currently it's 1:50 am and possibly the worst thing about being here and still on EST is the unavailability of my favorite sporting event - March Madness is on right now and no TV carries it in the area I would have to go to a sports bar at 2AM here to watch it...so instead beautiful belgian women are on the tv pitching a game, kind of similar to a lottery where only men call in to guess some answer *this is all i'm picking up because it's all in flemish/dutch or some other european hybrid language, and none of them are getting it right...the winner gets 500 euros but each call for a person is 1 euro so they let 1,000 people call a game before they pick someone to guess and they get it wrong and then they start all over again...i really have no idea what's going on except this woman is talking for about an hour straight, before this a movie was on, and before that the news, and last night this same channel showed cricket, i don't know what to expect next - the brady bunch?
now to the good stuff...
my general manager erwin finally bought me my cell phone today the number is 0499228899 - remember 6 hour difference
got paid today and grocery allowance so that's always fun
took a walk to the downtown hoboken to visit the butcher/bakery today to pick up some food and two women were speaking in flemish to me so i said hello, can i have... and before i could finish they said "something something frances??" so of course i said "no, but english" then the two women went scurrying into the back before ''Yo" (i think that's a nickname) emerged to help me...he asked me amongst other things if i was here for business i said yes and then he said what kind, so i replied "baseball'' ''futbol???" he responds... no like the pioneers baseball catch and throw - ''oh yes oh yes, u r the good american player, no?'' - apparently the butcher two blocks away knows me, he showed me what each euro was and told me they just like to put spices on the chicken, no marinade. can't wait to go back for some fresh bakery products!
finally the important stuff - first spring training practice was tonight - still indoors, because of the cold and the rain.
i got warmed up but could only stretch out to about 60 feet before throwing my first pen, and then about 25 min into practice when i got on the mound, most of the players kind of stopped and then a bunch of fans who were watching on the side all came real close to watch me throw.
arm was a little rusty since i havent been able to throw in 4 days being here but once i got loose and was able to break off some sliders and change-ups i heard some ooohs and aahhs kind of funny. my control was a little irratic and def didnt cut any fastball loose but it felt good to be on the bump again.
tomorrow is lifting and long toss and then saturday i'll get some at bats against the team that won the championship last year, the hated greys of antwerp and sunday i make my first spring training start again in antwerp but against the eagles. i threw about 65 pitches today in the pen, so i expect ill go about 4 innings or so in the game.
david f. one of best friends from gwu makes a visit tomorrow and is staying the weekend, it will be nice to have a visitor. still missing pictures from my visit to new york from my sister, rachel sara prinstein, if you know her, tell her to send ém to me...