Cadaver Dogs

Did you know there is a website called I had not a clue until about 12 seconds ago. I was thinking to myself:

“What are the biggest sellers for the Cadbury company during the months after Easter?”

I start typing Cadbury in the search engine and auto-fill suggests cadaver…from there my mind starts sing-songing: Cadaver Dogs, down in the swamp! (To the tune of Bob Evans…down on the farm!) Why did my mind go there? I honestly have no clue. Sometimes the track switches without warning and the train rolls on.

In scanning through some material on cadaver dogs, I was surprised to learn a few things. For me, I kind of get the doggie stereo-type of German Shepherds as the police dogs with all the detection tools. But come to find out, there are several breeds that are utilized especially when trying to locate human remains. Goldens, blood hounds, collies, beagles, pit bulls and more! So don’t be like me. Let your mind be open and receptive to the opportunities available to many dog breeds regardless of size, color or gender.

Today’s random Google search has taught me a valuable lesson in embracing the possibilities (for doggie workers). And here’s to hoping I am never in need of the cadaver dogs’ services to locate my remains somewhere down the road.

To everyone who breathes in the air on this Earth while reading my posts, keep fighting the good ‘eat healthy’ battle. If nothing else, at least try to speak the names of healthy vegetables in the hopes that invoking their names to the universe will lead to good health.




Breaking it down again

Good morning, Thursday morning (said in the cadence of: Bond, James Bond).

From time to time I like to look at the stats for my blog and it always amuses me. Far and away, most of my readers are from the United States. But it’s those second, third, fourth and fifth places that I find intriguing. I usually get a couple of handfuls of hits from the UK and Canada (what’s that all aboot, eh?). Then from there, the numbers are scattered all over the globe – literally. India, France and Germany are typically right there next in line. Occasionally I will get some Australia (g ‘day mate!) and Mexico. Rounding out the top 10, there are the hits from South Korea and Japan and I am wondering if that translation comes across as quirky or just word vomit?

Checking into my reader stats is kind of like baseball. Baseball is full of stats and it’s interesting to delve into the numbers and see how they match up. Did my post from 3 years ago all of sudden catch a current trend? Are students and information cravers from afar using my blog as an example of “if he can do it, anyone can do it”?

To the person wearing your shirt…wish me luck. Today I am attempting to publish my first blog for the company I work for and I really can’t be belligerent or overly colorful.

Off to start writing! Almost Friday!


Pet Peeve

Greetings Humpers! (It’s Hump Day)

I know I have mentioned this before but I’m going to mention it again. One of my pet peeves is people who back into a parking space. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about people who are parallel parking or people who ‘pull through’ back to back spaces to have their front end ready to pull out when they leave. I am specifically calling out those pretentious people who take like six minutes to pull past a spot, then back up with excruciating slowness into a spot. Most of the time it takes them a couple of tries to get aligned right or judge the correct depth of the space in relation to the length of their vehicle. I don’t care who you are, you are a wank. Because most of the time it takes too long and then the person is either crooked or didn’t back up far enough and the front end of their vehicle is askew or jutting out into the area for traffic to drive by. Just pull into the damn spot ‘nose’ first and back out like the rest of us!

Rant over…
(Mic drop)

OK for no other reason than I mentioned him on the Sports Stalkers podcast the other night, here is Ronnie Milsap’s website. ( For the record (ha, see what I did there?) he is still alive and you can get all 21 of his albums for a special price right now…



Reaching up…

Peter La Fleur: I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed. And I gotta tella ya … it feels phenomenal. ~~ DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story ~~

As a adult (yeah it sucks to admit I am one of those), you have to set goals and make plans or your life is nothing but one of those paper and pencil mazes with no above view. Even with planning and goals, life indiscriminately bumps your house of cards or shakes your Etch-A-Sketch.

As of this minute, my goal for today is to survive until sunset and then put away laundry. I have a list of minor tasks to accomplish some as mundane as paying bills, emptying the dish washer or remembering to eat dinner. I give myself some of those ‘gimme’ items to mentally placate myself into thinking I accomplished something for the day. Hey I marked off seven things from my list…good job me!

With six days left in July, I can still achieve my blog goal of posting 12 items for the month and hopefully draw enough interest from my readership to get more than 200 hits. It’s been a lean month but I still have faith it can happen. During the summer everyone seems to be a bit busier so I can see the drop off from 500+ (winter numbers) to around 200 when vacations and outside activities dominate people and their available time.

For those of you worldwide who check out my daily submissions (when they happen) but also my historical items, thank you. I shall try to update the entire list of posts this fall when softball drops off from six plus days per week to maybe one or two. But for now…we push along!

Happy pre-Hump Day!


Leave Out All The Rest…

When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I’ve done
Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed
And don’t resent me
And when you’re feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

All the hurt inside you’ve learned to hide so well
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can’t be who you are


Eerily this is one of my favorite Linkin Park songs and this passage is tragically appropriate today. It was only two months ago I posted a tribute to Chris Cornell acknowledging his suicidal passing. Today, on Chris’s birthday, the world lost a tremendous talent and creative force from within the band Linkin Park. Chester Bennington has passed from this world and the world will never be the same.

As someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts since I was 14 it’s a hammer blow to absorb. On many of my darkest days, I used music to help me ride the roller coaster of emotions that tormented and eroded my spirit. It’s a highly sensitive subject and not one I’m looking to debate today.

I noted in my piece on Robin Williams that it is amazing how someone you have never spoken to or met can have such a profound effect on your life, philosophy and emotions. To Robin, Chris and Chester…RIP and thank you for what you have given me.

A moment for everyone’s loss…



Cleveland Indians 7-19-2017 Underwhelming Defending AL Champs

Somewhere there is a sunset in progress. It just depends on where on this Earth you are if you can view it or not. That is a nice tranquil thought and mental picture. Now let’s talk about my Cleveland Indians in first place in the American League Central Division of Major League Baseball.


That is a pretty accurate way to describe the state of the Indians these days. Five games after the All-Star Break against the bottom feeders from California, Oakland and San Francisco respectively, and the team is 1-4. In those five games they have scored: 0, 3, 3, 5 and 1 in terms of runs. By MLB standards that is sub-standard. In the month of July, for the team that was tied in the ninth inning of game seven of the World Series in 2016, Cleveland has won only 6 of 14 games. They lead second place Minnesota by 1.5 games and third place Kansas City by 3 games. The Indians won-loss record is presently 48 wins and 44 losses putting them on par with the New York Yankees who currently occupy the second wildcard position for postseason play positioning.

From a personnel standpoint, the fourth and fifth starters in the pitching rotation (Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer) have been tough to watch for the most part. For the most part the pitching staff has been quasi-healthy minus Kluber’s hiatus for his back. The enigmatic Danny Salazar was minimally effective before developing a convenient injury. A slew of injuries has put a harsh spotlight on the thin offensive depth of the team. Offensively speaking, there has been a huge hole caused by Jason Kipnis being injured. When Jose Ramirez is plugged in at second base for defense, that opens up a hole at third base. The biggest problem has been the revolving door in the outfield with Lonnie Chisenhall visiting the DL multiple times and Tyler Naquin not being healthy almost all year. Brandon Guyer has been atrocious (period). Austin Jackson has been a nice surprise but cannot stay healthy and Abraham Almonte is a 4th-5th outfielder on most teams. The catching tandem of Roberto Perez and Yan Gomes has given virtually nothing on the offensive side. They both hit right around the Mendoza line and have combined to produce 7 homeruns and 37 RBI while striking out nearly 30 percent of the time. There is a similar production line or lack thereof from Jason Kipnis this year with his 8 homeruns and 26 RBI. He is only striking out about 19 percent of the time but he is also on pace for about 10 stolen bases this year which would be his lowest total since his rookie season when he stole 5 bases in 36 games. Which brings us to Carlos Santana. Is he a first baseman or is he a DH? You look at his body of work this year and with the glaring exception of the homerun category he is on pace to basically do what he has done the past three years. With the presence of Juan Encarnacion, Carlos seems a bit redundant in his skill set.

OK with the rundown of what isn’t working so far this year, the question shifts to what should/can be done to fix it? A Major League baseball team is a tough thing to boil down to a formula. Every single game can hinge on literally one pitch to take a win and make it into a loss. Even the best teams every year find a way to lose around 60 ball games in the regular season. There is no ‘running game’ for a baseball contest to limit the other team’s chances. You have to get at minimum of 27 outs (barring weather shortened games) from the other team and all the necessary pitches and catches that accompany those. Even on the worst teams, there are still guys trying to do well so they can keep their Major League job for this year or to parlay their stats into a big payday for years to come. So here is my list of guys to package up and trade or straight up DFA: Tomlin, Bauer, Gomes, Guyer, Almonte, Santana, Salazar, Kipnis and Jackson. Some of these guys are currently injured which makes this process difficult.

Each team has an active 25-man roster so in doing the math, I am suggesting a pretty significant amount of shuffling of the current roster. The last three players noted are on the disabled list but the rest are all fair game. As I see it, the club currently needs an everyday centerfielder, a new second baseman, a fresh face at catcher and at least one new member of the rotation if not two. It was about this time last year that Josh Tomlin got demoted to the bullpen so history may be repeating itself soon. Bauer has been a perplexing, head-shaking case of talent versus harnessing his talent (see Jason Davis circa 2002).

I know this sounds like the ranting of a frustrated Indians fan and it most certainly is. Last year was such a vicious tease and this year has been a great opportunity that has mostly been squandered. I will suggest trading for the St Louis Cardinals Carson Kelly, the Oakland A’s Sonny Gray and the Atlanta Braves Brandon Phillips. From there I will just hope no one else gets hurt and Tyler Naquin can return and play like he did last year. If not, this team may be done before the first week of October is over.

Go Tribe!

P.S. Tito stop eating all the junk food. Have some asparagus at least twice a week and it will be all good.
P.S.S. On their current pace, the team would finish with a won-loss record of 85 wins and 77 losses which is pretty sad and probably not going to get it done in terms of clinching a playoff spot. #JustSaying


I’m not afraid to…

…piss people off.

Hi, good morning. Hope you are enjoining some coffee or your preferred beverage of choice.

OK so let me explain my thought process on this. No, not the beverage thing…my stance on pissing people off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just indiscriminately looking for people to piss off with mindless personal attacks. I’m just saying I am not scared to speak my mind and when I see something I perceive as wrong or a debatable topic, I don’t hold back. I may temper my opinions in a diplomatic turn of phrase but you can usually tell where my point/opinion is going.

Some of you in your minds are saying: here we go pointless drama. Nope. No ma’am, no sir. I am not here to spread gossip to pile on someone having a bad day just to be a bully. Everyone running around or wheeling around today has positive and negative aspects of their lives. Some are great parents, some lavish love and attention on their animals while others run businesses that provide incomes and purposes for others to provide for their families and loved ones. While I can try to find the silver lining in many different human clouds, there is always the ying to their yang.

I’m guessing at this point you are trying to discern a point that may take shape coming from the above fog. I am flawed and at times I am an internal mess. But aint we all? The important thing is not to take yourself too seriously and be true with your actions and words. If you see something that emotionally or mentally goes against your grain, you can do a couple of things. First you can ignore it and remove yourself from the situation and go binge watch GOT episodes. If you feel you must have your voice be heard (either literally or figuratively), think first.

Sometimes another human or an issue can cause such a visceral response that we lash out without thinking. Like when I’m on the highway and I see aggressive drivers switching lanes without blinkers or cutting people off when they could have just as easily have slowed down and settled in behind another car. My list of hated traffic grievances is about on par with the proverbial list of naughty boys and girls Santa has to deal with.

Animal abuse, child punishments, softball drama, social media, my Cleveland Indians and long car trips are just a handful of things I have a strong opinion on and my views may not be all unicorns, cotton candy and smiley emoji’s to the casual reader. Is my position the end all be all of opinions? Certainly not but I will do my best to state my case as to why I think that way about a topic. Have I launched into a tirade before about my opinion only to have someone chime in later with some bit of information I wasn’t privy to? Guilty. Did it radically change my stance? Not really but I filed that addition information away to be digested and further flavor my viewpoint.

Most everyone is so wrapped up in being ‘right’ that they lose sight of the spirit of exchanging ideas. Most people when they express their opinions, whether in the majority or minority, are on the razor’s edge for rebuttals. Expressing a dissenting opinion is on par with attacking that person’s most cherished loved one. One of my most favorite quotes I saw on Twitter said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote is attributed to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. That quote is an ugly truth. I myself am guilty of this about half of the time. It happens when I argue with Kristi or Ayden or a co-worker or a softball friend or on my Sports Stalkers podcast partner Jeremy. We as a society are conditioned to be put on the spot and come up with a quip or an answer to prove our wittiness or competency. So much in our daily lives is submerged in self-doubt and competition, so we must be seen as competent at the bare minimum. And in the panic of the moment when we might possibly lose, we resort to snarkyness and name-calling in lieu of stopping and thinking about the basis of our opinions and how it may be colored by our life experiences as opposed to someone from a completely different background.

Take racism and discrimination for example. And no they are not exclusively the same thing. Discrimination is denying someone or a group based on extraneous circumstances that have no bearing on the criteria needed. Some of the biggest racists I know are the ones who play the race card. In my life I have known some people of color who have been the perpetrators of discrimination. There are no absolutes in this world when it comes to discrimination and racism. There are black people who are racist against white people and vice versa. Just as there are people of all ages who are discriminatory against other age groups.

See no name calling, no gross stereo-types and a note that I myself am not 100% above reproach here (see the listening quote). There is nothing wrong with absorbing and dissecting someone else’s opinion or view. The sticky-wicket is when we start questioning that person’s view and instead of listening to understand what we are asking, they are loading up mentally to respond based on a basal reaction to a perceived challenge.

Enough psychology for one day. I was just trying to simply offer up my ‘excuse’ on why I feel OK about sounding off with my thoughts and opinions even if you do not care. We all have a back story on our opinions. Did your parents instill that view in you? Perhaps your church? Or just life experiences? That is for each of us to carry around with us every day and decide if we are comfortable enough to share and if need be, defend as needed.

As usual, thank you for surfing in and reading some bits and pieces that migrated from my brain to my fingers. I hope you found something amusing, thought provoking or at least something that caused you to stop for a moment to at least consider.

Haffy Hump Day! That is a cross breed of Happy and Taffy just so you don’t think I am a horrible speller!



So this is a subjective question, answer as honestly as you think you can. For a headache, do you think there is a particular flavor of Cheez-Its that is better at alleviating the discomfort in the cranium? All input welcomed.

On an unrelated note, I slide into home plate in a softball game this weekend in a tournament setting. It was prudent that I did so as the throw arrived at the plate just as I broke into my feet first slide. I avoided the tag and the umpire got the call correct and called me safe. That is a huge component in the scenario. You can execute your slide and avoid the tag but if the umpire is in a bad position or lazy or just incompetent, you can still get called out. As noted above, I was safe but my leg was ravaged by the hard packed dirt and sand of the Morgan Field at the Ber Juan Sports Complex in Rolla, Missouri. Why do I bring this up? Because that was Saturday and every day since then when I have cleaned the leg or taken a simple shower, the burning/stinging sensation is worse than the pain I felt in getting three different tattoos. The sensation is comparable, I would guess, to what it would feel if like Satan himself urinated on my leg. The greater significance here is that I often belittle others for sliding, stating that it is unnecessary and they are stupid for doing so. Now with the abrasion shoe on the other foot (well leg actually), I am cursing myself for my stupidity.

Hopefully, everyone is having a flat line drama day and staying inside to avoid the merciless heat. Take care and we shall link up mentally again soon!


OMRB – Heath Slater – WWE

For those of you who do not follow wrestling or abhor its existence, I apologize in advance. For all others, come right in and get a ringside seat. For several weeks now I have been trying to get the attention of WWE Superstar Heath Slater or Heath Wallace Miller as his momma named him. Emails through the WWE website, tweets on Twitter and periodic Facebook stalkings have to date gone for naught. For those who are familiar with the WWE product or wrestling in general, you may be asking why would I go after a guy once nicknamed “Wendy” by John Cena? (He was nicknamed that because of the similarity in hair color to the cartoon face associated with Wendy’s Hamburgers restaurant chain.) Why not target Hulk Hogan, John Cena or The Rock?

OK let’s calm down here for a moment. For one I was being practical and two I was going for more of a working man angle. The practical part first: Mr. Heath Slater has been with WWE, including his developmental time, since 2006. After paying his dues in DSW (Deep South Wrestling), he moved onto FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling). His hard work paid off with FCW Tag Team Title and FCW Heavyweight Title reigns in 2008 and 2009 respectively. And in 2010 he got his chance on the ‘big’ stage with seven other NXT rookies. Over the next seven years he would become a vital member of both RAW and SmackDown! shows because top level talent needs opposing talent to make TV worthy matches. Heath has proved over the years he has a great knowledge of wrestling moves and can deliver quality wrestling matches with a variety of opposing styles. On his resume he owns four tag team title reigns: three WWE Tag Team Championships (J-Gabe) and one SmackDown! Tag Team Championship (Rhyno). He was instrumental in the success of multiple factions such as The Nexus, The Corre and 3MB.

Some of you are holding up a hand at this point and saying time out. What does this have to do with my ‘practical’ approach? Well let me tell you. Read the last paragraph again and appreciate the path this man has taken, this family man. He is probably out on the road for 250-300 dates per year and away from his family. But he is doing what he loves and entertaining millions of fans yet still making a living. You can see him on your TV either via cable or on Hulu replays of the weekly wrestling shows (either Raw or SmackDown! depending on where they shift him) or occasionally on Total Divas (WWE reality show). He is the host of WWE Game Night and also of WWE’s YouTube channel…not to mention he is in video games (WWE ’12, WWE ’13, WWE 2K14, WWE 2K16 and WWE 2K17) plus appearing in a movie (The Marine 5). Yes Heath has probably not been on the Tonight Show as many times as The Rock or John Cena or The Miz but his journey and his perseverance is fascinating and admirable. Heath has been a great company man, much like the Undertaker, but obviously in a much different role.

Alright for those of you who have patiently waited for me to explain the practicality claim in targeting Heath Slater for an interview for our Sports Stalkers podcast (on the Podbean app), here it is: Heath Slater is dynamic and a well-known commodity. He has been a heel and also a face. He is not some Johnny Come Lately but someone who has been through the whole training and maintaining processes throughout the organization. He’s been a grunt but also gotten some glory. He has been on the grandest stage for their industry, namely Wrestlemania (he’s 0-3) and has worked with some of their biggest stars (Edge, John Cena, Big Show, The Miz, CM Punk and Triple H). If you look around the company, WWE does not keep talent that cannot work with other talent. It is of the utmost importance that a Superstar be able to be charismatic but also be able to carry a match and not injure the other talent. Heath has a pretty good track record on these counts. So from that perspective, trying to get an interview with Heath is pretty savvy on my part.

Now the working man angle. No not Kurt Angle (You Suck!) but the working man angle. Conservatively speaking and counting his time in the ‘minors’ I would say Heath has probably lost a few thousand matches to go with his hundreds of wins. Scraping by and biding his time until the call to “The Show” in wrestling terms, Heath lived a hard life and had to balance supporting a family with the rigors of his dream. Sometimes wrestling minds like to mesh real life issues with storylines for wrestlers and the results can be awkward and weird. I’m sure Heath isn’t on the top ten list of highest paid wrestlers but based on his tenure and willingness to do what is asked of him, I would think he is doing alright from a financial perspective. Does he have stresses and everyday life issues like most of his fans? I’m pretty sure he does. As a ginger kid who was bullied growing up, he escaped reality by watching wrestling (WM3 on VHS) in the back of a video shop. Now as a 33 year old man (he turns 34 on July 15th!) trying to combine the best aspects of Sting, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair into his own interpretations in the ring, Heath is a fan favorite regardless of whether he is being the good guy or the bad guy.

I don’t know if Heath will be on set for a movie or at home or sitting at his hotel in preparation for a live event if and when he reads this but mirroring Heath’s drive, you’ve just got to take your shot and if the ball comes to you, pick it up and run with it for as long as you can.

For all my wrestling crazed fans, please help me in coaxing (or coercing) Heath to agree to a short 20-30 minute interview for our Sports Stalkers podcast by reaching out to him on Twitter (@HeathSlaterOMRB) and asking him, pretty please to agree to come on the show.

Have a great Thursday.


P.S. Heath, if (when) you read this, just know that I agree with you about Shawn Vs Undertaker I at Wrestlemania is probably the greatest match in the history of Wrestlemania. #UndertakerForever #WWEUniverse


Personal Podcast Epilogue (PSA Light It Up Classic Clarification) — The Freak Show

For those of you who follow me on here plus Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook; you may have seen or possibly listened to my personal podcast (The Freak Show) from today. If so I wanted to thank you for taking the two dozen minutes out of your day to do so. If you haven’t listened, you can pretty much scroll on to the next post you care to dive into. But for those 20-30 people who did listen to the podcast, I wanted to round out a few points on what occurred this past weekend so it doesn’t just seem like I am being sour grapes.

With the personal podcast format I typically do the episode in transit to work in the morning. Whereas when I collaborate with Jeremy and Dustin or one of the interviewed personalities for the Sports Stalkers interview segments, that is in a studio setting with a broad chunk of time allotted (usually 90-120 minutes depending on the conversation pieces). So for my personal podcast, time allotment is very dependent upon traffic conditions. If traffic is light, I can zip into work in about half an hour or if I am running late, then traffic is generally worse and the time in the car will stretch up to an hour. When doing The Freak Show podcast, where I talk about a wide spray of topics, I like to keep it shorter and focus on one or two things. This shorter format will maybe engage a more casual listener who is not really interested in the state of the Cardinals or Blues or the NFL or the hyped MMA card of the year. The longer Sports Stalkers podcasts are good for listening to on trips, while being stuck in extended traffic, while pitching BP for their team, etc.

OK back to today’s personal podcast, The Freak Show on the Podbean app recorded live! I talked about the weekend and my local softballer’s network of activities. Some teams (guys and gals) went to the Busch Classic down in Arkansas to play while I stayed here and played in a PSA tourney at Bellefountain Park. The weather was warm, muggy and somewhat breezy but otherwise what you would want for summer softball. I talked about the team I played for, The Mariners, and how we fared in the tournament and the overall results.

But let me chop it up a little finer. The reason softball is such a great game is that on paper one team should beat another team. But put them on the field against each other and the results may surprise you. Softball is such a game of momentum and luck it’s hilarious. A bad call or ‘Wolffs’ hop can change one play and in turn totally turn the tide of a ballgame. Just like one bad attitude or one person giving up can pull down an entire team. The team I played for, The Mariners, had 20 plus guys available to play at this tournament. Now on the podcast it seemed like I was shoving the coach Lee under the Mike Matheny bus but that is not entirely accurate. Lee is a friendly, approachable guy but in running his team, he needs to be a little more definitive. Pull aside twelve or thirteen guys and say, you know what, you are the guys going to win or lose this ballgame for us. Don’t tell a crowd of nearly two dozen ‘grown ass men’ to be at the ready for maybe a swing, maybe to pinch run, maybe play some glove as the game goes on. It’s too much to manage; not to mention it’s of the utmost importance to know the guys you have and what they can really do. I pointed out the errors Lee made in our second game by not replacing our defensive first baseman and pulling our pitcher after extended trouble. Notice I didn’t say pull those guys and put myself in. That’s not what I said at all. As I noted in the podcast, Antonio pitched the first game and did very well. Also he was fully ready to jump into game two when trouble occurred but Lee let the storm do too much damage. As for the first base situation, yes I could’ve played there or Reagan or three or four other guys and it would’ve helped the team defense but bottom line, after the third error at that position, you have to make a change for the good of the team. Later on in game four, where we lost, he could have subbed in fresher options in the outfield to save Dave and EY from heat exhaustion. This may have helped those guys have something left late in the game when we needed them to hit and run.

I’ve always told anyone who will listen, running a team is a bad deal no matter what. I believe Lee tries and has the best of intentions for his team but it’s not about making everyone happy, at least not on tournament days. In my opinion, he is not very consistent with his coaching. Some guys make several miscues and no change is made, then some guys make a single mistake and get the hook. I am not 100% schooled in the background relationships on the team but it’s hard to build team chemistry if you are making moves without a logical reason. Also, if you do not have faith in a player…do not ask him to play. As a coach, what message are you sending to your players when a guy makes a mistake and you bury him on the bench and do not give him a chance to atone for whatever mistakes he may have made? Many great baseball stories, football stories, basketball stories…sports stories have arisen from a guy that may have been having a bad game or a bad season but in a clutch situation came through and gave everyone a feel good vibe. What makes a good team is being confident. Confident in your lineup, confident in your defense and confident in your coaching. No one is flawless. Everyone makes mistakes. So picking someone up after an ‘oops’ is  necessary because everyone is going to have a down game or a bad at bat sometime. Last time I checked, most games in softball are decided in the fifth, sixth, seventh or extra innings. If everyone is perfect, who made those first 15 or so outs? Unless you have a ‘bum’ in your lineup, meaning someone who has popped up to the catcher seven times in a row or you can tell is just mentally checked out, then you roll with your guys and have a little faith that they will find a way to come through.

Here I will hop down off the soapbox and chill. I just wanted to expound on the efforts of The Mariners team from Saturday. Great bunch of guys with a lot of fire. I’m not knocking Lee as a coach, I’m just saying he could make things easier on himself and simplify things. Know your players by learning what each can really do and in turn lock down who’s going to be doing what and who’s not going to play each game barring six injuries (if you have 20 guys show up). It’s a fun group and I enjoyed playing with them and the fight they showed even when down in games. Softball is a simple game, it’s the people that make it complicated.

If we blog writers have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these suggestions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest softball schmuck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the softball schmuck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And all readers shall restore amends.

A little ode to A Midsummer Night’s Dream above to class up my writing (I think). In closing, I am passionate about softball and the relationships I have forged over many years from being around softball. For every invitation to play, I am sincerely grateful. Like every other competitor, all I am looking for is to play the game the way it should be played and the outcome will be what it will be. No one goes undefeated every weekend, but even in losing there is something to be learned.

To Lee and all The Mariners, thank you for asking me to play and I hope it happens more down the line.


Pre-Fourth of July (Monday)— Silly and Goofy Stuff

So you may be asking yourself: “Self, is semordnilap a real word?”
And then you think to yourself, where did this thought pop in from? Obviously you were thinking of palindromes and from there branched off into words spelled backward that are themselves words but not the same word as the first word spelled forwards. For instance, bats spelled backwards is stab. It is not a palindrome because it makes a different word, whereas madam spelled backwards is the same and is a valid palindrome. So the unofficial word for the new word backwards is semordnilap or the word palindromes backwards. Clever huh? Perhaps.

Now, is the word semordnilap legit? Kinda. Is it recognized by the powers that be that physically print and publish hardcopy dictionaries? No…but on-line from the Google machine it is commonly accepted. Now, here is my list of top ten favorite palindromes: boob, stats, noon, toot, mom, level, sees, poop, pip, kook and murdrum! What? That was 11? Well then the last one was free! No Charge!

With the year more than half over with, let’s take a moment of silence (hears fireworks in the distance)…I said let’s take a moment of silence (more fireworks explosions or perhaps guns shots?)…let’s just take a moment to appreciate our families and loved ones, near and beyond far, and what they mean to us.

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Thank you. Have a safe and wonderful day/week to celebrate the good things about our lives.