Sorry, friends. I know it's been awhile. But, you have NO idea how hectic things are. Season is FINALLY here!!! Which apparently means crank up the practice hours and vice grip of the coaches....oh wait, that's the same in the states, whoops. The all-day practices have been a regular occurrence, rain or shine. The latter being a somewhat rare happening, unfortunately. The rain has been non-stop. Typhoon-type rain. That's not a joke. I know at least I always refer to crazy buckets pouring from the sky as typhoons (I'm the only one? Ok, fine.) Anyways, these are literal typhoons. Think hurricane without the eye of the storm. Fortunately (well, kinda) we have an indoor facility that's about an acre of dirt. The word "indoor" should be used as loosely as possible. This building has a tin roof, on which one drop falls and I immediately feel like the entire thing will collapse. It also has metal-curtain-type walls on the long ends of the rectangle building. Basically it opens for when it's hot. But they don't stay stable AT ALL with the slightest breeze. All-in-all every time we're in the building and there's even the smallest storm, I want to run for cover.....in a more stable place.
So, we have our 8 hour practices inside this tiny building. I have to pitch in between people hitting. I like to look at this as dual training for the rare but possible occurrence of a ball flying at my face while in the middle of my motion (only been hit once). The head coach has this semi-annoying habit of crouching behind the catcher while I'm pitching. He used to be a major league catcher so I'm guessing he just wants to see the movement (????). Needless to say I panic a little bit every time I throw a drop ball or change-up just in case our catcher misses a ball. He also has the lovely habit of getting up after 5 pitches, kind-of shrugging/looking disappointed, and then walking off. If he understood English I would probably ask him what the eff he wants to see, since clearly I'm not pitching well enough. Frustrating. Slightly. Actually, very. Very frustrating.
The other coach also has a tendency to be a bit of a dick. A couple weeks ago, when I was warming up for the game, he kept talking to our translator. I asked her what he was saying. Conversation:
Maki "He wants to know if you are throwing full speed?"
Me: "Uh, yeh........."
Maki: "Ok, he just wanted to make sure."
Me: "So, does that mean he thinks I'm throwing slow?"
Maki: "Umm I mean yeh I think so. He just wants to make sure you know the games are on April 14."
Me: "Yup. I'm fully aware."
Maki: "Ok, he's just making sure you're gonna be ready. You're gonna be ready, right?"
Me: *death stare* "Yes, I'll be ready...."
Just in case you were wondering, I threw 67 mph that game and didn't allow a hit. If the coach understood English, it'd probably take all of my self-control not to tell him to kiss my ass....DON'T DO THAT KIDS!
So, now that I'm pretty sure I've proven I'm ready for season.........it's finally here!!! We leave for Kyoto (one of the main cities) tomorrow morning and join the other 11 teams for the Opening Games. We play Taiyo Yuden, the team that placed 5th place in the league last year (we placed 6th). Hopefully, our team can pull through and get the first win of the season and start league off right. We've definitely been off-and-on, with a lot of key players missing from the line-up. The coaches are constantly saying to myself and Wiggins that they're depending on us.....no pressure right!
It's crazy to think that our season is just now starting and we've been here for almost a month and a half. I've been keeping up with baseball and softball seasons, and everyone is playing in conference and have in-state rivalry games, while I'm still doing 8 hour practices to prepare for our opening games. CRAZY. Little shout out to my baby Wolverines for sweeping Ohio State. Nothing better than going into Columbus and taking all three games.
I promise I'll try to pick up my blogging game. But between practice, cleaning, eating, and dancing to Call Me Maybe almost every hour, I'm really busy, guys! With us starting to travel, I definitely should have time to keep everyone updated.
Also, shout out to my amazing mother for sending me a little care package. LOVE YOU!