On the Road

Remember last year when the Astros and their fans complained for a week about having to play a bunch of road games due to Hurricane Ike? Well, I didn’t have any sympathy for them then, and I definitely don’t have any sympathy for them now, because compared to the University of Maine at Presque Isle, they don’t know from the road:

This February day’s doubleheader against Ferrum would be the first of 37 successive away games scheduled for the University of Maine at Presque Isle team this year.

Because winter can last until May in northern Maine, Presque Isle routinely plays its entire season on the road. With their campus 400 miles north of Boston, the Owls have not played a home baseball game since 2005, when there were two.

“You can either complain that the baseball field is buried under six feet of snow, or you drive to where you can play baseball,” said Tyler Delaney, a junior infielder. “We don’t complain” . . . “We do it for the love of the game,” the senior Brandon Elie said. “We do it because we’ve been playing since we were in T-ball, and we don’t want to stop.”

Charette added: “No one should feel sorry for us. This is fun. I feel sorry for all the people who don’t get to play college baseball.”

Definitely a perspective-inducing read this fine Sunday morning.

(Thanks to JJ McCoy via Facebook, where all the cool kids are getting their news)

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  1. Aarcraft said...

    Yeah, cause routinely playing road games during the winter months is the same thing as have your house blown down by a hurricane and then traveling to play an unexpected road game in front of a hostile crowd two days later. I understand that the Astros severely over complained, to the point that even I was annoyed, but come on, Craig. Snow in Maine is not the same stress point as a Hurricane in Houston.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Aarcraft—I understand the stress levels re: the hurricane and appreciate that it’s a totally different deal.  The thing is, the focus of the Astros’ complaints last year was not about the hurricane itself. It was about playing the ball games on the road and specifically playing them in Milwaukee.  The shirts they printed up said “Bud killed us.”  They were referring to their playoff hopes, not about the Ike-induced stress.

  3. Beanster said...

    I think Presque Isle is looking at this all wrong – with enough practice, the right footwear and fluorescent baseballs they could turn this into the mother of home field advantages.

  4. Chris Simonds said...

    I disagree with Aarcraft somewhat. I suppose any given winter day in northern Maine is not quite as stressful as a hurricane, but having lived there I can say “prit’ near”. 20 degrees below zero or worse, not counting the wind – every night for weeks, even months sometimes. my first January in Maine it didn’t break double digits even in the daytime. as in Minnesota or the Dakotas or Alaska, you make serious preparations for winter EVER YEAR, or you could die. that’s stress.

    the old joke about Maine’s climate? 9 months winter, three months damn poor sleddin’.

  5. Aarcraft said...

    You will get no argument from me that the “Bud killed us” shirts were ridiculous. To me it showed that something was lacking in that team. I thought they had a legitimate beef, that they turned into an excuse and a crutch.

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