With apologies to Barry Manilow, we have survived Hurricane Irma. I live in a Clearwater non-evacuation zone, so we decided to shelter in place with family and friends when the storm was projected to turn north above Cuba and travel up the east coast of Florida.
As the weekend approached, and projections changed every couple hours, we were faced with a opportunity to change our decision. By then roads were clogged with people leaving southern Florida, and there was no guarantee that you could find gas as you ran north. So, we reaffirmed our decision to ride the storm out.
I have to include one of the larger factors in our decision. When we moved here and braced for Tropical Storm Debbie in 2012, we learned that our location in Pinellas County is protected by a blessing placed on the land by ancient Native Americans. That was supported by the few number of hurricane hits suffered in Clearwater. The worst, recent hurricane occurred in 1921, “The Great Tampa Bay Hurricane”. Supposedly there have been only 3 hits in 150 years. Charley came close in 2004 and was projected to hit Tampa Bay when it suddenly turned east and made landfall 3 times in Sarasota County as a category four. This year, Irma made an unexpected turn inland at Naples and continued to run inland. I’m beginning to believe the “sacred land” stuff.
Anyway, we lost power at 8:30 PM Sunday, before we knew the storm would pass to the east. I actually fell asleep around 9:30 PM and slept until 5:30 AM. By then the storm was a Cat Two over Lakeland. Without A/C, we fell asleep with windows and sliders open. Probably not smart, but the intention was to cool off the house and listen for the telltale roar of any tornadoes that might arise.
With danger past, we took stock. No damage to property or cars. The development had several downed trees, one poked a hole in somebodies passenger side window, and crushed the passenger side windshield. One air conditioning unit was displaced when a tree was uprooted. All in all, the worst we would have to deal with was no electricity, and my wife’s need for coffee.
With so many people having had to evacuate, the roads were clear. So, we drove around to see if we could find some coffee. All traffic lights were out, so intersections became four-way stops for all but the assholes to whom those rules don’t apply. We saw the remnants of one accident where the “four-way-stop” didn’t apply to one of the cars involved. And there was a police presence at this intersection, too (East Bay under 19 for those familiar with Clearwater).
The Holiday Express commercial started to run through my mind, and I suggested we just go to one of the hotels and get a cup of coffee from the brunch table. Then it came to me, hospital cafeteria. My wife got her coffee and I went home a hero.
One of the things that remind me of Philadelphia is disaster coverage on TV. Just like the local stations up north go crazy over the report of snow, the local stations ALL had to provide hurricane coverage. The same coverage on 6-7 stations. That meant that I couldn’t watch the Pitt-Penn State game on ABC. Or the Ohio State upset. Or NFL football on Sunday. Or Monday. But I could have watched tennis on ESPN. Thank you.
Tuesday, we went to Cracker Barrel for a hot meal. We arrived and were seated immediately with the disclaimer that they had a limited menu, no dairy products as their reefer lost power but not their freezer. Soon after we were seated, the line stretched out the front door. I was satisfied, but my wife was miffed at the perceived price-gouging. Still no power, so I took her to the Honeymoon Causeway in Dunedin to pass the time until we got power. It worked. When we got home at 3:30 PM, we had power back.
All in all, we were very lucky, or blessed.
Thank you to all who reached out. Now for some baseball.
In a recent article on the building of the Forty for next year, I named 6 prospects who I expected to be added. Well, two have been – J.P Crawford as expected and Victor Arano. The waiver claim of Zac Curtis adds another LHP to the mix. (FWIW, Curtis has one option left after this season.)
Another Forty observation. We have 6 players on the 60-Day DL – Buchholz, Eflin, Eickhoff, Therrien, Velasquez, and Florimon. When the season is over, those become 6 additional transactions that have to be effected when building the Forty. Buchholz’ and Florimon’s fates are undoubtedly release. But space back on the Forty will need to be made for the other four, or subject them to waivers, free agency, or release.
Got my power back in time to watch the Miami broadcast of their game against the Phillies. Gotta admit, I loved the line up. I would have preferred Crawford at short and Galvis at second, but I’m not going to pick nits.
How about that Rhys Hoskins? I understand that he broke a record recently for home runs hit by a rookie brought up after August 1st held by Ted Williams. Cool company, but really, how do they come up with this stuff? Two HRs last night, what are the Marlins doing, throwing a fastball down the middle in a one-run game with two outs and a 2-0 count in the tenth inning? Did you see him stretch for the ball on Galvis slightly high throw on a Dee Gordon ground out? Great catch and release by Galvis, great grab by Hoskins,
There are only a couple other candidates for a call up to the Phillies. The few remaining prospects on the Forty are position players Valentin and Quinn who ended their seasons on the DL and Dylan Cozens; and pitchers Anderson, Appel, Tirado, and Elniery Garcia.
Anderson has thrown 116.2 innings. I’ve seen that some people think he’s reached his innings limit, but he threw 114.1 last year. Appel and Tirado were rehabbing in the GCL and didn’t look particularly sharp when the season ended. Tirado also got an inning with Clearwater. He only walked one. Garcia came off suspension and is scheduled to report to the Arizona Fall League. Legitimate reasons for all not being called up. Cozens’ legitimate reason appears to be the poor year he had.