Winter baseball

There are three things the average man thinks he can do better than anyone else: build a fire, run a hotel, and manage a baseball team. -Rocky Bridges
My love of baseball started, as many things do, in childhood. I remember on many occasions bringing a mattress downstairs to the living room (the only air conditioned room in the house except for my parents’ bedroom), brushing my teeth, getting ready for “bed”, then begging for the television to stay on a little longer so I could watch the ending of the Royals game. It was a treat in those “pre-cable television” days. One time, I recall my dad taking a group of boys (a scouting event, I think) to Royals stadium. As I was sitting down with the other boys, I looked back and saw my dad two rows back. I went over to sit and watch the game with him. After all, he looked so lonely chaperoning the event, and if it hadn’t been for my dad knocking high fly balls for me to track down, I never would have earned that particular merit badge. It was the best game I ever went to.
About a year and a half ago, I discovered something called a “sim league.” I was looking for a new computer game after finding out that my favorite one, High Heat, was out of business. What I ended up discovering was a group of close to thirty people spread across the country who used High Heat as a basis for simulating games and seasons, with themselves acting as owners and general managers. It looked like a steep commitment; rosters due every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; off-season rookie drafts, free agent protection lists and signings. I studied over the rules, emailed back and forth with the fellow in the league who posted the openings (who also happened to be the commissioner), and decided I could at least give it a two seasons.
Of the two or three teams open, one caught my eye. It was the very worst franchise; it had the losingest record in the history of the league. The team actually went 36-126 one season! It had NEVER had a winning season. It had never even had a .500 season in its 15 seasons of existence. In other words, the franchise had my name written all over it. I signed up and renamed the team. I took complete reigns of the Manatees at the start of the 2016 season.
I’ve put together a team page with all of my managerial details that you can reference by clicking here: Brevard County Manatees.
For the weblog, though, I won’t leave you hanging. A year and a half of being constantly humbled by the skill of some very talented general managers, I’ve been able to eek out a record of 876-744 (.541). The culmination of my work came a few days ago when I qualified for my fifth Rockies League West Pennant and managed to go from there all of the way to winning the League Championship Series!
Some would say it’s just a game, just as watching the Royals play is, but for a little while, my winter transformed into a hot summer on the baseball diamond; exploding into blinding postseason color, imprinting vivid memories that will carry me through the wintertime gloom until spring.

There are three things the average man thinks he can do better than anyone else: build a fire, run a hotel, and manage a baseball team. -Rocky Bridges

My love of baseball started, as many things do, in childhood. I remember on many occasions bringing a mattress downstairs to the living room (the only air-conditioned room in the house except for my parents’ bedroom), brushing my teeth, getting ready for “bed”, then begging for the television to stay on a little longer so I could watch the ending of the Royals game. It was a treat in those “pre-cable television” days. One time, I recall my dad taking a group of boys (a scouting event, I think) to Royals stadium. As I was sitting down with the other boys, I looked back and saw my dad two rows back. I went over to sit and watch the game with him. After all, he looked so lonely chaperoning the event, and if it hadn’t been for my dad knocking high fly balls for me to track down, I never would have earned that particular merit badge. It was the best game I ever went to.

About a year and a half ago, I discovered something called a “sim league.” I was looking for a new computer game after finding out that my favorite one, High Heat, was out of business. What I ended up discovering was a group of close to thirty people spread across the country who used High Heat as a basis for simulating games and seasons, with themselves acting as owners and general managers. It looked like a steep commitment; rosters due every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; off-season rookie drafts, free agent protection lists and signings. I studied over the rules, emailed back and forth with the fellow in the league who posted the openings (who also happened to be the commissioner), and decided I could at least give it two seasons. Continue reading Winter baseball

A charming little range light

haigptlight1This is a picture of the Haig Point Lighthouse on Daufuskie Island in South Carolina. The lighthouse was built in 1872 as one of two range lights that ships could use to safely enter Caliboque Sound. It is still operational today as a private aid to navigation and a bed and breakfast; and it’s on the National Register of Historic Sites. One more thing: it’s also the site of my wedding last month.

I know some of you want details! Here you go:

Existing Historic Tower: YES

  • Year Light First Lit: 1872
  • Is the Light Operational? YES (PRIVATE AID TO NAVIGATION)
  • Date Deactivated: 1934-1987
  • Automated: YES
  • Foundation Materials: TABBY
  • Construction Materials: WOOD
  • Markings/Patterns: WHITE W/RED ROOF
  • Shape: SQUARE ON HOUSE
  • Relationship to Other Structures: INTEGRAL
  • Original Optic: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL
  • Year Original Lens Installed: 1872
  • Height of Focal Plane: 70
  • Has tower been moved? NO   Continue reading A charming little range light

For openers….

How often is a novice chess player honored by having his analysis of an ongoing game published? As often as he likes … if he has a weblog….

The following are the opening moves of a game I’ve just started with an old college buddy who lives a long way away. We’re playing over email, allowing “infinite” time to play each move, and we’re allowed to consult computer chess programs to avoid blunders and generate some ideas. The game is not meant to be a masterpiece of strategy and tactics. The regular email moves are a conduit for us to pass along news and happenings to each other. It is a way for us to keep in touch.

Still, for anyone who might be interested, I submit the following analysis. By the way, should you come up with a great idea, that’s what the “comments” section is for. You should do the same for Bill. Oh yeah, that’s right. Bill doesn’t have a weblog. Too bad….

Bill
Todd Bill
1. e4 Nf6

Alekhine’s Defence. Not an opening I’m very comfortable with. Let’s see how it develops.

2. e5 Nd5
3. d4 d6
4. c4 Nb6
5. Nf3

Continue reading For openers….

Quote – ‘One of my fun sites’

From The Quotation Page‘s Quote of the Day for the last week.  Ponder and enjoy them.

Cecil Baxter. “You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty.”

John A. Wheeler. “If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

Alan Kay. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Unknown. “Cats are intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.”

Paul Harvey. “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”

Online play

When I was a young’un teaching myself the game of chess, I remember coming across a chess dictionary that mentioned something called postal or correspondence chess.  (Trivia:  the first postal chess match was played in 1824.)  What struck me about postal chess was that you could play with anyone, no matter how far away they lived.

This was before the Internet had entered my consciousness.  Since then, I’ve used the ‘net as a conduit to play turn-based games that lasted from half a year (Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri) to real time games that have lasted, well, nearly five years and counting (EverQuest).  The games I’ve chosen are themselves fun, but interacting with old college friends and relatives who live far away is the real excitement.

Now, it seems to me I’ve gone full circle.  Am I playing the latest, greatest new multiplayer game out there?  No, I’ve just started playing chess by email with my grad school chum.  Wish me luck!

T. S. Eliot. “Humor is also a way of saying something serious.” [Quotes of the Day]