Sunday, July 23, 2006
I'm one Braves fan who hasn't given up hope. The Mets have learned how to win just this year, but with Pedro hurting thier pitching may not hold up, and they could lose ground. The Braves would have to stay hot and not have disasters like Friday night. At this point I'd be happy with the wild card...it should be an exciting two months!
A 680 caller yesterday was talking about the high price the Reds paid for the two Nats middle relievers, but the guy was acting like the two were bums, when in fact at least one of the guys was pretty good. I guess guys just like to talk on the radio…I swear Chris Dimino doesn’t let people away with such uneducated comments.
Doing anything this weekend? I’ve been gone the last five weekends, so hopefully I can stick close to home. Ceil and Anna are halfway finished painting Anna’s bedroom. Once we get Will’s single bed set up in Anna’s room, we’ll put her old double bed downstairs in the bonus room, clearing out the play table and the other unused table.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
So many guys who call in to sports talk radio discuss trades with no concept of the financial aspect in mind…or what other teams would want. One guy yesterday went through who could be traded from all the starters, and settled on Renteria as the most tradable. Everyone would much rather have the lower salaried Betemit or some of the prospects.
Hadn’t been sleeping good coming out of the vacation, so I fell asleep on the couch watching the game, shortly after Cox took out Barry. I thought that starter pitched well, too.
I’d just read the Hanks story myself. What I figured was they were going to all the “new” parks…Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincy. When Hanks was on Letterman plugging the Code, he talked about camping with a bunch of guys, how they all had these individual brightly colored tents. I know Miller plays golf, but he’s more into football and baseball than some older celebs who golf, party, or travel overseas. I’ve read how Bill O’Reilley (who I don’t watch) still goes on annual camping-type trips with his old high school/college crowd, but you’re right, you don’t hear too much of that. Letterman jokes about doing stuff like that (or just eating dinner) with Regis and Steve Martin, but I doubt much actually takes place.
I always thought it would be fun, if I was in that position, to take 18-20 friends and fill out a baseball camp.
Missed Webber, as well as the promo on the Friday show about the greatest plays in history, which I’d be a sucker to watch. Peyton enjoyed college, as did Pollack and Greene. Most ballers are looking to jump to the NBA. Heard some recent Mike Vick comments, how in high school he was thinking NFL, not about the college experience.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Learned something at the funeral…the original Piedmont Hospital was located where AFC stadium was built. Bruce’s dad used to operate there. During the funeral I noticed a lone young (30-ish) black man sitting in the balcony…nicely dressed, but no suit. As the crowd filed out of the front of the sanctuary to the reception, the man started shouting a message from the Lord. Strange.
I like the Turner South Braves replays…I’ll come in late and catch the end of a game, then watch the beginning of the game later the same night. I’ve noticed on the TV listings that they’re continuing to do it. Wonder if they had a long rain delay, and they returned to regularly scheduled programming, if eventually they’d show a replay of the beginning of the game while waiting for the rain to stop (sorry).
Scoring all those runs reminds me of 1996…wasn’t that the year they were down to the Cardinals in the NLDS, then came roaring back and blew them out to win that series. Skip has a radio commercial about it, that they keep replaying. 2000 must’ve been when the Cards killed them. That was the year I was in Charlotte and watched the playoffs at Jocks & Jills. When Sid slid I was alone in my Greensboro hotel room. 1996 I was at the last game in AFC…the loss to the Yankees. Young Will could’ve gone, but he was sick that night.
I’m going to be a great old guy, remembering all this stuff. Like yesterday’s Terrance Moore column on the ND/GT fish/bottle throwing game. If you read it on line, all the commenters were more accurate than Moore and Montana. I was at that game, as well as the 3 – 3 tie in 1980, but was still in high school when GT beat ND for homecoming in 1976.
Never played at the SCC, though I knew where it was. It went to Dekalb College in Clarkston for 2 quarters before it was built, and drove past the site every day. That was my sophomore year, when I had flunked out of Tech. Learned how to study, made A’s at Dekalb, and did ok the rest of the time at Tech. CPA saw Shannon Melindi there. Reading about her, it appears she worked at a salon in Virginia Highlands…Ceil and I probably used to walk past it, and I would jog past it as well.
We tried to see Pirates at the beach…the 9 pm show was sold out 30 minutes early. That was the closest we got to the Pelicans game…the ballpark was across from the theatre/mall. The game was already in the 6th inning…you could see the scoreboard. Ceil will take the kids to see it this week during the day, and I’ll take them again when it gets to the dollar theatre.
Our group is supposed to break up sometime…our leader Lee is pretty by the book…but he keeps scheduling meetings throughout this summer, though many members are traveling. We missed this past Friday, and they canceled one when I was in NY. The rest of the group isn’t crazy about disbanding, though it’s been a while since we’ve all been together. The wives and kids had a pool party July 5th, and are having another one tomorrow. So I don’t know when our group is ending. I told leader Lee that I didn’t want to be a new leader, and another guy didn’t want to either.
ARod used to have perfect throwing form…point, step, strong overhand throw. The other night he was flipping the ball. Haven’t heard anyone talk about that. Chipper has basically the same flip often times…sometimes with similar results, though often saved by LaRoche.
Tonight it’s Clemens and Maddux, right? Highest combined win total in history.
Added some pictures to my blog last night…making that long Cooperstown post even longer.
Also added some pics to a June posting about the day at the lake.
Would be nice if we could outscore them tonight.
We got the Charlotte paper ever day last week at the beach. Their minor league team sent a knuckleballer to the minor league all star game in Ohio, the one where Marte won the HR derby. The pitcher did well in the all-star game. He had dropped out of ball as a regular pitcher, took off 2 years, and made a comeback with the knuckler. The CWS hired Charlie Hough as a spring tutor. The guy was called up in May to make a spot start, but didn’t fare well that one day.
I’m working in Charlotte some next week, so I’ll check the Knight’s schedule. Anna may go with me, to spend the night with a neighbor that moved up there.
Funny story about the KC all-star game, where Buck O’Neil got traded after walking in the top of the first.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
His ROY rival Ryan Howard is impressive...but Howard played college ball, as well as working his way up through the minors...including AAA, the level JF skipped.
Wednesday matchup...Clemens vs. Maddux...most victories ever by two starting pitchers.
ARod's throwing problems...has no one mentioned how he's throwing sidearm? I remember watching him warm up at short, playing for the Rangers...with perfect form...pointing with his left arm, stepping, and making a strong OVERHAND throw.
Stuck in time group 8 again, this year Will and I better timed our arrival for the Peachtree Road Race. On our drive downtown we listened to the wheelchair race on the radio, arriving at our parking space near the finish line just as the winner was finishing the race. Perhaps next year we’ll watch the wheelchair finish before heading to the start.
As we rode MARTA to
We ran past the second mile marker and stopped to visit friends at Second-Ponce de Leon. Chatted with Reid and Edie Whitaker, the Irwins, Danny Starnes, Debra Light and her mother, David Hall, all the Head kids (Don & Angela, Debra, Steve, and Staci), the Wisenbakers, Wells Maddox and his mother, and many more. Later we saw Maggie Tadros and Denton Harris watching near their houses, and state representative Preston Smith from
The sun was beating down, and the late hour made it the hottest Peachtree I could remember. Will enjoyed the watersprays, and I made use of them as well. It was the first time since a rainy Peachtree that my shoes were soaked. We ambled on, Will sometimes a few steps behind, only to race ahead with a burst of energy. I had never seen so many walkers, and we had to weave around them.
We finished the race in little over an hour, not bad at all, considering the crowd and the heat. We picked up some Poweraides and shuffled to the car a few blocks away. After a stop at the Phipps Plaza Niketown for two nice Peachtree/Nike mini-backpacks, we headed home.
Will was so exhausted that he took a nap, but I managed to help Anna strip wallpaper in her room. She also did some painting.
In the evening we went up to
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I never recapped the tournament Will played the weekend before we left for Cooperstown. Friday night June 16th Will’s Shaw Park Cougars played the Blue Bombers at 8:30. The field in Jasper GA was larger than the Cougars usually play on, and the extra distance between the pitching mound and plate seemed to help the Cougars and hurt the Bombers…the Cougars knocked out 17 hits in the 3 inning game, and the Bomber pitchers walked or hit 10 batters.
Will had a big game, scoring three runs, going 2 – 2 with 2 walks and 2 RBIs, and he was robbed of 2 RBIs and a run scored. He played centerfield.
In the first he walked and stole second, then scored from second on a single.
Will led off the second by beating out an infield hit. The next pitch hit Clay, advancing Will to second. Again Will scored from second on a hit.
In the third Will walked again, and took second on a wild pitch. Once more he scored from second on a single…the second run of the inning. The batter after Will struck out, then the next eight Cougar batters reached base.
Will came up to bat with the bases loaded, and drove the ball to the left-centerfield fence. I had my eyes on the ball, seeing how close it came from being a home run. When I turned my attention back to the infield, the runners on 2nd and 3rd had already scored, and Will was running hard, on his way toward third. He rounded the base and headed home.
That’s when I noticed that the runner from first, T.K., had fallen down on his way home. On the ground, Will didn’t see him until he was right on him. T.K. was trying to stand up, and Will ran right into him. Both boys would’ve scored easily for an inside-the-park grand slam home run. Instead the throw came in, and the pitcher tagged out both runners, for an unassisted double play!
After the Cougars retired the Bombers in the bottom of the third, the game was called due to the mercy rule. The Cougars won 22 – 4.
Saturday Morning Game, June 17th
The next morning the Cougars continued winning, outscoring the Thunder 13 – 8. Will had an even bigger game, combining more offensive output with three big defensive plays in centerfield.
With a runner on second in the second inning, the batter hit a line drive into the gap in left center. The baserunner watched several steps off second, as Will ran to his right, away from the plate. Then Will reached across his body with his glove and dove, stretching completely horizontal, making an unbelievable catch. The runner on second thought Will had dropped the ball, and took off, rounding third and scoring. Everyone had been watching the catch, and when we saw the runner, we all knew that there was no way he could’ve tagged up. Everyone knew, except the umpires. On the ground in left-center, Will somehow knew as well. He got up and threw not home but to second, to double off the runner. Even after appealing the tag, the umpires ruled safe.
With T.K. on second in the bottom of the first, Will singled to right on the first pitch. A faster runner could’ve easily scored on the hit, but T.K. held at third. Will stole second base, but was stranded on 3rd, as the next three batters made outs.
Will came up in the third with two on and drove the ball to the right-centerfield fence. This time all the runners rounded the bases without a problem, and Will had an inside the park home run.
In the 4th inning Will walked, took second on a hit, and scored from second on another hit.
Will walked again in the 5th, on four straight balls. After advancing to third on two wild pitches, the game was called due to the time limit.
Championship Game, Saturday afternoon, June 17th.
After lunch in the north Georgia mountain town of Elijay, the tourney championship game was played in the town of Ball Ground, on a smaller field with regular 12-year dimensions. The Canton Cannons provided tough competition, scoring single runs in 5 of the 6 innings, taking a 4 – 3 lead into the bottom of the 5th. Then the Cougars broke out for 6 runs in the bottom of the 5th to win the championship.
Once again Will had a big game at the plate, going 2 – 3 with a RBI and run scored. In the first inning he just missed hitting the ball over the right-field fence, driving home the runner from third. T.K. was on first and for some reason he didn’t run, so Will had to settle for a single instead of an easy double or possible triple.
In the 5th inning Will doubled to center, and scored on Clay’s home run over the left field fence.
Will played shortstop the first two innings, throwing out two runners from first.
In the 3rd inning Will was brought in to pitch with two runners on and no out. His first pitch was lined back to Will, who made the catch, and quickly flipped to first for a double play. One pitch, two outs! After throwing a first-pitch strike to the next batter, the next pitch was grounded back to Will. Again Will threw to first…three pitches, three outs!
The next inning Will struck out the first two batters and got the third to pop out. He pitched the last four innings, giving up only one earned run on one hit, striking out three, and walking none…32 of his 51 pitches were strikes.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Leaving shortly for the beach. I’ve almost dug myself out of the hole from the last vacation. I’d better call in next week to see if anything happens with our department regarding replacing my boss.
Thought Sosa’s pitch to Valentin in the 9th was good…low with movement. The .209 hitter with one HR went down and did a good job of hitting. Didn’t hear what BC had to say about it. Nice for JF to bail them out.
The same feature praised Giles, saying though he has low stats, he’s been hitting the ball at people. Nice that in the last 2 games, the people he’s hitting to are in the bleachers.
A few years ago I had plotted out the distances between MLB cities…it would be almost impossible to drive and see a game a day in a different city, even figuring possible two-game days in some areas.
I never plan on driving late at night for the same reason…I know I’d go to sleep. I’d like to not run the AC much just to get the MPG up, but it’ll be too hot for that. I’m also taking two extra batbags for some of the boys who are flying, and some other stuff. I like taking the trip and seeing the country…I usually make too many stops, so it takes me a long time. I’ll have to stay on the road more this time.
It would be neat to hit Gatlinburg sometime. I’ve driven to Jacksonville and Richmond twice, Little Rock, Chicago, Detroit, Ohio, Greensboro, and Memphis. Detroit was broken up, so this one to NY will be just as long or longer. Knew a guy that took a trip after college…drove a northern route to Seattle, down the coast, and home a southern route.
A driving trip to all the MLB parks would be interesting. It wouldn’t be worth it to try and see a game a day, and almost impossible anyway. Would take too long anyway.
There’s a nearby class A team near Cooperstown…Oneida Tigers, so I didn’t check Syracuse or Buffalo, and I don’t feel like trekking to NYC or Boston…both four hours away.
Left early Friday, our planned route back through Binghamton & central PA was washed out, so I took Will for a quick look at NYC, then to the Nats blowout loss to TB in Washington. (George Hendrick was the TB 1B coach, and new owner / ex-Braves VP Stan Kasten was wandering around on the phone during pregame).
Took the laptop and wrote 5 pages of trip recap…will forward it even though it’s not as organized as I’d like. Doesn’t include the last part of the trip.
Will played well, but his team won one and lost four. He didn’t allow a run while pitching, and only gave up 2 hits in 6-1/3 innings…didn’t walk a batter, either. They won the game he pitched 5 innings (54 pitches…42 were strikes.) He hit one HR, got several hits, and scored several runs.
The rain was just about constant from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning…delaying the Sunday afternoon and Monday morning games. Instead of 8 games, they only played 5…lost the first round tourney game. On Thursday they scheduled makeup games for the teams already bounced from the tourney, had we won the AM game, we could’ve played a PM game. Drew East Cobb and lost. There were 94 teams…12 from GA (most from N.Atlanta).
We were pretty well cut off from news up there…even about the flooding. Thursday the hospital and HOF were closed, as well as several roads. A parking lot in town was washed away, and a small store was in danger of washing off as well. Several stores were closed…people couldn’t get to work. We were only effected by the rainouts.
Went to the HOF Wednesday and got to take as much time as we wanted.
We’ll have to discuss the Hawks draft…Sheldon is related to Matthew’s LL coach’s wife…could be some tickets if we inquire.
The girl in the Golf Channel’s Big Break reality show, from Ceil’s home town, came in 20th in the US Open yesterday…Kristina Tucker, originally from Sweden and then Duke. Not on the LPGA tour yet, she had to go through qualifying to make the Open.
I was wondering if Hudson and the Braves are hiding an injury
The Phillies have a stadium tour at 10 am on Fridays…over 4 hours from Cooperstown…I doubt we can make it on the way home. Mapquested C’town to RFK…quickest route doesn’t go thru Philly…that would be over an hour longer…we’ll see. RFK doesn’t have stadium tours, but you can go down behind the catcher to watch during the game.
The only part of the Tuesday game I saw was the inning they scored 3 runs, and I missed most of last night’s game as well.
Nice how Turner South is re-running the game later that night…just what I need.
I packed most of my throwback caps…Brooklyn, Ruth-era Yankees, Browns, 70’s era Orioles, 1890’s Nationals, Boston Braves, Chicago American Giants. Forgot my Angels cap with the halo.
Wade was on Letterman last night…in shorts, a cap, and a tee. Said they trashed their Dallas locker room…got back to Miami about 7 am. I know they tape Letterman around 4 or 4:30, so he had a day. I liked both teams, but I was rooting for the Heat.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Will does like the guys on the team, and the parents have been nice to me. The parents like Will because he’s played well, and the fact that they were desperate for a player to fill out the roster.
Had they not had an 11th player, they could’ve wasted their money (I’m sure they would’ve done something).
The parents don’t seem to mind that I’m staying in the barracks with the boys and other coaches…almost giving me assistant coach status. I'm amazed...I thought another dad would've already jumped at the chance. I have been keeping score in the stands, as usual. The parents seem to be more interested in what they are going to do, like trip to NYC, and plan team parties.
They do have some decent players…I was just expecting a travel team to be tons better than the rec teams Will has played on, but there’s not much difference. Seems like these boys are just busier, doing more athletic activities, perhaps less church stuff.
I haven’t had time to recap the weekend games…they won all three. The Jasper field was bigger, and the mound was 53’ instead of 50’, so it was easier on the hitters. Friday Will missed an inside the park grand slam, when the runner on first fell down before reaching home. They won 22-4.
Saturday AM they also won…Will had an amazing catch in center, and an inside the park HR. That afternoon they played at a smaller park in Ball Ground, with a 50’ mound. Will just missed hitting one out over the further RF fence. The same runner didn’t run, so Will got a single. It was a tight game, and Will came in to pitch for the first time with this team. The first pitch was lined back to Will, and he threw to first to double off the runner. After throwing a strike, the next pitch was grounded back to Will, and he threw to first for the out. Three pitches, three outs. He pitched 4 innings and gave up one run, against a ‘tough’ team.
Looks like we’re diving to Jefferson tomorrow night, and we’ll leave early from there Friday morning. We come back early next Friday…we could drive the whole way, but I’m trying to get my friends to meet us at RFK for the game. The Phillies and Orioles are on the road.
Basically Will is the hired gun to help bolster the team’s chances, though I hear the competition is competitive, with select teams with budgets in five (or six?) figures. The other parents don’t seem to mind, since it’s helping the team’s chances. They seem to be just as interested to traveling to NYC, four hours away. I’ll stick with the Hall of Fame…after driving 15 hours, I don’t want to drive more!
Will needed rubber cleats, and he dug out the Nikes I wore ten years ago for my week at the Cubs fantasy camp. They still had the polish from where they shined them every night. The big difference between them and current Nike models is that these have the old NIKE above the swoosh, instead of the swoosh only. He likes them. He has a sore ankle, which is unusual.
Watched Glory Road last night. Have you seen it? About the NCAA final where Kentucky got beat by that small school in Texas. Anna is at a knitting day camp this week. Thursday Matthew is taking this class where they take raw wool and make a teddy bear. Yesterday he went to the JFBC VBS. He loves to make crafts and eat cookies, but he didn’t know anyone in his class, so it wasn’t his favorite. This is the guy who like to play baseball for the teammates.
I’ve got to get to one of those Chickfila breakfast buffets…are they only on Saturdays?
June 21st Braves Update...
The Braves did replace the injured Thompson, Jordan, and Reitsma, but they were a big part of the problem. I haven’t been keeping with all the comings and goings, but they were grooming James to be a starter. The tall Aussie and Thorman were both tearing it up in Richmond, earning their promotions. Just when guys like McBride and Ray start looking good, they have a bad outing.
Eight of the 12 pitchers next year will be different from last week’s roster. Cormier was the return for dumping Estrada’s salary, so if we were to get anything out of him, it would be a bonus. Paronto and Yates were also cheap free agents with little downside…hopefully one or two would work out, like Ray.
No MLB team has good middle relief, and only a few teams have excellent closers…the key is having the starters get you deep in the game, like Maddux and Glavine used to do. Smoltz had the lead when he left the game Sunday…when you score seven runs you should win. Perhaps this is the week Sosa is taken out of the rotation.
They play Betemit, and his average has been dropping. My friend thinks Giles could be gone after this year. The Braves say Thorman will get some playing time at first base as well. I don’t see what’s wrong with Diaz.