October 10, 2015

SIDEARMNATION Pitching Camp right here in Calgary!

SIDEARMNATION will be holding a pitching camp in Calgary the weekend of October 24th and 25th. Several former professional pitchers will be on hand as instructors.

The camp will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 9 - 3 at the Coyote Den Baseball Centre.  The full cost is $275, or $150 for just one day.   Details on the attachment below.  This is open to pitchers of all ages.  Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from the pros!

Click attachment for details: SIDEARMNATION Calgary Camp

August 18, 2015

Thank you, Ben

(Photo credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Some initial quick reactions:

I'd be lying if I said I didn't hate the Bobby V era.

And last place sucks.

But thank you Ben for all of the following:
A great iconic moment:
 (Stan Grosfeld/The Boston Globe)

Which of course, lead to this:
(Matt Slocum/AP)
Which was only possible because he got rid of these:
(Nick Punto, screen cap from MLB.com)
(Truly one of mankind's greatest mysteries; What WERE the Dodgers thinking???)

And also thank you for not getting rid of any of these:

 Bogey, Betts and Bradley
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Swihart and Vazquez
(Steven Senne / AP)
Not trading away the farm for a quick fix has set us up for many great future years. Someone else may get credit, but just as Dan Duquette brought Pedro, Manny, Varitek, Lowe, Wake, Lester and others to Boston who were the foundation of the 2004 and 2007 Championships that his successor got credit for, future Championships will come due to the groundwork Ben Cherington layed out for this franchise.

Thank you, Ben. And best of luck.

August 04, 2015

Pe-dro Pe-dro Pe-dro!


Pe-dro, Pe-dro, Pe-dro the fans cheered while proudly waiving the Dominian flags. What an amazing event to witness in person as Pedro Martinez was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown this past Sunday.

As great a pitcher as he was, he is every bit as good as a speaker, having the crowd of an estimated 50,000 eating out of his hand.  It started early in the day  as every half hour or so the day's activites were announced on the PA, and each time Pedro's name was mentioned the crowd would spontaeously erupt.  Cheering, shouting his name and/or waving the flags. It was obvious that with all due respect to Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson and John Smoltz, the majority of the attendees were here for Pedro.

And then he started his speech with a simple "¡Hola!" which again made the crowd go wild.

June 22, 2015

There IS more to life than baseball

... contrary to what I usual say. One of my favorite sayings is "Baseball is Life... the rest is details". I even have a t-shirt with that on it.

But the recent murder of Darryl Hamilton is a sober reminder that life isn't all about fun and games. Hamilton adds to a long list of  baseball players senselessly murdered.

I was a young boy when I was first saddended to hear about the Lyman Bostock tragedy. I was not a fan of his teams, but even as a seven year old, I was impressed by his integrity. He had signed a large free agent contract, and when he struggled at the start of the season attempted to return his salary to the team. When the Angels refused, he donated it to charity instead. Can you imagine in today's game,Carl Crawford saying "sorry, I've sucked. Here's $20 Million to charity?". Anyhow, a few short months after this selfless act, Bostock was murdered in a case of mistaken identity (the killer thought Bostock was having an affair with his wife). The next one that I remember vividly was Dernell Stentson. A former top Red Sox prospect, he was violently killed after his sole season in the majors with the Reds. And of course, locally, nobody will every forget the tragic triple-murder suicide which ended the lives of promising young playes Mitch MacLean and Tanner Craswell.

There have been other young baseball lives which ended through violent killings as well. Pascual Perez and Ivan Calderon are two more who come to mind. And many more baseball playes have died while in the midst of their careers, Oscar Taveras the most recent one, joining Nick Adenhart, Josh Hancock, Darryl Kile, Cory Liddle, Tim Crews and Steve Olin, and Thurman Munson in the "what might have been" category. Roberto Clemente was probably the most well-known incident, but his tragedy was before my time, so I can't relate to it as much as I can with the other guys where I still remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I first heard the news. Darryl Hamilton's name will now be added to this sad and too long list of players whose deaths I will never forget.

Thoughts and Prayers to his family and friends.

June 11, 2015

Great week for Alberta Baseball!

It started Monday night when Calgary’s own Mike Soroka was drafted in the first round.  He was the second Canadian taken, with Mississauga’s Josh Naylor taken at pick #12.  Soroka was the 28th pick, selected by the Braves.  Everyone knew he was going to be drafted high, being in the consensus top 100 in all the major projections, but he really opened some eyes in the Dominican just a couple ofweeks ago, and his stock soared all the way to where he made it in the first round.  Ironically, he was the first Albertan pitcher selected in the first round since Chris Reitsma, who has been one of his pitching coaches locally.

On the same day, the South Atlantic League announced its all-star selections, and Calgary’s Jordan Procyshen who was the only player from Alberta selected in the 2014 draft was named the starting catcher.  The Greenville backstop has had a good year, after having been quickly promoted from low A ball Lowell last year.