July 2017

My Two Cents

Today is July 30, 2017. For the past 3-4 month’s, your past President and Continuing President Emeritus, LR, has been transparent, or so it seems. During this time period, I have been hesitant to interject too much rhetoric on the Blog or be physically active during weekly game schedules.

Some of you have probably been curious as to why I have been so low-key.  To explain my actions, or lack there of, is complex. Here is a  list of a few simple explanations/reasons:

  1. I have been absorbed in my Grandson’s (Seth Rutledge, a Sophomore at Bartlett high School) baseball season. I have attended over 30 games since March. Like many other proud HDL fathers who have sons and daughters playing competitive sports, you know what it is like to follow these young athletes as they amaze you with their efforts to meet the challenges that you faced in organized playing sports.

  2. I have tried to avoid interfering with the new HDL Officer’s efforts to demonstrate their ability to assume all duties and responsibilities demanded of their elected titles.

  3. I have re-dedicated my available free time to finding my Golf Game.

  4. My wife and I will celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary at end of August.  Much time is being invested to make this a special event.

  5. This may be hard to believe, but I feel I have battled a good dose of depression, especially during April through May when I felt lost as I woke up each Sunday morning and was not playing baseball.

Second Game Highlights –  Tigers 10 – Athletics 9

A couple of days ago I was offered an opportunity to umpire the second game today between Prudential Tigers and V-Brothers A’s. With outstanding weekend weather passing through the Mid-South area, any excuse to be outside to enjoy the cooler and less humid conditions was a must.

After the first pitch of the game was thrown, I was in “baseball heaven” again. All during the game I became more and more re-energized about my love for the HDL. The Tigers and A’s entered the game today with winning records.  The Tigers were 8-4; the A’s were 7-5.  A win by the A’s and these two teams would be tied for second place in the standings.

The pitchers for both teams (Kevin Latham/A’s and Jake Hatchett/Tigers)were working corners, changing speeds, challenging opponent hitters. It was a blast for me just to be behind the plate and have a chance to officiate this great match-up.

Another treat for me was working the plate behind two veteran HDL catchers – Nick Harris (A’s) and Jodie Wolfe(Tigers). These two excellent athletes kept me on my toes. I had to be ready for every pitch. One of the great benefits of umpiring a baseball game is you get a chance to observe and anticipate how the pitchers and catchers are working the hitters. Paying attention to this interaction helps the umpire anticipate the variety of pitches that a pitcher might try, to accomplish his goal – “make it difficult for the batter to become a base-runner.”

This is where each team’s defense and the other team’s offense become the x-factors of the game. Offensively, the A’s manufactured 10 base hits. Meanwhile the Tigers scratched out 17 base hits. Defensively, the Tigers only allowed 8 additional base-runners (errors(4), HBP, 4-Walks). The Athletics allowed 3 batters to reach on error with only 1 HBP and no walks. The Tigers 17 base-hits came in a variety of ways. A lot of hits given up by Kevin Latham were muscled swings that Tigers hitters were just trying to avoid striking out but the ball blooped over the infield. But that is baseball.

BIG GAME NUMBERS

V-Brothers A’sRamon Moretta had a “career day” going 4 for 4 and driving in 2 runs. Nick Harris was 2 for 3 and scored 3 runs.

Prudential TigersJodie Wolfe and Jake Hatchett were both 3 for 5. John DiGiacomo, Jose Ortiz and Jason Mayrena each had 2 hits for Tigers.

LOMAX DODGERS 13 – LOST PIZZA ORIOLES 7

Early Game between Lomax Dodgers and Lost Pizza Orioles went 7 innings.  Dodgers had 11 hits and O’s had 10. Big innings was difference in this game. Dodgers scored 5 runs in the second inning and tacked on a 4 spot in top of the 7th.  As has been the Orioles pattern much of the last 3 month of the season, they can’t seem to  field a solid line-up that can put enough hits together to withstand their opponent’s late inning rallies.  If they ever figure that out, they will be ready to upset some teams during the post-season tournament/play-offs. Lomax Dodgers are sitting in first place in the HDL Standings.  They are in first place by having a strong roster of players.  Their roster got even stronger with the arrival of HDL veteran, Tony Lomax.  Tony fulfilled his pre-season promise that he would join his team at end of July when the 10 year old competitive baseball team he has been coaching finished their season.

BIG NUMBER PLAYERS – Early game

Lomax DodgersGreg Bacchus went 3 for 4.  Other Dodgers with multiple hits were: Jose Ortiz and Quintell Myers each had 2 hits.

Lost Pizza OriolesPW Burnett went 3 for 3 and 2 RBI’s. Orioles players with multiple hits were: Larry Hunsucker and Tim Wallenstrom. Best pitcher of the day went to PW Burnett who had 10 strikeouts.  PW recorded a “K” to every batter in Dodgers line-up except Greg Bacchus.

Will There Be Any More Game Recaps on the Blog?

I am not making any promises about finding the time to post another weekend game recap.  It took me over 3 hours to write this article.  With lots of things going on over the next 4 weeks, I doubt I will have much spare time to write any detailed article.  If I can find a quicker way to spit these out I will give it a shot- – – but don’t count on it.

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