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.