The topic of my daily pregame interview with manager Jerry Weinstein was "the Dog Days of Summer," a fancy way of saying you're tired. Every team goes through it, usually this month. It's late in the season. The body is aching. It's hot. The finish line is near, but it's not the final sprint just yet.
The "dog days" apply to broadcasters as much as players. Must admit I was dragging a bit this weekend. I'll blame most of it on being in Visalia, which is always a challenge when you're broadcasting outdoors at this Godforsaken relic of a ballpark, the sun is beating down on you, and you're staying at the Godforsaken hotel that is the LampLighter Inn -- not to mention when you've only had one day off since early April.
I don't have problems getting motivated to call games. It's the daily pregame preparation that gets old. Plus, most of my fatigue stemmed from how annoying it is taking apart all the radio equipment, packing it up, then unpacking and setting it all up again each day. This is another occupational hazard from their non-existent press box.
Alas, hitting coach Dave Hajek put things in perspective. He told his players, "this is your job" -- which I took to heart. Thought about the excitement I felt for this career move four months ago, how no job is perfect, and told myself, "self, don't complain because you have to broadcast a baseball game every day."
I know a week after the season is over, I'll miss baseball and want it to start again. So that fired me up ... well, for the game, not for setting up all that damn equipment again.
Besides, happiness is knowing in a few hours, I'll be done with Bakersfield and Visalia for the season. Oh damn, almost forgot about the playoffs. We'll be back here once more.