Monday, February 06, 2017
Today is supposed to be the first day of tryouts for the high school baseball program. Just about any other year, especially the last four, this goes off without a hitch. This year, after years of historic drought, Northern California has been soaked by equally historic rainfall. This is not typical of most years, but it describes this winter well:
Rain itself is bad enough for a baseball program, since baseball is one of those outdoor sports that simply can't be played in the rain. Our boys suffer a double whammy thanks to the geology of their school, which sits on clay soils where lakes and streams once ran. The ground holds water and does not let it go. The fields are currently marshes with shoe-sucking mud and standing water everywhere. We have already seen that it takes more than a week of dry weather for the fields to become anything close to playable. Tryouts were to have taken place every day this week; that entire schedule will have to be moved back not only to the first sunny day, but the first sunny day after enough sunny days have passed to dry the fields.
Some of the boys, Michael among them, have been working out since September. Early on, they took fielding and hitting practice on the varsity field three days a week. As the weather turned colder, the boys moved into the weight room, building up strength for the demanding schedule to come. Through it all, they have quietly speculated about who looks good, who is not showing up, and who will make which team (the school has freshman, junior varsity and varsity squads). They are ready to compete and answer some of these questions. Someone needs to appease the weather gods so they can get started.