Doldrums

Forget taking me out to the ball game, just take me out

Welcome to Summer Hell

As none of you know, each summer I work at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium, the current home of the Edinburg Roadrunners. I love the job, don’t get me wrong. This post isn’t about bitching. The general manager, as well as, all the other uppers, treat me well. They keep me paid during the summer and they never abuse my kindness. I can’t say the same thing about the baseball teams, but that’s expected.

A while back, I reported that the Edinburg Roadrunners were no longer a part of the United Baseball League, but a merger league called the North American League. Well, I go into work today – they called me in to help J. put up signs on the wall – and sit down for a breather. As I wait for J. to arrive, I read Doc by Mary Doria Russell and look down at the schedules stacked neatly on the front desk. Having already seen the schedule on the right, I focus my attention on the ones on the left. I heard that we were planning to host soccer games at the stadium, so I quickly write it off as that – completely oblivious of the baseball and bat printed on it. I snap back to the Roadrunners’ schedule and see that several of the teams are missing. So I asked D. what’s going on with the the ones from Illinois. Apparently, they went belly up and sold off. Besides, even I knew how much of a pain in the ass it was going to be to send the teams back and forth.

That’s pretty much when D dropped the news on me – what I had thought of as the soccer team was really the newest team in the league. Apparently, Coastal Bend Thunders are now the McAllen Thunders. I wasn’t even aware that McAllen had a baseball stadium. You learn something new everyday, right? Only, McAllen doesn’t have a baseball stadium (that I know of) and the Thunders will call Edinburg Stadium their home.

Wait. If the McAllen Thunders are playing at Edinburg…that means the Edinburg staff… Oh. Fucking. Hell.

The news that I will be taking care of not one but two home teams was only made worse when I also learned that a new manager was thrown in the mix. Hold on. I’m having a heart attack. You mean to tell me, of all the people I convinced to like me last year, the only one coming back is the one who threatened to choke my ass?! Excuse me while I go bang my head on the wall for a few hours.

San Angelo is still on the roster, which is great. San Angelo liked me enough not to kill me, but not enough to not blare their music in the locker room. Guys, I’m here to keep the peace between you and the umpires. Don’t make my job any harder.

Hope shines like a beckon in the horizon. Workforce has stated that we might get the program again this year. I’ve asked for four workers – two in the morning and two at night. If we don’t get them, the stadium will have to hire me a buddy – hopefully someone who won’t try to screw me over.

Well, it’s still early on. Changes happened after a month, but I hope they don’t happen again. Because I can seriously say, I’m not looking for the hectic scheduling. Oh, and I observe the right to ask for the 19th and 20th in August. If we have all the help we need, this shouldn’t be a problem. I have a girlfriend whose birthday always seems to land on a home game. And they’re this year.

Doldrums

Heads will roll

 

If I eat them, will I become Spider-Man?

 

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.