“Looks Like We Made It, …”

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.

27 thoughts on ““Looks Like We Made It, …”

  1. Glad to hear you made it through, lol I Know someone that lives near you they went to Mobile . They went looking for a DD for like hrs on they way back.

  2. I was going to put out an all-points-bulletin on you and your wife. I had great concern that you’d shelter in place and the freakin’ hurricane was looking to make the east coast of Florida a major disaster area. I’m glad that everything is okay. I have a former roommate from college who lives in the Jacksonville area and we haven’t heard anything from him, his wife or his family.

    1. A friend of mine evacuated to Trenton (which is 20-30 miles outside of JAX) to stay with his son’s family. They came through it okay. A few more downed trees since it is more rural, but he was back in New Port Richey (Pasco County, just north of Pinellas) yesterday. I hope your friends were as fortunate.

  3. Jim,

    Glad to hear you made it through the storm. I live about 140 miles south of you and on the water. They predicted storm surges of 10 to 15 feet, which would have been devastating. As it turned out, water rose but did not flood and, wind just knocked out some pool cage panels and power was back on a day later.

    Still, we drove north to Pensacola to avoid the storm. My wife stayed with a college friend while I rearranged flights to make a business trip to Las Vegas.

    One of the most interesting, even inspiring sights, as we drove north along I-75 was convoy after convoy of recovery workers heading south into the storm from all over the country. Makes one proud of our countrymen who give up their safety and convenience to come to our aid.

  4. Great to read you’re “safe at home”, Jim!

    Didn’t last 15 innings myself last night, but the Larry Anderson quote of the night – “How does Cesar Hernandez get thrown out at home on that play?” …his feet were 18 inches past the plate when his hand was tagged by the catcher.

    Of all the pleasant developments among the kids, I’m most encouraged by Nicky Dubs. Yeah his WAR isn’t great (that’s a topic for another day – not a fan of it, frankly) but considering so many of us were down on him, he’s acquitted himself nicely so far.

      1. has a player ever led both a minor and major league team in homers in the same season? Rhys has a shot.

        1. In 2001 Adam Dunn hit quite a few…20 @ Louisville, 12 @ Chattanooga, and finished with 19 with Cincinnati…..only other big minor plus Major totals in HR’s that I could find was 1958, Dick Stuart, 31 @ Salt Lake City, then 16 HR’s with Pittsburgh

          1. Those two may have been the closest.
            Hoskins could do it and could be the only one..
            Griffey and Young led the Reds that year, 2001. Dunn finished third in HRs.
            Frank Thomas led the Prates in’ 58 and Stuart came in third behind Thomas and Maz.

    1. 8mark, I have only been able to follow Williams’ box score and stat lines but have been impressed with his overall results. After his 2016 season in AAA, I had doubts like everyone else. And, I wasn’t sure how he would react to his promotion this season. But, I think he has done very well. He started off nicely, ran into some difficulty, adjusted, and has played pretty well, IMO. Last night, I saw what people are talking about when they critique his plate discipline. I remember the K on a pitch that was up and rode out of the zone. But, he was set up for that pitch. Sometimes the pitcher is going to win that battle. And he didn’t look as bad at the plate as some of his team mates who struck out on pitches that broke into the dirt at their feet.

      1. One thing I’m loving about Nicky W is how hard he plays. Beat out a possible GIDP the other night because he beat it out of the box like a wild man. He also successfully stretched a single into a double last night because he busted it out the second he made contact. Loved seeing that.

  5. Glad you and your family are okay. Maybe you should go see those Indians who are in the trible and get the winning lottery numbers from them.

  6. Great to hear you are okay.

    The idea of a player being promoted on August 10th and perhaps leading his team in home runs (which could easily happen) is staggering.

    Hoskins has the second most homers this year in organized baseball (45) after Stanton.

    I was at the first part of the game last night (really hard to stay too late on work nights), so I missed both home runs, but the at bats he has, at bat after at bat, are phenomenal.

    And people are now getting a glimpse of what Crawford can become. With all due respect to my friend Eric D, he does not have the look of an average player.

  7. Glad you are ok Jim, Again, thanks for all the hard work. I agree with you that I would prefer Crawford and Galvis switch positions. Hoskins just does not miss mistake pitches, and he also walked twice before the 1st HR. I wish we had gotten to see more of this sooner than mid-August.

  8. Jim – I’m happy to hear you made it through mostly unscathed. I was worried the roads there would all be flooded so it’s great news the way it played out.
    I was at the game last night and lasted 14 innings. I guess they were waiting for me to leave to get that walk off winner. Cesar continues to do things that make me wonder if he has any baseball instincts at all. What a terrible slide. Should have ended the game right there. As for Hoskins, we’re witnessing history. The kid just looks relaxed and he’s playing confidently. I sure loved the lineup and it looked like something we could expect in April. Why does Galvis continue to bat 2nd? He must have pictures… JP continues to play smooth, it’s always the word I use for him. He should be playing SS now but he’s played well at 2B and 3B, with several nice plays last night, in addition to his two doubles. Williams is an improving player right in front of our eyes. He’s young and he’s gaining valuable playing time right now. He’s still learning how to lay off high fastballs but he’s been so much fun to watch. He has 47 RBIs which is crazy. The kids make it fun. Arano came out throwing 95 by the way and Pinto was throwing 97. Just need starting pitching. Klentak will have an important winter. If they want Machado to come here a year from now, they’ll need to find starting g pitching this winter.

    1. “Pictures”, haha. I remember thinking that about MiniMart when he reported to spring training in 2012 and 2013.

      And, the first batter Arano faced was some guy named Stanton.

  9. Good post Murray, There is no way that Freddy should ever bat 2nd. Period. And, I like him and could see him on a playoff team, batting 8th. I feel the exact same way about Williams. I see him have a poor at bat and then adjust, and just grow as a player. I thought he would be better defensively, though. Anyway, it is fun watching him improve. But little things about the team drive me nuts. Galvis popping up a bunt to the Pitcher was just a poor bunt attempt. And the Cesar slide! Way too many years as a baseball player to make dumb fundamental mistakes.

  10. Glad to see you back, Jim!

    Last night’s game definitely gives a good glimpse of the future – I love seeing Crawford on base four times.

    In the writeup, Jim mentioned Cozens not being called up because he had a poor year. It’s funny that having almost 30 homers can be a poor year, but he really did struggle.

    I just took a look at his splits, and he struggled (.194 BA) vs lefties, but his numbers vs righties really weren’t that much better. And if you take his very good month of May out of the equation (yeah, you can’t, but…) he hit .177 with 18 homers and 164ks in 373abs. He’s got some serious power, but that’s really not going to translate to a good major league career.

    Hoskins, on the other hand – it wouldn’t surprise me if he places pretty high in rookie of the year voting!


  11. Glad you and wife and family are sage Jim
    My 90-year old uncle and 88-year old aunt took a train from Ft Lauderdale to Orlando area to be with their daughter to ride out Irma….seems Irma followed them to some degree.
    They survived however, He however wants to come back home to Philly to be eventually buried…auntie does not want to leave the children. grands and great- grands in Florida.
    Oh well.

  12. Jim,

    Glad you made it through okay! Love the site and I read the posts daily. Just curious, why was your wife miffed at the perceived price-gouging? Did they up their prices?

    1. Their menu was limited due to loss of things in their refrigerators. So, no eggs, or other dairy. Normally, I order one of their Traditional Favorites or Momma’s Pancake Breakfast which includes “Three Buttermilk Pancakes served with 100% Pure Natural Syrup n’ butter plus two eggs* and Thick-Sliced Bacon or sausage”. the price is $7.99-$8.49 for any of my usual meals. Yesterday, 3 pancakes and 3 slices of bacon cost over $10.00 (my wife says $10.50, I remember $10.18). She thinks that since I got Momma’s Breakfast without the eggs, it should have cost less not more.

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