Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here Goes Nothing, Part II

For those of you who don't know, I coach the Frosh/Soph baseball team at BHS.  This will be my second year coaching.  As practice gets set to start on Monday, I am looking back at the lessons I learned from last year.

#1- Not everyone who tries out for the team has played before.
     Growing up I played a lot of baseball by the time I started high school.  I learned last year that some guys are ready to start their career during their freshman year of high school.  I must admit, I was not prepared to answer the following question, "Coach, can you teach me how to throw?"

#2- At the frosh/soph level there are no easy plays.
     Every time the ball was put in play, there was a feeling (sometimes weak, sometimes very strong) that something might go wrong.  Lightly hit grounders right at someone (through the legs), back to the pitcher (thrown over the 1st baseman's head), high fly balls (you name it, it happened) were all adventures at times.

#3- Throwing strikes is pure matter the speed.
     If you can throw strikes consistently, whether at 80 mph, 70mph...50mph, you will do well at the FS level.  I didn't have anyone who threw hard, but I had a few guys who could throw strikes.  It seemed that the slower the better...especially against good hitting teams.  They were so use to hitting faster pitches that they had difficulty adjusting to the slowness of our pitchers (at least a few times through the order, which hopefully wasn't after 2 innings.)

#4- The mercy rule is my friend.
    After 4 innings the mercy rule went into effect in the first 7 games last year (twice in our favor), 14 out of 25 games overall.

#5- There is no such thing as a single.
   Or a one base walk for that matter.  We had 277 stolen bases (in 25 games), while only being thrown out 8 times.  We threw out ZERO base runners (although we did pick off a handful of guys).  In one game we stole over 30 bases, while the other team swiped over 20.

Despite many challenges, I had a blast last year.  I'm living the dream...teaching/coaching baseball.  After home games, Jackson ran out on to the field and helped me drag the field (and by helped I mean he rode shotgun on the cart.)  We'll see how Brooklyn does this year now that she's mobile.  

So Monday the adventure begins.  We'll see how the talent is this year. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Abortion, Gay Men, and oh yeah, Football

With over a week to go before Super Bowl Sunday, we sure are hearing a lot about the commercials already.  By now you've probably heard about Tim Tebow and his mom talking about how the Pro-Life choice has worked wonders for them.  And you probably have heard about how some women's groups are up in arms over it.

"Women's Group Blast 'Divisive' Pro-Life Super Bowl Ads - Without Even Seeing It."

"An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year -- an event designed to bring Americans together," said Jehmu Greene, president of the Women's Media Center. (click here for the article).

HUH?  "Divide rather than to unite"...last time I checked, we are not all united in who we want to win the Super Bowl.  The biggest sports event of the year is exactly about dividing.

From what I've read, it's not going to be a graphic display of the abortion process.  "Some people will be surprised when they see the actual content of the ad. It's anything but the way it's been described with that fiery rhetoric."

Another commercial that is up for consideration is an ad for gay dating website.   

Looks like the commercials might actual be memorable (for better or for worse).  They have been a let down over the last few years.

As for the actual game, I'm on the fence.  I respect both teams and do not have a strong feeling one way or the other.  If I had to bet on the game, I'd bet on the Colts, but I wouldn't be that confident in that.  

I'm hoping for a 52-49 final pick the winner.   

Friday, January 22, 2010

McCourt Gets Back in the Game?

If you have been following this blog, even for a little bit, you've noticed that I am a fanatic of the Dodgers.  And you know that I have been riding the inactivity of the Dodgers this off season (as many baseball experts have been doing as well.)

But this article makes me want to vomit.

The title is "Dodgers' Frank McCourt gets back in the game."  What game is he playing?  It must mean he is dating, because the Dodgers are certainly cutting back.

In this article here are some interesting facts, followed by commentary.

"Season tickets are at the same level as last year."
     This is a good sign, money is still coming in.  The Dodgers were #1 in attendance last year.

"Mannion and General Manager Ned Colletti had consistently denied that McCourt would limit team spending because of the divorce case."
     You can say there are no spending restrains, but when you aren't spending money...forgive me for thinking otherwise...since...

"The Dodgers' opening-day payroll projects to be below $90 million for the first time since 2005 and the second time since 1999."
      What happened to all the talk about money not being an issue.  We can see money is still flowing in, but where is it going?  I'm not saying spend to spend, but I don't see why the Dodgers seem to be unable to offer Ben Sheets (Dodgers need another pitcher) or Felipe Lopez (they need a second baseman) a contract.  The Dodgers should have no problem having a payroll over $100 million.

So where is the money??

"I'm very, very excited about this team. This is a team that almost got to the World Series last year and is basically coming back intact."
     Basically, except for a 2nd baseman and a #1 starter.  Those two spots are important.  There is still time left to fill those holes.  Time will tell.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can You Imagine?

Hugo Chavez has a great imagination and obviously is a big fan of Sci-Fi movies.  He believes the U.S.A. is responsible for the earthquake in Haiti.  Apparently we have a way to create earthquakes at will.  

Chavez points out that the U.S. has sent military personnel to Haiti with the guise of offering aide, but the real mission is to occupy the country.

This is the same Chavez that blames capitalism for the climate crisis.

So as you can see, he's pretty smart.

Chavez also points to the documentary of ABC on Wednesday nights that shows the U.S. has other mind boggling powers.  In the documentary it shows how the U.S. has the ability to move islands from place to place, which also enables time travel.  He admits to being "LOST" at times while watching the documentary.  

Speaking of LOST, I am a little nervous that in this final season that is it just going to get crazy weird and leaving us with something to be desired (that's what she said.)


As John Wooden Said

The Dodgers have been busy lately.  They have locked up their young players to one or two year deals.  They have been "spending money" on guys they already had.  They signed Vincente Padilla today for just over $5 million for one year.  This did address one issue.

Unfortunately they still are short a legitimate major league ready second baseman and they need another starter.  Word is, though, that they are done spending.  I hope this is just a negotiation ploy because they really need another starter.

Despite all this activity, they still haven't really plugged many holes.  As John Wooden said, "Never mistake activity for achievement."

4 weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Father Knows Best

There is an old remedy that I grew up with that can cure what ails you.  No matter the symptoms, there were three things you should do to get right back on top.  

Step 1: Drink lots of water.

Step 2: Take some Tylenol.

Step 3:  Get more sleep.

That is the magic potion that we were given for headaches, colds, flus, broken legs, severed finger, and the like.

For example, I had a cold and I followed the program and I recovered in about 10 days.  The next time I was sick, I didn't follow the program and got better in a week and a half.  

So thank you dad for the best way to recover from illness.  I'll be sure to continue to pass this along to my family and friends.

Here are some facts to help back up some of what my dad has been preaching:

The following will probably amaze and startle you. cid:7B01B2A3ED344970A4F08E5800ABA1CB@donqfw8dqgdl1h
One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University study.

Lack of water 
is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Preliminary research indicates that 
8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. 

A mere 2% drop in body water
 can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily 
decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. 

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?
(No kidding, all of the above are true...)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hall of Fame

Baseball players from the "Steroids Era" are now up for Hall of Fame selection.  Each year more and more players from this era will be debated on whether or not they should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  I obviously do not get a vote, but like many people, I do have a view on how to handle this batch of players.

You have two choice.  First one is: No One Gets In.  It is impossible to guess who took a bite out of the apple and who did not.  Sure you could look at spikes in stats, particular in hitters, but I'm guessing there were a lot more pitchers than most people think.  So throw the baby out with the bathwater and lock them out.

The other choice makes more sense to me: pick the best guys from the era to represent the era in the Hall of Fame.  McGwire, Bonds (that's painful), Clemens, A-Rod, and the gang of studs get their ticket to Cooperstown, NY.  But I would have a mark on their plaque that denoted that they a) admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, or b) were under heavy suspicion that they used performance enhancing drugs.

Baseball has had many different eras.  The Dead Ball Era comes to mind, yet there is nothing held against those players for playing in that time.  Steroids is the black sheep part of baseball's history.

The baseball writers who vote on whether or not these players to get into the Hall are the same guys that gave these players all those awards.  Bonds, Sosa, McGwire were all winning MVP awards.  Clemens won SEVEN Cy Young Awards.

Bonds...don't get me started.  (Check out his rookie card)


Maybe they didn't know exactly how, but they had to have know something was up.

Being a Dodger fan and watching Eric Gagne doing his thing was exciting.  But my friends and I knew he didn't just become the most dominant reliever over night after being AWFUL as a starter.

Clemens went 40-39 in his last four seasons with Boston.  Boston thought he was done and let him go.  He heads up north to Toronto (where Canseco was playing at the time) and he goes 41-13 in two years!!!  Click here for his career stats.

My point is...if MLB, the Player's Union, owners and fans all were enjoying the ride of wave of offense in the Steroids Era, don't lay ALL the blame on the players.  Own up to this part of your history, pick the best of the best in the Era to be in the Hall.  And let's move on.  Please, please, more Jose Canseco!!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Big Mac Admits Big Lie

Mark McGwire was an amazing athlete who fell to temptation of using steroids (to help with recovering from injury, or so he says).  This bit of information is not news since most people who watched him or looked at his stats had huge suspicions that he was in fact a user.  This news would be classified under the "No $#!t" file.

From what I remember McGwire never lied about being a user.  At Congress he said he wasn't there to talk about the past which made him look like a coward.  But to his credit he didn't lie (unlike the famous Palmeiro scene). 

There have been a list of guys who have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, but that list is small compared to those who are still under suspicion or who have been caught but blamed it on someone else (Manny Ramirez).  Now we can add McGwire to the not-so-bad list. 

The typical American sports fan (and American in general) want people to be upfront about their mistakes, especially when you are caught.  Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, a host of other baseball players (Pete Rose), and Tiger Woods could all take a page out of McGwire's book.  Maybe don't hide out for as long as McGwire did, but either way come clean about your dirt.

The truth really does set you free.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Say WHAT!!!!

Billy Bob is driving down the country road and gets pulled over for speeding.  He receives his ticket and pays the $250 fine.  Three days later he comes into huge money and is now a multi-millionare.  To celebrate he takes a trip to France to buy his dream car.  After purchasing his car, he tests it out to see what it's made of.  He rips through the gears, passing triple digits.

Then he sees flashing lights behind him, chuckling at getting another ticket within a week.  He thinks to himself, "I wonder how much speeding tickets are here."  He continues to laugh thinking with his fortune, and wondering how bad could it be.

The officer lets him know the infraction, and Billy Bob gladly signs it.  Billy Bob asks, "So how much will I owe for this?"  The officer asks, "Well what are you worth?"  Billy proudly replies, "I'm worth $400 million.  Just came into the money."

The officers starts busting up laughing.  Billy Bob is starting to get annoyed, "What's so funny?"  The officers replies, "We'll you see, here in little ole France we fine based on how wealthy you are.  So my best guess is it will cost you about $245,000."

Billy Bob turns ghostly white and thinks, "F'n French!"

**This story was inspired by the following article:,2933,582722,00.html?test=latestnews

Friday, January 8, 2010

You Can Find ANYTHING at Walmart These Days

Walmart is a giant when it comes to retail sales.  They actually do have great deals if you can stand the herd that is known as Walmart shoppers.  The place is always packed, and has a variety in clientele.  I don't know anyone who has lived in Alabama, but when I think of Alabama and Walmart, a certain connection comes to mind.

Alabama won the NCAA National Championship in football last night.  And now they are headed to Walmart with their trophy.  (Insert joke here).

Speaking of what is available at Walmart and the clientele...these things are also available to view at Walmart.  Enjoy.

A Not So Top 10 (via

She has nice love handle warmers.

It is nice when she dolls herself up when she leaves the RV.

I bet you don't believe this was her prom dress.

Haircut at the Cuttin' Corral gone wrong (Napoleon Dynamite).

Suspenders aren't back, but here is an alternative.

Killer boots man!

She is such a big fan of a suicide slurpee from 7-11.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service...maybe adding No Pants on that list would be helpful.

Definition of a ladies man.

Kentucky waterfalls...Mississippi Mudflaps...10/ in the front, party in the back.

Did they forget the Cheese Whiz?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Loving It!!!

Every baseball fan looks forward to passing on their love for the game and the Dodgers (or some other team I guess) to their children.  I've been hard at work on this since Jackson joined the scene.  Jackson has gone to a handful of baseball games over the last few years.  Brooklyn also made it to her first game last year.

We all made it to the last game of the year.

Jackson loves going to Dodger games.  He especially likes all the treats that are available.  So it is safe to say he is well on his way to gaining an appreciation for (Dodger) baseball.

So the real test came this Christmas, as I got him some whiffle balls, a bat, and a tee.  To my excitement he asked if he could go hit the balls outside the same day he got the gift (Christmas Eve).  Christmas morning came and even with the excitement of more presents he asked to go hit balls again.

He was not interested in many tips.  So I let him go for it.

Turns out he is a lefty (throwing too).

He was hitting line drives and grounders to the 5.5 hole (between shortstop and 3rd base) ala Gwynn

He did a great job of keeping his eye on the ball.

I even got him to run around a makeshift baseball diamond.  Fun times!

**Credit to Mrs. Rebecca Street for her photography skills