Are We There Yet…Are We There Yet?
There is always something new for this blog, and maybe since we’ve hit the 20,000 page view mark, we’d need to try something – writing from the side of the road on the bus. Literally, I am sitting on a guardrail next to Interstate 84 in Eastern Oregon (mile marker 207 is about 100 yards in front of me), as our team bus broke down around 2 a.m. this morning (pictured left). When Hal our bus driver, Bob Grimes, and I checked out the damage in the back (bus engines are in the back of the bus), we could smell coolant and see tons of liquid sprayed atop the outside of the bus. Four hours later, we are still sitting here, waiting for another bus to make its way to Pendleton (and just got word that the replacement bus is still 100 miles away and has a possible air leak).
It was an interesting time as a lot of the Extenders – guys who played together in Extended Spring, were outside the bus around 3:30 and relaxing as the temperature on the bus was warm (until I made the startling discovery to open the escape hatches on the roof to let in the air). Twitter pictures and video blew up everywhere (you can see a lot of it on @BoiseHawksRadio). We also found out on the side of the road that Rock Shoulders has made the final of the Minors Moniker Madness tournament on MILB.com – he will square off against Rougned Odor (who was the second baseman last season for the Spokane Indians) in the final. Look for a chat with him on MILB.com later today.
This morning brings back all of the bus problems I remember over the years – including my first ever ride on a bus as an eight year old. My family went to Disneyland and had a transfer from LAX to our hotel in Anaheim and the charter broke down on the side of the 605 – it made me never want to be on a bus again (those charters in the early 80s weren’t to plush). We’ve had a couple bus issues while I have been at The College of Idaho – those, however, weren’t so much breakdowns as weather related. We got stuck for an hour about two miles east of here in a Wendy’s parking lot – when we couldn’t get up a small hill due to the ice. A couple years later (day of the first New England-New York Super Bowl), it was a bit more serious, as we hit a patch of ice and slid off the road 40 miles outside of Klamath Falls – landing at a 30-degree angle in a snowbank (which kept us from tipping over completely). The only way out of the bus was through the emergency windows with the temperatures around zero outside – where we waited for over five hours. I also remember our first trip home from Eugene during the 2003 season, as we were halted by a head-on car crash east of Bend for two hours in the middle of the night.
97 GUYS IN THE MAJORS: With the trade deadline shuffling – and former Hawk Geovany Soto getting shipped off to Texas, some movement went on in the Cubs organization. Casey Coleman got called up for a spot start and then sent back to Iowa, with former Hawk Alberto Cabrera getting his first call to the Show. Cabrera, who posted a 3-3 record and a 5.68 ERA with Boise in 2007, made his MLB debut on Wednesday, tossing a scoreless inning in a Cubs 8-4 loss to Pittsburgh, becoming the seventh former Hawk to make his debut this season (joining Flaherty, Gonzalez, Lalli, Parker, Downs, and Beliveau) and the 97th in franchise history.
5 STRAIGHT WINS AND…: A five-game win streak has been rare for the Hawks – a lot of three and four game runs over the last couple years, but the 14-10 win on Wednesday pushed the streak to five for the first time since July of 2008. The luck ran out last night, as the Spokane bats, which recorded 34 runs and 47 hits in the series, finally scratched out a win.
Getting a bit nippy out here from the big rigs rolling by, so going to get back on the bus – hopefully talk with you tonight at Avista Stadium as the road trip begins in Spokane.
UPDATE ON THE SITUATION – A second bus, which was brought in all the way from Boise (which surprised many of us since there are charter companies in both Pendleton and the Tri-Cities), arrived in at the scene just before 8 a.m. Pacific Time – five hours and fifty minutes from the time we pulled off the road. We were visited about 30 minutes prior by an Oregon Department of Transportation worker, who loaned us some cones to set up a safe work area (which I set up – using my years of experience as a worker in the Pierce County Traffic Operations Division from 1994-2001, in fact, was happy that my taper of cones was perfectly straight). The bus was unpacked and repacked in about 20 minutes – with pitching coach David Rosario and I doing a lot of the packing (loading a bus is like loading the back of a car for a vacation), and we were headed on the road after six hours and nine minutes. Another three and a half hours later, I walked into my hotel room at the Mirabeau Park Hotel at 11:45 a.m.
Thanks for the countless tweets and mentions from friends, members of the media, and loved ones for myself and the guys on the team – I honestly think people coast to coast knew what the Boise Hawks were doing early this morning.