This is a place where visitors will find stories about the Moms and boys and baseball and critters in beautiful northwest Illinois. Whether snow or rain, sunshine or bitter cold winds, we find a way to laugh, love and experience the meaning of life. Join us on our journey of love -- and baseball. Click on all pictures to see full sizes... Enjoy~!
A Tale from the Heartland
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012
I was particularly concerned about being to work on time today because I had to take some time off yesterday to meet the MediaCom guy slated to repair my flagging Internet modem. I had also been out the entire Friday before at a seminar. So this Tuesday morning, when the alarm rang, I wanted to be up and at 'em in the worst way - LOTS TO DO~! My desk would be a mess at work, I knew.
But somehow, life doesn't always work out the way it should, or the way we want it to. Because no matter how many alarms I set or how early I get up, there always seems to be SOMETHING that happens that shouldn't have that gets in my way. From marauding yellow jackets
to exploding coffee grinders,
it seems this summer has offered my early-morning commute any number of challenges.
Why should Tuesday -- me with my ardent "be on time" desire -- be any different??
Even though "BE ON TIME" burned deep in my sleepy brain, I pressed the "snooze" button, snuggling back down into my feather pillows for five more minutes -- only to be unable to drift back to sleep.
You know that fuzzy mental state you're in where you hear something but you're not sure what it is?
Well, I'm in that state a lot, it seems.
There was, well, a "noise."
Eyes still shut, I tried HARD to not focus on that banging noise, all the while part of me was craning to hear it, groaning "OH NO, NOW what?" and the other part of me was screaming "IGNORE IT! YOU HAVE TO BE TO WORK ON TIME! AND BY THE WAY - GET UP!"
I snuggled harder.
After a few minutes of this massive snuggling effort, I could take no more of the mysterious noise that was penetrating my dreamland. Sighing, I crept from bed and stumbled to the hall, which, for some reason, seems to be my port in the storm when there's a noise. The sound was still there, but faded. It sounded more like a faint kettle drum being beat, or gunshots in the distance. Maybe it's hunting season already, I mused. I walked to the kitchen, flipped on the coffee, and slid open the glass door to my back deck. I could still hear the noise, somewhere in the West, but it wasn't as loud as it was in my bedroom. It wasn't gunshots. It wasn't anything I could clearly discern.
Closing the door, I went back toward my bedroom, making a brief side trip to the basement to be sure it wasn't -- GASP -- the furnace. Or the water softener. Or the water heater. (Note: These are the types of machines this woman believes should work forever without fail and without failing. In fact, there should be a law about that. Note to self: write to Congressman).
Nothing was wrong downstairs. I stood and stared at the furnace, willing it to not break this winter. It thumped back at me, the blower rolling silently in the background. I checked the window wells. No birds, rabbits or skunks stuck in them. I shrugged, and headed back upstairs to my bedroom.
And there it was. AGAIN.
Tap, tap tap, bang, flog flog, bang, tap. Tappity tap tap. Bang. Clunk.
Baffled, I stood there. A hail storm the day
before could have dislodged a strip of siding, I guessed, but what could be making it bang? There was no wind!
Dutifully, ignoring the ticking clock (I had already bungled the why-bother-with-it "be on time" theory anyway), I pulled on my slacks, blouse, shoes and stockings and trudged toward the back door, grabbing a cup of coffee on the way. I tip-toed quietly down the deck steps and sauntered suspiciously through the maze of bushes and trees I call a yard. Slipping silently around the 10-foot Douglas fir at the northwest corner of my ranch house, I came to a sudden halt.
In front of me was the culprit.
A giant turkey.
This was no ordinary turkey. This was a curious HUGE turkey. This turkey was banging its beak on my neighbor's glass sliding door. Standing on the concrete patio, that turkey - a monster by any reckoning - was communicating rapidly with the OTHER turkey he saw in his reflection.
Tap, tap tap, bang, flog flog, bang, tap. His snood bobbling with the beat, he hammered that glass: tappity tap tap. Bang. The glass was covered with all kinds of wet turkey slime. So enthralled was he with that turkey in the glass, he didn't see me arrive.
So I spoke.
"What the hell are you doing?" I said, moving toward the bird, who quickly looked my way and began to do the backward trip-over-himself dance, apparently deciding at that point it would probably be better to run away than confront some raging female who didn't look at ALL like she was any fun. Maybe he thought I still ate meat.
I waved my arms and hissed. He bolted across the front yards, and down the street, juggling sideways as his legs moved his fat pot as fast as he could.
I chuckled to myself and shook my head as I wandered back to the house. Now I've seen it all, I thought. But then, knowing better, I thought: "What next? Martians landing?"
Driving down the road awhile later, I texted my father, who, in his 81 years in Northwest Illinois, has told some tall tales of strange creatures and odd happenings in this neck of the woods.
"Call me. You're not going to believe this one," I texted.
I wasn't on time but the story I got to tell the group waiting for me made up for that - quite.
Boys will be boys I guess.....
photo by Tim Evearitt
Pitcher Zach Lee had finished his warmups, Barons' second baseman Tyler Saladino was ready to step into the batter's box to start Friday's game when the umpires called time out. Standing on the field silently in front of the Birmingham bullpen was Salvador Sanchez and facing Sanchez, standing on the field in front of the Chattanooga bullpen, was Lookouts' pitcher Wes Roemer.
As the players, benches, umpires, and fans waited and waited, the two pitchers continued to stand silently in what appeared to be an old fashioned game of who will be the first to move. Neither man was going to give in.
Eventually, third base umpire Carlos Torres walked out and said something to Sanchez who turned and went into the Barons' bullpen. Meanwhile, Roemer raised his hands in victory.
At last the game began.
SAINTS HAVE ANOTHER PITCHER SIGNED, WES ROEMER HEADED TO DODGERS (Thanks to the Saints for the photo)
JUNE 05, 2012 AT 2:18 PM
LITTLE FALLS, NJ (June 5, 2012) – The St. Paul Saints are in the midst of their longest roadtrip of the season. Not only do they not have the comforts of home living out of a suitcase since May 28 and now they will be without the comforts of one of their best starting pitchers as Wes Roemer had his contract purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 25-year-old Roemer has been spectacular this season. He is 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts. In 27.2 innings he’s allowed 11 runs (eight earned) while walking just three and striking out 18. He is currently third in the American Association in innings pitched and sixth in ERA. The Dodgers are scheduled to send him to Double-A Chattanooga.
Roemer had a solid season at Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno in 2011. He went 8-8 with a 4.39 ERA and one complete game in 28 games (27 starts). In 164.0 innings he walked 45 and struck out 115. He was named to the 2011 Southern League All-Star team. While he only pitched four games at Triple-A he was 0-1 with a 3.70 ERA in those four starts while walking five and striking out 18 in 24.1 innings.
The right-handed Roemer was drafted as a compensatory pick, the 50th pick overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2007 June Amateur Draft out of Cal State Fullerton. He pitched the first five years of his career in the Diamondbacks organization and after spending 2007 at Low-A Yakima as a reliever, he was moved to the starting rotation in 2008 at High-A Visalia. He recorded a career high 12 wins between two stops in 2009 (High-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile) and split 2010 between Mobile and Reno.
In 2006, his sophomore season at Cal State Fullerton, he was named Collegiate Baseball’s Co-National Player of the Year and didn’t allow a walk in his first 65.2 innings pitched and finished with a 21:1 strikeout to walk ratio (145:7).
This is the second pitcher the Saints have had purchased this season. Closer Dan Sattler was signed by the Minnesota Twins on May 29 and was just promoted to Single-A Fort Myers.
During their 20 seasons the Saints have had 106 contracts purchased totaling 101 different players, seven of which were sold to international teams and 17 have reached the ultimate level of the Major Leagues.
Per league rules the Saints may carry just three rookies on their roster. For every two players that have their contract purchased a team has the ability to carry one less rookie than the league maximum of four.
The Saints roster now stands at 21, one less than the league maximum of 22, nine pitchers and 12 position players.