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: http://mobro.co/TonyRogers and donate.

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