Sunday, December 30, 2012

Round 11 - ETPBC Div 5

Boasting a big line up with only a few missing, East Torrens travelled out to Woodvilles temporary ground (Seaton High School). I likened Seaton to my favourite Seattle Mariners ground which is currently being renovated - Home Run fence is being brought in and this is what the Seaton ground resembled.

Certainly a plus but a distraction... I certainly eyed the fence as something I wanted to surpass.

Last time we played Woodville we started very slow and they got the jump on us early, we kicked into gear around halfway through and never looked back comfortably winning.

With that in mind we expected another good game for our hitters and we were treated to that early with bases loaded in the 1st. From memory we only ended up bringing two runs through however ET dominated the game from early on, Robbo threw well on the mound with Matty at home plate in General status as he controlled and motivated the troops at every opportunity.

The biggest hit came from probably our smallest player on the field, with bases loaded and yours truly parked at 3rd DR (or Runt as the others like to call him) watched the first pitch and never let go on the second, launching a bomb to centre left. Clearing the fence and bringing home a grand slam to absolutely throw ET in the clear and dominate the game.

I think from then on all eyes and wishful batters were looking to the fence for their next at bat, I know I was.

Our fielding was much better this week however still a couple of bloopers, I watched DR bobble a ball in the 1st and not to be outdone I did the same a few balls later... Unfortunately stuff like that puts pressure on Robbo and Matty also.

Personally I was happy with my game, from my count I went 4 from 4, two just dropped in but two were clearly in and one nearly reaching the fence... dammit.. Fielding, well I bobbled one and missed a flyball catch losing it in the sun but overall not too bad.

The game wasn't without fireworks, late in the game Scoop stole 2nd maybe unaware we were up by 10 runs, this seemed to enrage the 3rd baseman for Woodville who proceeded with a rant at Scoop, Scoop casually shrugged it off. Wasn't until last inning that the two players would be clashing again with the 3rd baseman running to 2nd, Scoop caught the ball and hopped off the base to throw for the double play at 1st.

It was here things went ugly, the Woodville runner slid into 2nd with his cleats up and rammed them into Scoops leg. Scoop hit the deck and we missed the double play however alot of our players, understandably, were not too pleased with the actions of the Woodville player. With his back hairs already up he continued to cause issues on the field until finally ordered off by the umpire. Whack this down to a brain snap I think.

In the end ET ran out clear winners 15-2, could have been far worse however we put the brakes on.

As I write this we're on a three week break which I think some of the older bodies are enjoying.

Well hope you all had a great Xmas and have a fantastic New Year and we'll see you first round after the break.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Round 10 - ETPBC Div 5

Round 10 saw our East Torrens boys currently sitting equal 2nd on the ladder take on West Torrens for the outright 2nd position battle.

I managed to resist the lure of going out on my works Xmas show which was held at the Sebel on North Terrace, shame, from what i've heard alot was spent on the show.

In hindsight, I wish now I went, good night to catch up with work mates but also I think now alcohol would have helped my fielding on the day.

Sadly I'm a confidence player, if I field the first ball with no issues I'm happy and go well, if I field it poorly I'm down on myself and nervous for the next ball...

First Inning saw my first chance to field the ball, of course luck was not on my side as a ball which was hit sharply down to 3rd base, clipped the edge of the border and skipped. I tried to get down onto knees to block it but for some reason I was not a lady and had my legs spread and the ball went straight through into the outfield...

Ok now I look at it, it was a hard ball due to it hitting the edge but thats not what I was thinking at the time.. To me that was an error and my fault, sadly it set my head in a wrong space and to me I let the team down.

Luckily for me even though West Torrens then loaded the bases, Robbo worked hard and got out of the inning unscathed.

Our boys battled and took the lead early off some nice hitting however West Torrens brought the scores level and took the lead after a couple of innings with the opposition getting hits when it counted but also some errors cost us also.

Our outfielders again fielded really well and definately saved a few hits which were close to falling in, Robbo fought hard but in the end came out of the game and DR finished the game on the mound.

Luck was certainly with WT last weekend hits for them were falling in, our infield wasn't as strong as normal and our hits weren't getting to the gaps like WT's were. Matt and Scoop were both unlucky with a couple of big hits, Matt's just going out of play and Scoops being tracked down by WT's right fielder...

Half happy with my hitting picking up 2 hits from 4 at bats, although they were hits I still have alot to improve on, I'm not connecting like I was in previous years and getting myself too worried about footwork and stuff to concentrate on just hitting the damn ball..

Well, last game this week before the Xmas break, could do with the break both from sport and work which will be awesome, mentally drained this week so need to recharge over the Xmas break and stamp out any players thinking about coming in for the last half of the year/finals and show why 3rd base is mine...

So - lets get out on Saturday, take out Woodville @ Woodville and go out on a high!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mariners Woes

Ok this will be my first blog on my favourite baseball team the Seattle Mariners.

Not a pretty blog unfortunately, today I sit here as angry - if not angrier than I was this time last year.

For those that don't know, Seattle is a franchise team started in 77, has had limited success in the MLB since it joined, most notable was 2001 when after winning the AL Championship with a staggering 116 games won it fell short of a fairy tale ending by losing the World Series to the Yankees.

The next few years saw the peak of the Mariners winning and the end of 2003, when falling short of a wildcard berth, saw the Mariners fall into years of misery, many losses and bad signings.

Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins, Richie Sexson are names that come to mind, all had great careers and success at previous clubs but failed to do much at Seattle and in the end were hated by the fans... Especially Figgins...

So, Seattle has signed Jason Bay as a free agent after he parted ways with the Mets who agreed to still pay him the $20+m owing on his last year of contract. Bay had success previously with the Pirates & Red Sox but failed when he went to New York on big $$'s... 8 years ago he was a gun, now he's just a player hoping to find some of the old form, Seattle swooped in and offered a small contract worth approx $1m and gave him the lifeline.

Many will argue this is a waste of time, heck after Figgins I remain cautious also, but the size of the contract and the fact its dependant on him earning his spot at spring training makes me think it is worth a punt.

But Mariners should definately not stop there, Seattle has struggled offensively for some time, ever since the old days of Rodrigues, Cameron, Boone, Ibanez, Martinez, Griffey Jnr, to name a few..

Being an overseas Mariner its hard for me to gage first hand what the fans are thinking, twitter gives me a chance to get that look whilst being 10,000+ km's away. Attendance at games appears to be down, from what I understand our team's attendance is dropping the hardest over the last 10 years. 10 years is when we last had that real taste of success and decent batters...

Hamilton.... Oh man, Hamilton for me isn't like Prince Fielder last year. Prince was exactly that, a massive bat, first baseman who could have delivered a major change for Seattle, both offensively and as a marketing dream.

Instead Prince signed with the team he followed as a child, the Detroit Tigers.

Hamilton... gave indications, or as the rumors provided... that one of his preferences was Seattle. But he also was said that any offer given he would give Texas a chance to counteroffer. Both proved to be just that, rumors, as out of nowhere Angels popped up and signed the big hitting free agent. They now boast a superior lineup that should get them into the playoffs, although look back to last year with the Pujols signing...

Was Seattle naive into thinking Hamilton knew they were keen but thought we would sit back and wait for him to come to us? Were we never in on Hamilton to begin with? Was Seattles price offered (If they did offer..) too low?

Who knows, all I can take from this is once again the Management at Seattle have not worked hard enough or aggressive enough to deliver the best available batter to Seattle. Its great to boast some of the best pitchers in the competition, but if they don't have the support behind them how do you expect to win games?

Seattle does have a really good core of youngsters in the pipeline, everyone knows it, but they need an experienced bat to help them develop. You can't expect a player as talented as Ackley to be our new hitter straight away, he needs someone to learn from - someone to lift the clubs thoughts and confidence.

Without it, we're going to be a team of youngsters all hoping King Felix will deliver one in every five games as starter... I wish Felix in his negotiations, would say to the club, deliver a key at bat I approve of or am happy with and I'll sign a longer contract, if not prepare to trade me or lose me at free agency.

I know its not the best situation for a player to make such demands, but this is a club that needs new management to deliver the goods - the current management feel upgrading the stadium and making it more friendly and appealing to the fans might actually bring them back to the stadium...

How wrong they are, anything I've learned from my local favourite team, the Richmond Tigers, fans don't go to games whilst in losing status.. If people expect them to lose and their list points to that, fans don't give away their hard earned money to go to the games. Instead they'll watch from the comfort of their home where a hot dog and drink won't cost them the earth...

Personally, I will always go to my local teams game, even when they are losing - but thats me, everyone is different. I don't judge anyone either if thats how they act, why should they waste money on a team whose management don't work hard enough for them.

So, we've lost Hamilton, that sux and has hurt the fans who were liking the idea of him moving to Seattle.

Lets move on and focus on the agents still left, for me my number one (and has been since the start) is Nick Swisher. I've hated Nick for many years now, only because he was a Yankee... If he moved to Seattle he would become my new number one favourite player, He's a great player and has been one of the best at the Yankees. He's consistently hit over 20 Home Runs every year for past 6 years and last year had 93 RBI's.

Heres his stats for last season:

Average - 0.272%
HR's - 24
RBI's - 93
OBP - 0.364%

Ok the average and on base aren't as high as most would like, 24 HR's & 93 RBI's do it for me, far better than all of the players on our list, closest to him was Saunders with 20 HR's and Seager with 86...

Swisher currently aged 32, Will be a great fit for Seattle, either in the outfield, or whack him at 1st Base. Justin Smoak is touted as our first baseman but injury and poor form makes me want Swisher there instead. Smoak has talent don't get me wrong, but how long do we wait for a player to start hitting such as Smoak and Carp.. Do we wait like we did with Figgins... then have a player noone wants and delist him? Keep Smoak in the system but if we're ever going to contend we need to push for players that can perform.

So Swisher, big tick from me, and we should put an offer of atleast 4 years and even up to $80m on the table.

There is still Upton's name and Bourn being put out there too and even Delmon Young, Upton & Bourn I would love for Seattle to go for, not over the top as I want Swisher more.

Upton would be good for the right deal, last year 28 Home Runs, 78 RBI's, slightly lower on base percentage than Swisher but has the right numbers to move in to Seattle's new improved arena.

When I say "Seattle's new improved arena" I don't mean their new fancy restuarant and big TV... I'm talking the walls being brought in which will only help our offence..

But imagine the change for Seattle if they first signed Swisher, then turned to Upton and said, we mean business and we want success, sign with us. Upton & Swisher in the outfield (or Swisher at 1st) would be an awesome addition to compliment the youth we have such as Saunders, Seager, Ackley etc.

The signing of Swisher and another good player would show to the loyal fans that this Management does mean business and want the club to succeed, this will inturn bring bums back on seats and more $$'s earned at each game through merchandise and food/drinks consumed.

The signing also signifies much more than that, it delivers hope that this great club will return to success, everyone wants them to succeed but sometimes we need to take a chance to gain that. If we don't make any signings other than Bay I believe fans will make the stance not to turn up this year as frequent as they have in the past. Why spend money to sit frustrated for hours only to see your beloved team lose again.

Time will tell I guess, i'm hoping the management do the right thing and deliver what is required, but jesus start getting aggressive in negotiations, put it dead in the free agents mind and their agent that Seattle is the only place worth considering. We want success and We Want You!

Yes I'm 10,000km's away but Seattle is in our blood regardless if you are in the city or not, we breath it and want success - Go Mariners (& Seahawks!!)

PS - Bring back the Sonics!!!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Round 8 - ETPBC Div 5

The weather gods were thinking of us on Saturday, the days before had reached high's around 39 degrees and a change in the weather with storms hit Thursday/Friday.

Our Div 5 squad reached Goodwood on an overcast 24 degree day, what we didn't realise was the Thunderstorm around us..

We weren't in any real danger so the game progressed as normal, Goodwood in past years has always been a tough game and we were really suprised what we saw next.

Myself, tired from the previous nights antics at the Russell Brand show @ Entertainment Centre and Cummo also at the same show but sinking 20+ ales....

But our squad showed something not seen this year, first inning run production. We piled on six runs in the first to put real pressure on Goodwood, unfortunately I couldn't join the hitting parade in that inning as I skied the ball to 1st..

Robbo, in his new running shoes, hopped on the plastic pitching mound. You heard correctly, PLASTIC. Speaking with some players they mentioned that the local public lobbied against the club to stop them adding dirt to the diamond to allow them to make a proper mound. The local residents like to bring their dogs to the park and feel that it will stop them from being able to use the oval... Sorry - I cannot believe how ridiculous that sounds and is, local residents who use the oval possibly once a day so their dog can unload on the oval - probably to be left there and not picked up... can potentially stop "Sport" from being played, or safely played, is beyond me...

This reminds me of the residents at Norwood Oval complaining about the occasional ball being hit over the fence in the Adelaide Bite games, some backward people almost cost that oval from continuing to just survive and keep baseball playing at Norwood.

What these little narrowminded people don't realise is their potentially stopping much needed revenue in struggling venues and local communities... If we stop playing sport because of a ball going over a fence or because someones dog can't take a dump then we may as well be soft like most Australians want and sit in our lounge room and get fat!

The same geese will then complain to their local council and government when places like Norwood oval then have to close down due to not enough revenue coming through from ticket sales and clubs using their venue...

Ok thats my rant about dumb narrowminded people

So, inning one all on fire, Robbo stepped on the mound and delivered his best as we closed out Goodwood with no runs on the board.

We continued to pile on our runs and take a commanding lead while Robbo kept them at bay and minimising the threat.

Cummo lead the days hitting, well hungover, yet delivered the best hitting i've seen from him all year, triple, double etc, but this all happened while we had runners on base - not sure what his final RBI tally was but it would be very high!

In the end Redsox ran out clear winners 21-5, sadly it should have been 21-1 however I had my biggest brain snap of the season, with runners on 1st and 2nd I received an easy ground ball. Ran to 3rd to get the runner out but then eyes set on glory threw the ball to 1st to get the runner out for a double play. Stupid Stupid thing to do as I wasn't balanced, overthrew the ball and in the end it went out of play and put two runners in scoring position. Unfortunately they then put on 3 runs which I will wear - never been so filthy with myself for an error which shouldn't have happened...

So overall my day, dissapointed with my fielding but happy with my batting coming away 2 hits from 5 at bats.

Back to training on Wednesday to work on both areas but sadly this weekend I will miss the game at Southern Districts whilst I play the role of jolly Saint Nick at my wife's child care centre. Been asked by the man himself to fill in for him...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Round 7 - ETPBC Div 5

I'm hoping my article isn't going to sound weird today, I'm writing this after a solid night on the PS3 checking out the latest Call of Duty installment, Black Ops II. Safe to say after a 5 or 6 hour stint playing it both my eyes and brain aren't functioning well with hardly any sleep...

Anyhow.. Last saturday we hosted Glenelg at home, we expected tough opposition from them and thats what we got.

It was a slightly different team to what we played last year and a new pitcher I hadn't seen before. The Glenelg pitcher must be given some credit for the score and the hit count, watching the first few batters I thought he was extremely hittable as there was no heat and it was coming very slowly into the box.

But, we should have learned from the last slow pitcher we faced... When a slow pitcher comes in it really throws you off guard and makes you chase the ball more and lose patience.

So after a few weeks off of the starting role, Robbo returned to weave his magic. For a pleasant change we held the opposition for a scoreless first inning, lately we've allowed runs in the first inning then have to battle for the lead back...

Our boys started off well with a few runners on bases in the first however couldn't capitalise and the first two innings went scoreless.

Glenelg managed to snare the lead in the 3rd and held onto the lead for the next few innings until Redsox finally got a runner over the line to square things up.

Redsox worked extremely hard in the field and snared the winning run in the bottom of the 6th, Robbo stepped up to the mound in the 7th and lights out, Redsox win 2-1.

Offensively, probably wasn't the best day for either side but thats what happens when two finals contending sides match off against each other in the regular season. Defensively, Redsox were awesome.

The previous week our team made a minimum of 8 errors (I stopped counting halfway through the game), Golden Grove scored 6 runs from errors in the field.

This week - Redsox had zero errors, that was the difference, our infield was solid with Angus having a game at 1st base, Hung moving over to 2nd, DR at Shortstop and yours truly at 3rd.

Outfield also boasted some strong defence with Jonesy at Left, Cummo at Centre and Ralphy dropping out to Right.

Defensively it was the best we've been all year, especially error wise, this is what we need to nail against the top sides - each game and practice we spend time improving facets of our defense, practice paid off for this game.

"Time and Game" was called and for the first time this year we played a full 7 innings before time was up.

For me personally, with the bat I had a not too good game, was 0 from 2 and didn't look like getting the hit I was looking for - part of me kept thinking of my hamstring which was feeling tight - need to forget that for this week and just hit hit hit.

Defensively I was very happy with my game, zero errors which is something i've been trying to do since my first couple of games where even though I made some really good plays I also fumbled the ball a bit. Made a nice throw in the 6th to remove the runner at 1st after a line drive which backed me away from the base - with cannon like precision I flamed it to 1st and runner sits down.

Ok - Glenelg we have met and worked hard to win the battle, this week we're away to Goodwood who in the past have always been strong, expect a tough game this weekend - especially for the pitchers who chuck the cleats away for the game and whack on runners.... the diamond we will be playing on doesn't have the usual dirt mound but has a plastic moulded mound which can get quite slippery...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Round 6 - ETPBC - Div 5

Well yesterday was always going to be frustrating for me, the previous week whilst being subbed back in the game for Scoop who just did his hamstring - I also did mine whilst stealing 2nd...

So, hamstring feels ok however not wanting to risk it I let Robbo know just to keep me as an emergency should anyone else get injured.

Number 1 rule of me and sport, god I hate watching. Even though I was happy to sit and do the team thing - part of me wanted to jump out and get back in my old position..

But I must be ageing because I was content not to be stupid and risk injuring further, earlier years I would have done just that...

Anyway, our Div 5 troops headed out for a rare away game out at Golden Grove, spirits earlier in the week were high as our form has been good however both Matt and Robbo could see the team that came today was not themselves mentally.

Raply started on the mound and to be honest I thought he pitched a bloody good game, the strike zone was extremely tough and not what we're used too. Errors played alot also with the mind of the team as Robbo pointed out after the game - Golden Grove took 6 runs by our fielding errors....

Our boys started with the bats quite confidently however were unable to capitalise and get some early runs on the board, something we have struggled with this year - get out and put a teams morale down early... We ended up leaving runners in scoring positions which would soon cost us.

Golden Grove came out and hit, although there weren't many impressive hits, mostly bloopers and bleeders, they still recorded hits and were able to get out to a massive lead in the first inning 7-0...

Ralphy, already getting frustrated by the small strike zone continued through for another inning. Like I said, he didn't pitch bad at all but was very frustrated he wasn't being rewarded with the strikes he was working hard for.

2nd Inning was similar to the first, Red Sox failed to get the hits that we needed and again leaving runners in scoring position, Golden Grove on the other hand came out and nailed another 3 or 4 on the scoreboard making it a 10-1 ball game..

Matty came in to take over from Ralphy and pitched well considering he hasn't pitched for some time and he's still not 100% after the calf injury. He too found the strike zone tough but worked hard to keep Glden Grove at check.

That was the majority of the runs we really saw of Golden Grove in the end as they comfortably ran out winners 13-3.

Unfortunately for positives, the boys will all agree there wasn't many yesterday, errors and not getting runs in cost us badly.

I felt for the boys and it was super hard being there and not helping out, best I could do was support from the bench and try and use as much voice as possible.

So, training Wednesday and we need to focus on a bit of fielding but also using the bat, might need to maybe thing of using runners to simulate runners in scoring position...

Next week is a big challenge, Glenelg at home, a very tough game.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Walking Dead

I will safely go out and say this has to be the best TV show ever produced.

Never has my wife and I been so on edge until the next episode is aired and then laced with uncertainty on what is about to unfold.

The Walking Dead was something I first heard about a year or so ago, as usual it had alot of hype built around it. I don't like hype and jump on things straight away - I've always been funny like that but now I'm wishing I didn't...

Last years Adelaide Comicon had alot of stuff featuring The Walking Dead and I started to gather more interest rather than pushing it away, I had a quick like while at the comicon and it started to sound interesting.

I jumped online that night and started checking out the website trying to find info on what this show was all about. Sounded good so thought lets take a plunge and get Season 1, then go from there.

Thats where the love affair started....

Right off the bat, Episode 1, Season 1, had it all. The main character Rick in a nutshell being introduced and then being placed in a como after being shot through the left shoulder. After months of being in this state Rick awakes in the hospital reliving a memory of his partner Shane talking about flowers his precinct gave to him.

From here Rick goes through the agonising process of trying to work out what has happened to the city, loved ones, friends etc. Its not until he meets Morgan and his son Duane that he starts to see the picture and how the city, if not the world has been decimated by this disease.

Rick however is convinced his wife Lori and son Carl are still alive so he sets out to Atlanta to see if they are at the Refugee Centre, the Centre for Disease Control is also based there..

For one episode introducing us to The Walking Dead it had everything, high speed car chase ending up with three criminals shot dead including Rick. We've then got the unknown part of whats happening to Rick as he wakes up and travels to his house trying to comprehend what has happened, then we have him grasping the reality of whats happened then off to search for his family.

The remainder of the series is just as good as the first episode, packed with action, twists and turns at ever corner and awesome zombie slaying!

The Walking Dead's producers have put real attention to detail, leaving us believing this is a true story or is so damn believable that this is what it will look like.. From the location to the look of the zombies, this is one brilliantly put together story.

The characters have been brilliantly chosen also, My favourites Rick and Daryl are perfect for their roles. Rick the police officer taking charge of leading the group and Daryl as the trusty tracker who is probably the best fighter in the group.

Season 2 the group moves from the centre for disease control and comes across a farm after Ricks son Carl is shot by a member of the farm. The group move in temporarily while Carl is cared for by Hershel.

The writers/producers never fail to suprise us viewers as you can never assume what is about to happen.

Take the change in attitude from Shane, one which I thought would be a major character right through next couple of series, he became enraged and flooded with stalker/jealousy type thoughts when it came to Lori and Rick. Everyone watched with dismay as he hurdled quickly out of control and built such hatred for his best friend, then, lured Rick out to the woods to kill him and make it look as if a walker got him.

The next suprise was Shane then returning from the dead and about to attack Rick, who had his back to him, to then be shot by Carl... Bet Shanes spewing he taught Carl how to shoot now... haha

Next suprise was once that shot was fired it attracted a herd of zombies who were following the sound of a helicopter, sadly they shifted focus from that to where the shot came from and stumbled upon the farm - lives were lost and the group had to leave in a hurry leaving Andrea behind.

As much as I was shocked by the above, the biggest shock for me during Season 2 was the search for Sophia. The group, especially Daryl, looked long and hard for Sophia even as the weeks passed by.

Then as Shane blew his trolley and ran down to the barn and let out the zombies being held in there, one by one Shane and the others cut them down with a flurry of bullets. A pile of corpses remained including that of Hershels wife and people they knew well, then a noise came from the barn, one final zombie remained.

What shocked the group and I dare say nearly everyone watching the TV show was the zombie slowly walking out was Sophia, the hope all clung too that she would once be found was lost and the TV community was wowed at one of the children of the show was now turned to the zombie public.

I remember sitting with my wife watching that episode in pure shock, we were sure Sophia would be found and when she came out it was gut wrenching.

The final episode of Season 2 gave a glimpse of hope for the survivors, a massive prison in the background, this is the sort of place they could take over, fortify and then try reclaim neighbouring areas and maybe attract survivors.

The prison would also give a safe area for Lori to give birth...

Season 3 starts out with a bang as the group comes across the Prison, empty to the living but full of the walking dead. Rick instructs all to take the first part of the prison, just shy of the main buildings. A very very good plan, one, they have a safe area which they can rest for a few days and two, they have two lines of fences between them and the zombies.

The area is taken with minimal resistance and the group takes time to rest, but what is clear to Rick, indoors and beds are what the group needs.

He devises a plan for the group to take one of the cell blocks so that they can then later take the supply areas and wardens blocks. The cell block is taken easily and the group can now rest in peace on beds for the first time in almost a year.

Whilst searching the adjoining blocks for supplies the group are forced into a blocked off area after Hershel is bitten by a zombie which was laying against a wall appearing to be already disposed of. Rushing into the room Rick quickly begins to remove the part of the leg just above where he was bitten, hopefully removing the threat of the bite and saving his life.

A group of prisoners are found hiding in the kitchen area of the room, something isn't right though with atleast one of them, Ricks instinct about them is correct when he ignores their plea for them to stay in the groups cell block.

Rather a plan is revised that Rick and the group would help clear another cell block, then each live seperately without contact. All agree and they proceed to clear out the 2nd block, its what they witness in the clearing that worries Rick and Daryl.

Firstly, Big Tiny, one of the prisoners found is bitten by a walker, whilst the group is deciding what should be done, the main prisoner, Tomas, attacks Big Tiny smashing his skull, he then proceeds to unleash a series of attacks on Big Tiny whilst blood covers him all over. The group including some of the other prisoners look on with caution at what Tomas is capable of.

Secondly whilst in one of the rooms Rick orders only one of the doors to be opened to ensure a slow amount of walkers enter the room, instead Tomas opens both and puts the group under pressure as well as pushing a walker onto Rick.

Tomas claims it was an accident, this was further proof to Rick he shouldn't stay on - with that Rick drives a machete into Tomas's head.

The other prisoners plead their case and subsequently are allowed to live in the cleared cell block.

With this taken care of focus has now shifted from Rick and the survivors to a new group led by The Governer, a helicopter crashes in a forrest further down from the prison, the sole survivor is picked up by the Governer and his crew with Michonne and Andrea watching from a far.

An old foe appears from behind and holds them at gun point, Meryl Dixon, the one all thought had died in Atlanta or in surrounding area was found dying by the Governer and given a 2nd chance.

They along with the pilot are taken to a fortified town with approx 60 survivors who have built walls around and made a mini city. Michonne is extremely cautious and urges Andrea to consider them not staying long as not is all what it seems.

Over the cause of the next few episodes Michonne's hunches are coming to light, The Governer not only kills the pilot but also kills his surviving National Guard group in a nearby camp. He also has a sidekick scientist which is working on captured zombies who produces a weird Tea which the Governer is quite fond of.

Alot of questions are left in viewers minds on what is the Governers plans for the survivors, the scientist etc.

Questions I have:

*Is the scientist looking for a cure to bring the zombies back to life?
*What is this "Tea" made of...
*Why does the Governer keep the heads of zombies alive in a fish tank environment - is this where the tea is brewed from?
*Is the Governer trying to build a new race/breed within the city by getting the women survivors pregnant?

There are just a couple of what I would love to know about this new group added to the series.

Back to Rick's group, a sabatour residing within the prison cuts wholes in the fences from the other side of the compound and lures a hoard of zombies to the group. Choas reigns as the group, already split up with Rick, Daryl and Glenn are on the outside of the main fence.

As walkers flood into the area the group splits up to find safety whilst Rick, Daryl and Glenn speed to come and help. Lori, Carl and Maggie run into the cell block however this is being flooded with walkers, Lori starts getting pain from her stomach so they hide in the boiler room.

Meanwhile T-Dog is bitten on the shoulder whilst trying to close one of the gates, he leads Carol into the cell block trying to get her to safety - when a group of walkers confront them he takes them all on to let Carol leave.

Rick and the group arrive and start clearing walkers, Hershel tells him that Lori and the rest are inside - to make matters worse a loud siren is blaring which is coming from the back up generators.

When the group locate the generators they are met by the mystery sabatour, Andrew. He attacks Rick and they struggle with each other, Rick's gun is thrown but picked up by Oscar, one of the other prisoners. Andrew pleads for him to shoot Rick so that the prisoners can reclaim the prison as theirs. Instead Oscar shoots Andrew allowing them to shut off the generator and go look for the rest of the group.

What happens next is close to the most shocking moments of the three series. Lori, hemorrhaging, instructs Maggie to do a c section on her, Maggie knowing that this will ultimately kill Lori pleads for her to wait til they get back to Hershel and the group. Lori knows her time is up and doesn't want to lose her baby, she tells Maggie there isn't enough time and then assures Carl its ok and the best thing she ever did was to have Carl.

Maggie performs the c section with the help from Carl and delivers the baby, during this Lori drifts off to sleep and ultimately dies. Carl tells Maggie that he will be the one to kill her once she turns.

Wow - I for one didn't see that coming, both my wife and I sat more in shock than when Sophia was found as a walker.

Rick's reaction brought out the reality of what just happened, for what he fought to protect, his wife of so many years was gone, just like that. No doubt he will also blame himself for her being in that position as he swore to protect her and Carl.

Well I'm going to leave the description there, I'm an episode short but I have many questions about Season 3 and with Ricks group:

*What will Rick do now, will he be fit enough to remain in charge?
* How will the group recover from losing two of their main characters?
*All are assuming Carol died, I remain confident she didn't, so where is she?
*The mysterious person watching Carol from the woods, was this Morgan and his son?
*If not, when and where will Morgan reappear?
*Should Rick and the group now take and clear the remainder of the prison with a view to then exploring nearby areas to find survivors and build their group?
*If so, should they trust newcomers into the group?
*Will the Governer locate Rick's group and try to slaughter them?
*If so, will Meryl try to lure Daryl over or will Daryl succumb and kill his brother to defend his new family?

No matter how or if i've described it the right way above, this television series has captured the mind and imagination of millions of people. Since the first episode aired many months ago to the most recent this week I have thought constantly about the series, what would I do, where would I go, wow why did that happen or how did this all come about...

Either way you look at it, its a believable story which guaranteed after you've watched a few episodes, it will leave you wondering!

If your reading this and you haven't yet succumbed to the phenomenon that is The Walking Dead, I urge you to check out the first season and make your mind up from there..

Me - I'm hoping this continues for another 5+ seasons, this is a storyline that could keep going for a long time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Is it Time?

Loyalty is a commodity that was once a strong skill and valued by employers.

This along with strong work ethic and the ability to make clients smile even when they've had the worst day should be something that with loyalty, that person should be made to feel like theres a reason why they are valued.

Well, this article for me is part of my thought process, why is the above important yet no longer valued by employers.

I have a friend that i've known for 12+ years who has been at the company for majority of that time too, started as a newby and worked their way up to become a leader within the group. Has in that time also taken on additional duties to actively learn more.

At times this person has also been known as one of the best in the organisation, not just in periods, but for the whole time.

So in all this why would they not be the most valued rather than just a person that is employed there?

Questions are running through my head at the moment:

* Should this friend remain loyal?
* Should they take their experience elsewhere and start a fresh?
* Should they go out on their own or form a partnership and start their own business?
* Should they instead change profession? ie: baker to admin or to bartending?

Answering all three its very hard to say, 12+ years at one company is a massive achievement, but throw the fact that the major skills as well and your talking about a very required person.

I'm leaning towards the last two as possibilities when I next speak with them. Starting fresh with a full backup of what they have done, and i'm sure also this person will speak brilliantly to back up and further explain why their the best.

I say let the new place realise what a great catch they've received and can now utilise to now compliment their centre. Or go out, find a business partner and start completely fresh. I'm confident they would be able to run their own business and do quite well. But thats another issue.

So what do you all think, I'm not lying when I say this is one of the best workers for their chosen field, so what would you say? Stay Loyal? Go to a new business or start your own?

Really interested in your thoughts so please comment.

Round 5 - ETPBC Div 5

Great day for baseball yesterday, only peaked around 26 degrees which was ideal, hardly any wind and most of us had been boosted by the Adelaide Xmas Pageant earlier that morning...

Suprisingly we were one of only a few at the ground with the game before cancelled due to a forfeit by Kensington Div 7...

So the ground was all ours and ripe for the taking.

We were bouyed by recent results for our opposition where a few runs had been scored against them, a definite change from prior years where although they weren't like a Southern Districts or Goodwood they were still fairly competitive.

Positions were set, Cummo got the nod as starting pitcher after showing some real good form the week before, Ralphy, still sore from previous weeks pitching... lined up at centre field and Robbo shuffled in at 1st. I was happy keeping my 3rd base whilst Jarrad slotted into right field after returning from paradise!

Sadly no Kym Ashworth this week but here's hoping we can snare him out again soon...

Gawler got off to a good start with their lead off driving a deep ball out to left field but some great pitching and work in the field ensured no runs came across.

The first three innings were tight with both teams getting the odd hit but no-one scoring the first run.

4th inning our team unleashed, many hits and we ended up scoring 7 in the inning and enforcing the mercy rule (7 runs only allowed each inning), myself still smiling smartly after I hit a bases loaded double scoring all three runners.

Up until that point in the game I didn't have much to do as weirdly the ball didn't come to 3rd during the first half of the game, I usually see the ball atleast 5 or 6 times...

Half way through the game Robbo asked me to sit out for Beggy to come in, shortly after whilst our team was batting lightning struck twice...

Whilst standing at 1st doing 1st base coaching duties Scoop came in to bat. After a few pitches Scoop hit a line drive to short stop which was fumbled, yelling at Scoop to keep running he's just made it to 1st and pulled up suddenly, his famous hamstring had gone again. Not as bad as previous ones i've seen however he knew straight away he was done.

Umpire allowed myself to be re-subbed back in so I took Scoops place at 1st base after he managed to beat the throw. The Gawler pitcher overthrew his second pitch so I decided to sprint (my version of sprinting...) to steal 2nd, made it fairly easily however just as I reached the base I felt a slight pull also in my right hamstring....

Wasn't as bad as Scoops and I could still jog, but jog was all I could do... Luckily for me two batters later a long bomb was hit and I managed to get home on a slow jog scoring the run.

Without anyone on the bench I stayed in the game and went to 2nd base.

The next inning was the sealer for us, another 7 runs came across including me after getting hit by the pitch and hobbling home after a play ruled as a double.

Robbo came in to relieve Cummo in the last inning and proceeded to shut the door completely by only throwing a total of 4 pitches with myself laughing as I took the final catch of the game.

By then I think we were in the bottom of the 6th and no way Gawler could draw or win so the umpires called it Time & Game!

With two straight wins we now look to a rare away game out at Golden Grove which should be a good game. Hoping to be available for it even if off the bench...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Round 4 - ETPBC Div 5

We were expecting a much different Flinders side to what we faced last year and we were pleasantly suprised.

I think comparing the two sides they seemed to have lost alot of exchange students from previous year - bad for them, good for us!

Saturday we had Ralphy on the mound giving Robbo a rest, Ralphy pitched well all game only giving up I think 2 runs over 4-5 innings. I started calling him the 3 out specialist, as soon as Flinders were 2 out Ralphy would strike out the last batter to end the inning - happened in 4 straight innings!

Cummo came in (hahaha just re-read that) late in the game to test the arm and looked the goods holding Flinders to just the one hit. Like Ralphy he pulled out the 3rd out Strikeout to end the inning.

2 outs seemed to be when our team shined the most, if it wasn't the pitchers working hard and getting a strikeout it was our batters rallying. Most of our runs came whilst we had 2 out.

One batter really shined for us yesterday, Kym Ashworth, never met Kym before but he comes with a big reputation. I can see why, Kym hit 3 for 3 on the day which included a double, triple and a Grand Slam out to right field. After the game we tried to lure him into playing more, a big bat like that is exactly what we're looking for - an offer of a carton per game was tabled by the team...

I was pretty pleased with my fielding for the day - not one error which was good, usually at 3rd I have atleast one or two a game. Really enjoying my 2nd year at 3rd base, starting to get used to the groundballs and my arm is starting to really pump the ball over to 1st to get the runner out.

I think overall apart from Kym's standout batting, all played really well, errors were down, batting was up and all were really enjoying the game.

I've said it before but i'll say it again, the new group of Div 3 players which have come down to 5's this year have really breathed life into our team. Last year it was turn up play and get beaten, now, we train solidly on Wednesday nights, we get to the game and meet before we head out for warmups and we play as a proper professional team.

Like Matt often says, get out and have fun - no point playing if we're not enjoying it..

So a great win by the boys as we trumped Flinders, now we look to taking on Gawler at home 3pm. Gawler is another team struggling this year so we look to get out, have fun and improve our hitting for the coming games.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


We are right into the start of Movember and its already gearing up to be a great one.

My Mo last year at a 60's party - I went as Chopper
Its now day 4 and growth is already there after the shave yesterday and in a week or earlier i'll shape the Mo.

Alot have asked if i'll go to a new style this year, that i'm not yet sure of. Historically I have had a massive mo that stretches from he top of my mouth down similar to a trucker style, however I let mine go all the way down my neck. Its the one that has won me three Man of Movember titles at my work so i'm not sure if i'm ready to part with that style...

Movember to me is an awesome month, i'm not usually one to have a Mo, goatee or beard throughout the year but its a chance just to look silly (no offence to full time wearers...) for a month whilst getting much needed $$'s for charity.

One of the favourite parts for me is playing baseball with my Mo, when the uniform is on it makes me look like a very old school baseballer from the 70's!

The other thing is too, this takes bugger all effort for us to make a real impact to charity:

  1. I join a Movember team (Team IOOF)
  2. I shave on Movember 1st - Groom a couple of times throughout month
  3. I send emails asking for donations and run Melbourne Cup Sweeps
My new razor for Movember
Really thats all I do each Movember, so if you're reading this blog and have once considered joining this great event then do - your input to helping the cause isn't much and you can take great pride in what your doing.

I've heard all types of excuses, the one that gets me is "It's too much work"... Not really, if you take out the Melbourne Cup part all you do is join, shave, groom and send emails for donations. Zero - little effort, "oh but I have to groom and shape it all month".... no more effort than you shaving normally throughout the month...

Each year I have my list of sponsors who send donations my way and I manage to get the $1k target I set each year - if not close too it.

Me & My lovely wife at the 60's party - Chopper!

To help the target being reached I also run Melbourne Cup Sweeps at my work, I'm lucky cos we have around 150 staff at my office. So I run $2 & $5 sweeps with the prize money being split 50/50, so for a $2 sweep Movember gets $24 a for a $5 sweep it receives $60. We usually end up organising around 7 sweeps which is a great result.

So, day 2 and I'm up to $110 - so if you're reading this blog and donating to Movember is something you've thought of doing, then head to: and donate.

Remember - no matter the amount, high or low, every donation counts!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Round 3 - ETPBC Div 5


Tough game was on the cards last weekend with a rejuventated Adelaide Angels side already accounting for some big teams from last year.

With the loss of Matt to a calf injury and the unfortunate news Hung (not sure of spelling...) who had to fly back to Korea due to the passing of his grandmother, Robbo brought in the services of the experienced Darren Roberts.

Personally I was still experiencing the effects of my throat infection that hit me hard at the start of the week - ended up home three days from work and was still about 85% healthy.

Divvy 5 took to the field however with high expectations, Adelaide had accounted for us twice last year and quite simply we wanted to win at home.

Robbo started off well however some really good hitting from Adelaide saw them take an early 3 - 0 lead.

Hits were few and far between for our side and the runners we were able to scramble onto bases were left there as we weren't able to capitalise. My first at bat was a near disaster as I went from normally watching the first pitch to jumping at it and skying it to 2nd base.. Would have been ok as it was a nice fastball down the middle - but... I decided to go after it way too late and result was it getting more air than distance...

Kicking myself now but a costly error I made at 3rd resulted with extra runs scored when I could have closed the inning out with a double play. Hindsight I should have stood closer and been ready for a bad bounce but geez - not a good feeling when you make an error and the runners you should have gotten out then cross home plate and score runs..

Unfortunately batting wise it wasn't a good day, East Torrens Div 5 brought in a run but it was all too late and we went down 9-1. First half from the team prob wasn't our best and we recorded our first loss for the year.

So we head to Wednesday training full of momentum to work on the plays we should have nailed on the day - more importantly, we hit the diamond to work on our hitting. Not sure how many hits we recorded for the day but it was definately not enough and personally having 0 hits from 3 at bats is not ideal...

This week we're at home again 3pm againts Flinders who were strong last year so expect a good battle!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Round 2 - ETPBC Div 5


Winners are certainly grinners!

Our Div 5 team entered the day with 10 players including myself who wasn't 100% with a dodgy throat. High in confidence however, we headed into warm ups, the 7 all draw last week against West Torrens built us with rage that a victory so close then had to be shared.

I felt fine to play so jumped back into 3rd Base, which built me with confidence that Robbo and the boys are happy with me in that position.

The boys breezed through warm ups and confidence was there we would play well and take the points.

Through the first couple of innings it was adament early that our team was on top, we put Woodville away without scoring whilst whacking 3 runs to our tally.

Matt managed to get on 1st early on however almost appeared to be shot in the league and hobbled very badly. His calf muscle went on him and sadly power hitting and our captain of the field is now limping to the bench - down to 9 players.

What was a concern however was the runners left on bases, Matt pointed out we should have had another 6 runs on the board.

Woodville suprised us all knocking on some batters and loading up the bases with none out, errors in the field also allowed some of them to reach the base - salt in the wounds. Robbo fought hard however this inning was all Woodville as unlucky bounces and some good hitting allowed them to tack 6 runs and double our score.

The boys looked shell shocked and Matt & Robbo called a quick chat, everyone was gutted we were in this position however noone was ready to give up.

To our teams credit we fought and fought, eventually reclaiming the lead - from there on we never looked back and ran out winners 15-9.

Our first win for the year and first win as a new team!

Robbo pitched well all day and was unlucky to get the runs scored against him. Our batters found the first pitcher to be a dream come true - wasn't hitting the zone all the time however when he did it was like plucking cherries.

Cummo & Jonesy took some really great catches out in the outfield with one Cummo sprinting in to dive and just take the catch - clutch catch as Woodville had a heap of runners on base and could have meant more runs if it passed..

I had a great day overall, some minor fielding bungles butmeans  more hard work at practice - was able to throw out another runner with inches to go and ended up going 3 hits from 4 at bats for the day, including a double and some RBI's to add to the tally.

So - we look next week to another home game against Adelaide 1.30pm - Heres hoping we can continue the win streak!

Will try and get some pictures up next week of each game

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Round 1 - ETPBC Div 5

Round 1 came and went as quickly as the lead we worked hard to maintain late in the game.

Our Div 5 team travelled down to West Torrens last Saturday for the Round 1 "Torrens Clash", rivalry has always been strong with the two clubs and this game was one neither side wanted to drop.

East Torrens Div 5 this year is a completely new outfit, new coach at the helm Robbo and his band of merry men, brought a wealth of experience and power into our side which last year failed to win more than 3 games and struggled both on the mound and with the bats.

One of my best mates Jarrad is one of the players from last years squad, both he and I agree we both need some work and we've struggled in the past couple of seasons (where coaching individuals for improvement hasn't been the focus). But both Jarrad and I agree the new coach and squad coming down has been a breath of fresh air.

This has been noticable throughout training and before warm-up's on Saturday, Matt our new catcher (and Robbo's right hand man) is everything about winning, but, he wants the team to win, not individual glory. He speaks to us all with respect and helps every batter out as much as possible to better their game.

So, Saturdays game a number of us had pre-game nerves, myself included. I spent all morning working through my bevy of songs to help calm down and not get worked up too early, songs including Layla (Eric Clapton), Bella's Lullaby (Twilight), The Back of My Head (Short Stack), Paparazzi (Lady Gaga) etc.

Yes the list above includes a song from Twilight and Lady Gaga, I am definately not a Lady Gaga fan but just like this one song... Twilight, well, have to admit I do enjoy watching the saga but that song and its melody I really love listening too.

The above worked for a while but the nerves kept coming, normally I'm not nervous before a game, Game 1, under a new coach, new team, this was a different scenario. So a swift change to "Fire Up" music was in order, special thank you to Linkin Park, Blink 182 & Good Charlotte for helping me out there.

I have everything to prove to the new guys, I cemented my spot at 3rd base last year (but thats easy when your the coach haha..). I had a great year last year and wanted to return so I had to prove myself worthy of staying in the infield. I also won the batting trophy last year so I wanted to show why and that I wanted to be a threat with the bat again this year.

My first at bat came before the first chance at fielding, felt ok out there but my timing was out... I found I was swinging late. Finally on the fifth pitch I claimed the ball with my bat, unfortunately I deflected it straight into my left foot, just below the shin... The ball kicked out to short stop and I hobbled to 1st base..

With that painful experience came the embarrassment side, my first fielding error. With a Double Play looming the ball was hit to me at 3rd and a late unexpected bounce left the ball hitting the top of my mitt and fumbling onto the ground, once I finally retrieved the ball it was too late to get any runners out.

Now with my head down and cursing myself came the new players in our team, never have I received so much encouragement after a bad play - Wazza at first, Hung at SS, Matt at catcher, all yelling out.

This lifted me quite well, spent some of the game still a bit jumpy but gathered my nerves to start fielding well and getting the runner out at first without overthrowing or misfielding the ball.

Both teams went tit for tat over the next 5 Innings, I enjoyed two hits from my next two at bats and also helped bring some runners home (We won't talk about me getting thrown out at home whilst attempting to slide - or as my son says, fall over the plate...)

In the 5th inning we were tied at 5 all with 1 out and my nerves came back to haunt me, I gathered the ball, an easy play to attempt to throw the runner out at first, routine play... Not sure why but my throw didn't have as much in it as required and it bounced to first base only just getting the runner out. Again my head down not happy - but like an alarm went off in the other fielders heads, the encouragement began to flow like crazy.

Last batter of the inning came to the plate and after watching a few balls he hit a grounder to me at 3rd, unfortunately this was one I couldn't wait for so I plunged forward. Gathering the ball whilst on my knees I looked up, rocketed a ball to first and just claimed the runner in time. This one play renewed my huge passion for baseball as it was one of those plays you hear in the big leagues the announcer screaming out in joy as the player dives for the ball then throws to first from his knees... Something i've always wanted to do.

Fired up we went into the last inning with confidence we could win this and just like that our boys brought home two runs and we went into the bottom of the inning 7-5 up.

Sadly West Torrens had their big hitters up next and they managed to tie up the game 7-7, luckily for us their last batter skyed the ball to me at 3rd and I was able to take the final out with a routine catch.

I thoroughally enjoyed the game, Robbo pitched all the way through and really controlled the plate well - never looked like tiring either. Matt controlled the plate like a real captain of the team, Hung the new boy was kept busy at short stop (I like to yell out Hit it Well Hung when he's batting hahaha) and Left & Centre fielders Jonesy & Ralph were kept busy too.

All our players hit very well and I think majority of us were able to grab a couple of hits on the day, sadly, like Matt spoke of at the end, 7 runs is great but leaving 10 runners stranded on base is something we need to work on. Looking back at the game our team played very well considering we only trained 3 or 4 times prior to Round 1.. This is also the first time our team has played together as one.

I was sore the next few days but Saturdays Round 1 game really ignited the fire inside of me to push to be the best for this team. I want to train hard and learn from the guys like Matt and Robbo as I feel they can really teach Jarrad and myself alot about our batting and the game.

One thing was also apparent to Jarrad and I, the need to also drop some kg's, so we now have a goal - 10kg's to be dropped, hopefully before Xmas. 10kg's off will help us compete more, run harder and be fitter for the team and family life.

This week we play our first home game of the season against Woodville @ 3pm. If this Woodville team is anything like we played two years ago then we will have our work cut out for us. But this team has the confidence that we can do it so I think this will be a very good game to watch - if your past Pattersons Reserve (Payneham) on Saturday then check it out, canteen will be open with some awesome hot food and drinks available!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baseball Update - Div 5 ETPBC

Well we are almost to the season opening, our Div 1 & Div 2 teams kick off this weekend along with our Junior teams.

The rest will follow the week after including my team.

As you would have heard previously, we were looking more likely to move down to Div 6 as our team finished bottom the year before and we were super depleted in key positions.

However like the Oakland A's recent turnaround our fate did also, only 4 of us returned from last years team but its the additions from 5 players coming down from Div 3 which is the key.

In that group comes a Starting Pitcher, Relief Pitchers and a full time Catcher as well as a couple of Outfielders. Adding to the list we have now I believe we have a very formidable team, one worthy enough of pushing for a finals berth.

I'm hoping to slot back into my 3rd base position as I feel I played very well in that spot last year however will play wherever needed this year as its enough about favourites and where we want to play, its where we need to play to better the side and serve it best.

For years our Div 5 side has been very laid back and casual, I feel this is about to change. We need to me more thorough with our approach, more determined to win at all costs.

The addition of the Div 3 players also gives us that stability and familiarity, by this I mean we now have 9 full time players who will be playing majority of the season, last year we were hurt by part time players that played every now and then, not when required...

So, if your a sponsor reading this thinking should I sponsor this player or team I would urge you to consider absolutely. Personally, I had one of my best seasons last year after moving from Right Field to 3rd Base, batting I won the trophy with highest average and enjoyed some success bringing home the bacon against West Torrens. As a team there is alot of upside, the addition of Robbo's boys will be a major boost to not only our defense but also major boost to our offense which struggled badly last season.

Get onboard while you can, the East Torrens Div 5 team is about to take off!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sponsors Needed!

You've heard me harp on about baseball and how I'm just about to enter a new season in Division 6

But what I haven't mentioned is the urgent need for sponsors.

Local clubs survive on massive generosity of local sponsors, this helps keep fee's down for players which inturn helps the sport survive and encourage juniors to join without having to pay too much.

The club I joined, East Torrens Baseball Club, is a great club with volunteers that work super hard to make this club work. One of the wives Barb, volunteers most of her weekends to run the canteen - even when none of her family are playing at the time or ground...

 I would love a sponsor to make proud at the end of this season however would be very happy if I could just entice some sponsors to the club to help us out, more money though the club enables us to upgrade facilities, buy better equipment (rather than using broken batting helmets haha), encourage more juniors through the door etc.

Ok I only play in Division 6 but its still a very competitive division regardless how you look at it... We all want one thing, a premiership!

There are different levels of sponsorship that are available, Player Sponsorship, Team Sponsorship or overall club sponsorship.

So, if your apart of a business and think you can be involved with my club via sponsorship please contact me. If you do sponsor the myself or the club from this article, you won't just get great featuring through the club and via our website but I will dedicate a blog article too!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Japanese Maples

Japanese Maples are by far my most Favourite trees in the world, every type brings its own unique form and colours to amaze everyone, whether your a grower or just someone who likes looking at them...

I first started a passion for Japanese Maples when i was younger when my mum bought a weeping japanese maple. I can't remember the type but it had a similar leaf form to that of a Viridis however this one had a dark moroon/purple leaf.

Sadly, due to Adelaides poor climate for growing maples this one died during one of our hottest summers on record. I can't remember the date and stuff but it was during the fortnight where Adelaide witnessed days recorded 40 degrees and over for a period of around 8 days straight...

My Japanese Maple in backyard

When i bought our first house my mum as a gift bought me two standard japanese maples, simple variety that can withstand a bit of the sun - these are still going great as you can see in the photo. Stupidly i planted a Chinese Elm right in the middle of the Maples years ago as i thought they weren't going to get much bigger... well they have and now I have the three trees growing super well and giving lovely shade over the summer.

Since then i've added a number of Japanese Maples to my collection, sadly some have died due to our harsh summers, however some, especially the ones I have as Bonsai, are still going strong and look magnificent.

Sango Kaku Maples in my garden

About a year ago I was at Stratco looking at plants and came across these beautiful Red Bark Maples (Sango Kaku) for only $14.95 each... bargain so I bought 3! and look at them now.

Close up of my Sango Kaku
I like to buy most of my Japanese Maples, including the younglings from a grower in Melbourne, for the past few years I have bought a number from him during Winter when the trees are able to be transported without stressing the roots and tree.

The nursery is called "Maples x Mail" and is located at 1870 Healesville-Kinglake Road in Toolangi. Not sure if you remember or are aware but this region is part of the massive bushfire which tore the heart out of Victoria, and the rest of Australia, a few years ago. It was during a big dry spell, fires erupted and the state saw some of the biggest incontainable bushfires they've ever encountered.

Many lives and buildings were lost, Maples x Mail came out ok, alot of its stock were hit hard providing limited stock for sale over that period. The year after they came out strong again and supplied some really nice trees.

My Viridis Weeping Maple
Each year I like to buy atleast one or two Weeping Maples and one Standard, as well as 10-20 younglings. The Weepers and Standard are put into large pots whilst the younglings are either used for new Bonsai ideas or put into pots for later use.

The thing I love the most about Maples x Mail is the price, Standards are only $20 each and Weeping Maples are $25, they are trees up to 1m in height, just the right size to use. The owner will also send up to 5 trees in the one box, postage to South Australia last time only cost me approx $10 for the lot...

The owner really knows his trees and varieties well and takes super care of them so if you are interested check them out on

Japanese Maple Bonsai (approx 4 y.o)
So why Japanese Maples?

Simple, well maybe not, but theres not one thing i love about them theres heaps. Each variety has its own unique aspect about it, whether its differing types of leaf or the colour of the leaf during different times of the year or the colour of its bark.

Ever since i was young i was in awe of their beauty and told myself when older i must have some of my own.

To me it could be the colours, from early Spring to late Autumn - each has its unique colour to wow any garden!

Here are some more photos of my maples, enjoy!

Close up on my Viridis Weeping Maple
My Viridis Weeping Maple approx 6 y.o

Jap Maple Bonai's in my nursery

Adelaide - Is it the place to be?

Adelaide, the old sleepy town where nothing really much happens..

This is the saying alot refer to when they think of Adelaide, most of them would be true but alot miss its inner workings and stuff that make us Adelaideians proud to live in this state.

Yes we don't have theme parks like the Gold Coast and major attractions like Sydney's Opera House and Melbournes MCG but geez, where else in Australia can you live 5 minutes from the city and not be surrounded by a concrete jungle?

Jim Barry Wines - Armagh

Theres alot to love about Adelaide, for me the fact I live 5 minutes from the city and was able to afford it without paying a million dollars for it. Where a Sydneysider would travel an hour and a half to just get to work I can instead travel to one of the best Wine Regions in Australia, The Clare Valley.

Pikes Winery - Clare Valley

I liken Adelaide more so to that of a Sleeping Giant, if you look across the city skyline, infact across alot of the state, you will see a bevy of cranes and construction happening. We have a new state of the art hospital being built, Our famous Adelaide Oval is getting a huge revamp to house AFL football and hopefully some Soccer World Cup games... Progress is happening, soon Adelaide will burst out as a major player in the country.

Areas like where i live are also seeing a whole new lease of life, down the road from me is the train yards, forever a ghost area, it is now a given life again with the introduction of a Bunnings. There is also plans in place to add a new Coles and a K-Mart which is sure to bring in massive business.

Bunnings - Prospect
The introduction of Bunnings is a huge step, really its one of the best shops around and has so much to do. Every weekend i visit there, even if we don't need anything i'll still go to check out plants. I always take my 5 year old who loves tagging along now as every Saturday & Sunday the good folk at Bunnings hold stuff for the kids to do.

Last weekend my little angel came home with a decorated pot base that you can put mozzie repelling candles in - a few weeks before my eldest came with me and made his mum a decorated pot and planted a daisy in there for her.

The introduction of a Kmart and possibly some more little shops will boom this part of town, more jobs, more products to choose from!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the other states aren't great cos thats furtherest from the truth. Gold Coast for example, I would move there in a heart beat, unfortunately the cost and my worry about finding work in the finance industry there has alot to do with us moving up there.

Melbourne is another place I really want to move to, that way, I can see 15+ Richmond games each year instead of the 3 I see only when they play in Adelaide twice and I fly over for a game... But for me Melbourne not as affordable close to the city like I am here in Adelaide, so I'd need to be prepared to travel alot into the city for work.

Travel time is a big factor for me as I have young children aged 5 & 8, I want to spend as much time as I can with them before they grow up and don't want to "hang" with their parents anymore..

One thing I do love is when I catch the bus each day and heading into town, the River Torrens as you cross the bridge is one of the most picturesque in the country. Its the sort of area you could sit and truly relax, block out all of the sounds around you and take in the beauty.

I love participating in the annual Corporate Cup, I'm no runner, nor am I a fitness guru but i'm trying my best... One of the attractions of the cup is the venue, each year we run around the River Torrens.

Recently it helped me capture some of the most beautiful photo's i've taken when a fog which was covering the north eastern side of the city moved over the river and engulfed us with white magic!

But when it comes down to it, affordability is one of the biggest cards Adelaide can offer (besides its beautiful scenery, wineries etc.) Just North of the city you can get yourself a bargain house for just over $500k, drive another 5 minutes North and the price lowers to anywhere between $400k & $500k.

It is also full of older areas which are in the process of being redeveloped, there you can pick up House & Land Packages for $300k - $500k.

So, you can call it what you want but most will agree Adelaide is a fantastic place to live and raise a family!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Local Baseball - Season 2012/2013

For most that know, i play baseball in the summer for my club East Torrens Redsox.

Yes i know, I'm a staunt Seattle Mariner and I play for a Redsox team... funny how things can pan out however around South Australia there aren't any Mariner teams...

Me receiving some chin music against Gawler
Last season our team struggled playing Division 5, mostly because we were severly depleted from the previous season but also we were relying on rookies to fill the side. For most of the year we had atleast 4 rookies playing...

2 of the rookies struggled to go from a cricket background and transition into baseball and unfortunately they are part of the list not returning next year. The other 2 transitioned quite nicely, one finished about 6th in our batting whilst the other one, only played about 4 or 5 games in the end but is a handy defensive player to have.

One of the main issues we had last year was pitching, not taking anything off the effort of our pitchers but we missed the presence of a starting pitcher. All efforts to secure one was lost when we saw two solid pitchers (who could both be pitching in Division 3 above us) move to Division 6 & 7 below us..

My boy catching last year
But, you can't win baseball games alone just with pitching, our bats weren't producing when needed and we ended up losing alot of close games.

In the end we finished only with 3 wins and lost the last game to the last placed team who due to the win jumped above us and we finished with the wooden spoon.

So, 2012/2013 season is upon us. To start with, of the list last year we only have 5 and a half players continuing (Half player as he'll only be able to play part time). We've also arranged to move down a grade to Division 6 to try and be a bit more competitive rather than enduring more losing streaks..

The season should be interesting, Our last year Division 6 team went undefeated and took the Premiership, they're moving up to Division 5 and I believe they'll take up where last season finished, not much should change for them and they should continue on their merry winning ways.

A number of players have either moved down from higher grades or re-joined after several years off. So for our team with only 5 and a half players we should be right to pick up 4 or so players and cement ourselves as a threat in the competition.

Me coaching from 1st base, my boys on base.
Still would like one more pitcher just to get where we need to be, sitting in the finals is the aim and I really think we can do it this year, new division, new players and a big thirst.

Last season i had a better year batting than the previous, in 2010/2011 I hit around 0.180 which is the worst in my career. My first ever season i was hitting above 0.500, last year i was back to hitting well and ended up with 0.375 and taking the batting trophy for 2011/2012.

So for me, the heartache of finishing last was softened a little with taking my first ever batting trophy, came 3rd in the Best & Fairest and i reckon played pretty well in my move to 3rd base.

I think i'm fitter this season, have identified where my hitting needs work on and am looking very forward to this season.

We have Scoop returning more likely to the mound again however would be good to have him off 1st base and taking over as pitch relief rathing than having to rely on him starting each week.

Foul ball against Glenelg
Gus is coming off a stellar season taking out the Best & Fairest in 2010/2011 (watch your back Gus...), Gus will more likely move into the catchers role but can rest him a bit more this year at probably Short Stop or 2nd Base as Tom s returning and loves to get behind the plate.

Jarrad will more likely slot back into his Centre Field role, moving into his 2nd season it will be interesting to see how he progresses, just need to work on his fitness hahaha

Todd only played a handful of games last year so this season we'll get him some more gametime and develop as best we can, has good defensive skills so will be handy to use around the ground.
Me batting against Gawler

Myself, well, i hope to stay at 3rd base after moving there from Right Field last year. Can be a bit daunting especially when the ball is travelling super quick at your head, but, i really enjoyed the challenge there and felt i owned the position quite well.

So, pre-season has started, well sort of, being in Div 6 we don't tend to train much, but, season is less than 4 weeks away.

I will try and give updates throughout the season if not weekly then maybe on a fortnightly basis... Hopefully it will be entertaining as we track how our team rises from bottom place last season to where we go this year..

I've added some photos of myself playing but also of my boy who also plays Little League at our club, i was lucky enough to coach him last year also.