1. So I went to the Baseball coaching conference today. Was it worth my $65? I'm not sure. I left early, bored to death. The presenters held my interest for the first fifteen minutes of each hour-long session, then I doodled my lineup for the year, figured out that I had 15 spots filled on the team already, jotted down my key quesetions for tryouts ("Can Thomas play in the outfield?", "How can I get playing time for Marcus, Sam, and Josh?", "Could I hide Marcus in right field?", "Who will be my second baseman?") and finally read bits of To Kill a Mockingbird while making a quiz for chapters 1-2. My favorite speaker from the last two years was a thirtysomething catcher who was once in the Yankees organization, but blew out his knee and now is the coach of a college in Illinois. He's always been a great speaker and presenter, but today he was replaced by a guy named Doc Edwards, a former big league manager and player. Good resume, but he looked almost exactly like Roger Ebert, only fatter, and couldn't bend down to give his demonstrations, having to toe along with him a kid to demonstrate. That wasn't the worst part. It just wasn't that interesting, and I know that I won't be able to translate much of what I saw to the practice field in three months. I felt like much of this is aimed at college coaches, not high school school in urban areas who have no budget or equipment. It all started sounded repetitive to me so I left.
2. However, it got me really, really excited about the upcoming season. I've got a ton of ideas now, mostly because I spent much of the day brainstorming, and am thinking about having a team meeting before Christmas to get some of them into pre-season conditioning.
3. There are currently two dogs and three cats living in the house while friends make the transition into a new place to live and their animals need a home. It's sort of a madhouse. However, I've already gotten one of the visiting cats to be friends with the dog, and now I'm on to work on the relationships between everyone else. I'm a smoother-over.
4. When all these animals came into the house, I had no idea it would also be the same weekend that I'm getting new windows. That's happening tomorrow, all day. I hope to lock all the animals in the basement and be gone.
5. One of the most underrated songs ever is Barry Maguire's "Eve of Destruction." All of the lyrics ring true today, and it's begging for someone to cover and become a hit song forty years later. Not that our Infinity-owned radio stations would play it, nor would any of the current crop of mostly cowardly, apolitical musicians (except for Kanye West, thank god) record it.
6. I spent the lengthy drive to Gaithersburg and the three-hour trek back in the middle of rush hour listening to standup comic CDs by the two funniest comics I know - Mitch Hedgerg and Margaret Cho. One of Cho's CDs - Revolution kind of sucked, but the other one (Assassin) made me laugh out loud while alone in the car. She's so raunchy and I love it. Favorite line (turn away if you're easily offended): "The truth is, there's no one sexy in the Bush administration. I mean, take Laura Bush. She's pretty and all, but you just know that her pussy tastes like Lysol." Mitch Hedgerg couldn't be more different; he acts stoned and goofy, but rattles off hilarious one-liners that remind me a little bit of Steven Wright. My favorite line of his: "I decided to highlight my hair, because I thought some strands were more important than other ones." That one doesn't come off too funny in print; it's all in his delivery.
7. I-Tunes downloaded today: Johnny Cash singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Fiona Apple singing "Frosty the Snowman," and Travis singing "River."
Quick Hits: Appel, Padres, Jimenez, 2014 Draft - Despite reports over the weekend that the Astros and first overall pick Mark Appel have already agreed to terms on a below-slot contract, GM Jeff Luhnow toda...
2 hours ago