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Category: Baseball

The Cubs!

The Cubs!

Picture Credit: Openclipart.org.
Picture Credit: Openclipart.org.

In 1999 the Chicago Cubs drafted my stepson John Webb. He would go on to a lot of AA and AAA ball, and would spend some time in the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays. Now he teaches youngsters how to play and parents how not to behave as fans of their young players.

So despite not having a history as a Cubs fan, I do have a special place in my heart for them. I also hate all the curse stories, so I’m glad to see those get put to rest. Well, I bet they live on, but perhaps diminished in importance.

The really important thing about the World Series this year was that it was great fun and showed some good baseball. To have it decided in the 10th inning of the 7th game with some pretty determined players up against one another was good for the game of baseball as well.

I like this article from my favorite web site, FiveThirtyEight.com.

John Webb Pitches Complete Game (and a Complaint)

John Webb Pitches Complete Game (and a Complaint)

I don’t have the most positive view of our local newspaper, the Pensacola News Journal, but I normally show this by not reading it. I get local news from other sources, and national news from some of the national internet sources. I do check specific stories on a fairly regular basis and often have my attitude reinforced.

Such was the result of checking the News-Journal for reports of the July 14 game between the Pensacola Pelicans and the El Paso Diablos. Now note that I admit to being biased, since my stepson was pitching.

But consider this from the Pelican’s own site, under the headline Pels Win Behind Webb’s Gem:

Pelican’s starter, John Webb would go the distance as the Pensacola Pelicans (4-10) defeated the El Paso Diablos (7-6) by a score of 4-1. Webb pitched nine strong innings allowing only one run on three hits while striking out six in the first nine inning complete game by a Pelicans pitcher this season.

So what about the News-Journal? I can’t find their online story. Occasionally I know they don’t link from the sports page, but I’ve checked that along with the Pelicans page, and there’s nothing there. I discovered one problem in finding it in search, however, when I read the print story. They don’t mention pitching. It appears that the first complete game of the season by a Pelicans pitcher is not important, and that somehow the win was done entirely by offense.

Not only that, they don’t mention defense, which included a number of exceptional plays that helped John keep it down to one run. One catch by center fielder at the wall certainly prevented at least a triple. John himself was part of three plays that were unusual for a pitcher including a double play.

To be honest, it doesn’t sound like any sort of bias to me. Rather, I think the story must have been written by someone who didn’t really care about the game or take the time to think out a decent story that covered the major facts. Listing the hits and who made them does not a story make.

End of complaint, I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear.

It was a great game to watch, especially for the parents of one of the players. The team seemed excited and energized. Even though they lost last night in the next game, I think there is some new crispness in their defensive play. Hopefully they will be able to improve their hitting with runners in scoring position. They’re making a lot of good hits and doing some good base running, but it’s just not coming up at the right time to make the runs.

They’re up against the Diablos again tonight, and I look forward to a great game.

Child Life Program at the Ballpark

Child Life Program at the Ballpark

I usually manage to post something here every day, but yesterday was one of those exceptions. What was going on?

Well, aside from a busy day on the computer side of my business, which is part time, but tends to run in spurts, I was working with my wife, and my stepson John Webb (pitcher for the Pensacola Pelicans) on a project to bring children under treatment for life threatening or very long term treatment out for a night of fun.

We work with Sacred Heart Hospital, specifically the child life program to raise money through the John Webb Winter Golf Tournament and through other things as they crop up.

What cropped up this time was an opportunity to auction one of John’s jerseys, signed of course, which went for a substantial amount of money–no, not what a major leaguer would draw, but much more than we expect here in the independent leagues. As a result, John was able to rent one of the “beach suites” at the ballpark, which gives the children an air conditioned place to retreat to if they need it, but also provides a good view of the game.

Since the catering was donated by Jerry’s Cajun Cafe, a good deal of money from the sale will go to other projects for the child life program. Reward Jerry’s by heading out there for lunch or dinner–you’ll reward yourself with a good meal as well.

The Pelicans went out of their way as well to make the time fun for the children, inviting them to be involved in various contests, allowing two to be bat boys, and generally checking up on comfort.

Thanks to the Pelicans official photographer there will be pictures. I’ll post a more detailed report later over on the Pacesetters Bible School Newsletter Blog. At the moment, the John Webb Winter Golf Tournament and related activities are sponsored by Pacesetters, but this will all soon become a separate foundation.

Pelicans Back Home – Win 5-3

Pelicans Back Home – Win 5-3

Update: The Pensacola News Journal now has a report here.

After a depressing road trip and a delay filled return, the Pelicans got off to a late start against the Shreveport Sports. John Webb (my stepson, for those who haven’t realized it yet!) started for the Pelicans and went 6.2, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned. The official stats aren’t showing the last game yet, but it looks to me like that puts his ERA at 2.89.

Despite one error that allowed a run, and one inherited runner who scored on a wild pitch (that’s the 2nd earned run against John) the Pelicans looked much better than they have. The errors (or lack of them) alone doesn’t tell the story. There were a number of very well done plays, and at least one exceptionally good catch by the center fielder that simply made the game look much better.

Note that I usually put out a couple of tweets on Twitter during the games and might put out a few more if I thought anyone was reading them. Right now I’m pretty certain nobody is, so it’s just an exercise in typing on my Palm Centro.

John Webb Pitches 2nd Game

John Webb Pitches 2nd Game

I was intending to post this earlier, but at an away game this time John pitched his second game of the season. He went seven innings with 1 earned run, but got the loss due to 4 infield errors.

When we were listening to the radio broadcast they reported two earned runs, and I was thinking it should have been one, though it was a slightly confusing inning. He had walked one runner, but the one he walked would have ended up on 3rd base without the errors, I believe. In any case, the official wrap-up gives the numbers as I believe they should be.

Pelicans Win 5-2

Pelicans Win 5-2

The Pensacola Pelicans won 5-2 against the Lincoln Salt Dogs tonight. Our son John Webb was not pitching. I understand he’ll be starting in Sioux Falls on Tuesday night, but our guest Brandon Sing hit a 2 run homer as well as a double, going 2 for 4. Following the double he reached third on a wild pitch and then scored on a fly ball to center (if memory serves). I may post a picture/clip or two tomorrow.

This makes the Pelicans 3 of 4 in the series. I missed the nasty loss (14 to 8) because I was attending a wedding, so I’ve gotten to see three straight victories.

Pensacola Pelicans Opening Day

Pensacola Pelicans Opening Day

Well, patient readers, you will have to put up with some baseball. My son, John Webb, was the opening day pitcher for the Pensacola Pelicans, and he looked pretty good. His mother and I were a bit concerned to see the trainer go out to the mound in the fifth, but it looks minor and they’re expecting him back in five days.

He went 5 innings and allowed three earned runs. Several of us in the stands thought the umpire wasn’t giving pitchers the lower part of the zone. Of course my opinion on this matter is totally unbiased! It’s not an excuse John would use. He left the game with the Pelicans ahead 6 to 3, and the final score was 10 to 7.

Some early season rough edges were showing on both teams. There were a couple of plays in the first that I know those guys are capable of making, yet they didn’t go well. They weren’t scored as errors–correctly–but they just looked a little bit rough. Overall, however, the Pelicans look like a very promising team.

Our “other” baseball player, Brandon Sing, who is staying with us here, had an excellent night, though as he mentions in the PNJ story (see below), they weren’t throwing him much. He walked twice and hit a bases-loaded double that was a thing of beauty.

Read some more in the Pensacola News Journal story Pelicans Cruise in Season Opener.

John Webb Pitching on Opening Day

John Webb Pitching on Opening Day

There’s a nice story today in the Pensacola News Journal (and I rarely call their stories nice!) about my stepson, John Webb, who will be the opening day pitcher for the Pensacola Pelicans baseball team.

John was interviewed for the article and gets to talk about his goals and his approach to playing. I’m looking forward to the game tonight. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I told John as he left today that I would be the quiet one in the middle of a bunch of wild folks–the rest of the family.

But I’ll give him a solid thumbs up and a “Yeah!”

Most Obvious Baseball Quote of the Day

Most Obvious Baseball Quote of the Day

Since my step-son John Webb played for their AAA Iowa Cubs this year, I keep close watch on the cubs in general. I just love it when someone provides us with some information we couldn’t have figured out for ourselves:

“We’re still in the driver’s seat,” manager Lou Piniella said. “We’ve just got to start winning some games.”

Source: MSNBC.com.

Wow! I’m impressed with his wisdom!