Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Death Of The 11 O'Clock Sports Report

I grew up in a wonderful time. If you wanted sports news, there were two choices. Wait for the news to come on, or wait for the next days newspaper. There was no internet, no scroll at the bottom of the screen, no mobile phones to give you sports news and scores at your fingertips. No up to the minute anything. You had to wait. ESPN was in its infancy.
Which brings me to the topic at hand. The late night news sports segment. It usually started at about twenty minutes into the newscast. I had three great sportscasters to choose from. On KOVR channel 13, there was the loud and obnoxious Steve Somers. KXTV channel 10 featured the young and brilliant Stuart Sato. On KCRA channel 3, good old Creighton Sanders. 
My mom would watch channel 13 for her news. I can remember the fall of 1982, trying to see if the Dodgers won or lost. I was a live and die everyday Dodger fan growing up. I worshipped the Dodgers. 
Steve Somers HATED them, and he let everyone know it. He bashed them all the time. Somers was once known as the man everyone in Sacramento loves to hate. I actually liked him. He made his sportscasts fun, always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. You knew by watching him he loved sports. 
I can remember sneaking down the hallway just far enough so I could see the TV. I would be as quiet as possible. Of course I would try too hard to be quiet and make a noise. My mom would shout, "Go to bed! It's late!" I would give her the "Oh mom it's the Dodgers!" routine, but she wouldn't hear of it. So off to bed I went happy if they won or sad if they lost. To make a long story short, they lost the division by one lousy game. On the last day of the season at Candlestick, Joe Bleeping Morgan hit a homerun to end the Dodgers season. He became my personal Bucky "Fucking" Dent. That's probably how my hatred towards him started. 
As I got older I got perks to stay up later. Steve Somers moved away, so I started to watch Stuart Sato as often as I could. He was very articulate, soft spoken, no gimmicks. He just gave you the scores and highlights very clearly. He wasn't a homer. He was a football guy from what I remember. Football guy meaning he loved football. If you wanted to watch a football guy, that would have been Wayne Walker out of San Francisco. Great sportscaster! He always wore his emotions on his sleeve, but in a good way. He was excited about sports and his job! 
Now if you wanted to watch a old school sportscaster, you tuned into channel 3 to watch Creighton Sanders. He had the gravelly voice from probably smoking too many cigars. His sportscasts were the best. I would have loved to have sat down with him and heard his stories! He was like your grandfather or favorite uncle. You trusted him, you looked forward to seeing him. I always remember that voice. 
Then in the 90's, things changed. ESPN grew and grew and eventually became the all mighty, all powerful sports network. CNN had a great sports show. Key word in that sentence was HAD. ESPN killed it. ESPN destroyed everything. Changed everything.
The days of your local sportscaster were numbered. Hell, some of them eventually worked for ESPN. 
The days aren't numbered anymore, they are in the past. 
Now we are surronded by the smarmy, smart ass, shock jock at times sportscasters. They try to be as big if not bigger than the event they are covering, and also they love to hear themselves speak. (Cough Dan Patrick cough!)
Some of them try to hard to be the sports version of Walter Kronkite. (Stuart Scott). 
I had ambitions to be a sportscaster. Those dreams were quickly crushed in high school. 
Sometimes I ask myself, "Could I have been one of those guys?" I think I could have if I really put my heart and soul into it. I don't think I could have been Bob Costas, but I think I could have been Chris Rose. He's a fucking dork, but I could have been him.
So now that I can stay up way past 11pm now, I don't watch any of the national sports shows. Sports Center is a popularity contest. It's filled with who's hot at the moment. Nothing that really interests me. 
I just miss that five minutes of time in the early to mid 80's when I would sneak down the hallway to catch the sports report. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Classic Book, Classic Golfers

I'm currently reading a book about the 1970 Masters golf tournament. It was written by one of my favorite sports journalists, Dick Schapp.
It chronicles a week in a major tournament. It reads like a Who's Who of Golf....Miller Barber, Gay Brewer, Bob Charles, Frank Beard, Bob Goalby, Charles Coody, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Billy Casper, George Archer and of course the big three. That would be Jack, Gary and Arnie.
It's a very interesting read. For some reason, Bert Yancey is a major topic of the book. He didn't win.
I saw most of these guys play at the Raley's Senior Gold Rush in the mid 90's at Rancho Murrieta Country Club.
Its a great time capsule of a simple time in golf and the world.
It will have a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Caddying Is A Tough Job

About two weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a caddy at the Charles Schwab Cup at Harding Park in San Francisco. A friend set me up with the loop.
We were to be caddying for amatuers in the Wednesday Pro-Am.
Beforehand, I asked around for caddying advice. I was told to know the yardages of the course. Problem with that is Harding Park is a TPC course, a very busy course, and no one can just walk up and ask to take yardages of the place.
I was told to show up, keep up and shut up. I could do that!
So I showed up with a friend on Pro-Am day.
When we showed up, I was kinda overwhelmed. There were about a hundred men waiting around for a bag. They all seemed to know what they were talking about.
We were assigned a tee time. Our pro was Peter Senior. He had success on the European and Austrailian tours. My amatuer was a woman who was a executive for Chevron. Her home course was The Olympic Club. She said she plays there like I say I play Green Tree Golf Club in Vacaville......no big deal. I only wish I had access to Olympic Club.
At first it was awkward. I didn't know her game. So I just asked what she wanted after each shot.
At about the turn we started getting comfortable with each other. It got to the point of me just handing her a club and it was the right choice. Great minds think alike!
After the round she gave me a $50 tip. Plus I got $60 for the loop. Not bad at all.
I was exhausted after the round. My friend and I had dinner at Chevy's. I think I fell asleep on the way home.
Would I do it again? Maybe. I would rather play.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The First Clubs I Ever Bought

I have mentioned before I took up golf during the summer of 1993. I played with hand me down Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear irons. I was grateful for the gift, but they were really beat up. But I used them. 
Then later that year I was taking lessons at Bing Maloney Golf Course. In the pro shop there was a Christmas sale. There was a set of Spalding Executive irons (3 iron thru pitching wedge) and three metal woods for less than a $100!
They should have stamped sucker on my forehead after I bought them. They were junk. Or at least I thought they were junk. As a novice, it was probably my lack of a coordinated golf swing that led me to believe the clubs were junk. I had a wicked slice. And I think with me gripping them and ripping them, I would dribble the ball a few yards down the fairway. 
They were also the ugliest clubs you ever saw. When I would be at the driving range, I was surrounded by people with Lynx, Ben Hogan or Calloway Big Bertha irons. Owning a set of Pings were out of the question. So I used what I could afford at the time. I was embarrassed by them. 
After awhile I grew frustrated with them and GAVE THEM AWAY!! Thats how much I hated those clubs. 
Just a few minutes ago, I was browsing on a golf website I belong to, and someone had a post about those old clubs. It brought back memories and made me smile. 
I would love to swing those clubs now that I have a grooved and repetitive golf swing. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Good Old Harvey

Twenty years ago I fell in love with golf. I remember reading every book or magazine I could get my hands on. I wanted to read about every theory of the golf swing. I read books about the short game. I read Arnold Palmer Complete Book Of Putting. 
It eventually got to the point were it was information overload. I was confusing myself reading about so many theories about the golf swing.
I then came across Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. I remember thinking in my twenty-one year old mind, "What does this old guy know about the golf swing?"
Turned out he probably had forgotten more golf than I remembered. He had been around golf since 1913 as an eight year old caddy. Even at his advanced age in his 80's, he still considered himself a caddy still studying golf. 
I bought the book for $20. Pretty pricy for a small golf book. But his tips were so simple. I read the book in a few days. I read it again. I loved it. 
I remember thinking I wasted so much time and money reading all the golf books whose theories were too complicated to apply. 
The Little Red Book became my golf Bible. 
I then got in a money pinch. I needed cash fast. So I gathered all the golf books I spent hundreds of dollars on and went to a used book store. I remember including The Little Red Book in the pile. I was thinking I would get $50 to $75 for my books. I got $24. Even back in 1996 that wasn't very much. But I was desperate and I took it. My eventual love of golf went out the door.
Forward to present day 2013. Seventeen years have passed. I got to thinking of Harvey and his Little Red Book. I had forgotten most of the lessons. So I went to Amazon.com and bought a copy. When the book came in the mail, it brought back so many good memories. I remembered most of the stories Mr. Penick wrote. I appreciated them more in my forty-one year old mind. 
I have eventually bought the follow up books, If You Play Golf, Your My Friend (aka The Little Green Book) and The Game of a Lifetime (The Little Blue Book). 
Reading the books made me wish I could have met Mr. Penick and gotten a lesson from him. Good old Harvey died a week before my twenty-third birthday in 1995. A week later Ben Crenshaw, a pupil of Mr. Penick won The Masters. I still get goose bumps when I see replays of Ben Crenshaw's emotional victory. After his sinking the winning putt, he dropped to his knees and cried. Then he dedicated the win to Mr. Penick. 
I would love to see a biopic or a documentary made of Mr. Harvey Penick. I would be first in line to see it. But for now, I'll just have to re-read his books again and again. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Santa Ana College Football

Yesterday I saw my cousin for the first time in eleven years. Last time I saw him he was a single guy like me.
Now he's a family man. He married a wonderful woman and he is a father of two boys. One plays football, the youngest plays baseball.
So yesterday I made the trip to surprise my cousin with a visit. It was perfect. I just happened to walk through a tunnel and as I turned to a random seating area, there he was. He was surprised!
The whole game we sat next to each other and caught up.
His son plays football for the Santa Ana College Dons. A defensive lineman. Great football player with great football instincts. He made many tackles, had a sack (didn't get credit for a half sack) and blocked a extra point. It was a treat to watch him play.
It was the first time I saw a JC football game. It's great football. It's pure and these kids are giving their best so they can get on with a four year school. My cousins son Billy has caught the attention of New Mexico, Utah State and Portland State. I have a funny feeling I'm going to be watching him play football in Utah next year!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Country Club Life Is The Life For Me

I was invited to play in a best ball tournament at Green Valley Country Club this past Monday. The tournament benefited Vacaville Christian School.
I have only driven past the course once. It looked immaculate! I could have only dreamed to play that course.
So Monday morning arrives and we set out to the course. We grab our bags and head to the clubhouse. As soon as we get there, an attendant takes our bags to our assigned cart. We check in at the pro shop and we were given a goodie bag filled with the essentials for a day of golf. Breakfast was served behind us, just coffee and donuts. I already ate. I explored around the locker room. It was everything I dreamed it would be! Wood paneled room with rows of lockers. There was a large shelf of towels. I walked into one of the two wash rooms. It had all the toiletries you would expect at a fine club.
I think the locker room was my favorite part of the grounds!
After we checked in, we headed to the driving range. It was as big as three football fields! There were small golf bag shaped baskets full of balls. You could hit all you want. If there were no more, an attendant would get you more. Oh, we were driven to the driving range from the clubhouse and back again.
After that, we headed to our assigned tee. We started on #8.
The next five hours I was in awe. The course was just gorgeous!
We were fed good food all day long. At the turn, I took a quick shave to freshen up.
My final putt brought us to a finish of 9 under. We finished tied for fifth.
It was an amazing day of golf.
Afterwards we enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. We were treated to a mini concert by Lenny Williams of Tower of Power. There were retired athletes there. Vida Blue, Sherman White, Marv Hubbard, Harold Pressley, Dana Stubblefield and Eric Wright Sr.
It was a day I'll never forget. I want to do it again!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I Got A Golden Ticket

This is the last year the 49ers will be playing at Candlestick Park. I went to my first sports event there in 1982. I will get more nostalgic in a future post.
I'm going to see the St. Louis Rams take on the 49ers December 1st.
It's fitting my last game there will be againts a team I loved (the Rams) and a team I hated in the 80's (the 49ers). I just know a lot of memories will be flooding my mind that day.
Now Im gonna try to figure out what I want to take from the place.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Basketball Diaries

I just came back from Salt Lake City for a Muse concert. The concert was played at Energy Solutions Arena, home of the Utah Jazz. So as my brother was taking in the sights ans sounds of the concert, I was taking in the sights of Jazz history.
All around the building were pictures and banners of current and former Jazz players. There was one place in the arena I wanted to get into. It was the Jazz Legends Room. Outside were pictures of Karl Malone, Jeff Hornacek, John Stockton, Mark Eaton, Adrian Dantley, coach Frank Layden aka Mr. Utah Jazz, and coach Jerry Sloan. I wanted to get into that room so bad! But it was closed for the concert.
Being there brought back memories of my first Kings games as a teenager. I can remember going to a game and standing by the Utah Jazz bus waiting for autographs. I don't remember which players I got, but I remember meeting coach Layden. He was very nice, and was telling us kids jokes and funny stories. I need to look and find his autograph.
So the day we were going home I set out to find the perfect jazz hat and t-shirt. I eventually found a hat and shirt with the old J musical note logo. Then I found a sweatshirt jacket with the current logo, which is the old logo brought back again.
So I guess I'm a Jazz fan again.
Now on to the Sacramento portion of the diary......
The Kings have been in the news the last few days.
Sacramento Bee yellow journalist RE Graswich accused Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson of hating the Kings. These feelings stemmed from when Johnson was passed up by his hometown team in the 1987 draft. The Kings selected Kenny Smith, the Phoenix selected Johnson. I'm pretty sure Johnson doesn't hate the Kings. He threw himself on the grenade to keep the Kings in town.
ESPN the magazine claims the Kings are the worst run team in North American sports. I don't agree with that. It was the Maloofs who ran the team in the ground. ESPN says the fans aren't very supportive. I will say this, some of the Kings fans are bandwagoner's, but for the most part, the Kings fans are loyal.
And finally, the greatest basketball player ever bought a minority interest in the Kings.....Shaquille O' Neal. He once called them the Queens. He was once the most hated basketball player in Sacramento. I'm sure all these years later, Sacramento will welcome him with open arms.
That's it for the diary, enjoy your day!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Exciting Sports Day In San Jose

Whenever I go to San Jose, I visit friends and make a day out of it.
San Jose has a lot to offer on the sports calendar....San Jose Giants baseball, the Earthquakes for MLS Soccer, San Jose St. football, the SaberCats of the Arena Football League, the Frys.com Open for the PGA Tour. Then the old SAP Open which played for the final time in Feburary.
Yesterday I was at a wedding in Los Gatos. I had a great time. One of the best weddings I ever went to.
While I was enjoying myself with friends, the Earthquakes battled the Vancouver Whitecaps to a nil nil draw at Buck Shaw, and the San Jose Giants were swept out of the California League Finals by the Inland Empire 66ers at Municipal Stadium.
I'll be back to San Jose in three weeks for the final Frys.com Open. It's moving to Napa next year.
Enjoy the sports week everyone!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Tale Of Being Young And Dumb

John Boyett had a stellar career at Oregon. He played in a Rose Bowl and a national championship game. A lot of football experts said he would be playing on Sunday.
Unfortunately, he was only able to play one game last year due to injuries. He was still drafted in the sixth round by the Indianapolis Colts. Still unable to play, he was placed on injured reserve. All he had to do was do his rehab, study his Playbook and just wait till he was well enough to play.
That opportunity will never come, at least not with the Colts.
Mr. Boyett was arrested for disorderly conduct, public drunkeness and resisting arrest on Sunday night. The Colts released him yesterday.
Why do I care?
Well his father was my PE teacher in high school. He was the football coach. A very distant, unfriendly man from what I remember. John was born in Woodland. Years later I would end up working in Napa, where John would become a football star. I know people who went to school with him.
He must have thought he was something special. As he was getting arrested he was reported to have said, "You can't arrest me, I'm a football player for the Colts!"
Not anymore. I hope he can clean up his act and catch on with someone else.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Twenty Years Of Golf

I was introduced to the game of golf twenty years ago this summer.
I always thought it was an old mans game. A rich old mans game.
I had a pretty rough start to 1993. A friend saw I was going through a hard time. He gave me his dads Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear irons from 1975.
I went to the athletic fields at my old high school to practice hitting balls. I had no idea what I was doing. I almost hit into an infield while a baseball game was going on. So to avoid hitting someone, I would go to Davis Muni to hit a bucket of balls. I sprayed balls all over the driving range. It was fun and it kept my mind off of what was bothering me.
After a couple of months of hitting balls when I was able to, another friend took me out to play a round at Land Park Golf Course in Sacramento. I just remember being so thirsty during the round. Having a cold drink was so nice afterwards.
This was twenty years ago, so the memories are fading of that day. I'm sure I was awful out there.
I had so much fun I signed up for a golf class at Sac City College.
And I have been in love with the game ever since.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Labor Day 500 Is Over

In mid May I set a goal to run 500 miles for the year by September 2nd, Labor Day. I hit my goal Monday morning. A week ahead of schedule. Setting that goal did wonders for me. I usually don't run much during the summer. I needed something to keep me motivated and focused.
So I set the goal to run the 500 miles by end of summer.
Now what do I do? I'm gonna let my legs rest a few days. I plan to hit a bucket of balls, chip and putt. Play golf Wednesday.
Then hit the pavement again. Keep moving forward!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pitch Patch Potch

Things on my mind......
1-listening to the CJ Silas Show on her website. She is great! Give her a listen.
2-I missed out snooping around the Raiders training camp in Napa. It was a very busy summer for me.
3- I played golf with forged irons from the 60's last week at Kennedy Park in Napa. I was slaughtered. I think I will use the old clubs for the short courses.
4- I'm 7.85 miles from my goal of running 500 miles for the year.
5- I'm ready for some football.
6- One more month of baseball. How about them Dodgers?!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Was There A Major Played This Weekend?

It's hard to be overlooked in the sports world. In golf, there is the excitement of the first major of the season, The Masters. It lets the world know spring is here.
Then you have the toughest golf tournament in the world, the US Open. It's always on Fathers Day weekend. Love to see a grown man cry? Watch any round of the Open, grown men complain, whine and moan about the tough course set up the USGA puts on.
Then there is the oldest golf tournament in the world, the British Open. I love this tournament. The weather isn't always the best, which makes a golfer really test himself out on a classic Open course.
Then there is the major no one seems to care about, the PGA. It's overlooked because by this time in the summer, people are out enjoying the last few weeks of summer or getting ready for school.
I couldn't tell you where it was played. I just don't care about this major. Jason Duffner won. All I can say is he needs to go on a diet and get a haircut. Another sloppy looking golfer upon us.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Northern Nevada Baseball

I took a road trip today to Reno to see the Reno Aces against the Tacoma Rainiers. Aces Ballpark was a great place to watch a ballgame. Not a bad seat in the place.
The action was your typical Pacific Coast League game. The ball carries well in the high desert.
There were no prospects to check out for either team.
I had a little too much to drink, so I left during the 7th inning stretch. The long drive, the heat and the drinks got to me.
Catch ya next time!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Reporting From The Bar At Raiders Training Camp

This was my first experience at an NFL training camp. I have always wanted to go and watch the local teams practice......the 49ers in Rocklin and Stockton in the 80's and 90's.....the Raiders in Napa. Never got around to doing it.
Tonight I thought about going to the Napa Valley Marriott Resort and Spa, where the Raiders stay. I figured go to the bar and check things out. See if any NFL people were milling around. I read Peter King from Sports Illustrated was going to visit during his annual training camp tour. I tweeted him saying I was hoping to run into him at the hotel grounds. By the time I got there, he was probably long gone.
So a friend and I walk to the bar for a drink. We take a seat at the bar, and sitting next to us is the owner and managing general partner of the Oakland Raiders Mark Davis. Al's son. He's just sitting there reading the Napa Valley Register having an iced tea and an appetizer. People all over the bar are saying nice things to him, wishing him and the team well for the upcoming season.
One well lubricated man said he was a season ticket holder since 1965, back when the Raiders played at Frank Youell Field. Youell Field was named after an undertaker in Oakland.
Mr. Davis shook hands, posed for pictures and interacted with the fans. He seemed like a very nice guy. People are approaching him as he is eating his dinner.
As my friend and I were finishing our drinks, Mr. Davis was finishing his dinner. It was then that I told him my family loves the Raiders and appreciated what Al Davis did for Mexicans to succeed in the NFL. He said it wasn't a matter of race, it was that they were the right people for the job. I'm of course talking about Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett.
It's shame both men are not in the Hall of Fame.
He posed for a picture with me. I shook his hand and wished the team well for the year.
I just might root for the Raiders after this encounter. Ugh, maybe.
What a chance encounter. I was just hoping to meet or see some of the NFL's movers and shakers. I met THE mover and shaker for the local team! In the next week or so I plan to snoop around the training complex. There is a large black fence surrounding Redwood Middle School where the team trains at. Maybe I'll see a football thrown through the air, or hear the crack of shoulder pads, or hear SeaBass or Chris Kluwe kick or punt a football.

Friday, July 26, 2013

1000!!!

I almost shut this blog down due to lack of interest. No one was reading this blog. It was then I was told to maybe reformat the blog.
So after some tinkering, I rolled it out once again. I made it more personal. Instead of reporting sports news, I spoke of sports as if you were sitting next to me having a beer. My traffic increased. The numbers slowly climbed up.
Today I'm happy to say I had my 1000th page view! I know it's not a big deal to the big sports blog sites, but it's a big deal to me. And to think a year ago I almost shut the blog down. I'm having a glass of wine now. Here's to pressing forward!
Thank you to the mysterious person out there who made today possible!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

River Cats Game Report

It was a typical Pacific Coast League game as the Sacramento River Cats defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 10-3 at Raley Field.
Charlie Culberson lead off the game with a homerun on the third pitch of the game. That was all the Sky Sox would score until the ninth as the River Cats hit Jeff Manship hard all night long. River Cats catcher Stephen Vogt hit a long homerun to open the scoring for the River Cats.
Then the River Cats bats feasted on Sky Sox pitching.
The 10 millionth fan walked through the gates tonight. He was interviewed on the Jumbo Tron. He acted very disinterested. If I was the 10 millionth fan I would have been delighted. He was a season ticket holder too.
A very touching moment happened at the ceremonial first pitch. A young boy, whose father is serving in Afghanistan, threw out the first pitch. The boy made a great pitch. He and his mom started walking off the mound. The PA announcer told the boy to go meet the catcher. It was his father, who just came home. Tears all around the mound. That moment made me proud to be an American.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The NFL Season Is Upon Us

This is my favorite part of the NFL season......training camp and preseason football. I don't care about the regular season, the playoffs or the Super Bowl, just give me all the training camp coverage I can watch.
I love to see the players practicing plays to perfection. I like to see the players in t-shirt and shorts working hard in the summer heat. I like to see the battles for position spots. The fight to see who stays and who goes. I like to see the player who comes out of nowhere and wins a spot on a team. I like to see the old veteran hang on for another year.
I like the fact that players practice at a remote college someplace and sleep in dorms. I like to see the footage of players in a classroom setting studying plays. I love the simplicity of it all.
The Oakland Raiders train at a middle school in Napa. They stay at a resort hotel. I hope to attend an open practice. I might even have a drink at the hotel bar and see if I can see any NFL people around.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lefty Wins an Open

The talk of the British Open on Thursday was about Tiger Woods. It's always about Tiger. He hasn't won a major in five years. A lot of the experts thought he would end the drought this week.
Last night it looked like he would pull through. He was in contention and along side Lee Westwood atop the leader board.
It was not to be for Tiger or Lee. Out of nowhere, Phil Mickleson birdied four of the last six holes to win The Open Championship. No one saw this coming. Lefty wasn't even expecting to win. He won the Scottish Open last week, but it was an afterthought.
He just kept grinding. I'm sure he felt no pressure because there was no pressure for him to win. He didn't even think about it. He just showed up and won. This was his fifth major victory, and he has now won three of the four majors. We all know which one is alluding him.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flying Blind On The Golf Course

I played a quick round of golf today. On one particular hole, the sun was right in my eyes. I swung as hard as I could. It sounded good, and it felt good.
But I assumed I hit it short. I hit another tee shot. Again, I assumed the worst. So I head straight to the right rough. I find a few lost balls, but none of my tee shot balls. I eventually found the second tee shot ball. I hit it over the green. I declare my first tee shot lost.
As I'm walking up to the green, I find my first tee shot ball, about ten feet short of the hole. I made par.
My point of sharing this is, be confident in your abilities. Don't doubt yourself.
It's very late and I'm watching The British Open at Muirfield. I'm rooting for Phil Mickleson and Rory McElroy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm A Reject!

There is a national sports website I read (think when your happy you shout not yipee, but it rhymes with Wahoo). Anyway, they have a national contributor network. If they like your material, they will publish your work and give you a small payment. (For every 1000 views you get a buck)
I put it upon myself to write about one of my favorite books. This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Paper Lion. So I wrote about the historical significance of the book fifty years later. I thought the article was great. I was making plans to spend my first $100 check. (Yes I'm arrogant enough to think a million people would have read it)
I got my first professional reject letter. It wasn't really a letter, it was an email. They said they don't publish book reviews.
It wasn't a book review, it was my synopsis of the historical significance of the book. They gave me the option of editing it and submitting it. I'm on the fence on what to do. If they passed on my work for some of "work" I see on the website, I'll pass. I'm huge in Germany anyways.

Friday, July 5, 2013

PGA Tour Event Coming To Napa

The PGA Tour makes its first appearance since 1980 when it was announced that the Frys.com Open will br played at Silverado Country Club in 2014, 2015 and an option for 2016.
I think this is a great move since Cordevalle in San Martin is so far away.
There is a lot of storied history at Silverado CC. Johnny Miller, now one of the owners, has won there as has Jack Nicklaus and Ben Crenshaw. It used to host the Kaiser Invitational from the late 60's to 1980. It has also hosted a Senior PGA event in the early 90's.
So mark your calanders for October 2014.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I'm Giving The NFL A Second Chance

I have a love hate relationship with the NFL. I loved the NFL growing up. I mean I worshipped and glorified the game.
Over the years I have grown to hate the NFL. I have called it the No Fun League at times. I can't really pinpoint when I started to hate football.
It's not that I hate football, I just hate the culture of football. The arrogance of wide receivers, cornerbacks, and certain quarterbacks.
I hate the speed of the game. I have mentioned before, that speed and strength are ruining this game. I love to watch the old NFL Films from the 50's, 60's and early 70's. I love to see the brawn of the men making tackles back then. They weren't out to kill someone, just make a tackle.
I'm sick and tired of wide receiver and cornerbacks constantly renegotiating their contracts. They are grown men, they made a deal, stick to it.
I will watch more NFL Network and less NFL Live on the Four Letter Network. Give me the real X's and O's, not the overhype the World Wide Leader does.
I plan to read more football blogs. I plan to write more about football. I plan to go to a few games this year.
I'm hoping to fall in love with football again. I miss it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Just Bubba Being A Douche Bag

Bubba Watson is a strange and complex man. He portrays himself as a good old boy, a man of strong Christian faith, a family man, an Everyman.
I was rooting for him on my 40th birthday last year during The Masters. He broke through and won. He was crying with his family on the 18th green after his victory. I was really starting to like him.
One year later, I think he's a horses ass.
I saw him on Feherty being a total braggart. Spends big money on a authentic General Lee from The Dukes of Hazard TV show. He was so cocky. Then there's the $525,000 watch on his wrist. Only so few were made and he made sure he got one.
He threw out the first pitch at a Yankee game last week. Anyone on the planet would have been in awe to do such a thing. Not Bubba. He went on to say it was no big deal. He pitched in school many years ago, and by the way, he mentioned he was one of the best.
Then there was today. He was leading the Travelers Championship by a stroke at the 16th hole. He hit the ball into the water, hit his drop shot over the green, and then proceeded to triple bogey the hole. He blamed his caddie for miss- clubbing him and giving him the wrong yardage. The CBS microphones picked up the whole verbal bashing he gave to his caddie, in front of a national TV audience. David Fehrety said it best, "Hey Bud, you swung the club, not your caddie."
I read he lost a lot of fans today. Count me as one of them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pain And Suffering At The US Open

The US Open ended on Sunday. This year it was at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, PA. The course was considered too small for modern equipment. The course measured in at 6,996 yards. The experts thought scoring records were going to occur. They thought the modern tour professional playing modern equipment at an old course like Merion would be a joke.
Merion got the last laugh.
Even par won the tournament.
Justin Rose won his first major over Phil Mickelson, who suffered another heartbreaking loss at the Open.
He was the overnight leader on Saturday. It looked like he just might pull through. The first two holes he was vintage Phil. Then he double bogeyed #3. He made an eagle. Then he bogeyed the shortest and easiest hole on the course at #13.
Then Justin Rose came out of nowhere and won the championship. Phil was the bridesmaid for the sixth time.
So close yet so far away. Now we all have to wait for next year again.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pitch Patch Potch or Things On My Mind

I'm watching the US Open. I think that modern golf clubs are ruining the game of golf. But man is forever searching for the extra 10-15 yards. I think modern clubs are junk. I'll gladly play my vintage clubs any day.

I hate the Miami Heat.

Lots of extra inning games today,

Go Bruins!!!!

That's all tonight. Good night!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Minor League Baseball Time

Getting ready to hit the road to Stockton to watch the Ports play the Modesto Nuts. Hwy 99 rivalry. Its going to be a hot night. Its 105 degrees right now.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Think The Dodgers Found The Cure That Ails Them

The Dodgers went on a lavish spending spree this past off season. They were supposed to be turning the page. They were supposed to be the new model franchise.
They have been a train wreck all season. Injuries have plagued the team. Rumors of Don Mattingly getting fired started around May 1st. He supposedly is too laid back as are the veterans on the team.
Matt Kemp landed on the DL late last week. His replacement is proving to be a big answer to their offensive woes. And the answer was in the minor leagues.
Yasiel Puig will never see the minor leagues again.
He had a great debut againts the Padres. Had an even better second game. He had his first oh-fer tonight. It was bound to happen.
The question now is, what will happen to Andre Eithier?
I think he and Dee Gordon are going to be shipped off someplace.
As I said, Puig will never see the minors again. He's the new hit sensation thats sweeping Dodger Nation. He's putting butts in the seats. He's making the Dodgers relative again.
Welcome to the big leagues Yasiel!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Labor Day 500

I crossed the 300 mile mark the other day. My goal at the beginning of the year was to run 1000 miles. I don't think that's possible now.
I did some calculations and I figure if I run fifteen miles a week for the next thirteen weeks, I can make it to 500 miles by Labor Day weekend.
The next three months are going to be a challenge. It was 100 degrees today. The first of many hot days to come. I'm gonna have to start early to get my miles in on my running days. Throw in the traditional Indian summers we get here in Northern California, it's going to be warm until Halloween.
I think if I hit my goal at Labor Day, I'm gonna reward myself with a brand new vintage Schwinn bicycle. And a new pair of running shoes.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spending Time At Nevada Bobs

I fell in love with golf twenty years ago. I always thought it was an old mans game, a rich mans game.
To make a long story short, a girl I was seeing dumped me, then I was in the dumps. A friend took me out to hit a bucket of balls to get my mind off of it. Another friend gave me a set of old Jack Nicklaus McGregor golf clubs so I could have my own set. Little did I know getting dumped would lead to a twenty year love affair.
I soon took classes at Sac City College to learn how to play the game. But it wasn't enough. I needed to be around the game more. I don't know how I got there, but I found a Nevada Bobs Golf Shop just off Florin Road in south Sacramento. I would go into look around. Hit some balls into a net. I couldn't afford to buy anything. I just went to hang out. The manager of the shop was very kind, and let me hang out as long as I pleased.
I would pop in once a week, sometimes more. I could stay there for hours and talk about the game.
I would cut class to just hang out.
Every now and then I would buy tees, a dozen balls just to earn my keep. I even tried to get a part time job there but the manager didn't need the help.
Over time I moved to the north suburbs and it was just too far to drive. After awhile I felt I worn out my welcome. I wasn't really a customer, nor was the manager someone I could call a friend.
Eventually the shop closed. Whenever I drive past the store on Highway 99,  its a flooring/tile store now, a flood of memories come back.
Now that I have money to spend, I know consider modern golf clubs junk. I would rather play with a nice vintage set of clubs, than a mass produced, mass marketed piece of junk now.
Rest in peace Nevada Bobs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tennis Day

To support my post a few days ago about The Death of American Tennis, I took it upon myself to get out and play.
A friend and I headed out to our favorite tennis court in Vacaville.
I haven't played since late summer.
Needless to say, I was quite rusty. I brought out one of my vintage racquets to warm up with. My friend was warming up with w modern racquet. There was no comparisson, I couldn't keep up with him. So I had to switch to a modern racquet.
We played two sets. I lost 6-0 & 3-1. We were tired and hungry.
We were only there for almost an hour. We were the only ones out there. What a shame. Nice courts going unused.
I need to work on my serve. I plan to practice more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beach Day

I know this is a sports blog. But certain sports are performed by watermen such as swimming, surfing, snorkeling and sailing.
As for me it was a day of leisure. A blanket, a radio and a golf magazine. Perfect day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Slow Death Of American Tennis

Tennis is dead. There I said it. I think its been dead for years. It died when the torch was passed from Sampras and Aggasi to Andy Roddick. I feel he didn't care about being a tennis player. He just loved the perks and the lifestyle that went along with it. It was obvious in his play and many coaching changes that he didn't care to be a champion. Yes I know he won a US Open very early in his career, but the results afterward was pure rubbish. But this isn't a Roddick bashing post.
The person who stomped on American tennis' neck and crushed it and took the last breath from the American game was Serena Williams. Very selfish and arrogant player. She puts herself before the game. She's a very poor winner and loser. When she wins she brags and boasts about how her opponent was inferior to her. When she loses she mumbles her answers, then questions the credibility of the interviewer. I hate how she is trying to have rivalry with Maria Sharapova. She states that Maria isn't a serious player because of the modeling and endorsements. Serena does the same thing on a much bigger scale.....she also acts and has a clothing line. I have three words for Serena....pot, kettle, black. But this isn't a Serena bashing post.....okay, maybe a little!
I say tennis died years ago because of the laziness of our current society. I blame all the video games, God awful television shows and the dangerous world we currently live in. Allow me to explain.
Growing up I lived near a park. Us kids in the neighborhood would always play baseball, basketball and football......everyday. Just make a few phone calls and you had an instant pick up game. If we wanted to play tennis or volleyball, we went to another park that had the courts.
Try driving past a park nowadays. The parks are EMPTY!
My point is that everypark I went to, the tennis courts were full. Some of my favorite memories growing up is playing tennis with my cousin Lola. We would just hit balls and talk about school, homework or whatever else was on our teenaged minds.
Sometimes I would be lucky enough to be invited to play at the local racquet club Country Oaks (RIP..it was closed for a housing development that never happened).
It wasn't very often, but I took advantage of it. I remember when as an adult when I became a paying member. I would hit againts the practice wall until I got tired.
I was even a member at the stuffy Natomas Racquet Club. I say stuffy because if you didn't know anyone, you couldn't play. Very cliqueish there. So I would hit againts the practice wall until I got bored. I even signed up for an adult tennis league night there. The club pro was an ass. He didn't make me feel welcome. He was also the tennis coach at the college I went to. He was more concerned about his tennis team then us students.
So my love for tennis slowly disapeered.
It would be years before I would touch a racquet. Why? Because I was burnt out and lazy.
Thats my personal history with tennis. Growning older and having more responsibilities also took away from my tennis time.
So I contributed to the death of tennis too.
Working in the Napa valley has gotten me re-connected with tennis. A few co-workers play and invited me to play. My love for the game came back. I started looking forward to the next time we would play.
I dug up my old tennis books for tips. I even was watching more tennis on the telly.
What does this have to do with the death of tennis in America you ask? To further explain, I'm a serve and volley player. I love rushing the net. But my opponents would stay at the baseline. Forcing me to stay back because the would blow the ball past me. Baseline to baseline is soooo boring. I think the modern ball and racquets are just too powerful now. I played with vintage wood racquets a few times and there is a difference. At last years US Open Mens Final, John McEnroe said something I noticed right away. He said, "This match has been going on for two and a half hours, and thats the first serve and volley of the match. This shows that the game is truly a baseline to baseline game now."
The other day I was talking to a young lady on the Napa College tennis team. I was sharing my theory on the game when she said something that blew my mind. I was talking to her about the death of the serve and volley game, and she said, "The inherited apathy of our generation has contributed to the lazy baseline playing in our tennis society. The "dinosaur" sport is dying from the great competitive and sportsmanship to basically no rallying or real playing." Poetry!
The final question remains, can tennis make a comeback? Yes it can. How? Simple.....go out and play!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pitch Patch Potch

A few things on my mind......
Big changes are needed in LA area baseball. Scoiscia and Mattingly are going nowhere with their respective teams. Big investment, very small return.
I think the Golden State Warriors can beat the Spurs. I think the whole Western Conference is up for grabs. Just give the trophy to the Heat already.
I really need to pay attention to the Stanley Cup playoffs. I used to LOVE hockey. Hope I can fall in love with hockey again.
I really enjoyed 42. Great movie. I need to see it again. Harrison Ford deserves his first Oscar nomination for his role as Branch Rickey.
Time for me to focus on soccer football again.
The NFL really takes itself too seriously. Tone it down a bit NFL. Yes football is king in America, but don't flaunt it. The NFL Draft was a joke.
I think Mark Sanchez will end up in Oakland.
That's all for now! Good night to ya my two German readers!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

6 Hours 32 Minutes, 19 Innings and 597 Pitches Later

I got off work at 11:45pm. I got in my car and was gonna listen to sports talk radio. I was surprised to hear the A's were still playing. It takes about 20 minutes for me to get home. The Angels had the game won 8-7 in the bottom of the 15th. Two outs. It takes no more than a minute to get to my car to the house. I turn the TV on expecting to see the post game show. Instead the game is still on, and the A's tied it.
I was able to watch four innings of baseball. The A's defeated the Angels with a walk off homerun from Brandon Moss in the bottom of the 18th inning.
The one thing about the game that amazes me is that Angels catcher Chris Iannetta caught all 19 innings and 297 pitches. And before the walk off, they showed him smiling in the dugout. What a gamer!! I'm sure he earned a day off for his efforts!
During the game ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that the Angels needed to win this game badly, because of what they are going through. I tweeted him and asked if Angels manager Mike Scoiscia will survive the week. He didn't tweet back, but the Angels are due home Thursday. They play a brief home stand and then go on the road again Sunday night. Baseball decorum goes that if a managing change is needed, it's done at home before a road trip. It's not working in Anaheim. It's been alluded that the Angels players have tuned Scioscia out. So this will be can interesting week for the Angels. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Joba Rules in 1971?

I'm finishing Roger Angell's classic book, 'The Summer Game'. In it he mentions the young pitching sensation for the Oakland A's, Vida Blue. It was mentioned he threw 312 innings in 1971. If a pitcher threw that many innings now, his arm would fall off, and a manager and his pitching coach would be fired!
The most interesting part of the article was that Angell mentions that teams were implimenting pitch counts and some organizations wouldn't allow young pitchers to throw specialty pitches such as the slider until they reached AA.
I just found it interesting that for the time teams were looking into babying pitchers. Back then you finished what you started. Thats how it was back in the day. A pitcher would throw and throw and throw. Nowadays a pitcher doesn't have a bullpen session until a couple days after a start.
Its been said the Yankees ruined Joba Chamberlin by protecting him too much. Then you have a team like the Dodgers who would have pitchers blow their arms out. The Dodgers ruined many a young pitchers career by having them throw too much. I knew a guy who played in their farm system, and he said he was a Jobe Boy. Thats in reference to Dr. Frank Jobe, who perfomed and perfected the art of Tommy John surgery.
I thought limiting innings and pitch counts was a current idea. Looks like it was born forty years ago.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Longest Two Months Of The Year

The NBA playoffs are upon us. I used to love the NBA playoffs. I used to love the NBA. Now not so much. Why you ask? Here's why......
1. It's now a "ME" game, not a team/ "WE" game.
Back in the 80's when I was growing up, the games were more team oriented. Now the games are centered on an individual. The worst offender is Kobe. I grew up a Lakers fan. I stopped rooting for them once he started playing for them. Very selfish when he was young.
2. The Overhype Factor
Lebron, Lebron, Lebron, Melo, Melo, Melo, Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard, Dwight Howard. Need I say more?
3. The Scheduling
It caters to TV, but the playoff series drag on for SO LONG!!!
In another post, I will discuss what contributed to the destruction of the NBA.
As for now, I will be rooting for the OKC Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the west, and the Boston Celtics in the east.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Breaking Camp....The Charm Of Spring Training Is Over

All around spring training sites in Arizona and Florida, teams are packing up to head north to begin the season. I experienced spring training for the first time earlier this month. I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere at the games I attended. I enjoyed it so much, I'm planning next years trip.
I will be attending my first regular season game next week. The Oakland A's againts the Seattle Mariners. The first day game at the Al Davis Dump.
Then the following week I will be going to a Sacramento River Cats game, a San Francisco Giants game, and then a Stockton Ports game.
I will be returning to AT&T Park on April 24th for a day game between the Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks.
So it will be a busy April for me!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Another Rule Change

Roger Goodell is killing the NFL. I think the league is dying anyways. Too much science and violence in the game.
To ensure player safety, the league made another rule change. Now you can't use the crown of your helmet when making a tackle. That's the idiots version of the rule. It's far more complex than that.
I think now that players are stronger and faster, they need to be taught a different way to tackle.
Players now are like missiles when going full speed to make a tackle.
What I would do is take away the modern helmet. This will make players tackle different. Go back the old leather helmet.
This will slow the pace of the game down. As I said, science has contributed to the violence. The game used to be about brawn. Now it's about being sleek and speedy. The game is all about who the fastest is. Slow the game down. It's that simple.
The great Pittsburgh Steeler Jack Lambert said someday the quarterback will be wearing a dress with all these rule changes coming about. I don't know about that, but I agree the game is changing too much.
I used to worship and glorify football. I couldn't wait for Sunday. I used to devour the Monday sports page to read about all the games. Now I hate the NFL and all it stands for (Greed $$$$).
I read a quote this morning that got my attention. "I remember football. I used to love it."
Shakesphere couldn't have said it better!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

One More Reason I Don't Like Fielder

Prince Fielder is a fucking CUNT!! I hate that fat bastard. I just don't like his style of play, how he presents himself, and how he acts. I didn't like Barry Bonds in his heyday, but at least Bonds was professional.
I read an interesting article in the SF Chronicle about P. Fielder (I refuse to call him Prince) getting thrown out at the plate in Game Two of the World Series last year. Read the article. The point that got my attention was when Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow says he knew for a fact that Fielder was out to blowup catcher Buster Posey and possibly knock him out of the series. I know it's good, hard, clean baseball, but Fielder does have that reputation to knock catchers out.
I know normally I don't get upset in my posts, but reading the article this morning really pissed me off.
Enjoy your St. Patricks Day!!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Outsiders Beware!!

In life there are certain places one is not allowed in. The places are obvious and we know better not to go in them or else you will suffer the consequences.
This year is the 20th anniversary of my most humiliating moment in baseball.
I was an eager college student wanting to help the baseball team at Sacramento City College. I was going there working towards my AA in Physical Education, and then transfer to Sacramento State. I had thoughts of coaching baseball, and despite having very little playing experience, I had plans to work in professional baseball.
There are times in life when your plans are just dreams. I was soon going to discover the fine line between plans and dreams.
In the winter of 1992, I made plans to help out with the SCC baseball team. I wanted to help out on the field. The staff suggested I help in the press box as the scoreboard operator. I figured take what you can get. So I volunteered to work in the press box.
Over winter break, life threw a few curveballs at me. I wasn't really in the mind set to go to school. I also lost my enthusiasm for working in the press box. So I reported very late to helping out with the team.
In baseball, there is one place no one but players and coaches are allowed in......the clubhouse. It's a players escape from the playing field. Very adult things are discussed in there. So imagine a bunch of cocky college kids discussing drinking and chasing skirts on their weekends.
So I figured I was part of the staff, I was allowed in there. One player walked up to me and said, "Excuse me, your not allowed in here. It's for players only." I assured him I was with the team. He kept insisting for me to turn around and leave. I didn't heed the warning signs. I demanded to speak to one of the coaches. He told me that they were out conducting drills. So I went out to where the coaches were, only to discover THE WHOLE TEAM was sitting around shooting the bull. They all turned to look at me. One of the coaches smiled and waved me over. That song 'Smiling Faces' should have been playing in the background. The smile wasn't so friendly. "What the hell do you want?", one of the coaches asked. I told him I was volunteering to help with the team."Who says we need help? Ain't no one here want to talk to you!" By this time the whole team is laughing at my expense. I could feel everyone looking at me. By this time I felt like I needed to leave.
One of the coaches said, "Where ya been? I never heard from you, so I got someone else to do your job. Is there anything else you need?"
I apologized to the coach, which only brought up more laughs and mocking. I felt like the most worthless person in the world. I turned around and I could hear them making fun of me, then another loud laugh. As I left the player who tried to stop me said, "Did you find who you were looking for?" I just kept walking and wanting to hide. I never went back to help out. That's when I learned that outsiders are not welcome in baseball clubhouses. It's a sacred place for a privileged few.
Years later I worked as a clubbie for the Solano Steelheads of the Western Baseball League. So without even trying, I worked in baseball and finally felt as if I belonged.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Catch

Threw the ball for ten minutes today. Felt good. It wasn't for my benefit, just warming up a friend to loosen his shoulder for beer league softball tonight. Now time for me to go for a long run now. Pitchers workout today.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What Happened To Gallery Etiquette?

I'm watching the final round of The Doral. Tiger is in the drivers seat. I just watched him tee off on a par 3. As he finishes his swing the whole gallery shouts, "GET IN THE HOLE!!!"
Why do these morons shout that? I guess its better than, "You Da Man!!"
Shaking my head.......

Sunday Morning Thoughts

I should have just kept my watch on Mountain Time when I got home Thursday.....
I think the World Baseball Classic should be put to sleep. It means absolutley nothing.......
The Angels are going to lead the league in hits, RBI, and homeruns....
The Canada/Mexico brawl was a great fight, but both teams will look back and regret doing it.......
Tiger's back again. He'll win a major this year.....
Too bad the Sybase Open in San Jose is no more....
I found three Titleist Tour Balata balls yesterday. I'm gonna treat them like precious jewels. Very hard to find now......
Hotel breakfast isn't that great......
I discovered the Arizona Republic is a great newspaper.....
I don't want a fastfood hamburger for a long time. Long travel days equal quick meals to be eaten with one hand while holding the steering wheel in the other.....
Finally, I didn't see one What A Burger down there. Heard the commercials on the radio a lot...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Final Arizona Thoughts

I've been home for two days. I have been talking about my trip to family and friends.
My first visit to Phoenix was in 1991. My friend Sergio was going to UTI Tech School down there. I remember Phoenix being a very dirty town. Also very hot. My memories of that trip are fading away. I remember wanting to go to a Phoenix Firebirds game at Phoenix Muni. But the Firebirds were on the road. So we went to a Tucson Toros game. Memories of that game are fading. I googled Willie Banks. He pitched in the game we went to. He was on the roster for the Portland Beavers. So I put together that the Firebirds and Beavers played on a April evening at Hi Corbett Field. I still have the program somewhere in the archives. I remember it was Magnet Schedule Night. I also remember Sergio standing very proud when a military color guard brought out the flag for the national anthem. He enlisted that year and he would begin his service later that year.
The movie Major League was filmed at Hi Corbett. I remember it was a big deal for me to be there.
I don't remember the score or who won. I just remember that night in Tucson for my first Pacific Coast League game.
I Googled the roster for Tucson and I do remember (I had to re-Google what I Googled from a few days ago I forgot who I was talking about!) Kenny Lofton being on the team. I designated him The Most Dangerous Player In The Major Leagues throughout most of his Cleveland Indians days. I'm sure the Astros regret making that trade to get him.
Looking through the roster I saw Curt "Fu€&ing" Schilling on the team. That big mouth bastard. He blows hot air out of his mouth and his a$$hole! (He owes the State of Rhode Island $75million. I LOVE Rhode Island!) Tony Eusibio, Andejar Cedeno, Jim Corsi, Eric Anthony, Ryan Bowen (future Florida Marlin and I worked with one of his cousins), Carl "Tuffy" Rhodes, Dean Wilkins (Baseball America proclaimed him to be one of the best catchers EVER.  Didn't happen. He was supposed to be the next Johnny Bench. He spent more time on benches then behind the plate), Scott Servais, Terry McGriff, Dave Engle (I met him at a Las Vegas 51's game when he was scouting for the Padres. Great guy, great story teller) and Jeff Juden who I read was the real life Jeff Lebowski, dumb as a bag of rocks with a not a care in the world attitude.
Twenty-two years later, ALL those guys are retired from the game, the Toros are long gone (two teams have come to replace them, the Sidewinders and the current Padres), Sergio is a happily married family man living in the bay area, and I'm still single in love with baseball and golf.
I have been home for two days, and I miss walking around Old Scottsdale to dinner. I miss the casual atmosphere at the ballpark. Its all big business starting March 31st.
I thought the Phoenix metro area was a big shithole in the middle of the desert. Now I think its a great vacation spot and I can't wait to go back. Next time I'm taking my golf clubs. I want to see the Diamondbacks (I hate that their called the D-Backs. I think douche bag when I hear that) and the Rockies at Salt Flats, the Cubs, then the Giants and A's again. I underestimated Phoenix and the southwest. Look forward to next time!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Camelback Ranch In One Word.....Wow!

My first two days of my Arizona vacation I visited the Grandaddy of Them All in Arizona, Phoenix Muni. Great place with lots of history. The City of Phoenix just put in a lot of money on the Old Rock Pile on Van Bueren. Later in the day after my visit, the Oakland A's announced they are moving to Mesa and taking over HoHoKam Park in 2015. Arizona State is moving into Phoenix Muni.
I wrote about my visit to Scottsdale Stadium. It was a sardine can. Nice place though.
Then yesterday I went to a Spring Training site fit for the 21st Century.....Camelback Ranch in Glendale. All I could think was its the best ballpark I have ever been in. Very roomy and comfortable. There wasn't a bad seat in the house.
It also carries the heat well. I had to upgrade to a seat in the upper deck behind home plate to get some shade! It must have been in the mid 80's in the Valley.
The best part of CBR is they sell Dodger Dogs! I had two. My first Dodger Dogs in seven years!
Team Mexico played the Dodgers in a final tune up for the World Baseball Classic. The atmosphere was full of Mexican pride and lots of beautiful brown people walking around.
I hate to say it, but I think Team Mexico is going to get knocked out early in the WBC. No hitting and no pitching. They gave it their best.
It's been a long travel day. I'm having a beer and I ready to sleep. Very soon, I will post my final thoughts of my trip.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Tale Of Two Spring Training Cities

I spent most of the day at Scottsdale Stadium yesterday. Very nice place. Beautiful women EVERYWHERE!!! Definitley the younger crowd hangout. Big difference from yesterday. Phoenix Muni seemed like a retirement community.
I couldn't turn around and not almost bump into some one at the Giants game today. Its AT&T Park South. The party place. The hardcore fans were watching the game. The college kids were partying, drinking and mingeling.
Lots of parents with their little ones running around. Festive atmosphere all around.
I'm glad I had the oppurtunity to go to the Spring Training home of both my local teams. The A's seemed very relaxed. They interacted with the fans all day.
The Giants were very business like and very distant with the fans. I guess when you win a World Series, you can act however you want.
During the last two days, I have been asking myself a question over and over. Why haven't I done this before? I'm having the time of my life down here in the Valley of the Sun. Will I come back? Yes I will!
No game report today. It was a great game between the Giants and Indians. Great defensive plays. Three plays at the plate that resulted in outs. I never see that in one year. The Indians won 4-3. It was tied in the ninth. Some minor leaguer who will be in Columbus hit a homer to win the game for the Indians.
Tomorrow I will be watching Team Mexico of the World Baseball Classic take on the L.A. Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.
I'm now sitting at the pool in my hotel enjoying this great weather.
Just had a great dinner at Don and Charlies. I ate a full slab of their world famous ribs. I saw Will Clark eating dinner with long time clubhouse manager Mike Murphy.
Chat with ya tomorrow!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hello From Phoenix, Arizona!

Hello everyone! I'm here at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for my first ever Spring Training game between the Oakland A's againts the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem in southern California. The gates just opened and game time is in two hours!
Update 6pm
Just got back to the hotel. What a game! The A's demolished the Angels 13-5. The game was reminicent of an old Phoenix Firebirds game at Phoenix Muni in the Pacific Coast League.
The new face of baseball, Mike Trout led the game with a double, confirming that he will be the number one pick in many fantasy drafts across the country.
The A's pitchers looked great throughout the game. Resop looked good, he's a finese pitcher. Sean Doolittle was dealing, he looked great! Struck out the side, eventually striking out four in a row. The big leaguers left about mid way through the game. Then the minor leaguers who will be playing in Sacramento and Salt Lake City entered the game. The lead went back and forth most of the game. Then the A's bats exploded in the 9th. Pitcher Chad Cordero got knocked around as the A's batted around and scored six runs on six very hard hits. I'm sure Mr. Cordero will be in AA this year.
I really liked old Phoenix Muni. Great place to watch a ballgame! I saw first hand the very friendly interaction between the A's players and the fans.
Tomorrow its the Giants versus Indians a few blocks from the hotel in downtown Scottsdale. As for now, I'm ready to hit the town!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

My East Coast Bias

Everyone knows ESPN has an east coast bias. Look at their programming. Their baseball schedule is mainly Redsox/Yankees or Phillies/Braves. Sometimes the Mets.
The Miami Heat are ALWAYS on the NBA on Wednesday nights.
My east coast bias is different. Growing up on the west coast, I had the San Francisco Giants/49ers crammed down my throat.
I grew up a LA Dodgers, Rams, Lakers and Kings fan. Before the internet and 24/7 sports coverage, I couldn't get enough of the LA teams. Now I'm sick of them. The mystery is gone.
Over the last few years, I have developed a love for the east coast. I love to read about the history of east coast teams, golf courses, and players. So much history to read about!
I love to read about the New York teams. The Yankees fascinate me.
I search the internet for unique blogs about passionate fans view of their favorite teams.
Of course I love to go back east and visit the places I read about.
So consider me an east coaster at heart! 

On The Road To Arizona

I'm on Hwy 99 in Merced. Arizona is a million miles away......
Update 10:20am
We are in the Tehachipi's now.....
Update 1:15pm....somewhere in the middle of the Mojave desert.
Update 9:46pm Im at the world famous Pink Pony in Scottsdale. No one is here.....

Monday, February 25, 2013

There Will Be Blood

No I'm not talking about Oscar Winner Daniel Day Lewis' movie from a few years ago. I'm talking about Rob Zombie's upcoming film about the Broad Street Bullies, the Philadelphia Flyers from the 1970's.
I say there will be blood, because that's not only Rob Zombie's specialty, but the Bullies were known for bloodshed as well. A perfect combination!
The script is finished, and filming begins in Philadelphia this fall.
Philly sports teams have been the subject of several movies the past few years. Invincible, Silver Linings Playbook, that Tony Danza movie were he played a garbage man who kicks for the Eagles, then this Flyers movie. What next? A movie about Tug McGraw and the Fightin' Phillies of the late 70's and early 80's? I would definitely see that!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When It Was A Game

I was up late watching the old baseball documentary, When It Was A Game. I have seen it advertised for years, but never got around to watching it.
I must say it was very good. It captured baseball at a time before money really controlled the game.
Last night I had thoughts that before big money contracts, before network television, before Marvin Miller and the Major League Players Association, before Curt Flood challenged the Reserve Clause, before Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally and free agency, before expansion, before Scott Boras, baseball was just a GAME!
Despite the greed, I still love the game.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Shaking The Winter Rust

Hit some golf balls before work today. The irons felt good. I need to work on my short irons and wedges. Here it is mid Feburary and I haven't even played a round of golf yet.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spring Training Starts Today

Thank The Lord baseball is finally here! I leave for my Arizona trip in 19 days. I'm going to see the Dodgers, Giants, A's and a mystery team.
Yesterday to get in the spring training mood, I had a catch with a friend for about half an hour. It was nice to throw the ball around.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ah, The Life of A Golf Pro

I just hit a bucket of balls at Napa Golf Course. I saw one pro give a lesson at the practice tee. He looked as if he was engaging in nice conversation between giving instruction and observing. It seemed as if he was just hanging out with the fellas.
I saw another pro giving a putting lesson. He looked like he was actually working with his teenage pupil. He looked as if he wanted to be someplace else. After the lesson, he muttered his upcoming schedule for the week. Seemed as if he had a lot of downtime for the week. Then he headed to the clubhouse to watch the rest of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
When I went inside to pay for my bucket, there were three more guys sitting around watching Phil Mickelson play.
What a life. Hit all the golf balls you want. In between lessons watch all the Golf Channel you can, and make money doing what you love.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Aussie Open

I was up late last night/early this morning watching the Austrailian Open men's final. I stayed up until the beginning of the second set.
Now I'm watching the third set.
Problem with watching a DVR'd sports event is trying to avoid Twitter, Facebook and Tumbler.
I made the mistake of looking up vintage tennis pictures on Tumbler. As I was scrolling through the pictures, I saw pictures of Djokovic raising the championship trophy.
Oh well, I'm watching some great, inspiring tennis. I think it's time to get my tennis racquets out.
Until next time, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Twenty One Owners Is Going To Add Up To One Big Problem

So Mayor Johnson found two big whales and 19 millionaires to buy the Kings and keep them in Sacramento.
I don't see this working out. A lot of egos are going to want credit for helping out.
Then this group still has to find a way to get a new arena built. The plan is to demolish a downtown mall and build on the site. That will take years to get done. The area where the current mall is has NO parking. I'm sure a parking structure will pop up somewhere close by.
I wish this group luck. They are going to need it.

I Got The Ravens Right

Well the Super Bowl opponents are set. The local San Francisco 49ers againts the Baltimore Ravens. Back in August I said it would be a Seahawks/Ravens Super Bowl.
The Seahawks were a few seconds and two long passes from Matt Ryan to making it to the NFC Championship game. I think Seattle is an up and comer.
So now the big story is that two brothers will be coaching againts each other in the Super Bowl.
I'm picking San Francisco to win the Super Bowl. The quest for six will be lead by #7 Colin Kaepernick, the new number one man in The Bay.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Kings Can Stay, The Maloofs Can Take A Hike

Well it seems as if our local basketball club, the team that made Sacramento a major league city, might be moving to Seattle.
The Sacramento Kings are very close to signing a deal to have the team sold to a group of Seattle investors. The team will begin play in Seattle next season.
But wait!!! The mayor of Sacramento and the Maloofs found a potential local buyer to keep the team in Sacramento.
Now the soap opera begins. Will the Kings move or stay? Will the Maloofs drag this out as long as they can? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bowl Season

Bowl season is upon us. Hurry up and let the games end. I'm ready for Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers report in six weeks!