Sunday, January 4, 2009


Renegades News

1-12-09 - The new web-site is operational and most of this site will be transferred as I get time.
All new info will be through that site.
Nothing new will be added here.
The new site is
See you there.

These are the new uniforms. The pants are white with pins and grey with pins.
The red and black tops are mesh. Sweet!

To put the question I've been asked 10 million times to rest - that is " Is Tom Burkett coming back?" That answer is 100% yes. Here he is in our new colors for 2009. Start backing up that outfield and start to pitch out now.

Welcome 2 new guys to our roster - pitcher Paul Tunink from Indiana and SS Dan Norris from Greensburg. I am very lucky to get these two guys.


The 2009 roster is posted.

The new 2009 Schedule is up! Check it out. We play Principle Development the 1st game.
We were 7-0 against them last year.

There will be workouts every Saturday at 5:00.


Man, do we have some hitters this year. You new guys looked great yesterday. I like the power, swings, and attitudes. Great start. These are very informal workouts only to get some cuts and throwing in. The most important thing is to meet some of the other guys and get acclimated.

October 10th - 2008

Attention: 2009 Renegades

We still start open gyms for you new guys every Saturday starting Nov. 1st from 5:00 - 6:30 at Rick Roberts and Mike Holtz' indoor facility - ERA sports. Most of you know where it is, but for those who don't, call me for directions.
I'll contact all of you by phone for more details.

Sept. 26 th. - Congratulations to Tom Burkett for being selected as the August Point Stadium Award winner for his stellar performance in the Tournament. He hit 2 home runs over the left field screen, then 2 inside the park home runs the next night. Go to the Tribune Democrat web- site to read the article.

After my last couple of signings, I can say we are even stronger than last year!

Well, here are the new Renegades hats. I love them. I think I'll sleep with mine on tonight.


We'll be having quite a few workouts during the winter at Rick Roberts' and Mike Holtz' school.
They'll be on the weekend and during breaks so you guys can utilize it.
I'll let you know when they start.
There is a new team in our League for the 2009 season.
They will be called Roxberry Creamery.
They are the 7th team for 2009.

The Berkley Hills Renegades have paid the registration fee for the 2009 season.
We are official for 2009.



The former GMI Renegades are now the Berkley Hills Renegades.
Thanks to Dr. Richard Kastelic and his Berkley Hills Medical Center.
This is a fantastic thing to do for the Renegades, the AAABA, and Johnstown.
This allows the Renegades to become a very strong presence for the long term.
We will be changing our colors to red, black, and white like the Cincinnati Reds.
I'll be working on changing the web site logo and colors too, so bear with the ugly color combinations for now.

Thurs, Aug 14th - Tom Burkett, believe it or not, hit 2 more home runs tonight.
Both were inside the park hit to deep center field.
One bounced off the top of the wall and bounced back in at the 410 marker.
He sure put on a show.
Wed. Aug 13th - Our own Tom Burkett cranked out a 2 run triple, scored another run, and launched 2 - yes 2 rockets over the left field screen to enable Delweld to eliminate Cleveland from the tournament.
What would they have done without our valuable Renegade?
Great job Tom, we're proud of you.

Congratulations to Tom Burkett for being selected to play on the tournament team.
Delweld swept Principle Development for the title and will represent Johnstown in the National Tournament.
They selected Burkett for obvious reasons.

There was a general question about eligibility for this years players.
If you played for me this year, I have your rights until you are too old to play in this league. You are a Renegade for the rest of your eligibility.
All of the players know this, but it was brought up by an outsider.
Eligible returning players for 2009:
Tom Shirley
Tom Burkett
Anthony Mattei
Kyle Bowser
Jordan Carnathan
Curt Tucak
Jon Moore
Ben Doak
Drew Shaulis
Cole Taylor
Eric Dividock
Cory Manarelli
Greg Stewart

Renegades great season comes to an end. We lose 5-4
Congratulations to Delweld and Principle Development

Please keep checking this site as I will continue to write and keep you guys updated. I will be writing some lengthy thoughts about this great year and wonderful players in the next few days.

Renegades lose game 3 semi-final 4-3
Renegades Win! game 2 of semi-final playoffs - in 13 innings
Score was 7-6 Brad Dale is the hero
Renegades lose 1st game of playoffs Friday July 25th 10-3
AAABA awards 2008:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Matt Staub - Delweld
Eric Bruno - Renegades
and Paul Bugajski - Principle Development
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: George Roberts - Delweld
ROOKIE PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Mike McDermott - Renegades -oops, I mean Delweld
BATTING CHAMPION: Drew Westover - Delweld (.423)
C: Chad McCoy - Renegades
1B: Ronnie Stenger - Martella's Pharmacy
2B: Sam Watkins - Martella's Pharmacy
SS: Dan Mangini - Principle Development
SS: Anthony Mattei - Renegades
3B: Josh Campanella - Martella's Pharmacy
OF: Tom Burkett - Renegades
OF: Zack Martin - Renegades
OF: Jake Oswalt - Martella's Pharmacy
OF: Drew Westover - Delweld
UT: Brandon Varmecky - Delweld
DH: Cory Manarelli - Renegades
P: Greg Stewart - Renegades
P: Cole Taylor - Renegades
P: Gregg Bandzuh - Principle Development
P: Andrew DiNardo - Martella's Pharmacy
P: Kris Park Martella's Pharmacy
P: Jake Rougeaux - Delweld
P: Zack Satira - Norac Lab
P: Chris Sobota - Martella's Pharmacy
P: Matt Whiteman - MCS Bulldogs
Congratulations to all of you guys.

Final Season STATS are up


July 22

Renegades win 2-1 against Martellas

July 21

Renegades lose to Delweld 9-2

July 18

Renegades beat Delweld 11-4

July 17

Renegades beat Norac 5-4 in 8 innings


July 16

Wed. July 16th Renegades pound Norac 15-5 in 6 inning.s Drew Shaulis gets 13 Ks in 6 innings. Renegades pound out 20 hits


July 15

Renegades win in 8 innings 1-0 over Principle Development Cole Taylor pitches gets 11Ks


July 14

Renegades win 7-4 Greg Stewart throws a great game with 12 Ks


July 11

Renegades lose Fri. July 11th 2-0


July 02

Wed July 2nd Renegades win 6-3 against Martellas in 2nd game of the night after losing 5-4 to Delweld.

Greg Stewart pitches a gem.


July o1

Renegades win 1-0 vs Martellas Tues. July 1st Bruno gets another 1 hitter


June 30

Mon. June 30th Renegades lose 6-5

June 25

Wed. June 25th Renegades lose to Delweld 5-2

June 23

Renegades win Monday June 23rd 1-0 vs Norac Eric Bruno pitches another incredible game. A 1 hitter.


June 21

Sat. June 21st Renegades win against Principle Development in 8 innings 9-8


June 20

Friday June 20th Renegades win 10-1 Greg Stewart gets another win with only 2 hits - John Rocker( I mean Brad Dale) gets another lights out close. 12 hits

Trib Error

The Johnstown paper has made a mistake in todays write-up. Cole Taylor is "Cole Porter " now. ( Wasn't he a singer?) They also didn't include all of our guys hits, especially Dividocks 3 hits, Drew Shaulis' and Tom Burketts triples, and Kyle Bowsers 2 hits. Oh well, props to those guys.

June 19

Thursday June 19th Renegades win 8-2 Cole Taylor racks up another win. We get 12 hits

June 17

Tuesday June 17th Renegades beat Principle Development 4-0 Bruno gets shut out and 3 hitter

June 16

Renegades beat Principle Development 2-1 in 8 innings Mon. June 16th


June 15

Renegades win Saturday June 14th 2-1 vs Delweld -- Shaulis gives up only 1 hit


June 13

Renegades win 4-1 Friday June 13th Cole Taylor 13Ks


June 12

Renegades win 10-6 Thurs. June 12th Back on track

June 11

Ouch, Renegades lose 3-2 Wed. June 11th


June 09

Renegades lose to Martellas 6-0 Monday June 9th
Just to go over this again, you CAN NOT play for any other team while you play in the AAABA. The only exceptions are to dual roster in the Cambria or Somerset Legions. If you violate this rule, you will be done in the AAABA and will hurt your team.


June 07

Renegades battle through 8 and win behind the brilliant 1 hitter from Drew Shaulis.
Renegades 1 Norac 0 Saturday June 7th
( See commentary under Just some thoughts link)


June 06

Renegades lose 3-1 to Martellas We just made it with 9 healthy players.

June 05

Renegades lose June 5th 6-2 to Delweld ( look in Just some thoughts link for commentary on this game)
Tommy Kelly has 2 broken fingers and will be out for 5 or 6 weeks. Let's show some support when we see him at the games. His bat has been hot. He's had a hit the last 5 consecutive at bats.

June 02

Renegades win 2-1 in bottom of 7th. Monday June 2nd vs. Norac

Great clutch hitting by Josh Nagle and Kyle Bowser to win it. I never saw C.J. run so fast as that last run. We never gave up and to quote the great General Stonewall Jackson " Discipline wins the Day".
We hope Tommy Kelly can come back soon from his finger injury. Great job Tommy with 3 hits tonight. Tommy Burkett had 2 hits including a triple, stolen base and RBI. Great job Ben Doak at 1st. Cole Taylor was tough as nails tonight. What a warrior. He was throwing harder in the 7th than the beginning. You guys are a joy to coach. 10 hits tonight.

May 30

May 30th Game 4 Renegades win 7-4!
I'll tell you what, I've seen a lot of teams in the past, but you guys are quickly becoming my favorite. The guts and tenacity you showed yesterday really impressed me. You guys were down well into the game and instead of rolling over, you dug down with confidence to prove who was boss and they are no match for us.

Tommy Shirleys drive and competitiveness was outstanding. He was NOT about to be beat. I admire and love that stuff. Eric Bruno comes in with that fire and absolutely lights them up. I can't wait to see him on the mound again. GREAT job by both of those guys.

Not only them, but the rest of you guys came through in the clutch and hit with 2 outs. That's what makes an elite team. When you have that much talent combined with guts and the unwillingness to quit, that's what carries a team far. I thank you guys for playing hard.

The MCS Bulldogs got their 1st win vs. Norac yesterday. We play Norac Monday at the Point at 5:45. Be there at 4:30. Wear green tops and gray pants.

May 29

May 29th. Renegades win game 3 vs. Principle Development 8-3

Great game by Jon Moore. The hitting has arrived, and what is vital is you guys are working the pitchers and counts. After all, it's all about getting on base. Great job Ben Doak, coming in and finishing things off. We are in 1st place alone, let's stay there.


May 28

Game 2 Renegades Win on terrific pitching by Greg Stewart - 5 innings of no hit ball and 8 Ks
and Drew Shaulis - 2 innings with 1 hit (a stinkin bunt) What a pitching staff.
13 runs in 2 games is great.

We are 2-0.


May 27

Congratulations! 1st Win.
Renegades 9 MCS Bulldogs 0

Tommy Shirley 7 Ks in 2 innings

Cole Taylor 5 Ks in 3 innings

All of our pitchers combined for 13 Ks and only 3 hits.

You guys are impressive!


Here we go!


What an impressive bunch of players. This is going to be a great year. I hope you guys savor this time because you're a special team. What I expect is hard, serious work from all of you because if you do that, the fun will be there. Look like the very top athletes you are and carry yourselves that way. We'll win and lose graciously. When we win, please do so with honor and be humble.
Set an example to all the young local guys that dream of playing in the AAABA someday.

Our new assistant coach, John Wentz is a very experienced player at this and the Collegiate level. You would be wise to listen and learn from him. He really knows this game, especially with position players, defense, and baserunning. You see, I'm no dummy, I surround myself with the best players and coaches. That way, I can enjoy just watching the result of my efforts. I could have watched you guys turning that double play all night. That was smooth.

I noticed you guys that just met each other are getting along, working hard, and having fun. After all, that's exactly what I want you to do. Great job. See you all tomorrow.

I want you guys to start getting into the mindset of absolute solid fundamental baseball. This team should play nothing short of perfection. We have the very best players and we don't have the luxury of lots of preparation time like scholastic teams. So, you must demand the best of yourselves and come ready to play. All of you have been playing, but you must transfer that physical and mental momentum to our team. Baseball is NOT like football where you really need to play together for a long time to gel. With this talent, I want you guys to realize what we can accomplish because some of your lives and baseball careers can depend it. You must come focused and do all the fundamentals every pitch right away. Like I said before, there are no politics on this team and the best players will play, period.


From a players perspective, I'm very easy to get along with as long as you follow a few simple rules:
You can never say the F-word. League policy- if an ump hears it, you get tossed.
If the ump hears it and doesn't know where it came from, I get tossed, (not good).
If you're going to miss or be late, let me know in advance.
If you miss for a non-approved reason, you won't play when you come back.
Pitchers CAN miss games between pitching. It's your option.
Please return my phone calls promptly.
No snuff, seeds, or gum at Point Stadium.
Don't miss signs. ( burns me)
No detrimental talk about your teammates ( that really burns me)
Pay attention while the Coaches are talking. ( that really, really burns me)
Gather all equipment after games and haul to cars.
Don't leave any garbage in dugouts, clubhouse, or bathrooms at the Point.
Always hustle on and off the field.



Rest easy knowing I've been very busy preparing everything for a great season. It'll be here before you know it.
Print the form on the Renegades gear link and tell your family and friends to order some apparel, it supports the team so you guys can get more gear.

Just some thoughts


Nothing new will be added to this web-site.

The new site is

My arm is broken with an impact ( crushed bone) fracture thanks to our own AJ's hard line drive. Don't feel bad AJ, that's what I want - line drives up the middle. I've been through worse. It looks good doesn't it?


Well, I watched you guys today and we have upgraded our team significantly. And we were really good last year. I am VERY excited and impressed. You guys are working hard and that's what this team is all about. You don't get where you want to be without it.

I watched some of our best pitchers throw this morning and God help all who face them. I was downright scared, they were throwing so hard.

Well, you guys got a lot of cuts yesterday and we got us some hitters. I'm liking the power.
Our veterans are stronger and our new guys are very impressive.

AJs line drives are smoking fast. Just ask my elbow, which I can't even move.
I just can't seem to get all of my big ass behind the L-screen.


Get your ass to jail for 15 years O.J. !! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!



You see guys, these are before and after steroids pictures. That's why we don't use them. Also note the big, fat ego head. We've seen some of those in the past, and the rumor is there will be even more big heads this year.


These are the bats I ordered for this year. Yes, I'm drooling.

.There are some stories and thoughts here not always baseball related. Especially in the off-season. During the season, I have thoughts about the games. These are just for entertainment purposes. I get a lot of good feedback about it. So enjoy laughing at my bitching about my crazy life.

You know, I'm very excited about the upcoming year. The overall talent is very strong. I don't want to make the mistake of being overconfident like we see other people do, but I do want you guys to realize what a great team this will be.

A lot of times, I count on teams being cocky and overconfident. It can be a downfall for them. I have a feeling we'll see some of that this year. Why do we play the games if you've already won everything?


The workout yesterday was very encouraging. I liked what I saw.
Our favorite Renegade Ben Doak was there and really looks great.
I really liked the eye make-up from the Halloween party the night before, Ben.
Every team must have a character like Ben on their team. Except he's one of a kind. It's great for morale.
I know it's great for my morale.


We're looking forward to seeing some of the new guys inside this weekend. It's always nice to have new blood. However, I believe that pitchers should shut it down for a while in the winter.
Most of these workouts will be for new guys hitting with wood. Take advantage of these if you can.


It's been nice talking to most of you players from last year. I had to lift my spirits some because lately I've been swamped at work and off-season stuff. I've been dealing with pure lazy,idiots at work too. I needed some baseball sanity. We're going to be very strong this coming season. We have most of you guys back and plugged the defensive hole at 3rd now that Brad is gone. We have almost all of our pitching back and added the best experienced and young pitching talent out there.
I also added some major hitting power. I can't wait to play. All that with our extremely generous sponsor and great new look. I'm loving it.


I regret to tell you guys that our own Anthony Mattei called me and told me he has to take an engineering internship next summer and can't play baseball. It felt like someone stuck a knife through my heart because he's been a rock solid shortstop and an absolute joy to coach.
I know that was an extremely hard call for him to make, but as usual, he was thinking of the team and knows it wouldn't be easy to find someone even close in talent and attitude.
He didn't want to spring it on me at the last minute like so many do, and make it even harder to replace him. We'll miss you Anthony. I appreciate the unselfishness, and you must pursue your livelihood.
I did manage to replace him and I'll soon reveal the new additions to the roster.
I don't want to tip my hand just yet, but trust me, we got us some players.

I've been real busy with off season stuff that needs to be done and am still contemplating surgery. It's not absolutely necessary right now, but it is inevitable. I just can't seem to muster the fortitude to get it done.

The good news is my new TV is working perfectly so far and my God, the playoffs look tremendous. I don't particularly want anyone to win, but I do hate Manny. He's a real hardass when he knows people are going to hold him back. That SOB can swing a bat though.
Don't you love how those pitchers are head hunting this year?
Sort of how we got thrown at this summer. Namely Tom Burkett and Zack Martin. ( Like I really didn't know).
It's all good though, I'm not a cry baby about that. I'm old school for sure.
I'll get some time in the next few days to write a couple of funny things that happened to me, so check back often.


Yippee! I got my new TV and it actually has worked for 48 hours. I guess 3 was a charm.
My back is still messed up, but a little better. I guess things are looking up.
I can't wait for more adversity, it can't be more than a week away.


I got word last night that our own Tommy Shirley is doing great at Xavier and is throwing the hardest he ever has. He hit 92 MPH several times yesterday and is consistently throwing around 90! Great work Tommy!

Sarah Palin ........ is McCain serious?
You know, I won't get into my political views too much here, but I've never seen anything like this Alaskan idiot.
McCain sold out trying a desperate attempt to win this thing. You can tell his brain cells are ancient and declining, but he's still not as dumb as this lady.
Maybe a parasite from the POW camp backwater infiltrated his brain.
There is absolutely no substance to her or her idiotic statements. She is clueless.
She actually thinks she represents the American people.
Hello .... we need someone with at least the intellect of a 6th grader.
I want to puke whenever I see the stupidity oozing out of her face and hear her retarded verbiage.
Lots of words with nothing behind them.
John McCain, you just did yourself in, you dumbass.
I don't pretend to know everything about all of the political issues like a lot of people, but I know more than most. Particularly the ones that are important to me and impact me and mine the most.
I've said it before, I don't like either candidate. I'm not wishy washy like a lot of folks that stick to a certain candidate because of abortion, gun control, or now skin color.
Or these people that just stick to party lines for no reason. There are so many people voting a certain way that will be bad for them personally and they're too stupid to know it.
For example: We all know this kind of guy that says "Yuck, yuck... You won't take my guns from me so I'm voting Republican"... even though he makes 20,000 dollars a year and has 2 brothers on welfare.
Or, ... I'm black so I automatically vote for Obama.
I think they should have selective voting, if your IQ is under 120, you get tossed into a pile and set on fire.
Who needs a democracy?
I'm just kidding.
I think both candidates are full of shit. My wife thinks I'm too cynical and maybe she's right.
So I decided to vote for whoever annoys me the least when they're spewing out their bullshit.
Let's see, I hate Obamas purple lips when he's talking, but I really hate the way you can only see McCains lower teeth when he lies.
I think I'll go with old purple lips.

I'm extremely happy with how the recruiting has gone. We are looking great and better than last year .... and we have depth. We got some hard throwers, hard hitters, and solidified our defense. I'm ready to play now.


Well, my recruiting has gone extremely well, but my personal life continues to be in the shitter.
I hurt my back and can barely move.
After my abdominal muscles were cut and moved so much, my back tries to compensate and I herniated a couple discs.
I always thought people were wimps who complained about back pain. Ha! That's what I get for making fun of them. I'll be alright in a couple weeks.
I'm glad I got almost all of my recruiting done. I just wish my stinkin new TV would get here so I can rest.


Well, this is what my day was like yesterday.
As always, I woke up in a pretty good mood. Even with the nasty cold I have.
The rest of the family is normally cranky in the morning so I make sure I'm especially obnoxious to them.
I've been having a problem with my car starting and it decided to be especially moody today.
Now, I was to travel pretty far after work the next day to sign a new player.
I was in a good mood about that so the sluggish car didn't impact me that much.
As I went down a hill and put the brakes on, the lights went out. Hmmm.... they went right back on and I had no clue what to think or do. ( As I said before, I'm a non- mechanic like the rest of the girls).
I decide to push on and get to work.
It was still pitch black that early and every time I put on the brakes, the lights went out.
About 30 people flashed their lights back at me. I think they thought I was warning them about a cop with radar or something.
About half way to work, I sneezed and spilled scalding hot coffee between the legs. I see now this is the kind of day I'll have.
Still not bothered too much. I'll roll with it.
I got to work and shut off the car. I decided to try and start it and see if it's charged up.
Guess what, dead as a doornail.
Shit, I'll deal with it somehow.
A crappy, bombarded day at work when you're sick is not fun.
So, in the middle of a hectic, overtime day, I try to line up a jump for my car, and a mechanic to look at it after work. We all know what a pain in the ass cars are.
A friend of mine at work who left 2 hours earlier, said he'd come back when I was ready.
In fact, he went out at lunchtime and tried to start it to no avail.
So, after I was done, I called him to come back.
Well, while he was on his way, I tried to start it and wouldn't you know, it started.
So, I called my buddy and told him to abort the rescue mission, I was on my own.
Meanwhile, I'm tired as hell and sick as a dog.
Please Lord, I just want to go home and drop dead.
But no, I have to stop at the garage and see how much this is going to cost me.
Now, I might have gotten up this morning in a good mood, but trust me, I'm not now.
I'm just about at the throwing shit around stage. This is the last thing I need right now.
I stopped at the garage and while the guy tests my battery, I see this queer looking guy approaching me.
Please no, I do not want to talk to no fairy right now. Just as he was about to strike up a conversation, I gave him a look like.... talk to me and die, sissy boy..... And it worked, he sort of backed away.
Mr. mechanic gave me the news, only a new battery....not so bad.... except nowhere to get it but Wal-mart. Great, more waiting when I'm about to collapse.
I took a wrong turn to get to the back entrance of Wal-mart in Latrobe and ended up 5 miles out of the way.
As you can imagine, my mood is only getting better.
I pulled into the parking lot and realize I have to keep the car running.
I guess it will safe while I go in. Who the hell wants a 96 Geo Prizm?
Although I get 33 miles a gallon. Comes handy during the 3 million miles a year I rack up for baseball.
Walking into the dept, I see the idiots that were going to work on the car moving like snails.
I think one actually had an eye in the middle of his forehead.
As I go inside, I see the only one crankier than me in the world. It's this pregnant, zit faced, trailer dweller working the counter.
I told her my car was running and what should I do. She said " I don't know, it's up to you".
Customer service my ass.
I said, I'll leave it running, I have plenty of gas.
I just wanted to get away from her, she was draining the IQ right out of me just standing next to her.
I said, just fix it and wake me up in the waiting room when it's done.
As I went in the waiting room, I noticed more misfits in there.
They all stare me down as I weaved my way to a chair. I don't care at this point, I just can't stand any more. I'll put up with the bunch in here.
I sat down and immediately see, out of my peripheral vision, an older lady staring at me.
What the hell is she looking at?
I pretended I didn't see her and closed my eyes.
Just as I drifted into my own world, I hear " are you a doctor?"
I ignored her.
Again, only louder, are you a doctor?
I looked down and remembered I had scrubs on. Does she really think everyone with scrubs is a Doctor?
I just said " no ", and that was it.
She kept staring and then asked " are you a nurse "
So in order to stop the torture, I said no, I am an ultrasound technician and I realized I just opened a can of worms.
She proceeds to tell me and about her disgusting varicose veins and how they used ultrasound on them. Lady, what makes you think I want to hear that and worse yet look at them?
Please just let my car be done so I can go home.
Just as I think I'm going to lose my mind, the guy came in and said you're all done. Yippee!
On the way home the wife calls and said, your new TV is here. I think, great, maybe today isn't so bad after all.
Then I think of the fantastic pitcher I'm going to sign tomorrow and things are looking up.
The baseball part of my life has always been lucky, even if my personal life isn't.
I unpacked my beautiful new big flat screen TV and all hookups go well.
I'm finally feeling good and relaxed watching my glorious TV for about an hour when all of a sudden CRACKLE.... then no picture!!! OH NOOOOO!!
Yes folks, (all you that know me know I am cursed....... even my cat is named Jinx) my new TV blew up after only 1 hour!
My new TV, now the 2nd one I have to send back. Why me Lord?
Somewhere down the line in my ancestry, I'm paying for the sins of the fathers.

Met a couple real nice families today. I'm really stoked about the quality recruits I got.
I am almost full and done for the winter.
As always, the players we got are all great, polite guys.

I get a lot of feedback about the little anecdotes I write here. Not being baseball season, I write on other matters sometimes. You guys seem to enjoy it. I'll get real busy at it in the weeks to come.

My new TV will be here tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.
After much raising of my voice to Swami Bakti Pada ( that's someone who doesn't understand English, by the way), taking years off of my life, a much lighter wallet, dealing with the idiots at DHL, and multiple arguments with the wife, this TV better damn well be worth it.

I finally have 2 days in a row off. Not that I don't have things to do.
Figures I'm pretty sick with a nasty cold and don't feel like doing much.
Well, I got my new TV and it sucked.
Somehow it wasn't the one I was expecting. Don't ask me how that happened.
I was very unhappy with it. It took too long to be delivered.
Some butchey kind of he-woman delivered it, but that's another story.
The wife and kids thought I was nuts sending it back, but I'm telling you that picture and color wasn't all that.
I do know a little about resolution and frame rates because that's my job, to get good images on LCD screens or I'll miss something.
So back to talking to non-Americans. That lasted 2 seconds.
I called the American salesman back and am currently awaiting my new one. The correct model this time.
So here I am, sick, with football to watch, and a tiny TV.
The wife said, " I don't care if you hate this one, it's staying"
I just said " yes dear", like the rest of you guys.

Back to baseball, I just signed 2 top notch recruits to be revealed later.
Believe me, we are looking great.
Pitching, defense, and great hitting. All areas are looking great.
The new tee-shirt logo is on the home page.
They will be done this week, and the uniforms shortly after that.
You guys are going to look great this year.
I see our new recruits are leading their teams in all areas in fall ball and the rest look fantastic in their intrasquad games.
I'll be all done preparing for next year soon.
All of my work is done in the off-season.
I'll keep everyone updated.

What great looking kids I have.


I've been busy getting things aligned for next year like recruiting, watching fall ball games, ordering our unis and other gear. I haven't been writing here but, I will have more time in the upcoming weeks.

I've decided to stay at the new job. I hope it was the right choice, because I pissed off some people at the new place.
I saw a potential to be working late, sometimes until 8 o'clock, so I turned it down.
They accommodated me at my current job, so here I stay.

I pretty much hate people. That's ironic, because dealing with people is pretty much my life. Between coaching and working with sick people every day, I'm always dealing with people. Somehow, that's different to me. I'm always kind to my patients and always seem to have the patience for them, so that doesn't count. The same goes for my players. That's because I'm having fun at baseball.
But everyone else could disappear off the face of the earth and I would be happy. Maybe I'm getting old or maybe that's an excuse because I'm just nasty, but I always seem to get annoyed with people on a daily basis.
For example:
My TV took a major nosedive so I had to break down and buy one. I've been very busy lately so I figure I'll buy one online that was on sale. Now, this a fairly nice 42" LCD TV, so it wasn't cheap. The one I liked was actually 300.00 bucks off. That sounds like me. I figured they would bring it right to my door, so I don't have to pick it up and unload it, blah, blah, blah.
I can set it up myself..... who needs those experts at setting up new TVs? Ha.
So the wife orders it, and they take our money easily but don't send us a tracking number for 3 days.
I'm getting a little miffed, so we call the salesman back and we somehow get a non-American type that can't speak English.
At first, we think he might have the towel wrapped too tight around his misshapen skull, and couldn't hear us.
But it turns out, he just doesn't quite grasp the language.
Maybe you didn't know this, but English isn't the primary language in frickin India.
Isn't it amazing when they want to sell you something ............. you guessed it, you get an American.
Isn't that convenient?
I hung up the phone in the middle of the garbled up gibberish that this freak was speaking.
After several attempts, I managed to talk to an English speaking guy.
Where is my #%$^* TV , or at least, my tracking number?
It turns out they shipped it via skateboard or some economy dirigible.
Not UPS or Fed-Ex.
So I blame the wife as usual, and have to wait another 4 stinkin days to view my new 42 inches of digital, high definition bliss.
Patience, Mr. Black, patience.

I want to thank Chris Pfeil from Martellas for his donation to the Heart Association drive I'm doing at work.
He really takes care of me and my team equipment needs. He puts in a lot of time doing so.
I encourage anyone needing any sports related gear to go see him at Sporting Goods Discounters. ..

My daughter is embarrassed to be seen with me in public.
Not because she's a teenager, but because I'm worse than a little kid at times.
We went out to dinner at a nice quiet Italian place when I shot my straw cover at her.
My son is 17 and just shakes his head ( he's more mature than me).
I did it at a strategic time when my wife wasn't looking. ( She would just say " how old are you?")
My daughter acted appalled.
Wouldn't you know that thing floated over to the next table and landed right next to the ladies leg.
Well, I looked up feeling like the idiot that I am and the wrinkled old ladies wrinkled old husband was giving me a look like I killed the Pope.
I was going to laugh at first but that old guy was staring me down.
I got pretty pissed and gazed back at him letting him know through my eyes that I don't discriminate against smacking old men, Mike Tyson, Nuns, or puppies.
He turned his head pretty quick.
From that point on he clicked his false teeth every time he chewed, like 30 million times.
It went through my head like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Then he started slurping his spaghetti.
I don't know why everything was magnified today, but it was. I think the job decision has my central nervous system on high alert.
I kept looking at him with the intention of turning away just as he saw me, just to let him know I was looking at him.
I was hoping to make him uncomfortable enough to leave sooner.
The next thing I know he got up and went to the counter and came back with boxes and packed the remaining dinner up and off they went.
Ahhh, peace at last with the family.
Oh, by the way, my daughter acted appalled but I know better. I saw her smiling under it all and I thank God she and my son still like to go out with their immature Dad.

Still haven't made my final decision with the job, but I will after I talk with the Administrator on Wed. Gotta think about a lot of things, including freedom for baseball.
Oh God, what do I do?


I have the vast majority of our team set for next year already and I'm glad, because I've been very busy at work.
I've been struggling with a decision to go for a new job offer.
They are making it hard to turn down.
Let's see, I would make more money.
I have more flexibility.
The driving is about the same except I use their car and gas.
I get a nice new laptop machine for my exams. ( That is huge because I don't have to push that 500 pound machine around and risk derailing my surgeries, which I have a 35 lb. push, pull, or lift restriction for life).
There is a definite place for me to advance my career.

Now for the cons:
Not a new company, in fact they've been around for years all over the country and are huge.
But, they are new to my area of expertise. They are serious about expanding and have sunk megabucks into it already.
I can control the expansion to some degree only.
But, on the other hand, the hospital is in disarray since the buyout, and I don't like where I'm going to end up there.
I know I won't have the job I want.
I surely don't want to be on call again. That will kill me come baseball season, so I can't do that.
Decisions, Decisions.

So, there is a new team coming to the League this year.
They are called Roxberry Creamery.
The owner seems like a real nice guy.
They are having tryouts on Sat. , Sept. 13th at 1:00 at Roxbury if you know of any new guys interested in playing for a new team.
Good luck, that 1st year is tough on everyone.

In trouble again;
Me and my non-observant self got into hot water with the wife again.
We were all in Wal-mart getting some of the toiletries that all of us humans use, when I noticed my daughter was looking at hair coloring items.
I make some funny comment to her about hair coloring having a directly proportional relationship to an I.Q. drop.
All of a sudden, I see my wife not looking very happy.
At the same time, my daughter is pointing at her head.
Me, in my catatonic state, didn't get what my daughter was trying to tell me.
My wife finally says to my daughter, " he wouldn't notice an elephant sitting on his head"
I'm thinking, what did I do now?
After an eternity, my daughter said, " you didn't notice Mom colored her hair 3 days ago".
I ask you my friends, how do you get out of that one?
Well, in my defense, and nobody knows this more than my wife, that I truly don't notice anything.
My wife bought me a new computer last Christmas.
I came home unexpectedly before she could hide it, and went right in the room where that big giant box was, got changed, and never saw it.
She got rid of a big table in the living room 2 years ago, and the other day I asked, "where is the table?"
My kids think I'm truly nuts. They just couldn't believe I just noticed it was gone.
So you see, it's some inherent deficiency I have. Not my fault, right?
So, am I off the hook?


Hello again Renegades friends. I've been very occupied lately and haven't had a chance to write.
But fear not, I've got many things happening, and hence, many ideas.
Some are baseball related and some are not.
Being that it's post season, most of my anecdotes will be of a non-baseball nature.

I'm very pleased with our new recruits. I won't reveal all of them yet, but rest assured, I've added some meat.

Most of the guys are back to College and I wish them well with their studies. After all, it is the future for most of you. Remember..... Study + Grades = Success.

I took a few days off and spent them with the family and as you might imagine with me, it was eventful.
My good friend and his wife, Dave and Vickie Tataliba won free tickets to Hershey Park.
They couldn't fit it into their schedule so were kind enough to give them to me.
I jumped on it because we needed a place to go for a couple days and it saved me 120.00 plus dollars. Sounds like a plan.
Well, I guess everyone in the State decided to go to Hershey the weekend before School because we could not find a Hotel within 167 miles of the Park.
I don't know if I'm getting old or what, but I do not feel like driving far after a busy day in an amusement park.
So we move on to plan B, only there is no plan B.
See, this is a AAABA coaches summer life.
Nobody could agree on where to go so we just decided to do some things in and around Pittsburgh. My home.
Kennywood was 1st.
That is always agreeable to us because we're from Pittsburgh and at one time we lived within walking distance of Kennywood. You see, I don't feel comfortable unless I'm walking through metal detectors.
As we walk through the gate, they search my wifes purse as my daughter and son both set off the metal detectors.
Ahhh, home sweet home.

While entering the park, I ask the wife if She found out what special Kennywood day it was, because I happened to notice some undesirables entering the park too.
You see, Kennywood is not Idlewild. There are some days with certain groups that never make it by the metal detectors. I've made that mistake before and was lucky to get out with my wallet and my date. Although, I could have used her as a bargaining chip had I needed to escape with my life.
So my wife said " we're safe, it's Scottish Day"
I said great, thinking to myself, Christ, I have to look at sissies in skirts all day. I think I'd rather deal with the crackheads and welfare recipients.
So be it, I'll make the best of it.
We stroll around the park a little and immediately there were 4 different opinions on what to do 1st.
Mine always seems to involve the bathroom. You're just never the same after they cut and splice your intestine.
So my patient family waits for yet another trip to the can and we move on.
We do the normal Kennywood things like wait in line for 2 hours when after 45 minutes in line for the new ride, my son spots an undesirable cutting into the front of the line and timed it just right to enter the new ride and very few people notice.
Keep in mind it was very hot, we waited forever in line, I had a major bellyache and this creep is cutting in front of 70 people. I think they were crackheads, ........ I know for a fact they weren't Scottish.
Well, I noticed he put a full drink off to the side and I would bet the farm he would return for that after the ride. Those drinks are like 18 bucks, but he probably stole the money to buy it anyway.
Wouldn't that be a shame if someone spit in that drink? I wonder if anyone did?
Who would reduce themselves to such low tactics?
No, I know what you're thinking. I didn't, but I wanted to.
But I did knock it over when I got up to it. What a juvenile I am.
Better than knocking him over like I wanted to.
Things went pretty well until we were leaving.
We went up the ski-lift to the above parking lot and right in the middle the lift stopped dead for what seemed like an eternity.
Now that's not a big deal, but I'm extremely claustrophobic, and although it's high, I'm more bothered by the fact that it's got me locked in and stuck up there.
I'll walk in any bar in Wilkinsburg or Harlem with no fear but don't get me stuck in anything. I'll kill somebody to get out.
Well Mr. big 280 lb. daddy has to be brave, but meanwhile my fingernails were embedded in the chair.
My daughter asks " what would happen if we fall out?"
Being the great calm, reassuring Dad I am I say " We would be DEAD" No question about it we are toast, no chance of survival. We'll all be pizza. After all, we were 80 feet up.
My kids just shake their heads and realize this is a typical statement from their Dad.
It sort of broke the tension.
Well, shortly after we started moving only to move on to another adventure tomorrow.

Well, big news. We are now the Berkley Hills Renegades.
I, for one, love that name. It has a great ring to it.
Dr. Kastelic has made a very kind and generous offer and long term committment.
He is a huge baseball fan and advocate. This speaks volumes about him.
I met with him and his wife the other day and they were very kind.
I look forward to a great run in the future.

We will be changing our colors to red,white, and black.
We will have multiple combinations of these colors exactly like the Cincinnati Reds.

"The Notebook"
My wife asked me yesterday to watch a movie with her since we haven't done that in ages.
I immediately know I'm in big trouble.
For one, this has to be a movie only a chick or a sissy would watch.
Now, you understand I am doomed here.
This is a no-win situation for me.
And it was all done with one carefully planned question.
If I say no, I'm in trouble.
Even worse, if I say yes, I know what's coming.
So I ask, what's it about? Knowing damn well it's a girly movie.
Doesn't she know by now that if there's no sports, killing, dismembering, shooting, mafiosos, or bloodshed, I want no parts of it.
Damnit, I guess I'm stuck.
So I start acting like a puma pushed into a corner.
There is NO WAY I'm going to be able to compete with whatever dude is in this movie.
For one, it's a lock that he's better looking than me.
Two, he's going to be more creative than me.
Three, he's definitely more romantic than me.
Above all, this is a movie - there's nobody like this on earth. Only in your mind.
So here we go, I strategically place myself so I can see her in my peripheral vision to anticipate the BIG statement that surely will come. I went through this in 2005.
Now, some of you poor bastards probably have gone through this too, so you know where I'm coming from.
This guy keeps doing one girls dream gesture after another.
He even restored an 18th century mansion with his bare hands because he promised this chick he would.
How can we compete with that?
I can't even paint the front door without streaks myself. And that's after 2 weeks of yelling at me to do it.
I'm really feeling inadequate for hours waiting for the torture to end.
This was one long movie. I keep waiting....waiting....waiting.
So finally it comes ....... the big statement -
" You used to be like that "
I don't think so. But I was probably closer than I am today 20 years later.
I guess I can watch one movie, after all, she sat through a 35 game season this summer.

Tom Burkett single-handedly saved Delweld from elimination tonight. They won 6-5 and Tommy had a 2 run triple, scored another run, and had 2 home runs over the left field screen. WOW! The 2nd one not only cleared the screen, but cleared the street behind the stadium.
We all know that dude is special and I'm glad he had a great game in front of all those scouts.
They faced elimination tonight and a Renegade saved Delweld tonight.
Great job, Tommy.

I have a pool in my yard that sort of got neglected the beginning of the summer due to - you guessed it - baseball.
Well, I heard a million times " when are you going to get the pool ready? "
So, finally, somewhere around the end of June, in a huff, I started getting everything up and running only to discover multiple problems with the pump, the PH balance, the ladder, the liner, the hoses, the clamps, ....... you get the picture.
I don't have time for this crap - I certainly don't know how to fix anything.
( I'm the biggest non-mechanic that ever lived.)
The first day I start messing with this thing, I got swarmed with wasps that made multiple homesteads and populated the pool area.
If that's one thing that I hate it's bees.
Come to think of it, I hate spiders more.
Oh, and I really hate clowns.
My wife asked me, how on earth can you hate clowns?
I don't really know, but I've had nightmares about clowns since I was a young kid.
My theory is maybe it's because clowns represent happiness, and I'm content to be miserable.
So I manage after many unnecessary hours and dollars, to get the pump to limp along sort of how I walk.
I finally say, "the pools ready, jump in"
Well, of course, nobody wanted to go in that day and as of this moment, my son and daughter have been in it twice ...... twice!
Only if I would have known.

Congratulations to Eric Bruno who received his Pete Vuckovich award at the opening ceremonies.

I saw Tommy Burkett last night. It's a little weird seeing him in that uniform, but he looked good.

I got a great compliment today. I consider this one of the best things anyone has ever said to me.
I don't mean to embarrass our own Tom Burkett and family but they said this is the most fun he has ever had playing baseball.
That means I've done my job.
Thanks guys, that means more than you know.

The picnic was good. The weather held out for us. We had a great turnout.
Thanks to everyone for the great food and driving that far.
As I watched these players interact, I was silently pleased and happy.
The relationships and friendship they developed in such a short time with each other and myself is priceless.
Just 4 months ago, some of these guys never met. But you would never know it.
We do a good thing here. It's something we'll remember for a long time.
I'm sad to see all of the older guys go.
C.J. McCoy
Brad Dale
Josh Nagle
Tommy Kelly
Eric Bruno
Zack Martin

They have really given me a lot of great memories and I will miss them.

We have a couple top new recruits that have committed. It's looking very very good.

I've been scurrying around recruiting the best players possible.
We don't need too many as we have most of the team returning.
I'm very happy so far.
It's funny because the better teams are all after the same players and it's kind of fun.
I actually really like one of the other coaches, and we talk and laugh about it and try to out-maneuver each other. I like that kind of above board competition.
You'll never hear me bad mouth this kind of guy.
In fact, if I don't get someone, I hope he does.
Anyway, in the middle of a conversation last night, ( this was a very important call with a top recruit), my power went out.
Now, I had 50 million stats and notes in front of me to assist my aging and weakening brain, when all of a sudden, total blackness.
Since I was stupid enough to build a house in the middle of the rainforest, everything in my house is electric.
That means well water and sewage pump, ( so we can't get showers, or flush the crapper).
Of course the usual, no lights ( and it's pitch black in the amazon), no air conditioning, and God forbid, no TV or computer with my space, facebook, or whatever the kids get on.
As I scramble around in the dark for a candle with no matches or a flashlight with no batteries, I smash my toe on the door jamb. Ouch $#%^!
Now I' ve been through some major surgeries and consider myself a pain veteran.
I have scars longer than I-95, but that toe thing still hurts.
We manage to scrape together some miniscule lighting, and I think hey, we are forced to have some quality family time here, just like Little House on the Prairie days.
So we all sit there in the living room hovering around this dimly flickering candle, and everyone is silently thinking the same thing - what the hell are we going to do , stare at each other?
Things start to get a little tense because it's not easy keeping 2 teenagers entertained without modern conveniences. They are bored stiff.
At first, because we have nothing but dialog, everything wrong in the universe is somehow my fault.
Especially the bored part, because for 2 years in a row, I spent every spare moment on baseball.
And a good bit of cash.
Hmmm, they do have a very good point there.
With team costs over and above sponsor money, and gas for 10,000,000 miles to games and scouting from way down where I work, it translates into all my vacation money even if I had the time.
So, my daughter says what's been unsaid, but is what all of us were thinking, what is up with this no vacation again?
Last year when she went back to school, they were asked to write about "what they did this summer". She informed me she had to lie and write about our vacation 3 years ago.
Total heartbreak.
Oh no, they feel worse than I thought, but were too polite and worried about my feelings to say anything.
I knew they felt neglected, but I should have realized how much.
What a great bunch.
We had a successful season, but not a successful family summer.
Wait, there's still time.
I have to try and salvage this summer.
I don't care what I have to do to get off work or whatever, ( because I used a lot of time to get to games), but we're doing something next week..
After surrendering and accepting the fact that we had no lights and were forced together, we have a great time shining flashlights in each others eyes and laughing at my stupid jokes.
So, as one light went out, another, much brighter one went on.

Our own Ben Doak is coming to the picnic. It just wouldn't be the same without him.

As you guys see, some days I'm very nice and solemn, some days I'm sort of blah, some days I'm happy, and some days I'm very insulting to those that have done me, my family, or my players wrong.
When I change moods, I always wear it on my sleeve.
I do manage to keep my temper under control, though.
Nothing like the old days, right Mom and Dad?
All of the Black's have nasty tempers.
I only lost my temper once this year, and it didn't last long.
Oh wait, make that twice.
I always feel bad after I yell at someone.
One of our players said the f-word and an umpire heard it.
The ump didn't know who said it but would toss him if he knew.
I couldn't afford to lose that player and he walked away from me when I tried to explain that to him. Well, I yelled and about 30 seconds after I felt bad cause I love this kid.
He took it like a man.
The other time was when I called an umpire a midget.
That's not too bad considering some of the other managers should seriously go to anger management.
Somehow, yelling on the ball field to me is different than yelling at that same person in an alley.
I think some people yell to hear themselves.
Anyway, I had an uncomfortable night's sleep and had to get up early for work.
Usually I'm very happy and joking in the morning, and my wife doesn't want to look at me. She even hates the very fact that I'm happy in the morning.
But today, I woke up like a wolverine, after a bad night.
I grumble into the car and on the way out I see there's no gas in the car.
I peel tire back up the drive and go to get my other car.
As I'm walking up to the car, I notice the sticker on the plate is expired!
What the %^*& ?
I vaguely remember a couple months ago, in the middle of baseball season, I got the renewal.
Well, of course, I forgot.
I'm very scatterbrained.
My last surgery was 6.5 hours long and I swear my memory was never the same after that.
So, I get back in the car and go to the gas station and some punk cuts me off.
I pause a minute and pray for God to help this punk because I may be a little disabled, but I have some serious short bursts in me that would result in some significant E.R time for him.
I get out of the car trying to be an adult and not give him my big, long middle finger and I see he's not looking at me.
Good for both of us.
Ten seconds go by and I realize I don't have my debit card.
At this point, I rattled off more cuss words beginning with mother than I thought I knew.
What do I do now?
Aha, I brought some lunch money. 7 bucks.
That'll get me to and from work and I'll sneak in the Doctors lounge and steal my lunch.
That sounds like a plan.
I manage to get to work with an attitude and 3 nanoseconds to spare.
I don't know why, but I think sometimes people like to be in a bad mood -- that was me this morning until about 9:30.
It's time to turn an about face in my mood for my work.
I get a patient about then - a sweet very old lady with dementia. ( severe memory problems)
I can tell you this because there are no names.
She started talking to me. She was telling me where she was from and some other small talk and I noticed she was repeating herself a little.
Just as she started talking about her husband of 65 years, she couldn't remember his name.
She tried for 30 minutes during her test and couldn't remember her husband's name of 65 years.
I tried to comfort her but she knew she couldn't remember it and it killed her.
So, as I was looking through her chart, I noticed the nurse wrote her husbands name on it with a note that said - Mrs. ......... keeps forgetting her husbands name and that causes her much guilt.
I told her his name and she was so happy only to forget it 5 minutes later.

Well, of course this poor old lady reminded me that my stupid unfounded bad mood is easily corrected and all of us have bad moods that are unnecessary.
At least now, we can control it and enjoy our happiness while we have it and can remember it.

Well, I got some top notch commitments for next year. Now is the time.
I want to be done as soon as possible so everythings set.
We have a lot of you guys coming back next year.
I have some real surprises.
The goal is to get better every year.
Oh, by the way, if the saboteurs that screwed the Renegades this year think about it again, they will turn me into critical mass. ( Oops, I forgot, they will probably have to look that one up)

This is what eventually happens to your head when you think you know everything about baseball.
I wouldn't want to be around when this thing blows, there will be ego everywhere.

I'm definitely in baseball withdrawal, but I must admit, it's nice cutting down the driving time and seeing my family more.
As you guys know, this is one hell of a commitment, and we share that.

Our team and especially this last game reminded me of a real tough kid that lived down the street from me.
His name was Harshman.
He used to get the shit beat out of him constantly.
But he always - always got up.
This kid would have swollen eyes and a bloody mouth, yet he would get up and challenge this group of bully's in the playground.
We used to watch and yell, Harshman, STAY DOWN.
But no, this maniac kept getting up time after time.
They used to take turns knocking this kid down.
Now, the group of bully's weren't especially tough with people their own age, just with younger guys like Harshman.
They would pin him down and take his shoes to slow him down in the gravel.
Well, old Harshman hated the bully's tactics because the bully's grew up in Duquesne and had many friends and tricks up their sleeves to get the edge on him.
They were very obnoxious and annoying to everyone.
Harshman was literally the new kid on the block and younger.
Well, the bully's were barely beating Harshman as the summer went on, but old Harshman kept getting up with his bloody teeth smiling, knowing one day soon their day would come.
You see, Harshman hated bully's and knew they weren't much on a level playing field.
After 1 short winter, Harshman grew to 6'2" with a linebackers build.
And well, you know the rest of that story.

I want to give a special thanks to Dave and John, my dedicated coaches who gave up their time with their families to help this team every game.
That was an incredible help to me personally and enabled you guys to play baseball on this great team.
Thanks for your unselfishness.
Thanks to big Merle for his help.

Friends and Renegades, our terrific season has come to an end.
Oh, but this is just the beginning of a dynasty.
I'm not, and I encourage you not to feel so bad about losing.
We will lose with grace and like men and wish Delweld the best of luck.
I'm not even going to talk about the game.
Don't take years off your life thinking what if this happened or that didn't happen.
That's an easy trap to fall into.
I'm more sad about the end of the season itself.
Savor these days, cause they pass quickly.

I really am proud of you guys and your families. I've never met a better group of people.
The support we got right after the game from the families was priceless to me.
For those not returning, I will miss you and I enjoyed having you play for me.
In the days to come, I'm going to write something about each of my players and how I have seen them.

We sure gave them a run in only our 2nd year thanks to you.
It was a joy spending my time with you and watching you play.
I thank all of you guys for giving me the opportunity to do that.

I'll keep writing on here also for my own relaxation.

Attention to all that choose to read this site that aren't Renegades or Renegades fans:

It's obvious there are many who look at this web-site for various reasons, and you are more than welcome. That is your right. Just as it is my right to write it.
However, keep in mind, this is a site for Renegades and fans. Things said here might offend some of you and that's the risk you take if you decide to do so.
Everything here is meant to be a joke and a way to lift morale for my team.
If it offends a friend, it's not meant to, and I'm truly sorry.
It is not meant to instigate any problems.
If it bothers you, simply don't read it.
Life is too short and other things are more important to let me get to you.
What prompts my insults are that some very nasty and sneaky things have been said and done to my players , to myself, and coaches.
Should that be OK and tolerated and what I say isn't?
I'm only counter punching.
Sticks and stones.

I talked to multiple people of authority and the big mouth idiots will be thrown out of the stadium if they harass people again. The police will be called by the powers that be.
Who wants to pay money to see a great game and listen to that crap.
What will come of this league and stadium when people don't want to return?
That is hitting below the belt in everyones opinion, not just mine.
We just want to play ball like men and above board.
I see they have desecrated Renegades shirts. Thanks for giving them the shirts Mike.
Why would you waste good, hard earned Welfare money on another teams shirt?



Sat. July 26th Game 2 Semi-finals
Renegades win 7-6 in 13 innings

What a battle - what a GREAT job and fight by everyone. That's exactly what I've been telling you you're made of. Guts.
Brad Dale is my hero. I want him to run for President because I don't like either candidate.
He just shut them down on pure drive and guts. When he's fired up like that, his talent takes over. It was fun to watch. He had 3 hits too.
Mattei's catch was a real game breaker. Great play and clutch hitting. You should feel good Anthony.
Nagles 2 hits went a total of 780 feet. Great hitting.
Shirleys and Stewarts tenacity
Manarelli's rocket arm
Kelly's huge catch
Cole's stick and flawless 1st base
Docks and Bowsers speed was huge today.
Zack's great catches today
CJ's throw out and mere presence helps us win, he doesn't even have to do anything
Everyone contributed and you guys refused to give it up.
You realize we can take this thing.
It's up to us and only us.


Friday July 25th- 1st playoff game
Well, that was painful.
Just about everything went their way in this game. Sometimes that happens.
Now, I give them credit for hitting the ball making the plays, you can't take that away from them.
But other things are involved here, much of which is under the surface.
They didn't get a healthy Eric Bruno. We all know he wasn't the Eric Bruno we know from all year.
This stuff happens, we move on and go to game 2.
They will be overconfident in the next game and that will work to our advantage.
They'll get Tom Shirley, they've never seen anything like that.
We'll bounce back like we've done this year and even it up.

Now, here is my commentary and opinion on some of the peripherals of the game.
Let me first say this is not directed at the players, coaches, wives, children, and parents of the other team. They're a great bunch of guys and good players.
It is great to have support and loud support for your team.
They're not who I'm talking about.
We all know who this small group of idiots is I'm talking about.
I shouldn't even give these genetic mutations the time of day, but I tend to say what everyone is thinking and wants to say.
As a coach, I have to tell my players to ignore hecklers of sub-human intelligence. That is what we must do. That's a given.
Yes, I know there are worse hecklers at higher levels and these guys should learn to deal with it, blah, blah, blah. And they do. But that doesn't mean we condone it.
Not in a small venue like this. It's classless. It's bush.
We should not let them get to us ever. And during the game, you guys are great at ignoring them.
We have to just play ball.
That doesn't mean we have to like it.

Remember, this is a blog of opinions and is separate from on-field actions and tactics.
So here goes,
I don't know who these geniuses are, and I don't care, but they bring a level of classlessness with them.
I had a close look into their faces and saw an abyss in there eyes.
Their faces screamed of stupidity.
The collective IQ of the people in the stadium drops when these guys walk in.
I'm almost 50 yrs. old and I've seen my share of these morons, and it always amazes me what these guys do. What's more amazing is how it's tolerated.
All my players and the rest of the teams think it's bush. And it is.
That fact that it is tolerated speaks volumes about you.
I would have to put a stop to that if they were behind my team.
But that's just me. Oh, wait, it's not just me. It's every other team and fan, too.
What real men you are, hiding in numbers and trying to win that way.

Oh, if you don't like what I'm writing here, get the %^&* off my web-site - don't you have anything better to do?


We are a very, very good team. This doesn't happen too often, so let's do it right and play our best. You are making memories.
Some of my best as a player are from the simple things.
Smelling pine tar-
Taping bats-
Oiling my glove-
The old white sanitary socks we used to wear-
Never finding a pitching toe that fit my huge feet-
My old teammates-
The pranks we pulled on each other-
Feeling the ball hit the sweet spot as it flies off-
My favorite coach who is now passed-
My favorite umpire-
Smelling grass, dirt, and lime-
The crowd screaming,
Making friends from another team -

You see, there is an endless list and it will be different for each of you, but just as important.
What you don't see on this list is anything about winning or losing.
I don't think this is " just a game".
It's so much more, it's a wonderful life experience that turns men into boys, and turns boys into men.

Rabid Bat!
This is a funny thing that happened yesterday before the game.
Getting stuck at the end of the day at work for me is almost an everyday thing.
This is because Doctors put orders for me on charts during the day, then people are supposed to let me know shortly after it happens so I can get their test done. Well, if it happens that way it's all fine and good.
But normally, they suddenly realize just before I go home and then they hurry and notify me just before I leave.
Well, I can't in good conscience leave it until tomorrow just in case it's something bad.
No matter how much I kid around, I wouldn't be able to live with myself or sleep.
So, off I go cussing about, thinking how fast I have to drive to make it to the game.
How long will my luck hold out with the cops?
I like late games for that reason. Yesterday, I figure I'll be able to stop at home and change instead of changing in the car, (as I'm driving by the way). Yippee!
Last week, a lady in a truck next to me saw my half naked fat ass and she must have thought I was a pervert. I hurried up and put my hat on hoping she would know what I was doing.

So, as I was coming down my driveway after work yesterday, I realize for once I had some extra time.
I went into the house and my son, Mason, informs me there's a rabid bat divebombing their heads in the bright sunlight. I think, yea right, you just want to get out of cutting the grass.
So I ask the wife and daughter, and they said yep, we're not going out there, that bat's nuts. Go get him, man of the house.
I think, why me Lord, what the hell can you do to get rid of a rabid, freaking out bat?
There goes my extra time.
All of a sudden it hits me, a SHOTGUN! I'm a pretty good shot.
I keep one handy from my days in Duquesne.
Gathering up the nerve, I walk outside and instantly see this freaked out bat in bright sunlight, with foam spewing out of his mouth ( not really, I embellished that part ), flying in and out of my garage, and all around the yard a million miles an hour.
He made 50,000 zig-zags per second.
How am I going to hit this thing?
Here I go, like Elmer Fudd, trying to get a bead on this thing realizing I'm either going to shoot my garage , my pool, myself or my neighbor by the way I'm waving around this gun.
All of a sudden, this thing comes at me with more evil than the IRS.
I screamed like a little sissy and look around to make sure nobody heard me.
Now I'm pissed and determined to kill this little crazy, rabid freak of nature.
I watch and watch this thing in the bright sunlight go back and forth, back and forth in a craze.
Little bat , you're dead, how dare you threaten my family.
In an instant, I see my mark and see him headed for a safe zone and BANG, powdered rabid bat juice.
Now, I live in a very secluded area that's tolerant of shotgun blasts in mid-afternoon, unlike Duquesne, where they happen at night.
And as I watched Tommy Shirley pitch last night, I realized that bat was easier to hit than him.


Tues. July 21st Renegades win 2-1 over Martellas

Great pitching by all pitchers
Tom Shirley no hits and 5 Ks in 3 innings - He is playoff ready Yeehaa
Greg Stewart pitched 2 innings - no hits
Kyle Bowser closed it for the final 2 innings

My man Josh Campanella had to bust up the combined no-no. Gotta love that dude.

I don't know who is banged up more, Kyle or Zack. Those guys get beat more than a rented mule. Sweet play by Zack at first on the glove feed. He plays great wherever you put him.

Brad Dale was outstanding at 3rd. I can't say it enough.

Great defense today. Mattei is awesome.

I'll say it again, I love playing those guys , win or lose. It's fun hard baseball the way it's supposed to be. No crap, no distractions, tons of fun, and class act, winning or losing. Props to them for 1st place.

OK, here it is. We have Delweld in the 1st round of the playoffs.
I'm very excited, this is going to be fun and a great playoff series by all 4 teams involved. After all, this is what it's all about.
After a poor ending yesterday by us, the good thing is we know what we can do, and I know you guys will do it come crunch time.
They are a good team as we have seen and we can't play around with them.
It really is going to boil down to who wants it more. We must play up to our level, not make mistakes, and we will win in a series.



To everybody that is reading this, especially non team members:

All of the things that are put on here are meant to be in jest. Sometimes I can go a little over the top and really offend somebody. I even managed to piss off my wife in last weeks entry about her hitting a sign with my new Pathfinder.
I usually find a way to put my foot in my mouth.
In the other days entry about the inverse square law, the wrong people thought it was pointed at them, and were hurt by it. Sorry about that guys. Don't take anything personally.
The point of that offensive entry was to not let outside distractions take you out of focus.
Neither team should get distracted by what goes on outside of the diamond, including what's said here. It only hurts your game.

This web-site is meant to be an outlet and a way to entertain the Renegades and our fans, it's not always baseball related.
You can see by the number of hits it's amusing a lot of people.
I respect all of these teams up here and think some are very good.
Hopefully, they can get a laugh out of it too.


Do we all remember the guy doing home plate this last game?
I haven't seen someone so inconsistent in years. You know they're bad when both sides shake their heads on the same call.
I was watching a pony game 2 weeks ago and the ump was 10 times better than that guy.
We won that game and I'm still compelled to bitch a little.
My pitcher should have thrown 20 less pitches.
He really should retire and just watch games if he wants to stay near the game.
I saw his false teeth fly out of his mouth and into his mask on the one call.
We all don't expect these guys to be perfect, but this guy missed way too many.
Too many on both sides.


Not to embarrass him, but this is one of my absolute favorite players I've ever coached.
He drives very far.
He always lets me know what he's doing.
He listens to everything we say.
He always calls me back.
He gives it his all and is super talented.
He's always positive and encourages his teammates.
He comes to games just for support knowing he isn't going to play.
Well, yesterday, he had a nice baseball experience, and I was very happy for him.

These might have been some of the thoughts going through his mind in yesterdays game.
See if you can figure out who it is.

- As he is driving in he thinks, man, this drive is a killer, and expensive. But I really love baseball and I want to be there on a Friday night even if I don't play.

- Wow, my arm is still a bit sore and tight. I hope coach doesn't want to pitch me, but I will if he asks.

- As he approaches the field, he sees a couple flashes of green and white and he gets a feeling of excitement, comradery, and belonging.

- Now, as he walks across the field and into the dugout, he smells the grass and dust. He gets a feeling that he first felt as a little leaguer. This is something you can't feel if you've never played.

- He hears the first wisecrack from Burkett, and remembers this is just one of many reasons for making this long drive.

- Out of the corner of his eye, he catches Zack taking practice cuts and realizes, that's why he is so good.

- Changing into his spikes, which he has done a million times, thinks, I hope we win today. I wish I could help that happen.

- He sees Coach Black coming toward him saying, " how about being DH today?"
He feels happy and thinks, ya I can contribute, and immediately grabs a bat to warm up. ( You see, Coach has seen him in the past and knows what kind of great hitter he was, even though he's a pitcher now.)

- He feels grateful and happy about being a pitcher, but there's nothing quite like feeling the crack of the bat in your hands.

- Stepping up to the plate, he realizes it's a pretty tight game so far. He looks around at 2 guys on base, and thinks if I put the ball in play, we get a run or maybe 2.
Seeing the pitch coming to the outside part of the plate, his talent from all the years playing baseball automatically takes over and allows him to let that outside pitch get just a little deeper so he can use his power to the opposite field.

- Bang, ahhh, what a great feeling in my hands. What a great sight watching that ball sail over the fence. What a great thing to hear my teammates yell and pound me on the back.
And look at the smiles on everybodys faces.
Yes, that's why I make that drive.
Thanks Greg Stewart.

As you guys have gotten to know me, you see I love baseball and the nostalgia associated with it.
I'm not the greatest coach by any means, and God knows I make my share of mistakes, but nobody loves the game and cares about their players more.
I've been through too much adversity and I try not to get too damn serious about it, while still working hard, playing your very best, and having fun. I think that atmosphere is the best for a player, and has been a winning philosophy for me. My teams always do well.

23-9 for a second year franchise is fantastic, but we are shooting for 1st place.
Only 3 more games will do it.
Thanks for letting me share my sentiments.

Fri. July 18th Renegades beat Delweld 11-4
Great hitting - I don't know how Eric Bruno pitched in that heat - he only gave up 5 hits.
Congrats to Greg Stewart for going yard and almost doing it a second time missing only by a couple feet.
Tommy Kelly hits the fence 12 inches from the top.
We pounded out 14 hits.
Cory Manarelli has another 3 hits - he's on fire
Brad Dale shuts another door in the 7th.
Brad, Burkett, Bowser, and McCoy have 2 hits each.
I have no doubt you guys now know you can play like this.
If we win just 3 more, we finish in 1st.
Come ready on Monday. We have complete control of our destiny.

. .

Errors will kill you, they almost killed us yesterday.

Well, we have 4 more games. Tonight is against Delweld with Eric Bruno pitching.
I can't stress enough how huge this win will be for us.
As I said, if you guys want to do well in the playoffs, there is a way to do it.
We have to play just to your abilities and don't accept anything less.
It's time we establish ourselves to these guys. They haven't seen our best game by far for many reasons including errors and shit calls.
I know what kind of game we can play, and if we do that, there's no stopping us.

Great comeback win. That's exactly what we're talking about. Playing hard gets you tight wins.
Welcome back Tommy Shirley. You look great. Great job by Kyle Bowser pitching and the big clutch hit.
Tom Burkett goes yard over the screen. That looked like a bottle rocket, not just a fly ball.
Cory Manarelli is a hitting freak.
Zack - you hit too damn hard, now you're breaking bones.
Cole Taylor - 2 more hits
Brad Dale - closes the door as usual and gets 2 hits.
We've got to start tomorrow how we played late today.
We must win tomorrow. It's very important for the momentum we need into the last games and into the playoffs.
There is a way to win these things.
Play your best and let's get a win for Bruno.

Wed. July 16th - Renegades stomp Norac 15-5 in 6 innings - Drew Shaulis throws for 13 Ks in 6 innings.
We get 20 hits -
Cory Manarelli had 4 hits and 5 RBIs
Zack Martin had 3 hits including another double
CJ McCoy had 2 hits
Cole Taylor had 2 hits
Anthony Mattei had 2 hits
Tom Burkett had 2 hits
Brad Dale had 2 hits
Tommy Kelly had 2 hits
Great job guys - what can you say about that?

Congratulations on our 20th win and sweeping Principle all season - Tues. July 15th
Renegades and Cole Taylor beat Principle Development
This was a great performance and in my opinion his best this year. He is a bulldog and is loaded with passion. That was a great pitching display on both sides.
Way to go Mattei, with 2 hard hits. You're officially back.

We just couldn't lay the bunts down to save our life tonight. That was part of the reason to let Zack swing instead of bunt 1st and 2nd over with no outs.

Some of our own thought we should bunt in that situation and the vast majority of the time we should.
I'm not convinced in this situation with Zack.

1st and 2nd with no outs. Let's see, yes I know, baseball 101 tells you to bunt. But what they don't tell you is we missed 5 or 6 bunt attempts tonight already. Some of our best bunters couldn't get them down. Now their pitcher might have something to do with that. The smart pitchers sometimes make it hard on bunters. I had visions of another pop up bunt in my head.
Plus, Zack Martin is up.
Dock is at second with serious speed
Zack almost always puts it in the outfield and to right, which at least is a tag up and is the same as a sac bunt with the added great chance of Zack getting a hit and winning it.
Anyone else in the world, I bunt.
Baseball is a game of playing the odds sometimes, and if that damn bat wouldn't have broken, that ball was in the gap.
Banking on Zack Martin is a real safe bet. Sometimes you gotta go for the win.

Oh, I almost forgot, players get 1 free tirade per year - all except pitchers, they get 2.

Mon. July 14th Renegades beat Principle Development for the 6th straight time. 7-4
Now, that's what I'm talking about.
You guys showed some fight there, when you smelled blood, you went for it. Great job.
You were down 4-0 and just took that game. That's the way you can play when you want to.
It took an inning or two to wake up but look out when you did.
Great aggressive baseball for those runs and Zack had 3 hits with 2 doubles. Drew said it right, he's a freakin machine. Cole Taylor had 2 key hits too.
Great to see Mattei and Burkett break out with hits.
Cole Taylor on the hill tomorrow against Matt Hill.

Well, I've had time to digest our last 2 out of 3 game losses. And here it is.
I do think we let up some the last 2 games, not the game vs. Martellas. I'm very pleased with that effort.
I'm pretty mild mannered most of the time. I have a fairly long fuse. Now, when that fuse is burned, that's another matter.
Some coaches and others might have lit into you guys about getting lazy and letting up.
While some instances may call for such actions, and I've been known to do that, it's not quite that time. I believe coaches should provide a calming affect to players for the most part.
That's how you deal with most situations in a game. Now mind you, I won't stand for that in the home stretch of the season, where we need to finish strong and build momentum, or the playoffs.
You all know we have to play with intensity and passion the rest of the season. It's imperative if you guys really want to win. I expect it.
I have a feeling you guys will do the right things.

Man, does Tommy Burkett have a nice new car. I hope that helps you in the chick category. Just kidding.
A word and some realities about the game - Fri. July 11th - Just because we lost to what might be a lesser team doesn't mean squat.
They made the plays - let's give them credit
We didn't hit - when we did, the hits didn't fall
We were flat - and like I said yesterday, people subconsciously slow down some in a situation like yesterdays game for 2 reasons.
1 - When playing a team with certain ability, although we are far better, we as humans play to the level of the competition. Does that mean we suck or aren't the best or can't hang with the best? Hell no. We have all seen this phenomenon in our baseball lives. Have you ever wondered why a team you beat up on 10 times beats the team that stomps you 10 times? This is why. It is why we play the games.
Does it mean anything in the long run of the season? - NO WAY
Does it mean you can't rise to a much higher level when you do play that team again? - NO
In fact, that is something that is easily controllable. It's all in your head and your heart.
It's what you want and how bad you want it at a particular time or game.
Does it mean you're a lesser player or team if you played down to any team? Hell no, we ALL do it, including me.
That is reason 1.
Reason 2 - I told you yesterday, when teams know they made the playoffs no matter what happens, we subconsciously let up. I've seen it a hundred times. Reality is we will play some remaining games hard and we could let up again.
I think the important thing here is we should remember how good we really are and the above reasons are why we lost.
It is not any big deal at all. We will have huge success this year, I can smell it.

Some other points about the game:

-Tommy Kelly isn't rusty at all - you look great kid
-Drew pitched one hell of a game - huge talent in that body
-I want to win for and I love the support we get from Mr. Bowser in the stands - keep it going
-Kyle is officially a veteran of the AAABA - he is playing smooth and with confidence
-We support our guys in slumps until the end. Someone on every team goes through a slump.
-I hate to blame anything on this, but bad calls are also killing us.
The important stuff is not get excited about losing a game, just regroup and come back strong on Monday and play your game. No need for panic during a great season like this.

I just have to say that I'm extremely happy with the intensity of Brad Dale at 3rd. He did a very difficult thing going to that position and playing that well. He plays HARD.


A little about our guys in slumps.
Slumps have been around since Abner Doubleday. Let me tell you guys some facts and fallacies about them.

-Truth - they freakin suck, suck, suck

-Fallacy - you have to change something to get out of your slump -
( Everyone thinks they're doing something terribly wrong, indeed there is a possibility that is true, but mostly that's not the case. Think about it, after hitting .350 and .400 this spring and a lifetime of developing good mechanics, it can't be anything major. If fact, most of you have something wrong with your swings, but you hit well anyway.)

-Truth - slumps always go away- In reality, most slumps are not much more than bad luck. You guys have hit the ball right at someone. Don't confuse this with anything other than crappy luck. Believe me, I know exactly how you feel. I hated being where you are. Just keep hitting the ball- and if you're not, have the mental strength to be patient about it and keep getting cuts. Over the next week, I'm going to work individually with a couple of you and we'll get back to basics. That's the exact thing you need to do. You can never go wrong with fundamentals. You can go wrong changing the very swing that got you here.

-Fallacy - I'll lose my spot if continue to not hit- I'll tell you what - I know who I have on this team. Generally speaking, If 2 people are exactly the same defensively, then the better bat will win. But I know the 2 guys that are frustrated are Mattei and Burkett. I know you guys are great hitters. I'm old, I've lived through and seen many slumps. I wish I could make you know the slump will lift, and it will, but yet I totally know how you feel. I'll ride it out with you, so get that out of your head.
You guys are fantastic defensive players. Those gloves are a major contributor to our success. I don't care if you beat up a priest, you have your spot and you have my allegiance.

Well, we clinched a playoff spot. That's great, but I'm always reluctant to announce that because teams tend to get lazy. Now, we should really enjoy the success to this point, and this was our 1st goal.
We now have to play even harder and gain momentum into the playoffs.
Tommy Shirley is coming back at the perfect time. And he is looking phenomenal and is 100%.
We will see him very soon. He is sooo anxious to go.
I will pitch him and the rest of our pitching staff with an order plan.
We have such a gutsy staff.
Remember, we want the championship, but enjoy the ride there.


Thurs. July 10th A good comeback after yesterday. All wins are good.
Great clutch hitting by Zack and Drew. Great gutsy pitching by Cole Taylor. Great 3rd baseman we got. Way to play Brad.

Is it me, or have we been getting really bad calls?

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a scorekeeper.

That game was a good stamina builder. I have to say you guys were very cool throughout that marathon.

I'm glad to see Mrs. Burkett isn't taking any crap. I LOVE it. We need more of that.

Zack Martin is the best hitter in this league - period, end of story.
No disrespect to any other good hitters out there, because there are some good ones.
Watching him work that pitcher before that last hit - fouling off close ones he didn't like then ultimately getting a hit was a work of art.

Wed. July 9th - We lose 2-0 in 11 innings. Eric Bruno pitched one hell of a game.
Some well meaning Renegades supporter asked me, why on earth did you take Bruno out? - ????????? Well, don't get me wrong, I want to win just as much for the parents and fans as I do for my team and myself. Honest to God I feel an obligation to you guys just as much.
But I will never risk any arm no matter what.
Even though that warrior Bruno would pitch through hellfire for us, we felt he was at our allowable max. I truly don't care what game it is, if there is any chance of hurting them.
Now, with a reliever like Stewart, it's really a no brainer.
These guys have futures in baseball, and I would never jeopardize that.
Even if you never play another inning, an arm injury or any other joint injury for that matter will haunt you later in life.
I was way overused myself and I can barely get out of bed at 48.
Now, back to the game. Sometimes I second guess some of my decisions during the game and sometimes I don't listen to myself either for that matter. Here are some things to consider when in a situation like tonight. Do you load the bases or not? Tough call when considering everything, not just the superficial things.
OK, tied game, tight game, even though top of the inning, in this kind of game, we don't want them drawing first blood.
So, I want to prevent this run at all costs.
Nobody is hitting, but we had a lot of ground balls.
Loading the bases creates the obvious any base play and double play, but I really thought they would squeeze and that would create a much easier force out at the plate.
Did the kid at the plate hit the ball hard tonight or did he hit this pitcher hard before?
Ditto about the next kid.
So, bases loaded, the kid that comes to the plate has done nothing all night and might be rusty from inactivity.
Even though it's top of the order, we'll take the odds.
Now, the wound licking starts for me. And the self blame about the possible wrong decision. But you know what, on other days, those things have worked. That's baseball.
I'm harder on myself than anyone, but that's a perfectionist attitude I'm cursed with.
That said, it's very hard to win with 2 hits and a bunch stranded. You have got to put the ball in play in those situations. You guys played hard though.
Poor Zack should get 3 runs for that crush. Evan Gazza made one hell of a catch.
We have to give those guys credit, I like a lot of their players and coaches and I love our games.
We always have great baseball.
Anyway, GREAT defense. You guys are monsters. 0 errors again. That looks great. You're fun to watch.
We are in great shape guys, we'll come back tomorrow with 10 hits.

You know, I've seen a couple different kinds of players over the years. To preface, I'm not describing the Renegades, but I do have some comments about you guys. There are the drones, who show up and do their work and are major contributors. There are the outcasts, who are sort of there in their own world. There are the whiners, who bitch about everything and can't play very well. Then there are the all stars, who think they're way better than they really are. ( I blame parents for that one). It's good to instill confidence in a kid, but it's very dangerous to make anyone over-confident. Finally, there are the Superstars. These are the guys that know they're better than everyone else and flaunt it. We all know and don't like this type. I call it Barry Bonds syndrome.
But once in a great while you get hybrids. We have several this year. These are fantastic athletes that have not a conceited bone in their body. It's obvious who they are and they never act like they're better than anyone. I love these guys.
I always get attached to my players, but I have a special group this year, and I'm really enjoying them.
A couple have legitimate chances of advancing their game to a very high level. I will spare their embarrassment and not name them, but there are several.
This is a very rare and special occurence than unifies a good team. You combine that with hard playing and focus, you have a very special team. And we do. Let's enjoy watching them.


As we approach the last 11 games, I see we are playing better and better. We will clinch a playoff spot this week. We must stay focused a game at a time. If we win against Martellas tomorrow, we'll be in 1st place alone. I want to finish in 1st. That's our goal. That's where we belong. To do that, we must realize we are going to battle in some tough games. Play your individual best and no one can beat us in a series. We have to be confident and you have to feel good about the way we've been playing. Do all the fundamentals right. Backups, smart alert baserunning, infielders create your angle and momentum and follow your throws, be patient at the plate, shorten up with 2 strikes, etc.
You guys will see, when I'm in playoffs, I get a little more serious and expect your best. Don't settle for 2nd place, because we're not a 2nd place team.


I told a couple players the other day a true baseball story about me and I decided to share it with the rest of you.
I was always big and threw pretty hard so I was the workhorse on the mound for most of my baseball life. Although you would never know it now, I was a little spunky as a young adult. Back in the day, things were a little different than they are now. You could ride the other teams and pitchers relentlessly from the bench. Most of the time it never bothered me and you shouldn't let it bother you. But every now and then you would pick someone out and throw at their head or chin. This was not uncommon. Then the other guy would retaliate. And so on.
Well, although I was born in Mckeesport, I grew up in bitter rival territory, Duquesne.
These were both great sports towns but we kicked their asses for the most part. We had some great games for years and years.
Mckeesport had a big dude of their own, Boots Andrews. Ahh, I remember him well. Typical Mckeesport player, loads of talent and blazing speed, great stick and threw about 88-89.
He had a knack for doings things a little dirty. Not cheating mind you, just running inside the baseline and trying to stomp your foot off or taking both legs off on a double play. You get the picture.
This particular day old Boots jacked one off me ( a rare occurence). Now, two weeks prior to this game, Boots had grounded out and was running back to the bench. Well, his own on deck guy was taking some dry swings and didn't see Boots and fractured his jaw.
In todays day and age, guys would be out for 6 weeks with that. Not Boots, he was back in a week and playing with his jaw wired shut.
So, Boots comes up to the plate the next at bat after his 410 ft bomb and is giving me a smirk.
It instantly pisses me off and where do you think the 1st pitch went? That's correct, right at his chin. I swear it was off by a hair. That got old Boots thinking and he grounded out. I remember it like yesterday.
So here it is last year and my old catcher was at a Little League Tournament in Clairton and runs into old Boots. Out of the blue, Boots asks him " do you remember when that Roland Black tried to refracture my jaw. Of course, my catcher remembered it, it was a big thing at the time.
Old Boots was laughing hysterically. See, in my day, we never carried grudges and I'm glad old Boots didn't.


I think I have a disease , namely baseball. I think about it day and night. Believe it or not, I dream about it regularly. Most of the time, when I dream about it, it's usually after a loss or a problem with a player or parent. I still have a disgruntled parent of a cut player from last year causing trouble. He absolutely could not see his kid was not ( hmm, let's see how I can say this without getting into trouble) - I know, he was born to do something other than baseball.
At some point, don't you think this guy would wake up. Instead of carrying this delusion around that your kid is the next Shoeless Joe, come back to earth and quit putting all that pressure on the poor kid.
Maybe he's good at checkers.
I take that back , I really liked that kids personality. But Daddy is still causing trouble after 1.37 years. Give it up because one of the harsh realities of being a good manager is you must cut players, especially after a first year team.
Do you think we're 17-7 as a sophomore franchise because I pray a lot? It's really very simple, get the BEST players around. That's what I did. You players are born with that ability, I just have to keep you on track. It's not exactly neurosurgery.
I just ran into a guy I've known for a long, long time. In fact, we played together for years. He said " man, you always end up with winning teams, you must be a good coach". After I deflated my skull, I told him the truth. I said look, it's simple, get the BEST players, teach them 1 or 2 things, and allow them to have fun. If you do that and enjoy the game, then you'll win. At this level, these guys know a lot about the game. My job is to remind you of these things when we're under fire. That's all. It's an easy formula.

I have a very supportive wife thank God, when it comes to baseball. Her name is Kim and I think she handles my absence pretty well, or so she tells me. Now my son Mason, who is 17, and daughter Kelsey, 13, are very supportive about their lack of a father for most of the summer.
Just as I think the wifey is cool about things, she'll spurt out a little dig like, you're girlfriend is on the phone, referring to one of my coaches or players when they call me. Now, hmmm, does that mean she's really pissed , or is she just kidding. I think it's somewhere in between. Boy, I hope you players appreciate this sacrifice.

It's nice to get a little break for all of us. I can actually see my own family and maybe talk to a bird-dog friend of mine, Eric Stiffler. He's a native Johnstowner and huge Renegades fan. He's called me a couple of times and it's always when I can't talk. I wish I could talk him into doing my book and stats. Anyway, Eric reminded me of the shape I was in a few short years ago. Most of you don't know this about me but I had some major, life-threatening surgery a few years ago. In fact, the numbers were 30% chance of survival. My wife didn't tell me that until I was better.
Maybe you see me limp around in pain once in a while on a bad day. So, Eric really, really wants to see us in the Tournament. Partly because he's a true fanatic, but partly because he wants it for me after all that adversity. He was a great friend during this tough time. He encouraged me to take this team on in the first place.
The point of this is after thinking you're going to cash it in, to be on that field again with a great team of great young men that I've grown attached to means I have survived. The winning we are experiencing is gravy for me.
Renegades win again against Martellas. 6-3 - Greg Stewart was throwing like a monster. God, what a good pitcher and good young man. What we saw is typical Greg Stewart. Cool as a cucumber, perfect mechanics, and throwing hard. Great velocity, confidence, and control in breaking stuff. Beautiful work Greg. To pitch like that against that team is a great accomplishment. I'm proud of you. I'm proud of all of you guys. You can play hard.
We had great hitting against the best pitching you will see.
I think Coles bat is on steroids. I like what I see.

Renegades lose 5-4 to Delweld in make up. I don't take any stock in this at all. We were behind 3-1 in this game and I'm very confident in us in a series with this team. Trust me, no worries.

Renegades beat 1st place Martellas 1-0 Eric Bruno - another 1 hitter and 10 Ks. You are a joy to coach and watch.
I'm a happy coach today for many reasons. You guys played like the team that you are. That showed me and more importantly yourselves that you guys can get it done. We knew if we eliminate errors, we will beat anyone. 0 errors this game. Fantastic job. You can step it up.
Thanks coach John Wentz for the extra work in game prep. You are very good and very much appreciated. You know your ^&*%.
We have to roll with this the rest of the season into the playoffs. We get Tommy Shirley back the week after the July 4th break which makes me very excited.
Cole is ripping the ball. Tommy Kelly and Josh Nagle are coming back. We are looking good guys.
Let's play hard and relentless tonight.

I like playing Chris Pfeils team. I've got to hand it to him. Those guys are good. They win and lose very graciously always. Great team and good sportsman. These kinds of matchups make it fun to play baseball. Besides, my new favorite non-Renegade is their awesome 3rd baseman, Josh Campanella.

Martellas today - come ready to play with no errors and lots of focus. Give me your all for 7 innings. Eric Bruno is on the mound. Let's get him another win.
Writing helps me unwind and clears my head. I am right brained, maybe that's why. Right brained people like sports and communicate well. But I'm also good at math, in fact that's half of my work, and that's left brained. Go figure.
Some people I've encountered this season have no brains. Can you say umpires? Just kidding.

Speaking of no brains, I had a whole other entry here this morning but inadvertently deleted it.
The premise was I accept responsibility for yesterdays loss and always see things after such a game that I should have done to win. It's always easy afterward.

FYI - I've made amends to the ump that tossed me, you know, the one I called the M - word.

These are my thoughts on the Ben Doak situation:
To update some of you that don't know.
Ben is a talented LH pitcher who is loaded with spunk. There was a new rule added to our league this year to double roster players from the AAABA and the Somerset and Cambria Legions.
Well, being this is a new rule this year many were confused about this. Keep in mind if you play in any other league, you are thrown out of the AAABA for the entire year.
Well, poor Ben, who just wants to play baseball, was confused about this rule and thought you could double roster anywhere. He went and played in another league on our off day and was thrown out of the league for the year.
Now, this is entirely my fault because, although I told everyone this rule, I should have made sure that nobody had any questions.
So, after reading the above story, you can imagine the sharks wanted him and the team crucified. I have to thank Rick Roberts for backing me on that, by the way. He and I thought a suspension would have sufficed.
A couple teams actually wanted us to forfeit our wins. Another manly way to win. Hey, hey, more adversity for the Renegades. Bring it on.
Anyway, I apologize to Ben, I should have taken better care of you. He will be back with us next year, with a vengeance.

I think most baseball players have a lot of similarities. Myself and my other coaches included. We have all played at this level before. We are very competitive, very committed, we love the game, we enjoy our time on the field and the dugout together, we are emotional, and we like to win.
At times, we are almost bi-polar. I know the way we feel as a team when we win vs when we lose. We all like to win. But I always work extremely hard and play fair, all through the year which includes recruiting and during the season. There are some that don't play fair. Maybe someday I'll share some of that with you here. But I assure you, nothing stops me, nothing.

I was born in Mckeesport and raised in Duquesne. For those of you that aren't familiar it's a hard-nosed town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. That area was a HUGE sports town that was a hotbed for good ballplayers. The circuit we played in produced many pros ( Dan Marino, Charlie Batch, Brian Holton who pitcher for the Dodgers, Joe Montana for ex.) It also was a very tough area back then. You better not get lost and make a wrong turn in places. Many a day people had to divert their paths home from school to avoid certain unsavory groups. But sports brought many of us together. Some of the guys were bad news, they might try to take you out on a double play or throw at your chin, but as bad as they were, most would never cheat and be underhanded and sneaky in order to win. When you grow up in areas like that, you get good at knowing what really goes on around you for survival sake. There's also a code of honor, so to speak, about playing fair. If I'm in a car race, don't try to flatten my tire out of fear because I have a faster car than you.
If we're in a boxing match, don't put a horseshoe in your glove, - stand in front of me and punch me in the mouth like a man with the fist you have. Don't try to get me disqualified because my trunks are the wrong color. That's not a true win. That means nothing.
Anyway, here's a little metaphorically written story to go with the above metaphors that happens to be true:

There was a BIG dude in my neighborhood. He had a talent for boxing, karate, anything that involved punching and kicking people. ( He was a good hitter too) Now this guy was a very nice and a pretty quiet guy that didn't bother anyone. When word got around that this guy could put your lights out, people started coming around to challenge him. You see, these guys had nothing to lose. If they lost, they looked brave by challenging this big monster, and if they won, they would be Superman. So, it was a win, win for any who went after him. You have to realize the mentality of these guys.These people would actually knock at the front door to challenge him. Instead of, can big dude come out to play? It was, can big dude come out to fight? There's this new kid in the neighborhood that we know can take him. ( This is the honest to God truth by the way) Well, the big dude was always happy to oblige, after all it was free ass whooping time. So let's strap on the gloves. But eventually, nobody could knock off the big dude, so things got nasty. They started coming 2 or 3 at a time, jumping him after some of the open night gyms we had. Anywhere they could to try and unseat the big dude.
Well, after losing a tooth, and many bruises, the big dude finally got taken down by a small group of 3 who blind-sided him going around a building on his way home. The moral of the story is a question, did they really win? They sure did boast about it- but they weren't seen walking alone after that.



Thursday rain-out in 5th
I just love that Brad Dale - sorry if that embarrasses him but he looked like Mike Schmidt at 3rd. He plays wherever you tell him with enthusiasm and never complains. That is worth more than gold to me and this team.

Wed. June 25th vs. Delweld 5-2 lost
Well, this is probably not the time to post, but what the hell.
I normally don't get thrown out until playoffs, but today was the 1st this year.
To hit a clear home run to tie the game and more importantly turn the momentum, and have 2 umps call it a ground rule double was unbelievable.
Did he not have ample time to focus on it, did he not see the big monster swinging the bat ( that should give him a heads-up it's possible Nagle is going yard).
Did he not see the body language of the outfielders.
Did he see hands up? NO
For those who missed it - Josh Nagle hits a bomb that cleared the fence by 15 feet ( their outfielder told us by the way)
The umpire said it bounced over , then said he didn't see it. Well, which is it?
If you call it a ground rule double because you saw it bounce over the fence, then why get help from the home plate umpire?
That homerun would have tied it 4-4. Instead 4-2.
The entire place including both teams, all the families and spectators, the grounds crew, refreshment stand workers, tennis players and ground moles all know it's a homerun. Everyone but the Mensa members that call themselves umpires.
Now I usually consider ump bashing in bad taste, sour grapes, sore losers, or whatever you may call it - but you can't have this caliber ball players and have umps making this many bad calls. I'm sorry.
So, I'm getting more steamed thinking about this as we go to the dugout and my mouth lets loose a little. Not enough to get tossed, but a little.
The ump says, maybe you should get a real fence and I reply, "maybe we should get a real ump".
So he tosses me for that and I feel cheated because I wanted to say much more and I did as I walked away.
I won't repeat them here on grounds that I may incriminate myself, but trust me, I got in my insults. I know the streets of Duquesne are coming out of me when I regress to namecalling.
The next step is always ugly so I normally try to shut up while still in control.
So be it. I know in my heart what kind of team this is and that loss wasn't because we got beat. I'm very confident for future games.
- This is a bit of venting but bear with me. Errors, ouch! That's why we lost. Something drastic has to happen at 3rd and it will pitchers, hang in there. Those errors are killing us and we're still 15-5.
- I heard a very disturbing thing in the stands in that last inning as I was observing my team from the stands.
- I actually heard someone giving coaching advice to our remaining coaches on the field.
To paraphrase - Why are you stealing down by 3 runs? I mean yelling it out.
Now, I turned around to try and see who it was but couldn't. Probably a good thing given my state of mind. Obviously it was someone for our team. Now I'm going to tell you why I have a major problem with that crap.
- As wrong as that might have been, we try to teach our players to support and not criticize each other, so why would an adult criticize my coach who didn't even give the steal - for your information?
Please don't yell out your expert advice to us if you're truly a supporter of the team. That kind of garbage does more damage to the confidence of the team than that steal did.
Use your head. We have enough to deal with without our own people opening their big expert pieholes against each other. Teams don't win it all by segregating and criticizing each other and that includes the parents and fans. I consider that cancer and will eliminate the distraction if it's linked to a player.
See, I told you I should wait until the day after a loss to post.

A word about committment: I really appreciate you guys that give it your all. Some of you guys like myself are driving great distances to be here. Some of you position players come game after game, from downtown Pittsburgh, West Newton,Greensburg, Kittanning, Northern Cambria, Penn Cambria, Somerset, Norwin, and Burrell. You amaze me with your level of committment. I certainly applaud you guys for your efforts.
Because of the tough schedule, I encourage you guys to tell me if you need a break for a day. It won't count against you at all. Sometimes it's good to rest and come back stronger in the long run.
I know some of you would never do that because playing for you is like a disease (ZM). I admire that. I love seeing that. The season will be over before you know it.
As far as vacations, most of you won't go during the season. One of you actually changed your vacation. I appreciate that. Missing a game or two won't hurt you but going on vacation will hurt your hitting for sure.
I'll never tell you not to go but if you get rusty, don't cuss me out when you don't play later. I warned you.
My wife, son, and daughter miss out on vacation so I really have no sympathy.
Anyway, my hat goes off to you young men that are working, tired, using all of your money on gas, playing your tails off, fighting game after game.
Don't think for a moment it goes unnoticed. I, for one, can't tell you what that's worth. But that level of committment and integrity will take you a lot further than the trip to Johnstown.


Monday June 23rd vs. Norac Renegades win 1-0. Another superb job by Eric Bruno 1 hitter. CJ and Mattei come through in the clutch. Great job guys.


Saturday 21st make up vs. Principle Development- 9-8 Good come back win - Again, this is what the better teams do. Find a way to win.
I had to yell a little today - Everyone makes occasional errors, but that many is simply unacceptable. The focus wasn't there on most of those errors. And please don't make excuses, accept it like a man.
Kyle had a couple off the mark throws and said "they got away from me". That's exactly right, he's in a new position and it takes a few throws to get range. He threw it away and accepted it like a man and I respect that. Everyone boots one occasionally.
The other issue is walking off the field. I hope I don't see that again. Drew was pitching his ass off and doesn't deserve errors and laziness like that. He should have been out of that inning with 1 run.
They had 8 runs and only 1 earned run. That's ridiculous.
A friend said to me it doesn't matter if you score 25 points in basketball, if you allow 30. That's how errors kill you. You win more games with the glove than the bat.
Now, I have to praise most of our team who were playing hard and smart, that rant was NOT for you guys.
I'm a very fun Coach most of the time, just give me 100% and we will have no problems and much fun. If we give it everything and lose, so be it. But I can't accept us just giving the game away. Good job Drew and CJ at the end.


June 20th - Renegades looked great out there - Greg Stewart threw smoke - 2 hitter. He looks poised out there doing it too.
Welcome Jordan Carnathan - bangs out a double in his first at bat as a Renegade. Many more to come.
Kyle Bowser - cranks out 3 more hits - I'd say he's seeing the ball well.
Cole Taylor - 2 more hits and 3 more RBI's
Eric Dividock - 2 more hits and 3 yesterday.
Zack Martin- hits the hardest ball of the year and almost decapitated that right fielder.
Cory Manarelli - 2 hits and crushes 2 more right at someone. That sucks Cory, you should have been 4 for 4.
And the maniac Brad Dale, who absolutely is closing like John Rocker. He looks fantastic. You really look impressive. He goes at it ^%*&^ to the wall. I love that.
Anthony Mattei in his flawless fluid defense.

You guys are becoming a real team.

June 19th Thursday Renegades win 8-2. Cole Taylor only gives up 4 hits and gets another win.
We got 12 hits, including 3 from Eric Dividock, triples from Tom Burkett and Drew Shaulis, 3 RBI's including a double from Cole Taylor, 2 more hits from Zack Martin, including a double( he's frickin amazing) and 2 hits from Kyle Bowser.
I love seeing you guys having fun. Don't worry Burkett, you'll steal home, I promise.

I'd like to apologize to my good friend, Coach Dave T., for me getting too tough with him coaching 3rd today. I got caught up in the moment and ran my mouth. Coaching 3rd is not easy. God knows I've made my share of mistakes. So, sorry buddy. You have all of my respect.
Dave is a huge reason this team works and is my backbone-- and in his day, was a better player than anyone on that field today. Trust me on that. ( Except me, of course)

We must stay the course guys, we have something really good here. Let's see how good we can be.

Wed. June 18th - A couple things - Jordan Carnathan, our player on injured reserve will be returning to play for us in a limited capacity. He is a big, strong, hard hitting 1st baseman who can't throw yet, but can DH some. That adds another huge stick for us.

Jon Moore is suspended.

I will add another pitcher by tomorrow to be named later.

I appreciate you guys that have been playing 3rd that really aren't 3rd baseman. That's a tough thing to do and you guys are trying hard and we appreciate it.
Let's see, we've had a true 2nd baseman, an outfielder, and a catcher play 3rd. Thanks for stepping up.

Now that we're playing very well, we can crank it up a notch by tweaking some of our weaknesses. Focusing and thinking on the bases is one. No matter how good you're playing, you can always improve. Don't make the mistake that I see other teams making which is getting too cocky. That always comes back to bite you. Always.
Playing with confidence is a must from a team like ours because we can deliver and we know it, just don't get cocky because eventually you let your guard down and start playing sloppy, then you can't take a punch in the mouth.
Walk tall and quiet. Our reputation will be of good athletes, good sportsmanship, and a great place to play. We will act like men.

We've heard some comments being said to and about us lately, some in line shaking hands after a win. Sometimes when people lose, ugly colors show. Just let it go and let your talking be done on the field.
Don't react to the classless comments that you hear.

Those of you that have to miss games for various reasons, I thank you for letting me know in plenty of time. That really helps me.

You guys have all acted like men and with class so far this year and I am extremely proud.

Tues. June 17th - Renegades 4 Principle Development 0
This is a great win for several reasons. Main reason being we beat Matt Hill, who is a terrific pitcher from Cornell. We had 9 hard hits tonight, and a couple more hard hits for outs.
You guys are really playing well.
Eric Bruno looked absolutely amazing. 3 hits, 10 Ks and a shutout. Opportunities are opening up for him already. Excellent gutsy pitching.
Zack Martin with 3 RBI's.
Tom Burkett covering ground and hitting the ball very hard.
Drew Shaulis laying it out in the outfield with tremendous effort and gets 2 hits lefty on lefty.
All of you guys did great.
The good teams ultimately come out ahead in a good game. After 3 hitless innings, we just exploded. I am very pleased with you guys.
Every team makes a few mistakes during a game, but you guys overcome these things like nothing, and that's key. That's how you win. Excellent work.

I'm very happy after tonight. You guys are tough. You were not phased at all through that battle. You played hard and came through in the clutch. You did what you had to do and didn't waiver despite a couple of mistakes. You kept going and knew we had that game. You're playing with confidence and that's critical. Like I said, you're getting better and better. Even the hits that didn't get through, they were hit well. This is a good team.
Tom Burketts throw was like nothing I have seen in years. That is no joke. That was Andy Rubal with blazing speed on 3rd for that tag up. That was a work of art, sort of like a 93 mile an hour fastball.
Josh Nagle is on fire. He is cool as can be in tight situations. Excellent clutch hitting.
Kyle Bowser steps it up and throws a gem. Great pitching, Kyle.
How about that Brad Dale who never complains and gives it everything. To step in against Principle and go 3 innings of 1-2-3 is outstanding. He's fun to watch.
I'd like to give a special thanks to Greg Stewart who drives from Kittanning on a moments notice when we need a player after only pitching all spring. He does great as a position player and always puts the bat on the ball. Great RBI tonight. Thanks Greg.
Great job tonight.

Saturday June 14th vs Delweld A great win. Drew Shaulis pitches 51/3 innings with only 1 hit.
Cory Manarelli gets another 2 hits. Zack is still crushing the ball.
You guys are playing well. Your making some excellent plays, DPs, catchers are throwing people out left and right, your hitting the ball well, defense is great. You look very sharp and hungry. I'm extremely happy with you guys. You deserve to win when you play like that. This is the team you are. Let's keep on rolling. We're getting better every day. I'll get new STATS up tomorrow.


Friday June 13th - Another well played game Cole Taylor had 13 Ks and only 3 hits. Nothing but GUTS from him. Josh Nagle and Zack Martin had 2 hits each including a home run each.

Thursday June 12th - Now that's what I'm talking about! Great game, great hitting , great baserunning and defense. And lots of fun.
Really good hustle, Greg Stewart gets the win and scattered 5 hits in 6 innings, Brad Dale got his 2nd save. CJ stuffs two trying to steal and doubled, Kyle Bowser gets 2 hits including a triple. Zack Martin justs lights it up with 3 hits including a double and 2 RBIs.
That's exactly the way to play. Excellent work. We had 10 hits.

I've had a little time to calm down from yesterdays game. It just troubles me to see a really good team not performing basic fundamentals. That game at least should have been 2-1 us. In tight games, we can't make those mistakes. I'm not even asking for incredible plays, just basics.
There will be some changes today. Obviously they like to bunt, so you better be ready for solid bunt defense. I'll go over some things at the game, not here.
I want every infielder moving in on every pitch. Starting from a dead stop when the ball is hit is unacceptable.
We have got to get on base. Especially our speed guys. Work the pitcher as hard as CJ does.
Get aggressive or conservative as the situation dictates. When we need a run late, don't swing at a 2-0 pitch only to pop up. I had the take on in that very situation and didn't get a look, then they swung on a 2-0.
Look for signs on EVERY pitch.
I feel sorry for Bruno who deserved a win.
Only 4 hits - Burkett, Mattei, Martin, and Shaulis
Come today a little more hungry and a lot more cerebral.


Now, I'm all for having a good time but, I get a little smoked when I see players of this caliber not doing the things a good little leaguer does. We gave that game away. When a pitcher gets 13 K's and pitches his ass off, he deserves to have solid fundamental play and baserunning behind him.
That was not a bunt and run--- watch for the downward angle of the ball before you haul ass. That was a momentum killer.
When you see a guy playing with you on base -- RUN HIM BACK for God's sake. That play killed us. I'm very easy to get along with but I can't tolerate these mistakes and I can't allow it to continue. This team is too talented to be throwing away games like that. We owe it to ourselves to play better.
When you're in tight games with hard playing teams, you cannot afford those rookie mistakes or throw away the ball like that. Not at this level. I won't accept this underachieving play.
Come tomorrow ready to think on every pitch and play up to your talent. Play like you did in the last couple wins , hitting cutoffs, backing up, making the simple throws.
We will stop the bleeding tomorrow.


WOW, What a great day. Drew Shaulis pitched an unbelievable 8 innings of 1 hit ball. If you weren't there, here's the scene. Sweltering heat-- our guys are soaking wet before the game even started. We have 9 players again. I'm concerned for our pitcher in this heat. So I figure I'd watch silently for signs of heat exhaustion. Not even close, he looked like a machine out there. He was in a zone. I love that kind of competitive player. He thought about his pitches well, and made them stay off balance. What a display by him and the rest of the guys, who never gave up in this heat. That's what it came down to. Who toughed it out longer. I'm very proud of those guys.
Props to Josh Nagle, who is a catcher, played 3rd yesterday and 1st today with a hurt hamstring. Thanks for your dedication and guts Josh. Way to bounce back guys.

That was such a great win I'll brief you on how our winning run manifested. CJ McCoy is down 0-2 in the count. He then proceeds to work the living crap out of the pitcher, taking the pitches he needs to and fouling off the close ones. The pitcher loses that mighty battle and walks him. I knew then it was going our way. Next, Mattei ( who 2 for 2 prior to this) lays down a sweet sac bunt and sends CJ to scoring position.
Dividock comes up and pushes one to the shallow hole between SS and 3rd. Here's the critical part. CJ in his infinite baserunning wisdom, sees the open base at 3rd and SS and 3rd baseman are both shallow going for the ball. He reads it perfect and runs to 3rd( I love this aggressive stuff). The 3rd baseman fields the ball but is startled by CJ running right by him. This buys Eric enough time to beat out the throw. It was a beautiful thing.
Dividock then steals 2nd and they don't bite. So it's 2nd and 3rd with 1 out.
Kyle Bowser comes up and jacks a deep sac fly to right. It was a sweet win.

Wow, what a lousy day. I show up at the game to find only 10 players and 1 is too hurt to play. Most were excused prior to today due to injuries, illness, and work. I discover at the game that 1 of you didn't tell me you had to work. Hmmm, how do I handle this? I cuss a little bit but ultimately I'm not too mad cause I happen to love this kid. OK, an oversite.
Next, I realize I have to make up an entire new line-up and do it in 2.3 minutes. And I like to think about it a little longer than that.
Then it hits me, I only have 1 pitcher, cause I'm saving my other pitcher for a later day.
Let me back up a bit. I had a terrible day at work and got stuck late, so I raced like hell to get to the field. Why is this happening to me, after all, they're only sick people, they can wait until tomorrow. There's baseball to play.
I get there in time to this dilemma. So, I put together the frankenstein team and away we go. ( No offense guys, it's not your fault I had to plug you in to strange positions.) You did pretty well, only 400 errors. Just kidding, you guys did well considering the circumstances.
So we limp along and get through the game with only a 3-1 loss. Jon Moore did fantastic. Thank God for him today.
For the game itself, we must just play good fundamental baseball. If you're wondering about some of the plays during the game, here it is.

Nagle hits the ball off of his foot up 3rd base line, but the brain dead ump doesn't see it and says nothing. Josh starts running to first. Meanwhile, we all see it's a foul ball yet Josh ends up on 1st.
One of my most observant players yells out foul ball as Josh is limping to 1st with his bad hammy. Josh hears someone yell foul ball, thinks it's the ump, comes off the bag and starts toward the dugout. He gets tagged out. Bottom line: He abandoned the bag and is OUT. I can't pull a rule out of my *&^ to help in that situation. When you're a manager, people expect you to yell about everything even when you know there's no chance. Sometimes that's true, but when you know the umps absolutely right, you just end up looking like an idiot. Now, yes, he should have seen it. But he didn't. That's the 1st episode.

Next, our runner plows into the 3rd baseman as he tries to field the ball. Interference. The fielder has to have an opportunity to field the ball. It would be nice, but we're not defensive backs. Tough to argue that one

On the up side of the game, Zack Martin and Josh Nagle had 2 hits each, and Cory Manarelli is on fire and had 3 more hits. Cory is hitting .467 We had 10 hits total. Nagle gunned another runner. When will they learn?

Today the Tribune Democrat has labeled Tommy Shirley as "Fan Man" -- very fitting in my opinion

I have it on good authority that my plan is going along as expected. The ultimate goal is to get to the big dance. But guess what? That's not the most important thing. The important stuff is the hard work, the comradery, the laughs, the good times, the new friends, the pride, the rewards, the respect, and honor.
I'll add more onto the above list of important reasons to play baseball:

Watching Tom Burkett slide on his belly in the rain--and steal bases -- and cover ground

(For myself) overhearing some of the funny things come out of you guys mouth.

Seeing strangers become friends and teammates in a very short period of time.

Watching Cole Taylor scoop balls in the dirt-- and pitch

The sound of a wooden bat.

Seeing those beautiful double plays.

Matteis transfer and feeds.

Zack Martins swing.

Nagles throw to 2nd

CJs blocking and hustle

Dividocks contact with the ball

Kellys love for the game

Shirleys fastball and quiet warrior mentality

All lefties (sorry I'm biased)

Brunos INTENSITY and determination

Corys arm

Brads ability to hit, run, and catch while smiling

Stewarts terrific talent

Drews effortless ability to do everything

Coach Holtz' pedigree and wealth of information( and he likes sushi)

Coach Wentz' knowledge of the game

Coach Daves competitiveness and dedication

And of course, my ability to assess and analyze everyone

Our hitting is going up as expected. It's actually going up pretty fast. You see the guys around you break through. Everyone is different. Wood is different. You'll hear that many times from me.There are a couple of guys that are absolutely great hitters that might take a little longer. Don't worry, I know that will change. Maybe you doubt yourself, but don't. You just have to trust me on that. I know what you are and that's why you're here. I actually kind of chuckle because I know what I'm going to see from you. One of the most important things in baseball is you have to have a very short memory. That's in every aspect of the game.
I know some of the other teams members are checking out this web-site. That was anticipated and that's OK. Welcome. But don't you sort of feel a little dirty doing it? Just a thought.