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Friday 15th Dec 2017

Our modem died on Monday of this week, so I have largely been connecting with the world via my iPhone.

I had not really checked any signings, and though I was watching the news (ok, can well all please agree that Santa Claus has no race: or that is, he is whatever race the individual wants him to be, ok?), but for the most part it was almost like being at music camp. No internet almost feels like no connection with the universe sometimes, I am sorry to report.

It has been busy around here, though, as with Diane off in Chicago visiting her mom for the holidays, I get to watch our zoo (four cats, three dogs) and work and I guess get ready for the holidays. That means baking and cooking, which I like. 

It also means things sort of slow down in some ways. And, people seem to be in a generally happier space. 

Over the last couple of days, I have been watching variations on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," as one pastime (I got my MA in English with a focus on those Victorians).

I really love the 1951 Allister Sim version, and the 1935 Reginald Owen, too. Earlier, I was watching Patrick Stewart taking a stab, but before that I was busy watching the eighth inning of Ken Burns' wonderful "Baseball" series, the installment that covers the 60's, which was when I first fell in love with baseball.

For, though I was aware of baseball, and even baseball cards in 1959, it was in '60 that I started to buy cards, and that was the year I sat on the couch and watched the first full game of my then seven-year old life, start to finish. It happened to be the last game of the 1960 World Series.

And, as I watched the Yankees dominate, and Maury Wills and the Dodgers change the game, I was sifting through draft picks for my Summer Legends of Cooperstown Strat-O-Matic league, while working trades in the MidWest Strat League.

There is so much to playing in a really deep league, especially with well defined rules, which is what both those Strat leagues push for.

For, as I wrote to my league mates, there is something magical in Steve Reed being drafted in between Lefty O'Doul and Jack Morris, is there not?

As I watched one of my heroes, Curt Flood, make his plea to then Commissioner Bowie Kuhn on why he should be a free agent, I tried to figure out how to land Albert Pujols in the MidWest League without giving up too much, but without being unreasonable. No Robinson Cano type deals for my teams, I hope.

Then on came MLB Tonight, and the Grant Balfour upset, which is obviously close to home. For, wherever Balfour plays next year, it won't be Oakland. On the other hand, the Giants signed Mike Morse, the Rangers lured Kensuke Tanaka out of Japan, while Japan lured Kevin Youkilis out of the United States.

Tomorrow I have a couple of parties to crash--one with brownies I will make in the morning, and I will try to figure out those Pujols angles, along with do I now need one more defensive catcher in my HOF/1998 league, or another right-handed relief guy? Or just some speed, or a solid bench bat like Bubba Trammel or John VanderWal. For in SLOC, I did wait too long on Jim Leyritz, who could have been both a solid bat and a third catcher.

Leyritz was drafted right between Lloyd Waner and Chuck Knoblauch.

Like I said: magical. Just like this time of year can be.


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