Friday, July 6, 2012

Mixing it up on the Fourth


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

Everyone has their way of celebrating the Fourth of July. Last year, I announced the parade in Hailey, saw a lot of old friends and had a lot of fun. This year my mode of enjoyment consisted of sitting in a beach chair under a large, old shade tree and throwing a rubber ball to Nathan, a black dachshund/Labrador mix and a helluva ballplayer. In his heart, Nathan firmly believes he's a retriever of the highest esteem. He catches every thrown missile with the grace of a gifted ballerina. His short, stubby legs pump hard down the field in the style of Lolo Jones, the Olympic track star, and he leaps and catches the ball over his shoulder while in full stride. I believe the Seattle Mariners could really use him as a backup outfielder and I feel that he could hold his own at bat equally as well as some of their hitters this season. His buddy, Jack, a true purebred dachshund, ignores the athletic contest and busies himself digging up the large, old shade tree, insisting that he will take it down by Labor Day.

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Later in the day, we watch the Mariners lose another while I construct an index for a family history book I've been working on for a week and the "boys" run up and down the stairs chasing a stuffed "dolly." The Mariners have a variety of stuffed dollies on their team featuring a handful of overpriced veterans playing out their contracts and a bunch of young talented ballplayers in their initial years who are struggling to stay in the big leagues. Their mix, unlike Nathan's, has produced a tired, nervous team that can't hit a lick. Thus far, the mix has produced only one member to be selected to the All Star Game, their leading pitcher who sports a 6-5 wins-to-losses record. I must add that every Major League team must have one representative.

Next year, I hope to get Nathan ready for spring training in March in Arizona. The Mariners have offered a $5,000 contract for his skills, As soon as I come up with the $5,000, I plan to accompany him. Jack will go with us as there are far too many cacti near the stadium and they have to be removed.

Nice talking to you.




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