So Much Time and So Little to Do!

Wait. Strike that. Reverse it.

The Salem Sox kick off a stretch of 27 straight days with a baseball game this evening in Lynchburg. While that sentence is daunting, it is also exciting.

As Willy Wonka’s magical message illustrates, there really is a lot to do, or in the case of broadcasting baseball, so many stories to tell.  Every single day is an opportunity to tell another tale. Each inning is a chapter and every participant has a lifetime of twists and turns that brought him to that particular at-bat.

A good broadcaster is like being an archaeologist, gradually and carefully sifting through the many layers of past to create a narrative. Meanwhile, the present unfolds before our eyes, an intersection of achievement and opportunity that is often fascinating.

In preparing for today’s matchup with the Hillcats, I came across this remarkable story about Lynchburg catcher Evan Gattis: 

If you have not already done so, I strongly advise you to read the story and think of the motion picture that could emerge if Gattis continues to progress to the big leagues.  What a crazy, unpredictable life he has led! And who nows what could happen in tonight’s ballgame that could add to his already astounding journey?

As the Candy-Man might say, there are so many stories to tell and so little time to tell them in.

Every broadcast is a quilt of stories, and I hope you’ll tune in tonight at 6:05 PM to hear some more.

You never know when an Oompa-Loopa will have another puzzle for you.

Talk to you soon,


P.S. Today’s game notes are below for your perusal.


April 12, 2012 6:05 PM Salem Red Sox (1-2) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (3-0) Game #4

Lynchburg City Stadium                           Lynchburg, VA                    Road Game #4

Probable Starters: LHP Manny Rivera (5-6, 3.91) vs RHP Aaron Northcraft (7-8, 3.34) (*2011 Stats)

Three Down, 137 To Go: With 97.857% of the regular season  still on the horizon, the Sox journey to Lynchburg for a three-game series with the Braves affiliated-Hillcats. A season ago, Salem won all six April meetings with Lynchburg, a big part of the great start that catapulted the Sox to a league-best 16-5 mark in April of 2011. The Hillcats have begun 2012 much sharper than a year ago, winning all three games in their three-game season-opening series with Potomac. Last year, the Hillcats won their opener before dropping ten straight, not winning their third game until the 13th game of the season.

Christian’s Easter: Although the Red Sox offense cooled as the opening weekend progressed, catcher Christian Vazquez remained in gear throughout the series against Frederick. Serving as the backstop on Friday and Sunday and as the DH on Saturday, Vazquez finished the weekend as the only member of the Salem Sox to record a hit in all three games. After going 1-for-5 on Friday and 1-for-4 on Saturday, Vazquez delivered two hits in three at-bats on Sunday to finish the weekend 4-for-12 (.333) with an RBI and two runs scored. Vazquez batted sixth in all three games and led off an inning three times, connecting for hits in two of those opportunities.

Make a Tee Time for May 7: While the Sox enjoyed a rare early-season off-day on Monday, Tuesday’s action commences a stretch of 27 straight days with a game for Salem. Beginning tonight, the Red Sox will complete the first half of their schedule with just two days off mixed in, creating a sequence of 67 games in the next 69 days, with the only days off scheduled for May 7 and May 21. The Sox will also close the first half with 27 games in 27 days, weather permitting.

Slow Starters: Entering Tuesday’s action, Salem is one of three Carolina League teams that has not scored first in any of its games, along with Potomac and Wilmington. Together, these three teams are a combined 2-8. Salem has been outscored 4-0 in the first two innings of games and 18-6 in the first five frames. Lynchburg has taken an early lead in each of its three games thus far in 2012.

Generous Servers: Salem’s opening series was also marred by a jet stream that was overly friendly to Frederick. Sox hurlers surrendered six homers in three games, included three to Keys’ second-baseman Bobby Stevens and two other to outfielder Ronnie Welty. The other seven teams in the Carolina League have allowed just 12 homers thus far on the season.

Home Cooking On the Horizon: While Salem won’t open its home schedule until Friday, the 2012 opener at LewisGale Field will kick off a stretch of 13 of 17 at home for the Sox.

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