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The Game of Relay

This was a gorgeous weekend, save for the severe thunderstorms that roared through Charleston at about midnight Saturday. We’re now in that window where it will be absolutely gorgeous for about three weeks before things take a turn for the humid and miserable, so folks, go outside while you can. To take advantage of it, Duke, Ale, Chris, and I went out to a random park near Colonial Lake Saturday to play some wiffleball. The winds were prohibitive to this, though, and we needed more outfielders. Then, we lost the ball…and that was that.

Luckily, there was a tennis ball hanging around. Ignoring where that tennis ball may have been, we continued to play. We quickly realized that my dazzling assortment of changeups, fastballs, sliders, and sinkers was virtually unhittable, so we decided to change things up a bit…and we eventually came up with Relay.

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My poor, neglected blog…

I’m dusting off the cobwebs here in my WordPress administration panel…been a few days. These are busy times — and they’ve been largely chronicled on Twitter.

Last night was our regularly scheduled blogger/tweeter meetup at Gene’s Haufbrau just west of the Ashley. Great times as always. Eugene and I kicked some butt in pool, and he did all the work at shuffleboard last night. Was great seeing the lot of the gang out once again. I’m hoping to make that next floating meetup. I think it’s pretty rockin’ that we have TWO monthly meetups now.

The weekend is, as usual, packed — I’m going to a baseball game Sunday for my sportswriting class. Going to watch baseball for class is pretty friggin’ cool. It’ll get me into the swing of things this spring; I’ve caught maybe an inning and a half of baseball so far this year, and need to improve upon that.

Again this year, I will be a Bad Young South Carolinian and will miss Carolina Cup. A friend photoshopped me into last year’s Cup festivities (and set it to Tarzan Boy by Baltimora) but locating that photograph and associated song will be left as an exercise to the reader. I was somewhat hoping to bring a decent video camera of some type and do some sort of video production, but not this time — I’m not sure when I’d get to it, and quite frankly, I could see myself being brutally assaulted by armies of pastel and plaid for some of the inevitable comedic twists that I would capture on tape.

On a closing, musical note — Angels & Devils, Fuel’s fourth album and first without Brett Scallions, has really started to grow on me. I’ve listened to it non-stop all week. Clearly, I’ve lost it.

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A wonderful day to be out and about

I always joke on days such as today, with highs in the mid-70s and light-to-medium cirrus at 33,000, that it’s a great day to stay inside and work on code and stuff. Well…today, I finally tossed that mentality aside and left the house. It was friggin’ worth it. I made the trek to Marion Square and kicked a soccer ball around with a buddy of mine, threw close to 100 pitches, and just generally soaked up a very nice day with a pretty nice view of…um…the city. ;)

I hope you got a chance to get out and about today. This is one of those days that makes it truly great to live in Charleston.

As Per Whatever

The Mitchell Report

A big black eye for baseball today. Senator George Mitchell’s report on steroid use in baseball was released today. A great deal of the players, honestly, were extremely obscure guys who were trying to get an advantage. Others were obviously going to be in the report (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa). I always thought John Rocker had a bit of ‘roid rage about him, too. I think the big hitters here, though, are Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. It’s flatly disappointing to see Pettitte involved here — he’s one of the good guys in baseball, one of the types you can root for, and so the HGH allegations circling him are more troubling than most. It’s disappointing to see Clemens — Lord of the Workout — also get wrapped up in this. But, injections of Winstrol would explain his superhuman performances at ever-advancing ages. It’s like a pitching Bonds, with one important difference — people liked Clemens. We humans have this thing about believing what we want to believe, and nobody wanted to believe Roger Clemens was a steroids user.

The report itself, though, is more troubling than anything else. The investigation was toothless. There were no punishments for not speaking to Mitchell. The investigation had no subpoena power. I think the report has just scratched the surface of steroid usage in baseball. With most of the players not cooperating — and believe me, Mitchell uses some form of the phrase “the player declined my invitation” approximately 84,000 times — I don’t see how one could consider this report fully complete. Without the players’ side of the story involved, how does one conclusively say that these incidents happened? What if the people who spoke on record had axes to grind? I have major issues with that.

We’ll let the chips fall where they may…it will be a very interesting offseason.

Monday stuff

Here’s the rundown of what made Monday…well, Monday.

  • A-Rod pulled off the ultimate double play Sunday night — he thought himself above receiving an award from Hank Aaron, for God’s sake, and then his agent went on, during the middle of World Series Game 4, and announced he was leaving the Yankees. Ridiculous, classless, and just putrid. I would say it was clearly all about the money for him, but something tells me he won’t get the kind of money he wants but in a few select places outside of New York, and I’m willing to bet Boston is not going to be one of those places. A-Rod may be a great player, but I’ve lost a lot of respect for him.
  • Frank Wren’s first trade as GM of the Braves was a smart one: Edgar Renteria to the Tigers for starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens (try typing THAT three times fast!) and a minor leaguer. The Braves may miss Renteria’s bat in the short term, but Yunel Escobar is more than capable of getting things going for the Braves, and is a stellar defensive player to boot; the fact that they got a starting pitcher and were able to unload salary really sweetens the deal.
  • One more baseball thing, and I’m leaving it alone: I like the choice of Joe Girardi for the Yankees. He’s a proven manager that got improbable results from a team that should have, on paper, lost 100 games. I just hope the Steinbrenners back off him and let him run the team — Joe Girardi’s style is not to be a yes man. He’s a baseball man, with great baseball sense. (And if Joba Chamberlain is starting next year instead of setting up for Mariano Rivera, we’ll know who has the true control in the Bronx.)
  • Damn shame what happened in North Carolina. It bothers the heck out of me to see seven people lose their lives, period.
  • According to, I listened to Journey 138 times last week. Slowly, but surely, I am becoming Steve Perry.
  • My Facebook requests are just out of control. Exhibit A:
    OMG!  Facebook Requests!!
  • No, I’m not sure when I’ll get to culling through those. Because I’m sure by the time I do, I’ll have some request to install another spammy app. I think Facebook needs to find a way to clamp down a bit.
  • Less than a month to Thanksgiving break. I can hardly contain my excitement…I need it.
  • If there was any doubt that it’s fall, I’m sure your doubt was put to rest this morning when you went outside to upper 40s temperatures and a stiff northeast wind dipping windchills into the 30s. On a side note, I’d love to have filmed a bunch of the people who, as usual, did not wear anything remotely close to appropriate for the weather, and superimpose an old Weather Channel logo over their suffering with the “You Need Us, The Weather Channel, For Everything You Do” theme from 1986 playing in the background. I would laugh for hours. I’m not sure about you, but I sure would.

To bed with me…


There’s only one October, and it’s over

Life as a New England sports fan must be pretty damn good right now. They have a world champion in baseball and a football team that could almost be charged with murdering other teams, they’re that good.

Congrats, Boston, on your seventh title. And congrats to Mike Lowell on his MVP award — he’s truly deserving. He killed teams in the postseason — not just the World Series — with his timely hitting.

On to football season, full-time…and finally, regular sleep. These postseason games were on way too late at night. The World Series — hell, a vast majority of the postseason — was completely inaccessible to children under 16. I know it’s ratings pressure, but they have to fix this. It just seems wrong that a kid can’t watch his or her heroes win the World Series. I dunno, it just seems wrong to keep our national pastime (still is, right?) out of the reach of those who will carry it forward to the next generation.

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A Rocktoberâ„¢ Convert

Three weeks ago, I had nothing but venom and anger for the Rockies, as they slid right past home plate (and my Padres) into the National League playoffs. Now, though, as the Indians have fully collapsed and the Red Sox are going to the World Series (much to the relief of the FOX Sports rating counters, I’m sure), I’m fully backing the Rocktober Movement to sweep the World Series as they’ve done their last two series enroute to an unprecedented first world title.

My, how the postseason changes things so quickly.

There’s only one October.

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My road trip to the ALDS Game 2 between the Yankees and Indians this past weekend was a blast, despite this absolutely horrible cold that I was (and still am) fighting tooth and nail for the duration.

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On the road…

I’m currently in Wytheville, Virginia, enroute to Cleveland, Ohio, where tomorrow Tom from work and I will see the second game of the Indians’ playoff series against the New York Yankees. I was able to hook up my Mac to my Blackjack and take advantage of the 3G speed in Charlotte, where we watched the Indians absolutely whip the Yankees in the Chili’s by Lake Norman.

We’ve driven over some pretty beautiful parts of the country. I’m sure tomorrow will bring quite a few sights from the higher elevations of West Virginia as we get into Ohio. It should be quite a ride, and quite a great game. I’ll have more in the next day or so as the trip continues.

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Baseball People Say and Do The Darndest Things

Gary Sheffield is one outspoken dude — however, it’s problematic when he’s got no idea what he’s talking about.

There’s concern in baseball circles right now that more African-Americans aren’t picking up the sport anymore. That’s a fair concern in baseball circles, and generally rings true if one looks at most major league rosters. Cue Sheff, who thinks he has it all figured out:

The percentage of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball is at an all-time low and Gary Sheffield says he has a theory why that’s the case.

In an interview with GQ magazine that’s currently on newsstands, the typically outspoken Tigers designated hitter said Latin players have replaced African-Americans as baseball’s most prevalent minority because they are easier to control.

“I called it years ago. What I called is that you’re going to see more black faces, but there ain’t no English going to be coming out. … [It’s about] being able to tell [Latin players] what to do — being able to control them,” he told the magazine.

Wha-WHAT? No one’s really got a 100% fix as to why it’s the case that there are fewer African-American players, but it has zilch to do with their ability to be “controlled.” It sure seems Sheff still has some deeper issues to resolve…because this is straight off the deep end here. I wonder what his Latino teammates think about him right now?

Speaking of the deep end, check out this minor league manager go absolutely nuts arguing a call. He makes Lou Piniella look tame: