Posts Tagged ‘Shop Boy’

The Lingonberry Taco

January 22, 2010

Well, that’s that: Yorvit Torrealba, ex-Colorado Rockies catcher.

Too bad. Great teammate, the pitchers apparently loved him, he could communicate with Latin American players in their first language, and the dude had a knack for big hits in big moments. Not to mention the great nickname Mary gave him — the above headline — upon hearing his oddly Scandinavian/Hispanic name over the loudspeaker at Coors Field.

But eventually, you need to do more than get hits only in big moments. And homer every once in a while, willya? Miguel Olivo, the guy who’ll replace him as the backup catcher — assuming Chris Iannetta wins the starting job — has a bunch of power and a much better arm for throwing out base stealers.

So the Lingonberry Taco takes his act elsewhere.

No hard feelings. He jilted the Rockies and their fans a couple of years ago, only to come crawling back when the Mets got weirded out and backed away from a contract. Cool. We were glad to have him around again.

He’ll be fine. And wealthy.

He’s a successful — not to mention unique — fast-food franchise waiting to happen.

Mary’s already named it, after all.


Billion-Dollar House of Cards

December 8, 2009

This morning, I woke up feeling chunky and stiff all over, worried about bills and deadlines, resenting the two-hour commute ahead and sensing a head cold coming on.

To make myself feel better, I kept repeating: “At least I’m not Tiger Woods.”

As a semi-horrible golfer with a huge handicap in financial planning, I never thought such a day would come.

Drugs? Lovers? “Sexting?” He has money, fame, a bikini-model wife, cars, a mansion, a ripped physique and an unprecedented golf game … and that’s not good enough?

The Softball Coach showered, yanked a wrinkled shirt from the closet, pulled mismatched socks from the underwear drawer (laundry day!), dressed, kissed my lovely, cooing wife goodbye and limped off to the train station.

Lucky and happy to be me.

Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear

October 28, 2008

The basketball flew in a majestic arc, a tan-orange sphere against the darkness of the Keaney Gymnasium rafters. In the lights of the old place, it took on the half-bright, half-dark look of a partial moon on a clear Rhode Island night.

The night I met Maureen Hogan …

POW! Right in the kisser.

Hogan was a solidly built point guard for the University of Rhode Island women’s basketball team, called the WRams (or Women Rams) to separate them from the real team sports — the male Rams. Ewes would have been less icky and at least could have been excused by something … if only how often Rhode Islanders say “yous.” But don’t get me started on men’s sports vs. women’s sports. Especially considering how much better the URI women’s teams did back then.

Anyway, Hogan decked me beneath the basket, both of us going down in a heap.

And I was mortified. Was she hurt? (I’d never forgive myself.) No, but she was angry that with all of the space along the end line of the basketball court I had managed to plant myself directly in her path. I’d been fiddling with the aperture and adjusting the lens, which of course distorts your sense of physical reality. Besides, a nice shot was coming right at me. Alas, it would be a close-up of the gymnasium’s parquet floor. She untangled herself, shoved me aside as I tried to apologize, then trotted back into the game as the loose ball was put back in play by URI’s opponents.

Hmmph. Like it’s my fault. Maybe if she’d caught the ball she wouldn’t have clobbered me. Yeah, that’s it.


The Coach with company under the basket for a men’s game.

OK, so there stood the Softball Coach, face red, as the crowd, players and coaches waited expectantly for the fool — me — to run away and hide. At least it felt like that. In those moments, life seems over.

If you run away, it is. Or might as well be.

Besides, as sports editor of the Good 5 Cent Cigar, the URI campus newspaper, I needed a women’s hoops shot to finish the next day’s edition. So for three more quarters I stayed, still the only photographer, but well out of the way of the action.

Just one more sordid tale from the Softball Coach’s love/hate relationship with the camera. See, I’m hoping to use much more art with this new blog, but over the years have lost confidence with my abilities behind the lens even as the act of picture taking gets easier. Go figure. And I’m a little iffy on the jpeg technology, to be honest. Not today, but this will be my first art-bearing blog entry. (See what I mean?)

I won’t run away from the challenge. Even if I get flattened in the process from time to time.