I am sitting here in the press box at Banner Island Ballpark watching the intense Game 2 between Stockton and Visalia. We’re in the bottom of the 3rd and it’s 0-0 (nil-all as they say in futbol), and both starting pitchers, Chris Lamb for Stockton and Andrew Barbosa for Visalia are really bringing it tonight. As I have said many times, this is my “happy place” and outside of time with my family, there aren’t very many other places I’d like to be. A baseball park is like a little taste of heaven, and the Ports home park is the best of all of them. The pretzel dogs are great, and the atmosphere is very family friendly, unlike some other places I could tell you about (Seattle’s Kingdome, for one).

I love watching these kids play baseball, and you have to understand that for them, this is more than just a game, it’s a dream and it’s a job. The hours that they pour into this game are more than any $15/hour Fast Food worker could imagine, and they pay isn’t as good. Less than 24 hours ago, these two teams played a game in Visalia that ended around 9:00pm, then loaded up on busses and drove through the night back to Stockton, arriving a little before 2am this morning. Sure, there’s a #1 overall pick bonus baby or two out there, but most of these guys are three to four years into what they hope will eventually pay off with a high paying gig in The Show. As much as I love this game, I never had the heart to put in the work at it that these kids do each and every day – and remember, there is no “off season” anymore.

But they aren’t all that different from what we were aboard USS Michigan all those years ago either.  We worked hard at our craft for low pay and the satisfaction of successful teamwork. Nobody ever paid as much as a dollar to see us work our magic greasing missile muzzle hatches, but if I had the opportunity today to do just that, I would.

At any rate, this is the game that I love and enjoy, and seeing things like Chris Lamb run off the mound towards the dugout after a big strike out only to realize that there are only two outs, makes me laugh and know that just like we did, he’ll have some good natured ribbing ahead of him if the Ports win.

Visalia strikes first, so things aren’t looking good…

The Great and Only Gubernatorial Debate is going on even as I write this, but nobody seriously expects anything of import or value to erupt at it. Kashkari has once again gone to the video well, this time producing a video to ATTACK BROWN’S “COZINESS” WITH THE CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION, an issue that no doubt will resonate with at least a dozen people, instead of taking on an actual that could ignite some passion. I am sure that the debate happened and that there were some real zingers and giggles. Equally I am sure that absolutely nothing of substance was said.

Meanwhile, Governor “There Won’t Be Any New Taxes This Year” Brown says that he “probably” WILL SIGN THE PLASTIC BAG BAN because making people pay more for paper grocery bags and splitting the money with lobbyists and unions technically isn’t a tax. He said that it “will protect the environment” but would “not disrupt businesses” in California.

California State-Stanislaus is worried about changing its name. Turkey Tech isn’t going to be the “new” moniker, since it evokes memories and history. The new name will be slick and packaged to not remind people that they still have the Warriors as they’re mascot. After the crazy control freaks force the Redskins to change their name, then Cleveland and Atlanta, they’ll be coming after Stan State.

No doubt you’ve heard the story of the woman attacked and beheaded in London yesterday. What YOU PROBABLY HAVEN’T HEARD is that her attacker is… wait for it… PLRI! Dodn’t worry though, the Police are saying that it was just your garden variety (ahem) beheading, not an actual PLRI terrorism beheading.

And with that, the Ports season comes to an end. A well played game, but all things end badly or else they wouldn’t end.


Posted on September 5, 2014, in News & Notes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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