Friday, July 30, 2010

Concert Day

Good participation in “Concert Day” at work Friday…

Alicia…black American Idol tee

Ashley…311 tee

Bill…autographed Gallagher tee

Dan…black Disturbed tee

Darren…yellow Wilco tee

Darryl…50 Cent’s crew “rhinestone” shirt

Deby…the Jimi Hendrix Experience tee, tie dyed

Dennis…The Police 2007 Tour tee

Chris & Trey…Stones 1981 North American Tour tee (from Target)

Jason…Dave Matthews Band 2007 Piedmont Park tee

Jeff…Dixie Chicks tee

Jonathan…Pearl Jam tee

Kyle…George Strait/ Chevy Trucks tee

Mariah…black White Zombie 2000 Astro Tour tee

Me…1996 Grateful Dead Lithuania Basketball tee (bought in Berkeley CA)

Me (backup): Hootie & the Blowfish tee

Renee…black Cher Living Proof Farewell Tour tee

Sandra…Pink Floyd the Wall tee (pink heather, bought at Dillards)

Teri…Lynyrd Skynyrd tee (too small to wear).

Trevor…green NERD mesh cap

Tim…Bare Naked Ladies tee

I forgot to bring Anna’s High School Musical Tour tee.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"this is when they bring out the snakes"

Sunday night we went to Passion City Church, which has been meeting at the Cobb Energy Center. Louie Giglio is the pastor…he grew up at FBC with Andy Stanley. Music is led by Chris Tomlin, who currently has the number one Christian song in the nation. Both are quite passionate, making the service quite worshipful. Guess the church is aptly named. They’re only meeting every other week this summer, so they probably don’t care that the service lasts over two hours. Great service, just long. Crowd is younger than the North Point congregation. They just rented that big building on Garmon Circle, near Lindbergh and Piedmont.

During a short lull in the service, I was able to pull out the old line about the snakes. Unintentionally, the young lady in front of me overheard, and it touched her funny bone. She snickered for a long moment.

Not much going on with us. Anna is catching up on her art classes and helped Claire one day. Will has been driving, and is hanging out at the Normans. He is building a window seat in Anna’s room. Looks good, so far. They’re almost finished painting the bathroom.

We’re supposed to go to Rosemary Beach with the Hurts. Anna’s birthday is that week. She had wanted to go, but now everyone (except me) is having second thoughts. Ceil’s family reunion is that weekend, and they all want to go. Ceil’s not crazy about her dad driving long distances any more, so she’d rather go there. School is starting up, so there’s stuff to do for that.

Jim Voyles’ daughter is getting married August 21 at Mt. Vernon Baptist. Spencer Norman is getting married Sept 11 in Colorado.

Robin Roberts

“In our day you didn’t walk by a kid who wanted an autograph”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

beach recap

Saturday…Rain delayed Will’s game an hour, so we didn’t leave for the beach until 7 pm. They played the number seven team in the nation, and Will got the start. Teams like that are going to get the bat on the ball, so to stay close the defense has to make plays. Spartanburg played two hard hits just out of reach, leading to four first inning runs. After that, Will threw three shutout innings. The Rays bats were quiet. Will got one of four hits.

After we passed Camden around 11 pm, I realized we’d need to get gas to make it all the way. No sure what stations would be open, I filled up before Florence at a truck stop. Bought a 64 ounce soft drink for a dollar, to keep me awake. So big, it wouldn’t fit in the van’s cupholder. Arrived at the NMB condo around 1:15 am.

Sunday…woke up early and went for a run. The rest of the week my back hurt, from the pounding ocean waves (and the cheap mattress). Learned early on that this year Matthew wanted to play in the waves. So we spent more time in the ocean than anyone else in the group.

One afternoon we spent a long time in the water. Ceil was with the group on the beach, which was rare (she spent more time up in the condo tending to her parents). A big wave washed away my white Titleist cap, which I shouldn’t have been wearing. As usual, the surf continually washed us northward, up the beach. Instead of fighting it, we drifted over 500 yards away from our original location. In the back of my mind, I thought Ceil might be worried about us, especially if she found my cap washed up on the beach. But we kept on floating, until I finally told Matthew we needed to walk back. Sure enough, we met a harried Ceil, walking up the beach, looking for us. She had another search party walking the other way, and had also checked the condo and pool area. Another day in my life.

PaPa John’s pizza for supper.

Monday…Anna’s cousin, who just turned 12, befriends a 12U baseball team from Ohio, and spends the rest of the week hanging out with them on the grassy area between the pool and beach. With little else to do, Anna and Vic hang out with them as well. Throughout the week, kids from both groups played together on the green.

After KFC takeout, I take Matthew for a late cruise of the town. We only hit the Bass Pro Shop, as the long day in the sun finally hit me.

Tuesday…we had 30 from our group dine at Bonefish. The reservation wasn’t until 8 pm, which is late for me (and Ceil, and her parents). Were I choosing the dining spot, I’d pick a more local establishment, rather than a national chain. We’re spoiled living in Atlanta, blessed with choices.

The older boys (Will, Zane, Ben, Beau, etc) go out by themselves, to Wild Wing Café. The younger kids (Anna, Matthew, etc) stay at the condo and play on the beach, unsupervised. There were several grownups still there at the condos.

Wednesday…late in the afternoon I slipped away and went to the Pelicans game, dutifully arriving at the ballpark shortly before the gates opened. Youth baseball teams attended in groups, in town for a tournament, like Will’s team last year. They paraded around the warning track. Seated by myself in the front row in left field, I was the first fan the parade encountered, so a majority of players made it a point to give me high fives. Teams marching were from East Cobb Baseball, Peachtree City, and Holly Springs, among others. The Pelicans game went 13 innings, without much MB offense. Still, a fun time.

Thursday…woke up early and played Par 3 golf with Will. Plenty of tall pines for some shade, and a nice breeze blew as the cool morning air heated up. I was out of practice, but improved throughout the round. Will had a back nine under par round (-1) going for about six holes, before going back over par.

Shot of the day: Will had already hit the green on 14 when I teed off. As usual, my shot went straight, but right…disappearing into the pines. It finally dropped out, and bounced onto the green, closer to the hole than Will’s ball. My only par of the day.

When we returned to the condo I dived in to a cup of homemade peach ice cream. Anna asked if she could go with her cousin to the Ohio boys’ baseball game. It was such an absurd thing for girls that age to do, so I offered to drive them…hoping they’d see what a waste of time it was (though it gave me some time with Anna, who I never get to spend enough time with). I made sure the girls sat where they could be seen by the boys, who won their game.

Some of the group waited until 9 pm and then drove 45 minutes to Holden Beach NC for dinner. We went with Ceil’s parents to a local favorite, Stevens Seafood. Anna’s three girl cousins went with us, to give them more time back on the beach afterwards. I told them they’d have to come in at eleven. Anna and Vic dutifully came in, but the 12 year old cousin refused, saying she’d come when four other older teens from the group came in. This act worried her grandmother to no end, and foreshadowed a similar act the next night.

Friday…Ceil and I finally went on a morning walk, which is actually a shell collecting expedition for her. It was a good year for shells, she said. Matthew and I went for one last swim, then Ceil and I spent the rest of the day packing. The last of the boiled peanuts were eaten. Piggly Wiggly was running a sale, and Ceil and her dad boiled 28 pounds worth. As usual, I stuck to the homemade peach ice cream.

The kids ate Subway, but Ceil wanted McDonalds.

Saturday…Back home, Ceil received a call from her parents. Our 20-year old niece had gone out Friday night with her dad’s friend’s son, whom she had hung out with all week. At 1:30, he told her it was time to go, but she refused. Saturday morning everyone woke up and prepared to leave, but the niece had not returned. The police were called, but not enough time had passed for them to be able to help. After what had to be the longest day of her parent’s life, the niece finally showed up around 4 pm.

Ceil was worn out from the ordeal, as well as the week, and probably her father’s weakened condition. She wasn’t able to do anything, so I took her to Willys, Trader Joes, Publix, and Dunkin Donuts. Got to play with the new Coke machine at Willys, that has hundreds of choices.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pelican Thoughts

Watching those minor leaguers the other night, I was thinking how almost all of them were once “superstars” in high school. Some spend years in the minors, just hanging on. It was interesting to note where they played last year…were they moving up (& how fast) or were they even demoted from a higher league. The 3B who had the game-tying hit in the 9th was a hanger-oner.

Enjoying the Cox article in SI, but did they have to include the domestic abuse part? I see how it fits in, but why dig it up?

Will drove to Cartersville Sunday to see his friend Mary Clayton in a play. She had the Lori Singer role in Footloose. I need to calm down, but his driving worries me much. Tonight Anna wants to go to the laser Show, so I’ll be up late, pick her up at NP.

Inception wasn’t a movie I’m wanting to see either, though several have commented favorably. Maybe a Redbox. I do like the two leads. Sunday I took M and A to see “How to Train a Dragon” which was good.

It did seem like that guy spent more time on the Intimacy box than the other two. Seems like every time there is a sermon like that to be delivered, it is someone other than Andy who delivers it. It’s been a few years, but my perception of an SBC sermon these days is a sermon heavy on a Bible passage, with little actual real-world application.

I often think of Shafer’s midtown condo and Hummer. Bowman hit the nail on the head. As usual, my thinking was close, but I hadn’t quite made that full connection. On the other hand, several comments in that SI article on Heyward/Freeman were more down to earth. Strasburg was such a late bloomer.

Baseball Ends, and Begins Anew

East Cobb tryouts are August 14 & 15…the deadline is August 8th. Tryouts are actually a 2 day / 8 hour “clinic”…last year there was a great deal of good instruction. All the coaches evaluate the players during the clinic. Afterwards the coaches “draft” the players, though players are free to work a deal to play on any team they can. So many players try out that everyone doesn’t make a team…that’s why they call it a clinic, I guess.

Will had a good time playing for the 16U Rays. The competition was real tough…Will pitched against 3 of the top 10 teams in the country. The Rays hung in there pretty well, beating one of them. It was a great experience for Will. He got lots of action playing third-base and outfield, positions he’s rarely played in the past. I always think Will can hit better, but he was still one of the top hitters on the team. He and two others had about the same batting average, but Will reached base more often. He enjoyed pitching…they kept bringing him in with runners on base, and he did a great job.

I found out today the Rays coaches aren’t organizing a team next year, mostly due to personal/job reasons. We don’t know any other East Cobb coaches, besides Donnie. Audie’s coach is also the Kell High pitching coach. They had a strong team, but I heard Audie only played every other game.

We just got back from the beach, and really don’t know what we’ll do about baseball for next summer. Will has a good friend that plays for 6-4-3 Baseball…if we get some info on that, I’ll pass it to you. He will probably play 17U, because he’s thinking about sticking close to home and playing 18U in 2012.

This fall Will has a two-week school trip, the last two weeks of October. That, plus his Thursday night meetings, will cut into any fall baseball he plays.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday

Vacation was good, I guess. Pretty typical. Actually ate out at some “decent” restaurants! Unfortunately, more details to follow.

I was a bum, and didn’t write. Spent a good deal of time compiling the season stats for Will’s team. Have about seven games to go.

Finally made it to a Pelicans game. They didn’t hit, and the game went 13 innings. Kept score, and I had to be careful not to run out of room. I thought it may last awhile, so I made space for 17 innings. KC’s tenth best prospect started, and MB made him look great. MB’s starter was from Marietta. LF was also from Atlanta, but I didn’t ask him which high school (I was in the front row, right behind him). Had a good time, even by myself.

Work busy, catching up, plus a co-worker is out this week.

Hated to see the Braves lose that game Sunday. JJ pitched great, considering the rain and wet mound. Guess no one will take McLough in a trade, huh? Already missing Blanco. Should we read anything into Schafer’s demotion to AA?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not One, But Two!


Got to the Roswell Goodwill shortly after 10 am. One guy was standing in front of the shoe rack, and another man walked up just before me.
Incredibly, the first pair I saw were these low-cut Air Mocs, just like the size 11 pair I bought in Commerce around 1996. Picked them up...size 12, in great shape...nearly new. I hadn't seen them last Saturday.
Up a few racks sat the high-tops, so I scooped them up as well. Like the low-tops, they had scarcely been worn. Guess now I can quit shopping at thrift stores.
Right.

Why I Shop Thrift Stores


When I started frequenting thrift stores back in 1999, I thought it would be neat to come across my favorite shoe at the time, the Nike Air Moc. In the 12 years hence, I saw not one pair.
Before Will's July 17th game I ran to Goodwill to buy a towel. Stashed low on a rack in the back was a size 12 pair of high-top Air Mocs, brown with black trim. So rare, I can't find a photo on the internet.
Tried them on...kinda big. I was in a hurry, and in a pre-vacation spending shutdown. The day before I found a few items I might've normally bought, but didn't. So I passed on the shoes.
Driving to NMB that night, I thought about the Mocs, and how I had long looked for them. Didn't get the idea to call fellow thrifter Lee to get them until it was too late. Didn't get back until after midnite, so I decided to swing by the next morning, just in case they hadn't sold all week. Would they be there?

Friday, July 16, 2010

7-16-2010


Rays broke a six game losing streak. Dustin carried a no-hitter into the seventh. According to his coach, who sent me this picture, Will injected energy into his team.
Two bunt hits, one down each base line. Scored two runs in the 6-1 win. Played right field.
He said it was the most fun he'd had in a long time. There were over 200 teams in the tournamament, which were played at 27 fields around NW Atlanta. Will and Kyle made the headline of the story posted on the Perfect Game website, read by college and pro scouts.

2010 Peachtree Road Race


Jersey Day

Lots of participation in Wear A Jersey Day at work Friday. In order, best to worst…

Me…Namath Jets jersey

Jonathan…Steelers Troy Polomalu jersey

Trevor…Lions Matt Stafford jersey

Ashley…vintage Bears tee

Darryl…Falcons Jenkins jersey

Teri…Tennessee shrine

Keatley…Bears polo

Kyle…Tennessee tee

Cerny…Bears cap

Chris…Central Florida tee

Chase & Cerny…Falcons tee

Garrett, Trey, Dennis, & Peggy…UGA tee

Debby, Josh, & Alicia…Bama tee

Thomas & Clayton…UGA polo

Jason…Falcons polo

Darren…Gators polo

Sherryl…black UGA tee…won jersey prize

Renee…Tech jersey

Tim…Auburn tee. Since the boss is a Chicago and Tennessee fan, several employees were smart to wear those colors. My Jim McMahon and Chris Zorich jerseys are packed away in the attic. Also could’ve worn my Cubs jersey last week.

Next Friday: Hawaiian shirt day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Braves Dress Shirt - Front


Never seen anything like this "dress shirt" made in Turkey, with a TJMaxx tag on it.

Braves Dress Shirt - Back


Here's the back of the shirt. This picture doesn't do justice to the stitching!

The Trade, All Star Game, & ESPYs

Been busy at work getting ready for vacation. Thought it odd yesterday afternoon when I heard someone across the office mention JoJo Reyes. Ceil picked me up at work, so I didn’t listen to 680 on the way home. So it was 7 pm before I heard about the trade. Last night was the first time I ever looked at the other city’s newspaper after a trade, to get their reaction. Toronto didn’t seem crazy about the deal.

This week is Will’s team last tourney, a big wood bat tourney at East Cobb with dozens of teams and hundreds of games, supposedly with scouts watching. A game a day Tuesday through Saturday, at least, in Cartersville, Alpharetta, Campbell High, East Cobb, and Alpharetta High, respectively. The Rays are kinda down and not hitting, losing four straight one run games.

Tuesday they lost 1-0. Will DH’d, supposedly resting his arm after he threw 69 pitches Sunday. I took him to hit Monday evening, and he was surprised how good his arm felt. Went 1-3 with an opposite field single, a good sign. Wednesday they lost bad. Will batted third for the fifth straight game and drove in the Rays only run, on a grounder to first. He walked in his other at bat, and played left field and a little third.

Will got his license Friday, and didn’t know why we wouldn’t let him drive to Cartersville alone. Then Ceil said he could go to the river yesterday before his game, which I didn’t think was a good idea. Ceil drove Anna to Augusta to meet Ceil’s parents, so Anna could go to the beach on time. I’m not sure Will had all his ducks in a row to make it to the game on time until I reminded him of several things.

Took Will to hit again last night. He could use a good BP several times a week, because he doesn’t have a feel for his swing…going up the middle or opposite field, whether to hit it hard down the line or in the gap versus poking a single over the infield. Either he hits a ground ball or fly ball, as opposed to line drives. He’s good at making contact, but inexperienced at shaping a hit or lifting the ball over the infield.

On 680 Laurentino keeps asking questions. And Mazzone keeps giving no-nonsense common sense answers. Ratings drop for the All-Star game because they start so late, and the stars only play three innings. Pujols and Wright should play the whole game, along with several others. Nice that McCann finally got to play a long chunk of the game.

As they often do, Sports Illustrated shed new light on “The Decision”. But they only hinted at his personality differences being part of the whole deal. Good idea for LeBron to stay away from the ESPYs, where he was the brunt of many jokes. I don’t mind all the attention Chris Bosh is getting, considering he’s been under a rock his whole career.

The ESPYs had its moments. Funny when the camera would cut to the crowd after a joke, and half the time the person wasn’t laughing. Seth Myers was ok, but my favorite ESPY host was Justin Timberlake. Will Ferrell’s bit was funny. I wasn’t crazy about Tracy Morgan’s Nelson Mandela video. Funniest video was Peyton Manning’s Blind Side spoof.

Marvin’s personality seems to be pretty quiet and low key, not what’s needed to be an elite, cut the opponent’s throat to win athlete, like Kobe or MJ on the other extreme. LeBron is in the middle, but closer to MJ’s end than Marvin’s. Too bad, considering the high draft pick the Hawks used on Marvin. And that was the Chris Paul draft, wasn’t it?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Navy Braves Jersey


Couldn't find the navy jersey with Jones # 10 on the back, with the World Series sleeve patch.
I like the red trimmed BP jerseys better than the new blue trimmed alternate road jerseys.

Little Chipper


Matthew is too tall to wear this short-tailed jersey, but he's worn it to two Braves games in the last month.
It even has the MLB logo on the back.

Football Jerseys and Helmets

Friday is Football Jersey Day here at work. I’m trying to remember all the jerseys and helmets I have hoarded.

My Football Jersey Collection

8…49ers…Young…red

8…Cowboys…Aikman…white

9…Bears…McMahon…navy

12…Jets…Namath…white

13…Falcons…Harrington…white

13…Falcons…Harrington…black

14…Georgia Tech…white

16…Chiefs…Dawson…red

18…Colts…Manning…royal

21…Central…Murphy…orange

32…49ers…Simpson…red

32…Falcons…Anderson…black

71…Bears…Zorich…navy

There could be more.

My Football Helmet Collection…

Auburn

Cowboys

Falcons

49ers

Georgia

Georgia Tech

North Carolina

Rams

Texas Tech

Vikings

I know I have more, I just can’t remember!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Passion City Church

Ceil finally got to go to Passion City Church Sunday night, that Louie Giglio/Chris Tomlin church. It was at the Cobb Energy Center, where they’ll meet every other week. She loved it.

The Passion Movement has been about showing college students the love, grace, and greatness of God. Louie announced they just signed a five year lease on 515 Garson Drive, the old PGA Superstore just south of Piedmont & Lindbergh.

The music was great, and Louie was Louie. I saw only one person I knew, a Living Science dad directing traffic, like at North Point.

Readers new to my blog might like a more "in depth" analysis dubbed "Tale of Two Churches"

Friday night I sat around and watched the Braves. Ceil and Anna went off shopping, and picked up Will. He is looking forward to tonight’s derby. I’m a sucker for all that stuff, but the derby kinda drags on. Hear Prado is batting second.

Saturday was all day baseball…6 am til 10 pm. The team just doesn’t make enough plays in the field, and needs to hit just a little bit better. Overall, the pitching has been good.

Will got his drivers license Friday. Sunday afternoon he drove to Canton, to hang out with friends. Didn’t get back until after 10:30, and Ceil wasn’t pleased.

More on King James

I admit: LeBron’s biggest mistake was the hour on ESPN. He has a different personality, less competitive and more “let’s be friends, let’s get along.” People are more likely to take advantage of this. ESPN profited much more than the Boy’s Club. The Cavs tried to take advantage, but lost out to LeBron’s pals Wade and Bosh.

Jordan never lured a big-time free agent to Chicago, but he always had Pippen. Cleveland is no Chicago! I say again: it has been proven that LeBron can’t win a championship with these Cavs. Perhaps only MJ in his prime could do that. Speaking of…

What would Jordan do? MJ played for a better organization, who constantly brought in players to compliment Michael. Did Michael consult and recommend Bulls roster moves? As he reminded us in his HOF speech, Jordan did not get along with Bulls management. Jordan’s legendary competiveness lifted gifted and average teammates alike.

LeBron wants to eclipse MJ as the greatest ever. Kobe seems more like MJ the player, but has proved less marketable than Jordan or James.

Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were the real winners of this LeBron sweepstakes. Wade has already won a title, and gets to stay put with a strengthened team. Like LeBron (& Kevin Garnett) Bosh deserted a losing franchise he had been carrying, leaving their cupboard bare, destined for more years of losing seasons. Why weren’t Bosh and Garnett chastised so? I get it now, they didn’t announce it live on ESPN.

The reputations of Bosh and Wade remained intact even as they cavorted around Chicago and LA, hiring a personal film crew to document their free agent negotiations. A recent Sports Illustrated article on the subject said LeBron remained low-key, compared to them.

In baseball, big free agents are rarely criticized for leaving smaller market, losing teams. The Pirates haven’t had a winning season since Barry Bonds left town. Maddux left the hapless Cubs, but returned as a hero years later. Fans faulted the Braves for letting Teixeira go, though it was obvious he would only be loyal to the highest bidder.

Even David Stern enjoyed all this publicity, in this usual NBA downtime with the media.

Everyone blasts LeBron, but no one says what he should have done. Had he taken Cleveland’s higher max money, he would’ve been blasted for that. Would these experts really choose playing alone in Cleveland, instead of in Miami with two buddies?

He just shouldn’t have done the ESPN special. He was booed at a weekend wedding. He should stay away from the ESPY’s.

Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory

The Rays lost their third straight one-run game Sunday morning, dropping a 6-5 heartbreaker to the Windward Braves in the heat at Riverdale’s Drew High School. Will pitched a fine 4-1/3 innings of the five inning game, only allowing one earned run. Without his best stuff, he still struck out five of the 20 batters he faced.

Jake and Will both singled in the first, giving the Rays two on with one out, but Bradley and Tyler couldn’t drive them in.

Tyler was the Rays’ starting pitcher, and he never looked comfortable. The mound had a huge hole in front of the rubber, making it hard for all the pitchers. Eight of the first nine Braves batters reached base, on three walks, three hits, a hit-by-pitch, and error. Tyler picked off one of the runners.

Down four runs and the bases still loaded, Will was brought in to get out of the jam. He did just that, getting the first batter he faced to ground out, ending the inning.

The Rays then reeled off five runs in the top of the second to retake the lead. Cole and Dustin led off the inning with singles, but the next two batters made outs. After Jake was hit to load the bases, the next four Rays’ batters walked, including Will. Will's pinch-runner scored the fifth run of the inning, on a wild pitch.

The Rays would only get one more hit the rest of the game, giving Will zero margin for error on the pot-holed mound. After the game Will said his fastball was ineffective, though his curve was working well.

In the second Windward worked the bases loaded with two out. In stepped the huge first-baseman, who had drilled a first-inning shot that Cole, the Rays’ best fielder, couldn’t handle. After the big guy slugged two hard fouls, Will froze him with a curve for a called strike three, ending a second straight bases-loaded jam.

Windward tied the game with an unearned run in the third. Will retired the first two batters, and got the third to ground slowly to short. Jake charged, but couldn’t make the play. As the next batter worked the count full, the runner advanced to third on a passed ball and wild pitch. Then another pitch got away from AJ, and the runner scored from third.

The Braves’ leadoff hitter led off the fourth. He had slammed two hard line drives in his first two at-bats, but Will struck him out swinging, on three straight curveballs. Will also struck out the cleanup hitter, completing his second straight 15 pitch inning.

In the fifth Will got two strikes before the first batter reached out and poked a single into centerfield. The next batter pushed his sacrifice bunt to hard. Will fielded it and instinctively looked to second. But in a move that would later cost him, he instead turned and threw out the batter at first. It did seem like the runner got to second quickly, and I didn’t see if the shortstop was even in place to take the throw.

A batter was intentionally walked, then Will struck out the next hitter for the second out. Will quickly threw two strikes to the next batter, who then hung on by barely fouling off two more strikes. Sensing his weak spot, Will tried to get the batter to go after an inside pitch. A low pitch skidded past AJ, and the runners moved up a base. Then Will threw a perfect pitch, just high enough for the batter to still swing. But the batter got his bat on the ball, poking yet another single into center. After the runner from third scored the go ahead run, Bradley threw out the next runner at the plate, ending the inning.

The game had started late, at 10:11 am. Now the clock read 11:58. Since 1:47 had elapsed, the game was called after five innings. After inheriting a four run deficit, the one earned run that scored on the game’s last play made Will the losing pitcher. That’s baseball.

Sixteen Hour Saturday

The Rays won one and lost two Saturday, playing in a tournament in McDonough. It was a long day of highs and lows…about sixteen hours long.

Will played well; going 4-8 with a triple, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Pitching, he recorded a save in the Game One victory, returning to the game after a violent collision at first base.

We left home at 6 am to get Will to Drew High School in Riverdale. From the stands we could see the planes on final approach into Hartsfield, far beyond the leftfield fence.

Batting leadoff, Will stroked a first-inning triple into the left-centerfield gap. Cole drove him home with a single to right. Bradley also singled to right, and he and Cole scored on Dustin’s double into the gap in right center.

Michael pitched another gem, striking out five of the first seven batters. He pitched four shutout innings, and only allowed one run on a fifth-inning wild pitch. Fowke only walked one if the twenty batters he faced, and gave up only four hits over his five innings.

Interesting play: Runners on first and second, one out. Cole hits a high pop in front of the mound. No one can catch it, and it lands in fair territory, before bouncing foul. Neither umpire invoked the infield fly rule.

Will was hit by a pitch and beat out an infield hit. In the fifth he hit a two out grounder. The shortstop’s throw sailed high, and the first-baseman leaped, caught the ball, and whirled to tag Will. They collided, and Will crumbled to the grass. He had pulled a muscle in his back, and was pulled from the game.

Up 8-1, Bradley came on to pitch…a smart move, saving the other pitchers for later in the tourney. But suddenly the Lynx bats started finding holes, barely falling fair, taking bad hops. Nine batters later the tying run was on first, with the winning run at the plate.

Will came on to pitch, to the weak number ten batter. Sore, he walked him on four pitches. But then Will got the next batter, the leadoff hitter, to ground out weakly to first, and the Rays had their 8-6 win.

The game ended at 10:03 am. With almost 4-1/2 hours to kill, we took our time. Watched a few innings of the next game. Filled up at Racetrac. Shopped some stores. Ate at Wendy’s. Drove around, and meandered from Riverdale to McDonough’s Eagles Landing High. Chatted with parents of the next opponent, the Louisville Dodgers, from Kentucky.

This time Jake led off the game with a triple, to right-center. He scored on Will’s RBI grounder. Unfortunately, the Rays would not score again, and they only managed four more hits in seven innings. Will got one of them, a fifth inning single to right-center.

Ryan T kept the Rays close, pitching a whale of a game. He pitched five innings, only allowing single runs in the second and third. He worked out of bases-loaded situations in the first and third. In the fifth the first two batters got hits. Ryan had already thrown 75 pitches. After the next batter flew out, he struck out the next two batters to end the rally.

Key play: Will walked in the third. Bradley hit a grounder to the second-baseman, who tried to start a double play. He threw to the shortstop covering second. Will slid in hard, and the shortstop dropped the ball. The umpire ruled Will out, saying the ball was dropped as the shortstop went to transfer the ball to his throwing hand. Probably the correct call.

With the time limit drawing near, the Rays would need to get three quick outs. Connor “Milkshake” Lange came on to pitch and did just that, throwing nine straight strikes to retire the 2-3-4 hitters. But the Rays couldn’t tie the game, and lost the 2-1 pitcher’s duel.

Game Two ended at 4:25, leaving 2-1/2 hours before Game Three. Many of the Rays went to OB’s BBQ. Will and I went with my parents to Truett’s Diner for Chick-fil-A faire. Will’s back was hurting, and the hot car seat felt good.

Game Three was against Peachtree City’s Young Guns, a bunch of mostly big boys. The spirited Rays scored seven runs in the first three innings. Will drove in two of the runs and scored a third. His sacrifice fly to center again drove in Jake with the game’s first run. He smashed a line drive RBI single to left in the second, took second on the throw home, and then third when the return throw sailed into centerfield. Will scored on Bradley’s single to left.

Will played third base in Game One, and no balls were hit his way. After he was knocked out of the game, his replacement Connor got two chances in two innings. Will played left field in Game Two. Only two balls were hit to him: one on the ground and one in the air. Meanwhile, Richie had a busy time in right, fielding six balls. So when Will played right in Game Three, he again only saw two balls hit his way. Kyle had nine balls hit to him in left. That’s baseball.

But the Young Guns battled back, taking the lead with a seven-run third. Then the Guns coach did a good job of stalling, changing pitchers in mid-inning three straight innings. The game was called after an hour and 45 minutes, after just 4-1/2 innings.

It was 8:46, and we wouldn’t get home until ten. Long day.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Royal Braves Jersey.


I hated these inauthentic throwback jerseys, just not enough not to buy one at Marshals for twelve dollars. The tags are still attached.
The script trim is incorrect for the era, and the red trim below the feather is wrong as well. But I love the felt feathers!
Knowing there would be a sea of Boston fans at Turner Field, I wore this jersey to a sold-out Sunday night ESPN game to see Manny and Ortiz.
I took these pictures while prepping for Braves Day at work. More to come!

Grey Braves Jersey


Love the old logo and tomahawk on this cottom thrift store find. Wore it to many Braves games.

White Braves Jersey - Front


Back in 1988 jerseys were worn a lot tighter than today.
Seems like back then the logo was larger,
and tilted up more at an angle than today's jerseys...
...but it might just be my imagination!
You can't tell, but extra fabric is sewn around the collar on the inside. This feature has vanished from the Braves jerseys you see today.

White Braves Jersey - Tag


The nice, little old tag shows the year: 1988.
The Braves changed back to the tomahawk jersey the year before.

White Braves Jersey - Back


Bought at a thrift store.
Deitch was probably a fantasy camper.

Red Braves Jersey - Front


Will rarely wears this one any more, since he's going to braves games with friends. I'd like to have a patch sewn on the sleeve, but it has a card backing.

Bought it at a mall.

Red Braves Jersey - Back


Will asked for this jersey several years ago.

Defending LeBron

The Cavaliers didn’t position themselves very well to compete with all the teams who cleared out salary space for LeBron. The past few years showed LeBron would not be able to win a championship by himself. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, as everyone in recent memory had one or two other helpers.

Larry Bird: McCale, DJ, Parrish, Ainge

Kobe Bryant: Shaq, then Gasol and Odom

Tim Duncan: David Robinson, Tony Parker

Julius Erving: Barkley, Moses, Toney, Cheeks, Jones

Kevin Garnett: Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (& now Jermaine O’Neill).

Magic Johnson: Kareem, Worthy, Cooper, Scott

Michael Jordan: Pippen, Rodman, Kukoc

I haven’t heard many analysts mention how Chris Bosh played such a key role. He could’ve signed with unattractive Cleveland, but by signing with Miami, the Heat were suddenly the most attractive team to LeBron. James would’ve been in Jordan’s shadow in Chicago. The lack of talent, plus the New York press, made the Knicks unattractive. The Clippers are always in the Lakers’ shadow. That pretty well left the Heat.

While none of these players (save Garnett) had to pick another team, Cleveland’s inability to build beyond LeBron left James with no choice but to leave. To think James should stay merely out of loyalty was naïve. And LeBron can be “commended” for taking less than max money to join forces with Wade and Bosh.

LeBron was going to be bashed, regardless of his decision. People will dissect each comment, making each sentence stand alone. While James was probably given each question in advance, it’s hardly possible to word every answer free from dispute. He was a free agent, so what’s wrong with making whatever choice he wished? Had he to do it over again, I wonder if he wouldn’t make it such a circus. But he didn’t act alone.

A therapist friend of Colin Cowherd said that James was obviously a nurturer. His personality is different, softer than the driven Jordan, Kobe, or even Tiger. Perhaps that will mean he doesn’t run into some of the troubles those three got themselves into.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Braves Day

I’m talking up tomorrow’s “Braves Day” here at work, especially because I’m planning on wearing this weird blue dress shirt, with the script “Braves” stitched across the front, and a large “44” on the back. White long sleeves, with the feathers down near the cuffs. One person wins a Braves jersey. Talking to Debbie, who recently celebrated her 35th anniversary with the company, reminded me that we traded Braves caps back in 1991. We both still have the caps. She said that back in the 80’s she used to sit across from Pearl Sandow.

Another good Braves win Wednesday night. Nice to beat up on Moyer for a change. The Phillies bullpen looks soft. Interesting that Infante has been playing every day this week. Good that all the outfielders have been getting lots of playing time with Heyward out…Hinske, Melky, Blanco, Diaz, and Omar. Also good to see Glaus score from first on McCann’s double. Good, I guess, since Glaus had to get a cortisone shot. He started a nice 3-6-3 double play.

Keep hearing Escobar trade rumors. Guess the Marlins wouldn’t swap shortstops, though the Braves usually don’t trade FOR problem players.

We haven’t been doing much at night this week and last week. Ceil is painting the upstairs bathroom, and Anna is reading James Patterson. I’ve been watching most all of the Braves games. Last night Matthew and I were looking at shoes on the internet together. We seem to have similar tastes.

Last night I relayed the trivia question to Facebook, since I had some Satchel Paige postings this week. Johnny Pierce, the guy I’ve seen at three Braves games, recognized the comment, so we chatted about the game and baseball. I mentioned that I wasn’t crazy about Smoltz’s announcing, and he doesn’t like Roberts. I like Roberts, Sutton, and Joe. Hear Mazzone say he thinks Sutton is sounding more like Scully?

At every Braves BP I attend, I see the same guy, who has one of those suction cup things to pull up balls. He often gives the balls away, and I’ve spoken to him several times. Saw him at the Peachtree Road Race.

With EZGo shut down from June 25 to July 19, I’m really getting caught up. My desk is almost all clean, but I do have several more small projects to keep me busy next week.

I had lunch in Buckhead Thursday, at the Waffle House at Piedmont & Pharr Road. Usually I only sneak off to lunch with Lang’s dad when my boss is out of town, since it takes two hours to drive down to Buckhead and eat. But since it’s so quiet, I took the chance go to catch up with him.

Judy Watts just died from cancer. She was about my age. Her children were at least in college, I think. Back before they were married, her husband Ron roomed for a while with my friend David Hurt.

Catherine Norman was at the Hurt birthday party last Friday night, and hung out with the adults. Her year teaching inner city 4th graders was at times harrowing. She made a two year commitment, so she returns to Memphis soon to teach first grade, fortunately with a young man she gets along with well.

My sister posted pictures from Monday’s birthday dinner on Facebook last night. We’re not the best looking family, and some of the pictures just weren’t good. Still, several people at work today commented favorably about them.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Scouts

A Georgia Southern scout was at Will’s first game Tuesday. Batting leadoff, he singled up the middle on a full count, walked, and scored the only run, if I heard right. Played left field.

After the scout left, Will did better in game two. Pitched three innings, retiring all nine batters in a row on 29 pitches. Only struck out one. At the plate, he got two more hits and walks. Playing third, he dove to his left to grab a grounder, then threw out the batter at first. There might have been a Kennesaw scout at that game.

Saturday they play at 8 am, 2:30 pm, and 7 pm, down in Riverdale and Eagle’s Landing.

Braves: Another exciting win last night. Nice that it was different players coming through in the clutch…Diaz, Hinske, and Blanco. Hope Venters arm doesn’t get tired.

Charlie Manuel does what he is told, to add a player who can play several positions to the All-Star roster. Then he gets blasted for it. If he picked an everyday player, no manager would be thrilled with the player playing out of position. Looks like Votto will be voted in tomorrow, to right that “wrong.” Seems like Heyward could bat once in the All-Star game, using it like a minor-league tune-up.