Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Luckiest Man Alive

I think I was thinking about that quote on the last day.   We conclude the long week of baseball with an award and final banquet night.  I really do think I am a very blessed (lucky – I suppose you can say that) man.  I get to spend a week in Florida with a bunch of good guys playing baseball – all the while my wife is at home taking care of our two boys (who are 10 & 8) and putting in her 40 hours of work as well.  I am amazed at her patience and willingness to let me continue to go on this adventure every year – I guess I have the defense of I am not a not a hunter guy or fisherman who spends many weekends away so I just take my week in Florida and go with it.  I usually don’t make too many comments about the awards – but earlier in the day I was discussing who might win what award with a fellow camper and for the first time I was really perplexed as to who should win what awards.  Most years a few players come out of the woodworks and bat .800 or just pitch a couple shutouts awards are somewhat known – but going into this evening with so many campers and the fact I only played everyone once and one entire team we didn’t even get to play not sure who was shining and who was not – I was, however, pretty confident that my roommate would find his way to some hardware.   The Rookie of the Year was definitely something in the running for DS and quite frankly he should garner some camp MVP votes as well – DS had a very solid week – hitting about .600, pitching 2 complete games (giving up 0 earned runs mind you), played two full games at catcher, played third base and shortstop and maybe had one throwing error (I think it was intentional to get a guy on the other team a hit too) – truly a week worth some take home hardware.  The over 50 Cy Young went to our 81 year old teammate Curt Sampson – that was fun.  I was nominated for the Cy Young and MVP this year – I have been lucky (that word is a theme here) to have been nominated a number of times and blessed to win three different awards over the years – yep, really lucky – so to be honest I was fine with not getting any awards this year (let alone I played well this week but not enough to get any camp hardware).  I was very surprised during the Rookie of the Year as DS didn’t even stand up – I was thinking this was a good omen, meaning – DS will win another award instead, as another guy won the ROY (he seems very shocked, surprised, humble, and happy), DS was nominated for the the under 50 Gold Glove – didn’t come his way, in fact the 2013 Camp ROY took this home.  Nothing against the 2013 ROY but I am not sure what positions he played to get this award – I was told his knee was bothering him all week (when he pitched against us this is what I was told).  Now it came down to MVP – both DS and I were nominated to stand up – I was waiting to hear DS as the winner but it went to another camper who is a great baseball player in Will McMacken.  That was a shocker – I think my roommate got robbed, but DS is a great guy and I am sure it rolled off his back – I have been around camp 5 years and his play this week was worthy of some camp hardware – I guess the votes/nominations didn’t go his way – rant over.  The awards are fun and from year to year I think it is a good thing to spread around the awards since year after year we have some very good ball players that come back and truly play very well out here.   Certainly not a big deal but when you get to write a blog you can type about anything – so that was my soapbox for the week.   I also know a few other campers had weeks like DS that didn’t get the recognition – a tough year for the underdogs.
Back to Minnesota we go – I look forward to seeing my wife and kids – I really do miss them the first few days are nice but boy about day 4 or 5 I miss being home.  The bed at home will be super comfy and then Monday back in the office will bring everything in perspective.  Until next year – this camper needs a break – about 51 weeks – the good part is this year I am as healthy as I have ever been after a week of camp – so no walking around like an old man and no post camp surgeries for this camper (I think I heard of at least 3 guys where this is not the case) – so in one more instance, I am pretty lucky.  I’m not even Irish (at least I don’t think I am).

One last note – I got an email from Seth Stohs from TwinsDaily today (Sunday) and he recommended that I put something together on their site – so I think that will be my homework this evening – look for that if you dare on TwinsDaily.com

If you have any questions please email me at bennep@hotmail.com – send me a twitter message @fantasycamper or find me on facebook – facebook.com/bennep

Til next year!

~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Playoffs...Playoffs? Playoffs!!...I am just hoping we can win another game

Today is the final day of the camp -- 4 teams get to play for 2 championships -- the morning game matchup was the Padrones vs. Pro's Plus -- the game started out fast with 5 runs in the top of the first tinning by the Padrones and Pro's Plus clawed back with 2 runs in the bottom of the inning -- it appeared a shootout was in the works -- no more runs were plated and Padrones took home the victory and the lower division championship by virtue of the 5-2 score.

The afternoon game matchup was C&C Crew vs. the Humble "13" -- we had an excellent pitching matchup with Anderson facing Conzemius -- the pitching was billed as good and it was very good -- in fact 0-0 score until the bottom of the 5th when Humble scored 2 runs off of Anderson.  C&C came back in the top of the 6th inning by putting together a rally that yielded two runs to tie the game.   We move on to the 7th inning where C&C put together rally and got the go ahead run in off a sharp single by Mileo.  Humble was able to get the leadoff batter aboard but Anderson did his part to retire the next three batters and C&C takes the victory and championship 3-2.

Tonight is the final banquet/dinner and awards night.  They will be giving out a number of awards and it should be interesting to see how the awards go -- with so many campers and great performances it should be very interesting -- in the past couple years I have been fortunate enough to take home a Gold Glove, MVP, and Cy Young awards -- I would think that this year I would be in discussion but so many other good players we will see who will take some hardware home this evening.  It's been a good week -- a long week -- we will get one more update with the award winners and then finish out the evening by watching some football!

~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~

Friday, January 10, 2014

Playoff Results -- a couple good games and a couple shutouts

So if you were 7-1 today -- that was not a good thing -- both top seeds were beat today --

Humble 13 came back from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 over the BruBekSki's and will play the C&C Crew after they destroyed the No-Lo's 10-0 in the upper division.

In the lower division -- the Padrones won 4-0 over GagNe w/ a Spoon and the Warriors lost to Pro's Plus 4-3.

Tomorrow you can watch these games online streaming live at www.msbnsports.net -- those games will be played 9:30 AM EST and 12:15 PM EST.

~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~

A field of dreams.....

It is friday here at camp and boy it was a humid morning -- the clouds covered the sun but it was warm -- around 80 degrees and at least 60% humidity out there -- so the sweat started soon after walking to the field.  We were up against the C&C Crew and Lance Anderson was on the bump.  I started the game for us and boy was I sore all over -- a good trip to the training room to get the day started is much needed and very appreciated.

The top of the first went well -- I was able to get them 1-2-3 --- 3 groundouts -- a clean inning.   We started fast in the bottom with a leadoff triple -- but he was stranded at third -- I came up with 2 outs and bounced out to first base.    A good opportunity to get the lead was squandered.  Lance and I continued to pitch scoreless innings and going into the top of the 4th we were tied up at 0-0 -- then things started to roll for C&C -- hits, a walk, hits, and a couple more hits -- the dust settled and 7 runs were scored in that inning -- 3 more runs in the 6th inning capped off the scoring -- we couldn't touch Lance as he did a great job of staying in the strike zone with his breaking stuff -- our offense didn't have a chance -- a well played game by the C&C Crew.

On to Kangaroo Court this evening.

~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Unofficial Standings -- Playoff Matchups

These are unofficial but I think I have them correct:

Top 4 teams:

1)  No-Lo's   7-1
2)  BruBekSki's  7-1
3)  Humble 13  6-2
4)  C&C Crew  5-3

Next 4 teams:

5) Pro's Plus  4-4
6) Padrones  3-5
7) GagNe w/ a Spoon 3-5
8) Warriors 3-5

Bottom 2:

9)  You Must Be Kidding   2-6
10) Stingers  0-8

When quickly reviewing my predictions -- I had No-Lo's and BruBek's correct (top teams) -- I missed on the Padrones.   I thought C&C Crew and Warriors would fight for #4 -- I had it correct, but Warriors were not the team they fought with -- I completely missed on Humble 13 as I had them in my bottom 5 -- they had a good solid team -- no real injuries for them.

Not going to make predictions for the playoffs -- too many variables.   Our game puts us up against the C&C Crew -- who have some very good players -- but they have some injuries which have slowed them down and their offense doesn't have good consistency.  They had numerous batters who needed runners when we played them on Weds -- so I have a hard time thinking that has changed.  They will have the MVP/Cy Young (best pitcher in camp) on the mound for them tomorrow -- so on one hand that gives them the edge -- great pitching can always trump -- but I don't think they are very good defensively so if we don't strike out more than 10 times -- we should be able to scratch some hits and hopefully turns into runs.  Our team is pretty solid all around -- we don't dominate in any one area but put together we are fairly good.  I will be on the mound tomorrow and the recipe is -- keeping hitters off balance -- don't walk guys -- let our defense do the talking (we have played great defense since the first game of the week).  If I had to make a prediction I would think we walk away with a 3-2 (maybe 4-2, 4-3 victory) -- I do think the game will be of the 1 or 2 run variety -- if we played a 7 game series against these guys - it would probably go 7 games.
Offense: Edge No-Lo's -- Defense: Edge No-Lo's -- Pitching - Edge C&C Crew (potentially the big neutralizer) -- the weather looks like it will be sunny tomorrow (a new and exciting thing -- I have not wore my sunglasses in two days).

~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~