Saturday, February 28, 2009

First Baseball Crush of the Year

Spring training games are underway and I already have my first crush of the year. Yes guys, that's what we do at the who we will be following just a little closer than the other players.

His name is Michael Eugene Fontenot and never mind that he was born just days after I graduated from college! That's irrelevant. He plays for the Chicago Cubs, the best team this year! He's from Slidell, Louisiana and went to LSU for college. He's about my son Jon's height and my husband's weight so it all feels familiar. I think it's kind of cool that while he bats left, he throws with his right hand. And he apparently likes playing on Fridays, because yesterday he homered, tripled and drove in four runs to boot. Not bad.

You want a picture? Okay, here he is (on the left) messing around with Zambrano before the game:

Isn't he cute? And guess what his salary was in 2008? $405,000. I think he deserves a raise, for goodness sakes. Don't worry, I've got your back, Mike. I'll talk to the Chicago Cubs management for you.
See you next game...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Opening Day for Spring Training is Just Around the Corner

I have just spent the remaining morning hours plastering my office walls with the schedules of spring training games around the Phoenix area. I am feeling all giddy and even though we never really had much of a winter to talk about, I have a severe case of spring fever. Spring training fever, that is.

My love for spring training season for baseball began many years ago in Vero Beach, Florida. I was living in Rochester, Minnesota at the time and had recently given birth to my first son, Andy. By March, I was so sick of below zero temperatures I yearned for the sun and a sidewalk that didn't need shoveling. Luckily for me, my parents and Grandmother "Mommom" had rented a place on the beach in Vero Beach, Florida for the month of March. They invited me or (maybe I begged them to invite me), I don't really recall. It does not matter now, as of course, I packed our bags and we headed down to the warm Florida sunshine. If I did nothing for the whole duration of the trip but lay out and swim in the ocean I would have been a happy camper. But this was not the plan my family members had in mind. Several afternoons a week, everyone would leave the beach, shower and put on a brightly-colored pair of shorts or skirt, a t-shirt top and a comfortable pair of flats. We drove inland to the spring training facility for the Los Angeles Dodgers. At the time, it was known as the top facility of its kind in the nation. And thousands of people would attend every game no matter who they were playing.

My parents lived in the Chicago area and liked the Cubs and Mommom was from Wilmington, Delaware and had been a Phillies fan all her life. Still, the Dodgers were in town, so that's who we watched in the spring. I liked the Cubs and baseball was just "okay" until I started attending these middle-of-the-day games in Vero Beach. It was fun to get a hot dog and a beer or soda and watch these amazing athletes run around the bases. No seat was bad and most made you feel like you were very close to these stars. We used to laugh at the kids (all ages!) trying to get their autographs. We were still facing the sun, and back then, working on your tan was very important. Going back to Minnesota not looking like a ghost was right up there with relaxing and seeing my family.

I grew to enjoy these games more and more. And my family continued to spend their springs in Vero Beach. Sometimes a big group of friends would all go to the games, resulting in lots of laughter and stories. A spring training game is one place where all ages can sit together and enjoy each other's company.

My parents moved to Vero Beach permanently and always supported the Dodgers. Years passed by and now Mommom and my Dad have passed away. My Mom still lives in Vero Beach with her husband, Ed. And sadly, the LA Dodgers have left the City that loved and supported them for so many years. They think they have moved to "greener pastures", to perhaps the next newest and best stadium, in Arizona. But I know they left behind so many wonderful fans with wonderful memories of watching a day game in Dodger Stadium. Vero Beach is left trying to pay for an empty stadium with no team to fill it. Vacationers are left with one less activity to fill their days. Do you think the Dodgers' management understand just how sad this move is to so many people? I kind of doubt it.

Today, I am sitting and mapping out which games I will attend. I thank my Mom, Dad and Mommom for giving me this happy memory and this love for spring training games. I am fortunate to be married to a man who loves baseball even more than I do. I just hope he can sneak out of the office once or twice to enjoy his beloved Cubs or the Giants that play in Scottsdale. Yes, spring training fever is raging and I know just the cure........

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chicago Cubs Move to Scottsdale for Spring Training (One Can Hope!)

Word on the street is that the Chicago Cubs may not want to stay in their spring training home in Mesa, AZ. It's not that they don't fill the stadium for every single spring training game, but let's face it. Mesa? Not exactly a fun town. We all drive over there and curse on our way back (probably because we had to stay sober for the long drive home!).

So, I would like to propose my town for their new home that's truly worthy of hosting the Chicago Cubs:


We have the best looking fans, the best restaurants and hotels around us. Just ask San Francisco. I know every town wants you and we all need the added revenue you bring. It would be hard to move, I am sure. Folks in Vero Beach will forever be mad at the LA Dodgers for up and moving to Arizona. They really had something special down there in Florida. Quite unlike Mesa.

Here's hoping that if the rumor is true that you take a look at Scottsdale. I will personally give you a tour!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Whining to the Love Sounds of the Humans

"Are You Done Yet?"

Wrigley's started a new habit in our house. About four months ago, he started to sleep on the floor in our bedroom. He actually sleeps in the foyer area but it's open to the main area, about ten feet from the bed.

Wrigley is a very vocal dog. He sounds like he's whistling or whining and the tune is rather soulful sounding. I think it is in a minor key. Sometimes it rather cute to listen to and sometimes it can be very annoying. Up until recently, I thought he was making these sounds to get our attention. I use to think he was saying, "get off that flippin' computer and take me for a walk" or "I need more food, please". Now, I am not so sure.

This past week, every day we were in bed, doing human sexual things, he began to whine or whistle. I think he's trying to drown out the sounds of passion. Which is making us laugh. In fact, during one session when things got loud, Wrigley sat up and basically howled like a coyote right along with us. The minute we stopped, he stopped too. I guess you could say it's a threesome in a wholesome, empty nester sort of way.

Poor pup.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Number of Days Until the First Cubs Spring Training Game

13 !
Who's counting, you say? Why, Wrigley and me of course. Tickets are available online. I wish they let golden retrievers in the lawn area, though. He would so enjoy the afternoon!
Now, you may not be aware of this fact, but this is going to be the year the Chicago Cubs win the World Series! Yes, you heard it here first!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Eight Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts

I doubt I will ever stray from the fact that there really are only eight perfect gifts to give your loved ones for Valentine's day. This is the one gift that is a serious commitment and should only be given if you have already discussed all the details about loving and caring for a new addition to your family. But, I guarantee, the recipient will not be unhappy with your selection. This is one gift most children ask for at some point in their lives, as evidenced in this letter:

Here's a picture of Wrigley when we first brought him home (around 8 weeks old). He would be playing one moment, then collapse on the hard wood floor, looking just like a tiny bear rug. Awwwhhhh!!