Monday, April 30, 2012

Prom Date 2: Braves Game

Exhausting weekend on the go. Friday I was in pain all day from the pulled muscle in my back. Worked late, then ran four errands on the way home, shopping for T-shirts for Anna. Arrived home around 8 pm. Anna was in full cleaning mode for her Saturday afternoon get-together. I had to got out and pick up Matthew up at the Super Target, near Claire’s. Didn’t get home until 10:30.

Saturday morning I focused on cleaning the downstairs. Anna painted a letter on each T-shirt, spelling out BRAVES. I blew the driveway and everything looking good for the arrival of Anna’s two BFF’s Emily and Brittany, and the three boy victims: Will Acuff, son of Lindsey and nephew of Julianne; Josh Moran: golden boy starting QB for Northview High, and Bo Wynn: Crown middle-school baseball player and Anna’s prom date. Brittany, Josh, and Will are former Living Science students.

We all piled into the van and arrived at Turner Field in time for batting practice. I had went in and bought my parking pass in advance. Martin Prado tossed a ball to Anna, and the other girls bantered with Matt Diaz about Diaz’ brother Jonny, a Christian singer. Without a glove, I was prepared to catch a home run ball using the Braves T-shirts as a cushion. When the big moment came, the line drive hit the shirts, then my chest…HARD! Shirts went everywhere as I focused on picking up the ball at my feet. The ball missed my heart by an inch. Later I handed the ball to Brittany.

Just before the Pirates batting practice ended, two old men were putting up their worn first-baseman’s mitts in their old cloth bags when a home run sailed into the section to our right. The ball bounced off several fans, past one of the old men, and rolled right to me. I felt a little bad, but still picked up the ball and immediately tossed it several rows back to Josh. Two BP balls…pretty much a career day for me.

During the game I needlessly worried about all the wild college and high school students piling into our section. My boys were focused on the game. Brittany was focused on the boys, and Emily and Anna were happy to tag along. The game was nothing special, but the crowd was pretty big for April. We left after the eighth inning, beat most of the traffic, and headed to the Varsity…where the good times continued. I was starved, and I had waited so long to get to the Varsity. I didn’t order much, but then I also ate Anna’s fries. Drank my chocolate shake too fast.
Around midnight we arrived at Bo’s house in northwest Roswell, where the boys would spend the night. I didn’t get to bed until after 12:45…then I couldn’t sleep all night.

Sunday I took the girls to the early service at North Point. I’m glad I didn’t get caught in the 10K travel Saturday in Roswell. Sunday there was a bike race and construction, so it took forever. Back home after brunch I fell into a DEEP sleep. After my nap I tried to not eat too much, so I’d be back to normal. Watched some Braves and Hawks, and National Treasure, and edited some baseball pictures for the upcoming baseball banquet.     

These next few weeks are going to be crazy. Will is in Florida until next Sunday. We really don’t need to go down there, because next Tuesday Ceil leaves for Paris. Then we have the baseball banquet that night and Mary-Clayton and Haley Hurt’s graduation/party Saturday. MC is singing at the graduation, and Haley may be speaking.   

My Macon friend Johnny goes to all the weekday games, and I think he keeps all his BP catches in his basement “Museum” with all his baseball cards, bobbleheads, stadium seats, jerseys, and other memorabilia. Based on the photos I’ve seen, it’s pretty impressive. He dates each ball, along with which player hit it.

Veggietale Lyrics: The Chocolate Factory

One of my all-time favorite songs from Veggie-Tales. These are the original lyrics, which I re-wrote today, because the new boss likes good morning songs.

Good morning, George, how are you?
I hope you’re feeling fine
I’d love to stay and talk but it’s almost 8 o’clock,
And I haven’t got the time!

Because we work real hard at the chocolate factory
We start at eight and we don’t get lunch till three.
I gotta drive a truck
To make a buck
So I can send it home to my family

Mr. Lunt: Well, now you are in trouble
Your time card is a wreck
It’s almost two past eight, I’ll tell Nezzer that you’re late
And he’ll take it from your check

Mr. Lunt: Oh yes, we work real hard at the chocolate factory
Some Pea: Excuse me, Mr. Lunt, but I’ve got an injury.
Mr. Lunt: Now get back on the line
You’ll be just fine
With all this work to do we’ve got no time for sympathy

Rack: We used to be so happy
Benny: We used to laugh and run
Shack: Now there’s no time to play
‘Cuz we gotta work all day
And it isn’t very fun

Shadrack (Bob): I’m Rack!
Meshach (Junior): I’m Shack!
Abednego (Larry): I’m Benny!
All three: We work here in the plant
We’d like to take a break
For goodness’ sake
But Mr. Nezzer says

Mr. Lunt: You can’t! Ha ha!

All workers: We all need a vacation
Our schedule is severe
We’re getting very tired but stopping gets us fired
So we’ll have to stay right here

Because we work real hard at the chocolate factory
We start at eight, and we don’t get lunch till three
We work the whole week through
To make a buck or two
So we can send them home to our families

Someday they’ll come and join us
We’ll live in harmony
We hope the day is near, until then you’ll find us here
At the Nezzer chocolate factory!

Back Pain

Moving boxes upstairs Wednesday at work I pulled a muscle in my back. It was OK until this morning, when I reached back to tuck in my shirt. I've been in pain all day.

At 5 pm Wednesday Will called, saying he was playing his game. So at the last minute I ditched my work dinner at Dominics to watch him play. Dominics wasn't all you could eat, like it had been in the past. They also brought in a bunch of out of town salespeople, so I didn't feel super bad about missing it. My new coworker did mouth off a little too much to management about me not being there…it really wasn't any of her business.

Will hit a nice RBI double, and initiated a double play at shortstop. A nice treat to see him play one last time.

Thursday's Customer Day was busy. BBQ was good, and I had five groups of visitors I was trying to juggle at the same time. Again, the new co-worker was a little too talkative. Worn out at the end of the day.

Saturday W and MC are running a 5K down near Little Five Points. I'm taking A and five friends to the Braves game. Sunday W leaves for Florida.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trivia: Another Third Place Finish

Will and Kevin were studying for finals, so Joel, Mary and David braved trivia alone this week. Haley and Margaret arrived after halftime. Looks like Michael would rather draw than play. Several strong teams were absent, including Bama and the team of Tech grads and art majors. With the six of us crammed into the little window table, I was able to bother trivia-master Erin all night.
1. What disco dance song used arm motions to spell the title of the Village People’s greatest hit? YMCA. Five points.
2. What does the fairy godmother magicically turn into a coach to carry Cinderella to the ball? A pumpkin. Three points. I handed another piece of paper to Erin with an appropriate joke, which she dutifully read to the crowd: Why wasn’t Cinderella a good basketball player? She had a pumpkin for a coach!
3. What is Charlie Brown’s dog’s name? Snoopy. One point. I made sure Erin knew Snoopy’s brother’s name: Spike.
4. What state hosts the launch of the space shuttle? The state where Erin was born: Florida. Five points. I asked if Xanna was also born in Florida, but she was not.
5. What martial art begins with the letter K, and whose name means “empty hand”? Karate. Three points. I didn’t even think about kung fu.
6. What is the only state to grow coffee? Joel wondered about Florida. I asked Erin if she’d been born in that state. We went with Hawaii. One point.
7. What French art museum has an entrance under a glass pyramid? Joel didn’t know. I did, thanks to The DaVinci Code: The Louve. I even wagered five points.
8. What name is given to domesticated cats who escape and live in the wild? Joel knew: Feral. I told Erin the answer was “Dead”.
9. Which was the southernmost of the original 13 colonies? Again I asked Erin if she’d been born in that state. Of course, the answer was Georgia. One point.
10. Name the common term for the following bones. Joel and Mary knew all but one.
…carpals…wrist (not knuckle). Our only first half miss.
Competitive game. At halftime we were tied for third. The Striped Sweaters had a perfect score.
11. What ranch hands from the days of the American cowboy gave their name to a brand of jeans? Wranglers. Six points.
12. Which country shares Lake Titicaca with Bolivia? We didn’t know…a two point miss.
13. What rock star was the inspiration for Johnny Depp’s characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow? We turned to David: Keith Richards, of the Rolling Stones.
14. What vitamin do sufferers of scurvy lack? I told Erin the answer was our missed answer from the last vitamin question: Vitamin C. Four points. I gave Erin another joke: When a door-to-door purveyor of nutritional supplements knocks on your door, what should you do? Vite him in!
15. Which part of the cinnamon tree becomes the spice? After some discussion, Joel answered correctly: The bark. Since Psychology was the next category, I advised Joel to wager four. It turned out to be a wise decision.
16. What is dentophobia the fear of? The obvious answer was Dentists. I wondered out loud: could it be the fear of being bitten? Joel and Mary went with my answer, which turned out to be wrong. A two point miss.
17. What mythological creature was born from the blood when Perseus chopped off Medusa’s head? We didn't see Clash of the Titans. Margaret felt strongly about answering “sea serpent.” It was Pegasus. Our third straight two point miss.
18. What soft drink had its birthplace in Waco Texas? I was 99% sure: Dr. Pepper. Six points.
19. What three word political party did Nelson Mandela represent in South Africa? We didn’t know. Haley had heard it in the Matt Damon soccer movie, but couldn’t remember. As we debated, Margaret wanted to know: Are we into halftime yet? Mary wanted to give a funny answer, but I was too brain dead. This frustrated Joel, who mourned ”We can’t even think up a good FAKE name!” It was the African National Congress. A four point miss. Before the final question we remained in third place, nine points behind the leaders.
20. Name the five most visited websites of 2011. We were the only team to get four of five: Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. Fourth was (aka Hotmail). Twitter was 16, and Amazon somewhere after that.
Still, we finished a point out of second place…six points out of first.

Erin’s musical theme was Broadway, which included songs from the following musicals: Fiddler on the Roof, Wicked, Grease, Annie, Cabaret, Sound of Music, and The Book of Mormon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back in the MLB

Didn’t do much all weekend. I’m really getting into baseball…watched good portions of all three Braves games, as well Saturday’s NYY/Bosox game and yesterday’s Tigers/Rangers game.

Fox cut away to the last inning of the perfect game. Ceil was squealing at every pitch. They didn’t make a big deal about the batter not swinging at the last pitch. He argued, but I didn’t hear any of the talking heads say anything.

Watched the Yankees come back from a 9-0 deficit on Saturday to win 15-9. Learned the Jeter has more hits at his current age than Rose did at the same time. Not many Red Sox to cheer for these days…Ellsbury is hurt. Salty is no all-star at catcher, and they had a bunch of no-names playing. Big Pappi looked good, with all the weight he’s lost. I’m not a big Bobby Valentine fan. He was getting lots of boos from the Sox fans. Besides their second-baseman, there’s not much to like about Boston. I don’t see them competing with Tampa or the Yankees.

On the other side, ARod seems to be a shadow of his former self. but the rest of the lineup is quite solid. Teixera is pounding the ball, as is Jeter. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson will come around, and Nick Swisher was getting some clutch hits. Even Andruw looks good, though he still tries to pull everything in sight.

Sunday I watched a good chunk of the Tigers/Texas game. Josh Hamilton homered. Smoltz and Ernie called the game, along with David Wells. Ceil was even asking questions, and wanting to know when the Braves were coming on.

I guess Monday was the last time I see Will play baseball. He’s taking finals this week so he can go to Florida next week, so he’ll miss games on Tuesday and Wednesday. There’s a tiny chance I might zip down to Florida, but doubtful.

Anna wants me to take her and her friends to Saturday’s Braves game. There will be a van load, so Matthew can’t tag along.

Unearned vs. Earned

Any time a batter reaches by an error, then later scores, its an unearned run.

With 0 or 1 out and the guy reaches on an error, then the next guy homers…that’s one unearned run and one earned run.

With 2 out and the guy reaches on an error, then the next guy homers…both runs are unearned.

When there are two outs, then an error is made. If the team at the plate goes on to score ten runs after the error, all ten runs are unearned.

With no outs, Pastornicky grounds to third. The third-baseman throws wildly past first, down the rightfield line. The Pastor takes off, rounds second, and continues to third. The rightfielder’s throw gets past the third-baseman, and Pastornicky scores. Still no outs. That’s also an unearned run.

EXCEPTION: If the pitcher makes the error, it’s still an earned run.

EXAMPLE: Last night Will was pitching. Top of the first.
1. First batter singles to right. Batter steals second.
2. Second batter chops the ball to the first-baseman’s right. Runner heads to third. Ball glances off first-baseman’s glove. By the time he picks up the ball and tosses to Will covering first, the batter has crossed the bag…fielding error on the first baseman.
To make matters worse, the first-baseman tossed the ball OVER Will’s head (from 15 feet away). The batter scampers to second, and the baserunner scores…throwing error on the first-baseman. Earned run or unearned run? We don’t know yet. 
3. Catcher picks runner off second. One out.
4. Third batter singles up the middle. This means the run is EARNED.
5. Fourth batter walks, putting runners on first and second.
6. Fifth batter flies out to centerfield. Two out.
7. Sixth batter hits a high popup in short centerfield. With two out, both runners run. Centerfielder could’ve made the catch, but shortstop calls for it. Ball hits off his glove, and drops to the ground. Both runners score. Since someone should’ve made the catch, it’s an error on the shortstop…even though it would’ve been a spectacular catch. Since the inning should’ve been over, both these runs are unearned.

GameChanger: Thumbs Down

There are many advantages to the heralded on-line scorekeeping website  Games can be scored on-line in real time, allowing faraway grandparents a way to follow games as they happen - IF they’re technologically savvy AND willing to fork out eight bucks a month. Season statistics automatically update. All based, of course, on the opinions of the all-powerful official scorekeeper (not me).   

There are numerous inputs after every pitch: ball, strike, hit, error, line drive, fly ball, hit hard, what kind of pitch. While GameChanger prompts some inputs automatically, it could be possible to forget some after a complicated play. Last night a batter reached first on the first-baseman’s FIELDING error, then advanced to second on his THROWING error. Two real-world errors, but GameChanger (or the scorekeeper) only counted one. Before future games coaches will review GameChanger, and make player decisions based on what they see.

Two statistics are “Hard Hit Balls” and “Quality At-Bats.” HHB appears to be at the discretion of the human scorekeeper. While Will hit four hard line drives, he was credited for only two. Perhaps it is impossible to define a sacrifice fly as a Hard Hit Ball. I could be wrong, since I was video-taping his at bats. QAB is determined more by the number of pitches the batter sees than what the batter does. If a batter grounds out after working the count full, that’s a QAB. But if he hits a first-pitch double, that’s not a QAB. Huh?

Another GameChanger feature is the automatically generated postgame recap. Based on what certain players did in the game, GameChanger creates a story. Unfortunately, the story is often far from perfect...and this game wasn’t the first time. 

GameChanger can be a valuable tool, if used properly…and with a grain of salt.

Will Pitches, Hits Crown to Victory

In perhaps the last game Ceil and I will ever see Will play, he once again put on a show, leading his Knights to a 8-4 win over Southern Prospects…a team comprised of public schoolers who aren’t playing for their school team, perhaps due to grades or the like. Several of these players also play at East Cobb Baseball.

Will pitched five innings, and allowed just one earned run. he struck out four batters, giving Will the team record for most strikeouts in a career. The win made his season record 6-0, just one win away from the team season record. He is also approaching the team record for career wins.

Crown committed three first-inning errors, which led to two unearned Southern Prospect runs. Down 3-0 going into the bottom of the first, it was crucial for Crown to respond offensively, or risk falling further behind. Leading off, Will smashed a triple to deep right center. His run scored on the catcher’s throwing error. Later in the inning two more Crown runners scored, tying the game.

Back on the mound Will shut Southern Prospects down, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters. He threw out a batter at first, picked another runner off first, and covered first to record another putout. Will played third base the final two innings.

In the bottom of the second Will drove in what turned out to be the eventual game-winning run. With one out and runners on second and third, Will scorched a line drive to centerfield. The ball was hit so hard that the centerfielder immediately caught the ball, but it was still deep enough not only for the runner to score from third, but the runner on second also advanced to third. Crown went on to score three more times in the inning.

Will came up to bat in the fourth inning with a runner on third. With one out, the infield was playing in. Will smashed another line drive…but right at the shortstop. In the sixth Will hit his fourth straight hard line drive, but this time the leftfielder caught the ball.

NOTES: When another Crown error put a runner on second with one out, the leader hitter popped up a bunt attempt. Catcher Patrick came out into fair territory and caught the pop…then stumbled into Will. Mary-Clayton said it looked like a hug…Will fell backwards and Patrick almost toppled over on top of him. Thinking about Sergio Garcia and Rory McElroy at the Masters, I said that if players started hugging after good plays, soon they’d be hugging after every play. Sure enough, when Braeden took the mound to pitch the sixth inning, Will went over and gave him a hug.

This Southern Prospects team has beaten the Johnson Ferry Independent Studies team twice.

Crown wore their burgundy alternate jersey for the first time all year. Since the Knights played well and won, perhaps they’ll wear them again in Florida.

In addition to Ceil and MC, local resident Lynn Bailey braved the cold, windy conditions.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Atlanta Braves Uniform History

Though the early 60's Milwaukee uni remains my favorite, here’s a list of all the uniforms the Braves have worn since they moved to Atlanta:

ORIGINAL: Cream colored with black trim, plus red Braves and small front numbers. Also the iconic Braves stirrups. Denis Menke serves as our model:
Road greys were exactly like the home jersey. 
PINSTRIPE: In 1968 the Braves copied the Yankees classic pinstripes. They kept the red-billed home cap in 1968 but changed to the all navy cap in 1969.
The road jerseys were plain as well.
FEATHER: In anticipation of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run, the Braves designed a then-revolutionary uni: white pullover jerseys with royal blue shoulders and sleeves. 
Road jersey was royal with white sleeves. White pants were worn on the road: another MLB first…as were the two-toned caps. Original plans were for predominantly red uniforms, but when Aaron saw them, he requested the red be changed to blue.
RED PINSTRIPE: When Ted Turner bought the Braves in the late 1970’s, he wanted a patriotic uniform. White pullover jerseys with red collars and sleeve stripe, and red pinstripes. Several players were given jerseys with their nickname on the back: “Knucksie” Niekro and “Channel 17” Andy Messersmidt. That didn’t last long. 
Road jerseys were powder blue with royal blue shoulders and sleeves. On the road jersey Turner replaced “Braves” with “Atlanta” – something I dislike to this day.
RED, WHITE, & BLUE: In the early 1980’s the Braves went to a look popular at that time: pullover V-necks with slender stripes of red, white, and blue lining the neck, sleeves, pants, and waist.
The road jerseys were powder blue.

TOMAHAWK: In a stroke of genius, in the late 1980’s the Braves re-introduced the tomahawk jersey from their Milwaukee glory days. The tomahawk was red instead of black, with plenty of traditional red piping on the jersey, pants, and belt-loops. 
Road unis were similar, 
except for “Atlanta” instead of “Braves”.
SUNDAY RED: After keeping the same unis for over 15 years, jersey sales slumped when the string of division championships ended. In an effort to increase sales, the Braves added a red Sunday jersey in the mid-2000’s, with a slightly different Sunday cap. In 2012 and 2013 the Braves wore red on home Fridays.
ROAD NAVY: In the late 2000’s the Braves added a navy road jersey, with interesting white-trimmed navy numbers. The ATLANTA and navy numbers made it different from the navy batting practice jerseys, that had red numbers. At the same time the all-navy road cap was re-introduced. When manager Fredi Gonzalez came on board, this navy jersey was worn more and more…and the classic grey jersey worn less and less.
THROWBACK: In 2012 the Braves re-introduced an “alternate home” uniform, quite similar to Atlanta’s original cream-colored home unis. No tomahawk. These are to be worn on weekends, with the red jerseys now worn on home Fridays. With five different jerseys, the Braves could just about wear a different jersey every day of the week.
SPECIAL OCCASION: In 2014 the Braves dropped the Friday red jersey and added a special starred jersey to be worn on five special occasions, then auctioned off each time. Unlike the previous red jersey, the new jersey has stars on the Braves wordmark, an American flag patch on the sleeve, and no tomahawk. Not pretty, but at least red will be worn fewer times.

Compared to most other teams, I still consider the Braves to have above average unis. Some in the northeastern media might not rank them in the top ten, but I sure do.  

Twitter vs Facebook

I’m no Twitter expert. It seems to work better when you’ve got a smart phone. That way you can quickly check it when you’re on the go. For either Facebook or Twitter to be of use, the friends you’re interested in have to be active users.

If none of your friends use Twitter, the only real reason to be on it is to follow celebrities. Ceil follows Christian leaders like John Piper and Tozer. I follow comedians and comedy writers like Steve Martin and Conan O’Brien (and Tozer). Andy Stanley rarely tweets, but Louie Giglio much more so.

Kids seem to converse with each other via Twitter, but I haven’t really figured that out. Supposedly its nice to “favorite” your friend’s tweet if you really like it, similar to liking a Facebook post. I haven’t yet really gotten into that habit.

Up to this point I really haven’t used Twitter in a “personal” way, because most of the young people I’m interested in tweet personal things to other friends that I’m not really interested in.

I have set up my Twitter account so that every time I tweet it automatically posts to Facebook. Sometimes I will re-tweet a funny tweet that I’ve read, sharing it with my Twitter followers and Facebook friends. The Facebook friends that follow me on Twitter find it easier to not miss my posts.

I only have 26 Twitter followers. I follow 20 people. In Twitter world you are cool if more people follow you and you follow, but I have much too few followers to be considered cool. Ceil follows 92 people, and has 31 following her. I think it’s considered good Twitter manners to follow someone who follows you, but I’m not really sure.

When I’m busy, like during the week, I will go all day without checking both FB & Twitter. Like many people, the newness of both has worn off.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dominic's of Norcross

Next Wednesday night our department is eating at Dominic’s, the authentic Italian Restaurant in downtown Norcross. Thursday we’re having a customer appreciation day, and serving Spiced Right BBQ. Work is busy…EZGo is running wide open.

At work the renovation upstairs is moving along nicely, and our department will probably move up there next Monday morning. Yesterday George O’Leary’s daughter Chris commandeered the seating chart. Pretty much by seniority we picked desks. The process was pretty funny, and loud. I am happy with my new location, by the window, away from the Ogre. It was my second choice. I am next to a talkative woman, so hopefully that won’t be too bad.

Will’s Tuesday doubleheader was rained out. He had been scheduled to pitch game one. He’d probably be more effective as the game two starter. They try again on Thursday. He’s leaving for Florida on the 29th, so he’s got to finish his finals before then.

Took Matthew to Taco Bell last night after Will’s game. He’s such a picky eater that he never eats enough. He gulped down his two bean burritos. Will’s first game started before 4:30, and the second game didn’t end until after nine. I’m trying to enjoy them while I still can. I watched the Braves until after 11:30.

Will wasn't swinging good, so I decided to take a video of his swing. On the first pitch he gets his best hit of the night. They won both games.

Helped Anna with her speech/paper. She’s still basking in the glow of her prom last Saturday.

I’m liking the Knicks these days, though I’ve never been a big Carmelo fan. I’ll root for them, the Hawks, Lakers, and Mavs and Spurs.

Crown Sweeps Another Doubleheader

Will was the most productive offensive player in Crown’s Thursday doubleheader sweep of New Creation. He walked five times, lined a single to left, scored two runs, drove in a run, and stole two bases. He was the winning pitcher in Game One, striking out three in two shutout innings. Will played third base the rest of Game One, and shortstop in Game Two.

While pitching, Will snared a grounder up the middle, and threw the batter out at first. He almost grabbed a line drive hit back up the middle, not far from his head. While playing third he made a good backhanded catch of a hard grounder, and threw the batter out at first. Another ball was chopped straight down, then bounded high into the air toward Will at third…right into the afternoon sun. By the time Will caught sight of the ball, it was too late to throw out the batter at first.

In the third inning of Game Two Will walked on a full count. With the speedy Patrick on third, Nathan launched a high fly ball to deep left-center. Patrick prepared to tag up at third, but Will took off from first, rounded second, and was baring down on Patrick on third when the ball hit off the top of the wall, on its way down. Will had to slow down, then followed right after Patrick as the two runners scored easily.   

Late in Game Two, after we had all been at the park for well over four hours, a new Creation batter popped a pitch foul. Third-baseman Andrew gave chase to the fence, jumped and reached far over with his outstretched glove…and just missed making a great play. Playing shortstop, Will had also chased after the ball. The quiet crowd clearly heard Will’s admonishment to Andrew: “You DREAM of that at night!”

11. Will…1-3, 2 runs, RBI, 5 BB, 2 SB…OB 6-8
9. Eric…2-3, BB, 3B, 3 runs, 2 RBI
7. Andrew…2-3, 3B, run, 2 RBI
7. Patrick…1-5, SB, 2 runs, 2 RBI, BB
6. Nathan…1-4, 3B, run, 2 RBI
6. Sam…1-3, RBI, SB, BB, 2 runs
6. Adam…3-5, 2B, RBI, run
5. Braeden…1-7, RBI, 2B, run, BB
4. Casey…0-1, run, sac fly, RBI, BB
3. Ray…0-1, run, 2 BB
3. Perry…0-4, 2 runs, BB
2. Nate…0-1, BB, SB
2. Charlie…1-2, RBI
2. Ryan…0-3, sac fly, RBI
1. Franklin…0-2, sac
0. Caleb…0-1

Other interesting plays:
Nathan laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt with the bases loaded, and beat the throw to first for a hit. In the confusion, two runs scored.
Game Two pitcher Ray looked great in his mid-length stirrups. Casey went with the high socks, but looked awkward in his red spikes.
Braeden only went 1-7, but hit the top of the centerfield fence with a deep fly ball. In the third inning he was the recipient of the umpire’s blown call, when the first baseman’s foot came down on the bag just before Braeden’s. The struggling first baseman struck out four times.
In Game One Crown twice loaded the bases, and scored three runs each time.
After Will scored from first base in Game Two’s third inning, Crown went on to bat around, sending ten batters to the plate.
The umpire was no Brad Pitt. He kept coming over to check on the score and inning. Someone quipped “He must have a date,” I added “He knows this is a doubleheader, doesn’t he?”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ballparks Where Will has Played

As the sun sets on Will’s baseball career, I tried to list all the different fields that Will has played on. I counted the 89 that I could remember, in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He has hit home runs in at least 19 different parks, in four different states.

Acworth Ballpark
Adams Park, Kennesaw (2 fields)
Alpharetta High
Auburndale Park, Florida (2)…home run
Austell Park (2)
Ball Ground, GA
Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Brentwood High, TN
Cartersville, GA
Central High School
Chattahoochee High, Alpharetta
Cherokee Park, Canton GA
Cooperstown Dreams Park, New York (4)…home run
Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA
Christian Heritage School, Dalton
Dupree Park, Woodstock
Eagles Landing High
East Cobb Baseball (4)…home run
Eastside Elementary, East Cobb
Ellijay GA
Engle Stadium, Chattanooga, TN
Fayetteville High
Fellowship High, Roswell
Fullers Park, East Cobb
Gainesville GA
Hembree Park, Alpharetta (3)
Hobgood Park, Woodstock
Home Plate Park, Peachtree City
Holy Spirit Prep, Buckhead…home run
Huntsville, Alabama…home run
Jasper GA
Johns Creek Park…home run
Kell High, Marietta
Kennesaw Park
Knoxville, TN (2)
Lassiter High, East Cobb
Legion Field, Alpharetta…home run
Loris High, SC
Mt. Bethel Academy, East Cobb
Mt Paran North, Marietta (5)…home run (all 5)
Myrtle Beach High, SC
Nashville High School, TN
New Creation High, McDonough
North Forsyth High, Cumming…home run
North Myrtle Beach High, SC
North Springs High, Sandy Springs
Panama City Beach, Florida…home run
Parkview High, Lilburn
Pawleys Island High, SC
Pope High, East Cobb
Powder Springs Park (3)
Ringgold, GA
Rossville, GA…home run
Roswell Area Park (2)…home run
Sandy Plains Park, East Cobb (4)…home run
Shaw Park, East Cobb (2)…home run
South Atlanta Park, Fayetteville GA
South Forsyth High, Cumming
South Gwinnett High, Stone Mountain
Sprayberry High, East Cobb
Stockbridge High
Tattnall Square Academy, Macon
Turner Field, Atlanta
Walton High, East Cobb
Weber High, Sandy Springs
Wills Park, Alpharetta

Monday, April 16, 2012

Prom Weekend

Friday Will drove down to the Braves game for the first time ever. He got stuck in traffic, but he and Joel were still able to buy dollar tickets, and they both caught batting practice home runs. Will saw my friends during BP. They didn't stick around for fireworks.

Saturday I drove Will up to his game in Dalton. He got two hits, and they won 8-1. Drove back and dropped him off at the house, and drove over to Johns Creek to get in on the prom picture taking. Will and Joel went to Moes Saturday night.

I missed out on the first rounds of picture taking, at the boy's house. Met up with the other parents at Laurel Springs Country Club, in Johns Creek. Saw a couple from our old small group, who now goes to Johnson Ferry. I didn't leave the country club until almost eight, so C, M, and I ate at Chipotle on the way back.

Anna and her gang went to Waffle House after her prom, then spent the night at her girlfriend's house. Sunday she rode home with me from NP. She said there were two slow dances, and they went for refreshments during them. She was going to pay at Waffle House, but her date insisted. Sunday afternoon I posted the photos, mainly so the grandparents could see them.

C took A out shopping for prom stuff Friday night. I took M up to Kroger to get frozen pizzas, and we went back and watched the Braves.

Violence Mars Crown's Win

Saturday Will’s Crown Knights traveled north to Dalton, where they beat Christian Heritage School Lions 8-1 on a sunny April afternoon. Besides the upcoming Home School World Series trip, it very well could be the last baseball road trip I take Will on.

Crown scored one in the first, two in the second and fifth, and three more in the seventh to coast to the victory. Will led off the game with a line drive single to right field. As he led off first, both he and I remembered that Christian Heritage was the school he had taken out the second-baseman with a hard, legal slide, resulting in a push from the CHS shortstop.

Number two batter Nathan Shetler promptly hit a ground ball to third. As the third-baseman threw to second for the force, Will approached the bag, with his mind on breaking up another double play. At the last second Will saw the second-baseman bobble the ball, so he knew there would be no chance of doubling off the speedy Shetler at first.
With two out in the top of the second, and a runner on third, Will smoked a hard grounder up the middle for an RBI single. Will stole second and later scored on Nathan’s double.

In the fourth inning Will came to bat with one out and a runner on first. On a 2-2 pitch the runner broke for second. Will hit another hard line drive…right at the shortstop. An easy inning-ending double play.

Playing third base, Will cut off a sixth-inning grounder in the hole and threw the runner out at first. He also made the putout on a crazy failed bunt attempt that resulted in an extended rundown. With CHS runners on first and second, the batter missed on the bunt attempt. The runner on second held his ground, but the other runner broke from first and inexplicably ran all the way to second. Crown’s backup shortstop failed to tag one of the runners, as one of them broke back to first. The shortstop threw back to first, and the other runner broke for third. Will took the next throw, made one throw to second, then took another throw and tagged out the runner sliding into third: your basic 2-4-3-6-3-5-4-5 putout.

An ugly seventh-inning play marred the good, clean game, but the Lions didn’t let it get to them. Crown scored one run when Patrick was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. With one out Franklin singled to right center, and the runners on second and third scored easily, extending the lead to 8-1. The top of the order was coming to bat, meaning Patrick would have several opportunities to score from third. But he sailed around third and kept running. The relay beat Patrick by a good ten feet. Instead of sliding, Patrick leaned forward, hitting the catcher with an extended elbow. The catcher fell backward, but held onto the ball. The umpire immediately threw Patrick out of the game.

As the on deck hitter, Will approached the plate and quietly checked on the catcher, apologizing for his teammates’ ridiculous play, and telling the catcher he’d made a good play. The game was able to continue without further incident.

In addition to the wrath of coaches and some mothers, poor Patrick had more punishment coming. He may have to miss Tuesday’s game against arch-rival Gwinnett, but the worst part was having to ride home with the head coach. That gave Will and me a chuckle as we passed them on the highway.