Monday, March 31, 2008


Last day of the month…going to make it tough to make it to make it to Matthew’s game on time.

Friday night Will called from practice, wanting to play in a game with a teammate. It turned out to be way up in northeastern Cherokee County, above Ga Hwy 20. He hit 2 hard line drives that were caught, and an RBI single. Made a few good plays at first and third.

Saturday Matthew walked and scored a run, and his team actually won the game…just before the rain began.

Will’s game was moved up 2 hours and he barely made it on time. He pitched 2 scoreless innings, facing only 6 batters, striking out two. He had a long double or triple, and scored at least once. Umpires missed several calls, and didn’t do a good job at all.

During the 9 am NP service the fire alarm went off…perhaps a drill, but they treated it like the real thing. I hadn’t dressed warmly, which was bad. Everyone exited quietly. If it’s the fog machines in the middle & high school areas, perhaps they are more trouble than they’re worth.

Saw National Treasure 2, and most of the Braves game. Good they came back to tie the game. Glad Chipper got the first HR…Gammons had some kind words about him. Cox rolled the dice, pinch-running for Tex, and it paid off. For such an inside pitch, Zimmerman still hit it to the left-center gap. Blue jerseys were ok…obviously will be road only, since they said Atlanta. Surprised by the all-navy (black?) caps…a nice touch.

Will has a science presentation, and will miss his 12 & 2 pm games.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday Night

Friday I was working late, though it's hard to get much done with others there. Will called from practice, wanting to go play in a game for Isaac's Cherokee team. Just before leaving I stumbled across a $185,000.00 error my temp had made earlier that day...on the very item I had fixed earlier in the day. It took me 45 minutes to fix it.

Then I took Pleasant Hill to State Bridge to Crabapple to Hwy 140 to Arnold Mill to downtown Woodstock, then north to the South Cherokee Fields...making great time. Got there in time to see a Longhorns player blast a huge home run to centerfield. During the ensuing pitching change, the umpire laughed that the homer had a stewardess in the flight. But Will and Isaac were nowhere to be found.

Called Josiah, and he gave me directions...a good 15 miles north, past Hwy 20. I finally found the field, Will, and Isaac's dad.

Will played well. At third he tagged out a runner, and at first he had two putouts and an assist. The pitcher picked a runner off first, and Will threw to the shortstop for the out. He also almost scooped up the catcher's throw in foul territory, on a dropped third strike.

At the plate he hit two hard line drives. The shortstop and third-baseman made nice plays to job Will of hits. He did single through the hole into right field for an RBI. His team won 4 - 3.

The drive home was 30 miles long.

Follow Through

Another shot from Matthew's recent pitching stint.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baseball is Back

While I was keeping up with spring training, I hadn’t really started to get excited about the season until the last few days. Ceil wanted to watch the Wednesday night replay, and got to see many of the regulars bat, and a Tex interview. Then the SI Baseball edition arrived, which I read during Will’s practice last night. That always gets me going. No surprize that the Mets and Phils were picked to finish ahead of Atlanta.

From DOB’s blog about the #1 draft pick…”I mean, watching his raw swing in BP, you’re amazed that he can hit 450-foot homers using practically nothing but hands. He doesn’t get his hips into the swing at all, doesn’t use his lower body. Really, it’s all hands and wrists.” He played East Cobb baseball…shouldn’t those coaches have taught him how to hit?

Two Braves items from Uni-Watch…”A little birdie tells me that the Braves’ long-rumored blue alternate jersey may make its debut in the team’s very first game of the season, this Sunday against the Nats. “GM Frank Wren wants it to be a big surprise,” reports my source. “The Braves have delayed putting out their merchandise catalog this year solely because the road alternate jersey is featured in it. The feeling is that by unveiling them in this fashion (nationally televised game on ESPN), sales will be through the roof as soon as the catalog is sent.” Nice to see uniforms reduced to nothing more than a sales gimmick.”

“I was going through some old files and came across a bit of info sent my way five or six years ago by SABR researcher Maxwell Kates. At the time, there was no such thing as this blog or even the Uni Watch News Ticker, so I had no place to publish little tidbits. But now, dear reader, you get to read the following: “Is it true that Wayland Moore was high on acid when he designed those uniforms worn by the Braves between 1972 and 1979? I’ve heard that story once before, but I can’t vouch for its accuracy. When Moore first designed those uniforms, the Braves were actually supposed to have worn red on the road. Hank Aaron took one look at the uniform and said, ‘I’m not wearing that. Take whatever is red, and make it blue.’ Moore complied and later altered the Braves’ road uniforms according to Aaron’s wishes. Aaron and Eddie Mathews were the only ones shown the red uniforms.” Hadn’t heard the acid trip part of the story, though it seems implausible.

Things are getting a little better at work, but there’s still a lot to work through to get things running smooth. No telling what kind of mess my temp is creating doing a lot of what I used to do…especially since my boss cast her off back to the other building.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flight Photo

That's Will behind Conner, number three. In the left foreground is Kevin.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Trip to Augusta postponed a week…to the Friday Will plays in Huntsville. Matthew plays here, so perhaps I’ll stay with Matthew. Ceil wants to go to the space center…we visited there years ago before we had kids, when we spent the weekend at Lake Guntersville State park. Hit the Boaz outlets and weren’t impressed.

Javy retired…Will had wore his tee to NP. Later he wore the Langerhans tee somewhere…he wore the Frenchy tee to bed the other night…usually he wears it out. Will is working on a science project with Abby…and 2 other students.

Easter Weekend

Jeff Schultz has a point about how opening day shouldn’t be in Japan…but it’s really not new news. Someone should bring it up now, while it’s happening. I’m sure he’s not the only one. Good point by the's the players who benefit financially from a larger fan base.

Concession duty last night at Sandy Plains…it was cold outside, but not so bad inside the stand. We sold $310.00…almost half that was hot chocolate…my duty. Kept up pretty good. The chili I ate may have hit me the wrong way.

No games til Saturday. Endless meetings…some don't comprehend that there is actual work to be done, that takes new people twice as long to do.

Got a lot of housework done this weekend…watched Gump, Groundhog Day, Jersey Girl, and the Aviator…worked til 8:20 Friday. Got the oil changed and ran some errands. Checked out the second 16 CDs of that Lincoln book by Doris Kearnes Goodwin.

Matthew didn’t goof off so much at practice…which is good. I told him he had to work hard if he ever wanted to pitch again.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I always remember the year the border of the Topps set was grey. I remember that Mike McQueen, and Aaron was standing there holding a ball or something. Had my favorite, Mike Lum. We had a Ty Cline, my sister’s favorite. Legend has it that she has many of the old cards stashed away…she and her husband are big packrats.

My family really like Enchanted as well, though I didn’t do a few weeks ago when they saw it at the Picture Show. We'll definitely see National Treasure 2, which is there now.

Looks like Ceil is leaving early Friday to take the kids to SC…I’ll probably wind up working here a good portion of the weekend, if not telecommuting. Our computers are slow today, which is killing me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


New, improved snapshots of matthew pitching. I'm getting better at zooming, etc.

Career Homer Number Five

Will hit his 5th career home run Tuesday night in a close 7 – 6 loss to the Hornets at Roswell Area Park. Though the fences were relatively short, the home run was pulled deep down the left field line, and sailed far over the fence. Afterwards Will said after he hit it he paused to watch the ball, then flipped his bat.

Nick led off the top the first for the Wildcats with a walk, then Audie lined the ball over the 285 foot left field fence for a home run. Will followed with a hard hit single through the hole into left field. A balk put him on second, then he took third a Vince’s sacrifice fly to right field, where he was stranded.

In the third Will took two straight balls, then an inside pitch called for a strike. I thought that strike looked like a good pitch for Will to pull. The next pitch also came inside, and Will launched it deep, undoubltably a home run, hit far beyond Audie’s homer. He tried to keep the smile off his face as he rounded the bases.

The homer gave the Wildcats a short-lived 4 – 3 lead. The Hornets tied the score in the bottom of the inning, then Sandy Plains scored once in each of the next two innings to lead 6 – 4. Will played shortstop the entire game, throwing out a runner at first, tagging out a base-stealer, and doubling off a runner at second on a fly to right.

With Nick pitching the bottom of the 5th, the Hornets loaded the bases with an error, a sacrifice bunt hit, and a hit-by-pitch. With nobody out, Will was brought in to face the heart of the Roswell order. Leading by two runs, the coach brought the infield in. Will’s first pitch was a beautiful curve ball for a called strike. The batter swung at the next two low pitches, barely fouling off the third pitch to stay alive. Will wasted a couple of pitches high. I noticed first-baseman Nick was not only playing on the grass, but also too far off the line. Sure enough, the right-handed batter grounded the ball close enough to the line to elude Nick’s mitt, and two runs scored. Another run scored when a pitch deflected off the catcher’s mitt and rolled to the backstop.

After that Will took control, striking out the number three, four, and five batters in the order, ending the Roswell rally. Earlier in the game those batters had hit three balls to the fence.

The Leading the Baseball Game!

Monday night Matthew’s Rockies made up Saturday’s postponed game, putting a scare in the first-place Braves before falling 12 – 7. For St. Patrick’s Day Matthew wore green socks with his purple and black uniform. After the Braves went ahead 5 -1 in the first, the Rockies outscored them 6 – 2 to tie the game going to the bottom of the last inning.

In the third Matthew worked the count full before going down swinging off a hard-throwing older pitcher. Matthew then walked on a full count in the 5th. He took second on Stephen’s RBI single, then scored from second on Drew’s single to center. Stephen and Drew then scored to tie the game.

Grace came on to pitch the crucial last inning, getting the Braves’ Thomas DeVoe to ground out to Stephen at short. After Kyle’s infield single, Grace struck out the next batter for the second out. Even when Murphy Kenefick walked, there was still hope for the Rockies. Then the bottom fell out, as seven straight Braves reached base, and the game was called for darkness.

Matthew played second and third, and left and right field. In right field before the fourth inning he snuck up and tackled centerfielder Joshua. At third base he was credited with an assist, when the ball deflected off his glove to Grace, who got the putout.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Matthew's Pitching Debut

Josh Turner and Matthew Murphy pitched for the first time ever Thursday afternoon, in the third inning of the Rockies 18 – 6 loss to Coach Turner’s Rangers. Coaches Tracy and Tim had agreed to let Matthew and Tim’s son Josh pitch an inning.

After Rangers starting pitcher Jaron Grounds struck out the first six Rockies, Josh came on to pitch the top of the third. After giving up a just-fair leadoff double to Cooper, Josh induced a groundout to third, then struck out Kells on a 3 – 2 payoff pitch. Next Joshua got an infield single, then Matthew grounded a 1 – 0 pitch to Lucas at second. Matthew hustled down the line, but Lucas fielded the ball cleanly and threw out Matthew at first for the third out. Josh threw 7 strikes and 4 balls, allowing only one run on two hits…with no walks, a great first outing.

Then Matthew took the mound for the bottom of the third. He had plenty of warmup pitches, waiting for Grace to suit up in the catcher gear…she had been on-deck when Matthew batted. Tiny Lucas stepped in to bat first, with the smallest strike zone in the league. After a first-pitch ball, Matthew got Lucas to swing at two straight pitches in the dirt. Down 1 – 2 in the count, Matthew eventually walked Lucas, then Drake Hamil. Caleb Ballauf knocked a 2 – 1 pitch over the shortstop’s head into leftfield, but Kells got the ball in quickly, and the bases were loaded. Matthew worked former teammate Nate McLauren to a full count, then got him to strike out swinging.

Matthew had thrown twenty pitches, and was beginning to tire. His next twelve pitches were balls. Then Coach Tracy made his second visit to the mound, bringing Stephen in to pitch. Matthew walked to the dugout to cheers from both sides of the field. As he neared the dugout, his face bore a big smile.

Other highlights:
Bottom 1st: Ranger Jack Defreitas had a leadoff triple. Kells ran the ball down in left-center…the first of numerous good defensive plays by the tall Rockie. Soloman Farr and Josh both walked, then Jaron’s hit to right scored both runners. The Rockie pitcher Grace White struck out the next three Ranger batters to end the rally.

Bottom 2nd: Nate grounded the first pitch of the inning right back to Grace on the mound. On the hit first-baseman Cameron moved right toward the ball, so Grace calmly jogged over to first herself. Nate hustled down the line and almost beat her to the bag. Emeke walked and Alex’s ingle drove him in. Jack, Solomon, and Josh walked, and all three scored on Jaron’s triple to center.

Top 4th: Grace led off by singling to right on an 0 – 2 pitch. She took second on a wild pitch. Stephen’s groundout advanced Grace to third, and she was able to catch the Rangers napping and scored on the same play. Cameron walked, and quickly advanced to third, where he scored on a passed ball. Phillip walked with two out, but was stranded on base.

Bottom 4th: The Rangers scored five runs in the third straight inning. Jaron got things started with his third hit of the game, a double to right. Lucas and Drake walked, then Nate’s grounder knocked home Drake with the third run of the inning. When the throw to first got away Nate raced to second…coming out of a shoe along the way. Emeke and Alex walked, with Emeke later scoring on a wild pitch for the fifth run.

Top 5th: At the plate Matthew also had a big day. In the first two games he had four plate appearances, striking out each time. Besides the groundout off Josh, Matthew was due to bat fifth in the last inning. But it didn’t look good when first two Rockies were retired. Ranger first-baseman Alex Williams made a spectacular grab of a grounder over the base for the second out. But then Drew singled to left, and Joshua walked. Matthew also walked, on four pitches - carefully laying off balls out of the strike zone. He then took second on a wild pitch, and third on Grace’s grounder to short. Stephen singled, driving in Matthew.

All eleven Rangers reached base, and ten scored…seven Rangers scored at least twice. The Rockies six runs were scored by six different players. All but two Rockies reached base or put the ball in play.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thursday Night Baseball Games

Matthew didn’t do bad pitching…25 balls and 7 strikes…struck out one batter, an ex-teammate.

It was a fun game…it spent lots of time with the opposing team’s parents. M had struck out all 4 times in the first 2 games, but last night hit the second pitch…grounder to second that Lucas handled for the 4 - 3 out.

Next time up Matthew walked on a full count, laying off bad pitches…later scoring. He’s running faster these days.

Then I drove to Alpharetta for Will’s game, past NP. They lost 11 – 3, but Will scored 2 of the runs…walked, single, and a sac fly RBI. Played short 2 innings, then in CF a ball was hit in the RCF gap,Will hustled over and made a sliding stop, then threw the batter out at second, by several steps.

Later with bases loaded the runner tagged on a fly to medium center. Will’s throw came in perfect…you could tell it was way ahead of the runner…then the 1B cut it – he still almost had time to turn and relay to the catcher. Everyone groaned when the cut was made.

Will played 5 innings in the rain today...a 16 - 1 win. Scored twice, had a walk, sac fly/RBI, and a bases-loaded double down the left-field line. Batted sixth and played left.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 10th Mustang Recap

The visiting Mustang Athletics jumped out to an early 9 – 0 lead, and cruised to a 12 – 7 win over the Rockies Monday afternoon.

TOP 1ST: The A’s made good use of their baserunners. Brock McDaniel, Hudson Harris, Daniel Mattison, Dillon Monson, and Taylor Brown all walked and scored. The Rockies third-baseman Joshua Brunson caught a popup at third base, but the A’s Jacob Maher capped off the inning with an RBI double to left-center. Centerfielder Jason Fuertes ran the ball down and fired to second to hold Jacob to a double.

BOTTOM 1ST: Stephen Ellis and Jason Fuertes both walked in the first , but pitcher Daniel Mattison was in control, striking out five in the first two innings…without allowing a hit or run.

TOP 2ND: Brant Plomaritis led off by walking, and scored on Connor Bollinger’s single to left. Rockies rightfielder Matthew Murphy got the ball in quickly to hold Connor to a single. Bollinger later scored, but pitcher Cooper Hines got a strikeout and two popouts to limit the A’s to just two runs in the inning. Tyler Hall and Drew Laiz caught the infield pops to record the outs.

TOP 3RD: Drew came on to pitch for the first time this season, and held the A’s to just two runs and no hits. He caught another high popup on the mound, and struck out the other two batters. The A’s Kyle Jones and Jacob Maher both walked and scored on wild pitches.

BOTTOM 3RD: Cameron Jones led off the inning with a swinging bunt hit. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and had a nice delayed steal of third. Phillip Hrisak’s two-out grounder to the right side drove Cameron home. The A’s Brock McDaniel held the Rockies to the one run by allowing no walks while striking out two, then fielding Stephen’s grounder for the third out.

TOP 4TH: Brock reached on an error and stole second. Hudson hit a grounder to short and beat the throw to first. Brock took off for third, and scored when the throw got away, allowing Hudson to take second. After Hudson stole home, second-baseman Tyler fielded a grounder and threw to Jason for the out. Daniel singled, but was stranded on third.

BOTTOM 4TH: Grace White lined the first pitch of the inning into right field for a single, and advanced to third on two passed balls. Jason and Cooper walked to load the bases. After one pitch Cooper distracted the pitcher, allowing Grace to score. Drew doubled to center, driving in both runners. Then Hudson, the A’s pitcher, settled down and struck out three of the last four batters he faced.

TOP 5TH: Kyle led off for the A’s with a pop single to left, barely out of the reach of Rockier leftfielder Murphy. He scored on Jacob’s infield single. Third-baseman Tyler made two nice stops at third, keeping runners at first and second. Rockies pitcher Phillip capped a strong outing by striking out two straight. He finished with five strikeouts in two innings, with no walks and only three runs allowed. Two-thirds of his pitches were strikes…an excellent Mustang pitching performance.

BOTTOM 5TH: With the sun setting, the Rockies had time for five batters. Tyler singled to get things going, and Kells Weatherby was hit by a pitch. Stephen’s grounder into right field scored both runners, then he scored on Grace’s double to center.

Will's Sunday Game

Will’s Sandy Plains Wildcats overcame a four run deficit to beat the Wills Park Warriors 10 – 5 Sunday afternoon. Will scored the first two runs, and was the only player to reach base all four times he came up to bat.

In the top of the first Will drew a 3 – 1 walk with two out, and advanced to second on a wild pitch before being stranded there. He caught the first two innings, and did a nice job of framing pitches, coaxing several favorable strike calls from the umpire on borderline pitches.

Will led off the third by pulling the ball to third. The third-baseman reached for the ball, but he couldn’t come up with it cleanly, and Will easily beat the throw. He advanced to second on a groundout, then stole third base before scoring on a groundout to the pitcher.

Defensively Will later played left field, center field, and shortstop, but had no balls hit to him. He batted and scored twice in the fifth inning. He led off the inning by getting hit with a pitch. Though he could’ve dodged the ball, the Wildcats needed baserunners. The pitch hit Will in the left elbow, and he could be seen on base in obvious pain. He took second on a wild pitch, third on an error on the first-baseman, and scored on another infield grounder.

Later in the inning Will drew another two-out, 3 - 1 walk, loading the bases. Vince then drove the ball over the right-fielder’s head for a bases-loaded triple. Will had a good jump and scored from first easily. He also finished the day as the only player to score three runs.


Work is crazy…EZGo parts. Should be busy for the next few weeks.

Left work Friday at 1 pm and barely made it to school on time. Zoo was fun…cold Sat AM…stopped by the Varsity on the way home. I’ll recap more in detail later maybe. Our guide at the Zoo reminded me of a young Staci.

Will did go to the fund-raiser dance…danced with two girls he’s friends with, including Kara…but I don’t know if he danced with Abby yet. Abby tried to get Matthew to dance, but he wouldn’t. Ceil and Matthew missed small group.

Matthew’s game was cancelled…Sat Ceil and I ate at Slopes, ‘cause we didn’t want to wait an hour anywhere else.

Will played yesterday and reached base 4 straight times, scored 3 runs, caught 2 innings. Scored from first on a triple. Plays in Flowery Branch tomorrow, Alpharetta on Thursday. Matthew plays tonight and Thursday.

Didn’t know Hampton got hurt til last night…hopefully he’ll be ok.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


One more good pic of Matthew from the his first game. Interesting that he's adpoted a slighty closed he uses when he's serious. Doesn't usually effect his ability to pull the ball, and hitting to the third-baseman is still a good way to reach base.
Same batting gloves as last year, along with big brother's purple Mizuno mock-turtle Under Armour-type undershirt...with rolled up sleeves.

Coach Tim noted the bat may have been too big, so we'll make that adjustment.

Next up: the Living Science 5th grade Zoo overnighter with Anna!

Tonight I drove my Civic straight from work to pick up Will at Living Science. Things usually run late there, with plenty of cleanup duties afterwards. Still, I was late. I knew it was my turn to take home the carpool, not remembering there were five to pick up: Will, Abby, Garrison, Michelle, and Barrett. With four crammed in the back, my Honda was riding pretty low.

Doubleheader Split With Crown

Will’s NCA Lions split a doubleheader with their arch rival Crown yesterday afternoon. Crown won the first game by a run in their final at bat, but the Lions returned the favor in the nightcap, scoring two runs in the top of the 7th to break up a tie game.

Will played every inning of both games. In the opener he played left field, but had no balls hit to him. He reached second base one time. A grounder was hit to the shortstop, who tried to turn a double-play. The batter beat the throw to first. Will had taken off running with the crack of the bat, rounded third, and continued on toward home. The first baseman threw to Will’s former Mt. Paran teammate Tanner, now catching for Crown. Will slid headfirst around Tanner, sticking out his hand to tag the base, to score the run.

In game two Will was the starting pitcher. Crown was a much better team than last-week’s opponent in Winder, but Will pitched very good, despite inconsistent calls from the umpire. A Crown batter had homered in the first game, and he also hit one off Will: the first-ever home run Will ever allowed. After that Will settled down, allowing only one unearned run over the next four innings. He made a nice play on a grounder to the first-base side, hustling over just in time to cover the bag.

The Lions sent eight batters to the plate in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs. The temperature got colder as the sun set, and the game was further delayed by coaches visits to the mound and a pitching change, and another long wait for the lights to be turned on. Will led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on James’ single and third on David’s walk. Will then scored on a wild pitch (ealier in the game he also walked and scored)..

In the bottom of the inning Will came out to pitch, despite a high pitch count and the long delay. The umpire didn’t help, calling borderline pitches strikes. Behind in the count, Crown batters were jumping on the strikes Will had to throw, and the hits were falling just out of the reach of Lion fielders. Second-baseman Isaac bobbled a double-play grounder, and all runners were safe. Mercifully, Coach Roy pulled Will from the game. Still, Will had struck out 5 and only walked 3 of the 29 batters he’d faced, spreading out 8 hits over 6 innings.

David struggled on the mound, and Crown came back and tied the score. In right field, Will made a long running catch near the foul line for out number three.

With one out in the top of the 7tth Will drew a full count walk, after being down 0 – 2 in the count. James lined out, then David blooped a 3 – 2 pitch down the left field line. Will was running on the pitch, and hustled around to third. David had time to make it to second. Will took a big secondary lead off third, eventually drawing a throw from the catcher. The low throw skipped past third into left field, and Will scored. Later David also scored on a wild pitch.

Up by two, David was able to hold Crown scoreless in the bottom of the inning, earning NCA a split. of the doubleheader. A small Living Science crowd attended, including all us Murphys, all the Normans boys save Willis, thier Flight neighbor Katherine, and DJ. Tanner's dad Jay and Christian's mom sat behind the plate with the Crown crowd.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Seems like I remember some pigeon-toed photos of Michael Jordan. Photo taken by Anna.

Ready in Left

You can't tell, but that glove is tiny...he needs to wear a bigger one so he can catch better.

Two Pitchers in the Family?

More on Matthew and pitching…Yesterday at practice Coach Tracy worked with Matthew on pitching, perhaps encouraging him to concentrate on catching the ball better, since a pitcher has to be able to catch the return throws. After I arrived they worked on stealing, with a pitcher, catcher, shortstop, and baserunner. Matthew got a turn throwing pitches from the mound. Tracy said he might put him in one day, which would be an adventure.

Abby has been Will’s classmate for three years now, is in the same Servant Leader Training program, and also played Flight basketball for the first time. Like Will, she played more for social / friendship reasons than basketball reasons. She’d hustle, get in position, pass, and rebound, and occasionally score…much like Will. Her good friend Kara got lots of PT for both JV and varsity, and also plays AAU ball. Abby is a lot of fun, the type girl to play in the pool with the boys instead of laying in the sun with the girls…just like Will. Her mom was the somersaulting Tammy from the retreat last fall. Abby, Will, and sharp-shooting Conner all carpool to Living Science together.

Supposed to have a temp today…one didn’t show yesterday, so I saved her a bunch of work.

My father-in-law emailed me a Rick Monday video, supposedly voted one of the greatest plays in baseball history. A guy ran out on the field between innings and attempted to set fire to an American flag. While everyone watched, Monday ran by and grabbed the flag away…and received a standing ovation. Lasorda ran out and jawed with the delinquent as he was being escorted off the field.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Just a Bit Outside

Nice shot of Matthew following the ball all the way into the catcher's mitt. Outside pitches like this one are often called strikes by umpire "Senior" - perhaps ok for 14-year olds, but quite tough on the 9 year olds just starting out.

Swing & a Miss

Can you see his purple belt?
That's me in the second row, in my white Pumas, next to young Lucas. Coach Tim is in front of me, next to his wife Melissa. Coach Tracy mans the third base box.

Practicing With Matthew

Saturday morning I got Matthew outside to hit a quick bucket of balls…he doesn’t want to work with Will, Ceil, or Anna…just me. He was bunting ok, so I encouraged him to bunt if he had the chance. I went over not swinging until a strike was called, though he then asked if he could swing if he thought he could hit it…of course yes. In the game he worked the count full both times, but struck out twice…first called, then swinging. I asked why he didn’t swing at the first strike three, and he didn’t know.

Out of the five innings, he played left, third, and right. The first hitter singled to left, and Matthew knocked the ball down, then quickly picked it up and threw to second, holding the batter to a single. Not too bad for a first game.

Sunday afternoon he hit two bucketfulls, and was hitting them halfway decent. I had gone outside because Matthew was out there throwing a ball against the house. He wanted to put up a strike zone he could pitch…certainly a first! I caught some of his pitches…not bad, but he’s probably a year away from pitching a whole inning.

Will’s travel coach appeared to be monitoring Will’s pitch count Saturday. I’d told the coach he’d thrown 77 Thursday night and had a little soreness, but they were scrimmaging the rival (and better) Prowlers…who Will had all the strikeouts against last year. He only pitched an inning and threw too many high pitches, but an error and misplay prolonged the inning. He threw 25 pitches, and made a nice play on a bunt. Late Sunday he said his arm felt great.

We have been on the go for over a week and I was afraid Ceil was ready to crash, but she was up for one more party Saturday night. She had left Matthew’s game early to go to Will’s scrimmage, and left late from there to go to the grocery, and back home to get ready. Will got through so late that we just came straight there.

Sunday afternoon Will went to see Vantage Point with basketball teammate Holt, his older sister Marykathryn, and Will’s classmate/Marykathryn’s friend Abby. Afterwards they ate at Chili’s.

Did you know Catherine Norman is spending the summer in South Africa? Littlest brother Charles had his first game Saturday playing with Will’s old Mt. Paran teammates, and supposedly did ok. Had a big cheering section…two brothers and three other Flight basketball players, including Josiah and Isaac.

Actually got a little yardwork done yesterday as well.

Last Tuesday

Drove the kids to school today in downtown Alpharetta, then crossed over 400 on that little bridge north of Old Milton, around 9 am. Saw all the cars lined up to exit on Windward…

My temp wasn’t the best in the world, had a lot of issues, but seemed to need the job. Yesterday she said she had some sort of class on Thursday afternoons, and I said she could make up the time at lunch and stuff. I went ahead and told her I was only going to be able to keep her for a month. Later I returned from a meeting to find she had left early, and didn’t show up today. Monday I’ll get a new temp, since I don’t have time to train one this week, with month end.

I am moving over to the corporate building, which could be an answer to prayer. I’ll be visible to more people, and I should be able to slip out easier to afternoon games. My boss is throwing more stuff my way, which is great, but he doesn’t understand that things like that will be harder for him and the rest of the office when I’m off-site. My co-workers seem disappointed, and the office where I’m going is happy to have me, which is all nice. Think I’ll finish packing tonight, and start over there tomorrow. My boss also seems set on moving me into his cost-center, as opposed to leaving me as a corporate employee…which wouldn’t be good for him. I’m preparing my justification for a raise. Yesterday he commented that I was “well-compensated”…an opinion I didn’t necessarily agree with.

Need to let Will read where DOB blogged about Tex, where Tex laughed about the young guys like Frenchy who pull everything. Good comments by Chipper about ‘lose an Andruw, gain an Andruw.’ Hopefully JF will continue to listen to Chipper, Pendleton, etc. Diaz will spray the ball, as will Kelly and McCann…Yunel as well, right?

Supposedly Will’s travel team got blown out Monday in the scrimmage that Will missed. They gave up 12 walks to a better team. If the team is so good, why don’t they swing the bat? It was the team Will struck out the 11 batters…so maybe they’re not that good.

Last Thursday

I’ve settled in at this new desk. This morning I worked for an hour, then went back to my old office for the rest of the morning…not really productive. I’ve just caught up and moved in a bit more this afternoon, so tomorrow will be even busier. We went to lunch at the new Taco Mac down the street, that has suddenly become the new hot spot. My favorite spot is still the old Norcross Rail Station.

Watch Tech against Duke? Am I the only one that thinks Causey is a little overdramatic? I was thinking that before he bumped his head. He did make a nice pass…funny that the Duke guy later made a similar pass. But all his teammates couldn’t track down loose balls like the Dookies could.

I saw some of the second half of the Vandy win…you could tell it was a good game. Did I tell you that Will saw the Clemson coach wearing an orange blazer, so now he wants one?!

Matthew's Rockies March 1st Game Recap

The Mustang Rockies won their season opener in exciting fashion, edging out the Pirates 13 – 11. The teams swapped leads throughout the game, with the Rockies going ahead in the final inning, then holding the Pirates scoreless to win the game.

TOP 1ST: The first four Rockies reached base and scored in the first inning. Stephen Ellis knocked in Phillip Hrisak with the first run, then he, Grace White, and Jason Fuertes cored on wild pitches. Cameron Jones singled and stole second and third, but was tagged out at home by the Pirates’ pitcher Christopher Techman.

BOTTOM 1ST: In the bottom half of the inning the Rockies made two straight defensive plays. Centerfielder Cameron threw in to second-baseman Stephen to force Colin, then catcher Grace threw to third-baseman Drew Laiz, who tagged out Christopher Bilson. But then the Pirates scored five straight two-out runs to take the lead. Techman singled, Harrison Kossover and Tanner Pittard walked. Daniel Fulcher’s grounder to third drove in Harrison, then Chris Dollinger, Micah Sapp, and Carson Hopkins walked. Tanner, Daniel, and Chris all scored on passed balls.

TOP 2ND: Drew led off the second for the Rockies with a single to right, and he later scored on a passed ball. Then Micah, pitching for the Pirates, struck out the next three Rockies batters.

BOTTOM 2ND: The Pirates then retook the lead in the bottom of the inning. Chase Winans led off with a big hit that leftfielder Matthew Murphy got in quickly, holding Chase to a single. Cooper Hines struck out the next batter, before Christopher Bilson knocked in Chase with a grounder to first. Christopher Techman then hit a long triple to right-center. With two out Techman then scored on a crafty delayed steal of home, just before Harrison grounded out…Rockies shortstop Jason made a nice play, throwing to first-baseman Cameron for the third out.

TOP 3RD: In the third the Rockies rattled off four straight singles to score five runs. Again Phillip came home on Stephen’s hit, and Stephen scored on a wild pitch. Grace singled to center. Jason then beat out a grounder to short. When the throw sailed past the first-baseman Grace continued on to third, and Jason took off for second. The throw to second rolled past everyone to deep in the outfield, allowing both Grace and Jason to come all the way around and score. Next Cooper beat out a grounder to the second-baseman, stole second, and took third on a passed ball. When Daniel Luckett popped a fly the first-baseman caught, Cooper tagged up and scored the fifth run.

BOTTOM 3RD: Grace came on to pitch for the Rockies, and held the Pirates to two runs in both the third and fourth. Daniel Fulcher and Chris Dollinger led off the third with walks, and both scored on wild pitches. Then Grace settled down and struck out two of the next three. Chase then hit a grounder to Grace’s left. First-baseman Cameron moved over to field the ball, and expertly flipped to Grace covering the bag, to end the inning.

TOP 4TH: Cameron then led off the fourth, hitting a hard grounder past the first-baseman and right-fielder. The ball kept roller toward the fence, allowing Cameron to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run. Drew then doubled and Tyler Hall singled, before Pirates pitcher Tanner Pittard struck out the next two batters to strand the runners and end the inning.

BOTTOM 4TH: Colin led off with a walk, stole second, and scored on Techman’s infield single. Harrison’s grounder to second advanced Techman to third, but Grace struck out her second batter of the inning. With two out Techman again stole home, just before Daniel popped out to Cooper at short.

TOP 5TH: Going into the final inning with the score tied, for a third time Phillip walked and Stephen singled, and again they scored. But Pirates’ pitcher Daniel struck out two of the next three batters.

BOTTOM 5TH: Phillip came on to pitch for the Rockies, and quickly struck out the first two batters. Then Carson rapped a line drive down the left-field line. In left Stephen quickly got the ball in, holding Carson to a double. Then Chase hit a slow roller in front of Grace at short. The only play was to hold Carson at second. Now the tying run was on first, and Colin stepped in representing the winning run. He hit a hard grounder to short, that looked like it may bounce through into the left-centerfield gap. But the grounder hit the baserunner…ending the exciting game in a curious fashion.

Friday Stuff

New office location is ok…people are good, kinda cramped, but that’s ok. Someone noted that should a shooter bolt through the door and open fire, I’d be the first to go.

Wanted to leave at four Thursday for Will’s game, but was tied up til 4:35. The games started late, and I made it in the bottom of the 2nd of game one, and copied what I missed from the team scorebook.

Will did well hitting the mitt and painting corners, and throwing curves for strikes. Despite the cold, the ump was calling close ones balls. The competition could’ve been better…perhaps that’s why the coach tested Will, he knew he had the chance. Head coach pitched, and assistant caught, both in the minors.

Ceil is stressed because we’ve been on the go most every night, and the house is a mess. Matthew will be at the field from 11:30 to 5 pm, and Will has a 4:30 scrimmage that will go on for hours.