Game 50 Open Thread- Mariners (22-22) at Royals (19-30)

This is why we can't have nice things.

Since winning eight out of ten games --an event which precipitated my radio appearance on KFRU-AM in Columbia, MO-- the Royals "responded" with two dismal defeats each featuring ten runs from the bad guys, and resulting in a fallback to 19-30. Thanks to those defeats, the Royals are now 11-12 in May, meaning they'll need to get another win streak going this Pentecost weekend if they want to claim their first winning month since 2003.

Earlier this week I got an email from a "1957 Grass Creek grad" who had seen the April post about Grass Creek, Thermopolis and Hot Springs County, and its location halfway between the Seattle (945 miles from Seattle) and Kansas City (948 miles). According to -----,

"Last count showed that Grass Creek has about ten families. All farmers, ranchers, vagrants or oil field people. Maybe some of the vagrants really care about the rivalry. Doubt that the rest might. All other residents in the area live on ranches or farms. By the way, at a Kiwanis meeting in Thermop one time I ask Clark Mortimer how his business was - he told me it was dead!

It is great being from Grass Creek. Marathon Oil tore down the community where I was raised and moved everyone to Thermop, Cody or Meteetsee. All that is left are the building for the oilfield and the ranchers. Thermop, like any other small town USA endears itself to MLB, NHL and NFL teams - probably the Rockies (yes, the Rockies ), the Avalanche and the Broncos (who wouldn't be a Bronco fan)?"

------ was kind enough to answer a few additional questions about Grass Creek and surrounding areas. Little did I know that Royals-Mariners would almost directly correspond to our, umm, correspondence. Thanks again to the "1957 Grass Creek grad" for his time.

RR: What was Grass Creek like when you were growing up?
Small village. 50 or so families. Mostly ranchers, farmers and oil field workers.

RR:How was it different from Thermopolis and other places in Hot Springs County?
Thermop is and was a town, with city government, schools, shopping, etc. Grass Creek had one store (also the post office with a gas pump out front), a pool hall/bar (burned down about 50 years ago), an elementary Superior Rated school, no law, no crime, close to hunting for rabbits, birds, deer, elk and moose. Trophy fishing is no more than 30 minutes away.

RR: How has Grass Creek changed since then? Is anything left?
Marathon Oil sold all the houses and had the new owners move them out in 1961. A sprinkling of ranchers and famers remain. The store and post office has closed. Most remaining buildings are deteriorating and falling down. Not much fun to go back out there.

RR: Do you think anyone in Hot Springs County ever thinks much about being halfway between Seattle and Kansas City?
Not really!

RR: Which city do you feel is closer to the spirit of Grass Creek?
Kansas City - more of the midwestern bible belt values. Even 20 or 30 or 50 years ago I doubt there would have been a battle for the hearts and souls of Grass Creek. When I was growing up we couldn't even get radio or tv out there. The newspaper was delivered by one of us kids and it was the Grit - not much in there about sports.

By the way, my wife is from an oilfield over the hill from Grass Creek. It is called Hamilton Dome. Its gone as well.

Thanks again (again) to ----- for his insight and glimpses into a vanishing America. I'm one of those types who is prone to pull off the highway, travel down side roads, read historical markers and visit ghost towns, so I certainly appreciated hearing from a Grass Creek native. These small communities in Hot Springs County, Wyoming remind me of some of my own experiences in and around the oil fields of West Texas.

------

Sadly, thanks to last night's 10-2 Mariner win, the best the Royals can do in 2007 is to fight back and earn a 3-3 tie, leaving the Battle for Grass Creek deadlocked for another season.

Baek's courage was questioned by Lookout Landing, but the man dominated the Royals in April.

Tonight's game features the never scared Cha Seung Baek (1-2, 5.50 ERA), who makes his second start of the season against the Royals. Last month in Seattle, Baek took a no-hitter into the 6th against the Royals, coincidentally enough against none other than Brian Bannister (0-2, 4.39 ERA). Bannister's start in Seattle was perhaps his strongest of the season as well, as he held the Mariners to just one run, until a 7th inning meltdown did him in.

It's a Baek-Bannister rematch in KC!

Unfortunately, I'll be here, listening to this, tonight, so y'all you guys will have to handle the Game Thread fun without me. I'll order an Old Fashioned in honor of Buddy, or something like that.

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