Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sacramento Kings: John Hollinger's 2010-11 NBA Forecast

2010-11 NBA Forecast: Sacramento Kings - ESPN
Outlook

The Kings have an impressive young nucleus with Evans and Cousins, so if Sacramento can keep them on the straight and narrow, they could make rapid progress in future seasons. That said, I'm dubious of their ability to do so, and even if they do, I'm not sure they can put the finishing pieces on the squad.

...there doesn't seem to be any real overarching plan in Sacramento; they just throw stuff at the wall and enthusiastically pat themselves on the back when it works (at least, when they're not taking a nap). This year they'll likely applaud the impact of Cousins and Dalembert in the frontcourt and the continuing development of Evans and Casspi. Unfortunately, the Kings will be mediocre at best on the defensive end, and the lack of long-range shooting and backcourt depth will likely consign them to another below-par offensive year as well.

At least now there's hope. I don't expect it to translate into many more wins this season, but the Evans-Cousins combo is a genuinely exciting development. While a playoff berth seems out of reach, a more realistic goal would be to put some fans back in the seats and set Sacramento on course toward a new arena that can keep the team in town long-term. Acquiring two special talents in the past two drafts has made that achievement much more likely.


Prediction: 28-54, 4th in Pacific Division, 13th in Western Conference

John Hollinger's 2009-2010 NBA Forecast: Sacramento Kings

John Hollinger's 2008-2009 NBA Forecast: Sacramento Kings

John Hollinger's 2007-2008 NBA Forecast: Sacramento Kings

John Hollinger's 2006-2007 NBA Forecast: Sacramento Kings


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

30 for 30: The House of Steinbrenner

I watched The House of Steinbrenner. This is the twenty-second installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series.

The film opens with video and interviews from the last game at original Yankee Stadium on September 21, 2008. "The House That Ruth Built" was opened in 1923 and hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history.

The documentary then switches gears and looks at the tenure of George Steinbrenner as owner of the New York Yankees. In 1973, Steinbrenner brought the Yankees for $10 million. The value of the Yankees is currently estimated at more than one billion dollars. I was surprised how much time the film spent on Hal Steinbrenner. Hal is George Steinbrenner's youngest child and the current chairman of the board of the Yankees.

The film ends with the opening of the new Yankee stadium and old stadium being torn down. The new stadium opened on April 16, 2009. Drew and I got a chance to see the Yankees play the Phillies in the new stadium on May 23, 2009.

While a more conventional documentary with a more mainstream subject than some of the other 30 for 30 films, it is solid. The documentary does not touch on any of my passions; I am not a Yankee nor American League fan. It seems like the film could have spent more time on George Steinbrenner and less on Hal Steinbrenner. In my ranking of the best 30 for 30's, The House of Steinbrenner falls somewhere in the middle.

The film is available on Amazon.

The House of Steinbrenner is also available on iTunes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NBA Power Rankings 2010-2011 Training Camp

The Sacramento Kings open training camp ranked as the second worst team in the league in Marc Stein's power rankings of NBA teams, ahead of only the Timberwolves. Last season, the Kings were ranked as the worst team in Stein's preseason power rankings.

NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN
These very young Kings will definitely be bigger with Cousins and Dalembert, but don't bank on anything more than marginally better yet. Tyreke and Cousins, as a franchise duo, have some questions to answer.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Robert Plant - Angel Dance

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Robert Plant - Angel Dance

Code Expiration: December 24, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 Sacramento Mountain Lions versus Florida Tuskers

With the Mountain Lions Mascot

When Jesuit visited Jack's school last week, they gave the boys two tickets to the Sacramento Mountain Lions game. Jack and I ended up going to the game on Saturday night versus the Florida Tuskers. We sat with the coach for Jack's flag football team and his son. Jack was very excited and had a great time.

Duante Culpepper is the quarterback for the Mountain Lions. He played ten years in the NFL, primarily for the Minnesota Vikings. Culpepper was 26 for 42 with 342 yards and 3 touchdowns on Saturday night. With 31 seconds remaining, Cukpepper threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to win the game by the score of 24 to 20.

Sacramento Mountain Lions versus Florida Tuskers

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Train Wreck [Outlaws versus Combat Scrimmage]

The 12U Outlaws played the 11U Combat in a scrimmage at Morse Park on Sunday afternoon. Combat is a new team made up of a number of players from the old Laguna Bullets team plus some players from Woodland. It was painful mess to watch.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 3 with three strike-outs and a walk. He seemed completely out of sync.

In the field, Jack played two innings at third base and two innings at first base. Oddly, he only handled the ball once. Jack had a put-out at first on a throw from shortstop.

The Outlaws lost the scrimmage by the score of 12 to 8. They had a bushel of errors. Although I was not keeping score, the Outlaws had at least five errors. It is possible the actual number of errors was six or seven.

After the game, the Outlaws coach gathered up the players and parents. He said that he was very disappointed in the boys' focus and attitude. He said that he was dissolving the roster. The Outlaws were scheduled to play at Mather this coming weekend. The coach said that he was not interested in playing against a number of good teams with this roster and was going to withdraw from the tournament. He also indicated that the team was not good enough to go to Cooperstown next summer and that he was rethinking whether or not he was committed to going. The coach said that he would be holding a try-out for a new roster on Sunday, October 9.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Davis Ranch

We made our annual pilgrimage to Davis Ranch to get fall decorations. We have gone there for a car load of stuff every fall for seven straight years. The selection of pumpkins, particularly big pumpkins, was more limited than it has been in the last couple of years. I am guessing that this is the result of the unseasonably cool summer.

At Davis Ranch


At Davis Ranch, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Friday, September 24, 2010

2010 PAL Flag Football SEAs versus St. James

SEAs versus St. James


The SEAs Eagles played their third game of the 2010 PAL Flag Football season against St. James at Jesuit High School.

On offense, Jack was the first team wide receiver. [He is #16 and split wide to the right in the photo.] This was a change from last week. In the first game, he started at wide receiver, but in the second game, Jack started at tight-end. He grumbled about playing tight-end last week and was glad to be back at wide receiver; he did not like running routes from the tight-end position.

Jack finally got a few touches. He caught three passes on offense. Jack made a nice over the shoulder catch on a deep route and two catches crossing over the middle.

On defense, Jack was the first team linebacker. He had a leaping interception in the first half.

SEAs rolled to a 21 to 0 half-time lead and won the game by the score of 27 to 6.

The SEAs Eagles record for the season is 2 wins and 0 losses. The Eagles play the Park City Merryhill team next Friday night.

Jack Covering A Kick-off Against St. James

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sleepaway Camp The Musical

For more than six years, Drew has been telling me about Sleepaway Camp The Musical. He and a couple of friends have worked on and off on the idea of turning the campy 1980's horror film into a musical.

On September 9, 10 and 12, they put on a theatrical reading of the script with 13 actors along with a full band and the music at the Geery Theater in Sacramento.

An interview from the Sacramento Press with Drew, Rob, Freddy and Graham about the project can be found here.

They have also started a blog about the project: Sleepaway Camp The Musical The Blog.

The Sleepaway Camp Films blog even posted a short note about the project.

As noted on the Sleepaway Camp The Musical The Blog, they are "early in the stages of talking to the rights owners of the Sleepaway films."

Sleepaway Camp The Musical on Broadway?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

California Historical Landmark #1039

Sikh Temple Site
California State Historical Landmark #1039

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located at 1930 South Grant Street, Stockton, California. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Joaquin County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 56.041 W 121° 16.501.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #1039

The Sikhs-from the Punjab region of India-are an important immigrant group in California since about 1900. Most were drawn to agriculture in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, since those flat expanses were similar to the Punjab. The 1915 temple was one of the first religious centers for Indians in the United States. A replacement temple was constructed in 1930 and the 1915 building is used as the temple library. The temple helped maintain Punjabi traditions and to establish better understanding of the Sikh people by the community at large. Many events at the temple, and the temple’s charity kitchen, were open to all, regardless of religion or nationality. Stockton’s Sikh Temple is still an important institution for many Sikhs that remain in the region.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ESPN 30 for 30: Unmatched

Sharon, Jack and I watched Unmatched. This is the twenty-first installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series. The documentary looks at the relationship between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

For 12 consecutive years, from 1975 to 1986, either Chris Evert or Martina Navratilova finished the season ranked number one in the world. Evert and Navratilova met on the tennis court 80 times over the course of 16 years.

The film is done entirely as a dialogue between Evert and Navratilova. Most of the time they are talking directly to each other. Occasionally, they are shown alone taking about the other person. There is no voice over or interviewer. The film includes lots of still photos and footage from their lives and careers.

Chris and Martina appear to geniunely like each other. They also appear to be likeable people.

While not one of my top five from the 30 for 30 series, it is a solid film told in an unique style.  Sharon really liked it.

The film is available from Amazon.

Unmatched is also available on iTunes.

Bill Simmons did a podcast with Hannah Storm who served as the co-producer of the film. The podcast spends the first third talking about the film and then branches off to talk about Hannah's career and raising kids.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Zac Brown - Keep Me In Mind

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Zac Brown - Keep Me In Mind

Code Expiration: December 17, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 PAL Flag Football SEAs versus Holy Rosary

After playing baseball on Sunday morning, we headed to Jesuit High School in the afternoon. The SEAs Eagles played their second game of the 2010 PAL Flag Football season against Holy Rosary.

On offense, Jack was the first team tight-end. This was a change from last week when he played wide receiver. Jack had only one pass thrown in his direction. On a crossing pattern, a pass was thrown behind him. Jack got a hand on it, but could not collect it; it would have been a fairly spectacular catch. At this point, he is probably the fourth option on offense. He is a little frustrated that he has not been able to get more touches.

On defense, Jack was the first team linebacker.

SEAs rolled to a 24 to 0 half-time lead. As a result, Jack only played a little in the third quarter and hardly at all in the fourth quarter as the coaches played the second and third strings. SEAs won the game by the score of 44 to 8.

The SEAs Eagles record for the season is 1 win and 0 losses. Last week's game against St. Ignatius was marked as a practice game on the schedule and does not count in the standings. SEAs will face St. Ignatius again in the last week of the regular season.

After getting kicked around by St. Ignatius last week, the Eagles looked much more impressive this week. Admittedly, Holy Rosary seemed like a very small team. Nevertheless, Jack's team seems like it is figuring out how to use the offensive weapons that it has. It is going to be interesting to see the competition the next three weeks. They will be facing St. James and two Merryhill schools. The top two teams in a six team division make the play-offs.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #7 Day #2

After losing both games on Saturday, the Outlaws had to come back and play at Big League Dreams at 8:00 a.m. This translates to getting Jack up at about 5:45 a.m. and leaving the house at 6:10 a.m. to be at the ball park by 7:00 a.m. for warm-ups.

The Outlaws played the NorCal Grizzles. The Grizzles had also lost both of their games on Saturday.

At the plate, Jack was 1 for 3 with a run scored and hit by a pitch. In his first at-bat, Jack drove a 1 and 1 pitch into right center for a single. He went to second on a throwing error by the pitcher, to third on a ground out by Jeremy and scored on Josh's double into right center. Jack was hit by a 0 and 1 pitch in his second plate appearance. He stole second, but the inning ended with him on second. In his third at-bat, Jack hit a high fly ball on the first pitch into right field for an out. He hit it very hard, but just got under it. Jack hit another high fly ball into left center in his fourth plate appearance on a 1 and 0 count. The center fielder came over to make a nice play for the out.

In the field, Jack sat out the first inning, played third base for 3 innings and then pitched 1 2/3 innings. At third, he had a put-out, an assist and an error. On a slow roller past the pitcher in the fourth inning, Jack fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw was down the line from first base. The ball and the runner got there at the same time. The first baseman and the runner went down in a heap and the runner was safe. I charged Jack with an error. Two batters later with runners on first and second, a ball was hit hard down the third base line. Jack knocked the ball down, found the handle and stepped on third for the out. He then made an acrobatic throw to first for a double play to end the inning. As one of the parents has said to me in the past, Jack seems to make the easy plays look hard and the hard plays look easy.

Jack pitched the 5th inning and 2/3s of the 6th inning. This is the first time that Jack has pitched in a tournament since the Outlaws first tournament ever in early September of 2009. Additionally, he really has not worked on his pitching in practice. The results were somewhat predictable; he was very wild. In 1 2/3's innings, Jack threw 42 pitches, 23 balls and 19 strikes. He walked five batters and gave up two soft hits. Jack would have gotten out of the 6th except for some confusion by the shortstop and second baseman on who was covering second on a come backer to the box that lead to an error.

In an adventure, the Outlaws escaped with a win by the score of 10 to 9.

For the weekend, the Outlaws had 9 errors and 12 unearned runs! They played very sloppy baseball. I have spent a lot of time over the last day thinking about why there were so many errors...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #7 Day #1

The Outlaws played in the first day of the Black Tie Tournament at Big League Dreams in Manteca. The Outlaws played the River City Bandits in the first game. They lost to the Bandits by the score of 7 to 3 in the elimination game of the Labor day tournament.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 1 with a strike-out and 2 walks. In his first at-bat, he walked on 4 pitches. Jack went to second on a passed ball, but was still at second when the inning ended. He struck out looking on four pitches in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, Jack walked on five pitches. The inning ended with him still at first base.

In the field, Jack played six innings at first base. He had two put-outs. In the first inning, he handled a soft grounder up the first base line and tagged out the runner. Also in the first inning, Jack handled a throw from Jordan at third for the third out.

Giving up two errors in the first three batters and allowing two unearned runs in the top of the first, the Outlaws lost to the Bandits by the score of 3 to 1.

In the second game of the day, the Outlaws played the Southbay Diamondbacks. The Diamonds had beat the Bandits by the score of 12 to 10 in an earlier game.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with two strike-outs. He struck out looking on three pitches in his first at-bat. Jack struck out swinging on four pitches in his second plate appearance.

In the field, Jack played two innings in left field and one inning at third base. In left field, he fielded two balls that dropped in front of him. With a runner going home, Jack made a great throw to the cut-off man, but the exchange between the cut-off and the catcher was not handled and the runner scored. Jack had an assist and an error at third. On a soft roller past the pitcher, Jack made a great play moving to his left to take the ball in front of the shortstop who was playing deep and threw the runner out at first. Later in the same inning, he had a grounder hit at him. Jack fielded the ball, but dropped it as he went to take the ball out of his glove.

Against a very good team, the Outlaws got crushed by the score of 12 to 2 in four innings.

After being so hot from Memorial Day to 4th of July, Jack is really struggling at the plate. I am not sure what to do to help him.

As a result of the two losses, the Outlaws have to be back at Big League Dreams for a 8:00 a.m. game tomorrow morning.

Friday, September 17, 2010

California Historical Landmark #214

Site of Battle Between Forces Under General Vallejo
and San Joaquin Valley Indians

California State Historical Landmark #214

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This landmark is located at the Indian Valley Resort, 200 yards southeast of confluence of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Rivers on north bank of Stanislaus River, Salida, California. There are 24 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Joaquin County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 39.910 W 121° 14.440.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

California Historical Landmark #214

In 1829, the Governor-General of California directed Vallejo to punish the Cosumnes Indians for their raids on local ranches. The battle is one of the few fought in California in which cannons were actually used.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Windup Girl

I finished reading The Windup Girl. This book has won a number of major awards. It was named as the ninth best fiction book of 2009 by TIME magazine. The novel is both the 2009 Nebula Award and the 2010 Hugo Award winner for best science fiction/fantasy novel. I brought the book after seeing that it won the Nebula Award.

The novel is set in Bangkok in the 22nd century. Global warming has raised the levels of world's oceans. Bangkok survives behind a series of dikes. Carbon fuel sources have become depleted. Biotechnology is dominant. Other themes in the book include megacorporations, bioterrorism and seedbanks.

I read science fiction partly because I love to see how authors play with ideas about technology. As someone who struggles everyday to build and maintain technology solutions on a large scale, I am fascinated by how technology might interact with our lives in the future. Although pessimistic about the future, The Windup Girl is a good example of a book with lots of interesting ideas.

After we spent two weeks in the Philippines in 2003, Sharon and Pat continued on to Bangkok and Thailand, while I headed back home with Jack. I have always regretted not having a chance to see Bangkok and some of Thailand. The country remains on my top ten countries to visit.

Although I am not sure that any book could live up to the positive reviews and awards that it got, I enjoyed the book. I started to worry in the last fifty pages that I was going to be disappointed by the ending, but I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed how the story ended. I would grade the novel as a strong B+ or A- and would recommend it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sacrament of Confirmation

Sharon, Jack and I went to a meeting at the parish center starting us down the path to Jack's confirmation. In our parish, this is an eighteen month process. In the coming year, Jack has to complete a number of hours of community services, select a confirmation name and sponsor and attend a couple of lectures.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Philip Selway - By Some Miracle

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Philip Selway - By Some Miracle

Code Expiration: December 10, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dave Hare

Sharon and I are working our way through a boxed set of all five seasons of Alley McBeal. In Prime Suspect in season three, one of the main characters walks into a room at the end of the episode, sits down and says "I have a brain tumor."

Sometime in the mid-1980's, I was working on the computer in the den at the East View house when the phone rang. Answering the phone and exchanging greetings with Dave Hare, he said "I have a brain tumor." Dave died in early 1992 after a long battle with brain cancer.

After seeing the episode, Dave has been very much on my mind. Wallen and I met Dave while I was working for the California Farm Bureau Federation and Wallen was working for Cal Farm Insurance in 1979. He quickly became part of the our extended group of friends.

Dave is in this picture from Lake Trinity in 1985 between Wallen and I.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wall-E

Sharon, Jack and I watched Wall-E on the AppleTV.

Nevada Historical Landmark #44

When Larkin and I were in Carson City for Rod's golf tournament, I wandered around the downtown one morning after breakfast looking for waymarks, including a pony express stop, the state capitol and the United States Mint.

Carson City
Nevada Historical Marker #44

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This marker is located on the grounds of the state capitol building in Carson City, Nevada. There are 25 other historical markers in Carson City County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 09.845 W 119° 46.003.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Nevada Historical Landmark #44

Nevada's State Capitol, one of the state's oldest communities, was established in 1851 as Eagle Station, a trading post and ranch on the Carson branch of the California Immigrant Trail, by Frank and Warren L. Hall, George Follansbee, Joe and Frank Bernard and A.J. Rollins. The station and surrounding valley took their name from an eagle skin stretched on the wall of the trading post.

In 1858, Abraham Curry purchased much of the Eagle Ranch after finding that lots in Genoa were too expensive. Together with his friends, John Musser, Frank Proctor and Ben Green, Curry platted a town he called Carson City. Curry left a plaza in the center of the planned community for a capitol building should the territorial or state seat of government be located in his town sometime in the future.

In March, 1861, Congress created the Nevada Territory. Seven months later, November, 1861, Carson City became the capitol of the territory due to the efforts of Curry and William M. Stewart. When Nevada became a state three years later, Carson City was selected as the state capitol, and by 1871, the present capitol building was completed in the plaza Curry had reserved for it.


Nevada Historical Landmark #44

Friday, September 10, 2010

2010 PAL Flag Football SEAs versus St. Ignatius


The SEAs Eagles played their first game of the 2010 PAL Flag Football season against St. Ignatius at Jesuit High School. They will be playing a seven game season followed by two weekends of play-offs.

On offense, Jack played wide receiver. Jack is split out to the left in the picture. St. Ignatius had two giant defense linemen that the SEAs' linemen struggled to keep out of the backfield. Neither of the giant St. Ignatuis linemen are in the picture! Although I did not count, I would guess that they sacked the quarterback eight times and were in the quarterback's face every time he dropped back to throw. There were three passes thrown to Jack, but he did not get a reception.

On defense, Jack played linebacker. He had one interception.

St. Ignatius won the game by the score of 20 to 0.

I was surprised how much Jack ended up playing. He was probably on the field for all but five or six plays. With nine players on the field at time, this is a much different game than the CSD flag football that he has been playing the last three years. With blocking, it is a lot more physical. At this age, the game is getting a lot faster. I think that it is going to take Jack a couple of games to adapt to the speed of the game. It is going to be a good experience for Jack.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

ESPN 30 for 30 - One Night in Vegas

I watched One Night in Vegas. This is the twentieth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series.

The documentary examines the relationship between rapper Tupac Shakur and boxer Mike Tyson and the events of September 7, 1996. It very briefly explores their lives and careers. Both men serviced time in prison for sexual assault. The night that Tyson beat Bruce Seldon for the WBA title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Tupac was gunned down on the Las Vegas Strip. Tyson was planning to met Tupac at a nightclub after the fight.

The film uses elements of a graphic novel to move the story along. It opens and closes with a spoken word sequence.

Watching the first five minutes of the film on Tuesday night, I thought that I was going to hate it. When I started watching it again from the beginning on Wednesday, I found the story somewhat interesting. I had no idea who the rapper Tupac was and do not have recollection of the September 7, 1996 events that serve as the central part of the story. Consequently, the story was at least new to me. From my uneducated perspective, the documentary seems like a very superficial treatment of Tupac, Tyson and the events of September 7.

While probably not my least favorite of the 30 for 30 films so far, it is pretty near the bottom. My least favorite so far has been Straight Outta LA with Run Ricky Run as a close second.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

2010 PAL Flag Football SEAs versus St. Mary's Scrimmage

Over the last three years, Jack has played flag football in the fall in the Consumes Community Services District league. A picture of Jack from last season actually shows up on the CSD web page!  This year he is going play in the Parochial Athletic League (PAL) on a team from his school.

The rules are slightly different. The CSD league had 5 players on the field at time and did not allow blocking. The PAL league has 9 players on the field and does allow limited blocking. The SEAs PAL team includes more than 20 sixth, seventh and eighth graders from the school.

Getting ready for the first game of the season, the team scrimmaged against St. Mary's. Jack caught one pass on offense and had an interception on defense. With a lot more kids on the field and the team, I am interested to see how Jack does in the games. I think that it is going to be a lot harder to stand out.  The first game is Friday night against St. Ignatius.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Andrew Heringer Band "Under California Skies" CD Release Show


After a long satisfying day of baseball on Saturday, I met Sharon and Janie at the Fusion Yoga Studio in Sacramento for the Under California Skies CD release show. The Andrew Heringer Band played a set that focused on songs from the new CD. It was a wonderful show.

With Drew and Marlana moving to Southern California in October to focus on the Milo Greene Project, I wonder when and if we will ever see this configuration of the Andrew Heringer Band again in the near future.


Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Los Lobos - On Main Street

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Los Lobos - On Main Street

Code Expiration: December 3, 2010

Monday, September 06, 2010

2010 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #6 Day #3


Back to Big League Dreams for the second straight day, the Outlaws played in one of the semi-final games of the tournament. They played the River City Bandits. Austin and Amaury play for the Bandits. Austin played for the Gunners in 2008-2009 and went with the team to Cooperstown. A number of the Outlaws played with Amaury on the 2008 9U Laguna All-Star Team.

Channeling the fact that these are 12 year old kids playing a game, I rarely get upset at the umpiring. I got more agitated during this game than anytime I can remember in the last two plus years. I usually sit behind home plate to score the game on my iPad. The umpire's strike zone on the outside of the plate in this game was widely inconsistent. Particularly on outside pitches to a right handed batter, the strike zone moved back and forth all day. A pitch several inches off the plate would be a strike. The very next pitch about the same height but just off the plate would be a ball. This went on all game. It is not the reason that the Outlaws lost the game, but it makes it very difficult for the kids.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with a walk and a strike-out. In his first at-bat, Jack struck on looking on a 1 and 2 pitch that was several inches off the plate. Running the count to 3 and 2 and then fouling off two pitches, Jack walked in his second plate appearance. He stole second, but ended the inning there. In his third at-bat, Jack popped a 2 and 0 pitch up very high to the second baseman for an out.

In the field, Jack played four innings at third and one inning in center. In the second inning, he handled a high pop-up on the left side for an out. In the fourth inning, he made a great diving stop on a ball to his left, bounced up and threw the runner out at first by a step. On that play, Jack said that he saw that Coach Scott had called for an off speed pitch so he had taken a step towards the line. I did not realize that he was playing attention to pitching signs.

Allowing the Bandits lead-off runner to get on base with a 3DK and then walking the next batter in the top of the first inning, the Outlaws quickly fell behind 3 to 0. Austin pitched five strong innings for the Bandits. The Outlaws lost the game by the score of 7 to 3 and were eliminated from the tournament.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

2010 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #6 Day #2


Switching venues to Big League Dreams in Manteca, the Outlaws played in the second day of the Northern California Baseball Ultimate Labor Day Tournament. The Outlaws played the Sonoma County Rebels Blue team in the first game.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 3 with a strike-out. In his first plate appearance, Jack hit the first pitch for a looping fly ball to right field. The right fielder tracked it down for an out. Jack's second plate appearance made me a little crazy; admittedly a short trip. Jack drove a 0 and 1 pitch up for a nice line drive. Jeremy was on first and hesitated thinking that the ball might be caught. Jeremy was forced out at second and I had to score a great hit by Jack as a fielder's choice. uurrrgggghhhhh. In his third at-bat, Jack struck out looking on three pitches to end the game. He and I were both very frustrated with the last two called strikes.

In the field, Jack played four innings in centerfield and one inning at third. He handled a couple of balls hit in front of him in centerfield, but had no assists or put-outs.

In a pitching duel, the Outlaws lost to the Rebels by the score of 1 to 0.

As a result of the loss to the Rebels, the Outlaws were seeded second in pool A and had to play their first elimination on Sunday afternoon. The Outlaws played the San Ramon Hawks.


At the plate, Jack was 1 for 2 with a walk, a strike-out and 2 RBIs. In his first at-bat, he drove a 3 and 1 pitch into centerfield for a single. Cooper scored from third for the RBI. Jack stole second. He was doubled off second on a hard line drive to the shortstop by Josh. Jack struck out swinging on seven pitches in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, Jack walked on four pitches with the bases loaded to score Cooper.

In the field, Jack played three innings in centerfield and two innings at first. He had four put-outs at first on throws from second base (3) and shortstop.

Giving up 5 unearned runs in the second inning, the Outlaws battled back to win the game by the score of 8 to 7.

The win advances the Outlaws to a semi-final game against the River City Bandits at 10:10 a.m. on Monday at Big League Dreams.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Inside the Park Home Run! [2010 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #6 Day #1]

The Outlaws played their first tournament as a 12U team. They are scheduled to play seven tournaments between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

The Outlaws played the ASA Titans in the first game of the day at the Tracy Sports Park. At plate, Jack was 1 for 1 with a walk and two runs scored.

In this first at-bat of the fall season, Jack crushed a 1 and 0 pitch into left field along the third base line. The fences were very deep, probably more than 350 feet; the ball scooted all the way to fence. Jack crossed home plate standing up for an inside the park home run!

Jack walked on five pitches in his second plate appearance. He stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Jack scored on Jullian's infield single.

In the field, Jack played four innings at third base. He handled the ball twice and had one assist. The lead-off batter in the second inning hit a slow roller that went about half way down the third base line. Jack charged the ball and made a throw, but the runner was safe at first. In the same inning, he fielded a ground ball to the left side and threw a one hopper to Josh at first for the out.

Scoring 7 runs in the fourth inning, the Outlaws won the game by the score of 9 to 0 in four innings. There is an eight run mercy rule after four innings.

In the second game of the day, the Outlaws played the Nor Cal Phantoms.

At the plate, Jack was 1 for 2 with a strike-out and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack struck out swinging on three pitches. He pushed a 1 and 1 pitch in right center in his second plate appearance for a single. Jack stole second and then scored on Josh's triple to left center.

In the field, Jack played four innings at third base, but never handled the ball.

Scoring 6 runs in the third inning, the Outlaws won the game by the score of 10 to 0 in four innings.

They will be playing the Sonoma County Rebels 12U Blue tomorrow morning at Big League Dreams in Manteca.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Nevada Historical Landmark #25

When Larkin and I were in Carson City for Rod's golf tournament, I wandered around the downtown one morning after breakfast looking for waymarks, including a pony express stop, the state capitol and the United States Mint.

Nevada's Capitol
Nevada Historical Marker #25

See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This marker is located 101 North Carson, Carson City, Nevada. There are 25 other historical markers in Carson City County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 09.840 W 119° 45.986.

You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Nevada Historical Landmark #25

Completed in 1871, Nevada's splendid victorian capitol was built of sandstone from the quarry of the town's founder, Abe Curry. The octagon annex was added in 1907, the north and south wings in 1915. Notable features are its Alaskan marble walls, French crystal windows, and elegant interior.

Nevada Historical Landmark #25

Thursday, September 02, 2010

ESPN 30 for 30 - Little Big Men

Jack and I watched Little Big Men. This is the nineteenth installment of ESPN's 30 for 30 film series.

The documentary looks at the 1982 Kirkland, Washington Little League team that won the Little League World Series. Anchored by a 5' 7" and 175 pound 12 year old named Cody Webster, Kirkland put together a run through the local, state, regional and national tournaments to face Taiwan in the championship game. From 1969 to 1981, Taiwan had won the Little League World Series ten times. During this 13 year period, foreign teams had won the championship in 11 out of 12 years; Only in 1975 when foreign teams were banned had a United States team won the championship. Behind a complete game, no-hitter by Webster, Kirkland beat Taiwan by the score of 6 to 0.

The first half of the film focuses on the team. It includes footage from the championship game. The second half of the film becomes a cautionary tale. Tagged as a superstar, Webster became a media darling. His picture was everywhere, including repeated interviews on local and national television. No twelve year old year is prepared for this kind of attention or can live up to these kinds of expectations. The second half of the documentary looks at the twisting path his life takes over the next 28 years.

The film hit a couple of points that resonated with me. Jack is just twelve years old. He has had the opportunity to play on some good basketball and baseball teams in the last year or two. The point touched on in the documentary that these are just 12 year old kids and they should be enjoying sports is an important one.

This is not a great film; the pacing and the narration are little odd. Nevertheless, it is the only one of nineteen 30 for 30 films so far that I have actually watched twice.

The film is available in iTunes.

My favorites in the series so far include: June 17, 1994The 16th Man; Winning Time: Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks; and The 'U'.

Drew on Capitol Public Radio

Drew was on the Capitol Public Radio's Insight on Tuesday talking about his new album. You can find the radio show at:

http://www.capradio.org/152143

The interview with Drew starts about the 39th minute. You can skip to this point by clicking on the media player once it starts.

The August 31 edition of Insight with Drew is also available in iTunes here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

2010 Back to School Night

Sharon and I went to the 12th annual Back to School Night at Jack's school. This is the eighth year that we have attended. It is weird to think that next year will be the last time. It seems like just yesterday that we were shopping kindergartens!

The general session was held in the newly converted parish center. It included a prayer by the priest, a welcome by the principal, short speeches by the chairs of the school board (Mari), the parent association and the auction chair (Denise) and an introduction of the teachers.

Afterwards, we listened to a robin round presentation of the curriculum. Jack is now in middle school and has different teachers for different subjects. We did not get a chance to go into his classroom and see his desk.