Saturday, I go back to Santo Domingo for a couple of months, returning to the Yankee camp when it reopens around Feb. 1. Naturally, all the players are anxious to return to their homes and for the past few weeks have been daydreaming about the journeys there. Some left a few days ago (the Panamanians), but all the rest are leaving tomorrow, either very early (5 a.m.–the Mexican, Nicaraguan and Brazilian players) or in the afternoon (the Venezuelans and Dominicans). I have mixed feelings about moving back to S.D. Negatives–Big city, the noise and pollution, it’s expensive, I’ll miss the players and coaches, the baseball atmosphere, the beautiful night skies and the overall peace and quiet here at the camp. Positives–Big city, cultural opportunities, opportunities to travel around the country because of my job, excitement and uhhmmmm . . . Ah, well, it’s only for a little while.

I weighed myself this morning for the first time in awhile, and all those hour-long jogs are paying off. I’ve lost around 8 pounds and feel that I’m well on my way to losing at least 25 before July, hopefully closer to 30 or 35.

We’ve been plagued by hornets the last few weeks; they seem to be everywhere, sometimes disrupting English classes, weaving and swerving, threatening mayhem. At least the mosquitoes have died down, with all the dry weather we’ve been enjoying lately. It’s been very nice, not too hot, (even a little chilly at night), and clear skies. Running around the outfield warning tracks at 6:30 a.m. is very enjoyable, but that, too, is coming to an end. I’ll be enjoying afternoon jogs at the Parque Mirador del Sur in S.D., which is closed to motor vehicles from about 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. At least I don’t have to worry about the infamous S.D. traffic, but wish me luck anyway. More later.