How to Break a Slump?
It has been a downer of a road trip through Sunday night for the Boise Hawks – four-straight losses, with the one thing that had been stellar through the first 33 games, starting pitching, letting the team down the past few nights. Timely hits have gone by the wayside, and defensive miscues have compounded innings. (Click for the Eugene-Boise Series Finale Game Notes)
Sounds a lot like the Chicago Cubs of the 1960s and 1970s – the years in which Ron Santo was a standout third baseman at Wrigley Field. It was an amazing day yesterday to hear his widow give his induction speech was inspiring, as Santo was inspiring to all ball players and broadcasters alike. I will play the entire induction speech tonight on Hawkstown Tonight, to hopefully inspire those who missed it in the Treasure Valley.
Back to the troubles in Eugene – how do you flush your system and try to get the negatives out of the way? For some of the pitchers, it was an evening trip to the gym with strength coach Ryan Claussen, for a broadcaster – how about a drive to the beach. That is what my family and I did last night – as Eugene is just an hour from Florence, on the Oregon Coast. It was the first time that I had been on a beach since 2010 and the first time my wife had been on the beach since we made a trip to the Carribean back in 2004. But for our son, P.J., it was the first time that he had ever seen the ocean – so it was an amazing time, and watching him go absolutely crazy was enough to recharge the battery for the final game of the first half of the season. The coincidence of the trip was back in 2003 (the worst season for the Hawks as an affiliated team) – when manager Steve McFarland took the entire team to the exact same beach and a dinner at Mo’s Seafood and Chowder House (guess where the Safford ate dinner?).
MORE ON EUGENE: Gotta love the Valley River Inn, the staff has been outstanding (including $5 vouchers to the hotel restaurant if you do not have your room serviced – which come in handy after a game. PK Park is awesome for a broadcaster – the booth is so large that PJ was able to watch a movie and my wife was able to read a book and I didn’t even realize they were there (plus there is a door on the booth for privacy), while the window opens and closes if need. Now if they could turn the air conditioning (yes they have AC) off of 70 degrees, that would be great.
FOOD REPORT: Interesting eats in Eugene (including Salisbury Steak without mashed potatoes), but I give the staff here props, they have popcorn and peanuts for the pressbox to munch on throughout the night – which other parks in the league (Vancouver and Everett also do this) should look at. The condiment bar is average, as everything is coming from a big Heinz dispenser (Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, Relish, Ranch, BBQ Sauce) – not a fan of the big dispenser. Found only one place with onions. Food Standings through 7/22 – Pizza (5), Ham/Turkey Sandwich (5), Hot Dogs (5), Smoked Sausage (4), Pulled Pork Sandwich (3), Chicken Sandwich (4), Hamburger (3), No Food (2), Pulled Pork Nachos (2), Meatball Sandwich (2), Chicken Caesar Wrap (2), Salisbury Steak (1).