As I stand in the backdoor of the garage surveying the yard, I feel like a manager on the step of the dugout. The yard is my ballfield and the plants my players. The season is almost here and I am taking stock of the lineup.
My veterans will perform as always, reliably, though some have changed positions and some are showing their age. I’ve chosen my ulility guys, annuals that I can use to fill in empty spots that arise throughout the year. The youngsters, second and third year guys, need to show some promise this year or they will be relegated to the minors, some out of the way spot in the yard, where they will languish for a few more seasons before being unceremoniously sent to the compost pile. Some thrive on the neglect and find a spot where they can contribute to the lineup, but it’s rare. Then there are the free agents, major purchases, few and far between in my budget minded garden, these usually fill an imminent need or something I really like.
The lineup for the year is pretty well set, though it is a long season, and in the garden as on the baseball field the unexpected does and certainly will happen. That is what makes baseball and gardening so interesting.
My cat, Lil Girl, enjoys the outdoors almost as much as me. Snow covered paws, not so much. In the fall I stack the garden benches and chairs under the eaves on the deck. When winter snow and rain fall there is a bit of extra protection.
Lil girl perches on the various benches, hides under them and jumps from one to another chasing wind blown leaves and pets from dad.
The fifty point prep races for the Kentucky Derby began over the weekend. A win in one of these assures that horse a chance to enter the Derby. The three year old division is pretty much “what have you done for me lately” at this time of the year. Horses that win recent preps become the current favorites, but these young horses are learning to race and the trainers are learning what the horse can do.
The two odds on favorites went down to defeat. Irish War Cry looked uninterested in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, finishing seventh and El Areeb got hung up in a speed duel and ended up third in the Gotham.
The horses will go back to the barns and the trainers will try to figure what went wrong.
Right now the most talked about three year old is a filly, Unique Bella. She has chalked up four straight wins, each at a little longer distance. There are no Derby points for filly races and if she ever races against the guys it will be somewhere way down the line, but she has been impressive none the less.