No beating about the bush: I bought a majority stake in the St Andrew Brothers ballclub! Thats right Im an owner now, so behave, you pall-playing peasant! The academic crowd of St Andrews that had been running the team got tired of it. All those engineers, schoolmasters and dermatologists noticed at last that a team without patrons inhales a lot of money and exhales hot air only. You saw it yourself the weekday crowds were usually weak (my apologies for all stupid puns youre encoutering here!) and downright puny. And thats affordable to a certain point only.

I didnt get the club for a song exactly, but lets say, for a garland of songs. My old man loaned the dough, at market rates, my friend. But thats alright. You know big daddy and his brilliant offspring Ran were sometimes at odds in the past , regarding my aptitude for the business way of life. So I go it on my own now running this little sweat-shop of a ballclub.
Lets hope Im not the one sweating blood or money in the futere, because the first challenge thats to be met is finding a place to play for the 1900 season. The University of St Andrew chose to terminate the lease of the Brothers ballpark!
This cozy little field of play with the Girls Dorms walls as the left field fence will stay in my heart, if not in my wallet. The Regents are convinced they need the space to expand the campus facility, so be it.
Whence now, youll ask. I got at least two options: stay in North Liberty City, ask the city council for a suitable lot and money to build a new ballpark (in the Half Way Tree section possibly) or move the ballclub to another lovely town like Falmouth, the gentry there is said to be keen for a ballclub. That ahs to be decided before the 1899 starts, what would you prefer?
Beside this I wanted to ask you to join in this enterprise as a bench coach (or should I rather say Assistant Manager?) for this club and take over the rein in two yearss time. I need someone that I have complete trust in. I understand that you  were lucky that quite a lot of pitches hit your bat last season, so youre probably not in the mood to retire. If youre after all, let me know at once!
Not to forget the most important news: Rachel and I decided to marry. Each other, in case you wonder! Youll get an invitation for the festivities shortly.

My best kisses to Anne-Mary and little Jacob and regards to you


Freitag, 9. September 2011

74.) 15.Oktober 1898, Montego Bay, A letter from Ran (part 1)

Today I got this letter from my old friend Ran Bramble:

C.D., you little bastard!

How come I havnt heard from you for a long time? I understand youre a family man now, but does that mean you have to kick old friends like me in the ass? Rachel and the guys, even Monty and Margret ask whats the matter with you and if you still exist and I say I only meet him in the papers ballgame boxscores and that means he still plays ball and therefore he seems to exist after all.
I expected you would come down here to LC for the Con Cup watching your in-law Monty play, but who was the no-show?
I know, it sounds like a cliche, but you missed something. You would think the Con Cup cant get any bigger. It can! But describe it, I cant. There have always been wild crowds, but they became even wilder and denser this year. Finally a Reds-Blues Con Cup again, after a three year interlude with teams from the land. That aint no real Con, boys!
 At 9 am the Lib was so full of people that you couldnt see your own feet, and then it became worse by the hour. All the way from the Old Port up to the Stadium, a giant mass of people on the Lib like a huge beehive, no like a thousand beehives. The sound and the sights were tremendous! And people got crazier than ever before.
For instance, there was a band of six old ladies, Blue ladies. I mean real old ladies, their hubbies are certainly six-feet-under for twenty years already. And these gray gals were chanting Blue fight songs with their chirpy voices on the top of their lungs, even those with the dirty words, and they enjoyed themselves to no end. Or this group of girls, real girls this time, in their mid-teens perhaps, some ten of them, all in Red, scarves, hair beads, wrist bands and all, during the parade to the stadium, when the Reds players passed them, they would cry and scream, or shriek incessantly, Im not exaggerating here, CD, for the full ten minutes, all ten of them, with their mouths and their eyes wide open. Occasionally catching a breath of course and immediately pressing out the air in an ear-piercing way. I couldnt make out which of the Reds was their main object of adulation, maybe Irwin Carter or Johnny Gamble, he seems to have a way with the ladies, maybe someone else. Certainly not Paul Clarke, this old vulture, with a hunchback. This guy remains a riddle I wont ever solve. He looks like the middle-aged man, to whom the doc would sternly suggest to have some  physical exercise. Despite of this hes the best ballgame pitcher of our times. I recall that you also have a deep dislike for him as a person (and a opposing pitcher naturally). I also loathe him, he has this bookish look, thats not bad youd say, we both, CD, are bookish people too, but his face is different, it is a dirty-bookish face and from what is rumored its a perfect reflection of his character.
Talking of crazy people, you could see hundreds of them during the Con Cup week. One situation comes to mind now: its after the sixth game, the Blues been beaten for good, the patrons streaming out of the stadium, filling the streets around the ballpark. Half of them, the Reds fans, boisterous, excited and jubilating. The other half, the Blue fans, as youd expect saddened and beaten down, heading home as quickly as possible. Among them these youths , maybe twenty of them, not exactly the nice, polite, good-family boys, but more the rough sort, the struggling ones. Theyre clad all blue, from their caps down to their shoestrings. Teir heads down, gazing on the asphalt, shoulders dropped, all silent, absent-minded it seemed. I followed them awhile with my eyes, sadness seemed to have a cultivating effect on them, I even noticed them mumbling apologies after bumping into someone. As they were heading down the Lib, at once this group stopped still and and suddenly they shouted in unison "Bluuuuuues wiiinnnn!!!" , their heads were raised, they looked up to the evening sky and howled to heaven again: "Bluuuuuues wiiiiinnnnn", like orphaned wolves, they repeated this five times, then they dispersed and I lost them.

73.) Oct 1st, Montego Bay, The End of Season

Diese Spiel brach uns das Genick. Wir gewannen das nächste in extra innings und verloren das folgende in extra innings. aber dieses Spiel war das Ende der Saison für uns. Wir spielten die letzten 20 Spiele ordentlich zu Ende. Der Vorsrung der Reds blieb, wurde nicht größer, aber auch nicht kleiner. Dabei war es die beste Pirate Saison in der Geschichte. Die Fans, der Manager, der Besitzer waren zufrieden. Ich war es nicht und viele meiner Mannschaftskameraden auch nicht. So ist es.
Ich selbst hatte die beste Saison meiner Karriere, ber jetzt unmittelbar nach der Saison war es die Enttäuschung der Verlierer, die Stärker war. Und der Zweite ist doch der erste Verlierer, nicht wahr?

Freitag, 2. September 2011

72.) Sept, 10 Pirates Park, Montego Bay, The Crucialest Game

A key game today, the crucialest one imaginable!

Reds at Pirates:

1st inning : no score

Top of 2nd inning: Red's Tedder singles. Tedder started the season in college ballgame, was drafted, played exactly one game in the juniors, was called up and plays the middle infield positions.
Single by Monteith, no out, runners on 1 and 2.
Davis grounds out, 1 out, runners 1 and 3
Pitcher Saunders bunts, 2 out, runners 2 and 3
Hinant triples, 2 out, runner on 3, Reds 2-0
Millard grounds out

Bottom of 2nd:
Miller flies out.
I strike out, umpire missed call, 2 out
Giles grounds out 3 out.

Top of 3rd:
Carter, the elephant, singles. 0 out
Catcher Meader singles to left, 0 out, runners 1 and 2
Radtke grounds into double play, 2 out runner 3
Infield pop-up by Tedder, 3 out
Score 2-0 Reds

Bottom of 3d
Gardner has a weak at-bat, SO, 1 out
Holmes strikes out, 2out
Pitcher Herold sports an incrediblely bad BA of.022 and all he does is hit a fast ball to the fence for a double, 2 out, runner on 2nd
Starbuck doubles inton RF, can you believe it? Saunders laughs at the first two hitters with easy strikeouts, then gives up two doubles to minor batters. Only in the ballgame.... 2 out, runner 2, score Reds 2-1
Jones grounds out
Score Reds 2-1

Top of 4th
Monteith flies out, 1 out
Davis singles, 1 out, runner 1, score 2-1 Reds
Bunt by Saunders, 2 out, runner 2
Great play by Holmes takes hit away frim Hinant, 3 out
Score Reds 2-1

Bottom of 4th
Snavely singles, raises BA to .400, 0 out, runner 1
Fly out Miller, 1 out, runner 1
Uchek walks, 1 out, runners 1 and 2
Giles pops-up, 2 out, runners 1 and 2
Gardner walks, 2 out, bases loaded
Holmes fly out to left
Score 2-1 Reds

Top of 5th
Millard flies out, 1 out
Carter walks, 1 out, runner 1
Double by Meader, 1 out, runner 2 and 3
Radtke singles, 1 out, runner1 and 3, score Reds 3-1
Tedder force out at 2nd, 2 out, runner 1, score Reds 4-1
Monteith fly out, 3 out
Score Reds 4-1

Bottom of the 5th
Herold stays in the game, bats, strikes out, 1 out
Starbuck grounds out, 2 out
Jones doubles, 2 out, runner 2
Snavely walks, 2 out, runner 1 and 2
Miller line out to right, 3 out
Score Reds 4-1

Top of the 6th
Davis gets infield single
Saunders bunts, 1 out, runner 2
Hinnant doubles, 1 out, runner 2, score Reds 5-1
Millard grounds out, 2 out, runner 2
Hinnant tries to steal 3rd, I throw him out in a close play , 3 out
Score Reds 5-1

Bottom of the 6th
I, Uchek, fly out, 1 out
Giles strikes out. 2 out
Blooper base-hit by Gardner, 2 out, runner 1
The Reds bring in reliever Jay Fish
Holmes strikes out, 3 out
Score Reds 5-1

Top of the 7th
Carter hits a home run, 0 outs, score Reds 6-1
New Pirate pitcher: Trent Oster
Meader grounds out, 1 out
Single by Radtke, 1 out, runner 1
Tedder singles, 1 out, runner 1and 2
Monteith flies out, 2 out, runner 1 and 2
Davis walks, 2 out, bases loaded
PH Palmer strikes out, 3 out
Score Reds 6-1

Bottom of the 7th
Tim Smith is the new Red pitcher
Lee as a PH flies out, 1 out
Starbuck singles, 1 out, runner 1
Jones doubles, 1 out, runner 2 and 3, is ther still hope?
Snavely doubles, 1 out, score Reds 6-3
Miller flies out, 2 out, runner 2
I get a single, 2 out runer 1 and 3
This is getting insane ! Giles singles, 2 out, runner 1 and 3, score Reds 6-4
The Reds send in pitcher B. Lewis, a starter.
I scored on a wild pitch duing Gardner's at-bat, 2 out, runner 2, score Reds 6-5
Gardner finally walks, 2 out, runner 1 and 2
PH Maynard just misses a hit, 3out,
Score Reds 6-5

Top of the 8th
Luke Hughes comes in to pitch for us
Hinnant walks. 0 out, runner 1
Hinnant steals, 0 out, runner 2
Millard grounds out, 1 out, runner 3
Carter doubles, 1 out, runner 2, score Reds 7-5
Meader doubles, 1 out, runner 2, score Reds 8-5
Radtke grounds out, 2 out, runner 3,
Tedder doubles, 2 out, runner 2, score Reds 9-5
Perry Garner comes in to pitch
Monteith grounds out
Score Reds 9-5

Bottom of the 8th
Crum singles, 0 out, runner 1
Starbuck force out, 1 out, runner 1
Jones fly out, 2 out, runner 1
Snavely doubles, 2 out, runner 2 and 3
New pitcher for the Reds: Dave Currey
Miller grounds out
Score Reds 9-5

Top of the 9th
Davis strikes out, 1 out
Gamble strikes out, 1 out
Infield hit by Hinnant, 2 out, runner 1
Millard grounds out
Score Reds 9-5

Bottom of the 9th
Uchek, myself, strikes out, against Baxter who came in to mop it up for the Reds, 1 out
Murdock ground out, 2 out
Single by Jefferson, 2 out, runner 1
Maynard singles, 2 out, runner 1 and 3
Reds bring in O'Toole and Crum hits a long out to deep CF

Final score Reds 9 Pirates 5

71.) Sept 1st Montego Bay, Lead cut by 1

We won 6-5 in the bottom of the 9th and Reds Lost. Reds ahead by 8,5.

Now coming the big weekend series against the Reds here at home. The whole city is buzzing!

70.) August, 31st, Montego Bay , A Day in a Pennant Race, sort of...

The date:  August 31st

The situation: we, the Pirates, are 8,5 games behind the Reds

Today`s games: Blue Sox at Pirates, Calico Jacks at Reds

Blue Sox vs Pirates means a Montego Bay derby. The Blue Sox generally regarded as the minor Montego club. their current record is 61-71 in the Red League, this is a inter-league game.

After top of 2nd we're down 7-0. Our starter Armstrong has been rattled thoroughly. The Reds are down 4-0 after 2.

We manage a run in the bottom of the 2nd. Score is 7-1 Blue Sox

I just struck out in the 3rd. 7-1 Blue Sox, Reds scored big, 6-4 Reds in the 3rd still batting.

4th inning: both clubs scored once: 8-2 Blue Sox, a Miller HR did the job for us. Reds ahead 6-4.

5th inning: no change in either game. Blue Sox' starter Dave Clontz pitches a great game. He's an old friend of mine. We were teammates in my first pro season in the juniors.

6th inning, they tagged on another run now 9-2, no change elsewhere

7th inning still 9-3 Blue Sox , but the Calico Jacks tied the Reds at 6!

8th inning, no change in either game

9th inning final Blue Sox 9 Pirates 3 and the Reds win 7-6 after the 10th! That means we're 9,5 games back now. 29 games to play.

69.) 1.9.1898, Im Zug von Montego Bay nach Savannah, Ein Brief aus der Nacht

Anne-Mary, Meine Liebste!

Nach einem langen Tag, fahren wir nun durch die Nacht. Wir sind zu sechst in einem Abteil zusammengepfercht, die anderen fünf schlafen irgendwie hingestreckt. Ich kann nicht schlafen, das macht mich wütend, denn morgen Nachmittag ist unser nächstes Spiel in Savannah. Aber jetzt, da ich an dich schreibe und an dich denke ist meine Wut verflogen.
Bis vor kurzem hatte ich mich noch mit Schmitty (Mike Schmidt, you know him, the infielder) unterhalten. Er erzählte mir eine kleine  Geschichte, weshalb er fast kein Ballspieler geworden wäre. Als 13 oder 14 jähriger hatte er in einem Spiel, und soweit ich verstanden hatte, gar kein bedeutenes Spiel, nur ein normales Schulspiel, also in so einem Spiel hatte er ein Pop-up nicht gefangen. Ein krasser Fehler, selbst in einer Jugendmannschaft. Er war so beschämt, so wütend auf sich selbst, daß er schwor niemals wieder ein Ballspiel zu spielen. Die Mannschaftskameraden, der Coach kritisierten ihn, aber auch nicht zu sehr. Nein , sie waren nicht der Grund für seine Abkehr vom Ballspiel. Es war seine Entscheidung.
Die Art, wie er diese kleine Geschichte erzählte, zeigte, daß ihn das alles ihn noch jetzt bewegte, vielleicht einer der wichtigsten Momente in seinem Leben. Schwer zu verstehen, eigentlich.
Aber ich vergaß, natürlich blieb es nicht dabei, mit dem Ballspiel aufzuhören und fortan nur noch Briefmarken zu sammeln. Warum blieb es nicht dabei? Weil sein Vater ihm wortlos den Arm auf die Schulter legte und Schmitty schwört, daß er noch heute nach Fehlern im Spiel den Arm seines Vaters auf den Schultern spürt. Gut für ihn! Wahrscheinlich sind das Geschichten, die nur in der Nacht erzählt werden.
Liebe Anne-Mary, ich werde dich nicht weiter mit diesen Nachtbotschaften langweilen. Ich liebe dich. Noch zwei Stunden Fahrt bis Savannah . Noch zehn Tage bis wir uns wiedersehen!