Greetings from the (108-degree) desert
TUCSON — In the all-good-things-must-come-to-an-end department, it is almost time to leave the 108-degree temperatures in lovely Tucson, Arizona and head back to Seattle to rejoin the Mariners for the final two-plus months of the regular season.
It will be a 1,600-plus mile drive through the desert, into California — where the gas prices are ridiculously high. I mean, why is the price of gas in Arizona $2.29 per gallon and the same grade of gas in California costs $3.10, or so, depending on which hour you fill ‘er up? Anyway, my mapquest says go north on I-5 until I reach Weed, Calif., the proud home of College of the Siskiyous, which has produced some of our proud nation’s wisest people. Well, a couple of wise people at least. The golf course at Lake Shastina beckons, so three of my former teammates on the COS baseball team (way back in 1964-65, by the way) are going shoot for birdies and eagles, and none are likely to be found. The journey then switches to Highway 97 for a stop at the old homestead in Dorris, Calif., where my high-80s parents still live.
Before leaving Tucson, I was able to get in one round of golf with buddy Bob, Mike and Patrick, the Three Amigos who make 9-1-1 Collision operate on all cylinders. I am still trying to convince them that “You crash ’em, we fix ’em” would be a nice motto. They think otherwise.
You’ll be happy to know that my golf score was lower than the temperature, didn’t see any snakes that rattle, scorpions that bite, or lizards that stick their tongue out at you.
Between playing golf and floating in the pool, I have been following the Mariners closely and it’s good to see that the three-day All-Star break didn’t change things much. They still win the close ones and continue to get excellent pitching.
Furthermore, Franklin Gutierrez is quietly becoming a star in the Major Leagues.
Speaking of stars, I have been working the past few weeks on a fairly in-depth story on Ichiro and it will be displayed on both MLB.com and Mariners.com sometime Monday evening. Several of his colleagues have some interesting things to say about the Mariners right fielder and now a nine-time All-Star as he moves closer to becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame. Also, on Monday, there will be an Inbox (formerly known as the Mailbox) on the Mariners Web site.
In the meantime, I’ll check back in during the l-o-n-g, lonely (superwife is flying back to Seattle pick pick up Mr. Fab and Pumba, the guinea pigs, and resume her work as an interior designer) trek back to the Great Northwest.
— Jim Street