Go Chanticleers

It’s been a big weekend for the Coastal Carolina University baseball team. First, they won the Big South title and got the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. That wasn’t so essential, as they were virtually a lock to make it regardless. Depending on the poll, they rank between 7th and 17th in the nation. Still, it’s a good thing to win the conference.

On top of that, they also had their bid to host the regional accepted. They’ll be hosting it at Coastal Federal field, and I might even try to go to a game or two.

Roller Girls Action




Roller Girls Action

Originally uploaded by evilgenius.

The roller derby was a hell of a lot of fun. It took me quite a while to figure out the rules, and even by the end I didn’t quite understand the penalty structure. I just went by the rule of them that if the girl with the green star was going fast, things were good. It was a good time, and the place had quite a few people there. I don’t know the official attendance, but it seemed like there were at least a hundred there, some from the Cape Fear NC area.

This was the first flat track roller derby ever played in the state of South Carolina, and one of my wife’s colleagues attained the dubious honor of being the first person injured in one in the state. She hit the corner of the stands face first, and dislocated her jaw. We were only a few feet away, and it looked possible when she first hit that she knocked some or all of her top teeth out. All things considered, the dislocated jaw is not as bad as it could have been.

In the end, PSRG lost 62-64. It was a good time, and I’m looking forward to the next one. I picked up my t-shirt and will be sporting my team spirit tomorrow. Go green!

Super Sunday

When I was a kid, I pretended to care about the Superbowl. I was a misfit on enough fronts that I just went with the flow and didn’t fight this American tradition. Once I grew up and gained a little more self-confidence, I stopped pretending that I care in the slightest. I don’t even like to go to Superbowl parties because I’d rather just be at a party where I can talk to my friends rather than have to pay attention to this big screen TV.

In years past, we would treat this as a day that we basically had our run of the city. In Atlanta, we’d go to a movie and eat at The Cheesecake Factory in Buckhead or something like that. In Myrtle Beach however, that dynamic doesn’t really exist. In February without the crush of tourists, basically nothing is that crowded. Today we don’t even have any plans whatsoever. We might end up doing miscellaneous work, perhaps watch a movie on our DVR or otherwise just chilling. Enjoy your day, all you NFL fans – committed fans and those who are a fan for just today.

About a month until pitchers and catchers report. Then I’ll get interested in sports again.

Congratulations St Louis Cardinals

They entered all three post-season series as underdogs, and now they are the 2006 World Champions. They played great ball, they took advantage of the other teams’ errors, more often than not they answered all oppenent runs the next time they took the plate. Right on. You got a love a team that barely played .500 ball in the regular season and looks so solid in the post-season. Way to go, Cardinals!

You Hate to See This

I’m pulling for the Cardinals in the World Series, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy watching the Tigers throwing balls away, wild pitching, getting caught in rundowns needlessly and so forth. This is just plain a groups that isn’t playing like a championship team. I hope they didn’t let all the pre-Series hype go to their heads. Despite what the sports writers say, you have to actually show up and win the games.

All that said, go Cards!

I’m an NL Boy

I had said that I’m about even in rooting for the Tigers or the Cardinals. Now that the game is going on, I have to say that my National League colors are flying. I like the Tigers and am glad they made it all the way, but I’m pulling for Saint Louis. The fact that they are considered such underdogs helps with that. As I type this (slowly), the Cards are up by 4 runs and have 2 more on base with no outs. Hows that for an underdog.

Actually, they just scored 2 more. 7-1 now. Not bad for underdogs.

Congratulations, St. Louis

Way to go. That was a great game. If it hadn’t been for that miraculous catch by Chavez, this game would have been closer to the cakewalk I wanted.

I found out from my buddy Richard in IM that I’m 3 degrees from Adam Wainwright, the Cards’ closer and the man on the mound when they won. Richard is friends with Wainwright’s brother. I didn’t even have to use all 6 to get there!

I’m looking forward to this World Series. Give the 8 teams in the post-season, these are the two I wanted in it so I have no complaints. I don’t know that I have an actual favorite this year. I almost always root for the NL team (unless it is the Mets) but I’m partial to the Tigers. I love Cinderella stories, and I love worst-to-first stories (such as, say the 1991 World Series.)

One Out from Detroit

Does it get better than this? Two on, two outs in the bottom of the ninth. One swing can end the series for either team. Gut check, teeth clenched, rock on.

Tommy Lasorda is right, “I love this game!”

Crunch Time

It’s the end of the 8th inning, and the score is still tied. I had two ways I wanted this game to go. If the Cards were to win, I wanted an early lead and a cakewalk through the game. If the Mets were to win, though, I wanted it to be a 19 inning bullpen clearing affair that tires out the entire pitching staff (including the off-day starters). That way, the whole staff would be nice and tired for the well-rested Detroit Tigers. There is still hope for both the Cards to win this thing, and there is still hope for the Mets to be worn down. Let’s play ball!

Update: Middle of the 9th. Right on, Molina!

Kirby Puckett Remembered in the Lens of October Ball

Two threads intersect in this post. I’ll try to tie them together as neatly as I can.

1 – I’m actually more enthused about this baseball post-season than many of the last decade. In a strange way, having the Braves never get in it changed my expectations and experience. Rather than watching them lose in the divisionals and then shift my loyalties to whoever was the least Met-iest or least Yankee-iest was one thing. Actually wishing the Tigers well from the beginning, wishing the Cards would make it all the way is different. And as I go through this, rooting the Cards over the Mets, the Tigers over the A’s, I remember how much I just love this game. It’s great to have your team win, but that can blind you to the beauty and power of the game itself. This lingerning bit of pastoral America being played all over the country all summer but now in a few big cities, watching the pitching changes and the strategy and the suicide squeezes and the hit-and-runs that work or don’t, it all gets me right there. And by not having them in the playoffs this year and breaking their entitlement streak of October baseball, it reminds me how much I love the team of the Atlanta Braves.

2 – I’m six months behind in my vlog viewing, so a video that was posted during spring training, right after Kirby Puckett’s untilmely and sad death, just got watched by me in the thick of the LCS. It’s a piece on a Kirby Puckett memorabilia collector and like you, sir, I too got misty after Kirby died. Even though my main memory of him is beating my beloved Braves in the World Series, the thought of losing him at 45 couldn’t be sadder. And, I got misty watching this video too. God bless you and every one of those 2500 baseball cards. Keep the memory of a great player and a good man with a fat ass swing alive.

Those silly commercials have it right. I do love this game. I love it in April and man do I love it in October.

PS – Go Cards!

Go Cards!

Series tied up 2-2, it’s time for the Cards to show they are serious and take this game. It’s up to you to protect the World Series as a haven for good Midwestern teams this year. Can someone wake up Albert Pujols, perhaps.

You know, I’ve had years to get used to this but every time I see Tom Glavine in a Mets uniform, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Bleh!

Postseason in a New World

The first postseason in 15 years without the Braves in it is a mixed blessing for me. For once I don’t have to watch them play a lackluster divisional series and get knocked out in the first round. In fact, maybe this interruption in their streak will knock the sense of entitlement out of them and restore that fire we all felt watching Sid Bream run his bad knees from second to home. I’ve been an apologist for the team for a long time, defending their lone championship and their value as a championship caliber team. Every year that they laid down without even a decent fight, though, that got harder and harder. In the long run, I can’t say that I mind having a year off from that.

However, if the Braves can’t be in it, I’ll take my joy from the Yankees going down to the Tigers 3-1. If only the Dodgers could have mounted a credible opposition to the Mets, then we’d really have something. It’s now up to the Cardinals (in all likelihood) to kick the Mets to the curb. If they don’t, then they really have a problem. I’m just happy to have the “Subway series” taken off of the table. The last time we had one, it was the least interesting World Series in modern times. With the teams we have left, I’d be happiest with a Tigers/Cardinals matchup.

R.I.P. Kirby Puckett

Sad news about the death of Kirby Puckett. As a Braves fan, watching him and the Twins beat them in the 1991 series was about as much fun as you can have watching your team lose. I always have a soft spot for the players that seem to enjoy playing the game, which was Puckett to a tee. The game is poorer today for losing the joy he brought to it.

Olympics

For the first time I can remember, I managed to not even notice the Olympics were happening until after they were underway. I used to be crazy for them – summer and winter – and watched whatever coverage was available to me wall to wall, and nowadays I don’t even care.

Superbowl

Here’s what the Superbowl means to me.

1. – For one day out of the year, we can go anywhere we want without a crowd or a wait for a table.

2. – Eleven more days until pitchers and catchers report.

Sox Win!

Wow, the Sox just won the World Series. It’s kind of amazing how low key the celebration is, considering that it’s been 88 years since the last title. I like this win. I’d have rather seen it be the Braves, but they did their annual laydown in the divisionals just like clockwork. This is almost as good. It’s great for the Sox fans, and it’s great to tweak the Cubs fans. That’s what you call a win-win win.

Game 3

You know, whenever there are two teams in the World Series that are not any of my rooting teams, I almost always habitually root for the NL team (with exceptions being made when the NL team is the Mets or the Cubs). For some reason, I’m captivated by this year’s White Sox and am pulling for them over the Astros. Unlike the damnable Cubs, I’m not hearing lots of stupid curse nonsense this year. Go Sox! It would be quite cool to have both the longsuffering Sox teams win in consecutive years.

One Out of Three Ain’t That Good

I had three teams I was rooting for in the field of 64 of the NCAA baseball tournament: Georgia Tech, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Coastal Carolina. All three teams made it to the finals of their respective regionals, but the latter two teams didn’t make it. Both were coming up from the losers bracket so that’s a tough row to hoe, having to win twice in a day to move on.

At least I have a team in the super-regionals. There were six South Carolina teams in the tournament, and only Clemson moved on. Ouch.