I like the way an airplane creeps slowly, waiting its turn for take off. The passengers look through the oval-shaped opera windows and know what’s happening. Other planes are fast and loud and it all seems impossible, but it’s gonna happen.
There’s a last turn onto the runway. The plane rattles and shakes like a 50 cent motel bed. There’s whiplash against head rests and more speed; more noise and for a second no more dialects and distinction. The well behaved viola player and loud mouthed drunk blur together. The deconstructions of society or blind adherence don’t matter.
The plane lift its nose defying gravity like a Lake Placid skier; its knees tucked and dreams safely stowed fueling us further. Fists of triumph are secretly clenched as the plane slips into a jet stream like a half crazed junkie fulfilled; soaring 35,000 feet above sea level.
There’s some bumping through clouds and then a cruising altitude. Bodies return and so does separation and ego and portable devices. There’s a pressurized cabin of cool, continuously flowing air. It’s a lullaby or a sedative.
I like the way an airplane dips below the clouds during the descent and the bumps return and the world becomes a computerized mother board and as we get closer to touch down; a doll house of mini cars on dragon’s tongue highway and there’s a bus bumping along and maybe it’s portaging a gang of outlaws to an Independent League baseball game.
Indy Leagues are unaffiliated so the chances of getting seen and signed by an MLB team are reaping a carrot harvest in Nunavu, but players still line the runway and board the bus.
Most rosters are college payers never drafted; cast-offs not noticed; anonymous sea creatures. There is the token Dontrelle Willis making a comeback, but the pulse of an Indy League roster is a hungry heart. These guys just want to play. They keep boarding the bus.
Indy Leagues have been around since the early 1900’s and the Quebec Provincial League is one of the more unique ones in the way it see-sawed back and forth as a fully affiliated class C league and an outlaw league not subject to the big daddy rules.
The League was a safe haven for African and Native Americas banned from playing in the minors or majors and even included a team from the Caughnawaga Mohawk reservation in the 1930’s. College players were illegally paid to join the league. It was a success at a time when few other Indy operations existed.
When Miles Wolff helped establish the Northern League in 1993 he revived outlaw, independent baseball. There are currently eight active Leagues, nine including The California Winter League. During September call ups in 2013, there was an all time high of 32 former Indy League players on 40 man MLB rosters.
Brandon Kintzler was one of them. He pitched for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the Independent Northern League in 2007 and 2008 and joined the St. Paul Saints of the American Association in 2009; another Indy League.
The Brewers signed him in 2009 and sent him to AA Huntsville, AAA Nashville and in 2010; he was called up to the major leagues. Then it was back down to the minors in 2011 and up again in 2012. Last season he was the Brewers most effective reliever. This year has been more of a struggle, but that’s nothing new to Kintzler.
Superfan Pete asked Kintzler about time machines and movies and Kintzler said “300” was his favorite movie. I never seen it, but the description at IMDB says “King Leonidas and a force of 300 men fight the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.”
Kintzler gave up two hits last night and failed to record an out, but it didn’t matter. The Brewers gained some distance in the eighth inning against the Orioles; scoring four times on Khris Khrush Davis’s three run blast; turning a 4-3 nail biter into an 8-3 shellacking.
The Brewers are 32-22.