Saturday, August 30, 2008

And a new season starts...

Fall must be close as college football season has started, the NFL is getting ready to kick off meaningful games, and the kids are back in school. The summer went way to quick for me. I don't feel like I did much. But I'm lucky to only have to walk out my door and walk a hundred feet or so to fish in a lake. Simple, but it is doing something. Went to six major league baseball games and a couple of more on the schedule. But I ramble..

Yes football season is back! And football season means upset and this first weekend of football has not disappointed. East Carolina upset 17th ranked Virginia Tech 27-22. Bowling Green upset 25th ranked Pittsburgh 27 to 17. Another surprise , 24th ranked Alabama upset 9th ranked Clemson 34-10. I hope the Mountaineers are paying attention as in a couple of weeks they will face the East Carolina Pirates.

USC made a strong case that they aim to contend for the National Championship destroying UVA 52-7. The Gators made sure Hawaii was a one year wonder beating them 56-10. Georgia won 45-24 over Georgia Southern, but the number one ranking might be better off on a team like Oklahoma who beat Chattanooga 57-2 to open their season.

It's early and the polls will be debated long into the winter. Most teams still have a lot of hopes!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Reflecting back to Katrina

Gustav's track is giving everyone a chance to reflect back on Katrina. Gustav is gaining strength, and expected to be at Cuba Saturday night. Right now Gustav is scheduled to hit between east Texas and extreme western Florida. Looking at the projection New Orleans could once again be facing a mighty Hurricane.

Katrina flooded the Big Easy and brought with her plenty of destruction to Louisiana and Mississippi. New Orleans wasn't ready for Katrina. The question now is will New Orleans be ready for Gustav?

Katrina did unite the country to help. I was living in Hagerstown at the time. Our minor league team the Suns had a night to raise money to help with Katrina relief, my church sent over a mission trip, and the local Boys Scouts sent supplies to replace what Boy Scouts had lost in the Gulf Region. Many other communities also helped like Hagerstown did. Celebrities helped too. Raising money, awareness, and literally pitching in to rebuild hard hit areas. I made several donations through the Episcopal Relief Fund which raised money around the nation to help the victims.

It was the right thing to do. It felt good to help. It felt sad to see the destruction. Hopefully, where ever Gustav decides to hit land, those areas will be prepared. Hopefully people will reach safety and property damage is minimal. If the communities that get hit need help, hopefully the nation will rally to provide that help. Hopefully, the Government will act quickly. Hopefully we are better prepared for Gustav.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Big News About Beau and Canaries

The Sioux Falls Canaries aren't the Corpus Christi Hooks or the Round Rock Express where Beau had to be hoping to end up this past Spring. However, Beau Torbert made the most out of playing for the American Association Sioux Falls Canaries as he was named the leagues Player of The Year.

"His season is highlighted by a July 7 game in Wichita where he hit for the cycle, becoming the first Canaries player to do so since Juan Thomas in 2005" according to the article on the Canaries website. Beau lead the league in slugging with a .568 slugging percentage. Torbert finished fifth in league and second on the Canaries batting .324. He finished behind team mate Will Smith who was second in the league batting .333.

Beau finished second on the team with 65 runs scored, third on the team with three triples, and second on the team with 14 stolen bases. Torbert was third on the team with 110 hits, fifth on the team with 20 doubles, and lead the team with 19 home runs playing in 90 games. Beau tied team mate Grant Richardson for the team lead in runs batted in with 71.

Sioux Falls Canaries manager Steve Shirley was named manager of the league for the American Association. Leading the Canaries to a first half North Division Championship and a 60-36 record. Here is the link to that article.

The Canaries open the American Association playoffs at home tonight against the second half North Division Champion Sioux City Explorers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Fantasy Football Team

Friday I was scheduled to draft my team in the Fantasy Football League at work, but then I found out it was cancelled. So, my wife found me a league to play in. It is a league where you pay a fee to be in, unlike the free one at work.

Draft positions in the 12 person league were selected by picking numbers. I picked number 11, not exactly the best position. In the first round, there was a run on running backs. This probably helped my draft, I stayed true to picking on how I rated my players and I drafted QB Tom Brady of New England. I had him the number 2 player in the draft, and Fantasy Football Index had him ranked as the number one quarterback. I knew running back would be a weakness on my team.

In the second and third rounds, I stayed with my rankings and drafted two wide receivers. The first one was Owens (TO) out of Dallas, I had him ranked 8th overall. Fantasy Football Index ranked him as the 4th best wide receiver in the draft. I also picked up T.J. Houshmandzadeh, ranked as the 11th best wide out by Fantasy Football Index.

During the fourth round I switched my approach and started drafting for positions. Running backs were going fast and I need one. I drafted McGahee out of Baltimore. I had him 12th in my list of running backs, Fantasy Football Index had him ranked 10th. I stayed with Baltimore in the next round selecting Heap from Baltimore at tight end. I had him ranked as the 12th best tight end and Fantasy Football Index had him ranked at 9th.

The league is a three wide receiver league, so in the sixth round I picked the Jets receiver Cotchery, the 15th ranked receiver by Fantasy Football Index, 22nd ranked by me. I had a hunch, with the Jets getting Favre, Cotchery may have a bigger year. At any rate I was set with three receivers, a tight end, a running back, and a quarterback.

The seventh round, I still needed another running back. I picked up Young out of Denver. He wasn't on my list but Fantasy Football Index had him ranked 19th. He was the highest running back still left at this point. I had filled up my roster except for kickers and defenses.

In the eighth round I drafted Tight End Crumpler from the Titans. He was actually ranked higher than Heap who I picked in the fifth round. Fantasy Football Index had Crumpler ranked as the sixth best tight end.

In the nineth round I picked Scobee from Jacksonville the fifth ranked kicker by Fantasy Football Index and the kicker I wanted. In the tenth round I stayed with the Jaguars and picked their defense for my team. The Jags defense was ranked 8th by Fantasy Football Index.

In the eleventh round I picked Arizona's Leinart as my backup quarterback. A separate bye week then Brady and you all ways need replacements in case of injuries.

The 12th and 13th round I picked two running backs. Green out of Houston ranked 32nd by Fantasy Football Index, but a solid pick since he is a starter. I also picked up Johnson from the Titans.

I used the 14th round to add dept at wide receiver picking up Carolina's Hackett. Looking at my picks it looks like I should have picked another receiver as I will be one short during week 10. But there might be some options out there by that time. Depending on my match up I might not even need to make a move.

I used the final two draft picks for my backup kicker and defense. I picked kicker Longwell from Minnesota, the sixth ranked kicker by Fantasy Football Index, one behind my starter. I picked up Tennessee's Defense, Fantasy Football Index ranked as the 12th best defense in the draft.

Those are my picks and what my Fantasy Football Team looks like going into the season.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Storm on my mind..

Where I am it is a typical August day, sunny temps in the mid 80's, they skies are clear but my mind is on people and places stuck in the path of Tropical Storm Fay. My parents live on the beach in North Florida. Fay, made it's third land fall just south of them and her northern bands are striking out where my parents live.

Thankfully my parents are all right. They did loose power for a while. They have lost some branches and palms from their trees. They like most people there are all right. According to my Dad, and I am sure he got the information from some local Jacksonville media outlet two people died from this storm. One person had an accident while messing with an emergency generator when the power went out. The other person was a tourist, who decided to go swimming with some buddies in he Ocean. One made it back, one made it to the hospital, and one died.

Hopefully, Fay will pass on bye. Hopefully further damage will be minimal from the winds, flood and rain. Hopefully, Fay will calm down and deliver her rain to the ones who really need it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beau Torbert Update: Since the season is winding down

Since baseball season, especially for Independent Leagues and Minor Leagues, is winding down rather quickly I thought I would give another Beau update. Right now Beau Torbert is 8th in league in batting with a .324 average. Beau is second on the team with 60 runs scored, he won't catch Grant Richardson who leads the team with 81 runs scored. Torbert is third on the team in hits with 103, he trails Richardson with 107, and Ben Van Iderstine who has a team high 110 hits.

Beau Torbert is tied at second on the team with 19, trailing Richardson who has 23 and tied with Josh Patton and Josh Reininger. Beau is third on the team in triples with 3, trailing Kennard Bibbs who has 4 and Patrick Reilly who has a team high 7 triples.

Beau Torbert leads the Sioux Falls Canaries in Home Runs and RBIs with 19 homers and 69 runs batted in. Beau is six a head of Grant Richardson in both categories. Beau also leads the team with a .582 slugging percentage.

Beau is second on the team in stolen bases with 12, three behind Bibbs and one ahead of Reilly.
Beau's .386 on base percentage trails Will Smith(not the actor) and Grant Richardson.

The Canaries are already in the playoffs since they won the North Division in the first half. In the second half the Canaries are 24-18 and two games behind Sioux City in the North Division of the American Association. It will be interesting to see how Beau and the Canaries finish the season with only 6 games left and the playoffs starting August 25th.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Quick Falls: Clemens and Bonds

What a difference a year makes. Last year Roger Clemens was playing his half season of baseball pitching for the New York Yankees. Now, I think Roger is really retired or buried underneath a big pile of baggage which found him over the off season. Last year about this time Barry Bonds became the Home Run King and now he is out of baseball.

I'm not surprised Roger Clemens is finally retired. He was among the top pitchers if not the best pitcher of my time. The baggage, the investigations, the alleged affairs, the dispute with the trainer that was a surprise. What's true? I don't know. I wish he was squeaky clean as a fan. He does do a lot of good things, helping out with the Astros prospects the last three spring trainings, and through his foundation. If he did do steroids or other performance enhancing substances, so what? He is a pro athlete not an amateur It was his profession. I'm sure my boss wouldn't mind if I took performance enhancing substances to improve my work. If it is illegal then have them face legal charges if they are caught. if it breaks the work rules have them suspended, which Clemens and Bonds never were. 354 wins, an 11 time All-Star, an MVP award, 7 Cy Young Awards, and 6 twenty win seasons equals a pretty darn good career. Source for stats.

Barry Bonds is the Home Run King in baseball. 762 home runs and a .298 career hitter is how it stands for Bonds. Bonds wants to play but no one wants him. Last year in a 126 games Barry knocked 28 home runs, drove in 66, scored 75 runs , batted .276. He is not suspended. Sure he is 44 years old, but he still puts up very respectable numbers. It is like baseball has said you have the record but now the playground is closed for you. His alleged PEDs used can't be the reason teams won't sign him. Several players who admitted they used PEDs or were found to have been using PEDs or allegedly used PEDs are still playing. So, why won't baseball let Barry play? Sure his knees are questionable but he could still produce. Salary? I haven't even heard him being offered the minimum salary. Could it be baseball doesn't like Barry Bonds? Or are they saying "Barry you have the single season record, you have the career record now, so we don't think your worth signing because you won't draw enough fans."

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bernie Mac Has Passed Away

The Summer of 2008 is not going to be remembered as a kind summer to comedians. First Carlin and now Bernie Mac.

Bernie Mac passed away at the age of 50, years too early in this day and age. I became of fan of his by watching his television series "The Bernie Mac Show." The show coincided in my growing role as a step parent and now parent. Fitting show for that time in my life.

At least he will live on in re-runs of his TV shows and his movies can be caught on DVD.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Monthly Beau Torbert Update

The summer has flown bye, here it is already August. The Sioux Falls Canaries wrap up the regular season August 26, and then the playoffs start August 28th. Beau Torbert continues to have a fine season for the Canaries Beau's .328 batting average is good for 9th in the league. Torbert leads the Canaries with 18 home runs, 62 RBIs, and slugging percentage .605. He is tied for second on the team in stolen bases with 10, and has 15 doubles and three triples. He is also second on the team in runs scored with 51. July was highlighted for Beau Torbert when homered twice in a game. You can read the recap from the teams Website.

Torbert also watched as teammate pitcher Josh Kite was signed by the Detroit Tigers organization. Certainly a season like Beau is having would catch the attention of organized baseball scouts. Beau continues to be a player who can bat for average and now has become a player who can bat for power as well. Torbert has shown what he is capable being a Carolina League All-Star, a Texas League All-Star and keeping his head on to be an American Association All-Star. He has also played in short league A ball, low A ball, High A ball, AA and AAA in the minor leagues.

Stats from the Canaries Website.