Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pizza by the Sea

Last week we drove over to eat at Pizza by the Sea,      near Seaside.

Friday, June 29, 2012


The Nationals Bryce Harper is the odds on favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year. He would be a deserving choice. His all-out style of play is winning over fans, his teammates, and even his opponents. Playing in the nation's capital, not far from New York, enhances his ROY chances all the more. His worst enemy may be himself: should he get hurt, his ROY chances (and the Nationals playoff hopes) may go up in smoke.

This past month the Braves' rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons has also burst hard out of the gate. A slick fielder, Simmons has hit so well that manager Fredi Gonzalez has inserted Simmons in the two hole of the batting order.

While it's way too early to start thinking about ROY, lets compare their stats...for the first of many times.


Growing Up in Braves Country

When the Braves moved to Atlanta we would go to one or two games most every year. Seeing the scorecard in the middle of the program greatly interested me (also the square-funnel shaped popcorn holders). I would pour over the yearbooks…wish I still had them. Also remember Big Victor and the fuss they made over Ralph Garr being the Roadrunner. We went to lots of giveaway games: bats, caps, helmets. Those bats were great.

We have family photos of being on the field in a game in 66 or 67, with Braves players lined up in the outfield to take pictures with. Joe Torre picked up my tiny brother Franklyn, decked out in a Braves uniform. A few years ago Franklyn got Torre to autograph the photo.

One year I got to have a birthday party at a Saturday game, taking several friends. It was the NBC Game of the Week, and the Braves and Pirates set the record for most home runs in an inning. My name was displayed on the outfield message board…the one time I went to the bathroom. On Banner Night we made a huge sign and paraded it around the field.

My grandfather took me to a game where Rico Carty made the final putout of a triple play, tagging out a runner between second and third. We were sitting in left field. Later Sonny Jackson replaced Carty, and a fan berated him. Sonny charged a single and threw home…the ball hit the backstop in the air. Walking back to his position after the play, Jackson tipped his cap to the fan.

We went to fewer games in the 70’s, I guess we were busy with high school activities. Not many memories of the feather unis and the late 70’s…the Darrell Chaney years (only in photos). Wish I had gone to more games when I was at Tech. I remember attending a long Saturday evening doubleheader against the hated Dodgers in September 1984. LA won both games, depressing our playoff chances. Went to the filming of “The Slugger’s Wife”…remember that?

I starting going to more games in the mid 80’s, including the Komminsk grand slam during the Goody’s home run inning. Also Paschal Perez’s start the night after he circled 285, Avery’s first start as a rookie, and the night of the club level fire (McGriff’s first game).

Two recent Uni-Watch posts were about the 1976 Braves with nicknames on the backs of jerseys. The first article was June 19, with a follow up on June 27.

Not much going on this weekend. Saturday night we’ll go to Land of a Thousand Hills…Joel is playing music. We’ll follow MC’s pageant on line…that’s where Will is.


Last night Matthew’s team beat his Thursday opponent. Like last week, the Thursdays cut into Matthew’s ten point fourth quarter lead, but Matthew’s team was able to run out the clock. Teammate Thumper shot 2-16 from the field, though he did contribute rebounds, steals, and assists.

Should be an interesting offseason as Ferry goes to work on the roster.

Catfish Hunter’s contract with Oakland was voided, and he signed one of the first free agent contracts with the Yankees. A couple of years before Ted Turner signed Andy Messersmith.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Converse Weapon EVO

Matthew recently attended a basketball camp where all the participants received these Converse basketball shoes. His were this decent looking all black model. I saw a couple of smaller boys running around in a white model, trimmed in light orange. Those looked ok as well.

UGA Orientation

Will enjoyed his UGA orientation Monday and yesterday. He is talking like he will get involved in the Methodist Ministry, but we'll see. There is a family reunion golf tourney after the first week of classes, and UGA's home opener is Labor Day weekend. We'll see if he stays.

Also wondering if he'll want to come back to Passion Church on Sundays. When he checks into the dorms August 8th, he has something to do in Athens that next Sunday. After attending orientation, this morning he talked about leaving his car at home. That would be fine with me. There is a bus that runs from Athens to Atlanta several times a day that only costs three bucks. Perhaps he can use that.

Ceil and Matthew went over to Athens on Monday. Last night Anna attended the One Direction concert in the Gwinnett Arena. I had to pick her up at midnight.

At 5 am this morning I drove Will to the airport to catch a flight to Mobile. While waiting he saw a guy in a Ryerson shirt and went over and introduced himself. It was Kevin, our SE Region President…my boss's boss's boss (for a few months in 2008 he'd been my boss). Afterwards Kevin emailed me, calling Will a good Southern gentleman.

Matthew's team last their game last night. Two boys on the Monday team were hitting everything, and M's Tuesday teammate Thumper shot 1-10. Every time Thumper shot from the outside he took a big step forward…crossing the 3-point line. That made his shot too hard. If he takes a smaller step and shoots with more arch, he might make more.

Braves: nice win last night. Alyssa's family went to the game. Her mom called Monday night to ask how I attended games. I think they were going early for BP. Alyssa just recently returned home from West Point, though she had been visiting relatives in Maine. Saturday night Will and Joel met Alyssa and Kara at Starbucks.

And1 Downtime Slip

Noticed these kicks while thumbing through a back issue of SLAM at the beach. I could've worn these to work!

Email of the Day

-----Original Message-----
From: Richardson, Kevin (President SE Region)
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 7:48 AM
To: Murphy, David
Subject: Airport


I just met your son at the airport. I had a Ryerson shirt on and he came over to say hello. A southern gentleman, good job.

Hope all is well


Puma Injex

A few years ago Puma came out with Injex, their version of Crocs. A dark pair would've been nice. I passed on an orange pair. Pretty cool. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012's Top Ten Stadiums

14. Kaufman Stadium, Kansas City
13. Rangers Stadium
12. Progressive Field, Cleveland
11. AT&T Field, San Francisco
10. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
9. Dodger Stadium
8. Safeco Field
7. Petco Park, San Diego
6. Turner Field, Atlanta
5. Coors Field, Denver
4. Fenway Park
3. Yankee Stadium
2. PNC Park, Pittsburgh
1. Wrigley Field

Pastor Dock

SPdL’s new interim pastor Dock Hollingsworth is a friend of mine. His father Neil worked here at Tull with me, and we had lots of good times together. In high school Dock was best friends with big John Lewis. They grew up together in Doraville. I don’t know how good a preacher Dock is, but he’s been an interim pastor at various places for years.

When I got home from work Monday I saw some of Claire’s updates on Facebook. Read my book, “the Swinger” and watched the College World Series. Ceil was interested because she wanted South Carolina to lose.

Danny Ferry is a great addition for the Hawks.

Improving the Home Depot Tool Race

The Home Depot Tool Race is wildly popular with fans at Braves games. The race is much more fun since they’ve taken it off the Jumbotron and made it an actual race with “real” characters. Still, it lags behind similar races in other ballparks, due to its commercial tie in. The Brewers’ Sausage Race, the Nationals’ President’s Race, and the Giants’ Crab Race stand above the Tool Race.

In an effort to make the Tool Race better, here are several suggestions:  

Famous Georgians: Jimmy Carter, Ted Turner, Paula Dean, Lewis Grizzard, James Oglethorpe, Eli Whitney, MLK Jr., Herschel Walker, Evander Holyfield, Button Gwinnett, Julia Roberts. Jeff Foxworthy could lose every race.

Braves: Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Phil Niekro, Dale Murphy, Bobby Cox, Mark Lemke (not a character, but the ACTUAL Mark Lemke). Sid Bream could finish every race with a slide. In every race Chipper could get inj…uh, never mind.

Pitchers: Smoltz (strong finisher), Glavine (slow, like his changeup), four-eyed Maddux (crafty), Niekro (weaves around the others, like his knuckleball), Mazzone (rocks as he runs), Rick Camp. Call it the Cy Young Race.

Announcers: Skip, Ernie, Pete, Don, Larry Munson. Clark Howard knows a shortcut.

Georgia Crops: Peanut, Peach, Pecan, Pine Cone, Cottonball, Shrimp, Largemouth Bass.

Nuts (the Nut Race!): Peanut, Pecan, Almond, Cashew.

Buildings: State Capitol, Peachtree Plaza, Fox Theater, Georgia Pacific Building, AT&T Tower, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke, Hyatt Regency, the King & Queen.

Mascots: Homer the Brave, Freddie the Falcon, Harry the Hawk, Uga or Hairy Dog, Buzz. Alternate between special guests Aubie, Smokey, Big Al (Alabama’s Elephant), Cocky the Gamecock, and the Florida Gator.

Corporate symbols: a Coke Bottle, Chick-fil-A cow, Home Depot hammer, Delta jet, brown UPS truck, Varsity Frosted Orange. Talk about competition!

Any other ideas?

Ranking the MLB Ballparks

At the beginning of every series Braves radio producer Brian Giffin posts a photo of every stadium the Braves play in. When I arrive at a ballpark for a game, I always have the same urge. ranked their top fourteen ballparks, so I decided to rank them myself. Might as well mention all thirty.

Even the worst ballparks have many positive features. Unlike other fans, I’m not completely turned off by retractable roof stadiums. I’ve ranked six of the older stadiums last, and clumped the twenty-two newer parks with retro features in the middle. Of these, seven stand above the others. Baseball’s two cathedrals stand alone at the top.

30. Oakland Coliseum (I’ve seen it): sharing this old round structure with the football Raiders, the always empty outfield upper deck is a downer. The A’s are working on a new park.
29. SkyDome, Toronto: a magnificent structure, though the Astroturf makes for a generic baseball experience.
28. Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg (I visited there): the most hated dome in baseball, but I like its intimate feel. And parking is free.
27. Edison International Field, Anaheim (seen): another old multi-purpose stadium that’s gone through several facelifts. I like the rocks and water in centerfield.
26. Dodger Stadium (seen): A fine ballpark with great views. Fans arrive late and don’t fill the park like they used to. (9th ranked by
25. Kaufman Stadium, Kansas City (seen): an under-rated gem, with flowing outfield fountains. Driving past the stadium on the interstate when the park is full is a sight to see. (13th)

24. US Cellular Field, Chicago 1991 (seen): one of the first retro stadiums. Nice outer façade.
23. Great American Park, Cincinnati 2003: its great how the downtown stadium opens up to the river, though I greatly dislike the gap in the stands between home and third base.
22. Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix 1998: features the swimming pool in right field.
21. Progressive Field, Cleveland: an ok, downtown ballpark. (14th)
20. Coors Field, Denver: great views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown Denver. Nice outfield setting, with the trees. (5th)
19. Safeco Field, Seattle: another good downtown park. (8th)
18. Turner Field, Atlanta 1997 (visited): nice sightlines of downtown. ranked it high because of Atlanta’s many other attractions. The Home Depot Tool Race is popular with the fans, thought I’d like to see something a little less commercial. (6th)
17. Comerica Park, Detroit 2000: another good downtown park, with many tiger statues.
16. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (visited): the first retro stadium, Camden Yards may still have the most unique ballpark attributes. Perhaps the best named ballpark. Close by Baltimore’s inner harbor. (10th)
15. Marlins Park, 2012: as baseball’s newest attraction, it’s the one everyone is raving about. It’s great how it’s built on the old Orange Bowl site, not far from downtown and the ocean. I’m not crazy about the sun thing in centerfield.
14. Target Field, Minneapolis 2010: great downtown sightlines.
13. Nationals Park, Washington 2008: nice stone facades, with views of the capitol dome. Unique presidential race, between Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.
12. Chase Field, New York 2010: nice brick façade reminiscent of Ebbets Field.
11. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia 2004: most games are sellouts, enabling the Phillies to spend extravagantly on free agents.
10. Busch Stadium, St. Louis: appreciative fans pack the park. Great views of downtown and the arch.

9. Miller Park, Milwaukee: Bernie Brewer and the sausage race.
8. Petco Park, San Diego: wonderful outfield façade. (7th)
7. Rangers Stadium (visited): I love how the outfield stands are configured. (12th)
6. Minute Maid Park, Houston 2000 (visited): an intimate feel, with several unique features: the short leftfield porch, odd outfield angles, and the hill and flagpole in centerfield. All in a clean downtown setting.
5. PNC Park, Pittsburgh: great views of the bridges and downtown. (2nd)
4. Yankee Stadium 2010: the builders did a great job replacing one of baseball’s shrines. (3rd)
3. AT&T Field, San Francisco (visited): great sightlines of the bay, with many other great features: the rightfield façade, the vintage glove in left, etc. (11th)

2. Wrigley Field (visited): wonderful neighborhood and atmosphere. Tanked tops by
1. Fenway Park (visited): better than Wrigley. (4th)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Coming Home

Friday morning Ceil and I went for one last walk. Then I ran to Publix for lunch fixings, and topped of the gas tank. After lunch Will, Matthew, and I went to the beach. Ceil and Anna cleaned and packed.

We left the condo about 4 pm and headed to the Silver Sands Outlets. At 5 pm we left the outlets. The GPS had us go east on 98 to 83 / 331 north. After we crossed the big bridge I didn’t have to stop at any lights on 231 until we got to Dothan…about 95 miles. From there it was a four lane highway 431 all the way to Columbus.

We stopped at a Chickfila in Phenix City. I followed a FedEx truck all the way from Columbus to the Atlanta airport. Pulled in the driveway just before midnight.

Saturday I did some laundry, filled up the gas tank, and went to the bank. Will went to get our dog from the Normans. About the same on Sunday.

Next Sunday Beth Moore is speaking at Passion Church, on the crucifixion and John 19. Louie will be out of town. He’s been speaking on the book of John, one chapter at a time.

This morning Will, Ceil, and Matthew headed out to Athens for UGA orientation. Anna is babysitting all week. Wednesday morning Will flies to Mobile for Mary-Clayton’s national Distinguished Young Women pageant.


According to Google Maps, a Destin vacation is about 100 miles / two hours closer than North Myrtle Beach. Ceil’s dad was wondering about the distances. When we go to North Myrtle Beach we always drive to Jefferson on Friday, then caravan to the beach on Saturday.

339 miles…6:18 hrs: E.Cobb to Destin

303 miles…5:26 hrs: E.Cobb to Jefferson
132 miles…2:40 hrs: Jefferson to NMB
435 miles…8:06 hrs: entire GA-NMB trip

391 miles…6:53 hrs: return trip NMB-GA

People boast that it’s a two hour trip from Jefferson to the beach. In twenty years I’ve never come close to that, even with the new by-passes and highways. All the congestion and additional traffic lights make Myrtle Beach traffic almost as bad as Atlanta’s.     

In addition to the Halls and Anna’s friend Emily, I discovered that a lady here at work was down at Santa Rosa State Park last week.

Game Two Loss

Didn’t go to trivia last Thursday night. Matthew had a basketball game, and he scored a basket. Both teams put in subs halfway through each quarter. Halfway through the fourth M’s team was winning by two. M’s coach took out the best two players. After two minutes he called time out and put one of them back in. For the last five minutes of the game they shot 1-8, and lost by four (or six).

The boss sprung for Martin’s biscuits last Friday morning. Late Thursday a coworker brought back extra meatlovers pizza from Mellow Mushroom.

Can it be that we haven’t been to Destin in four years?

YR…Will turned
2012…19…Destin again
2011…18…Camp Highland, & our Washington trip
2010…17…ECB…Nashville tourney
2009…16…Prowlers…Myrtle Beach tourney
2008…15…Wildcats…Destin tourney
2006…13…Cooperstown trip

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tech Football: New Uniforms AGAIN

Georgia Tech is getting new football uniforms AGAIN this year. The story linked below quite accurately represents my feelings about the topic: Russell Athletics is well behind on the uni design curve. According to the article, Tech is in such bad shape that they're taking recommendations from whomever walks in the front door of the athletic department.

I learned something that I didn’t know: Russell’s contract with Tech allows them to redesign new uniforms EVERY year.

Tech is waiting to unveil the unis at the last possible moment, changing into the new jerseys right before the season opener, after warming up in old unis. Based on the past few redesigns, they want to avoid the annual backlash of sane people’s opinions. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pizza By The Sea

Lazy vacation. Wednesday we went to the beach. Will and I tossed the baseball twice...well over a hundred throws. Later we drove toward the outlets to pick up Anna. She had eaten at Destins. Ceil cooked burritos. I started reading "The Swinger"...the about the famous, fictional golfer whose personal life implodes, like the real life golfer did.

Thursday we didn't get to the beach until after lunch (Will cooked pigs in a blanket). W. M, and I stayed in the water for a long time. Then I took M to the pool. C, A, and W stayed at the beach for a long time. The kids wanted to eat at a place we'd eaten at before: Pizza By The Sea. It was crowded, but worth the wait. One pepperoni and one peppers and onions. Then Anna had to stop by her favorite dessert stand. Matthew found a record store he had to check out.

I did see several photos and short videos of Lang's performance. 

That's Baseball

Only one of the 30 teams win the World Series every year. Many teams each year have good seasons. For at least the past three seasons the Braves made it to the last one or two games in the season while still contending for a playoff spot...often in spite of several major injuries. And with a payroll over half that of the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, and Phillies.

Another point about the Yankees not winning World Series championships despite thier massive payroll...there are many Braves fans who chastise management when they get swept in a series, much less not win the World Series.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Greatest Multi-Purpose Back?

Sports Illustrated's Peter King is perhaps the most knowledgeable football writer in history. He's an influential member of the group who votes players into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Earlier this week he wrote on Ladainian Tomlinson's retitement, calling him the second greatest multi-purpose back in history...behind Marshall Faulk and ahead of Marcus Allen. Faulk and Allen won Super Bowls, but Lomlinson did not.

As usual, Herschel Walker was not mentioned, even though he retired with the most receiving yards for a running back in NFL history. How does Herschel compare to Faulk, Tomlinson, and Allen? King based his comparison on the most productive seven year span in thier careers.

HW...13652...1st 7 pro years, including 3 in the USFL
HW...10326...61...his 7 most productive NFL seasons.

Faulk averaged most yards per game and more yards per touch. Tomlinson averaged more yards per season. I didn't dig into Herchel's averages to such detail.

It would be nice if Herschel would just be mentioned in some of these comparisons.

Lazy Day

Lazy day yesterday. Ceil and I went for a walk, then we sat and read in your chairs overlooking the bay. Will wrote MC, then ran to the post office to mail the letter. C washed a load of clothes, and W and A went to Target. I took a nap. Aound 3 pm we all loaded in the van. Stopped by Publix, then dropped Anna at her friend Emily's condo, not fat past Silver Snads Outlets. Then we continues on to Seagrove Beach, to our friend's condo near Eastern Lake.

W and M went to the ocean with their boys, aged 16 and 13. C and I sat and talked inside with Reid and Noelle. Reid is a composer for Turner Networks. He is working on music for the NBA on TNT. Later we grilled burgers and dogs while C and Noelle sat on the beach. The boys were watching the Finals pregame. As the sun set we went out on the beach. Will's legs were so sore from sunburn that he just sat in the chair. Matthew and young Nathan went looking for crabs, so Reid and I walked about a mile chasing after them. Saw Bobby Bowden's house. The boys caught two large blue crabs and three smaller ghost crabs. We were all exhausted when we got home.

This morning C and I went for another walk. Now she's gone to Publix.

I'm glad I don't watch ESPN all the time. Tim Kujurkian makes me mad. He spoke as if "Roger Clemens was the greatest pitcher of his generation" was a fact, failing to mention Greg Maddux's accomplishments (more wins in less years, etc). Now Kujurkian talks about Ichiro not making it to 3000 hits, without mentioning the the 1200 hits he collected in Japan. His 3700-plus career hits place him fourth all time, if not third.

If I said the Yankees were in shambles, then I was wrong. There are playing they should, with their payroll. When is the last time they won a World Series?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Greatest Pitcher of His Generation?

Monday after Roger Clemens was found not guilty, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian quickly came to his defense, calling him the best pitcher of his generation, and arguing for his insertion into the Hall of Fame. While most 300 game winners are almost guaranteed first-ballot HOF entry, the shadow of steroids has put Clemens HOF status in considerable doubt. In that regard Roger has joined the ranks of McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, and Palmerio.

Kurkjian’s statement that Clemens was the best pitcher of his generation should not go unchallenged. Down south, purposely out of the media spotlight, Greg Maddux posted numbers superior to Clemens…without the hint of a steroid scandal.

Over their most productive 19 years:
Maddux won 15 games 18 times (17 in a row), and totaled 325 wins.
Clemens won 15 games 12 times (7 in a row), and totaled 312 wins.

Other Career Statistics:
Wins: Maddux 355, Clemens 354
Seasons: Maddux 23, Clemens 24
Games: Maddux 744, Clemens 709
Innings Maddux 5008, Clemens 4916
K/BB: Maddux 3.37 (24th all-time), Clemens 2.96 (44th)
WHIP: Maddux 1.143, Clemens 1.173

Who was the greatest pitcher of their generation? In my book, it was Greg Maddux.

Destin Day Two

Will went for an early run this morning, then tried his hand at fishing. Ceil and I walked up to the main highway and back. I think my right ankle is wearing out from the wear and tear of all these years...I don't know how I'll run the Peachtree in two weeks. 

It took us long enough, but we all finally made it out to the beach. Matthew and I went for a swim. W and A played bocce, then W and M tossed the football in the water. Later C, A, and M went back to make lunch. W and I stayed. I read the first 50 pages of Grisham's The Partner before Ceil came back with sandwiches. Later W, M, and I went for another swim. C, W, and M went in, and Anna and I stayed out on the beach and read. I got throught the first 110 pages or so. 

Another almost cloudless day, with a nice breeze. I let my feet get sunburned pretty bad. My muscle tears from last Wednesday were feeling better, until a day out in the ocean left me sore all over again. Will also got too much sun on his legs.

Ceil cooked a pork tenderloin, scalloped potatoes, and tossed a salad. Watched some of the college world series, then we all went for a drive around Destin. Stopped at the shopping center next to the Bass Pro Shop and walked around. A nice, cool evening. Swung by Publix on the way home. 

Anna's best friend Emily is in Destin this week, with her grandmother, sister, and cousin. I'm sure they'll find a way to meet up. One of Ceil's best freinds is here this week. We may wing up going out to dinner with them at some point. And Mary Elizabeth Teem took her morning constitutional along the same route that Will, Ceil, and I took. 

Looks like LeBron is locked in on winning the championship. I'm pulling for OKC as well. My old high school friend Peggy lives in OKC, and went to some of the games.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Destin: The Drive Down

The vacation is great so far. Ceil is happy...says she fells at home and doesn't want to leave. She took Will and Anna to Publix and Target and bought lots of groceries. Matthew and I went for a dip in the ocean. There was a little seaweed, so after a while we got out and sat and watched the waves and dried off. Walked back to the bat and watched some boats and jumping fish. Then we walked around, and over to the pool. Matthew swam, and I watched for the returning shoppers. Since we'd eaten out on the way down, we had lasagna and Ceasar salad while watching the US Open. After that I was pretty bushed.

Saturday we did laundry. I cleaned out the van, and packed all the beach stuff. Watched the US Open. Will did yardwork all day, from early to almost dark. After supper (chicken casserole) he and Matthew took our dog over to the Normans.

Sunday morning we didn't do too bad a job of getting packed and on the road. We left about 10:45. About 30 minutes into the trip Will realized he'd forgotten the fishing poles. Ceil forgot to eat, so we stopped on the other side of the Kia plant for her annual McDonald's cheesebuger kid's meal.

Since Anna and Matthew are more selective, we drove on to exit 9, just east of Montgomery. Matthew got a Moe's burrito, and the rest of us tried out Boardwalk Burgers. Known for thier fresh cut fries...I thought were pretty good, but not great. I like the burger better than Five Guys. Even though she'd already eaten, Ceil tried one as well.

We got back on 85, but the GPS had us get off at the next exit. We took Highway 231 south for a few miles, then 331 south through Luverne and Ott and Florala. Then some back roads turned into highway 285, which went all the way down to Valparaiso.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Braves/Yankees: Another BP Injury

Left work at 2:45, after a long day of being thrown under the bus for a problem created by a co-worker. My boss took up for me, and today’s required lecture from the old-school salesman wasn’t too bad.

Was supposed to meet Will and Joel at 3:15, but we didn’t leave the Normans until 3:40. They had gone kayaking on the Chattahoochee, and arrived back at the same time. Downtown traffic was bumper to bumper, but I dropped them off near the stadium around 4:10. I parked for free, but when I walked up the lines at all the gates were already quite long.

The outfield was packed for batting practice. I didn’t see my friends Johnny and Marshall…they probably ditched BP and went right to their seats. I put my Kimbrel bobblehead in my backpack, and put it on my back, in case I chased a ball. With unresolved issues at the office, I was monitoring email and making some calls.

Eventually a BP HR came right at me. I’d made up my mind to go hard after a ball, like Will. I had my glove, and I sure didn’t want a Yankee fan to get a ball. The ball was carrying over my head, so I reached high, leaned back, and left my feet. The ball hit off the top of my glove, and then I toppled back over the seat into the aisle. I scrambled to my feet, but the damage was done: my side hurt, and I pulled something in my lower abdomen. Could take weeks to recover, and my Peachtree Road Race status is now in jeopardy.

After BP Will found us seats right next to the Braves bullpen. We saw Hudson’s sweat and Livean’s playfulness with a rubber ball. Right before the game Kimbrel signed lots of autographs, and Joel shook his hand. Eddie Perez called the usher by name, and gave him a hug. I asked him if he’d talked to the Sullivan imposter, and he laughed. When Eddie saw that I was keeping score, he asked if I needed the lineup. Will said yes, and Eddie handed me a printed piece of paper. The rain was starting, and I was trying to keep my scorebook dry. I’m sure Eddie thought I was weird.

The rain continued, and we eventually moved for cover. We wound up sitting right in front of one of Will’s old teammates, Vince. The rain, lightning, and sunset provided beautiful visuals from our seats. It was obvious Atlanta’s northside was getting pounded by the rain. The breaks between innings were extended by the ESPN broadcast and the grounds crew constantly dumping drying agents on the infield.

Joel and I discussed the sometime far-fetched connections between the Yankee batter and the songs played by the organist. Three examples: “It’s a Grand Old Flag” for Curtis Granderson, The Beatles “Jet” for Derek Jeter, and “Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson” for Robinson Cano.

Two co-workers were at the game. Dennis and his family cheered for the Braves, and left early for a Varsity run. Jason showed his allegiance, wearing a Yankees polo. Chris could’ve gone: her brother called with his college buddy’s tickets. The buddy? Mark Teixeira.

We stayed until the end of the game: 10:47 pm. No rain walking to our car. Avoiding traffic, I snaked through downtown to Howell Mill. made it back to Joel’s in just over an hour after the game had ended. When I arrived home after midnight, Anna and Brittany were in the driveway practicing a song.

Upset Victory

One minute into Matthew’s basketball game Tuesday night, I thought it would be a blowout. The opposing Monday team had twin towers, two good shooting guards, and a rebounding small forward. M’s team had M (one RB all night), a short Mexican boy (good, but he never got the ball, a kid who was always tying his shoes instead of playing defense, and two good twins. The twins played the fab five to a draw.

Then both teams subbed out all five players. M’s team: a dark-haired boy who’d steal the ball but miss the layup, a blonde rebounder, and a good tall kid who made some shots. The Mondays had point guard Ryan, two decent players, and a tall kid who stayed outside and bricked shots. The Mondays led the whole game, but near the end the dark haired boy finally made a shot, then pressured an inbounds pass into a turnover. The brick shooter grabbed the ball and missed again, and M’s team won 42-41. It was bad coaching by the Monday coach. Ryan’s dad was livid. Hilarious.

A co-worker worked on an order for over a week, and when it blew up yesterday I stepped in to help out. In the frenzy I was communicating with at least nine people (D, M, M, C, C, D, C, B, S) and forgot one detail. At 6:30 pm when the miracle didn’t happen, I was the bad guy. This morning my co-worker has another blow-up, as well as another we’ve been working on that he swears won’t be a problem.

I went into Kroger Tuesday night as Venters was just coming in. My friend was working, so I told him the Braves were up 4-0. Got back in the car as ARod came up to bat.

Hilarious story about that Sullivan imposter. I told you the name didn’t ring a bell, especially with such short stature. I remember someone had a terrible arm, and it must’ve been him. I wasn’t close enough to see his socks.

Trying to get everything done, since we’ll be in Destin next week.

See Lang’s article about the Dream Team? I haven’t read it yet, though I certainly will. There’s also a related video I’ve got to watch.

June Reading List

Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, a novel by Anne Rice. Written by the legendary author after her conversion to Christianity, the book was recommended by Andy Stanley from the pulpit. The book details the life of seven year-old Jesus’ life, as imagined by Rice. I found the book just ok, but not riveting.

The Swinger, a novel by Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck. Fictional downfall of a Tiger Woods-like golf megastar. From Sports Illustrated Press.

The Summons, by John Grisham. A Mississippi-born law professor at UVA has to execute his judge-father’s will, but runs into trouble along the way.

The Testament, by John Grisham. The fight over a billionaire’s estate.  

American Assassin, by Vince Flynn. Another of the Mitch Rapp series of novels.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Old Timers Day

Saturday Ceil went to the Braves game with me. M and A didn’t want to go, so C felt sorry for me. I was ready to go by myself. I’m pretty sure it was her first game since Ozzie Guillen played for the Braves.  

The alumni softball game included Niekro, Dale Murphy, Smoltz, Denny Neagle, Sid Bream, Francisco Cabrera, Marty Perez, Otis Nixon, Terry Pendleton, and many more (a few I’d never heard of…Sullivan?).

I think that at the last minute a few non-92 Braves were moved over to even out the teams. Marty seemed to have a rough day, at the plate and in the field. They finally moved him over to first base. I kept hoping Hank Aaron would appear out of the dugout and bat just one time, like a Kirk Gibson moment.

The “managers” played it like their personalities. Nice guy Dale batted himself last, just after Knucksie. Smoltz batted himself first, just before Otis. Then shortstop Smoltz sprinted into foul territory and made a lunging catch, robbing the elderly Niekro of an at bat. At the plate it seemed like Smoltz was trying to pop up, swinging for the fences instead of trying to hit a line drive over the fence. Smoltz was all over the place, making diving catches. Niekro pitched the first inning, then sat out the rest of the game. He was one of few players wearing a full uniform…most were in shorts.

Marvin Freeman hammed it up. Pete Van Weiren would interview several principals during the game, but unless they announced who was batting, it was hard to tell Brizzoleira from Nitkowski from Alvarez.   

We arrived at the park shortly after 12:30, then there was no BP. We walked around a little, then sat in RF and watched the alumni warm up. After Hanson gave up his first hit to Johnson, we left our seats at the end of the inning and walked the around behind the plate and out the left field exit, a half inning after Simmons flew out to center (5 pm).

When we left Turner Field we went drove down Memorial Drive to Decatur . I’ve lived in Atlanta 35 years and had always heard of Tech High, but never knew where it was until we drove past it. Went to the Dekalb Farmers Market. I had woken up sneezing Saturday, and it just got worse and worse as the day went on. Went to bed around 9:30.

I did watch the Smoltz ceremony on TV….I thought it was nice as well. I guess Maddux spoke at lunch. Looking forward to the show with highlights from the luncheon. Some of those Foxworthy quotes were hilarious.

At the game used store they had several McLouth jerseys, and one Luis Salazar jersey. Several jerseys with the Ernie Johnson patch.

I’m looking forward to that Lincoln/vampire movie, and perhaps that Alex Baldwin rock movie. Watched several movies last weekend.     

Will spent the weekend in Jackson Mississippi, helping move MC’s sister into an apartment. Matthew has a basketball camp all this week, in the mornings.

Joel Norman and Haley Hurt are sitting behind the plate at tonight’s Braves game.

Friday night Ceil cooked homemade pizza. Then I drove Matthew to the bank, BP for gas, Home Depot, TJMaxx, WalMart, and two Krogers looking for a RedBox movie. That took up most of the evening.

I was still weak Sunday. Watched the Braves, and the Tony Awards. Joel came over and played cards, the piano while Matthew played guitar.

Will spent the weekend in Jackson Mississippi, helping move MC’s sister into an apartment. Matthew has a basketball camp all week, in the mornings. Also games Tuesday and Thursday.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Trivia: Castoffs Out-Point Hinges

It was a nice, cool evening outside on the patio. Two girls arrived wearing capes. Joel, Will, MC, Kevin, Haley, Michael, and Joel’s friend comprised the young DoorHinges. That left David, Margaret, Emily, and me to fend for ourselves.   
  1. Who sailed the ocean blue in 1492? When reading the question, Erin said “1942.” David and I corrected her. I should’ve said “McArthur.” It was Christopher Columbus, of course. Five points.
2. What is the common name for a butterfly larva? Caterpillar. Three points.
3. What type drum has vibrating wires running across its underside? David and I knew: Snare. One point.
4. What city is the country music capital of the US? Another joke opportunity, but we stuck with Nashville. Five points.
5. What legendary boxer lit the caldron at the Atlanta Olympics? Emily: “We were one year old!” Marciano? Max Weber? No. Muhammad Ali. Three points.
6. In 2004 who became the first billionaire from writing books? Emily had to help me with the spelling: J.K. Rowling. One point.
7. What is the ginkgo the world’s oldest example of? I immediately wrote down TREE. David had one in front of his house off Collier Road. Good thing we wagered five points, because we went on to miss the next two questions.
8. What language joins Chinese, English, Russian, French, and Spanish as the six official languages of the United Nations? I listed several possibilities. David must’ve zoned out when we were trying to determine India’s language. It was Arabic. A one point miss, but the DoorHinges got it right.
9. Which country owns the Canary Islands? I knew where they’re located, and wondered if they were owned by a nearby country. They are: Spain. A three point miss.
10. Name the compliment/opposite for the following colors: The girls went to work, and got two correct…four points.
At the half the DoorHinges were one behind the leaders. We were six back…ninth out of twelve teams.
11. In which movie did Michael J Fox utter the phrase “So my mother has the hots for me?” David knew: Back to the Future. Six points.
12. In pocket billiards, how many balls are placed in the triangular rack? I counted them out…15. Four points.
13. In which state has the highest wind speed been recorded? Tough one: New Hampshire. Only a two point miss.
14. What actor was the first to receive a Golden Globe nomination for lending his voice to an animated movie? David knew: Robin Williams. I bravely wagered six points, and David gave me a fist bump. I think the Hinges got this wrong, making this the difference in the game.
15. Who was the first president to be born in the 20th century? I knew: JFK. Four points.
16. What fruit crop is grown in more countries than any other? Chris and Kim Maiocco made an appearance, diverting attention from the game. I listed several fruits. Chris said that in his travels around the world he’d seen plenty of tomatoes, but not many bananas. Emily though grapes were more popular than bananas: “you know…wine!” It was bananas…a two point miss. Later David said he might’ve answered bananas.  
17. What state opened America’s first free public school? My guess was correct: Massachusetts. Two points. Wish I’d wagered more.
18. What does a coleopterist study? Huh? One team got it right: Beetles.
19. What is Cuba’s most common mammal? I joked “Well I know it isn’t BEETLES!” We considered mice or rats, and answered monkeys. It was Bats. No team got it right. Going into the final question we were third, twelve points behind the leaders…and one point ahead of the Hinges.
20. Spell these most commonly misspelled wordsI asked if there was a bonus for arranging them in alphabetical order.
…What hotels provide (starts with an “a”)…Accommodations. We left out the extra M.
…Where people are buried (does not start with a “g”)…Cemetery…three points.
…Comes after Eleventh…Twelfth…three points.
…Army rank…Gomer Pyle’s was named Carter…Sergeant…three points.
…Takes precedence over (starts with an “S”)…Supersede…I had a C in there.
Missing accommodate rankled David. Only two teams spelled four words correctly. The Hinges only got two. We finished one point out of second, but four points ahead of the Hinges.

Erin’s musical theme was “bangelala”…whimsical folksy tunes like “way down upon the swamp.” David requested the theme from the movie Deliverance, and she played it.