Well. The time has now come. Flying out tomorrow for Little Rock, AR for my first baseball of the year.
As I write, the temps for the weekend are to be in the mid-50's, so that shouldn't be too bad. At least it will be better than the 32 degrees it is forecast to be in Indy this weekend.
As umpires, we must always remember that we are expected to be perfect on day one and get better as the season goes on. I think that is truly horseshit, but it is what it is.
So I have seen my pitches in the cage, and I have stretched as much as I could to prepare for Friday's opening game. The victims? St. Louis University and University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. An 11am C.S.T. start time. I hope they are still asleep and forget I am there.
But seriously, I feel eager to begin as the next two weekends shape up to be fun with five games in Little Rock followed by five games next weekend in St. Petersburg, FL in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge.
A little sun...a little baseball...a little more sun. Should be a couple of great weekends to start the year. Then comes the hard part...waiting. After 10 games in two weekends, then I do only seven games in the next three and a half weeks before conference seasons get underway March 26th.
So in other words, you have to start all over again. Such is the life of living in the cold weather of the north...but again as my good friend NCAA Division II umpire coordinator Asa Howard taught me--"It is what it is."
But I am looking forward to getting back out there and getting started as we begin the journey for 2010 of officiating the greatest game in the world--Baseball.
Stay tuned for reports from Arkansas as the journey begins Friday morning.