The 2016 MLB Draft

Saturday, June 11, 2016

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      With no definitive #1 pick in this draft, the Phillies, Reds & Braves had to just hope for the best with who they liked. Many mock drafts pegged AJ Puk to go #1 overall. I was thinking Jason Groome might, and I also was very big on Corey Ray. I looked into Corey Ray a little more and really wanted the Reds to grab him but nothing happened as I expected. The Phillies took Mickey Moniak, an Outfielder out of La Costa Canyon HS. He projects very well but wasn't expected to go #1 overall. The Reds were pegged to pick 3B Nick Senzel by a lot of analysts and that's exactly what happened. Senzel is a polished bat who hits for average and makes a lot of contact. He is coming from Tennessee #2 overall. The Braves took the first pitcher of the draft. Ian Anderson is a right handed high school pitcher. He leaps over AJ Puk, Jason Groome, Riley Pint, and several pitchers projected to be picked before him. Puk dropped to #6 going to Oakland and Groome fell out of then top 10 going #12 to Boston. Let's hope the Braves history of developing pitching holds true here with Ian Anderson.
      This year's draft was full of talent but lacked that exciting "stand-out" player to talk about. I look forward to reading up on some of these first round guys. With these three teams in obvious rebuilds it seems like the Phillies are on track to contend first because they're having a much better year right now than people expected them to have. In my opinion I don't know why rebuilding teams draft high schoolers in the first round. I feel like you should go for the safer bet being the proven talent. That's all I got for tonight.


Another Streak Ends, Trumbo, Bumgarner and his bat

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

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In the past week…


      Here is a quick snapshot of what’s been going on in the majors this past week.
We’ve seen Xander Boegarts hitting streak come to an end. I really love watching
a hitting streak once it is over 20. It creates such excitement and you just want to
see that player go deeper into the streak. Boegarts may have seemed like an
unlikely person to chase this but so did Bradley Jr. the week before.
Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio holds a record that may never be broken, but man oh man is
the chase exciting!


      We’ve seen Corey Seager turn up the heat as of late. He hit 5 homeruns in a series.
One game he sent 3 into the seats and just like that I’m back to being convinced he is
the real deal. In my neck of the woods, Cincinnati seems to have found their left fielder
that has eluded them for the entirety of them being in contention. Adam Duvall is his
name. Duvall was acquired from the Giants in a trade that sent Mike Leake to the Bay.
Duvall is currently batting over .260 and has 16 homeruns. It’s still early but could we
possibly be talking about a NL ROY? Corey Seager, Aaron Nola, Adam Duvall? We’ll see….




      In Baltimore you have one of my favorites, Mark Trumbo. This guy was a stud coming
through the minors and when he debuted with the Angels he seemed like he was going to
be a huge powerhouse. Then injuries progressed and he seemed to have lost his talent.
Well, he is back! As I write this Trumbo leads the majors with 19 homeruns and batting .295.
Those are pretty nice numbers considering you’re in a lineup with Crush Davis, Adam Jones, & Manny Machado. I want to see him succeed and wouldn’t mind seeing the O’s take the east. Now if only they could address the pitching.


      In the AL Central we recently seen the Indians make a statement by sweeping the Royals. With a young core in Cleveland we may be in the midst of watching a team getting it’s feet underneath them. Last night Trevor Bauer got the win and had 10 K’s. Salazar isn’t looking too bad at all. Guys are clicking right now and it’s exciting. I’m excited to see how the playoffs shake out this year with all of the unfamiliar faces (in recent years) playing baseball in October. With that being said, what happened in Chicago? I mean the Cubs are still playing like they have a purpose but at one point this season the White Sox were right there with them and now they’re almost a .500 ball club. Touting a 29-28 record fans have got to be upset after such a hot start. Frazier coming to the south side seems to have sparked some excitement with him performing well but now something is wrong. They recently acquired James Shields from San Diego but will that be enough to get back in this? The question to ask may be, will Shields even be an impact player now? Perhaps his best days were in Tampa when him and David Price were the 1-2 punch. It will be interesting to see what happens before the all-star break.


      Madison Bumgarner has made it clear that he is interested in being in the home run derby this year. Whaaaaaat?!? The pitcher has hit 11 homeruns now in his career and there are some interesting stats floating around that suggest he is just as good a hitter as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in the last 190 plate appearances. I’m not convinced that he is that good of a hitter given that he isn’t consistently getting at-bats every night but it is definitely something that I’d like 
to see assuming that it doesn’t take away from a more deserving hitter.


Dj Sports Podcast

Sunday, May 29, 2016

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      Hello everyone, my name is Jeris and I am starting up sports podcasts with a good friend of mine. We talk about every sport from hockey to baseball. We plan to do one podcast per week either on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. We would really like to get our listener base up, just trying to spread the word around. We are based in Ohio. So give us a chance!

Here's our Facebook page:
https://m.facebook.com/Dj-Sports-Podcast-1556403001328474/

We will post our links to our podcasts on the Facebook page! Go ahead and like the page!! And don't forget to spread the word!
Thanks guys!
Dj Sports Podcast

Let's Talk Little League

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Let’s Talk Little League
     
      So my oldest son plays the game. He enjoys playing it and like many other fathers and sons, it offers great time for bonding and such. He is 10 years old. This is his third year playing but his first year of kids pitching and keeping score. He previously played coach-pitch ball before. I have always volunteered as an assistant coach every year and I enjoy it for the most part. Full disclosure, I am writing this article out of totally biased frustration. The cat is out of the bag (whatever that means)… Let’s get started.

      First off, not enough kids today actually WANT to play baseball. I’m beginning to notice hands on at how as kids get older, less want to play. I mean when kids are 5, 6, 7 years it seems like there is an abundance of “daddy’s little man” and “put er’ there tiger” expressions. This year our team started out with 11 and to get that was like begging people to do it. Of course as the season drew closer one kid dropped out due to parents not wanting to actually pay for it. Another kid it just seems like never shows up. The mother always has something going on or a reason why she can’t bring him. The head coach is really good about offering to pick up kids if needed but she just doesn’t allow it. This causes problems on game-days when that kid is one of 3 of our capable pitchers and we need him.
      The attitude kids have nowadays (and at this age) is strange because I can remember being ten years old and being hyper and active and full of what at the time I thought was knowledge, but I remember being respectful toward adults. We have a team with about 5 kids who play hard and want to get better and play as a team. When you see these kids perform well it’s exciting because you’re watching them have fun. Go to the other 5 kids though and you have the bad news bears. These kids didn’t come to play. They came to make excuses. They didn’t come to win, they came for the snacks to follow the loss.

Motivating The Bad Seeds
      So how do you motivate kids who have no interest in the game? We started off just trying to have fun, then we noticed the bunch who likely have ADHD and can’t stand in the outfield for more than a minute without looking for cloud pictures in the sky. And I’m not insensitive to kids with short attention spans but am just irritated by it. We have 10 kids on this team. Let’s say they’re in the middle of a game and they’re losing by a few runs. We really need the defense to come through so as coaches we are yelling things like “Be ready infield” and “Outfield, be alive out there!!!” The ball is hit onto the ground and gets past the third basemen on a diving effort that slips into the outfield edge of the grass. It is practically at the left fielder’s feet and he doesn’t even realize it because he has the glove covering his face, twisting his waist left to right as fast as he can. 2 runs score on this play and before he realizes he has a play, he picks up the ball, throws a horrible throw to third base that rolls halfway to the catcher and we have an inside the park 3 run homerun. You can’t sit em, we have nobody to replace him. And also he is not the only one in the outfield dancing and picking flowers.
      So aside from the kids we try to hide in the outfield that pick grass, throw dirt, toss their glove into the air, pick their nose, stand there with their arms crossed, bite their nails, we have a team that is hard to speak to. Before a game recently we gathered our team to discuss the previous loss and what we needed to focus on.  We told them to be quiet and listen. Of course immediately upon speaking it seemed like half the team had something to say. Most of the time a smart ass remark. As coaches we’re aggravated. We’re telling the outfielders that their job is to back up the infield. Back up your team mates if they can’t get to the ball then you have to! The common response is “I don’t wanna play in the outfield, it’s boring, the ball never gets hit out there” and I always tell them that the second they think it’s not coming out there is the second it comes out there. We just want the message to sink in and not be interrupted while we try to convey it.

Is It Just Me?
       Is it just me, or is there always that one kid who just absolutely will not hustle? Refuses to move with urgency? Refuses to apply the basic fundamentals to something as simple as stepping and THEN throwing? The kid who you have to tell time and time again where his position is despite the fact you’ve told him at least twice every practice and every game? Is this an attention thing where he just likes the reaction? The kid that you have to teach him how to stand in the batter’s box and hold a bat, and keep reminding him to keep his back elbow up and to step when he swings? Stop standing on the plate already! And tie your shoes for the one millionth time!  The kid who never seems to ever have a complete uniform? Comes to practice but doesn’t bring a glove, then comes to the game and doesn’t bring his hat. The kid who just won’t leave his shirt tucked in.  Or how about my favorite (not). The kid who constantly asks to play other positions they’ve never played during a game between every inning? (This is one of the kids who plays in our outfield). Okay, I’m done complaining about the kids who do not want to take winning seriously now.

Oh, You’re The Coach To!?
      How common is it for a coach (not me in this scenario, but the head coach) to have to go out of his way on his own time to make phone calls to the athletics committee to have a field dragged, or have a field lined for a game? It seems like this year our team drew the short straw or something. Our field is in a horrible neighborhood. It’s in a bad neighborhood I grew in and moved away from for that very reason. When you go there you get the vibe that someone may have overdosed by the swing-set recently and homeplate may or may not smell like cheap booze.  Recently we had to play a game about 2 hours after it rained. My son and I were sure it was cancelled but it didn’t so we show up to the field and it’s in terrible shape. Homeplate is ¾ submerged in water, second base has a huge puddle and the pitchers mound is a soupy slop of a mess. We were raking dirt for 45 minutes before we ever measured out the bags. We probably shouldn’t have played that game. The point here is, the coaches do a lot of extra stuff they probably shouldn’t have to do.

Closing Statement

      The parents can often be great to have cheering and whatnot but at every game there are the parents who just want to see their kids do well, but also are trying to coach from the crowd. If you’re one of these parents please stop it. Did you volunteer when you signed them up and you were asked? No, you didn’t… You said no because you want to watch so please do what you intended to do and just watch. Batter hits a dribbler that turns into a double. You’re telling your kid playing defense to throw it, coaches are yelling to hold it, and the kid hears all of this. Whose fault is it if the kid throws it? I’m looking at you parents. Sit back in your lawn chair and stop stepping on our toes. This has been the least fun of the three years we’ve been doing this. Easily the most aggravating. My son is even aggravated. I can see it in his face when he is playing second base and stops the ball and throws the 3rd base and the basemen drops it. Not saying my kid is perfect but he is one of the better kids on the team, which is why he is in the infield. We still have a good time as father and son but with the other kids there not taking it seriously we are just a little burned out I think. Hopefully as he gets older he will still want to play and there will be only kids who actually want to play.  Here is to hoping Bryce Harper successfully makes baseball fun again…


Chris Sale is human, Tomlin sneaky good, K-Rod's milestone, JBJ Chases history

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Good morning

      From my couch on a Wednesday morning in Cincinnati I sit watching MLB network and highlights from last night. In an unrelated note to what I wanna talk about, my Reds are just not playing good baseball. 9 losses in a row now. You know it's a bad year when you get an email that is offering 15 games for $59 this summer.

      Let's talk about Chris Sale. Sale has gone up until last night 9-0 with 9 consecutive decisions. His ERA was well under 2.00 and he seemed to just keep it rolling along. The guy is everything the White Sox wanted him to be and more. I've even bought in on the hype a bit and grabbed a few autographed baseball cards despite me not typically chasing pitchers due to their injury rate. Despite last night I think Sale is still regarded one of the best pitching today and this will only be a minor setback. This just proves everyone is hittable. Arrietta is the next to get lit up with this logic.



      Tuesday night at US Cellular field Sale takes the mound to face the Cleveland Indians and their quietly dominating starter Josh Tomlin. Sale only lasted 3 1/3 innings and threw 89 pitches. He gave up 6 runs in that short time. Cleveland unloaded the hitting parade on Sale. Consequently Tomlin cruised to his 7th win. Chris Sale did not allow this to be a team loss. He wears the loss out loud saying "We didn't lose this game, I lost this game". Tomlin was tagged for two homeruns while Striking out 6. Tomlin is now 7-0. I think people expected Corey Kluber to be pitching how Tomlin is. Cleveland is starting to look like a serious team this season. The White Sox look good to but have cooled off. Miguel Cabrera is raking again in Detroit so this AL Central may heat up and be a dogfight to the end if these teams continue to play like this,

Other noteworthy things happening in baseball.

      K-Rod just notched his 400th career save in Detroit last night against the Phillies. He now sits 6th all time. He is on pace to pass Billy Wagner next who has 422 career saves.



      Jackie Bradley Jr, Continues to keep the hits coming and has now reached the halfway mark to chasing Joltin' Joe DiMaggio's record. The improbability of him doing it extremely unlikely but it sure is exciting to watch it unfolding. Imagine if he does break it!? I would have never expected JBJ to be capable of doing it but I sure am enjoying it. Plus he is on my fantasy team so I have that to enjoy to.  That hitting streak record will likely be the last record to fall if it ever does. This is a pitching era though and the strikeout is no big deal anymore so I'd be surprised to see anyone rival the all time hit record anytime soon.

      That is all for me, Comment, cite your opinions and have your friends come check out the blog.

Introducing... Danny Morrison

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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Hello everyone,

      My name is Danny Morrison. It looks like I will be the third person contributing to this blog.
I really appreciate David having the confidence in me to be a part of it. I believe I am the old man of the group. I'm 45 years old, have been married for almost 22 years, and have 3 children (21yr old son- 18yr old daughter- 9yr old son). I graduated from Marshall University in 1994 with a degree in Psychology and have been putting that degree to good use the past twelve years working in a steel mill.

      I have a deep love of baseball. I was able to play through high school. Then, picked up the old man version of slow pitch softball until I got too fat to play well enough a few years ago. Like David and William, I also am deep into collecting baseball cards. That is actually how I "met" both of them via Facebook collecting groups. Although I haven't met them face to face I believe we have become friends thru our mutual hobby. I also am a die hard Reds fan. I'm not sure exactly what direction my writing will take. But, hopefully this introduction will give you some insight to my perspective.

Mike Trout In Pinstripes?

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      So I have seen a couple articles from non-credible sources today talking about the possibility of Mike Trout possibly being destined for the Yankees. 

      For the last 2 years now we have all been taken back by how good Bryce Harper is and that Harper was a Yankee fan growing up and that he seems to be the kind of player that would end up in New York. In my humble opinion, Bryce Harper seems more of a Red Sox, Boston kinda guy. Just looking at the facial hair, the sometimes scruffy look, the "live out loud" attitude. Mike Trout comes off quiet and this season has been relatively under the radar but as of today is batting .317 with 8 HRs and playing typical Trout-esque center field baseball. 
      So I read this article and it pretty much has the Yankees pegged as the #1 landing spot if the Angels decide to tear down and replenish their farm system. When you trade a player like Mike Trout though you don't just get a few prospects. You can pretty much demand a king's ransom and someone will pay it right? Let's talk about the Yankees. They have Carlos Beltran, coming off payroll soon, A ROD, Sabbathia and I believe a few others. They will have financial flexibility to spend like we're use to seeing in the past. They currently have a very rich farm system. They have been relunctant to give up prospects for rental players in recent years so they have players like Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Jorge Mateo. There is no question that the yankees could pull off a mega block buster trade to LA for Trout if Anaheim so wished to move him. 
      So now let's talk about the Angels. 
A trade like this is only made once a team decides to go "all in" on a new organizational direction with how they produce talent, and field a team people pay to see. If you trade Trout today who are you excited to see right now? An aging Pujols? CJ Cron? Kole Calhoun? An injured Andrelton Simmons? The team is asleep at the wheel with flashes of what we in the baseball community thought was going to be a dynasty when Trout broke out in 2012, then the Pujols and Josh Hamilton signing. At the time Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson were lights out. I think if the Angels were to be serious about rewriting their story or scrapping the old blue print, this is the way to go. 

How will Mike "Millville Meteor" Trout look in pinstripes? 

I'll tell you one thing, it seems a lot more likely to happen than Harper going there right now. 
A dragging team in a weak AL west and a very impressive competetive team in the stacked NL East..

What do you think?






What's Good For Baseball

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What’s good for baseball

By William Robinson

                I like to talk about what’s good for baseball all the time. The funny thing about that is that there are so many different opinions about this that I’m sure that mine isn’t the only one and honestly may not be in the majority but I’m going to do a blog here today discussing things that I think need to change in the game to make it more popular for the masses.

1.       People do not come to the park to watch umpires. I’m sorry guys but Leslie Nielson isn’t walking through that door as a home plate umpire and nobody and I mean nobody is here to watch an umpire. What people are there for is to watch good hitters hit and good pitchers pitch. So when I hear stories about home plate umpires picking fights with players (I’m looking at you Joe West) it makes me want to do away with home plate umpires in general. And why not? We don’t need them. The day and age of the computer is upon us and it would be very easy to have a computer call balls and strikes going forward. The computer would always keep the same strike zone and would never make mistakes and there would never be any more arguing about balls and strikes. A strike in Cincinnati would be a strike in Seattle and so on and so forth. This would allow batters to get used to a uniform strike zone and would lead to an increase in run scoring across the league. This would also take away from useless bickering between players and umpires and would get rid of ejections for the most part keeping players in the game and on the field where the fan has paid to watch them. Now I know that this is a new thing and is going to be met with heavy resistance but all good changes are. Take integration for example, that was met with heavy resistance and it lead to a golden age of baseball.
2.       Speaking of integration, I’m thrilled that we have a Jackie Robinson day in baseball but we also need to have a day set aside to celebrate the man that made it all happen. MLB needs to have a day each year set aside to celebrate Branch Rickey and also another day set aside to celebrate Roberto Clemente. Branch Rickey saved MLB by creating the minor league system and by integrating baseball to not only black players but to latino players as well. This lead to the golden age of the 50’s and 60’s and led to MLB being more popular than ever. It also in a way lead to the end of segregation in this country by giving our nation a great example to look to. It’s only right that we celebrate these other heroes as well.
3.       Speaking of segregation we need to think about women’s rights a little bit too. The All American Professional Girls Baseball League ended in 1954 partly because of a law passed by congress that made all other professional baseball leagues illegal. This must be overturned and we must be promoting baseball for young girls. There is no reason why girls should be playing softball! That is pure sexism and is completely ridiculous! I’m not saying that the girls have to play against the boys but dang it they can play in a girls baseball league on their own and eventually I’d love to see a professional women’s baseball league as well. My young daughters need to see women playing baseball and not relegated to a side role playing softball.
4.       We need to get rid of the “code”. Yeah we’ve heard all about this unspoken code of baseball players. Don’t’ flip your bat, don’t show anyone else up, don’t look at the pitcher as you run around the bases after a home run, take care of your batters by hitting players with pitchers on the other teams. Good god baseball players grow up and grow some tougher skin. I’m sorry but players showing emotion is a good thing, it makes them more human and a lot more likeable in the first place. I want to see my players getting as excited as I am when they hit a home run. I want to see them celebrate and have fun. I want baseball to be fun and not boring and guess what so do my kids. There’s a reason why Bryce Harper is the most popular player in the game. It’s because he shows his emotions and has fun playing baseball. I mean Mike Trout is better than him, but he’s a boring as a stone and is on the West Coast so he’ll never be as popular. So let’s get rid of this stupid code and let’s start having fun!


Well I think that’s a good place to start. Let’s get that conversation going!

Introducing... William Robinson

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Hello,

Is it me you're looking for?

Who knows. but I am one of the other contributing members of this blog. My name is William Robinson and I have been writing about baseball for the past couple of years. I have been a huge baseball fan for my entire life. It started when I was a kid and my father was a huge Reds fan and he instilled that passion into me. I watched and listened to and kept score of Reds games for all of my youth for players like Tom Browning, Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Joe Oliver, and Barry Larkin. To this date there is just something about baseball that harkens back to those days of my youth where my dad was my version of Superman and I thought that baseball players where these herculean heroes who could wrestle lions and such. It was such a sweeter time and it helps me feel like part of my dad is still around now that he's been gone for 10 years.

I'm trying to instill that same passion into my daughters (I have three). It's going okay I guess, I think one of the problems is that stupid ruling that was made in the 50's which made a woman's professional baseball league illegal. This means that my daughters could never grow up to play professional baseball and so they don't even have little league girls baseball teams which is incredibly sexist. They can't have heroes to look up to that play baseball and so it's harder for us guys to get them into the game other than just for the fact that they like to hang out with dad. If you read more of this blog you'll hear me bring up some social injustices from time to time but I promise not to let it overwhelm the sports.

Anyways, these days I'm still a huge reds fan, but I'm also getting ready to move to Atlanta and so have adopted the Braves. I'm also a huge Bryce Harper fan and so it's been a lot more interesting lately to be a fan of him. I also collect ball cards and I love to write about that as well. Anyways, I hope to hear from you, and thank you for your time in reading this blog.

Dave Concepcion Signing

Monday, May 16, 2016

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      So Sunday I attended a signing in West Chester Ohio at the Sports Gallery. Big Red Machine legends George Foster, slugging outfielder, and (should be HOF Shortstop) Dave Concepcion. I did not get Foster Sunday. I actually met Foster during the 2015 All Star fan fest in Cincy and got a photo of him. I went on this day specifically for Concepcion. I was pretty excited because I had an idea for a unique item to display but it would need to come in two parts.
      Late June there will be a Barry Larkin and Pete Rose signing. Now I have met Rose a few times now and I honestly just do not want to pay top dollar for his auto. He has probably signed well over a million times in his lifetime and his signature has been rendered low value. I plan to have a Larkin signature paired up with my Davey from Sunday.
      I decided to go with a plain black Rawlings Big Stick. I wanted to have Concepcion on the left and Larkin on the right and the inscription beneath the signatures to say "Capitan to Captain" since they were both Reds shortstops and there was sort of a "passing of the torch" so to speak. The problem is.... I think Davey signed a little big despite me saying what I wanted to do. I don't think he really understood. His signature is beautiful though compared to what players today do so I'm not upset but now I am faced with the dilemma that it may not display well at a single glance. Now I may be forced to Wrap around the bat and have Larkin on the bottom side. Here is the look I am thinking.

"Dave Concepcion
Capitan
To
Captain
Barry Larkin"

I think the idea was solid but now am not sure I still want to do it. I have a month or so to think about it but for now I am still doing it. I'd love to hear what people think. 


Introducing... My First Blog!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

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      On a cool afternoon in Cincinnati Ohio I have decided to start a blog. I did some reading on how to do this and the common theme seems to be to have a format and to blog about something your passionate about. Well, I am passionate about baseball and absolutely love to talk about it. This is something I've thought about in the past but today I decided to just go for it. Welcome to Striking Out The Side! I will post about games, players, teams, milestones, cards, events, and random topics about the game.
      My name is David. I live in Cincinnati. By default I am a Reds fan. I was raised a Reds fan so heritage is strong with me here. There are other teams I like but all an all I love the game of baseball. I have favorite players like anyone else. I have a girlfriend, 2 young boys and work full time doing nothing you'd consider awesome. I enjoy collecting cards and attending signing events. I have a "mancave" like a lot of die-hard sports fans and enjoy my expensive hobby no matter how much my wallet cries.
      My boys are currently 6 & 10. My 10 year old plays baseball and loves playing it. Like many kids though, he gets bored watching it. He doesn't know of many players outside of the reds or the ones I talk about. As for my 6 year old, he has no interest in athletics at all. I've tried playing ball with him and he just doesn't seem coordinated. He gets frustrated quickly and that's about it once he gets upset. Once he is done, the show is over.
      That's about it for me today. I'm going to try to fine tune this blogger account and make sure the website in synched up correctly now. Go Reds!!!


Here is a picture of me and Alex, about 5 years ago outside of Great American Ballpark with Big Ted Kluszewski