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.

June 06, 2015

2015 MLB Draft Preview

The annual MLB player draft is next week.  As always there are many Canadians to keep an eye. This year an Albertan, Mike Soroka from Calgary, is one of the top Canadian prospects and may end up being the first Canadian taken overall.  The 17 year old Soroka is a member of the Canadian Junior Team, who has committed to Cal-Berkley and has garnered accolades everywhere he's played.



Among his accomplishments:
Here's a video profile of Soroka


Soroka isn't the only Albertan on scouts' radars.  Brendan Hendriks who was a late round selection of the Phillies back in 2011, is also on the list of top Canadian prospects. Hendriks, a third baseman from Cochrane, who played High School ball at the highly acclaimed Vauxhall Baseball Academy has been playing at University of San Francisco, where he led this team in home runs.

Also hoping to get a phone call next week is St. Albert's Jackson Wark. Like Soroka, Wark is also a RHP on the Canadian JNT.  He was named to Perfect Game's Honorable Mention All American Team and has committed to St. Louis University.

Last year, only one Albertan was drafted, and that was Jordan Procyshen who was selected by the Red Sox and is enjoying success in their organization, currently the starting catcher for Greenville.  It would be great if Boston selected more Canadian players this year.

Regardless of where they end up, am wishing all of these players success in their baseball future.



June 04, 2015

A Red Sox update...

Summary of 2015 season.
Courtesy of the Boston Red Sox
It's been 2 months since I posted something that was specifically about the Red Sox.  That's mainly because this whole season has been an epic shitshow and I just haven't had the motivation to write about it.  But I thought it would be fun to see what I wrote in my post on Opening Day to see how much of it has actually panned out.

That post summarized some of the analysis I had seen in the previous 24 hours where fans tried to extrapolate a whole season's worth of forecasting based on a single data point.  Let's review these tongue-in-cheek one liners that I reposted:



We were lucky to have avoided signing Jon Lester 
Well sure, he's 0-25 with 13 Ks on the season. Even Allen Craig hit better than that for us.
Unless, this was referring to his pitching.  Since 4/5 of our opening day rotation has an ERA north of 5, I think it's safe to say having Lester may have been beneficial.

May 11, 2015

Runners Passing on Bases

While umpiring a University of Calgary baseball game, I ran into an odd situation where a runner passed another runner on the base paths. This led to some confusion among the umpires, and I'm sure the official scorer may have had trouble scoring it correctly, too. How should this rare play be scored? Check out the details on the scoring blog