Ice on the ground . . . kids home from school . . . March. A new reminder that you can’t predict ball.
Another year in the books, and a fresh legal pad.
Today is 3-3, the day in Surprise on which 3 is taking grounders at 4, thanks to Rule 5.
It’s Russell Wilson Day. The day on which the Seahawks quarterback becomes a local story.
Because of how I’m unapologetically wired, it makes me think of the last Seahawks quarterback who, for me, had a local tie-in (excluding the Jon Kitna stint in Dallas, which moved the needle as much as the Stan Gelbaugh era here) — this guy:
And because I was six years old when Zorn was cut by the Cowboys and ended up on Seattle football cards, the first of which was that 1977 Topps, you’ll forgive me if there was a time when I conflated that transaction with the one not much later in which Dallas sent a late first-round pick, two seconds, and receiver Duke Ferguson to the Seahawks for the second pick in the 1977 draft, which the Cowboys used to take Tony Dorsett.
That Dallas-Seattle trade doesn’t really make me think about Texas-Seattle trades, like Smoak and Beavan and more for Cliff, as much as I try bringing things back to baseball.
But thinking about Dorsett does make me think about Herschel Walker.
And thinking about Herschel Walker makes me think about Elvis Andrus and Matt Harrison and Neftali Feliz, and baseball.
Today is one of those days each year that I think about Herschel anyway, as he was born on March 3.
As was Jose Oliva (an infielder that the Rangers once shipped to the Braves in something less than a Herschel Walker Trade between the two teams).
As was Matt Treanor.
As was I.
I could take advantage of this day off with my family and stack up 3,500 sit-ups and 1,500 push-ups, Herschel style, or get in some fungo/pancake infield work, Russell Wilson style.
Or maybe just run into an obnoxiously big stack of pancakes, after which I’ll probably feel like this:
Here’s to 45 and guys who don’t stop at one sport — which is not a tribute to Birmingham Barons-issue Michael Jordan — and to the power of the word, delivered not by actors butchering Broadway stars’ names in front of an audience of tens of millions but by Super Bowl winning quarterbacks challenging and inspiring fellow minor league baseball players before an audience of tens.
In sharp contrast to the parade of plastic surgery disasters that graced my TV screen last night, I’m rejuvenated by the thought of Russell Wilson taking grounders and instruction this morning, and delivering a message this afternoon to Rougned Odor and Michael Choice and Drew Robinson and Keone Kela, a moment that six of the seven guys in the above photo enabled for the cost of $12,000, which I imagine is less than the wardrobe of any of the folks wolfing down pizza on last night’s self-congratulation-fest.
One more episode of True Detective to go (sad), one more day of all these smarmy political ads (happy), one more day of surviving icemageddon (hold me), one more year in the books.
Among the many solid quotes attributed to Russell Wilson the last few months is this one: “I don’t think I’ve arrived. I think I’m continuing to get there, getting closer and closer to where I want to go. But I’m not there yet.”
For a hundred minor league ballplayers, that’s today’s 3,500 sit-ups, man.
Here’s to a great year.