Archive | June, 2011

Some Ideas on a True Baseball Journey

I watched a great film the other day called A Map for Saturday. It’s a documentary about a guy made about backpacking around the world. I have always thought this would be a great thing to do, but for the longest time I felt I was too old now. I have since come to change my mind. Even though I am not your typical gap year college kid who wants to get out and see the world before starting a career, I want to travel.

Moving to Korea has only enhanced my desire to travel. I have been putting pen to paper to see what it would cost to either take 6 months or a year to travel. I’ve also been thinking of routes, because I not only want to travel, but I want to watch baseball as I go.

So here is a preliminary plan.

I want to spend 2 years here in Korea. This will give me ample time to save the amount of money I will need for my trip. When I leave here (April 2013) I’ll have my school fly me to Spain.

April 2013
Spain – 2 weeks
France – 2 weeks

May 2013
UK – 2 weeks
Belgium – 1 week
The Netherlands – 1 week

June 2013
The Netherlands – 1 week
Germany – 3 weeks

July 2013
Austria – 1 week
Czech Rep – 1 week
Italy – 2 weeks

Fly to Poland

August 2013
Poland – 1 week
This is where it could change. I’d either like to head to Moscow and take the Transsiberian railway or just fly to China
China/Hong Kong – 2-3 weeks (train or not)

September 2013
Taiwan – 2 weeks
Thailand – 2 weeks

Of course all of this is just a dream at the moment. It’s a lot of time to spend in Europe, which isn’t exactly cheap. The grand idea would be to head down to Australia in November then over to Central and South American via the USA. But all of that would mean I need to save more money (perhaps another year in Korea) or get some sponsors in some way.

Most of these leagues play on the weekends. So I would have time to see other sites during the week with baseball on the weekend. Travel would either be by train (preferable) or bus (slower but cheaper in most cases).

There are just so many places I would like to see baseball in. I have thought about a round the world in a year type trip, but doing it in sections I think is going to more feasible. Perhaps working a year or two and then traveling for 4-6 months. This would allow me to spend more times in certain places. It’s even possible to work a year then travel for a few months. Come back again and work another year. Jobs here allow me to not only pay down my debts (school loans mostly) and save at the same time.

The outline above is just one of many I have come up with. Where would you go if you had 4-6 months to travel and wanted to see baseball. But not only baseball but other things as well. I have never traveled through Europe so it is very appealing to me.

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Posted in Travel2 Comments

Congratulations – Dallas Mavericks NBA Champions

I normally don’t write about other sports on here because this is a baseball blog, but I am going to stray from the norm here.

I first moved to Dallas in the mid 90’s. I had watched basketball all my life and played for a large portion of it. I grew up a huge fan of Larry Bird, but after finally moving to an NBA town I quickly fell in love with the lovable losers, the Mavericks. They were the worst team of any sport in the 90’s. They were terrible.

I remember the 1998 draft when the Mavericks wound up with a German kid nobody really knew. So like many others, I thought their losing was going to continue. It didn’t take long for Dirk to endear himself to Dallas fans leading the team to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Slowly you could see the progression of Dirk’s career as he moved to superstar status. But now he has moved into legendary status among the greats in Texas sports history.

But nothing will top what happened in the past few weeks.

I can still recall the anger and hurt I had in 2006. I was still living in Dallas and remember the pandemonium that surrounded the finals. It was a great atmosphere, and then it all came crashing down. People in Dallas hate the Heat, and when Lebron came to town this season it only added to that hatred with the way it was done. As the playoffs progressed, I had mixed emotions about facing the Heat if/when the Mavs made it to the finals. Sure I wanted revenge for 2006, but I also thought they would be the harder team to beat.

Each step along the way nobody really gave the Mavs a chance. Even up 3-0 over the 2-time defending champion Lakers, people thought they might not win the series. Nobody told Dirk however.

All along the way, Dirk refused to celebrate the wins. He was on a mission that had only one goal, a NBA Championship. He said all along that everything else was nice, but he already had the trophy for Western Conference Championship. The fact he refused to celebrate and even walked off the floor after winning the Western Conference was classic. He was a true leader that set the example, and then went out and dominated at crunch time.

He was sick one game and dominated in the 4th quarter when his team needed him most. He got onto Jason Terry for not coming up big when the team needed him. And what did Terry do after that, he came up HUGE. Dirk willed his team to victory on more than one occasion, and even though I am thousands of miles away I enjoyed every minute of it. Sure I wish I was in Dallas for the title run or the parade, but I was able to keep track of it all from here.

After the anger and hurt of 2006, this title was even more special by beating not only the Heat, but Lebron as well. Dirk will go down as a legend in Dallas and rightfully so. You never know when you might get the shot at a title, but like I heard Dirk say in one interview, this is one thing they can never take away.

I will get off my basketball rant now, but I want to leave you with a video. This is a great piece of work that will go down in Mavs history. If you are a Mavs fan, it might leave you a little sports verklempt.

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Posted in Manic Monday0 Comments

Sign Stealing – Good or Bad?

I came across an interesting article in ESPN.com the other day. Yorvit Torrealba was complaining about the New York Yankees stealing signs.

In the 5th inning, Torrealba went to the mound and said something to Andruw Jones who was apparently stealing signs and notifying the hitter of locations from second base.

Now it should be said that this was happening during a losing streak for the Rangers and in a game that they would lose 12-4. So as much as I hate to say it, I am a Ranger fan and a Yankee hater, “lighten up Francis”.

If someone is stealing your signs, you aren’t doing a good enough job of protecting them. Don’t go throw a hissy fit on the mound and get upset because you are losing. Change your signs! Do something that makes it hard for the other team. Stealing signs is a part of the game, and a part that isn’t going away.

I think Torrealba was just frustrated and needed to vent. That isn’t a problem. When you are going through a losing streak you need some way to vent. But don’t do it on the field and in a way that makes you look bad. Turn that anger into something good in order to get you out of the losing streak. Don’t give the enemy more ammo for future games.

I support the stealing of signs. If you are able to decipher the opposing teams signs, then by all means use it to your advantage. Any time a team is lax enough to give away information, use it. Make them change the way they go about their business or let them face the consequences.

What are your thoughts on stealing signs?

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Posted in MLB0 Comments

Bryce Harper Puckers Up to Pitcher

Without a doubt, Bryce Harper is talented. But what happened on Monday night was a disgrace and the act of a douchebag. If he wants to be like Barry Bonds, hated by almost everyone, he is off to a good start.

In the 6th inning of the game Monday, Harper hits a home run to right field. A nice home run, but not worth the celebration that ensued. He started by admiring his home run with a long pause at the plate. This act in itself is not a good one. Act like you’ve been there before.

This, and rightfully so, upset pitcher Zachary Neal of Greensboro. So as Harper rounds the bases, Neal let’s him know of his displeasure for showing up the pitcher. And what is Harper’s reaction? It’s that of a twelve year-old. As he heads for home, Harper puckers up and makes a kissing motion at Neal.

In my book, this would earn Harper a few bruises in ensuing at-bats and some teammates as well. There has to be a message sent that this sort of behavior is not acceptable, and it could come from his own team as well.

You are a professional athlete Harper. Act like one! There are a lot of people, even non Nationals fans, who are anxious to see what you can do at the Major League level. But if this is an indication of how you will act in the future, you will have a lot more haters than supporters. It’s time to grow up and realize that your actions speak louder than your words. So act like you belong.

By the way, Harper and the Suns lost the game 3-2.

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Posted in MiLB2 Comments


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