Friday, March 31, 2006

Tale of Two Sons

My best friend in college writes:
Tonight is the Pike County High Senior Play and Will is one of the stars - so I am going to see that tonight and tomorrow (there are two showings), and then have a family birthday party on Saturday evening.

Ward, our US Marine, is scheduled to go to Iraq in August as an air traffic controller. More on that later when we have more details. I am not worried or fretting over this (sure I will be sad if something bad happens), but I have given Ward to God, and I pray that God's will be done in Ward's life, whatever that will is.

After all, we only have the young'un's a short while - really they were born not to stay with us, but to accomplish great things in God's plan for their adult lives. As parents, we just do the job of preparing them for greatness, so to speak, and I am at peace with myself and the job I did at raising Ward and Jane.

Other news...Elizabeth Musser will be home for an open house April 22 from 5-9 pm at her parent’s house.

Becky Norman and I are two of the chaperons on the boys’ five day science class expedition to Jekyll Island at the end of April, which is sure to be an adventure. Becky may help a Roswell mom we know, whose husband is suffering from ALS.

Claire Whitaker, Edie and Reid’s daughter, is getting married at SPdL on April eighth. Today Reid tells me that Dr. Ralph Langley just backed out from doing the service, not wanting to serve communion to a non-church member groom. It could be he didn’t want to leave a sick wife in Alabama. John Condra has agreed to pinch hit. And the groom’s passport has yet to arrive! That's bad that this wedding stuff is coming up at the last minute. Stuff like that doesn't bother some people, but it always gets me.

Ron and Judy Watts’ daughter was recently married in Birmingham. The Whitakers went. Older brother Marty helped officiate…he is a minister of music at a church in Griffin…FBC?

Here’s the latest info on Anna’s recital: Anna will dance in two recitals on May 20th at the Eastside Baptist Activities Center, at 11 am and at 2 pm. Her dress rehearsal is the day before, at 6:30 pm. It’s not often I find the info sheet! Sunny Freund will be dancing at one of these recitals as well.

My dad turns 75 today. Ceil’s dad turns 75 in late May. Her brother turns 50 next week.

The time of Will’s weekend games changed, so he cannot play this weekend, unless they get into the championship round. Matthew is "hitting" .522, going 12 for 23…not bad after a slow start.

Interesting SI article on blogging. As usual, I am far behind the curve! They didn't mention Lang.

My scorekeeping to the rescue...I’ve got Matthew’s coach buzzing about the stats, and helped correct a scoring dispute with the league office.

And I ‘charged’ from the stands onto the field during the Tuesday game, after the other team batted through the order. A good hitter showed up late. Instead of inserting him at the end of the order (wouldn't that be the correct place to put him? He'd bat earlier & get more at bats!). They waited and inserted him in the 3rd spot in the order, or after the 2nd hitter and before the boy that had batted 3rd. Isn’t that batting out of order? (Yes, according to my friend, who should know).

I am putting off doing some "hard" stuff here at work!

The majority taking the AJC Braves poll today think Devine should replace an injured Reitsma.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Matthew's 3/27 & 3/28 Games

I left work an hour early Monday to travel across town for Matthew’s 5 pm game. When I got there we all discovered there were no umpires…the game was “officially” scheduled for the next day. Since both teams were there in uniform, they played a practice game. Matthew’s coach’s goal was realized, as the Rock Hounds scored the maximum of five every inning, beating the Volcanos 20-16.

Matthew went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs and a run scored.

Matthew got to play his favorite position one inning…catcher. With the runners able to keep running until the defense gets the ball securely ahead of them, ready to tag them out, catcher is now an important position. There was only one throw home that inning. It was off the mark, but Matthew quickly ran the ball down and looked the runner back to third.

He also played third base and the outfield, but I don’t remember him getting any balls hit to him.

Batting cleanup, Matthew beat out an infield hit in the first inning, knocking in a run. He advanced to second, then to third, both on base hits, before scoring a run.

In the second inning Matthew hit the ball again, but the first baseman made the play for the out.

Matthew’s big hit came in the third inning. With the bases loaded he hit the ball over the third-baseman’s head, into left field. This knocked in two runs and ended the inning.

Tuesday’s official game had a similar outcome, with the Hounds prevailing 18 – 12. Matthew got one hit, advanced to second on another hit, but the next batter grounded it right to third base, where the fielder stepped on the bag to force Matthew out.

He also grounded the ball back to the pitcher, who made a nice play, quickly throwing Matthew out at first.

Matthew played his normal positions, third and outfield. He made a nice play at third, with a runner on second. He caught a ground ball and forced the runner to go back to second. He had no other balls hit to him.

More on Matthew's Game

18 - 12...that's exactly what happened in the top of the 5th...
1st batter...Hines...tripled to right
2nd batter...Ladinsky...single to second, Hines scored
3rd batter Dilson grounded to Adam at 2nd, forcing Ladinsky: 1 out
4th batter...Fuentes...struck out...2 out
5th batter...Smith...single to 3rd base...Dilson to 2nd
6th batter...Regitz...single to left...Throw from outfield went past 3rd base toward dugout, where it was touched by the on-deck hitter. Umpire signaled the play dead. Catcher Scott picked up ball and tagged Smith at 3rd base. Umpire sent Smith back to 2nd and Regitz back to 1st. Dilson scored second run of the inning
7th batter...Marino...grounder to Stephen at short, who forced Regitz at 2nd...3 out

Adam's mom was keeping the scoreboard, and she mentioned afterwards how hectic it was.

Two theories...
1. Perhaps Dilson's run was counted twice, once when he scored on the play. During the discussion he was sent back to 3rd, then allowed to score as a result of the discussion...and another run put on the scoreboard.
2. As you said below, when Stephen made the 3rd out at shortstop, Smith rounded 3rd and continued to home plate. Since the out was a force play, his run did not count.

The score was 18-12. Scott scored a 6th run in the 1st on his HR that didn't count, but the Volcanoes also scored a run that didn't count.

We'll be around next week, so any practice would be good. That would be a good idea for me to go hang out near third, to keep Matthew in the ready position more! Third seems to be a good position for him.

I know catcher is a more important position these days, so it's ok if Matthew doesn't play there much, except in practice games and blowouts. He says he likes catcher, and he did a halfway decent job of chasing down that throw home on Monday evening.

I was thinking that with some work, Lucas should be able to hit more than just to the pitcher or to first base. Even though Monday wasn't official, it was nice to get to the goal of 20 runs, scoring five every inning.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Batting Helmets

Do you like those new-fangled batting helmets that more and more players are wearing? Get used to them. I read the Uni-Watch column, which says that when the season starts several more teams will start wearing them…including the Braves. The D’Backs are among the teams wearing them in the spring, but some players have opted for the standard helmet. Hopefully that will be the case with the Braves.

Supposedly the main reason why a new helmet style was developed was not because a higher-tech helmet was needed / there was nothing wrong with the old one. But in some cases MLB doesn’t allow manufacturers to place their logos on their products that go on the field. Rawlings wasn’t able to put their logo on the old helmet, so they designed a distinctive helmet that could be recognized as a Rawlings model.

We’ll see if other teams follow the Mets’ lead and adopt multi-colored designs, like Little Leaguers wear. I hear Vlad had to start the year with a clean helmet.

I recently bought Will one of them, of course because the price was right. It has the Nike logos on the front and back, clean and shiny. He hasn’t worn it, but takes it to games. He’s still wearing his dirty old helmet that has lots of stickers on the back. It is popular with his teammates as well.

Just got word that the Shaw Park team Will plays with wants him to play in a Suwanee tourney this weekend. Will is going to want to go to the Braves game Saturday, but we’ll see if he can only play on Sunday. A co-worker’s grandson is playing on another team, and I see where one of the teams is called the ‘home school Barons’.

Will has made an effort to 'slap the towel' more, though last night against a bunch of big Hobgood hitters, on a muddy mound, he was back at three quarters. He did strike out two good hitters in the inning he pitched, and got another to bounce one back to him.

Will knows where the Cooney's went...either East Cobb or Fullers Park. As good as Clay is, little brother Tate is turning out to be even better.

You can see Corey make the same little move in the batters box before a pitch, where he turns his back foot, that helps him remember to turn his hips. I think he started it on the Tigers. He's been doing a good job as the catcher as well.

Corey's mom was distressed that the Duke loss would mess up both of her brackets, including her money tournament. When Will's team turned a 5-3-2-1-5-6 double play, she was rattling off what the scoring was. She can score Will's games while I'm up at Matthew's games.

Will is in denial about Matthew's hitting, since "it's Pinto!" But I'm not sure Will ever had six straight hits.

Early 3/27 Week

Notice that my Braves are wearing black caps this spring training, instead of the navy ones they've worn the past few years. The spring training jerseys are still navy, reminding me of how the Cleveland Indians caps and jerseys don't match in the same way.

On Wednesday April 12th the Braves are wearing 1966 unis (jerseys, at least), and are correctly wearing 40th anniversery patches this year, since this is thier 41st season in Atlanta. Each month they're celebrating a different decade, so perhaps there will be more throwback jersey days.

Yesterday I left at 4 pm for Matthew’s 5 pm game. Both teams showed, but there was a scheduling conflict, the umps didn’t show, and the ‘officials’ deemed everyone would have to come back today, to play at the regularly scheduled time. Matthew’s team won the practice game 20-16, scoring 5 runs in each inning. He got 2 hits, including one over the 3rd baseman’s head, into left field. He caught an inning, an now catcher is an important, run-saving / runner stopping position, and ran down the one ball that was thrown home.

So I have to leave early again today. My trip to the golf tourney isn’t looking good.

I couldn’t get on line last night, but Will swears he received some emails today.

Looks like my Chicago trips are being put off until the fall. At least this opens up June for the Boston trip. The Boston trip seems to be turning in to work and pleasure. May as well combine them, since Ceil is stuck on Boston. Then I’ll have an extra flight, and will perhaps make a quick SF trip with Ceil or Will.

I probably wouldn’t go to the extent of the guy who took his home school family with him, and it ended up saving him money…but I’m almost that “sick”.

My boss is all in favor of having his employees combine business and pleasure. Twice we visited Ceil’s relatives in Indiana and got to write off part of the mileage. Once I met with people in Chicago, another time I attended a conference in Detroit (the Tigers were out of town, but we saw a game at both Wrigley and old Comminsky). And work in Charlotte and Columbia has paid for several SC trips. In 2004 I even visited our Charleston plant during our MB trip.

I'm working on my co-workers monthly incentive…with the guy in Chicago who needs to approve my promotion/raise.

Reitsma tweaked his hamstring!? When will they do the deal? JS seems to often make a deal right here at the end of camp.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Been meaning to get down to the Starlight drive-in…perhaps this will be the year. Ceil and I went a few times to that 85 drive-in north near Mercer.

I’m excited about the Braves as well, though I’ve spent very little time keeping up with them. Time will tell about the pen, but I think it’ll be better this year as well.

I was wrong, my boss will only be out on Thursday and Friday. But he has left me alone so far, though I’m worn out from the weekend. Now I can get my expense report signed.

Ceil had an old friend come by late Friday morning, and they all decided to see a movie (about dolphins?) but it didn’t work out, so they all went to see Chicken Little. Friday night the kids went to see Narnia, and Ceil and I saw Walk the Line. Ceil liked it…so did I, but I had already seen it.

Friday at work I got hooked up with two Saturday NCAA tickets, so after my concession stand duty I took Will to see his beloved Longhorns lose. He was exhausted from staying at the ballpark from 8:45 to 2:30, and I was tired as well. The Dome area was crowded. Texas was having a pep rally on the grass between Phillips and the Dome. I hadn’t heard of any fanfest at the congress center, so we entered the dome and got to our second level seats, over an hour before the game. Even though few were seated and nothing was going on, Will wanted to hang out in our seats, which was ok with me.

We saw all of the stretching and warm-ups, as well as the exciting game. LSU was clearly the superior team, though Texas never fell behind by more than a few points. Even though we parked in that massive Dome deck, we made it out pretty quickly.

Saturday night I got our email and internet going at home, so I cleared out all the emails that had piled up. We ate out at our favorite Mexican place after church, and I worked around the house the rest of the day. Funny Ford golf commercials with Penn & Teller. Our cell phone is clean…we ran it through the clothes washer twice.

I have two Bellsouth passes for any day, but it’s month end, and Will has a project due, so I don’t know if I’ll go. I’m pretty sure I’m taking all three kids to the White Sox game Saturday afternoon, while Ceil works on school stuff.

Funny thing happened before KidStuf yesterday. As usual I showed up first, so I had to safe the entire row for other small group members. The newer members of the group’s ten-year old daughter came up, looking for her parents. After they hadn’t come for a while, since she seemed to need to tell them something, I make a quick sweep of the church looking for them. KidStuf had started when I returned, still no sign of her parents. She asks me “If they don’t come, will you go on stage with me?” I asked Will to make sure I had her name right (I always get her and her sister mixed up…Alex and Addie). I was afraid I would be asked personal parent/child questions. At the last minute her parents showed up, and mom and daughter were sent on a treasure hunt with four other parent/kid combos.

I'm no favorite of Japanese steakhouses. They are fun once in a blue moon, but as little as we go out, there are plenty of other places to go. There are so little nice places to eat in East Cobb, I’m surprised when a place closes. There used to be a Jock’s & Jill’s, but it was in a bad location. I hate the Chilis, but they are always packed with teenagers and families. I’ve been noticing that Ted’s is usually busy, which is good.

There are plenty of sports blogs. See 60 minutes last night, with Tiger? He briefly discussed how he stuttered as a child. There was an old Chicago Bull that went into the steel business. Can’t remember if it was Bob Love, a former stutterer.

Getting new shoes is always fun. All three of mine have had shoes they haven’t worn. I finally figured out that Matthew only likes slip on shoes. He is wearing the new white Nike cleats that he finally grew into, that I had found on sale. He is the only one at Mt. Paran wearing white shoes…we both love it. When it’s wet he wears Will’s old black Reeboks.

Will is now wearing grown up sizes, so his are much more expensive. He likes to wear running shoes for some reason…never liked basketball shoes. Did I tell you that he’s wearing my shoes now? The other night after practice his were muddy, so I took off my New Balances and let him wear those to the restaurant, while I put back on my dress shoes. He said he’d wear Chuck Taylor’s, but after I got them he never did. Perhaps Anna or Matthew will wear them.

I took Anna to get some shoes and I talked her into a pair of pink New Balance shoes. She never wore them. I didn’t want to save them for Matthew, and Anna gave them to a neighbor.

Several boys from Will’s fall team are now playing Colt ball…15 and over. Will could easily play with them, but I am hearing the teams they play include high school all-state ballplayers, academically ineligible. Perhaps when Will is 13.

Talked to my sister on Friday and jotted down some notes, and when we got home from the game Saturday. I was able to get Outlook Express set up on our email, and received the 1400 emails that were out there. Got the internet to work and everything. Then yesterday Ceil went in there and wasn’t able to dial in. She didn’t want me to mess with it then, and I forgot to go back in to fix it. Bet that it went back to dialing a "1" before the local connection number, because you can hear lightly a recorded message. Should be able to fix it after Matthew’s game this evening.

Hopefully today I’ll have time to get my new laptop going. I haven’t messed with it too much yet. I had checked Ceil’s emails on line, but even when you delete them, when the emails are received at home, the deleted ones still come through. Ceil is a member of this group that sends over 20 homeschool emails a day, and another group that sends about five. So the emails really pile up!

Left my car outside last night, and there was some frost on it this morning.

March 25th Games

It was another cold, windy morning on top of the hill at Mt. Paran Saturday morning, the wind chill around freezing. Both Will and Matthew had 9 am games. Matthew and many of his teammates took a while to get warmed up, but the other team seemed to be colder, and the good guys won going away, 14 – 6. the coach quit sending runners home late in the game, and advanced them base to base.

Matthew got a base hit in the second inning, and scored all the way from first, when Christian grounded one to the fence. In the third Matthew got another hit, and in the 5th he hit the ball to the first-baseman, who tagged Matthew out.

Matthew played third base two innings. On a slow roller past the pitcher, Matthew cut in front of the shortstop to field the ball, but didn’t have a play, so he held onto the ball. Time was called, so Matthew fired the ball back to the coach/pitcher…who wasn’t paying attention. The ball barely missed the coach’s head.

He also played centerfield, and also an inning at shortstop. He caught one grounder at shortstop.

As soon as the game ended I hustled down to Will’s game, then in the 5th inning. They played some big boys from Powder Springs. I talked to several people to get a picture of what happened. His team squandered several scoring opportunities and lost 11-9.

Will pitched the last three innings, and I think gave up only three runs. He struck out five, including the last four in a row, striking out the side in the sixth, the 2, 3, & 4 hitters in the order.

Will led off the bottom of the first and was robbed of a hit by the first baseman. He walked in his next at bat, stole second, and eventually scored.

I got to see his sharply hit single to left in the 5th inning. He stole second and scored on Robbie’s double.

In the 6th Will hit one hard up the middle. The pitcher got a glove on it, deflecting it to the second baseman, who threw to first. Will beat the throw by a half step. Again he stole second, but was stranded there.

Will caught at least the first two innings. Both innings were apparently long, with several runs scored. Combined with the three innings he pitched, no wonder he was tired.

Will is hitting the ball hard, but isn’t at mid-season form.

Matthew plays this afternoon, then both teams are off for spring break.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Week

Had fun umpiring part of Will’s game last night. Interesting double play.

A dad had a small TV at Will's game, so we saw Duke lose it at the end. Will almost didn't believe me when I gave him a play be play recap of the ending. Didn't stay up for the ends of the UCLA and Texas wins, but saw Thrashers highlights. How are your brackets? Was trying to get company NCAA tickets for tomorrow, but I haven't heard, which is bad.

Wish I could go the LPGA at Stockbridge, but I know that's going to be a hectic time. Both Will and Matthew have games on the 20th and Saturday. I have a meeting on the 21st. Will and I leave on his science trip the next Wednesday, so I miss work the last three days of the busiest time. I have to leave on time the day before for Will's game in Acworth, so I'm going to have to do my month end stuff sometime. Having a laptop will help, but I'll be a busy bee the last two weeks of April.

Super busy at work. My new laptop, my first ever, was delivered yesterday, but I haven't had time to play with it. I have no idea how to operate this new computer...battery? How to hook it up? I'll be much slower for a while. Maybe this afternoon.

How I figure out tough new problems / projects. When I complete something big/hard I think about celebrating with a special lunch. This week my boss has taken me/us out three times, including the entire small office the day Will was here. I need a lunch at my desk to catch up on personal stuff / pay bills. Next week my boss is out of town again, so I’ll be free to get the month end work done.

Got a ho-hum / semi-negative comment last week on my Fox blog, but didn’t respond to it.

Leading a golf tourney would be pressure, both in real life, as well as playing it as on the game.

BRAVES: Seems like a decent starter like John Thompson, making only 4.75M, would command a high return. Whatever they get will probably not seem like enough, though Thompson probably won’t be as effective elsewhere. Makes sense to keep Jordan. Another plus would be if Juries starts the year in the minors, it’d be another year before he would be eligible for arbitration, right? You pointed out that’s where they screwed up with Frucal.

See the SI fantasy rankings? Most interesting was at catcher, where McCann was 17 and Estrada next to last, with Salty as a sleeper. That trade is looking better all the time…freeing up salary space to boot, and isn’t one of those pitchers we got looking real good?

I’m thankful that nothing has ever been screwed up on my mortgage, though when we refinanced a few years ago the guy quoted one closing cost and the day of closing snuck through a higher cost. I caught it and gave him a piece of my mind, but decided to go ahead with the closing anyway. Thought about lodging a complaint with the BBB, but never did.

Will's 3/23 game

Will got home from Matthew’s practice last night at 6:35, and the rain was starting to come down harder. Coach Frank lives next to the far away Hobgood Park, and when we called him he assured us the game was still on. The rain continued as we drove the 45 minutes to the park, thought it slacked off just as we arrived.

Always fussy about my shoes, I knew I was safe even in the rain at Hobgood, as the entire spectator areas between the fields are paved and clean. I wore my winter Merell slip-ons, a favorite pair that I had misplaced. Only this past Sunday had I found them.

The game was on, but both teams sat around waiting for the umpires to show. The moms huddled under a canopy behind the plate, us dads near the on-deck circle. The umps never arrived, and after the coaches huddled nearby, they turned and stepped to me, asking me to be the umpire!

We immediately started the game, and I took my position on top of the mound, directly behind the pitcher. The mound was a hill of squishy mud, and soon the bottoms of my shoes were caked. I made it my goal not to fall down. Will lead off the game. The big pitcher was throwing very fast pitches, and Will was swinging late. The count went to 2 – 2 before Will popped one high in the air, for the first out.

Calling balls and strikes wasn’t too bad, even with a dirty plate. My new glasses actually helped me see clearer. The Hobgood pitcher didn’t let the slippery mound bother him, but he tended to pitch high, and he walked a few batters. The catcher’s strong throw to second beat the stealing Barrett by several steps. Barrett almost slid around the tag, but my out call was correct. Parker made it to second, but the pitcher executed a perfect pickoff, after ignoring the runner for several pitches. The tag was high, but Parker didn’t slide low, so he too was out.

Will’s teammate Garrett pitched well, getting the first two out in the first. He just missed with a 3-2 pitch to the next batter, then Hobgood hit several just out of reach of the Cougar fielders, and quickly scored six runs. Only one ball was hit hard, but plays made last Saturday weren’t made last night. Barrett pitched two admirable innings, allowing three in the second and two in the third.

The Hobgood pitcher completely overpowered the Cougar batters, only allowing one hit in three innings. I was enjoying umpiring, and only a couple of pitches could have gone either way. I only rang up one batter, on a pitch right down the middle. But as the bottom of the second was beginning the regular umps showed up, so my muddy shoes were relieved of their duty. I spent the rest of the game looking for pools of water to step in to wash off the mud. They made the trip home in the trunk, and I think they can be saved.

Will caught the first two innings, and in the second was involved in an interesting play. With a runner on second, the batter grounded the ball to third. By the time Mark fielded the ball, he didn’t have a play at first, but he made a late throw anyway. The runner on second had advanced to third on the play, and continued toward home. First baseman Garrett threw to Will covering the plate. Will caught the ball, turned, and applied the tag. The runner slid in, his feet hitting Will’s shin guards. Will fell over the runner, but held on to the ball. Noticing the “2” that had been on the scoreboard, Will rolled the ball toward the pitcher’s mound. But the “2” was the inning, as there had been only one out. Barrett chased down the ball and threw to third. Mark chased the runner back toward second, and threw to shortstop Malcolm, who completed the double play.

Will was also responsible for the next six outs on defense. Playing shortstop in the third inning, he caught a high popout for the first out. With a runner on first the ball was grounded back to the pitcher, who turned threw to Will to get the lead runner at second. Another batter hit a grounder to Will, who fielded it cleanly and threw out the batter at first.

In the fourth Will pitched, facing the meat of the huge Hobgood order. Considering the conditions Will pitched as well as he ever has, striking out two batters swinging, both of whom had hit the ball well their first time up. Will only allowed a popup that the first baseman couldn’t catch. The last batter grounded one weakly back to Will, who went to one knee and caught the ball with both hands, before throwing the batter out at first.

Will led off the fourth and worked the count full before drawing a walk. He dared not steal with the strong-armed catcher, but was able to advance to third on two wild pitches…the only Cougar runner to make it that far. He was unable to score, as Malcolm grounded out to end the inning.

Even though they lost 12 – 0, Will played a very good game.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

coach's comments: 3/21 game, etc

Nathan struggled in one game, but like you said, if he keeps his eye on the ball, he can hit just fine.

I actually have a few notes from Josh's home run, in the fourth inning. He grounded it to the pitcher, who threw it past the first baseman. I think the first baseman threw it toward second, too late. The ball went into left field? and Josh came to third. Even if the ball had been returned to the infield dirt, you waved Josh home, confident the Bats couldn't make the play at home.

Stephen make a heads-up play. From third base, he scored a run. As the play continued out in the field, I noticed him go back and make sure he touched the plate.

If Matt Smith gets his swing back, he'll hit one over the fence before his Pinto career is over.

Matthew somehow developed a sweet swing playing in the yard. Last year in Shetland he got to where he would get the bat on the pitch most of the time, though it would rarely travel out of the infield grass. You can tell that it may have taken him a while to get the hang of Tracy pitching from the rubber, harder and farther away, but he has been hitting it harder and further lately. He is funny with his batting gloves. Yesterday he went 3 for 3.

The play in the field was hilarious. He doesn't seem to be scared of sharply hit balls. I asked him what happened when he fell down running to second, and he said he 'stepped in a hole'. Today I told Will that Matthew's batting average was higher than his!

Will has been able to keep the swing that you and Skip taught him, especially as the seasons progress. He hits it hard, and has hit some a long way on that huge field by the concession stand, not bad for a 12 year old. Saturday he pitched three no-hit innings.

Corey Hursh is something. Saturday he made a great diving play at shortstop. In three games he has come to the plate 9 times and scored 8 runs, going 4-6 with two walks.

Malcolm goes up to the plate and hits the ball hard. Saturday in centerfield he charged a sinking line drive, and at the last second changed the position of his glove to make the catch. His pitching has also improved. This is turning into a fun season!

From: Coach Tim

My lofty goals for this team are mostly offense oriented since that's what I love...
- Have a game with no strikeouts
- a game with no baserunning errors
- game with 20 runs scored (I've never done it or if I have it may have been one 22 run game I had in pinto national because only 8 of our players showed up on a spring break weekend and they all were great batters...can't recall if it was 19 or over 20)
- teach one of our kids to hit it over the fence... I think I can get Christian or Scott to do it.

Didn't Matthew go 4 for 4 yesterday? His out at 3rd was a thing of joy... I started jumping up and down and celebrating before he even got to third because I knew it was a sure out. My wife and I agree that Matthew looks like Will when he's batting and running. I will tell you his batting "form" is one of the best on the team. His stance and grip and the way he sets up at the plate is really really good. If he can keep that up over the next 2 or 3 years then he will have a real solid foundation. Whereas although Will is a great player when I would see him in Mustang his coaches were not teaching him the right very humble opinion on that. The earlier you can ingrain the right form into their muscle memory the better. That's why I don't like the travel teams because they play too many games to get the form down right... They learn a bad habit and then ingrain it over 50 games.
As always THANK YOU for all your help.

From: DCM

Just noticed an interesting stat about the game last night. 34 Rock Hounds came up to bat, and only one batter struck out the entire game! This shows considerable improvement.
Game 2: 35 batters / 9 strikeouts
Game 3: 35 batters / 6 strikeouts
Game 4: 34 batters / 1 strikeout
And Josh had a game to remember last night. It's not often anyone has a 4 - 4 night, even in Little League. He even had the home run!

Matthew's 3/21 game

Matthew’s Rock Hounds won an exciting game last night, 18 – 12. The lead went back and forth throughout the game.

Matthew had another fine game, again getting a hit every time up, and he also got a runner out playing third base. This earned him the coveted gold star. Keeping score, I also earned a star. Here’s the recap…

The Hounds scored four in the top of the first. Matthew came up with one out and three runs already in, and a runner on first. He hit the first pitch hard up the middle for a base hit. Big hitting Scott came up next and grounded the ball to shortstop. I was watching the shortstop catch the ball, then I glanced over to see how Matthew was doing. He had fallen to the ground on his way to second, his helmet falling off. Later he said he had stepped in a hole. He got up and proceeded to second, but the shortstop was able to beat him to the bag for the out.

The Bats also scored four in the bottom of the first to tie the game. The top of the second was amazing. The Hounds leadoff hitter James singled on the first pitch. Then Stephen, the next hitter, popped up the first pitch he saw, and the third-baseman caught the ball in the air. Of course James ran to second as everyone yelled for him to return to first. When the third-baseman’s throw to first was wild, James continued to third. This gave the Bats time to recover the ball and complete the double play. Next up was little Matt Smith, who popped up the first pitch he saw. This pop was also caught in the air. Three pitches, three outs.

In the bottom of the second the Bats again scored four runs to take the lead 8 – 4. With one out in the inning and two runs in, runners at first and second, the Bats batter grounded the ball to third base. Matthew easily fielded it and stepped on the bag for the second out.

The Hounds scored four in the top of the third, to tie the game eight all. Matthew came up with no out and nobody on, and hit the ball hard up the middle. The ball would’ve gone into centerfield, but it hit second base. Scott came up and popped the ball high in the air, to deep second base. Matthew took a couple of steps off the bag, but didn’t run, waiting to see if the ball would be caught. When the ball bounced Matthew took off for second, but the Bats were able to pick up the ball and step on second before Matthew could advance.

The Bats could retake the lead in the bottom of the third, but they failed to score. Then the Hounds scored five in the top of the fourth. Matthew came up and grounded the ball down the third base line. This hit would’ve continued into left field, but the ball hit the third base bag. Matthew advanced to second on a single as the fifth run of the inning scored.

The bottom of the fourth was when I earned my star. As usual, I was sitting in the stands “quietly” keeping score and also logging the coach’s “star chart”, so the coach could quickly recap the game afterwards and hand out stars. Both these tasks kept me paying attention and jotting things down most of the time. With a runner on first and one out, the ball was hit to Matthew at third. He fielded the ball, but didn’t have a play, so he held the ball, holding the runners at first and second. The next batter doubled to drive in the 3rd run of the inning, placing runners at second and third.

The next hitter grounded to the first-baseman. Christian made a nice play, fielding the ball and stepping on the bag for the second out. Then he threw home, not in time to get the runner scoring the 4th run of the inning, but it held the other runner at third base. But the scoreboard showed five runs had scored, so the coaches began to herd the players off the field. I sprang into action, alerting everyone that only four runs had scored. Everyone returned to their positions, and the next Bat batter also grounded out to first, ending the inning with only four runs in. The Rock Hounds led by one run, 13 – 12, and everyone was congratulating me!

In the top of the 5th all seven Hounds hitters got hits, and the first five bathers scored. With a six run lead, the River Bats could not catch up because of the five run rule, and the game was ended.

We stopped on the way home to eat at Moe’s. The Rock Hounds play the same team on Saturday at nine.

Will's 3/18 game

Will found his cap in the team bat bag. His game started at noon. Since there was more than an hour between Matthew’s game and Will’s, I jumped in my warm car and made a quick run to Wendy’s to get Will (and me) some pre-game ‘nourishment’.

Will’s Cougars were playing the other Mt. Paran Pony team, the Angels. Two weeks ago the two teams had played to a tie, and this time the Cougars would be without long-legged Jared. In the last game Jared had singled, tripled, and homered, really hitting the ball hard.

Will batted leadoff and walked on four pitches. He stole second and third, and scored on a single. Seven of the first eight Cougars scored, but the last time that happened the Angels still came back to tie.

Will was the starting pitcher and struck out the leadoff hitter. He walked the second batter on a 3-1 pitch. With the big lead he didn’t want to give big Chad anything good to hit. Chad was the most dangerous Angel hitter, and would often chase high pitches. This time Chad laid off, and he also walked. But Will struck out big Jack, and got his friend Allen to pop out to third, to end the inning.

Leading off the top of the second, Will was given the bunt sign. He pushed it too hard, and the pitcher was able to throw him out. The Cougars did scored three more in the inning, running the score to 10-0.

After needing 23 pitches in the first, Will retired the side in order in both the second and third, needing only nine pitches in each inning. He struck out David Bartlett on three pitches and also fielded a ground ball, throwing to first for the out. His fielders made all the plays behind him in the field. Will finished with the three strikeouts, threw more strikes than balls, and retired eight batters in a row, allowing no hits in three innings.

Will came up in the fourth with a runner on first, and hit a hard ground ball that the shortstop couldn’t handle. He reached second on a fielder’s choice and went to third on a walk. He later scored on a single. Again the Cougars scored seven runs in the inning. The Angels made six errors in the game, to the Cougars none.

Barrett pitched the fourth inning for the Cougars, getting Chris to pop to short. Then big Chad grounded one hard up the middle. Shortstop Corey dove to knock the ball down, but couldn’t recover to make the out. This turned out to be the only hit of the day for the Angels. Barrett struck out the next two batters to end the game, a 17-0 blowout.

Thursday the Cougars play at far away Hobgood, where they always seem to struggle.

Matthew's 3/18 game

We had small group last Friday night, and didn’t get home until way after 10 pm. Matthew’s team had pictures at 8 am Saturday morning. Will couldn’t find his cap, so that slowed us down. It was real cold Saturday morning, and the boys’ hands were hurting when they hit the ball. Matthew almost wouldn’t swing during BP, but he did hit a lot of whiffle balls.

Matthew’s Rock Hounds lost a close game 17-15, almost coming back to win in the bottom of the last inning.

1 2 3 4 5 total
Volcanoes 3 4 4 5 1 17
Hounds 2 5 4 3 1 15

Matthew played third base two innings, and left-field three innings, but no balls were hit close to him the entire game.

In the second inning Matthew singled home a runner from third. He advanced to second on a hit, and scored from second on a ground out.

In the third Matthew came up with two out and hit the ball harder, for another single. He was stranded on first.

In the bottom of the fifth the Hounds needed three runs to tie the game. After a groundout and home run, Matthew hit the ball even harder, toward the second-baseman. Matthew ran hard and was safe at first. He advanced to second on another hit, but the next two batters grounded out to end the game.

Matthew was one of three Rock Hounds to go three for three, and the coach awarded Matthew with the coveted navy star, kind of like the game ball award.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Under the Weather

After golfing in a very light drizzle early Sunday, Will and I worked in the yard until dark, raking gumballs and shoveling wood chips and sawdust. Will blew the driveway. By the time we were finished, the yard looked half decent. But that evening I had started wheezing, not uncommon considering all the pollen and dust I had been around. I forgot about Matthew’s breathing machine medicine until I was on the way to work Monday. It’s not uncommon the day after I have an asthma ‘attack’ for a headache to hit, and since I took little medication throughout the day, a backache came along as well. Will wanted to stay after work and work on his Great Plains project, so I crashed on the floor.

On the way home in the thunderstorm we had to run some errands. At Kroger we had a problem with the prescription, and I had to make an extra trip to the car in the rain. I had Will run in to the library by himself. Ceil had arrived by the time we made it home, but I felt so bad I went straight to bed. A quick nap, plus the breathing machine, had me feeling better, so I ate and watched 24. This morning I needed another quick hit on the breathing machine, but now I feel better.

My boss actually had an idea about how to get me a promotion, which was nice. He was probably thinking about it more since I had been bringing it up so much, and since I’m getting more of the runoff work since the other managers are overwhelmed. He also told me to take the family out for dinner on the company, which he does from time to time.

Got a card in the mail from the Braves, with the 40th anniversary team photo. Don’t know everyone…who was number 12 the first year? Glenn Hubbard seems to appear twice in the photo. Nice that they included several free agent defections and flops, like Wohlers, Furcal, Mazzone, and Glavine. Who are the two women? Neither appear to be Princess Poke-a-single. I remember them using a Suzie in the advertising one year in the 70’s, but neither appears to be her. Interesting Ernie Johnson appears in coat and tie, as a broadcaster, as opposed to in uniform…and no other broadcasters appear. And why did they pick that batboy?

The AJC made a small deal about this being the Braves’ 41st season in Atlanta. Last year was the 40th season, but this year is the 40th anniversary of the first season, so the Braves terminology is correct.

Will Diaz make the team? And if so, will he take Kelly Johnson’s spot?

Lang’s dad says he has 28,000 cards. He is big into NBA cards and builds set by buying boxes of packs and opening one or two packs a day, to stretch it out.

I was wondering why the ND/Michigan game was on so late, then I saw that it was OT, but my mind wasn't working right at the time. I was overwhelmed by Clemson being on one channel, the Hawks on another, and 24 on Fox. Later on Spike TV's 'Pros vs. Joes', the Pro team included Xavier McDaniel (who had put on some weight, but wasn't fat), former Carolina Panther Kevin Greene, and former A's pitcher Dave Stewart.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Matthew's Practice

Forgot to wear green today. I usually try and participate in St. Patrick’s Day, and at least wear green, but I won’t feel too bad about it. Perhaps tonight I’ll break out my Phillies # 20 green trimmed jersey.

Guess Team USA won’t get to wear their green uni set.

Something Matthew did yesterday at practice: They were on a tiny practice field, pretty much just an infield, working on throwing the ball home to tag out the runner, or run him back to third. This is important because this is the first time players can’t just call time out and expect the runners to stop…base coaches can continue sending runners home. The drill had the ball tossed to the outfield fence. The outfielders ran it down and threw home, with a runner starting at first base. Unless the throw was strong and the catcher caught the ball, most fast runners were scoring the run. About half the runners were scoring.

Matthew has been running faster lately, but the catcher made a nice play and tagged Matthew out. When this happened, Matthew shouted ‘Darn it!’ Not a good thing for a seven-year old in a church league, and I tried to contain my laughter.


When faced with a decision, ask…

1. Why am I doing this…really?

2. If someone in my circumstances came to me and asked my advice, what would you tell them?

3. In the light of my past experiences and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?

From a North Point sermon.

Baseball Bits

Somewhere along the way I got on the mailing list for the Pawtucket Red Sox...I'm sure I entered a contest. I get emails from them, that I sometimes read. Yesterday in the mail I got their 16 page 'magazine'. On the cover is the Sox 2003 # 1 pick...David Murphy. He is on Boston's 40 man roster. A skinny, left-handed outfielder from Texas, a Baylor all-American. In the past I had noticed him when I had Googled my name. Will and Rob has his rookie card.

Since we signed up for the Kroger Plus discount card, we get Kroger mailings and circulars delivered in the mail. Usually we don't thumb through the Kroger quarterly Home Basics magazine, but yesterday Ceil sat down with the mail and gave it a look while resting. Lang's wife Isabel is in an ad for Caress Glowing Touch skin care products!

The USA manager Buck Martinez has a losing career record, I am pretty sure. Lang had asked why he was picked. Before this WBC started I asked if it would be good for Francoeur. The bats may be few, but at least they're under pressure situations.

Dimino interviewed Ron Bloomberg yesterday morning while I was in the car. I think Orlando Cepeda was the second DH, who batted for the visiting Red Sox in the second inning, after the Yankees retired the Sox in order in the first inning...thereby allowing Bloomberg to be the first DH.

Notable minor league coaches:
Larry Parrish: Mud Hens mgr
Leon Durham: Mud Hens coach
Juan Nieves: Charlotte coach
Ken Oberkfell: Norfolk mgr
Howard Johnson: Norfolk coach
Hensley Meulens: Indy coach
Frank Howard: Columbus coach
Dwayne Murphy: Syracuse coach
Greg Hibbard: Buffalo coach
Rochester's mgr & pitching coach are twins, perhaps identical.
Others in the Boston organization...
Dave Tomlin: rookie league coach
Luis Alicea: Greenville mgr
Mike Cather: Wilmington coach
U.L. Washington: rookie league coach
Consultants include Dwight Evans, Tony Cloninger, Tommy Harper, and Yaz.

Pete Orr was the starting shortstop for Canada.

The Atlanta sports talk radio stations give minimal attention to basketball, especially the NBA. Chris Dimino, the guy interviewing Bloomberg, loves baseball, and is my favorite of the bunch. Buck Belue is ok, but many of the others I don't care for.

Maybe it’s the fact that there has only recently been spring training baseball, But those WBC games are nice. Just a little bit of originality in the uniforms…seems like most of them were created by the same (MLB?) committee. They could’ve done a better job. Many are similar to the Nationals…pretty cookie-cutter. I haven’t seen South Korea or Japan. Doesn’t SK have the pinstripes, which is a traditional design for far east teams…much better than the DR, PR, or Venezuela. As usual, the USA could do better. Jay Mohr thinks the Cubans wear red pants to prevent defections.

I don’t know about the loss to SK, but I don’t see much shame in losing to Canada. The pitchers are behind the hitters this early in the spring, unless you are a workout fiend like Roger Clemens. In the late innings against Canada, the US was pitching off-speed guys, and Canada was countering with power pitchers. Nothing wrong with some of the lesser names the US was playing, like Chase Utley…though he celebrated a bit too early on his drive to center, that was caught. Francoeur made a nice play to get the runner at home, but I hear he’s not getting many ABs…true?

The Braves promotional schedule was recently published, which is always important to Matthew. Helped me pinpoint which Toronto, Pirates, Cardinals, and Giants games to go to.

Will’s baseball issue of Sports Illustrated for Kids came yesterday, with Andruw on the cover. Favorite subject? Math. Favorite sport to watch? Football. Didn’t know that he worked out with Smoltz after his dismal 2004 season. The magazine also had a full page photo of Francoeur, and the only Brave that made the list of top fantasy players was Smoltz. No sleepers or anything.


A popular Fox blogger did such a good job conveying what celebrity they related to, I decided to do likewise. Perhaps this exercise is attractive to me because I am completely full of myself. Perhaps these comparisons are completely off base. I am on the upper reaches of the Fox demographic. Back in my college days I was more the life of the party. Even with grey hair and increased responsibilities, my mind is always returning to the humorous side of things. A big reason I haven’t climbed further up the corporate ladder. Age hasn’t exactly been kind to me.

Many of the actors I admire had similar starts, playing the party boy. With age they have advanced into more mature roles, but often returning to play comedic roles. Truthfully, I should list supporting actors, because that's what I do best. But who knows any?

Here’s my top “ten”…
10. A. Taylor Hicks, from American Idol. Southern boy. Grey hair similar to mine, but his looks nicer…less wavy. Something in his face/smile/brows reminds people of me. I’m certainly not as demonstrative as Taylor, and I certainly can’t sing. But if I dared to dance, my moves would be similar to his, unfortunately. I’m rooting for Taylor. I think he’ll advance, but he doesn’t have the looks to win, like Ace.

10. B. Vince Gill. Another singer with a similar face. He’s younger…I’m 46. Maybe the person who said that needed their eyes checked. I must be on drugs.

9. George Will. Comes off as completely boring, like me. I communicate like George, using language others don’t quite understand. I figured out he loves baseball, as I do. I keep score of Little League games (so I won’t holler so much). People think I’m smart, because I went to Tech, don’t say much, and when I do, they don’t understand. Could be something other than smarts, right?

8. Bob Costas. Unlike me, a pretty boy who spends hours and hours reading, doing background in preparation for his work. Wish I had the time. He too has made career decisions based on what he loves. My general perception of celebrities/athletes with this single-minded vision, who give up/block out everything else in pursuit of their goals, is both admiration for the hard work and determination they have to obtain their goals, and pity for the things they have neglected, ignored, and put aside…often times God, family, and other significant relationships. Jealous? A little.

7. Greg Maddux. Used his abilities and mind to do the extraordinary…win 300 games, and at least 15 wins a year for 16 years (right?). I’ll never make a hall of fame, but I’d like to think I’ve done a lot with my limited abilities. Maybe I’m really like Forrest Gump!

6. A. Tom Selleck. An actor getting up in age. Way more good-looking than me. I admire the way he doesn’t seem to take himself seriously. Seems to acknowledge and take time for his fans, though I’m not certain. I would hope I would be that way.

6. B. Will Ferrell. Similar body and face typeto me. Never a fan of his on SNL. Now he gets the movie roles that Steve Martin and Bill Murray used to take, the bumbling idiot. New School to their Old School. But he is funny. My kids liked him in Elf, and I admit that Old School made me laugh.

5. George Plimpton. Me on a much grander scale. I like to write, and I like to do interesting athletic things that others don’t make the effort to do. I run in road races, attended the Cubs fantasy baseball camp, and sign up for T-shirt design contests. I carried the Olympic Torch three times (twice in 1996 and also in 2002), and I make an effort to see the Torch Relay whenever it comes to town (1984, 1996, 2002, 2004). My daughter wasn’t thrilled when she became the ‘student weather correspondent’ on our favorite radio station, which I signed her up for.

4. Alan Alda/Hawkeye Pierce. Like Hawkeye, I envisioned myself as someone who liked to have fun, but who would stand up for what was right, who would go out of his way to help a friend. We used to wear a Hawaiian shirt when we watched MASH at Tech in the early 80’s. I still have that shirt today. Alda also played Plimpton in ‘Paper Lion’.

3. Steve Martin. Funniest ever. But so much more. Writes novels, short stories, plays the banjo. So creative. Letterman’s guests show up and chat. Martin shows up with bits and videos to entertain. Like the photo on my blog…Martin impersonating Micheal Jackson, holding his baby over the rail. Interesting how he sought out the classic roles on the Pink Panther, Cheaper by the Dozen, and Willie Wonka. Much older and more handsome than me.

In the height of Martin’s wild and crazy days, my ‘friends’ got me to enter a Steve Martin look-alike contest at an Atlanta mall. Scores entered. The only reason I didn’t back out was because I got to perform third. The first two contestants recited Martin’s routines…not very original. So when it was my turn, I did what Martin would’ve done…acted like it was some other kind of contest. I acted like Steve doing impressions of other celebrities. The crowd didn’t get it, but I made the celebrity judges laugh. In 1980 I performed ‘King Tut’ on roller skates, for a crowd of a thousand Southern Baptists, complete with backup band and dancing girls…dressed in togas.

2. David Letterman. Kinda goofy, not the greatest people person. That’s me. I still enjoy writing comedy bits for special occasions, and the Top Ten list is an easy tool.

1. Bill Murray. My Nurse Ratchet. Like Martin, much more funny than me. Not the best looking guy, but handsome in his own way. Loves baseball and golf. You’ve always got to watch out for him, no telling what he’ll do. Nothing funnier than doing something completely unexpected. Like the time I dumped my orange Slurpee on my head…I knew the situation. When the football team ran onto the field before the game, I always wanted to trip.

Now you know me…that guy out on his own planet. Sorry to be so full of myself…hope this was entertaining in some way. Now let’s get back to March Madness, and spring training.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Matthew's 3/11 Game

Saturday morning I got Will to the field bright and early for his nine o’clock game, but the other team didn’t show, thanks to a scheduling conflict. They were able to get in a good practice, but my dad had driven up from Macon. Ceil arrived with Matthew before the practice ended. Matthew was decked out in his uniform, complete with his Lion King sunglasses. I was able to talk Matthew out of wearing them during his game. Matthew had several nice hits in the batting cage before the game. The Rock Hounds were playing the Green Jackets, a team coached by the gung-ho coach who last year had his entire tee-ball team wear eye black…and he wore it as well. But the Green Jackets only scored one in the top of the first, as the Rock Hounds made two putouts in the field. Matthew played left field, but didn’t get a ball hit to him. The Hounds loaded the bases in the bottom of the first but failed to score, as 3 batters struck out. Batting third in the order, Matthew was one of the strikeouts, though he fouled off two of the pitches. Sitting in the bleachers behind first base, my fears increased as the Jackets scored 5 in the top of the second and 2 more in the top of the 3rd, while the Hounds only scored one in the bottom of the second. The tide was beginning to turn, however. In the top of the third Matthew’s Hounds got two Jackets out at the plate, one on a relay from the outfield, another on a throw from the second-baseman. In left field Matthew fielded a grounder and quickly fired home, hitting the cutoff man in the infield grass. Matthew led off the bottom of the third and finally connected, but his ground ball went right to the first baseman, who stepped on the bag for the first out. The Hounds did score 4 in the inning, making the score to 8-5 Jackets. Then 3 of the 4 Jackets batters struck out, including the number 2 and 3 hitters in the order. Matthew played right field, but had no balls hit to him. In the bottom of the fourth the first two hitters doubled. With one run in and a runner on second, Matthew grounded one toward the first baseman, just in front of where we were seated. The play seems to unfold in slow motion. The first baseman got in position to field the ball, but couldn’t catch the bouncer. Matthew hustled to first, with that unique look of effort on his face. Matthew reached second base on a grounder to the shortstop, and scored from second, the tying run of the game. The Hounds scored five runs in that inning, going ahead 10-8. The Jackets scored 5 in the top of the 5th inning. Matthew played third base and cleanly fielded a ground ball. He didn’t have a play, so he wisely held on to the ball, to keep the runners from advancing. Down three runs in their last at bat, the first two Hounds singled before a strikeout. Stephen’s single knocked in one run and placed the runners on the corners. Nathan singled home another run, bringing Matthew to the plate with the tying run on second. Matthew again hit a couple of ground balls, both times pulled the ball, popping one over the third base dugout, but he missed the next pitch and struck out for the second out. The tension grew as Dillon singled to load the bases, then Christian hit the ball into the outfield, and Stephen and Nathan scored to win the game. 1ST INNING - TOP Dollinger struck out Mannelly…home run to right. # 7 infield hit to 2nd. # 1…a little guy…lined out to Lucas at pitcher. Runner advances to 3rd when ball got away. Next batter grounded out to first…Scott? 1ST INNING - BOTTOM Stephen…infield hit to 3rd Nathan…struck out Matthew…struck out, though he fouled off 2. Dillon…infield hit to 3rd…Stephen to 2nd Christian…infield hit to pitcher loads bases. Adam…struck out 2ND INNING – TOP # 9 base hit, scored # 8 hit to center, scored Rosseland…hit ball, scored # 10 hit to left, scored # 4 Ava’s big brother…struck out Dollinger…double to right Mannelly…single to right, scores Dollinger. 2ND INNING – BOTTOM Scott…home run to right center Lucas…single to right Matt Smith…infield single to short, Lucas to 2nd. James Ellis…struck out Stephen…grounder to 3rd, Lucas out at 3rd. Nathan…grounder to 3rd, Matt out at 3rd. 3RD INNING – TOP # 7…single to left # 1…base hit, runner to 2nd next batter…single to left scored # 7, but Adam’s relay to Scott at plate to tag out # 1. # 9 hit knocks in runner. # 8 grounder to second. Lucas throws home. Scott tags out # 9, who overran 3rd. Rosseland…base hit # 10…strikes out to end inning. 3RD INNING – BOTTOM Matthew’s grounds out to 1st. Dillon…single to center Christian…single to third, Dillon to 2nd. Adam…struck out. Scott…single to short, loads bases. Lucas…doubles to knock in 2 runs. Matt Smith…single knocks in 2 runs. James strikes out. 4TH INNING – TOP # 4 strikes out # 11 Dollinger…single to right. # 13 Mannelly…strikes out. # 7 strikes out. 4TH INNING – BOTTOM Stephen…double Nathan…double scores Stephen. Matthew infield single. Nathan scores. Dillon struck out. Christian…infield hit to short, Matthew to 2nd. Adam…single scores Matthew & Christian. Hounds take lead. Adam reaches 3rd. Scott…single to short scores Adam, ends inning. 5TH INNING – TOP # 1 strikes out. Next hitter singles, reaches 2nd when the ball gets past Christian at 1st. # 9 doubles, runner scores from 2nd. # 8 singles, runner scores from 2nd. # 6 Rosseland singles, runner to 2nd. # 10 triples, both runners score. # 4 strikes out. Dollinger singles to score 5th run of inning. 5TH INNING – BOTTOM Lucas…single Matt Smith…single, Lucas to 2nd. James strikes out. Stephen singles to 3rd, Lucas scores. Runners on the corners. Nathan singles home another run. Matthew struck out for 2nd out. Dillon singles to load the bases. Christian hits ball into the outfield. Stephen and Nathan score to win game. Afterwards Matthew was happy to get his snack and stars for his hitting and fielding. He ate two hot dogs at the Varsity, but didn’t hardly touched his frosted orange. Sunday afternoon the Rock Hounds had an informal practice. It was a good chance for Matthew to get in some extra practice, with three of his favorite teammates. He got to hit baseballs pitched from the rubber by his regular pitcher. I also pitcher him some whiffle balls that he hit pretty good, and on his own he hit some off the tee. He’s starting to find his stroke, as I thought he would with more practice and warmer weather (it was in the upper 70s both days!). Matthew also fielded some grounders, so he had a good practice. No games this week, but both Will and Matthew play next Saturday.


Napped on Saturday afternoon and actually though for a while that Wake had beaten Duke. Saw the end of the ACC championship game.

At the Mexican restaurant Friday night they had on the Big East Syracuse-Pitt game, and one guy was trying to communicate that he wanted the channel changed to the ACC...with little success.

Will says his elbow is hurting, that he is ok as he doesn’t air it out. I told him to take it easy this week (which is hard for him)and see how it feels toward the end of the week, since there is no game until Saturday.

The trip locale is still under debate, regarding Boston versus SF. As for dates, I’m waiting for the dates of the three weeks I’ll be training in Chicago, before I commit on the vacation. Hopefully Chicago won’t interfere with the July Myrtle Beach trip, or I’ll be very unpopular.

One possibility is to plan the work trip I’m supposed to take. I could work for two or three days and take the family. My flight would be paid for, and the family would use the AirTran vouchers. The hotel would be paid for at least four nights. We could fly in on Saturday or Sunday morning. After I work a couple of days, we could stay another day or two. This would also take car of a rental car…my boss said it would be ok. The rumor is the Boston office has Sox tickets that are often available. Ceil and the kids could sightsee while I work.

Boston is in my boss’s boss’s territory, which would be a good thing. We could do the same thing in SF.

We just got several stumps ground, which was definitely worth the money, looks wise.

Children’s Healthcare did a good job when Matthew came down with RSV when he was two months old. Matthew was born shortly after our friend’s baby had been stillborn. So this was a hectic time for Ceil. Will had an outpatient hernia operation there as well, when he was little.

Monday, March 13, 2006

weekend update

I thought that I would spend several hours today away from my desk, but it looks like that'll be tomorrow.

Weekend…Friday night Ceil, Matthew, and I ate Mexican in Roswell and went to North Point Mall. Couldn’t get her to try Chipotle. Ceil wanted to go to the Apple computer store…Ceil has her heart set on a new Mac PC. Ceil and Anna had a great time at Claire’s shower Saturday afternoon. Saturday night the kids stayed home watching movies, and Ceil and I ate at P.F. Chang, after seeing a crowd at Ted’s. Since we were near North Point, Ceil wanted to swing by the Apple store again.

Sunday we swung by Harrys on the way home from church. Saw several people we know there. Ceil took her time and got most of what she needed for the week, so I was able to read almost the entire Sunday paper. When we got home Anna and Matthew helped me wash most vehicles, and I cleaned out the inside of the van.

Last night Anna requested chocolate chip pancakes. Matthew ate three big ones, this just after he ate a six nugget kid’s meal from McDonalds. Thought his appetite was growing, but then I realized he hadn’t eaten much the rest of the day.

Caught some of the WBC game last night…it was fun to watch because so many of the players were from the MLB. The photo of Juries greeted by Brian Jordan sure looked like Pete Orr to me. But Will was just as interested with the show on the Food Network.

Finally read the AJC article on Schuerholz’s book…and the weekend reaction from Glavine. Interesting that after all these years keeping everything so close to the vest, that Schuerholz is opening up. The writer that helped him surely had something to do with it, but JS said that he was happy with the end product. Glavine says next year he only wants to pitch for either the Mets or Braves, but the way those teams operate, I doubt either team would want him. The Mets will want to sign a free agent from another team, whoever is the hot commodity. Glavine would have to have a great season for that to be him. The Braves wouldn’t sign him for big money…even if something major happened to their staff, since they should be just as overstocked with starters next year as they are now. People who write letters to the editor saying the Braves should resign Glavine don’t have a clue about the current salary structure/contract status of the staff. Atlanta can get just as much production from Davies or another youngster, for much less money.

I think these last ten years wouldn’t have been any better had the Bonds trade gone through. He might’ve been such a distraction that they would’ve let let leave through free agency when his contract expired…kinda like Justice.

Liked the uniforms the Miami Heat wore yesterday, much better than their regular uniforms. Guess they’re the alternate unis, like the Hawks’ yellow uniforms.

I was just thinking about Louie’s sermon yesterday. Didn’t take notes, but here’s what I remember. Like Andy, he’s never fire-and-brimstone, shame you into belief/better behavior, but he hit on the fallacy of the ‘I’ve been a good person’ answer. He put a “badß----à good” graph on the screen, and started by posting other people…Billy Graham, not quite all the way to good, then Andy, not quite as good as Graham. Oprah, not as good as Andy. Ken Lay…pretty bad. For Simon Cowell, Louie said that he really didn’t know him, he was just going by what he saw on TV, but he put Simon on the bad side of the middle. Then he talked about the basic ten rules, quickly hit on eight of them, and how most of us had broken all eight…much less being able to name them. Most of us were safe on the ‘do not kill’ and ‘adultery’ commandments, until Jesus came along, adding that I’m just as guilty if I think it in my heart.

Caught the end of the Andruw Jones MTV Cribs. He had showed his house last year on Turner South or Fox Sports, but he was more quiet on that previous show. I suppose that was his wife that he had credited with straightening him out to become a better ballplayer.

Matthew hit the wiffleballs well in the outfield Thursday, but didn’t put much effort in when he stepped into the box against real (soft/safety) baseballs.

On Friday I wrote: Duke is really struggling…I doubt they’ll win the ACC tourney. So much for my predictions! At least the year is over for GT. Next year should be better with the recruits coming in. Good to know that Hewitt likes the new AD.

See the SI poll…what was it, NBA players naming the best and worst coaches? Woodson got the second most votes for being the worst.

Derrick Hardeman...the name rings a bell. Both my Baskin-Robbins buddies Don Lott and Chuck Smith played trumpet, and I hung out with the band a lot. I’ll have to check my yearbook, that Will has been keeping in his room.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Will's March 7th Game

Will’s Mt. Paran Cougars won their late game last night 14 – 8, way out in Kennesaw.

Once again Will batted second. With one out in the top of the first Will lined a one ball, one strike pitch low, and the shortstop made a nice catch an inch off the ground. That shortstop later made three errors in the fourth inning.

Will was the starting pitcher, pitched two innings, and again threw more strikes than balls. He struck out two, and only allowed one earned run. After pitching the first two innings, Will had sat out the third inning.

Going into the top of the fourth the score was tied 8 – 8. The game had started thirty minutes late due to delays in the previous game, and before this game both teams were advised that the game would end immediately at ten after ten. The inning started about ten til ten.

With a runner on third, Will hit a hard grounder that the shortstop wasn’t able to handle, driving in the runner at third. Will stole second base, took third on Robbie’s grounder to short, and scored when the ball rolled under the shortstop’s glove.

The first six Cougar batters in the inning scored. After a pitching change, two outs, and a walk, the game was called.

Pros Vs Joes, Braves, etc.

Wasn’t blown away by Pros vs. Joes either. Interesting pick for the host. Jim McMahon, Jerry Rice, Matt Williams, Rodman, and Bill Goldberg, who introduced himself as a former UGA football player, among other things. The pros didn't have to try hard to beat the Joes. And in golf, all three pros easily bested the young amateurs…you could tell the Joes weren't golfers. McMahon has played the celebrity tour, and put one 22 feet from the pin about 125 yards away. Williams put one four feet away, and Goldberg got a lucky bounce back to two feet away. I do see where Dominique will be on a future show, along with Rocker and Herschel. BRAVES…Salty, the rookie catcher, could possibly make the team and platoon with LaRoche at first. Love the Braves…smart management, and as good as a minor league system as there is. Guess with all the rookie success last year, as good as Salty is, maybe they’re thinking about rushing him. They’re not ones to groom players to win ROY. Haven’t seen the 40th anniversary team photo. Guess they’ll wear a patch this year. I’m one of the few to go up to those team photos at Turner Field and point out old players to Will and Matthew. Nice how they took those team photos and old championship signs from the old stadium and decorated underneath the stands. Most of the earlier team photos taken at West Palm had the grandstands and stadium roof in the background……slightly similar to the Richmond stadium, is it not? I wonder if people look at those old team photos and wonder who Donald Davidson is. Didn’t have much growing up, but when the Braves switched to the feather unis in the 70’s, I saw a photo of Donald Davidson wearing a floppy hat styled after the small ‘a’ cap…royal with a white front panel with the little ‘a’. I had to have one, and ordered it from the Braves. Starting to see reports that Furcal isn’t coming back from surgery as quickly as LA had hoped, and his favor is starting to drop. KIRBY…When I heard about Puckett’s stroke, one of the first things I thought about were the negative things that Sports Illustrated had reported several years ago, and I wondered if that would be brought up. Like you, all I heard about were the positive things. Now the sports talk radio buzzards are bringing it up. On 24 recently a presidential aide was working for the terrorists. When discovered, he hung himself. Instead of uselessly trashing his name in the press and causing his widow more grief, it was decided to not implicate him in the plot, as there was no useful purpose for it. Haven’t heard the story retold of how Bob Costas had named his son after Kirby. Don’t know if Costas is still married……I had seen him without a ring, but don’t remember noticing during the Olympics. I think not. Saw a funny SNL skit on an E! rerun…”Don Zimmer” was the host of a talk show, and he would get angry and charge each of his guests, including “Pete Rose”, Costas (played well by Darrell Hammond), and Halle Berry (playing a Red Sox ball girl). The guests would do as Pedro did, grabbing his head and throwing him to the ground. Then Zim would apologize. What will Barry do? LITTLE LEAGUE…met Ceil Tuesday last night off the Marietta Square, and got Will to Adams Park in Kennesaw by 7:15, for his eight o’clock game. I listened to my book in the car until 7:40. Then Will said he was hungry, but I thought it was too close to game time. Then we learned the game before his had started way late, and Will’s game won’t start until 8:30…so I made a run to the nearby Burger King. Will was hacked that I inadvertently packed ‘the wrong socks’…his new red team pair don’t stretch high enough, so he couldn’t wear his pants up at his knees like Chipper used to, so he had to play with them down, almost to his ankles, like LaRoche. He looked like a different player. He did fine in his game…you’ll get the recap. He did take strike three with runners on second and third, and he walked the leadoff batter in both of the innings he pitched…both of them scored. I keep it all positive for the grandparents. By the way, the only way I got all that detail about Will’s first game was thanks to the guy keeping score for the other team. He almost does as good a job as I do…keeping track of pitch counts and assigning errors and stolen bases. With a few more conflicts with Matthew’s games, I will be relying on him more during the season. I was supposed to meet the guys in my small group for the 9:30 screening of Dick & Jane. I told them I’d be late, but by the time we got back from the game, all I could do was drop Will off and drive the two miles to the theatre. I got there right when the movie was letting out, so I got to chat with them for a while. My family may be leaving me, to make a quick trip to SC. Our PC at home died, and Ceil can't make it 'til we go at Easter, to pick up the PC her dad is giving us. I may pull a Lang and play golf Sunday afternoon. Hope you didn't stay up for the GT & UGA games last night. I like the SEC throwback uniforms, of course. They'll make me watch more of the SEC tourney.

Monday, March 06, 2006

sunny weekend recap

I always turn off Tech right when they have peaked for the game. They had gone on a little second half run and Clemson had to call time, So I went outside...and from there I hear it was all Clemson. Spread wood chips with Anna Saturday afternoon, the shoveling making me sore, using muscles I hadn't been using. Then our neighbor dropped in, and we set up the iMac they gave us with our internet account, with much help from my sister. We played on it a while, but it was cutting off. Our other PC just died...won't turn on.

Watched the Gary Cooper 'Sgt. York' was Will's school assignment, for some reason, then I flipped between Duke/UNC and 'the Big Break' on the golf channel. Exciting Duke game...did they peak early? Is Reddick worn out?

Louie was preaching this week and next. Ceil taught Sunday School at 8:30, so she stayed for the 10:30 service at stopped by Costco on the way home. On my way home with the kids, I didn't realize the exit that was closed was Holcomb Bridge, so I had to go all the way down to Northridge. By then I figured out we should eat lunch somewhere, so we headed back towards Roswell.

We had eaten at Matthew's Burger King Saturday, so Anna and Will picked Taco Bell. The sign said open at ten on Sunday, but the doors were locked. Saw people inside. Two cars had gone through the drive-thru, so we followed...but it was closed as well. I was not happy. We finally got some pizzas at Kroger, but when we got home, the neighbor kids were outside, so they ran off to play.

Both Saturday and Sunday afternoons we watched some of the Andy Griffith marathon. Bob Denver/Gilligan was on one episode playing a hillbilly husband. Saw some of the Tiger win at Doral.

Later that afternoon I ran some errands with Matthew and Will. Matthew readily went along to practice his batting, and asked to take some grounders. He's not scared of the ball, not backing away when Will would hit one of my pitches a little harder that he should have. He can hit when he wants to. This year the coach has to pitch from the rubber, further away, so the pitches comes in faster. That, and the cold, meaning discomfort and lack of much practice time, has put Matthew behind in his hitting. But Matthew is Matthew. Of his best three friends, only one is athletic, but is playing in the younger league this spring. The neighbor boy isn’t much for sports, either. Matthew had wanted to play baseball this spring, and loves going to Braves games. Likes being part of the team and wearing the jersey. Not too concerned with playing, or playing well. Perhaps we will give soccer a try next time. No big deal.

Late in the afternoon I cleaned the gutters in back, way up on top of the house. Then I went down to the creek and cleaned it up until dark, removing fallen branches and stuff. Drew Matthew's bath, made a quick trip to Kroger, and cooked pancakes during the Oscars. Busy weekend…I’m tired.

I don’t travel much, but the late flight helps stretch the vacation time, you don’t burn the last day at the airport.

DeAngelo Williams didn’t really impress me in that bowl game for Memphis.

Got to remember to watch Spike tonight at 10 pm…that show where the regular guy goes against the pro. Herschel and Rodman are on it.

I’ve had three trips I let expire…(1) Curacao…Ceil was pregnant with Matthew, and Will and Anna were small....(2) Fernandina Beach weekend…should’ve taken it...(3) weekend accommodations in Macon…no big loss.

I don't mind the dynasties either...Packers, Steelers, 49ers, Celtics, UCLA, Kentucky, UNC, Duke, Tiger, Jack, Arnie...I even like the Yankees.

Opening Day Games

This was the first sunny weekend of the year in Atlanta, and Saturday morning there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Will’s Cougars team faced the other Mt. Paran team at 9:30 am, while Matthew’s game started at ten. Will was the starting pitcher, and held the Angels scoreless in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning seven of the first eight Cougar batters scored. After Corey led off with a walk, Will grounder hard up the middle. The pitcher deflected the ball with his glove, keeping the ball in the infield, so the runner wasn’t able to score. Will stole second, and both runners scored on Malcolm’s double. I ran up the hill to Matthew’s field while the Cougars were still batting in the first, with only one out and the score 5 – 0. Matthew’s Rock Hounds have some good players. Both the biggest boy and the smallest boy hit home runs, but they lost the game. Matthew played third base two innings, caught an inning (his favorite), and played right field for an inning. The only ball hit to him was in right field, a hard grounder to his left. Matthew actually backhanded the ball, fielding it cleanly. He quickly threw home, making one of the strongest throws I have ever seen him make. The first baseman was in position to be the cut-off man, and the throw sailed past him. At the plate Matthew hit several strong foul balls, some to the first base side, some to the third base side. After the game I ran down to catch the final inning of Will’s game. The player, coaches, and parents of all the teams were gathering at this Pony field for the season opening ceremonies, to begin at the conclusion of Will’s game. When I arrived the Cougars were winning 11-10. Will had allowed one earned run in the second, and finished with 2 strikeouts, and finished having thrown 21 strikes and 18 balls, not bad considering his lack of much practice. In the second inning the second-baseman leaped to spear Will’s line drive, robbing him of a hit. Will played shortstop in the fourth inning. Will came up in the bottom of the fourth with two on and two out, and the Cougars were losing by a run. This time his line drive was well over the second-baseman’s head, driving in both runners to put the Cougars ahead. Will stole second and third, but the next batter grounded out. In the fifth and last inning Will was the catcher. With the big crowd watching, Malcolm got the first two Angels out. On a full count, one strike away from victory, Angel David Bartlett walked. Then he got a great jump off Malcolm and stole second. Will made a quick, strong throw, and almost got him. The next batter tripled to tie the game, and scored the go-ahead run on a base hit. In the bottom of the inning the Angels brought in hard-throwing Chad to close the game. Malcolm walked, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, but Chad struck out three batters, to end the game in a tie. Will had a good day at the plate, going two for three, with two RBIs and a run scored, and three stolen bases.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pistol Pete

Reid saw Maravich play for LSU in Athens. I had read about that hook shot...and the standing O by the UGA crowd. I'll have to ask my dad, but I think he took me to see the Pistol play for the Hawks. Ceil's brother's father-in-law, Don Southard, lives in Abbeville SC. As a senior in high school Don played against Maravich, who was a freshman at the time. Did you ever see the movie that chick-fil-a made about him? I also have a Maravich book, talking about the troubles he had as a Hawk. 

Opening day is tomorrow, and of course Will and Matthew play at the same time. I'm supposed to keep score at both games! Matthew is less interested this girl teammate. 

We got our new phone system. Jacksonville has asked me to visit, which will be nice. If I put it off until April, they have a minor league team. I go to Chicago the week of June 4th. The White Sox and Brewers are both at home that week. I’ve fallen behind in my data gathering, being busy at work, only getting the paper on weekends. I’ve been listening to some books on CD during my commute, having stumbled across some at the library. Today I finally hit to read all the Braves articles I had missed. 

We’ve lived in our house for eleven years now, and today is the first time we have ever had the nine Bradford Pear trees professionally trimmed. Ceil says it looks great, so hopefully there will be less of a chance for a limb to split during a storm. We’ve never had that happen, though a few neighbors have, and so has Ceil’s dad. Luck, or perhaps we have a different kind of tree. 

I was figuring Salty would spend most of this year in the minors. McCann came up last year only after Estrada got hurt, right? Is Brian Jordan getting work at first? Heard anything about Eddie Perez? 

What is your opinion on driving a personal vehicle, versus flying, like on this Jacksonville or Cincy trip, and getting reimbursed about $.46/mile? 

Today I am also putting out feelers about where to visit to see the new SAP system. I’m trying to make it a MLB city…either Cincy, Philly, Boston, SF, KC, Phoenix, or Seattle. Today at lunch I finally checked out the schedules for the Phils, Reds, BoSox, Brewers, and Chicago teams. 

My family is into American Idol. 

Lang’s sister gets married April 8th. Ceil is going to a shower next weekend. 

Survived the busy month end, celebrated by going to see 'Walk the Line' the other night. Showed how June Carter dealt with negative feedback from fans after her divorce, considering her fine Christian parents. 

Barely noticed the wonderful weather, but will leave early tomorrow, to help Matthew at his practice. Opening day is Saturday, and I haven't been there yet. No big deal that he's not into it, but once he starts hitting better, it'll be more fun for him. 

Lang conducted a phone interview with Bobby Cremins last night. 

Hudson to pitch opening day, with Smoltz as the number two starter. I'm all about winning the division/making the playoffs, but with the way Smoltz wore down late last year, what about making him the 4th starter? Probably not much difference.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Pause…part one…41 days…by Andy Stanley

A study looked at the relationship between a child’s ability to demonstrate delayed gratification as a child and as a teen. Try this at home with skittles or cookies…five now or twenty later.

There is always more at stake when it comes to temptation than what we think. The ability to withstand temptation has a lot to do with your confidence in and with God…not just self control. People don’t become Christians because they don’t think they can behave like God. Christians just have other stuff going on.

Matthew 3:16…what we miss when it comes to temptation. As soon as Jesus was baptized he came up out of the water.
17…a voice from heaven said ‘this is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
4:1…the very next verse…God sent Jesus out into the desert to be tempted by the devil. God did the same thing with Abraham, Moses, Peter, and all twelve disciples. Lord’s prayer…lead us not into temptation.
2…after fasting for forty days and nights Jesus was hungry.
3…the tempter came to Jesus.

Then Jesus was tempted in three ways…all had to do with Jesus’ confidence with God. In all the temptations that we face in our life, all relate back to one of these three temptations…to do things in an evil way. You hear people say ’once I became a Christian I was able to deal or handle this thing.’ Like the Wizard of Oz…ignore the man behind the curtain. By God’s grace we can get the traction to overcome, to break the power of sin now.

There is always more at stake than what’s in front of me right now, than what we think. Then we give into temptation and feel guilty. We were all at stake when Jesus was tempted…not just will I turn the stone into bread, etc.

What is at stake when I am tempted…

Your Future
Why parents over-react…because we see the future. Remember the first time you saw Darth Vader. He tried to tempt Luke…’it is your destiny …destroy the emperor and rule by my side.’

Someone Else’s Future
Your wife and kids, your employees, those under you, the people who love you. Why there are broken homes. People give into drink…it’s all about me.

Your Faith
Sin is different than a mistake…you damage your relationship with God. People drift away from God by repeatedly violating their conscience…behaved your way away so much that then you don’t like church any more, you don’t sense God’s presence any more. You don’t think God will be coming into the room to give you those skittles.

Say to yourself…temptation, you will not take away my family, my future, my faith. When young, you have a lot of future at stake. When old, you have a lot of legacy at stake. In the middle, you’ve got a lot of both. Get into the habit of saying this!

We all believe in temptation, even if we all don’t believe in God.

Feb 25-26 Weekend

We were running late Sunday and took Will and Anna to the service. I had forgotten that Andy was going to talk about baptism, so it was good that W and A heard it. Several of our friends kids are about to get baptized, and thought they’d like to do it together. I asked Lee when I saw him afterwards if we needed to plan a pool party.

One thing interesting that Andy said…he didn’t have a problem with the method of baptism…sprinkling was ok in his book. He also made it clear that it wasn’t a requirement for salvation. He does such a good job of making things simple, that others have made complicated…with a bit of humor.

Charades at small group was ok, Ceil participated and had a good time. It was mostly involved the kids…Matthew was funny. Ceil and Anna went to the Dawsonville outlets Saturday while us boys ran errands…I ordered some new glasses…bifocals, that’ll take some getting used to. Will is at the stage where he doesn’t want to get haircuts.

Ceil’s bible study usually meets every other Thursday, but they met Sunday night to make up a miss. Usually weekends are free, except for the Friday small group (we’re met again this Friday, because we actually have been checking people’s schedules, so more people can be there).

Bryan has been traveling quite a bit, spent several days in LA last week, including a meeting with two studio people who didn’t get the popularity of ‘the whole Narnia thing’.

Could they use LaRoche for trade bait later in the year…are those guys that close? Depends on where the Braves are in the race. Guess these young first-basemen figured into the plan when they where thinking about trading Marte.

I put my thoughts yesterday about ho w the Braves were built compared to other teams onto my Fox blog…I post any sports stuff there, just to keep the blog going for now. Got one comment agreeing, and a White Sox fan who thought they were built best. By re-signing Koernko and adding Thome, that’s a lot of money at !B/DH…agree?

I should help with the overall schedule planning, as well as do a better job with family budget stuff.

Will's Feb. 27th game

Will played in a baseball game with the Sandy Plains 12 & under Cougars Sunday evening. They gave him a uniform, and he’ll play with them when he’s available, and they need players. They usually aren’t as good as their competition, but it’s good practice for Will. Even though they’re twelve year olds, the smaller field dimensions and quality competition makes it good for Will. Thursday at Mt. Paran a former teammate told me his Colt team needed pitchers and catchers, so I told Will to talk to the coach. He’s already better than some of the boys, though the competition may be a bit much. We won’t get his Mt. Paran Pony schedule until later in the week. The temperatures were dropping, especially after the sun went down. Matthew played for a while, then sat in my lap, wore my gloves, and had a blanket around him. I had on one golf glove, and I would cover his ears with my hands, and breathe into the back of his head. Will batted leadoff, but has only had a few practices with his Pony team, so the closer Bronco mound threw off his timing all the more. After ball one and two late swings, the fourth pitch was in the same spot the umpire had called the first pitch a ball. This time the ump called it a strike. I couldn’t tell from my spot near third base. He reached base in his other at bat, when the right-fielder wasn’t able to catch the ball. Will turned his ankle as he took off on a stolen base, but still managed to hook slide in safely. He was stranded there. Will played two innings at shortstop, and an inning each at third base and centerfield. In the first inning he fielded a grounder and threw out the batter at first. In the fifth inning, with one out and runners on first and second, Will ended the rally with an unassisted double play. The batter lined the ball at Will. Even though the ball was knuckling a little, Will caught it, and beat the baserunner back to the bag to end the inning. He had two other balls hit to him at short. In the first Will went deep into the hole and dove, fielding the ball cleanly. He threw to first while sitting on his rear, though he had no chance to catch the batter. A nice play. In the fifth Will fielded a tough grounder and had to hurry his throw, but the first baseman wasn’t able to handle the throw…a tough play all around. In centerfield Will almost made a great catch. Will ran into the fence about the same time the ball hit off the fence, Will barely missing making the catch. He fell down, but quickly got up, picked up the ball, and fired a strike to second base, actually holding the batter to a single.