Madson wound up having a fine season and playing an important role for the 2015 World Series Champions (68 appearances,
3 saves, 20 holds, 2.13 ERA). He departed via free agency during the offseason, signing with the Oakland Athletics.
Meanwhile, Flynn was sent to Omaha, got injured, and missed the entire 2015 season anyway. It was quite a setback.
Now he's back in Surprise, Arizona competing for a spot with the defending champions. He's grateful for the opportunity, and glad to be healthy enough to compete. It will be interesting to see if Brian can put together another strong spring and make the team.
|"A flame-throwing lefty would be a nice bullpen piece to have."|
It absolutely would be, yes...
Wild Kingdom Bed & Breakfast Update
|"More dried fruit and peanuts, if you don't mind."|
this week, and for the first time since winter began I saw (and heard) a blue jay on the patio.
We're just a few weeks away from the first day of spring, so I imagine a lot of species I haven't seen for awhile will start turning up again. Everybody's welcome at the B&B,
of course. That's the whole point...
Another Lenten Sacrifice
One of the things I chose to give up for Lent was Starbucks coffee drinks (just the ones I get from their store; I'm still allowed to use their ground coffee at home).
That turned out to be more of a sacrifice than I had thought, as they have introduced a new beverage: the Smoked Butterscotch Latte.
The barista at my local Starbucks couldn't tell me how long this item would be available, so I can only hope it is still available after Easter. She was able to tell me that she wasn't allowed to sell me a bottle of the syrup they use to make the beverage...
From the delightful comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do.
Until Next Time...One of my favorite things about seeing baseball games in person is being present for the national anthem. Seeing how the home team has chosen to handle this song at a particular game is always interesting. It is a famously difficult song for vocalists, so it is not unusual for teams to prefer instrumental renditions.
On special occasions (Opening Day, 4th of July, playoff games, etc.) teams playing at home will often go in for big productions of the song, which makes those occasions even more memorable.
|Van Cliburn in concert in 2003|
For their Opening Day in 1994, the Texas Rangers made the unusual choice of legendary classical pianist Van Cliburn (a Texan and resident of nearby Fort Worth), playing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. What followed was one of the best instrumental renditions of the anthem I've ever heard, and the fans in attendance gave it quite an ovation.
Today's send-off is the official MLB video of Cliburn's stirring performance. Enjoy...