I am close to being put back together after attending my second week-long Diamondbacks Fantasy Camp last week.
My team, Chip's Champs, led by D-Backs' third-base coach Chip Hale, lost in the finals. Was it fun - beyond words. So, I'll use some from a teammate, Stew Bloemer, 67, a retired airline pilot.
The Champs were down to their last out, trailing by three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning:
"Then two things happened in rapid succession that typifies my entire camp experience.
The first happens as I come into the batter's box. The catcher, a fellow camper, and one who is at the edge of anticipation of a win for the championship and a defeat of a Chip Hale team gives me a fist shake and says, "Get a big hit, Stew!".
I didn't. I struck out, ending the game and Chip Hale's streak of success.
First to greet me, as I walk dejected back to the dugout with a pat on the back, is Chip, "Bloemer, great game!"
What was this fantasy camp worth? More than any dollar value you could place on it...
My communication with Chip was a bit more concise:
Thanks for another great week at D-Backs Camp. We certainly could have used one more win - but it was still a fun, fun week.
I'm already looking forward to next year.
Have a great season.
"It was great to have you on our team. I am glad you had fun, and you played with great passion. Thank you for that. Chip"
I think that means I'll do my best to be back in 2010 for my third camp.