I wanted to make sure I took care of a little favor for Dust Devils pitching coach Dave Burba.
Everybody I've talked to — players, coaches, Dust Devils staff members — have been raving about how terrific Burba has been in his first year as a minor league pitching coach. And I would have to agree. I like his demeanor, style and humor, and I can see he's going to make this a fun year for a lot of those pitchers.
Well, assuming they do their jobs. If not, I assume he might dole out a little bit of nastiness that every pitching coach has hidden in their back pocket for just such an occasion. I'm sure that 97 mph fastball Burba used to throw had to come with a little bit of fire behind it.
But anyway, Burba was raving to me about how wonderful his host family has been. So he wanted me to give a shout out to Donna Robinson, whom he said has been incredibly hospitable since he arrived in town last Friday.
That sentiment can't be underestimated. The host family not only helps provide food, shelter and transportation for players and coaches, but they can also provide the comfort and support they need in their time away from home. That can make all the difference between finding a solid, relaxed mental state or one in untethered turmoil.
So thank you Donna Robinson, for your kind and generous ways. And thanks, by the way, to all the host families whose willingness to open their homes has provided so many players over the years with a stable and safe escape from what can be a very trying and stressful job.