brewers baseball and things

walking towards Padilla


It’s a low-budget, dirty, out-of-the-way stable where horses sleep. Montreal tourists don’t need to know this. They pay for the chariot ride.I see the horses beside the Lachine canal. It’s their starting gate and many things at once to my senses. The bells around neck ring from 2 or 3 blocks away. I see the head bobbing determination come clickety clack of hoofs.

The moment doesn’t last long. Words clog my senses. I’m polluted by my memories. The here and now barely exists. It’s Saturday night or getting close anyway. The sun is gone and it may take a while for the city to adjust. I’ve noticed this before and usually stay inside until Saturday night has fully landed. But I’m hungry for a pizza and ignore my alarm.

The grocery store’s automatic check out machines are out-of-order. The lines with a real live cashier are four customers deep; some with stacked carts and others holding items like a baby to chest. Sciatica nerves are ready to act up. Shoulders are shrugged. Sighs are the heart beat. Eyes roll. The muzak, bright lights and yellow karts are no longer interesting.

The wool winter hats become a sauna. Patience is slipping away. I place a frozen pizza, three bulbs of garlic and green pepper in a chocolate bar display rack and walk calmly through the electric sliding doors, making sure to not look at the security guard.

vicente-padilla-closeup-180Outside there’s a man speaking in mumbles; ranting at cars in foul language. There’s a woman with facial hair The sky is purple. I turn the corner. The street lights are not on yet, but a car creeps around the same corner and its lights make it very clear what is happening. Someone looking like Vincente Padilla is there and not moving. I know that face as ancient; maybe Aztec or Inca. I welcome the distraction.

The Padilla man doesn’t speak. He does something even better. He stands there like a wood statue in complete silence. He’s staring towards the second story patio apartment; the one with Christmas tree decorations still up on March 1st. Or maybe he sees the telephone wire hanging there like a musical scale and detects an animal playing trapeze. Or maybe I can’t see what he sees.

My gait slows. I sneak one last look at Padilla as I pass. It’s all there in his face. I’m relaxed and my mind thinks about Josh Collmenter’s beard for no known reason. I’m relieved. Next thing I know I’m inside at this computer looking up pictures of Collmenter.

I’m wondering if he’s shaved since entering the major leagues in 2011? Does a beard have a growth spurt until the 7th or 8th month and then slow down to a few inches every year? Or do the follicles twist and turn and get bushy making it harder to see growth in terms of length?

I’ve heard Collmenter draw a distinction between his beard and teammate Wade Miley’s. The Collmenter is woodsy, Michigan, north and grizzly. Miley’s is southern Amish, redneck, streamlined. You can count the follicles like still streamers. Collmenter doesn’t talk about the speed of beard development but…Yep, it’s official. The interim confusion between day and night is officially over.

The gloom that probably didn’t exist has disappeared with an occasional contraction, but spread out now. I should probably bow down to Padilla, but I visit baseball reference instead.

Collmenter is entering his 4th consecutive season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s still considered “on the cusp of making their starting staff.” He wasn’t a top draft pick.(15th round-463rd overall pick) There’s no save face on our investment; no politics favoring Collmenter’s career. He will always have to earn it. He grew up in Homer Michigan chucking Tomahawks in the woods. That’s where he apparently cultivated a dramatic overhand motion that goofs hitters. It’s almost a hidden ball trick.

Collmenter has averaged 7.1 k’s per 9 innings, allowed 308 hits and only 38 home runs in 336 innings. He doesn’t walk too many either (2.2 in 9 IP).

I have two windows open on this desktop now; three including wordpress. Padilla was born in Nicaragua, pitched for his country in the 2008 World Baseball Classic, helped them earn a bronze medal as the team’s closer, learned how to throw a change-up from fellow Nicaraguan Dennis Martinez. None of this really matters, but I’m content. The odds seem high for a good night’s sleep.


Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

18 thoughts on “walking towards Padilla

  1. I remember when Padilla got his ass kicked by Nick Swisher when Swish was still a good guy in Oakland.

    • After some minimal research, I learned a few things…

      1) Swisher said “I have no reaction. I just went out there and did what I had to do.”

      1.5) Both Swisher and Padilla were ejected.

      2) Swisher hit a home run in all three games of the series. Cripes he only hit 22 for the season, 6 of em against the rangers.

      3) Swisher was hit by Bill White in the seventh inning of the previous game and “glared” out at the mound

      4) Both benches were warned.

      5) A’s manager Bob Geren sounded like a teeny bopper when he whined, “How many times can one team hit you in a row? The guy hits three home runs — make better pitches. You don’t hit him.”

      6) the Rangers won the 2007 game 11-9.

  2. Hey, I liked that.

    Speaking of the tomahawk-like straight overhand throwing of the guy you mentioned, I can it kind of reminds me of this Hispanic guy who used to be a relief pitcher for the Tigers. He was with them just a couple of years ago, and he was their number one closer. I don’t know if he’s with them anymore. Anyway, he threw like a guy throwing darts. Can you think of who I’m talking about? I can’t think of his name.

    Now about the part about the beards. It’s funny how you talk about a “redneck beard” because it wasn’t all that long ago that the only people you saw wearing beards were hippies, intellectuals, ultra-liberals, and college professors. A beard on any other group was un-thought of, especially on rednecks!


    • Oh, and he was a right-hand pitcher, if that’ll help you think of who I mean.

      I never heard anyone else say that he looked like he was throwing darts. I never saw it alluded to anywhere in print or on the internet. But to me, he had the worst pitching motion, as if he was throwing darts. When I was a teenager, my friends said that the reason that I always lost fist-fights was that I “telegraphed” my punches; the recipient of the punch always knew where the punch was coming from, and could put up his guard, accordingly.


      • Maybe you’re talking about that ultra shithead Brian Fuentes?

        • Fuentes was a lefty. I think we nailed it with Valverde and go figure, now he’s on the Mets not too far from where Glen lives, but it sounds like Glen refuses to go to Mets game anymore. I respect that, but as for me, I’m a sucker and already paid 22 bucks to see the blue jays and Mets at Olympic stadium later this month.

        • Also, Fuentes was a slinger, no? rather than an over the topper? but I remember a post you did about him. That was funny.

    • Say what about beards? The amish and orthodox jews and lumberjacks and Charles darwin and che guevarra, karl marx, the world’s been wearing beards since god knows when.

      i wonder if that tiger’s pitcher you are remembering is jose valverde, not exactly overhand to the extreme of collmenter, but still a funk herky jerky delivery. He pitched for the Tigers the last 4 or 5 years and then signed with the New York Mets just a few weeks ago.

      I highly suggest you go see him pitch. Isn’t that the 7 rasberry colored line? Takes you right to citi field>

      • Steve, I take the 7 Train every day of my life. It’s already crowded. Now, if we could only get rid of the Met fans going to the stadium that our taxes supported, along with the corporate criminal Citibank. I was there twice; both times were on a discount. They just make the 7 Train even more crowded than it otherwise would be. (And, believe me, it’s crowded enough!!!! The 7 Line is generally the most crowded (not to mention most slow) line in the NYC subways system WITHOUT the Met fans; we can do without THEM. They just just clog up the 7 Train even more, and I wish they would just DRIVE to Corporate Criminal Stadium. So do most of the hard-working stiffs who regularly take the 7 Line; they generally do NOT frequent Mets games, believe me. They just want to get to work or get home.

        I take the 7 Train merely to go to Main Street in Flushing or to Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights or to Grand Central Station, or to other destinations. “Mets-Willets Point”; (formerly called “Shea Stadium-Willets Point) is NOT my destination.

        Yeah. That Valverde guy is who I was thinking of. Thanks for showing me the video, Mike. I don’t know how he gets anyone out, that dart thrower.


      • You’re right about the Amish and Ultra-Orthodox Jews, but they’re hardly the mainstream of America, and most of them aren’t rednecks!!!!


        • But the history of beards goes way back…and there were times when it was more mainstream. It’s like any other trendy fashion I would think. It goes in circles.

    • Baseball’s apparent hair expert is Maxwell Kates. He says the first full beard was worn by Allan Benson in 1934 for the washington senators.

    • There is apparently more than one Allan Benson, but only one was the first baseball player to wear a beard. In that Bush was a baseball fan and not a big fan of socialism, he probably knows the Benson who played baseball.

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