I found this one hatching in my backyard this morning. A gift from the Easter Bunny?
I found this one hatching in my backyard this morning. A gift from the Easter Bunny?
Is it just me, or, is it odd that it’s near impossible to find a website for them?
Anyone have any experience with backyard batting cages? What would you recommend? Cimarron, Xtender, Muhl, Power Alley, Jugs..something else?
And, no, this is not my kid’s team. Just found this randomly today.
Last night, I met some very old friends for dinner at a pub. At one point, we all started coughing.
Not just us – it was everyone. It was the people sitting in tables around us. And, it was the entire wait staff.
It was out of control. No one could stop.
But, while it was painful, we were all laughing because the whole place was coughing and it was uncontrollable. It was like a scene from a funny movie.
The source? Turns out that it was jalapeno peppers on a sizzle platter. (I asked and that’s what I was told.)
Anyone else ever experience something like this?
…but, I didn’t. At least not on the outside. Here’s the story:
My son, who will be 9-years old in a couple of months, plays just two team sports now: Baseball and basketball.
He plays on a “rec” team and a travel team in both sports. And, for the last couple of months, this has been somewhat hectic for us since he has at least two basketball practices and two basketball games each week. On top of that, he has travel baseball practice (indoors) at least once a week (and sometimes twice a week) since the start of January.
On the good side, basketball is winding down. His last “rec” game was yesterday and his last regular travel hoops game was today. But, now, Little League baseball is starting soon too.
In fact, today, my son had his second Little League “Evaluation” scheduled for this afternoon – where they scout players and assign a rating on them for the Little League draft (where they seed teams).
However, in addition to his last travel hoops game this morning, his travel team was also playing in a tournament at the same time of his scheduled Little League “Eval.” (The “Eval” sessions are broken down by age and the slot for 9-year olds conflicted with his tournament game.)
We’re a “baseball family.” So, I told my son that he would have to skip the tournament game and go to the “Eval.” But, when we got there, one of the league officials – who also has a son on the travel hoops team – told me to skip the “Eval” and go to the tournament game. He said, since my son went to the first “Eval,” that he was already rated and we were good. And, if we still wanted to do it, that we could come back at another session later in day.
As it turned out, the only session later in the day was the one for 12-and 13-year old boys.
Yet, no matter the age, it’s the same drill in the “Evals” – the have you field some grounders from third and make the throw to first, you shag some flies in center and throw the ball to the plate, you get some hacks on the cage off the jugs pitching machine, and then you pitch a bit to a catcher while someone takes notes on your throwing. (It’s all indoors, under a bubble.)
In these departments, my soon to be 9-year old has no issues. In fact, since he’s been doing indoor baseball workouts for the last seven weeks, he’s practically in mid-season form. Today was no different for him than a workout with his travel team – and he was fine (even after playing two basketball games earlier in the day).
That said, I saw a number of 12-and 13-year olds out there who could not make a throw from third to first. And, some of them and a few others were having an awkward time in the outfield and making those throws home. They were really struggling with the plays that my son was making – even though he’s not yet nine and at least three years younger than them.
Why did this make me sad? It wasn’t their failure that I found upsetting. More so, I was touched by their wanting to be out there and playing baseball even though it was clearly not something that came natural or easy for them. At their age, it would be easy to say “I’m not very good at this and I’m not going to do it anymore.” But, for love of the game, they were still out there and giving it their best.
Seeing that is what choked me up. Bless those guys. I hope they continue to chase the dream as long as they can…because playing baseball, no matter how well you do it, is better than throwing in the towel at the game, every time.
Via the AP -
The Harbaughs, San Francisco’s Jim and Baltimore’s John, will be the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in the NFL title game.
The game in New Orleans on Feb. 3 was quickly given all manner of nicknames: The Brother Bowl. The Harbaugh Bowl. The Har-Bowl. The Super-Baugh.
The Harbaughs’ sister, Joani Crean, wrote in a text to The Associated Press: “Overwhelmed with pride for John, Jim and their families! They deserve all that has come their way! Team Harbaugh!”
As John prepared to coach the Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday night, he watched on the stadium’s big video screen as Jim’s 49ers wrapped up the NFC championship.
John looked into a nearby TV camera, smiled broadly and said: “Hey, Jim, congratulations. You did it. You’re a great coach. Love you.”
Less than four hours later, the Ravens won, too. Some siblings try to beat each other in backyard games. These guys will do it in the biggest game of all.
Who’s a parent to cheer for?
During the 2011 regular season, the Harbaughs became the only brothers to coach against each other in any NFL game (the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving Day that year).
Did Marcel Lachemann and Rene Lachemann ever face off on each other?
Can’t believe I missed this good story back in August.
He stands at the plate
with his heart pounding fast.
The bases are loaded,
the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him,
he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment
would send his team home.
The ball meets the plate,
he swings and he misses.
There’s a groan from the crowd,
with some boos and some hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries,
“Strike out the bum.”
Tears fill his eyes,
the game’s no longer fun.
So open up your heart
and give him a break,
for it’s moments like this,
a man you can make.
Please keep this in mind
when you hear someone forget,
He is just a little boy,
and not a man yet.
Just for kicks and giggles, I watched the pilot of Prison Break tonight (on DVD). Every time I see Stacy Keach, I think of Brian Sabean – and vice versa. Is that just me?
Staged, perhaps, but, touching, nonetheless.
I am still way too down after the Yankees ALCS showing to talk about baseball or the Bombers. Right now, as far as baseball goes, if it’s not my 8-year old’s travel team, I don’t care…
But, I will talk about something else now.
This morning, I ran a 5K race.
For a lot of people, that’s not a big deal. But, for me, it’s somewhat interesting. And, here’s why:
I never, ever, in my life, was a “runner.” It was just not my thing and I had no interest in it.
But, once I got myself into very good shape, back in 2007 when I was 44-years old, I decided to give it a try.
Back then, people were always telling me “Oh, you must be a runner” (based on the way that I looked). And, it didn’t stop…as I kept hearing it for a few years.
It started getting annoying to keep saying “no,” and, that drove me to hit the road and give running a try.
It was in January of 2011 that I started the “The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan.” At that time, I was 48-years old.
It was hard for me – but, again, I was running for the first time in my life at age forty-eight.
I finished the “C25K” program in March of 2011. Afterwards, I started running my own personal 5K’s – until I decided to run my first “real” race in November of that year (when I was 49-years old).
Counting that first race, and the one today, I have now run seven 5K races in the last eleven months. And, I usually finish well within the “Top 30%” of overall finishers and my average time in the races is 25 minutes and 24 seconds.
I’ll turn fifty next month and I plan on continuing to run 5K races. (I’m scheduled to run two more before I turn fifty.) My goal is to get faster. But, again, for a guy who never ran for 48 years, and who just started, I think I am doing pretty good.
My kids asked me today “Why do you run?” And, my answer to them was the obvious one: I want to improve on my cardiovascular health – just as I am always looking to improve my nutrition and strength, watching what I eat and going to the gym.
What’s the point of sharing all this? Hey, if I can do it, starting at a pretty late age, anyone can do it. And, I offer that with the hope that it helps you – in case you were thinking about getting out there and starting running too.
Taking a break from the Yankees and baseball right now…
I am in the process of reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.”
The women in my life are giving me a lot of grief over my decision to read it. But, that’s not stopping me. And, I’m more than 40% into it as a write this post.
I have to share that I am loving this book, so far. Of course, I consider myself an Arnold fan. (Yeah, I know…he used PEDs and cheated on his wife. But, what bodybuilder wasn’t juiced in the 1970′s when drugs, in general, were liberally used. And, how many other politicians have been caught having affairs?)
In any event, if you’re a fan of Schwarzenegger because of his bodybuilding and/or movie career, you will want to check out his book. It’s an amazing life and he’s a great storyteller:
On Saturday, the manager of my 8-year old son’s baseball travel team asked me if I would help out and keep score of the game (on the team’s scorecard). It was no problem and a pleasure to help out. And, it was the first time that I was able to be in the dugout with this team.
Sadly, the game was a mismatch for my son’s team. Their opponent had some kids who were very good. And, it seemed like every time they had runners on, the batter on their team would smoke the ball and/or they would hit it to one of the lesser skilled defensive players.
Also, the other team’s pitcher was on the money – and our team was going three up and three down too often.
At the end of three innings, we were down, seven-zip. And, to anyone paying attention, it seemed worse than that.
Everyone so often, one of the kids on our team would ask me “What’s the score?” or “How many outs are there?” And, it was no problem to tell them.
After five innings, they were losing, ten to three. And, one of the kids asked me for the score. After that, as we were batting in the top of the sixth, I saw three of our kids huddled up in the dugout, having this conversation:
Player 1: What’s the score?
Player 2: It’s ten to three.
Player 3: Really? Who’s winning?
Gosh, it must be great to be eight or nine years old and have an absolutely clear head, huh?
I still laugh out loud, every time I hear that line.
[Respond in the way that you think is appropriate when you hear that phrase.]
Yesterday morning, we had to put one of my dogs down.
It was a sudden thing. With almost no warning, her body just gave out.
She had a full and great life. She turned 15 years old last June. So, in dog years, she was something like 106 years old. She was very much loved and gave us back a ton of love in return.
My wife and I knew that this day would be coming, eventually. Not too many medium sized dogs make it to fifteen. But, we were still very sad yesterday – and still are today.
My kids, who are eight and ten, are very upset. This dog has been with them for their whole life.
We got another dog when they were two and four. And, he’s still with us – and is a wonderful dog. And, that helps them now. But, it doesn’t change the pain they are dealing with at this time.
In any event, it was great that the Yankees won yesterday…in the fashion that they did it. Last night, as their bed time approached, was very difficult for the kids with everything that went on that day. The shock of everything was really taking root. And, for my son, our younger child, the game was a good distraction (at times).
So, thanks, Yanks – even more than usual – for the win.
As my 8-year old son prepares for his Fall Ball season this year – and he will be playing on two teams, one in Little League and the other one being a Travel squad – we’ve been spending a lot of time fine tuning his swing over the last seven weeks.
At this point, I have it down where he needs to concentrate on four elements of the swing: A short and firm stride back towards the pitcher, having a rotational explosion of the hips so that his bellybutton faces the pitcher, leading with the knob of the bat towards the path of the pitched ball, and, then, finally, extending his elbows/arms to attack the baseball.
Since he’s eight, he does better when he sees something and then has a chance to mimic it over and over again to get it down. So, I have been looking at sundry YouTube clips to find stuff that I can share with him that he can play on his iPod.
Recently, I found this beauty – it shows everything that I am stressing with him, it’s short, and has catchy music to grab his attention. (Anything with too much narration and/or that’s drawn out loses his attention quickly.)
If anyone knows of any other clips out there that would be helpful, please feel free to share the URLs in the comments section herein. And, thanks in advance for your assistance here.
No posts from yours truly this afternoon. Have fun without me.
This is the game I was telling you about on Thursday. Gotta love that crazy hop and the walk-off!
Friday was a washout and they will play now today.
So, this morning, during breakfast, my son and I are watching the baseball highlights from last night on Quick Pitch. And, they were showing the Cubs game.
As we are viewing it, he says that Wrigley Field looks nice.
To this, I tell him that they mostly play day games there, and, until somewhat recently, they used to play only day games at Wrigley.
He was surprised to learn this – and it makes sense that it’s news to him since he’s only 8-years old.
Seeing his reaction, I told him that night games were not always played. I explained that they started, for the most part, when Grandpa (my father) was a young boy. And, that back when Babe Ruth played, all the games were played during the day.
His eyes got wide when I told him this and he said “That’s cool. I wish it was like that now. You know how I can’t stay up and watch the end of the game now? I would never miss a game if they were all played during the day.”
When he said that, I then explained to him that it would not be as nice as he thought since the games were played when people were in school or at work.
His answer? “That’s O.K. – because I could still watch the replay.”
As you can see, we were not done here yet. After his comment, I then explained that there were no games on T.V. on a regular basis back then – and that having them televised, on a regular basis, is something that’s only like 50 years old. “Back when they played all the game during the day,” I told him, “the only way people found out about the game was listening on the radio or reading about it in the newspaper.”
“Yeah, but, I could still get the scores on my iPod” was his answer to my information.
At this point, all I could do was laugh.