Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A RING FOR THE ADENHARTS


The Los Angeles Angels at Anahiem defeated the Texas Ranger last night in Anahiem. They are now the Western Division Champions.

Somewhere in Maryland, Jim Adenhart was smiling

As with all the alpha male celebratory nonsense that goes along with such victories, they all piled on each other on the field before they headed for the clubhouse and the obligatory loud music, champagne spraying, beer drinking, dancing by themselves and yelling at the top of their lungs.

When they got there, there were two things waiting. The manager, Mike Scioscia, and a jersey that had been in the dugout for every home game this year. Before any corks popped or cans were opened, they bowed their heads.

Before revelry came remembrance.

Kevin Jepsen is a young pitcher on this now this Championship Team. He is a rookie. Rookies are given jobs to do. This year, his was to take the the jersey with # 34 and ADENHART on the back out of the locker next to him and hang it in the dugout before every game. For Jepsen, this was no chore.

Scioscia reminded everyone what Nick had meant to them all and how he would be with them as long as they could make this season last. They owed him their best just as they owed it to each other. He was there all year, that is what teammates do for each other.

The corks popped, the silliness began as it always will in such moments in this game. When that was done, the team jogged en masse to the center field wall where Nick Adenhart's picture remains in mid-pitching motion. Some tapped his the face for luck, some bowed their heads, someone poured beer over the head of their teammate.

They spoke to reporters of what he meant to them this year, how they came out of their grief two months after his death playing badly at 29-29, and on June 11 and lost a particularly ugly game to the Tampa Bay Rays 11-1, the Manager closed the clubhouse and, among other things, ask them if this was how they wanted Nick to remember them? They were better than that.

Since then, the are 63-35.

Tori Hunter, the team's talented and loquacious centerfielder said of the young man he had befriended in spring training, " He should be here celebrating with us...now we are celebrating his name. We're playing hard for him. Trust me. He is here in spirit and in love."

And,
"We 're going to try to bring a ring back for him and give it to his parents. This is the first step."

Mike Butcher, the laconic pitching coach who has talked to the family once a week all summer said he was never the type to use a loss such as Nick's as motivation, but he thought the players did.

"You never know how people grieve," he told a reporter. "but there was someone there for everyone of our guys every day, and that's what you expect of a teammate." As he looked at the larger than life picture of Nick Adenhart, Butcher went on, " That's bigger than baseball."

In a week or so, the Angels will continue their season. They will most likely play the Boston Red Sox in a series that will determine if they get to play for the American League Championship.

Nick would be proud of them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whither Reamus?

No one has asked, but a short post here will bring you up to date. I have been enjoying being home and finally getting my book edited, reviewed, and now after someone else proofreads it, it will be off to the publisher. There will be more about it here when it finally gets done.

I spend my days finishing that, catching up with some construction projects that needed doing, fighting a rear guard action with the IRS over what is a minor problem but seems to have reached Biblical proportions as we shove various pieces of paper back and forth and can’t agree as to who has the correct arithmetic.

There is a fall trip planned to the Oregon Coast if everything falls together soon. I hope to leave in late September or early October. They actually have some lovely weather there then most years, although after this last trip, I plan to take lots of water repellant clothes.

La Coachasita has spent most of her summer in hospital having various things diagnosed. Nothing serious as it turns out. She was home with me for two weeks but is back now to have a fitting replaced on one of the air ride bags in the rear which developed a slow leak. The fear of steering pump repairs and transmission failures have been allayed and she is wearing her nearly 105,000 miles well. A waxing and a good cleaning inside makes her look like a new van.

As the masthead on the blog here says, this is mostly about the places I go, things I see, and the people I meet, so the words in between are often scarce. When I get back out there amongst them, I will no doubt find new things to tell about and describe.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer and a cooler one than we have. This is supposed to be paradise and if it is, it was a very hot one this year, I have recovered now, but life without air conditioning became a challenge for a month or so. Somehow, north of here in the only big fire to date, they managed to burn more square miles than are covered by the City of Chicago. It was mostly in the Los Padres National Forest and it burns still. It is not fully contained some six weeks after it started. When the rains this winter, it will not be a fun time for anyone up there i the hills.

Stay well, do good works, be nice to one another, and you will hear from me from the road in a month or so.