A thick layer of dust – dirt, I should say – covered the tables. Dirt and debris coated cobwebs hung down like bead curtains. Dead bugs scattered across the floor, in the drains of the sinks. Mold covered wash clothes and scrubbers. Empty cement cleaning fluid container. Receipt rolls and straws. Krist, why can’t stadiums stay clean?
I’m the guy they call for the dirty jobs. I work miracles. This year’s miracle might be half of last year’s miracle. Last year I had better toys to play with. I had better cleaners. I had hoses that were unwounded. I look at the tear resistant hose on the floor, remembering Jeremy’s words last year when he bought them for
the stadium me. Instead of a power wash, I had some stick that supposed to pressurize the water stream. I look around and I quickly wish I had a cigarette, which is sort of fucked up because I don’t smoke, have never had a smoking habit. I take in a deep breath and hope that I haven’t breathed any spores. Fuck it, let’s get to work.
It’s a day job. Last year it took me four days to clean one concession stand. But then I wasn’t on schedule then. And because I was being paid per hour. I don’t even know my payroll at the moment. And I also made the mistake of cleaning up rather than down. By the time I was finished with the shelves and tables, the floor was a mess again. This year it’s been decided that I am clean down. I walk to the stutters and work on the one. The handle pops and nearly hits me in the face. Great. First day back and already I’ve broken stadium property. It’s inaugural. It’ll happen next year should I return. I ignore that shutter and work on the other one. Something – a baseball or bat (as Jeremy suggested) must’ve hit it – has damaged it. Possibly someone who wanted to prove his muscular physique. I toss the moldy wash clothes. I refuge to let anyone use them. Ever. Even under hot water. No. They’ve been ruined. I got it all clean. Smudges remain on the counters. Ignore them. Later. Start the water. The hose sprays me. The stick sprays me. I’m wet to the core. Fucking hell man.
I go over the four three times before working the counters with the water. Then I return to the floor. I don’t have the tools I had last year so this will have to do. It’ll pass inspection. I grab the schedule for the year and see that we’ve lost three teams – the Amarillo Dillas, the best team I ever worked with; the Coastal Bend Thunders and the Laredo Broncos. I see four new teams – the Lake County Fielders, the Rockford River Hawks, the Schaumberg Flyers – all of which are from Illinois – and the Maui Fighting Warriors (Na Koa Ikaika Maui). Along with the San Angelo Colts and Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings – my least favorite team to work with – and, of course, the Edinburg Roadrunners, these teams make up the North American League, a merger league that consists of the United Baseball League (our former league), the Golden Baseball League and the Norther League. I feel like I’ll have to start from the bottom of the barrel again. I’ve worked so hard to get the other teams to like me as clubhouse manager that I feel that this year will be a repetition. And it’s not the teams I’m worried about. I remember Brady Bogart telling me that it’s usually the manager that causes how the team behaves. And it’s true. RGV has the tendency of skipping out on me because their manager is headstrong that they don’t have to pay the dues – which they do because the Roadrunners pay their dues in Harlingen. Oh well, here’s to a new season, starting in May. With soccer games in between. Year. That’s right. Soccer games.
- Crowning One Independent Champion Is Achievable (bleacherreport.com)
- Alone, Dead and Moving (cityofchapin.wordpress.com)
- Independent League notes (thebaseballblog10.wordpress.com)
- North American Baseball League announces 2011 schedule (thebaseballblog10.wordpress.com)