Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Will has been reading about Pistol Pete. Love the uni, the blue socks. As a 15-year old I wore similar suede ProKeds...I had these off-white ones, as well as a red pair and a navy pair. Like Will does now, I wore them out.


We need to get to DC for Anna and Matthew, but this year is not looking good.

As I watched the last 2 minutes last night I wondered if Reid and Lang were there…they were, 12th row. It would be great for the Hawks if Garnett and some of the Celtics were suspended…but terrible for the NBA.

Last Friday Will pitched well in a tourney game, striking out the 3 & 4 batters. They were already losing, and did not qualify for the home school world series in Florida in late May. Friday night I got to take Matthew to his batting practice.

Saturday Matthew got his first hit of the year, a double down the first-base line. He scored his team’s first run.

Later Will’s Wildcats won a doubleheader. He played shortstop and catcher, and threw out a base-stealer at second. He went 2 – 5 with 2 triples, several RBIs, three runs scored, and was HBP. He also hit a screaming line drive that the SS caught. Rented Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Saturday night, and ran Ceil over to Perimeter Mall.

Got sick that night and felt bad all Sunday. After church we ran to Costco and Harry’s, spending way too much money. Now it’s month-end, and we’re still not catching many breaks here at work. Yesterday I did make it to Matthew’s practice.

Will has 3 games tomorrow, two on Thursday, one Friday, and two Saturday. He could play another Sunday if we wanted to go to Canton.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Portrait of a Star


Gas is crazy…weird these east cobb BPs are running out so much....$3.639!

Will reached base all 3 times Wed night…BB, E6, single. Scored from second…he had stopped halfway home because the throw was good, but the pitcher cut it off with his back to Will, and threw to first…allowing Will to waltz in. Made 2 good defensive plays…a nice scoop playing first, and a tough bounce playing second. They won their seventh straight, so everyone is loose, playing well. Two guys pitched that needed the practice, developing more depth.

The high school team won easily Wed morning…Will played second again. …Will is pressing at the plate, popping out and striking out before launching a deep multi-RBI double to left-center. They play two tomorrow.

Work…good and bad days…

See the interesting response I received on Rowland’s Office this week, under that post with all the comments about going to the Tuesday game? Funny.

Good Seinfeld last night…Bozo the Clown, George trampled grandma escaping the fire, Jerry heckles Kramer’s date at her work, then she runs away and has her pinkie toe cut off…then gets the promotion over Elaine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Will's Next Tourney

Round One…they are playing the Gwinnett Barons, last year’s National Champions. Their JV team recruited Will this spring…Will has a friend that plays JV, but it’s too far over there to consider for next year.

If they lose they’d go into the loser’s bracket and play once or twice tomorrow, with doubleheaders Friday & Saturday to win the tourney. Not sure if it’s double-elimination or how long pool play lasts.

It’s the HWSA 2008 East Regional Qualifying Tournament…I just found this website…teams from across the SE will be there. http://www.hwsa.net/ Hopefully this website will continue to update the schedule.

FYI…amazingly, after this past Saturday’s doubleheader Will’s jersey wasn’t dirty. His pants were…and he had torn a hole in them (they were new two months ago).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Matthew had some sort of virus…he’s ok now. I noticed that he hit golf balls around the yard yesterday and today, because I saw were he left his little bag in the yard. Can’t get him to play a par three, though. Not that I ever play.

Sat I took 285 around the west side to get to Stockbridge. On the way back I went through town…it was slow and heavy, but didn’t stop. I called the team, who had stopped to eat, and told them to take 285…they thanked me. Last night I took 675 to 285 around the east side, then 400…made great time.

Will’s team is winning because there are more players contributing. Will did ok this weekend…batted .400 and a .600 OBP, but three other guys did better, and a few more did not quite so good as Will. I still wish he’d bat third, not fourth. And they won despite the fact that Will was unavailable to pitch…he threw 60 pitches Friday. He pitched one scoreless inning Saturday but struggled…29 pitches.

Ceil always struggles when we’re so busy. Should be a fun week…Joel Norman comes tomorrow to stay with us while the rest of the family is at Jekyll.

Was offered tickets to last night’s Nationals game, but all 3 kids had stuff, so I worked late.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Matthew's Saturday Game

We got to Matthew’s Saturday game in time for him to take some cuts in the batting cage, and he was hitting well. I thought nothing was unusual when he sat with a few teammates as others warmed up their arms. But then he came up to me, saying he didn’t feel well. I encouraged him to give it a try, and he started the game in rightfield. Matthew chased a hard grounder into the corner near the fence, and quickly threw in to the cutoff man, who wheeled and fired home in time to nail the batter at the plate. But Matthew came off the field almost in tears, he felt so bad, and Ceil took him home...perhaps a stomach virus.

I’m glad I stuck around, as the Rockies came back to make a game of it. Then the Pirates loaded the bases with no out, and the Rockies turned a triple play. Cameron caught a soft pop near first, and threw to shortstop Daniel to double off the runner at second. Daniel then threw home to catcher Stephen, who easily tagged out the runner trying to score from third.

Will's Friday & Saturday Doubleheaders

Here’s a recap of Will’s Friday and Saturday baseball games


Friday afternoon the NCA Lions split a doubleheader. Will played second-base in the first game and was the starting pitcher in the nightcap. He got several hits in the two games.


After Matthew’s Saturday game I hustled to the car and sped the 50 miles south to Stockbridge, making it in time to see the last out in the bottom of the first. The Wildcats had jumped out to a 6 – 0 lead over the Yankees, and won the four inning game 6 – 4. Will walked twice, once with the bases loaded, and stole two bases.

Will started the game at shortstop and made a great relay to save a run. On a single to right the runner from second tried to score. The throw came in off-line, toward Will. He caught it, wheeled, and threw an off-balance, sidearm throw just in time to nail the runner at the plate. Later he had two putouts at first base.


Next the Wildcats beat the Cobras 8 – 4. Will pitched a scoreless first inning, then caught the rest of the game. He made a putout at home, completing a fifth-inning double-play.

Will thought he did poorly at the plate, though he was actually as productive as anyone…

…in the first he had an RBI groundout.

…he had a scalding line drive in the fourth inning, but right at the shortstop.

…the centerfielder couldn’t catch Will’s deep fly in the sixth, allowing Audie to score. Will then stole third and scored on a grounder to the pitcher.

Tournament Semi-Final Game

The Wildcats won the 1 pm semifinal game 10 – 2 over the Bulls Sunday.

Again Will had a productive offensive game…

…With runners on first and second in the first, Will laced a line-drive single up the middle, driving in Nick from second to tie the game.

…With two-out in the second, Will dribbled a grounder to third. Will broke out of the box fast, intent on making the play close at first. He tried to toss his bat out of the way, but instead it bumped his knee. I had watched the third-baseman fail to field the grounder cleanly, but quickly recover to make the throw, which barely beat Will to first for the third out. I saw Will make one last leaping stride to the bag, and he immediately started limping after that. He grimaced as he slowly made his way off the field.

…Still smarting as he came to bat in the fourth, Will worked the count to 2 – 2, fouling off several pitches, hanging on at the plate against a tough pitcher. He almost seemed relieved when the next pitch game in behind him, and he took the pitch in the leg to get to first. With a runner on third Will stole second without a throw, and scored from second on Andrew’s single, still with the noticeable limp.

Will played third the entire game, throwing out two runners at first. One was a nice backhand catch over the third-base bag. He then quickly made a quick off-balance, across-the-body throw all the way across the infield strong and accurately, easily getting the runner at first.

After the game we had to await the outcome of the next semi-final game, so the entire team escaped the sun and ate at Quiznos. Will kept an ice pack on his knee, and felt a little better before the final game began.

Tournament Championship Game

The Wildcats faced the tough Elite team, who had blown out their three opponents as well. Will started the game at first base, and had all three putouts there in the first inning. He moved to left when Andrew came in to pitch in the second.

The Wildcats scored first, when Will led off the bottom of the second with a line-drive single down the leftfield line. He advanced to third on two singles, and scored on Chris’s single to left.

Up by three, the Wildcats couldn’t hold their lead, as Elite scored eight runs (five unearned) in the third. With three pitchers out hurt and five others already spent, the Wildcats turned to the seldom-used Nick, Anthony, and Michael. Nick, Andrew, and Anthony struggled, but Elite couldn’t adjust to little Michael’s off-speed pitches, and they were unable to score for four innings.

With every new pitcher Will shifted positions, moving from left to third, then second - all in one inning. He then caught the rest of the game.

Down 8 – 3, the Wildcats crept back inning-by-inning, and Will played a big part…

…In the fourth Will walked and later scored on a wild pitch.

…Down 1 – 2 in the count, Will singled through the hole into right, driving in two runners to tie the game. He reached second on a fielder’s choice, and scored the go-ahead run from second, on a single to right.

Defensively the Wildcats turned a double-play in the fourth and retired the side in order in the fifth. In the sixth Elite threatened, when a runner reached second, where he took huge leads off the base. With two out the heavy hitter was intentionally walked. On the next pitch Will fired a strike to Audie at the bag at second, the throw beating the runner back to the bag by a mile…the out ending the inning and swinging the momentum back.

In the top of the seventh the Elite leadoff batter led off with a bad-hop single to right, and stole second off the pitcher. Needing a run to tie, the next batter bunted. Will sprang out and scooped up the ball, and fired to Anthony at third, who easily tagged out the lead runner…another huge play. After a walk, Anthony again got the lead runner out at third. With one out to win, Audie fielder a routine grounder at short. A slow runner was chugging to second, but Audie threw to first, where Trey couldn’t handle the low throw, and the tying run scored. Will then caught a foul pop to end the inning.

After an exciting but scoreless eighth and top of the ninth (including two double-plays), the Wildcats finally scored to win with two out in the bottom of the ninth, to win the tourney.

Hitting off the Front Foot Again?

New pants get dirty quick!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008


At work we had a young girl down from Chicago this week. Co-worker / Lindburgh resident Randy usually takes care of her, since they don’t let her rent a car. Randy went out of town, so the task fell to me. Last night Ceil and I took her to Nuevo Laredo Cantina and had a good time. The kids enjoyed being home alone…Ceil had picked up dinner for them at Moes, after hitting IKEA during Anna’s ballet session.

Will is playing Friday afternoon, his team just tied the game. Tomorrow’s DH is at Stockbridge High School…Sunday too.

I missed last night’s Braves game. Sounded nice…we’ll miss Moylan. Hopefully Mike Gonzalez will fill that spot. Think Cox overuses certain relievers?

Anna is looking forward to being a babysitter. She competes with Will in the neighborhood for pet-sitting duties.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More on the Van

Got the new van home last night. Ceil seems pleased.

While I was sitting in the dealership Monday evening, Ceil called to say the Civic wouldn’t start. Battery, I hope. She had it jumped and it worked yesterday, and last night when I moved it. But this morning it wouldn’t start. I saw my neighbor, and ran him down to give me a jump. It scared him, as it was still dark. Got a guy at Wal-Mart to clean up the connections…he checked to find the battery still in good condition. We’ll see.

A “rule” I broke Monday…I wore a Callaway golf pullover into the dealership. Probably better to not dress so nice, huh? The salesman commented on it, steering the subject to golf. Golfers usually have more money and can pay more for cars, right?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wildcats 7 - 3 Win

Will played his usual good game Wednesday night, helping lead the Wildcats to a 7 – 3 victory over the Titans. He was the team’s most productive offensive player, going 2 – 2 with 2 runs scored, an RBI, four stolen bases, and getting hit by a pitch.

The Wildcats tuned four double-plays in seven innings. Will played first-base the first two innings and recorded four putouts, and was involved in two of the double plays. Twice while Will was in centerfield the batter singled to center with a runner on second, and Will was able to hold the runner at third.

Playing shortstop two innings, he almost made a great play in the hole on a slow grounder that the third-baseman should’ve cut off. Will caught the last two innings and made several tough blocks on bounced pitches, holding the Titans scoreless despite runners reaching third in both innings.

At the plate Will was hit by a pitch with two out and one on in the first. He tried to get out of the way but couldn’t, and was stranded at second.

Down 0 – 2 in the count in the third inning, Will hit a hard grounder past the shortstop for a single, driving home Audie to tie the game. Will easily stole second and third, and scored on Chris’ groundout to third, putting the Wildcats ahead to stay.

In the fifth Audie took off on a steal, and the second-baseman moved over to cover second. Will slapped an outside pitch through the vacated hole for a single. Again he stole second and third, and scored on Trey’s single to left.

The Wildcats were without four injured players: Bryce broke his hip, Ritchie had a deviated septum surgery during spring break, Vince broke his thumb, and Nick hurt his leg. Hopefully Ritchie and Nick will be available for this weekend’s tournament in Stockbridge.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Car Shopping = No Fun

Shopping for a car started out fun, before all the realities set in. I started to research my mental list of favorites / possibilities. Running them past Ceil certainly shortened the list. Last week I researched on line at night, after long days at the office.

I was ready to get an SUV if at all possible, a seemingly cooler option. Ceil preferred a minivan. The Kia Sedona kept popping up as a viable candidate. Motor Trend compared it to the competition, and it beat out the Chrysler Town & Country and Nissan Quest, and came close to besting the Honda Odyssey. It was safe and scored well in several other places…and a slightly used model loses an incredible amount of value, making it a great deal. Ceil hated the thought, though.

Friday I mentioned to Ceil that we could go out and kick some tires that night, and she took me up on my offer. We drove over to Peachtree Industrial, where there were a bevy of dealerships. But when we drove past a Kia dealer, it killed the mood. We wound up driving down to Lenox, then on to Jalisco for dinner. I was sure I heard her say the Toyota Sienna was ugly. To me that said only a Honda would do.

So Saturday I hit the Odysseys hard. They were so expensive, with few of the new body-style (2005 & newer) under twenty grand. That afternoon Ceil suggested we ride out Cobb Parkway to visit a used car dealer favored by Conner’s parents. While there we saw a Mazda MPV next door. Ceil mentioned she would take another Mazda.

Next we rode up to Carmax, where she could have a look at a variety of vehicles. She hated the Jeep Commander but liked the Chrysler Pacifica, two American models that seemed to lose value quickly, making for a good deal. She also liked the Honda Pilot SUV, a little less expensive than the Odyssey. Thankfully, our salesman wasn’t overbearing. Later at home I discovered that not all Pacificas had the third row of seats we needed, greatly narrowing that selection. I did find a nice used car dealer in Stockbridge that sold Pilots pretty cheap, coming off leases.

Saturday night I went to bed feeling like I’d made progress, but knowing there were still pieces to the puzzle. All these vehicles got sorry MPG, even the Pilot. At church Sunday I spoke to Lee, and we discussed Mazdas…which get better MPG than any we’d looked at. On the way home I had an anxiety attack. We really couldn’t afford this new car payment and keep our kids taking classes as well.

Sunday afternoon I poured over the spreadsheet of cars I’d compiled, re-sorting based on differing criteria. Whereas one of Ceil’s friends talked of giving up Anna & Matthew’s Veritas classes to pay for the car, my thought was the car shouldn’t be the priority. I researched Mazda’s, finding some a little older than we’d originally looked at. The prices were much lower than Pilots, Pacificas, and Odysseys with similar miles.

Monday I focused on four candidates. My first two choices had been sold. The MPV on Cobb Parkway had a few thousand more miles, cost a grand more…and had been in two wrecks, according to the Carfax. That left a silver one in Stone Mountain. Drove over after work, test drove it, and bought it. A 2002 with a few more features than the one we had. Dealing with the dealer I felt beat, and there wasn’t much excitement when I got home. Not the perfect car, but hopefully safe, reliable, economical transportation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Car Talk

I did dicker with State Farm a little bit and got the settlement up, which was good - my research showed the value was much less. There were ads for vans like ours, but with even more miles…at a much lower sell price. So I was surprised to get as much as I did (but I didn’t let it show, instead I tried to get more). State Farm is also going to pay for a couple extra days of the rental car.

I am looking only at used cars…hopefully a 2005 or newer. Ceil wants another van…a Honda or Toyota. The Kia Sedona is supposed to be a quality, good-looking van. It’s value drops much more in the first few years than the Honda or Toyota…I could get a 2006 or 2007 Kia with less than 20,000 mikes for over $3,000.00 less than a 2005 or 2006 Toyota with 20,000 to 30,000 miles. There are also a lot more Kia’s for sale than Toyotas and Hondas.

I was also looking at SUVs that have the third row of seats, like a Ford Explorer, Jeep Commander, Chrysler Pacifica, or Honda Pilot. There are deals on slightly used Pacificas, but I think Ceil wants the minivan.

I knew about the used cars being better deals, but when I bought my little car I knew it was going to be a Honda or Toyota. They weren’t coming off the price of the slightly used ones enough, so I bought new.

I was thinking about how that van got wrecked…right after Ceil put a new blue South Carolina sticker on the back!

Luckily we have no baseball games this weekend, as I’ll be busy trying to find a car!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Weekend Ups and Downs

Friday I left work at 9:45 am, only to find out shortly afterwards the Huntsville game was rained out. It gave Ceil a break, and I spent some needed time with Matthew…we ate lunch at Moes, went to the pet store, and caught the 2:45 showing of Alvin and the Chipmunks. That night we all went back to see National Treasure 2.

Saturday Will and I left a 7 am, picking up DJ’s big brother Ben for the drive to Huntsville for games with his high school team. The game was delayed until 1 pm Alabama time. Game one was tied three-all when Will hit a 2-run HR…he had a big smile on his face rounding the bases. That put them ahead to stay, and they won 8 – 4. It was his first High School home run, and the first one I had seen hit by anyone on his team this spring.

In game two Will was moved up to 6th in the order, and went 4 – 4 with a ground-rule double. They were winning going to the bottom of the sixth, then the opposition scored seven, earning a split of the DH. Will played second-base in game one, relegating his friend Isaac to the bench. He pitched the first inning of game 2, then played centerfield the rest of the way.

Once Will was on third with two out. He would take a huge running lead trying to distract the pitcher, who paid him no attention. So with a 2 – 2 count he took off on a steal of home. He appeared to slide in under the catcher’s tag…but the left-handed batter had swung and missed for strike three…ending the inning.

Another time he slid into second on a double play ball and spiked the second-baseman. The fielder was hurt, but he stayed in the game. Will’s coach gave him five as Will ran off the field. Later in the game Will slid into second on a similar play…perhaps making the fielder think twice, and the batter was safe at first.

Afterward eleven of us ate at the Huntsville Ryan’s before heading back to Atlanta, and we didn’t get home until after 1 am.

Sunday Ceil and Anna went to church, and on the way home a van turned in front of her. Ceil couldn’t possibly stop, and smashed into the van. That van spun around and hit another van. Ceil and Anna are ok, just a little sore. I made sure their soreness was noted on the accident report. The van is probably totaled.

That delayed our Macon trip, but we were able to get my parent’s large yard mowed, a big flower bed weeded, and the gutters and roof cleaned…but it was after 11 pm before we got home. Now I’m exhausted, with lots to do here at work and at home.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Seems like the AJC, particularly those poll questions, are more negative than ever. Missed last night’s game due to Will's. That may be true about Kotsay, but every now and then he comes through, thinking back to the spring. No wonder he’s near the bottom of the order, ad opposed to the top.

Up and down at work…have some daily Textron emergencies, now having to do with raw material…the very thing I need to be spending all my time on.

Trying to take off tomorrow to join family on
Alabama trip. Will threw 39 pitches last night, and will pitch some Saturday. He’s great as long as he doesn’t throw it down the middle and fat.

Baseball happenings...

Work is busy, and I haven't had time to recap the Mustang games.

Matthew is hanging in there at the plate, making good decisions. Hopefully the second half of the season should be better. I was surprised everything came together for the Rockies the same day. Not so much went well for your Rangers...but the Rockies are improving.

Tomorrow we're going to Huntsville for Will's three games, coming back late Saturday.

Got to watch Zack for a little while Saturday...that's a big team, much improved from past MP Colt teams.

The Braves game would be great...I want to go to the Friday Mariners game in June to see Ichiro!


Will’s Sandy Plains Wildcats team shut out a Cherokee County team 5 – 0 Wednesday night. Earlier in the evening the Cherokee team had easily beaten the Prowlers, considered by some to be the best Sandy Plains team.

For the first four innings Will played great defense at shortstop. In the first Will had to charge an infield bouncer, and barely threw the runner out at first. Then in the second inning Will went deep in the hole to backhand a grounder. He turned and quickly made the long throw to first without stepping, again barely nailing the runner.

In the third inning a grounder rolled through the grass slowly. The third-baseman should’ve cut the ball off, but didn’t. Will charged in and quickly scooped the ball up and threw in one motion, but the batter barely beat the throw for an infield hit.

Will led off the second inning by walking on a 3 – 1 pitch. He stole second on the first pitch, sliding in headfirst while throwing up a lot of dirt. He advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was stranded there. In the third Will solidly connected, sending a line drive deep to center, but the ball was caught.

The Wildcats led 3 – 0 when Will was brought in to pitch in the 5th inning with one on and one out. He struck out the first batter on three strikes, then struck out the next batter with a 2 – 2 off-speed pitch.

In the 6th Will left a pitch up in the strike zone, and the batter lined it back up the middle, and Will almost caught the ball. Will struck out the next batter, the lineup’s toughest hitter. The next batter grounded to first baseman Nick, who immediately threw home. His throw came in high, but the umpire still called the runner out, drawing protests from the opposing coaches and crowd. The next batter flew out, completing a 14 pitch inning.

After the Wildcats added two more runs, Will closed out the game in the top of the seventh. The first batter reached first and was allowed to steal second and third. Will struck out the next batter looking. After a low pitch got past Vince the catcher, Vince chased the ball to the backstop and flipped to Will with plenty of time to get the runner. There was a lot of the ball showing in Will’s glove, but he covered it with his bare hand as the runner slid in. Now with two out, the next batter grounded sharply back at Will, who speared the ball and took several steps toward first before throwing the batter out.

Will finished with four strikeouts and no walks, facing just nine batters in 2-2/3 innings. He threw 27 strikes and only 12 balls.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bunting a High hard One.

As Grace looks on, Matthew chases a high pitch on a bunt attempt. Note the green socks he wore for St. Patrick's Day.

End of Month

Saw the 10th inning last night, in addition to earlier innings.

EOM craziness…we have about 400 parts we manage for EZGo. Randy and my boss will micromanage 2 or 3 parts, something vets Monique and I, plus the 4 rookies, can’t do. Yesterday we tried to sort out things on the 3 parts and found billing errors on two of them. With everything possible handled, I was the first of the Textron group to leave…at 5:45 (Matthew had a 6 pm game). Already stressed, my boss called me on the way home, clearly upset that I had left. Had I waved goodbye to him, he would’ve asked for “five minutes” which would’ve easily been an hour - reviewing things we couldn’t immediately fix.

Arrived at the game in the third inning, having made excellent time. Matthew struck out twice, though he had some excellent cuts. He also laid off high pitches. I still think his bat is too heavy. They stuck in the game for a while, before losing 12 – 5.

Booked a $60.00 room in Huntsville for Friday night for Will’s games. Matthew doesn’t play Saturday and wants to go for the continental breakfast…it would be hard for me to take off Friday to go.