Monthly Archives: July 2008

Trade Manny?

Short answer: Yes, if it’s the Jason Bay deal (via the Marlins).

Long answer: Yes. Take a look at players A and B below:

player A: .282/.375/.519 (AVG/OBP/SLG), 29 years old, under contract for $7.5 million in 2009

player B: .299/.398/.529, 36 years old, club option for 2009-2010 for ~$20 million
Which player would you rather have? Of course, A is Jason Bay and B is Manny Ramirez. Bay is younger and provides similar production to Manny at this stage in his career for a lot less money. Granted, the version of the Manny to the Marlins/prospects to the Pirates/Bay to the Red Sox deal that I’ve heard has the Sox playing the rest of Manny’s salary for the year. The deal isn’t as attractive in that light, but the Sox will probably let Manny go this offseason, so why not get a player as good as Bay in the meantime (Manny’s salary being a sunk cost)?

Just my quick take. We’ll see what happens later today…

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball, Red Sox

Jonah stories

A couple of stories about my son, Jonah:

About six weeks ago I had the transmission replaced in my car (so much for German engineering–the reliability of BMW’s is a topic of a future post) and borrowed my parents’ 1989 Toyota Cressida. Some of you may remember that car–quite nice in its day (sort of a proto-Lexus), but it’s almost 20 years old now and getting a little long in the tooth. At any rate, the driver’s-side sun visor tends to squeak loudly when moved. One day, when I was taking Jonah to preschool, I went to move the visor and warned him that it might squeak. It didn’t and I made some comment like, “That’s interesting, it didn’t squeak.” Jonah said. “That’s because the sun was shining on it.” I told him I didn’t think the sun would make it not squeak, and then he said, “When you move it fast it squeaks and when you move it slow it doesn’t.” So I tried it. Indeed, moving the visor fast made the loud squeak and moving it slow didn’t!

Holy crap! My 4-year-old son is a budding scientist! I gave him a high-five and a fist-bump for making such an astute observation.

Just last weekend Jonah, Santina, Rory, Papa, and I walked to downtown San Mateo. Like most parents with young kids, Santina and I will spell words that we don’t want Jonah to understand. On our walk Jonah said something about being hungry and Santina told me we didn’t have and S-N-A-C-K-S. Jonah asked “What did you spell, Mommy?” And Santina said, “What do you think I spelled?” To which Jonah replied, “Snacks!”

Holy crap! My son is spelling! We’re in trouble now…

Through all of this I could not be more proud of my little guy.

More Jonah stories later.

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Jonah

Everyone should have a Nantucket…

Every year since 1991, my family (my parents and my aunt Rory and uncle Peter, that is) has rented a house on Nantucket for one to two weeks. I’ve been able to go almost every year (I didn’t go the year Jonah was born, for example). Santina, Jonah, and I will be leaving Monday to fly to Boston. Tuesday we’ll drive to Hyannis and catch the ferry to Nantucket. We’ll be there for almost two weeks, so my blog won’t be updated much, if at all, during that time.

What does Nantucket mean to me? Nantucket, or rather, vacationing on Nantucket, is about doing nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, but doing relatively little. In college I valued my vacation time for being low-intensity. Nantucket epitomized that. I’d play some tennis, go out to dinner with my parents, and maybe write some poetry. Nice and relaxing.

Things have changed a little since Jonah was born, but Nantucket is still relaxing. I’ll leave you with a Nantucket poem (I’ve added a couple to my poetry page). Until then, meet me at the grey house with the white trim…

Traveling to Nantucket

I long to travel. To board a ferry
bound for Nantucket. Across a blue strip of ocean,
not too far,
but far enough. Far enough that I can’t see the cape
from the island.
Far enough to get away from cities
with their smog breathing in, their traffic,
the cars coughing men. And work and school,
the tedious and tiring, the reinforced
concrete and painted steel,
dominating skyscrapers and vast cement boulevards.
To go
away from here.
I long to travel. To step off the ferry
and walk onto an island, Nantucket,
walk on cobblestone streets or red brick sidewalks.
Stroll down Main Street, past the planter box
in the middle of the road,
the one all the cars drive around,
the one with the red and yellow and orange
flowers. To turn down a side street,
float past the antique shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants,
and most importantly,
the cafés and bookstores.
But the time will come to visit all of these places.
Before all else, I will rest.
Sleep in a room built with wood walls,
a house covered with gray shingles. Sleep
past noon and then go for a walk.
Back to the center of town, past
the bed & breakfast inns where young
couples always stay. Again down side streets,
streets with English names line North Water,
Orange, or Pleasant. On an island of Indian
places-Nantucket, Madaket, Siasconset.
Grabbing names slinking off their signs,
crawling up to me, tugging on my shoe-laces as if to say:
You will not find San Mateo here. No Los Altos,
Alameda de las Pulgas, El Camino Real.
California this ain’t.
When I have tasted my fill of names, then
turn into the next shop. A bookstore,
a place to browse, to lose an afternoon
just looking, reading bits and pieces of books of poems,
reading thought-provoking science fiction from an obscure
Polish writer. Slip out onto the red brick sidewalk again
to find a café, a place to sit at a marble table
on a black-and-white tile floor and contemplate.
Contemplate poetry, both the books freshly purchased
and my own slop. Catch
snippets of conversations,
odds and ends of discussions
on politics or religion sometimes, but mostly
about others. Gossip.
Listen to the gossip, absorb it through osmosis.
Maybe smile at the waitress with the long, dark brown
hair. Drink another cup
then leave. Return to the wood-walled
room. Tomorrow I leave. Tomorrow I
return to the dark constructs of man.
Tomorrow I begin to long to travel, again, to
long for those June days of espresso and chocolate-chip ice cream,
of subtle flowers and subtler poems.
Now I long to travel, to Nantucket,
once more, on my own.

1 Comment

Filed under Nantucket, Poetry

The poem that started it all

There is a reason someone once called me “Wayne Pitcher, Chemist and Poet.” I’ve been writing poetry since my senior year in high school. Here’s “the poem that started it all”:

Bury the Ghost

Dig the grave
Deeper and deeper.
Bury the ghost,
I’m not its keeper.

Pile the dirt
Higher and higher.
Burn her letters,
Fuel for the fire.

Forget the memories,
Forget them longer.
No longer weak,
Be strong, be stronger.

Learn form the past,
Learn quicker and quicker.
Build those walls
Thicker and thicker.

No. Tear them down,
Bricks by the stack.
For I got the monkey
Off my back!

I know, I know, it rhymes. Hey it was my first “real” poem, so cut me some slack.

I’ll post my poetry (both old and new) periodically.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

All-Star Game

So I watched the All-Star game yesterday. Rather, I watched extra innings, as Jonah did not go to sleep until then. The game went on a bit long (santina went to bed before it was over), but it was not without excitement. As in many extra-inning games, one-run strategies dominate (usually for good reason), shich leads to some interesting decisions…like sending Dioner Navarro (?!?) home in the 11th instead of holding him at third. Who was the third base coach for the AL, Wendell “Send ’em home” Kim? Or maybe Dale Sveum? (Red Sox fans will know what I mean)

At any rate, it was an exciting game, complete with the specter of a tie looming large as the night wore on.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baseball

Call me Dr. P

I’m Dr. Wayne Pitcher, Chemist and Poet. Welcome to my blog. After talking about it, thinking about it, and having numerous friends suggest I do it, I am now blogging. I intend to use this space for random musings…well, maybe not so random. I have a lot of interests, from poetry to baseball to science to music to philosophy. And some areas in between. And some beyond. Of course, you may also find news and updates about my family here. Mostly I want to write and hopefully have someone read it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Miscellaneous, Wayne