Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ball Four By Jim Bouton

In May, I finished reading Ball Four by Jim Bouton. Probably one of the most famous baseball books of all times, I had never read it. I brought Ball Four and The Game after reading The Sports Book Hall of Fame article on the Grantland website last July. It was the second book in a row that I read as an ebook in the kindle app on my iPad.

Although I didn't know it when I started reading it, the book is a diary of Bouton's 1969 season with Seattle Pilots and Houston Astros. It is the only season that the Seattle Pilots existed; the team moved to Milwaukee for the 1970 season.  In an odd coincidence, Jack actually brought a Seattle Pilots cap shortly before I started reading the book.

Bouton played parts of 10 seasons in the major leagues with the Yankees, Pilots, Astros and Braves. He was on the 1961 and 1962 Yankees teams with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris that won the World Series. By 1969, he was no longer a young pitching phenomenon, but an older relief pitcher trying to survive with a knuckleball.

The diary is a very naked look at the life of a professional baseball player. It portrays the struggles, insecurity, doubts, triumphs, tedium and shenanigans in a frank fashion. Compared to Dryen's biography, The Game, Four Ball is written in a very simple style. It feels like almost anyone could have sat down and written the book.

The book also included three subsequent chapters: Ball Five, Ball Six and Ball Seven. These chapters chronicle Bouton's life after Ball Four was published. While I respect his trials and tribulations, I didn't enjoy these chapters as much as the original book.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it. The one thing that struck me was how much the players enjoyed playing baseball in spite of everything that was going on around them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Virtually Biking Across American - Day 18

On day 18, I rode 25 miles across Nevada. Starting on the Pony Express Trail northeast of the Sulphur Springs Pony Express Station (N39 50 05.7 W116 04 08.3), the ride continued northeast to the Diamond Spring station (N39 54 47.7 W115 52 21.2).

From there, I headed up Telegraph Canyon. This included a 3 plus mile climb with a grade ranging between 6% and 12%; a climb of over 1,500 feet. On Google Maps, the road does not continue down the other side. I used the feature of the iFit web site that allows you to trace the road on the satellite to connect up with White Pine County Road 1. I finished the day just past the Jacob Wells Pony Express Station.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Valedictorian!

For ten years, I have been chronicling Jack's athletic adventures in this space. He has played baseball, soccer, basketball, football and golf and ran track.

As I have said before, Jack is probably a better student than athlete. With his class graduating from SEAS at the end of the week, he has earned the highest rank in his class over the last three years and will be the valedictorian. He will be giving the valedictory address at the graduation.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Man on Fire

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - Man on Fire

"Home and the 2099 debut Up from Below have built fervent anticipation for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros sophomore release, the source of the haunting "Man on Fire."

Code Expiration: August 21, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #8 Day #3

On Memorial Day, the Outlaws were back at Mather for day three of the Northern California Travel Ball Utimate Memorial Day Tournament. They played the Martinez Bulldogs.

Before the game, Jack commented on the fact that the wind was blowing out to left. I think that he spent the game trying to see if he could launch one. His last two at-bats didn't even look like him. It looked to me like he was trying to kill the ball and hit it to the Subway in left field.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 3 with a fielder's choice and a run scored. In his first at-bat with no outs and Cooper on second and Trevor at first, he grounded a 1 and 0 pitch to the shortstop. Trevor was forced out at second, but Jack hustled up the line to avoid the double play. Jack stole second and scored on Josh's single to right. Jack struck out swinging on a 2 and 2 pitch in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, Jack struck out swinging on a 2 and 2 pitch.

In the field, Jack played three innings at third base and four innings in centerfield. He had one put out and two assists. Jack made nice plays on slow grounders hit to his left to field the ball and throw the runner out at first. He also handled a high pop-up to the right of mound. Jack thinks that he should have been able to run down one of the doubles that was crushed into right center.

The Outlaws got out pitched. Josh gave up two long doubles. The second double came after two walks. Although the Outlaws had 8 hits compared to 9 for the Bulldogs, the hits were not timely. The Outlaws lost the game by the score of 6 to 2 and were eliminated from the tournament. The box score is here.

The Outlaws next tournament will be in Omaha during the College World Series!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #8 Day #2


The Outlaws played in the second day of the Northern California Travel Ball Ultimate Memorial Day tournament. For the second straight day, they had afternoon games; a rare luxury. The Outlaws played Hard 90 in the first game of the day. This is a team that they have faced a number of times over the last four years without much success. Hard 90's roster has turned over a lot in the last year; they have a number of new players.

At the plate, Jack was 2 for 2 with a walk, a double and three runs scored. In his first at-bat, Jack walked on four pitches. He stole second and scored on Breyton's triple to right. Jack crushed the first pitch to centerfield in his second plate appearance. It went over the centerfielder's head for a double. Scott noted afterwards that Jack still did not have his hands fully extended. He went to third on Breyton's single and scored on an error by the second baseman. In his third at-bat, Jack lined the first pitch into left field for a single. He scored on Breyton's triple to right center.

In the field, Jack played third base for seven innings. He had four assists, two put-outs and two errors. Jack had tagged out a runner trying to steal on a throw from Jordan in the first inning. In the fifth inning, a runner tried to advance from second to third on a line drive to left. The ball went 7-3-5 and Jack tagged the runner out at third. He handled four grounders to the left side and threw the runners out at first. Jack had misadventures with two other balls. He had an error on a hard hit bouncer to his left that took a big hop. Additionally, on a tailor made double play ball, Jack threw the ball in the dirt to Trevor at second.

The Outlaws jumped all over Hard 90s starting pitcher. In the first two plus innings, they scored seven runs. Jack and Breyton eventually ended up with three runs scored each. The Outlaws won by the score of 10 to 5. The box score is here.

The Outlaws turned around and played the Dirty Dozen in the second game of the day. This is a team that they have faced a lot in the last couple of years with good success. There is no love loss between the two teams.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with a walk and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack walked on five pitches. He stole second and went all the way home on a wild pitch. Jack struck out on three pitches in his second plate appearance. In his third at-bat, Jack grounded a 1 and 0 pitch to the left side and was thrown out at first by a step.

In the field, Jack played an inning at third, an inning at first and three innings in centerfield. He had three put-outs. In the second inning, Jack took throws from the pitcher and third baseman for the out at first. In the fourth inning, he made a "routine" catch on a line drive hit to center.

The Dirty Dozen's starting pitcher (Craig Carroll) was huge: 5' 10'' and at least 200 pounds. Fortunately, he had control problems. The Outlaws scored four runs on an error, four walks and a bushel of wild pitches. The Outlaws added 7 more runs in the second inning against a second pitcher (Matthew Freeman). The Outlaws won the game by the score of 11 to 3. The box score is here.

The Outlaws ended the day seeded first in Pool B of the tournament. It was probably one of the most successful starts to a tournament that they have ever had. They will play the Martinez Bulldogs in first elimination game on Monday. The Bulldogs were 0 and 3 in pool A. The Outlaws beat them in the consolation game of the tournament in Martinez last weekend.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #8 Day #1


The Outlaws will be spending the long weekend playing in the Northern California Travel Ball Ultimate Memorial Day tournament. I am thankful that they got later games on both Saturday and Sunday. They played the San Jose Spartans in the only game on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

After a solid tournament last weekend, Jack struggled at the plate. He was not happy. Jack was 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs. In his first at-bat against a hard throwing left hander, Jack struck out on a 2 and 2 pitch. With Cooper on third and Trevor on second with one out, Jack fell behind 1 and 2 in the count in his second plate appearance. He fouled off two pitches and then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Cooper and advance Trevor to third. Although he was not pleased, it was actually a very good at-bat. With Trevor at third and one out, Jack grounded a 2 and 1 pitch to the shortstop in his third plate appearance. He was out at first and Trevor scored for the RBI. In his fourth at-bat, Jack hammered the first pitch deep into left center for an out. He just got under the pitch. One of these days, Jack is going to get all of one of these and crush it.

In the field, Jack played one inning at third, two innings at shortstop and one inning in centerfield. He had two put-outs and one assist. In the bottom of the second, the lead-off batter hit a single. Trying to steal second, Jack took the throw from J.J. and tagged the runner out. With two outs in the same inning, a ground was hit right at Jack at shortstop. He had trouble finding the handle, but then throw a strike to Breyton at first for the out. In the third inning, Jack ranged way behind second base to catch a soft fly ball for the out.

Trailing 5 to 3 in the top of the fourth, the Spartans changed pitchers. The Outlaws hammered the new pitcher for 6 runs in the fourth and 5 runs in the fifth. They won the game by the score of 14 to 5. The box score is here.

The Outlaws ended the day seeded first in the B pool. They will play Hard 90 and the Dirty Dozen on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

American President Reading List

George Washington (1789-1797)
  - His Excellency
  - Hamilton
   {Washington chief of staff during the Revolutionary War, first Treasury Secretary}
John Adams (1797-1801)
  - John Adams
  - Hamilton
   {Inspector General of the Army during the Quasi-War with the French}
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
  -Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
   {Five years Minister to France, Federalist [monarchists] versus Republicans}
  -Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and...
   {28 months and 8,000 miles, Lewis' journals not published until 1904}
James Madison (1809-1817)
  -The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict
   {Impressment, The Chesapeake Affair, Council of Orders, The Battle of New Orleans}
James Monroe (1817-1825)
John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
  - American Lion - Andrew Jackson in the White House
Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
William Henry Harrison (1841)
  -William Henry Harrison
   {Governor of the Indiana Territory, Tippecanoe and Tyler too, 32 days in office}
John Tyler (1841-1845)
James K. Polk (1845-1849)
Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
  - Team of Rivals
  - Manhunt:The Twelve Day Search for Lincoln's Killer
Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
  - Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
James A. Garfield (1881)
  -Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
   {Alexander Graham Bell, Antiseptic Surgery}
Chester Arthur (1881-1885)
  - Chester Allan Arthur
   {patronage, bossism, Roscoe Conkling, Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act}
  - Madison Square Park Statue
Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)
Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
  - Benjamin Harrison
  {McKinley Tariff Act, Sherman Antitrust Act, Sherman Sliver Purchase Act, wife died just before he lost reelection}
Grover Cleveland (1893-1897)
  - The President is a Sick Man
  {cancer, the gold standard, free silver, the Pullman strike}
William McKinley (1897-1901)
  - The President and the Assassin
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
  -Hot Time in the Old Town: The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt
   {Roosevelt as NYC police commissioner, Williams Jennings Bryant Madison Square Garden Speech}
  -The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
   {the role of journalists in supporting Roosevelt's reform agenda}
  - The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
  - Theodore Rex
  - Colonel Roosevelt
  - The River of Doubt
William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
  -The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
   {Governor-General of the Philippines, Secretary of the War, President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court}
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
  -Wilson
   {President of Princeton, Governor of New Jersey at 54, League of Nations, Stroke while in Office}
Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
  - Warren G. Harding: The American Presidents Series: The 29th President, 1921-1923
   {newspaper publisher; Ohio politics; US Senate; Teapot, Justice and Veteran scandals; mistresses}
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
  -FDR's Funeral Train: A Betrayed Widow, a Soviet Spy, and a Presidency in the Balance
   {Warm Springs, Georgia, Hyde Park Burial, Truman's address to Congress}
  -No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
   {Landlease; United Nations; Yalta; Eleanor: Hickok, Lash; Franklin: Mercer, LeHand, Suckley, Delano, Martha}
Harry S Truman (1945-1953)
  - - Truman
  -The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America’s Most Famous Residence
   {Gutted the White House and rebuilt with concrete and steel, Cold War, Assassination Attempt, Key West}
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
  - Eisenhower: Soldier and President
   {WWII Supreme Allied Commander, Korean War, Brown versus the Board of Education, Sputnik, U2s and Castro}
John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
  - Sins of the Father
  - An Unfinished Life
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
  - The Path to Power
   {School teacher and debate coach, congressional secretary, congressman, relationships with FDR and Rayburn}
  - Means of Ascent
   {WWII Bomber Mission, Campaigning by Helicopter, Coke Stevenson and the 1948 Senate Primary, Box 13}
Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
George Bush (1989-1993)
Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
George W. Bush (2001-2009)
Barack Obama (2009-present)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nevada Historical Marker #192

Wandering home after this year's Petersen Shootout, this is one of the places I stopped. I visited five Nevada State historical markers [Buckland's Station #192, Camels in Dayton #199, Halls Station #200, Chinatown #163 and Dayton #7] and three Pony Express Markers [Nevada Station, Dayton and Fort Churchill] and wandered through the Fort Churchill ruins.

Buckland's Station
Nevada Historical Marker #192

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

This landmark is located at the southeast corner of Highway 50 and Dayton Valley Road in Dayton, Nevada. There are 18 other historical markers in Lyon County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 17.654 W 119° 15.106.

A list of Pony Express Waymarks that I have visited can be found here. You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Nevada Historical Marker 192

BUCKLAND’S STATION
(ON THE CALIFORNIA EMIGRANT TRAIL)

Samuel S. Buckland was a true pioneer. He settled here in 1859, began a ranching operation, established a station for the Overland Stage Company, and operated a tent hotel. He also constructed the first bridge across the Carson River downstream from Genoa.

During 1860, Buckland built a large log cabin and married Miss Eliza Prentice. In that same year, Buckland’s Station served as the assembly point for the volunteer units that took part in the Pyramid Lake War. It was during this period that Buckland’s served as a remount station on the famous Pony Express route.

In 1864, Buckland opened a store and dispersed goods to travelers, neighbors, and the soldiers at nearby Fort Churchill. He later constructed the large two-story house, presently located here, from materials obtained at the dismantling of the fort.

Buckland and his family are buried at Fort Churchill.

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER No. 192
STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE
NATIONAL SOCIETY – DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN COLONISTS

Nevada Historical Marker 192

Lyon County Historical Markers

Nevada State Historical Markers in Lyon County
{GPS Coordinates of Site Location}

* 7. Dayton - [map] - {39.236217,-119.589298}
61. Moundhouse, US 50, 6 miles east of the US 395 and US 50 in Carson City
74. Wellington, State Rt. 208 at Jct with State Rt. 338 Wellington, NV
85. Sutro, US 50 3 miles east of Dayton
113. Wabuska, US 395, Wabuska
127. Dayton Courthouse - Pike Street, Dayton, NV
*163. Chinatown - [map] - {39.236251,-119.589285}
177. Desert Well Station. Near Stagecoach, NV. 8 mi. west of Silver Springs
185. McCone's Foundries, SR342, Silver City, NV
186. Union Hotel and Post Office, Main and Pike St., Dayton, NV
*192. Bucklands Station - [map] - {39.29423,-119.25177}
*199. Camels in Dayton - [map] - {39.238666,-119.591334}
*200. Hall's Station - [map] - {39.235812,-119.592469}
223. Devil's Gate, SR 342, between Silver City and Gold Hill. NV
233. Dayton Cemetery , Cemetery entrance at Main St. and Cemetery Rd.
255. Wilson Canyon, State Rt. 208, so. of Yerington at Wilson Canyon.

List of Nevada Counties

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 17

On day 17, I rode 24.7 miles across Nevada. Starting on the Pony Express Trail northeast of the Grubbs Well Pony Express Station (N39 37 24.8 W116 28 33.4), the ride continued northeast pass the Roberts Creek Station (N39 45 00.8 W116 17 05.2) and ended just pass the Sulphur Springs Station (N39 37 24.8 W116 28 33.4). The ride included a steep section where the grade topped 17.5%; this is the steepest incline that I have faced so far. Crossing Highway 278, I got a short view of the terrain in street view on Google Maps [see second figure below].

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Milo Greene's 1957 on Suburgatory


Friday night, Sharon, Liz and I enjoyed watching the season finale of Suburgatory on the AppleTV and hearing a cut from the song 1957 from Drew's band--Milo Greene--towards the end of the show.

Sharon and I have never seen the show, but Liz had. She filled us in on who and what as the episode went along.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - KAYAK Mobile Pro

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - KAYAK Mobile Pro

Search trips from flight to hotel and beyond

Code Expiration: August 14, 2012

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Nick Waterhouse - Say I Wanna Know

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Nick Waterhouse - Say I Wanna Know

Retro-flavored R&B from a California-based artist from the Amy Winehouse/Adele/Sharon Jones school of soul.

Code Expiration: August 14, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #7 Day #2

A long, dusty day...


Back at Riverfront Park in Martinez, the Outlaws played the LBA Bucks in the first game of the day. Unfortunately, this was one of those games where things start to go wrong and the team can never seem to get back on top. The problems started with the mound. After Josh pitched part of the first inning, it was determined that the mound was about foot back from where it should have been. The game was halted for 10 minutes while they reset the mound. Even afterwards, the footing caused problems all day. There was a hole and an embedded footing in front of the mound that all of the pitchers struggled with the rest of the day. The Outlaws would spend all day on the field...

At the plate, Jack was 2 for 3. In his first at-bat with two outs in the bottom of the first, he drove a 1 and 2 pitch into left field for a single. Jack stole second and went to third on an error by the pitcher. He did not make it home when Josh was thrown out on a soft line drive into right field. Rarely do I get down on another kid, but Josh let up for the last three steps and that made the difference between a single and a RBI and an out. Jack struck out swinging on a 1 and 2 pitch in his third plate appearance. With one out in the bottom of the sixth and Coop on first, Jack hit a 3 an 2 pitch for a soft pop-up down the first base line for a single. He advanced to second when Josh's ground ball was kicked by the third baseman. Jack was forced out at third on Bailey's fielder's choice.

In the field, Jack played four innings at third, one inning at shortstop and pitched the sixth. He had two put-outs and one assist. Jack came into pitch with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the seventh. It is probably the best that I have seen him pitch. Jack threw 17 pitches: 12 strikes and 5 balls. He struck out two looking and got one on a soft fly ball to shortstop. Jack had his knuckleball working.

With the horrible start [4 runs in the top of the first] plus six walks and eight errors, the Outlaws lost to the Bucks by the score of 8 to 1. The box score is here.

The Outlaws turned right around and played the Stealth. Although most of the players were different, this is a team that they have seen before.

At the plate, Jack was 1 for 2 with two walks, two RBIs and two runs scored. In his first at-bat, Jack grounded the first pitch to the second baseman and was thrown out at first. Jack walked on five pitches in his second plate appearance to load the bases. He ended the inning there when Josh struck out. In his third at-bat, Jack grounded a 1 and 2 pitch through the right side to score Cooper and Bailey. He stole second, went to third on an error by the shortstop and scored on Chance's line drive to right. Jack walked on four pitches in his four plate appearance. He went to third on Josh's fly ball single to center and scored the last run of the game on an error by the pitcher on Chance's infield grounder.

In the field, Jack pitched four innings and played two innings in centerfield. He had two assists and one put-out. With the bases loaded in the top of the first, Jack fielded a grounder and threw to home for the out. In the top of the second, he started a 1-6-3 double play. Jack made a great diving catch in the top of the sixth on a slicing line drive hit to centerfield.

After looking sharp pitching the last inning of the first game, Jack struggled with his control in the second game. The five innings that he pitched combined between the two games are the most innings that he has ever pitched and the most pitches that he has ever thrown. In four innings in the second game, Jack threw 72 pitches: 37 balls and 35 strikes. He walked four batters, hit two, struck out two and gave up two earned runs in the first inning. With some help from the defense, he labored through the second, third and fourth innings without giving up a run.

Putting up runs in four of the six innings, the Outlaws won the game by the score of 10 to 2. The box score is here. While the Outlaws have had their share of drama off the field, the Stealth team was clearly melting down. One of the parents pulled their kid out of the game and left.

By winning the game and holding Stealth to less than four runs, the Outlaws were seeded fourth out of nine teams and qualified for the consolation game. The Outlaws turned right around and played the Martinez Bulldogs. This is also a team that they have played before, but with only two or three of the same players. I am not sure if it is just the fact that the Outlaws have been playing 14Us the last two tournaments, but the other team looked very young.

At the plate, Jack was 1 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. In his first at-bat, he lined a 2 and 2 pitch into right field for a single and a RBI. Jack struck out on a 2 and 2 pitch in his second plate appearance. It was a horrible call by the home plate umpire on a checked swing. I asked the first base umpire between innings if it was a swing and he said no. In third plate appearance, Jack grounded a 3 and 2 pitch to the shortstop for the out. He struck out swinging on a 2 and 2 pitch in his fourth plate appearance. With the Bulldogs out of pitching in the top of the seventh, Jack crushed an 0 and 1 pitch to deep centerfield in his last at-bat. The fence is marked as 355 feet. The ball went somewhere between 310 and 320 feet. With the outfield playing very deep, the centerfielder made a nice catch for the out. Jack was pissed; I honestly think that he thought he could hit it out of the park.

In the field, Jack played seven innings at third base. I love watching Jack play third base. During the course of the day, he made at least three plays that I don't believe anyone else on the team could have made. Jack had two put-outs and three assists. The put-outs were both on pop-ups to the left side, while the assists were on grounders with throws to first to get the runner.

With the Outlaws leading 4 to 2 in the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs ran out of pitching. The Outlaws five through nine hitters all scored to blow the game open. The Outlaws won the game by the score of 9 to 2 to claim third place in the tournament. The box score is here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #7 Day #1

With the Outlaws playing to play in a 13U tournament in Omaha in June, they have dropped back down to 13Us for the next two tournaments. They traveled to Martinez to play in an All World nine team tournament. The Outlaws played the Delta Dawgs in the first game of the day.

At the plate, Jack was 0 for 2 with a walk and a RBI. In his first at-bat, he walked on four pitches. With Bailey at third, Jack headed to second to try and draw the throw. Bailey hesitated and was tagged out at home. With Trevor on third and no outs, Jack grounded a 3 and 2 pitch to the right side in his second plate appearance. Trevor scored for the RBI and Jack was out at first. In his third at-bat, he lined the first pitch right at the third baseman for the out.

In the field, Jack played five innings at third and one inning at shortstop. He had two put-outs, one assist and on error. Jack tagged out a runner trying to steal third on a throw from Jordan in the third inning. In the fourth inning, he handled a grounder to the left side and threw the runner out at first. Also in the fourth, Jack handled a grounder to the left side. Seeing the runner coming towards him from second, he turned to tag the runner as the runner slide into him. The two of them went down in a heap. Jack held on to the ball for the third out in the inning.

When Cooper pitches, the Outlaws have started to use Jack at shortstop. He had an error at shortstop in the sixth inning on a ball hit right at him. It didn't cost the Outlaws a run.

Struggling with their base running and the umpires, the Outlaws let the game slip away. The Delta Dawgs scored 4 runs in the fifth inning to win the game by the score of 6 to 5. The box score is here.

The Outlaws turned right around and played the Aptos Thunder in the second game. This is not a team that they have faced before.

At the plate, Jack was 2 for 3 with two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack hit a 1 and 1 pitch for a slicing fly ball to right field. The right fielder made a nice diving catch for the out. Jack hit the first pitch of his second plate appearance into right center for a double to drive in Chris and Trevor. In his third at-bat, Jack hit a 2 and 2 pitch for a double into right center to drive in Trevor.

In the field, Jack played one inning at third, one inning in centerfield and three innings at shortstop. He had only one assist when a runner was caught leaning the wrong way on third. He threw to the catcher who tagged the runner out at home.

Bouncing back nicely from the loss in the first game, the Outlaws beat the Thunder by the score of 12 to 4 in five innings.

The Outlaws were seeded fifth out of nine teams after the first day of play. The top four teams will advance to a championship and consolation game late Sunday.

Sharon, Jack and I stopped in Fairfield at Red Robin at a late dinner. It was after 10:30 p.m. by the time we got home.

William Frank McFarlane

Drew and Morgan's maternal grandfather passed away on Tuesday. Drew's tribute to him is here.

Bill was a unique soul. As I have said before, one of the things that I lost in my divorce was the great relationships that had been built with Bill, Janie and Jamie. All of them were an important part of my life for almost 10 years.

William Frank McFarlane of Clovis passed away in his boyhood home on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, after many years of battle with Parkinson's disease. He was born in Fresno, California, on January 1, 1926, to Dallas Fleming McFarlane and James Frank McFarlane and grew up on their southeast Clovis farm, attending Jefferson Elementary School and Clovis Union High School. From Fresno State College Bill transferred to the University of Southern California, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in both Naval Science and Business Administration. In 1948 he and his parents formed a farming partnership, McFarlane and McFarlane, growing Muscat grapes for raisins and wine. Through the years crop plans evolved to include cotton, grain, plums, vegetable and flower seeds, almonds, citrus and rice. He and Anne Cochrane married in 1948, parenting four daughters and a son. Bill and his father were committed to quality education and community involvement. Bill was a member of the Jefferson Union Elementary governing board and a charter member of the Clovis Unified School District board. He was a founding member of the board of directors of the Foundation for Clovis Schools, and a member of the Reagan Educational Center Agriculture Department Advisory Committee. Bill was proud when Clovis Unified School District honored him by the naming of the McFarlane-Coffman Agricultural Center. Bill's leadership in the farmer cooperative arena is legend, beginning in 1951 when he joined Sun-Maid Raisin Growers Advisory Council. He was president of Clovis-Sanger Cooperative Gin from its inception in 1954 until 1978; joined the board of Calcot, Ltd. in 1955 and was chairman of that organization from 1966 to 1974; served as president of California Cotton Growers Association; and was a member of the Producers Steering Committee of the National Cotton Council, He was a director of the Western Cotton Growers Association for 24 years. After almonds replaced cotton in the eastside landscape, he was for 30 years founding president of Central California Almond Growers Association and served on the board of Blue Diamond Growers for 17 years, 4 years as chairman. A principal of the family-farming group Cinco Farms, Bill served as president of California Westside Farmers for eight years and chairman of Farm-Water Alliance for six years, which effort culminated in the signing into law of the federal Reclamation Reform Act of 1982. He was a member of the board of Westlands Water District, and served on the board of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation of the US Department of Agriculture during the eight years of the Reagan Administration. In 1967 he became a director of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, as well as the Agricultural Council of California, served as chairman of the Ag Council, and was awarded their Co-Op Farmer of the Year Award in 1994. In 2002 he married Dorcas Hardison Thille, an active member of the cooperative farming community. Bill received the 1994 Agriculturalist of the Year Award at the California State Fair, and in 2000 the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculturist of the Year Award. Having served for 14 years on the board of the CSUF Agricultural Foundation, Bill's final expression of his love for agriculture was his commitment to Friends of Agricultural Extension, reflecting his belief in the public value of University agricultural research. He is survived by his wife Dorcas; his four daughters, Susan Harper and her husband Chip of Paris, Texas, Sayre Miller and her husband Byron of Sanger, Jane Gamble of Pacific Grove and Alison McFarlane of Carmel Valley; his son, James McFarlane and his wife Darla of Clovis; 14 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. A Funeral Service will be held at Memorial United Methodist Church, 1726 Pollasky Avenue at Scott Avenue in Clovis, on Friday, May 25, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to McFarlane-Coffman Agricultural Center c/o Timberwolves Foundation 2940 Leonard Ave., Clovis, CA 93619, Clovis Community Medical Center, 2755 Herndon Avenue, Clovis, Ca. 93611; or Clovis-Big Dry Creek Historical Society, 401 Pollasky Avenue, Clovis, Ca. 93612.

Pony Express Trail Marker

Wandering home after this year's Petersen Shootout, this is one of the places I stopped. I visited five Nevada State historical markers [Buckland's Station #192, Camels in Dayton #199, Halls Station #200, Chinatown #163 and Dayton #7] and three Pony Express Markers [Nevada Station, Dayton and Fort Churchill] and wandered through the Fort Churchill ruins.

Pony Express Trail Marker
See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This waymark is located west of Fort Churchill on Road 2B, Silver Springs, Nevada. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 17.576 W 119° 16.683.

A list of Pony Express Waymarks that I have visited can be found here. You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Pony Express Trail Marker

Friday, May 18, 2012

ESPN Doubles Up on ’30 for 30’ Documentary Series

I enjoyed the first 30 for 30 series that ESPN ran starting in 2009. An episode guide is here. In fall of 2011, ESPN ran a series of ESPN Films that continued the spirit of 30 for 30. A list of those film is here. I am very pleased that they are doing 30 more films!

ESPN Doubles Up on ’30 for 30’ Documentary Series
ESPN’s faith in sports documentaries is so deep that on Tuesday it will announce a second go-round for its “30 for 30” series, which made its debut in the fall of 2009.

There are new dimensions to the series, which will return this fall and span two years. The documentaries are being integrated with Grantland.com, the ESPN sports-culture journalism Web site whose editor in chief is Bill Simmons, the popular ESPN columnist and podcaster.

As the films roll out, they will be augmented on Grantland by podcasts, feature stories and oral histories. A short digital film — which will be unrelated to the longer ones — will make its debut each month on Grantland.

The first digital short, by Eric Drath, which will be posted Tuesday on Grantland, is an interview with Pete Rose.

The new full-length documentaries will include films about the North Carolina State basketball team that won the N.C.A.A. men’s championship in 1983; the 100-meter final at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul whose winner, Ben Johnson, tested positive for steroids; Bo Jackson, the athletic marvel who played baseball and football and starred in the “Bo Knows” series of Nike ads.

Two films that made their debut at the Tribeca Film Festival are also on the roster: “Benji,” about a high school basketball star in Chicago who was murdered in 1984, and “Broke,” about athletes who lose their fortunes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

William F. McFarlane : 1/1/1926 - 5/15/2012

Drew's maternal grandfather passed away on Tuesday. Bill's obituary is here. Drew posted this tribute to Bill on facebook.
Grandpa Bill - i owe so much to your hard work and generosity. thank you for all the opportunities that you have directly and indirectly created in my life. you always had advice to give - & no matter whether i completely agreed or not : thank you for always pushing me to be better person, for making sure i had a strong education and for always making an effort to be a part of my life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 Outlaws Baseball AAU Games #7

The Outlaws played the Best Speed Hornets in the seventh game of the spring Delta Valley League AAU season. To say the least, it was a misadventure. With several guest players and a number of boys playing out of position, it would best be described as a rec game.

Jack has definitely started to get into the groove at the plate. He was 2 for 2 with a walk. In his first at-bat, Jack lined a 3 and 0 pitch into left field for a single. He stole second, but ended the inning there when Chance missed a sign and bunted with the bases loaded and two outs to end the inning. Jack ran the count full and drew a walk in his third plate appearance. He was out at second on Jordan's inning ending double play ball. In his third at-bat, Jack hit a soft fly ball into left field for a single. He went to second on a passed ball, but ended the inning there when Jordan grounded out to the shortstop.

In the field, Jack played five innings at shortstop and pitched an inning. He had three assists and one put-out. I charged him with two errors. Jack has not played much shortstop and struggled. The grass on the field is fairly thick. He charged a couple of slow rollers and rushed the throws to first for errors.

I thought Jack actually pitched pretty well. He threw 32 pitches: 17 strikes and 15 balls. Unfortunately, there were three errors in the inning and three unearned runs scored. It is tough when you have to get six outs in an inning.

In a game that is not indicative of anything and best forgotten, the Outlaws lost by the score of 11 to 1. The box score is here.

In spite of my frustration with a couple of the guest players, I think that the opportunity to play on 90 foot bases against older kids has been good experience for Jack.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ESPN Films 30 for 30 Shorts: Here Now

From ESPN Films and Grantland.com, here is the first 30 for 30 Short: Here Now, directed by Eric Drath. Here Now is an interview with Pete Rose, whose gambling on baseball earned him a lifetime ban in 1989. Rose, 71, Major League Baseball’s hits leader, is interviewed at the barren-looking shopping mall in Las Vegas where he signs autographs and other memorabilia, as employees act as barkers to lure shoppers into the store.


With Jack playing lots of baseball over the next five weeks, I loved Pete Rose's advice on hitting at the 4:50 mark. Rose said: be aggressive; be more aggressive; and never be satisfied.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quote from Jack

Driving home last week from his work-out in the batting cage with Coach Boyle, Jack surprised me by saying "I wonder how differently things would I have turned out if I had made that select soccer team."

Jack has been playing a lot of FIFA soccer recently on the Playstation 3.

He got up early on Sunday to watch Manchester City beat the Queens Park Rangers in the dramatic Premier League finale.

Jack even talked about trying out for soccer during his sophomore year at Jesuit!?!?

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Naples

Code Expiration: August 7, 2012

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Beach House - Myth

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Beach House - Myth

A dreamy original from the Sub Pop-affiliated duo's fourth studio album, Bloom.

Code Expiration: August 7, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

2102 Mother's Day

A wide ranging Mother's day. I made huevos rancheros for breakfast. Afterwards, Sharon and I went for a 3.5 plus mile run/walk around Ancil Hoffman Park. We actually explored a number of places and sections of trail that I had not been yet. Originally, Sharon had wanted to do a long bike ride, but felt too sore after her boot camp.


After getting cleaned up, we headed out to Roseville to shop for Jack's graduation present and then to Pavilions for Sharon's Mother's day present. She wanted to pick out a frying pan from William Sonomas. Sharon and I had a drink and an appetizer at Piattis before heading home.

We finished the day barbecuing some lamb chops for dinner.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sanborns for dinner

We had the Sanborns to dinner at the new house. Jack and Tim enjoyed the pool and the hot tub, while the adults lounged on the deck. We barbecued steaks for dinner.

2012 Outlaws Baseball AAU Games #5 and #6


The Outlaws played their fifth game in the AAU Delta Valley League against the 14U Gunners. One of the players on the Gunners--Cobie--played with Jack on the Laguna Youth Baseball Angels team two years ago.

At the plate, Jack was 1 for 3 with a run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack struck out looking on a 0 and 2 pitch. He grounded out to the second baseman on a 1 and 1 pitch in his second plate appearance. Jack spent the rest of the muttering about what a horrible at-bat this was... Jack crushed a 1 and 1 pitch into left center for a double in his third at-bat. He went to third on a wild pitch and then scored on an error by the pitcher.

In the field, Jack played four innings at first, two innings at third and one inning at shortstop. He had five put-outs, one assist and an error. Jack made a very nice catch on a high pop-up behind first base in the second inning. At shortstop, He also made a shoe top catch on a soft line drive hit up the middle. At third base, Jack charged a slow roller to his left and made a nice throw to first to get the out. He also had put-outs at first on throws from the third baseman, shortstop and pitcher.

In the third inning with a runner on first, a slower roller was hit in the infield. The pitcher handled the ball and threw to Jack at first for the out. The Outlaws third baseman had charged the ball, but then didn't retreat back to the base. The runner on second headed to the vacant third base. Jack tried to lead Cooper to third base with a throw that ended up getting by him and the runner scored. I charged Jack with the error.

With two out in the third inning, the Outlaws pitcher walked two batters and hit two more. The Outlaws ended up giving up five runs in the inning and losing the game by the score of 6 to 2. The box score is here.

The Outlaws turned around and played the South County Bulldogs in the second game. We stayed only long enough for Jack to get one more at-bat. He walked and ended the inning at first. The Outlaws eventually lost the game by the score of 4 to 3.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Jack's Confirmation


In culmination of a two year program, Jack was confirmed at Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Sharon's brother Tim was Jack's sponsor. Tom and Becky joined us.

The Bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento--Jaime Soto--presided over the Mass. It was a large group; there were almost 150 kids. In spite of the size of the group, I thought that the Bishop did a nice job connecting with each kid. The Mass lasted over an hour and 45 minutes.

Afterwards we had a late dinner at Mikuno's. We ran into the Wackmans. Jeremy was also in the group that was confirmed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dayton Pony Express Centennial Marker

Wandering home after this year's Petersen Shootout, this is one of the places I stopped. I visited five Nevada State historical markers [Buckland's Station #192, Camels in Dayton #199, Halls Station #200, Chinatown #163 and Dayton #7] and three Pony Express Markers [Nevada Station, Dayton and Fort Churchill] and wandered through the Fort Churchill ruins.

Pony Express Centennial Marker
Dayton, Nevada

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

This landmark is located at the southeast corner of Highway 50 and Dayton Valley Road in Dayton, Nevada. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 39° 14.171 W 119° 35.359.

A list of Pony Express Waymarks that I have visited can be found here. You can log your visit to this landmark at waymark.com.

Dayton Pony Express Marker

Dayton was an important point on the Pony Express route. The site of the old station is approximately 200 yards northwest near the old firehouse.

Dayton Pony Express Marker

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Virtually Biking Across America - Day 16

On day 16, I rode 25.6 miles in Nevada. Leaving Highway 50, I rode northeast on Dry Creek Road to Pony Express Trail. This route passes near the Dry Creek and Grubb's Well Pony Express Stations.

I finished the day on the Pony Express Trail in the middle of nowhere. The next few days will be spent crossing some desolate terrain in Eastern Nevada. I am trying to make my way to Schellbourne on Highway 93 in Eastern Nevada.

The trip log for Virtually Biking Across America is here.


Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - The Voice playlist

The complete list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!
Starbucks

Enjoy 4 FREE songs -- one from each finalist

Against All Odds - Jermaine Paul
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Chris Mann
Roxanne - Juliet Simmms
Trouble - Tony Lucca

Code Expiration: June 8, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

2012 PAL Golf Championship Results

2012 PAL Co-ed Golf Team Results
TEAM SCORES WILL BE THE TOTAL OF THE LOWEST FIVE SCORES. TEAMS MUST INCLUDE TWO (2) GIRLS AND FINAL TEAM SCORE MUST INCLUDE 1 OF THE GIRL’S SCORES TO QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM AWARDS.

School
Score
Special Note
Players
1) OLA
212
Defending Champions
8
2) St. Rose #1
215
Medalist Boy : Josh Sedono - 32
8
3) Holy Trinity
217

8
4) St. Elizabeth AS
222

8
5) Holy Family
223

8
6) St. Rose #2
229
Second team did not qualify for Trophy
6
7) St. Ignatius
231

8
8) St. John Notre Dame
232

8
9) Holy Spirit
234

8
10) Sacred Heart
237

8
11) St. James
254

8
12) St. Mel's
255

8
13) Merryhill PC
259

8
14) St. John Evangelist
259

6
15) Presentation
269

7
16) Holy Rosary
293

6
17) St. Philomene
301

6
18) St. Charles
307

6
Non-Qualifying Teams: Not enough players to qualify as a team
19) St. John Vianney

Co- Medalist Girl: Beah Cruz - 37
4
20) St. Robert's


6
21) St. Joseph's


3
22) Sac Country Day

Co- Medalist Girl: Leslie Young - 37
8
23) Woodland Christian


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