Monday, March 24, 2008

Midwest Weather Curse

It seems every spring there is a guarantee that every sport will have to cancel games or matches because of the weather. Baseball, soccer, and track all had to cancel tournaments due to poor weather/field conditions. Spring is fun and all, but playing sports that could be canceled due to poor weather is a curse all in itself. Personally, we should just play in the rain anyway. That's why they invented ponchos.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Approach Brings High Hopes
Liberty's Baseball team looks for new leadership over last year's disastrous season. 


  "Starting over with a clean slate" would describe the mindset of Liberty High's Baseball team in 2008. Last year held average expectations from the players but as the season progressed, the lack of motivation and leadership was astounding. Seniors of 07 gave little to no leadership to the young sophomores who were experiencing their first year of varsity baseball thus showing in Liberty's record and early elimination from the district tournament held on Liberty's home turf. So this year the team is preparing to win as many games as possible and emphasizing the true meaning of the word "team". Even the JV squad is emphasizing teamwork and trying to build a high team chemistry early in the season. The selection process of deciding this year's teams was difficult yet necessary in the eyes of all those involved. This year will bring better leadership and provide the necessary building blocks of building another state championship caliber team. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Season of Dreaming

   Alright it's spring training again, full squad practices for many teams began today, 1 week after pitchers and catchers reported to their respectable camps. As always coaches give promising preseason pep talks, players look crisp and smooth, almost like they never had a break from the game, and fans all over the country are stacking up on those leftover tickets not wanted from season ticket members. The Kansas City Royals have come off with this unmeasurable good vibe among them. Whether it's Trey Hillman, Yasuhiko Yabuta, Jose Guillen, or any other promising prospect, these guys seem to be really itching on the starting block. Which is why it's so unbecoming and unexpected from a team that has lost 100+ games the past 3 of 4 seasons. Optimists will say, "Hey, we only lost 93 games last year!" Pessimists will say, "Hey look, in Kansas City we've always got the Chiefs to be there for u-...Oh wait.." Among all the "ism"s buzzing around Kansas City, it will be not only an exciting opening day but also a curious one to see what all the build up is really worth. 
   Down in Arizona (who is celebrating their 10th birthday this season), hopes are high as well. With the additions of All-Star's such as Dan Haren and Miguel Tejada, this team doesn't really have anything more to prove. They are ready to play and to contend again this year with hopes of getting past the NLCS. The pitching staff is a dream come true for any GM. Even with wash-ups such as Livan Hernandez and Randy Johnson, this staff is promising and will clean up each others messes during crunch time. I know I haven't mentioned the hot bats this team has but I figure we'll let them do all the talking when the time comes. 
   Holy Moly no it's not a sign of the apocalypse! Yes John Smoltz is back in Atlanta, but rightfully so. Personally, he seemed out of place in New York for those 5 years he was there. Don't get me wrong he did just as well in the Big Apple as he's done in the Peach State. But Smoltz got his big break in Atlanta with then and now coach Bobby Cox. The question "What does he have left in his tank?" has been thrown around. Yeah, what happened to the Y2K bug and Global Warming? Smoltz has plenty to offer Atlanta in his, most likely, last season in Major League Baseball. The guy went 6-0 in his final 8 starts with two bad outings at the end. People with common sense tend to focus on the positives  and the good things people have done, especially from pitchers who have been around for so long. After a few bumpy years now, Atlanta may be clawing it's way back to the pennant race this year, although I think come end of the season they will be in a tough bout for a Wild Card spot thus making everything more difficult. 
   So it's February 19th and the first spring training game is a week away from today. Will all the questions be answered before opening day? Most likely not (since when have they ever). One thing is for sure, this season will be exciting, and who knows, maybe another Rocky surprise could make it's way to center stage. I wonder how they are recovering from that whole World Series sweep thing....