Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Doing Some Homework

I just did local Napa TV tonight. It was a sports report for a cable access show. My plan was to spend a few days at the Oakland Raiders training camp. But a few obstacles got in my way.
#1-No press pass
#2-A big black fence surrounds the training facility.
#3-The team left town the day I showed up.
So with no press pass to get inside the training facility and no team in said training facility, I was screwed.
So I tried to make light of the situation. It didn't go well.
Long story short, I think the host of the show was pissed off at me for not really having anything to report.
I tried to make something out of nothing. Basically, I delivered nothing.
The PGA Tour returns to Napa in October. World number one Rory McIlroy is scheduled to appear. I just tweeted him. Doing some homework so I can have something to say in October.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Deconstructing A Game and Max Stassi

I went to the River Cats game tonight. A couple of posts ago I discussed scoring a game. It's something I do to keep me focused on the game.
I just finished reading a book called The Numbers Game. It was a great book. In a nutshell, it was about how baseball and statistics go hand in hand.
One part of the the book that caught my eye was something called Project Scoresheet. This was volunteers across the country who scored games and contributed their work to Bill James. I would have loved to have been a part of it had I known about it. I would have been a teenager, but I think that would have been fun to do.
Lately, I have deconstructed games I score. I just tally up ground outs, fly outs and strike outs. I find it interesting to see if a pitcher as an individual or a pitching staff as a whole are ground ball or flyball pitchers.
Then I breakdown the hitters. I do it just as you would find in the morning paper.
At the game I was watching Max Stassi. His father was my PE teacher in junior high school. Max has been a very productive minor leaguer. He had a cup of coffee with Houston last year.
Well, Stassi hit a towering bomb that cleared the clubhouse area of Raley Field. He really came around on the ball and hit it hard! One of the longest homeruns I ever saw at Raley Field. (Lance Niekro hit one so hard many years ago I don't think it landed yet!)
Back to Stassi. I noticed he's only hitting .239. He hits eighth in the line up. He eventually struck out three times. I looked up his stats after the game. He has 95 strikeouts (98 if tonights game is included). Why is he striking out so much? I always thought he was a hitter that hits for average. If the occasional homer happened, great. I don't follow him everyday, but it looks like he's trying to be a power hitter. He swung very hard in his last three at bats. Is he trying to hard to get back to Houston? Is he pressing? I know he'll figure it all out and hit for average again. The rosters expand in twelve days. Hope he gets a call up!

Friday, August 15, 2014

I'm Not A Raider Fan But.......

I made the decision to follow a local football team for the year to study the ups and downs of football on a weekly basis. I chose the Oakland Raiders because I can't stand the San Francisco Kaepernicks. Call me a hater, but I hate the 49ers.
My objective is to just that as an outsider and follow with my head, not my heart. This will be interesting.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Win Right Now!

We live in a competitive world now. Particularly in athletics. Gone are the days when a coach has a long tenure and rule a team with an iron fist. It's win right now, win at all costs world in sports. A coach is hired to be fired. A coach is on the hotseat if winning results aren't produced quickly.
I'm not gonna name a lot of names now, but I will name two baseball men who must win this year. And quite possibly, they're two teams can meet in the American League playoffs.
First let me discuss Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles. He's built the foundation for winning teams with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers. He's installed as manager for young teams. He teaches the young guys to be major leaguers. He shows them how to win. He has a set of rules he wants his young team to follow. Problem is, the young kids turn out to be established major league veterans. His act grows old and they tune Showalter out. He eventually gets fired. He has never enjoyed the success of his hard work in building a winning team.
He's building a winner in Baltimore. Everything is falling into place there. The Red Sox are reloading and rebuilding. The Yankees are chasing the Orioles. The Yanks are caught up in the Derek Jeter farewell tour. Baltimore has to win THIS YEAR! Time will tell.
Now let's discuss Oakland A's GM Billy Beane. What a life this guy has had. Number one draft pick, marginal player, great scout, and now a highly respected GM. Let's not forget Brad Pitt played him in a movie.
He's had very little to work with. Talent wise and money wise. The A's were the American League doormat three years ago. They are now back to back American West Division champs. Number three is on its way. The problem here is losing to the mighty Detroit Tigers and perennial douche bag Justin "My life is better than yours" Verlander. To get over the hump this year, Beane traded All Star slugger Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for Johnny Gomes and Jon Lester. He's also traded for Jeff Samardzija. Billy Beane is all in. He's in it to win it! I say the Red Sox trade is going to benefit Boston for years to come. Jon Lester said today he's going back to Boston when he's a free agent this winter.
So if Billy Beane wants to look like a genius, the A's have to win right now.
It's August 13th. There is still lots of baseball to be played. The window for the A's or Orioles to win is very small. Only one team can jump through the open window.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Closing Out A Scorebook

I just finished a scorebook. I started it in 1996. Probably got lost in a box and I found it.
It's a baseball time capsule. The names of players who have since retired, or are about to.
This particular one, I scored TV games as well as games at the ballpark.
I have always enjoyed keeping score. I started out as a teenager just using basic notation. As I got older, I used the numeral scoring system as well as keeping track of balls and strikes. In my twenties, I kept track of the game like a scout would. I would notate where the ball was hit, kept track of all the foul balls (to keep up with pitch count).
I remember a woman in Anaheim asking me if I was a scout!
Eventually I stopped keeping score. I had friends who told me I was being rude and anti-social.
But over the last few years, I missed keeping score. It gets me more involved with the game. A gentleman asked me last month on why I kept score/statistics. I told him I watch so many games on TV and in person, eventually I get bored if I'm not keeping score. I get distracted easily. (Read my last post)
I have another scorebook ready to be filled. I think real soon for old times sake, I'm gonna keep score of a TV game and a radio game. Scoring a radio game is hard, you have to focus as you can't see the action.
Thanks for reading!