Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summertime Waking Thoughts

Another summer morning finds me on the back deck by the pool with my coffee, a smoke, and my laptop. Our black lab pup Suzy lies curled at my feet as I sit and try to wake up.

But there is just so much to do today at work. I hate to think this summer day will be lost on me.

Our Irish friends Ray and Shell are now half way through their three week visit. I do hope they are enjoying themselves. When guests travel "across the pond" like Ray and Shell have, you certainly want them to get the most enjoyment for their efforts.

But I will be at work this fine beautiful August morning.

I had stayed up pretty late last night listening to the Tigers game. When I went to bed, they had given up a six to one lead in Chicago to the White Sox, and were in the 13th inning battling to win a game that could possibly bring them within five of the AL central division lead.

But it was not to be as I wake up this morning to read the news that while my boys scored two in the top of the fourteenth inning, they lost it in the bottom of the inning on an error to shortstop Edgar Renteria. The next batter, Swisher, knocked it out of the park off blaze-ball thrower Joel Zumaya.

We have had a number of these losses lately. And they take their toll on you. The debates on the sports talk radio station 97.1 FM in Detroit will continue to call for manager Jim Leyland's head, and every player to be put up for auction.

My favorite talking head, Pat Caputo, will write in his blog "The Open Book" today more about the possibility of a strong Lions football season this upcoming fall. It is not odd to hear such talk in August – only to realize in September or October that it was only that. Just talk. But right now it seems more plausible than a winning Tigers record in this year of ohhh-eight.

Nobody really knows why the Tigers, picked by most to win the AL Central this season as early as Christmas last year, are playing so poorly – but everyone has their beliefs. Caputo will say it's the starting pitching. Others will say it's the lack of clutch hitting when runs are needed. Even others will tell you it's the lack of defense with errors most every game. But everyone will agree that our bullpen can't shut the door on opposing pitching. In fact they seem to hold the door wide open and usher opposing batters around the bags.

And I am sick of listening to it. If these fans and writers had their way, they would likely choose the US Women's fastball Olympic team over the Tigers starting lineup.

Yet here I sit on a beautiful August summer morning. A cigarette butt, an empty coffee mug, and a snoozey puppy at my feet to show for my first thoughts of the day. Best friends visiting from a far away land, and the promise of another week of vacation next week if I can only survive this one.

I love summer. I really do. It's the season of golfing, sailing, and backyard barbeques while the children splash and play in the pool.

But all I can think about are the Tigers.

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