Dropped Bits
We'll see what bits get dropped here

July 2006
« Jun    
What a trip it was…
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:59 am

We arrived in Park City on July 19 and the first thing that we noticed was the air conditioning didn’t seem to be working.  The highs were in the upper 80’s and lower 90’s and it was warm in our room.  We finally notified the front desk as we were heading back to the room after dinner.  Maintenance was called and they stopped by to check out the AC unit.  Sure enough, the compressor had failed.  He stated he would have to notify the front desk.


We didn’t hear anything until about 8:30 and they told us that they could move us to a two bed room but we would lose the studio that we were in.  This meant losing the microwave, stove and fridge which we were very pleased with.  Or we could stay there with the use of a fan and they would replace the compressor the next day.  We chose to stay in the room with the fan and survived the first night…  Barely. 


The two beds in this room were doubles and Carol and I fit snugly on the bed if one of us was always on our side.  Trying to roll over in the night meant waking the other.  Needless to say we didn’t get much sleep this first night.


July 20 2006


We all got up after a restless night and had breakfast.  Before we knew it, it was noon and we were supposed to be in Heber City for warm-ups before the game.  So, we’re running a little late.  I called the front desk to let them know we would be gone so they could replace the compressor and repair the air conditioning.  Then we ran over to Albertson’s and picked up another bag of ice to fill the Styrofoam cooler that we had purchased the day before and filled with Gatorade and water.  Filled the cooler with the ice, covered it up in the back of the Dodge Magnum, closed the back hatch and climbed in to get on the road to Heber City.


I pulled out of the parking lot and heard this crash in the back.  My minds eye tells me that the Styrofoam cooler has tipped over and nothing is left in it.  Damn it.  I pull into the next drive and park.  Open up the back of the Magnum and sure enough, it’s tipped and the ice and water is all over the back.  We stand the cooler up and fill it with everything that we can gather and decide that putting it in the back seat between the front and back seat would help keep it upright.  So I grab the refilled cooler and proceed to put it in the back seat dropping it the last couple of inches due to the limited space available to maneuver.  This wasn’t a good thing as it landed on a corner and busted the cooler up spilling its contents all over the floor of the back seat this time.


Shit!  I can’t believe this.  It’s now 12:15 and we’re really late now.  I slam the door shut and climb into the car and head down the road for the 30 minute drive ahead of us.  It was a completely quiet ride that trip.  The one thing I noticed as we were approaching Heber City was that there was still snow on the mountains off in the distance.  It is July 20 and to see snow on the mountains was still cool even for me to see.  I pointed the snow out to Tyler too.


I got Tyler his vest from the back of coach Matt’s truck and got it to Tyler and then I briefly told Matt about our situation and that we were going back to the Smith’s that we saw heading into town to clean up our mess.  He said that was fine, he would take care of Tyler for us.


Game time, we’re facing the number one team in the state of Utah to start the tournament.  We know it won’t be easy but if we can stay close, it should be a good game.


1:30 PM           Chandler Red Sox (2) vs. Utah Horns (14)


OK, we didn’t keep it close.  We didn’t look bad either.  They just looked really good and really aggressive on the bases.  We just couldn’t stop them.


We had some time before we had to be back for the next game so we decided to go grab a bite to eat and head to the hotel for a little rest.  By the time we got to the hotel, it was close to 3:30 and the air conditioning wasn’t fixed yet.  The temps were in the high 80’s and it was stuffy hot in the room.  I called the front desk for an update or a status and they said they would have to call me back.  We never heard from them by the time we left for Heber City for the next game at 4:30.  I was getting a little frustrated with them, but there wasn’t anything I could do then.


7:30 PM           Tuff Country Predators (4) vs. Chandler Red Sox (7)


We played better and we were able to hold these boys off.  They were another good team.  I guess that’s what you should expect at the Tournament of Champions where you must have won a previous tournament to be invited here.  But we won so we were positioned nicely for the games to come tomorrow.


We head back to the hotel and arrive about 10:15.  Still no air conditioning in our room and no messages with a status that I had requested earlier.  I head down to the front desk and speak with both clerks.  They have no rooms available so Willy calls a manager and asks if they can put us up in one of the available condos?  About 10:45 we have everything worked out and we’re heading to a condo about a mile away.  So we pack everything up and in about four trips we had the car fully loaded headed to the condo.  By the time we were able to get into the condo and unload the car, it was 12:30 and we were all dead.  I think we finally hit the sack around 1:00 AM.


July 21 2006


This place was better than where we had just come from, but the queen beds were hard as rocks.  I think my body ached from the hardness of the bed.  I didn’t sleep very well and woke to find the toilet plugged from a previous resident.  It was still hot in the unit as they had the thermostats set at 85 when we first arrived and the AC unit doesn’t cool the unit very well it appears.  So how good was this upgraded condo?  I don’t know yet. 


We get up and head to Heber City for today’s games leaving our sleeping quarters behind (thank god).  We get out to the ball fields around noon for a little batting practice and everyone’s hitting good.  Wilson and Cord both hit the parking lot several hundred feet away.  Looks like this should be a pretty good game.  I hope we play well.


1:30 PM           South Valley Sliders (10) vs. Chandler Red Sox (2)


We didn’t play well at all.  It seemed that everyone including our Tyler struggled on the mound this game.  The errors out in the field were horrendous. It was so reminiscent of the games the All Stars played.  Errors and no hitting won’t win you any games.  We came all this way with the assurances of the coach that this was a good team and they would handle the ball behind our pitchers.  I didn’t see it here today. 


We grabbed a bite to eat and returned to the field to get ready for the next game.  Originally we were thinking that we were done at this point but apparently at least one 2 and 2 team was going to make the cut to the Semi’s so we still had a shot.  So let’s go out there and win this one to play on Saturday.


5:30 PM           Chandler Red Sox (6) vs. South Valley Bombers (13)


This was the worst game yet.  After three innings we were tied at 3 but then we let down in a big way.  The fifth inning saw 5 errors alone with 9 runs scoring.  Wilson was on the mound and no one could get an out for him.  This was not Wilson’s fault by any means.  He pitched a great game.  I felt so bad for him.  I felt so frustrated for us.  We came all that way and we played horrible as a team.  We were done.  Knocked from the tournament Friday afternoon and we’re not leaving until Sunday noon.


We said our goodbyes and headed back to the condo.  We had dinner with Lora, Mark, Courney and Canyon who were in town for the Triple Crown World Series with Courtney’s Impulse Blue team.  It was the one happy and bright spot in this whole trip.  If it wasn’t for them, this would have been the worst… OK, it was the worst trip I have ever been on.  We enjoyed getting out of Phoenix for a few days and the heat, but it was hot up there.  It was just a horrible trip.  I hope Tyler had fun.  That’s what the trip was for so I hope he got something out of it.


We changed our flight to Saturday afternoon and headed home early.  I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  My body ached from the bed and both toilets were leaking if you could get them to stop running which was a battle of its own.  I just wanted to get home.  I was so glad to land in Phoenix around 6:00 PM Saturday and know that I was going to get a good night’s sleep which I did.  I slept hard.


Well, that was my Utah baseball trip.  I did have some fun but these are the things that I remember from this trip.  That’s it for now.  We’re back into the swing of normal everyday life again without a whole lot of baseball or softball in it for a couple weeks.  Then the Rebels will start back up and the Fury will start playing in some tournaments and leagues again too just in time for school to start for the kids.  Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll be typing at you later.


In case you were interested, the semi’s and finals ended up with the Utah Horns winning the whole thing.  The games played out as follows:


July 22 2006


11:30 AM        (Seed 1) UT Horns (12) vs. (Seed 4) SF Heat (3)

1:30 PM           (Seed 2) SF Red Sox (11) vs. (Seed 3) SV Bombers (2)


3:30 PM           Championship game: UT Horns (7) vs. SF Red Sox (4)

comments (0)
Heading to Utah
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 12:47 pm

Well, we’re heading to Utah tomorrow to join the Chandler Red Sox in the Tournament of Champions tournament.  The temperatures around here have been in the 113 to 118 range and now the humidity is on the rise making it a bit muggy as well.  So the temps in Park City will be a welcome change for a few days.


Tyler has practiced with this team and done OK.  I think he’s nervous about playing with them and letting them down a little.  He’s just practiced tight.  Hopefully he’ll loosen up when they all get up in the mountain air and start to play the games.  He turns into a different person when he’s in a game.


The schedule has us playing four games over two days and the semi’s and finals are on Saturday.


7/20      12:30 PM          Chandler Red Sox vs. Utah Horns

7/20      6:30 PM            Tuff Country Predators vs. Chandler Red Sox


7/21      12:30 PM          South Valley Sliders vs. Chandler Red Sox

7/21      4:30 PM            Chandler Red Sox vs. South Valley Bombers


7/22      10:30 AM          Seed 1 vs. Seed 4

7/22      12:30 PM          Seed 2 vs. Seed 3

7/22      2:30 PM            Championship game


Depending on the Internet Connection in the hotel, I’ll try to keep everyone updated as we go.


Thanks for checking in and until next time, stay safe and take care.  I’ll be typing at you later.

comments (0)
DVLL 11’s in the Championships
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:45 am

Last night we went to the DVLL 11’s All Stars Championship game.  It’s not like we get enough baseball in this 100+ degree heat.  The majors have been knocked out and they were expected to do well.  The minors have been knocked out and they were expected to go far.  The one team that no one really gave a chance to do much was the 11’s and look at them, playing for the Distrist 2 Championship.  Congratulations boys on making it this far.


During the game, Arrowhead goes up 4 in the bottom of the second.  Over the next couple innings, DVLL came back to go up 5 to 4 on Arrowhead in the middle of the fourth inning.  Over the loudspeakers, a woman’s voice was heard, “Last call for the 50/50 pot.  It’s standing at $179 right now and we’re trying to get it up over $200 before we draw the number.”  Damn, I looked at Carol.  “$179, I might have to do that.”  I never do 50/50 pots.  But Grandma won $32 the other night at one of the games we went to so I figured at $179, I couldn’t pass that shot up.  So I spent the $5 to get six tickets.  I donated my $5 to the league.


The bottom of the fourth has Arrowhead coming up to bat and they end up scoring a run to tie the game up at 5.  Damn, we’ve got us a game here I thought.  In the distance over the loudspeaker we hear they’re going to call the 50/50 pot that finished up at $201.  Cool, I look at my numbers and stick the tickets back in my pocket.  “The winning number is, 419228.”  Son of a gun, I won.  I looked at Carol and said as calm as could be, “That’s my ticket.”  “You Wish!” she exclaimed.  I pulled the tickets out of my pocket and pointed to the number and started walking to the scorers table.  I just won $100.50.  I walked by Sutton sitting on the bleachers and he looked at me, “Where you going?”  “I won.”  “Alright Gavin!  Let’s go Deer Valley” he yelled.  Others start to turn and look and question where I’m going.  “You won?” came from Al.  I smiled and nodded yes.  It was cool.


I turned my ticket in and they handed me the cash, $100.50.  I thanked the nice lady and stuffed the money in my pocket.  As I was walking back by Sutton, he asked again, “So you really won?”  I said, “Yea.”  He said, “Drinks are on Gavin.”  Tyler runs up, “What did you do?  Did you really win a hundred dollars?”  “Yes.”  “Give me fifty.  Come on, give me fifty.” Was Tyler’s response.  I smiled.  And Dave said, “uh, Ice cream on Gavin.” Changing it from drinks to kid friendly.  He was our Giant Head coach you know and had to look good in front of the kids.  I just smiled.  It was a pretty good night.


Deer Valley left themselves hanging out on the bases in the top of the 5th and ran out of pitching.  They allowed ten runs in the bottom of the 5th ending the game due to run rule of a team being up by 10 after 4 innings.  The final score was Arrowhead 15, Deer Valley 5.  The game was much better than the score shows.  I feel horrible for Adam Alvarez who ended up coming in relief of the 10 run inning finishing the game.  He didn’t get the loss but it had to be tough for him.  I don’t think he pitched much this season.  It was a great run DVLL 11’s.  You sure showed the rest of the All Stars how to win.  Thanks for the night and don’t dwell on the last inning.  The game was a great game and the tournament season was a great run.  You all should be proud.


If it wasn’t for the 11’s making it to the Championship game, we wouldn’t have been there to see how well they do play and I wouldn’t have won the $100.50.  Thanks for a great night boys.  Thanks for stopping by.  Take care and I’ll be typing at you later.

comments (0)
Deer Valley wins… goes home
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 7:44 am

It was a sad ending to what should have been a great post season run for the Deer Valley All Stars.  They won the game last night shutting out Buckeye 6 to 0.  But what should have been a happy occasion for the win was a sullen affair as everyone ended up saying goodbye to new friends and acquaintances.  A few might see each other again but it was just a sad night.  Good luck boys on your future baseball endeavors.  Until next time, keep swinging the bat and fielding your dreams.

comments (0)
Deer Valley loses to Goodyear
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:32 am

It’s been a difficult weekend after the loss to Goodyear Saturday night.  Deer Valley All Stars have been knocked out of the tournament without ever playing their last game which goes off tonight at 5:30.  Don’t get me wrong.  Saturday’s game was the best game that these All Stars have played to date but the result was the loss that knocked us out.  Deer Valley was ahead late after 5 innings 2 to 1.  Brian Linhart pitched his heart out that game and had done a wonderful job.  But a couple of walks later and a two run double up the middle wrapped up the Deer Valley All Stars 2006 campaign ending the game 3 to 2 in the bottom of the sixth inning.


Sidewinder All Stars should finish pool play with a 4 and 0 record (worst case, 3 and 1) while Goodyear should end pool play 3 and 1 (2 and 2 worst case but head to head we lost to them – we lose and they advance).  Everything will be wrapped up tonight as far as our pool goes.  Coach Anthony has already said that he plans on playing the kids that have sat most the first three games and others will sit in their place tonight.  It’s just been a tough weekend thinking back on the tournament so far and especially the Sidewinder game.  There were four or five errors that game costing four runs.  That doesn’t even mention the at least two base running errors that cost us two outs in the fourth inning.  Two base running errors that counted for two outs in a rally inning really hurt.  And why was there no first base coach?  We put a player on to coach first this game instead of a coach.  That led to one of the base running errors.


Would have, could have, should have isn’t where I had hoped to be today.  The last game had no errors but we still only hit .200 for a team.  The first game we only hit .238 as a team and .174 against Sidewinder.  Another reason we are where we are now.  For the tournament the Deer Valley All Stars are hitting .203.  One bright star from this is Tyler’s performance.  All season Tyler has struggled with the hitting but he showed up to play this tournament.  Tyler hit .375 with a walk in 9 at bats scoring 2 runs with 3 RBI’s.  It was great to see Tyler come through hitting as well as he has.


OK, we play Buckeye tonight and our season will be over.  It is time to look ahead to the Rebels and hopefully a greatly improved team for the new season to come.  Carol and I started looking around and found a post on a local baseball website for a team needing a pitcher for a tournament in Park City, Utah coming up on July 20, 21 and 22.  We talked about it and decided that if Tyler wanted to try for this and they still needed a pitcher we would go ahead and give it a shot.  We asked Tyler if he would want to do this and without hesitation he said, “Yes.”  So I sent the email Sunday afternoon to the coach of the Chandler RedSox, an 11U team ( a step up from where Tyler’s been playing at 10U).  Tyler kept checking to see if we had called and we explained that we sent the email but hadn’t heard anything.


Monday morning arrived and I finally receive a response from Matt Lamb the coach of the Chandler RedSox and he stated they do still need a pitcher and asked if we could come out to Mesa for a tryout?  I responded and let him know that we could but it would have to be later that day.  I was looking out for Tyler.  He was still sleeping and I knew he wouldn’t be awake much before 11:30 or so.  So we worked it all out and I did advise that we were still in All Stars but only through Wednesday as we had already been knocked from the tournament. 


Tyler finally wakes about noon and comes out.  I asked him if he got plenty of sleep and he said he had.  I asked if he was relaxed and rested enough to go for a tryout with the Chandler RedSox.  A smile came across his face only for a second then an expression of slight fear hit him.  The realization that this is really happening hit him and I asked him if he was up for this?  He said, “Yes, but what if I don’t do good?”  I told him that I know he’ll do fine.  If he goes out and does what he does, he’ll be fine.  His face turned to the big smile again.  So we headed down to Mesa for this quick tryout.  We met Matt at his offices where he has a hitting and pitching cage in the back.  It’s really a nice setup.  We talked for a bit as he and Tyler played catch warming up.  Then Tyler got on the mound.  He wound up and threw his first pitch.  Only about 80 percent.  Then another and another.  Tyler was warming up and started throwing at 100 percent. 


Then Matt asked him to throw his change up.  The first two hit the dirt and then he started to bring them up.  “Couple more fast balls”, Matt said.  Tyler threw them in there hard.  “Now the change up again.  A little slower, softer grip.”  Another pitch.  “Just a little slower.”  I told Tyler to really loosen up on the grip so you don’t hear the seams and he threw a change up that floated in to Matt’s glove.  “There it is, Tyler.  Fastball.”  Ty threw a couple more fastballs then Matt said, “Ok that change up again.”  Tyler nailed that change up again.  He looked like a pro out there.  He went out there and did what he does.  Matt stood up and said, “I’ve seen enough.  I want him.  If you can really make this trip we would love to have Tyler join us in Utah for this tournament.” 


The joy in my heart for Tyler was overwhelming.  He did what he does and earned a spot on a tournament roster for a team that is a level above where he normally plays.  We talked a little bit more and we are both really excited at the opportunity.  Tyler didn’t really know for sure what was going on.  As we were walking out, Matt was leading the way and I hear Tyler whisper, “Did I make it?”  A smile crossed my face as I glanced back and nodded.  I held my hand out in a low 5 manner about my waist and Tyler smacked it.  He held himself together pretty good.  I gave him the keys to the car so he could drop his gear off and then come back in to try on the uniform for size.  He looks good in the blue UnderArmor undershirt and Red Vest. 


We left and headed for the car.  Once there Tyler called his mom and said, “We’re going to Utah.”  I didn’t hear the conversation but Tyler said she was crying for joy for him.  I could see that.  It’s the same as when he won the Orioles game.  She cries for joy when her kids do well.  To go from being knocked out of the All Stars far too early to making a tournament team headed for the National Championships in Utah in a matter of days was unbelievable.  I still have a hard time grasping that this has happened, even though I’ve already made the flight, car and hotel reservations.  It’s quite unreal.  So the Rebels will have to wait a few more weeks for our focus and attention.


That’s about it for now and thanks for tuning in.  I’ll let you know what happens tonight and throughout our journey to Utah and back.  Until next time, stay safe and enjoy life.  I’ll be typing at you later.

comments (0)
Deer Valley loses to Sidewinder
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin @ 9:27 am

The Deer Valley All Stars came up short against a very agressive Sidewinder All Star team last night.  Deer Valley 4, Sidewinder 7 was the final.  A disappointing loss to say the least.  A few errors cost a early but our hitting isn’t there to score any runs.  As a team we had a .187 batting average last night.  We only had a .200 batting average Thursday night but we were able to pull out the win.  The first three innings saw us go three up, three down.

Tyler wasn’t himself but he kept us close (DV 2, SW 3) going into the fifth inning last night.  I don’t know what happened next but Tyler got the first batter up to ground out reaching the top of the order.  Tyler had about 65 pitches on him at that time and the temp had probably cooled to 103 from 108 by this time.  Was he hot?  Probably.  Was he tired?  He normally goes into the 80’s before showing signs of fatigue and slowing.  But he wasn’t himself anyway, so who knows really what happened but the top of their order hit Tyler hard.  Singles and doubles to the outfield scoring three runs before Coach went out and switched up the pitchers leaving one runner at second.

Keith came in allowing the one runner to score but got us out of the inning.  We came back up and scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth giving us what would end up being the final score of 4 to 7.  It was a tough loss.  But we aren’t going to win many games hitting only .200 or less as a team for the game.  Well, we have to put this game behind us and go out tonight and really take it to the Goodyear All Stars.  Thanks for checking in.  Stay safe and I’ll be typing at you later. 

comments (0)