Sunday, June 17, 2007

My first real baseball game

Last night was suppose to be the big night and it was a really cool experience until the rain came in hard from left field. There was an announcer, and all the teams were on the field and then the rain came and we were canceled.
So today (fathers day) was my first official game. My arm felt like crap from the beginning. I think I can pitch 4 innings every two weeks. I struck out 3 in 3 plus innings, 4 hits, 2 earned runs (2 more runs were scored with the help of 4 errors) and I gave up a hr, and hit a batter. It was semi pleased with the outing.
My hitting was a different story. I doubled in my first ab, and drove in 2. I singled and scored a run in my second ab. When I was taken out of the game in the 4th we were up 6-4. When I came up for the third time it was tied in the bottom of the 8th. Runners were on first and second with no body out. I was figuring I would get a hit and win the game. Well the coach had other thoughts, he comes up to me right before my at bat and says bunt. In all my years of baseball I have never bunted in a game. I was shocked and look at him a second time, he gives me the you had better bunt look. I just start laughing. So I bunted and with my blazing speed I beat out the bunt. (So I ended going 3-3.) The next batter hit a ball between first and second and we won the game.
The coach gives game balls out after every win and I got my first game ball ever in baseball. I get to pitch again in two weeks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My first high school coaching experience

A couple of months ago I wrote how I had volunteered to assist with coaching a high school baseball team. I am now assisting with their summer schedule. Last night the head coach was busy so he asked me to fully coach the team. Of course the game he asked me to coach was against the team that just lost in Semi-State and was extremely good. The good news is we won 3-0 and I am now 1-0 as a coach. :) The game didn't go off without it's interesting moments. Of course there was a practical joker on the team I was coaching who decided to see what I was made of. He tried to run onto the field and play third with hospital goggles on. Then there was our pitcher who didn't enjoy the mound and was trying to loosen up the dirt and kicked some of the dirt/clay into the grass and the coach on the other team started yelling at him. The best part was of course when we scored our first run of the game. One of the slower players was on first base and I thought I was giving the bunt signal to the hitter of course it was the steal sign and the kid started running to second and would have been out by ten feet except it was a horrible throw and it landed in center field. he later scored home on a double steal. Beginners dumb luck.
I get to pitch in my first game this Saturday night against the league champion from last year. I have started to gel with my all spanish team. They decided since I was the only one not of spanish decent to give me a nickname- paco. If anyone would be interested in seeing our first game it is saturday night 7 pm at the Highland Babe Ruth field. (94 west to Kennedy ave, kennedy south to the bowling alley take a left, at the first stop sign take a left and the field is behind the softball fields). If nothing else I got a pretty sweet jersey out of the deal. I am the starting pitcher so get there early it could be a short night.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Long live the amish

I want to share about my kids and about a crazy Prison experience
My Kids-
My kids crack me up on a regular basis. This week my kids were waiting for Jill to come home and they were getting antsy. I was just messing with them so I asked "What does mommy look like? Maybe she is already here." Ellyse (my daughter) looks at me and says "Mommy looks like us except with Annie hair." (She is a big fan of the Annie movie)
The other night after being in bed for about an hour Ayden (my youngest son) comes down stairs sleepily and asks "Is it morning yet?"
How can one not have humor when you have kids in your life.

My strange/bizzare prison experience-
I had an opportunity to help in Prison this week with a group called Christmas behind bars and their ministry was to give inmates food and gifts. The group who I helped out with was a very diverse group. Amoung the group was some sort of televangelist, his television crew, and disciples. Then there was also an Amish group. The goal as I understood them were the was to give the inmates these gifts in the shortest amount of time possible. They were told they were not to preach at them or spend time in long indepth conversations because of time constraints. The first cell house we go in the televangelist gets at the bottom of the tiers and starts preaching, ranting, and raving. His television crew was there to video tape his every word and step. While he was doing his self promotion. The amish were carrying large bags of food up the tiers of prisoners in 90 degree heat. It was just a strange situation passing out food in a max security prison with a bunch of amish.
There were a couple of other moments that really stuck in my mind from that day: One was- the televangelist was walking through the prison and the television crew was riding in laundry carts with a foam/fluffy microphone over his head and his followers were affirming his every word as he was ranting about all the problems with society. Seeing the way he totally disrespected the whole prison system, the guards, and the chaplains really rubbed me the wrong way.
The there was the amish who didn't say much but were willing to do whatever it took to make sure the job was done. They were a joy to work with and watch work. We were pushing laundry carts full of food to one of the cell houses and I was pushing one cart and this amish chap named Jonny was pushing another. I realized half way to the destination that he was racing me. So of course I tried speeding up. (What chance does a middle age fat man have against anyone who is of the amish work ethic). After Jonny passed me he looks over and says "that is what I call road rage." I never thought I would ever hear an Amish use the word road rage.
It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this group had on both the prisoners and the prison system (guards, administration etc.) I was impacted by both the televangelist and the amish, and there was one that I would love to be like and there was one that totally disgusted me.