Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Two Close Ones and other stuff

This time last year, the baseball team was 1-3. This year, we are 4-0! The last two games have been close ones. Saturday, we kept the game close until the 3rd inning when we gave up a lot of runs because of walks and steals. Zack did hit another double, this time on a fly ball to left. He is hitting so much better this year. Bottom of the 3rd, we were out of time so it was our last at bat, we were down 14-8. Our #7 hitter led off the inning with a hard line drive right up the middle, his first hit of the year. A couple of walks and steals later, we're only a couple of runs down and it's looking like we might actually have a chance. A hit by our #4 hitter scored a couple to tie it and he ended up on 3rd. I told him he was the winning run and to get to home plate however he could. A couple of pitches later was the 4th ball on the batter and the catcher threw the ball back to the pitcher, who turned around and started shuffling back to the mound not looking. The player on 3rd just casually started walking toward home and when he got halfway, took off. If the pitcher had thrown it, he might have got him out, but he tried to run to the plate instead. Ballgame.

Last night, was another close one. After 2 innings, it was tied 6-6. We scored 1 in the top of the 3rd, with the same steal by the same player as Saturday. We put in a new pitcher and just shut the other team down in the bottom of the 3rd. We still had time, so I was hoping we'd get some more runs as padding in the top of the 4th, but they had their ace pitcher in as well and no one was hitting. They get up for their last at bat at the top of their lineup and we start off with a strikeout. Next two batters walk. Now they have 2 of their fastest kids on base and their #4 hitter up with 1 out. It's not looking good for us at this point. A hit to the outfield is almost guaranteed to score the two baserunners. First pitch is a strike. 2nd pitch, the boy smacks a hard line drive to the right side of the field. I didn't even have time to think "It's over" before it was over, but not in the way I thought. Because Zack was playing 2nd base and the ball left the bat and about a half second later was grabbed out of the air by Zack's glove. The runner on first was headed to 2nd and before he knew what was going on, Zack tagged him. Unassisted double play and ballgame. He got the game ball for that.

I never posted anything about my trip to Cleveland to see Dream Theater. Alec and I drove up on a Saturday (August 11th), caught the show, crashed in a nice hotel and drove back the next day. It was an 8 hour drive, but it was worth it. It was a great show and the people in Cleveland were very nice. I had always had a bad impression of people from Ohio, but everyone was cool. I was wearing my Rush Snakes & Arrows shirt and Rush was coming to Cleveland on the 30th, so I had several people (even a cop) ask me if I had already seen them and how it was. It was great getting to spend that drive time with Alec too. From talking with other fathers of teenagers, I consider myself extremely lucky that I can spend 16 hours in a car with my son and we actually have conversations and don't argue.

I've also started school again. I'm doing the RODP (the online degree program), majoring in Organizational Leadership. I'm taking 2 classes this semester, hoping to increase after I get back in school mode. I have US History and Music Appreciation. I'm hoping to finish my bachelor's degree before Alec goes to college.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Season of Baseball

Well, I am coaching Zack's fall ball team again this year. We've got a more solid team this year. They did a blind draft this year, so it was pretty much luck of the draw. I ended up getting 2 kids that were on the team last year. We started the season on Saturday with a 7-5 win. Zack hit a double that would have been a triple if he had been watching me signal him to round 2nd and keep coming to 3rd. It worked out cause he ended up stealing 3rd and home anyway.

Last night, we had a great night of baserunning. We won 10-7 on 3 hits and only 1 RBI. That means we had a lot of steals. 23 if I counted them right (which I probably didn't). Of course, a lot of those were on wild pitches or errors, which would mean they don't really count as steals, but these guys are 9 & 10 (some are only 8), so I keep simplified stats.

And before I get any angry emails from the soccer infested, competition in kids sports is bad, the only score should be how much fun did we have? crowd, let me say a few things. 1) The stats I keep are available to the parents/kids however, unless the parent shares the URL with them, they don't know how to get to them. 2) I do not talk about the stats in practice/games, or even tell them I keep them. 3) the only reason I keep the stats is because I have a terrible memory and often my first impression sticks. I only use the stats to make the lineup. At this level, every player hits, so I'm not using them to choose who doesn't get to play. And truthfully, I don't really look at batting avg. I look more at on base % (OBP). I put the kids that get on base the most at the top of the lineup. 4) The kids have fun whether they win or lose and that is the most important thing. But teaching them not to compete at all will not help them later in life.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And it begins...

Aging Road May Lead to Tax Hike

Tragedy is to politicians what a bell was to Pavlov's dogs. It enables them to pluck the heartstrings of the general public while pulling money out of their pocket with the other hand. Every time there is a disaster, they line up in front of the cameras and talk about how we need to increase funding for .

The only thing that makes a politician salivate more than a disaster is war. That enables them to control you, not just your money.

Congress Backs Foreign Wiretaps

The 4th Amendment already looked like it had gone 9 rounds against Muhammad Ali, and it just took even more of a beating. It's on its last legs for sure. The gov't keeps infringing our rights in the name of security, and we just keep taking it. Do you feel safer now?