This ‘N That

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

— John Lennon

For someone without a job, I’ve sure been busy the last month.

I haven’t been able to find the time to write blogs. Not that there isn’t anything to write about. Certainly the Internet is clogged with milions of blogs that bloviate on the most trivial of subjects.

I came back from Cedar Rapids with four days’ worth of photos and videos. I’ve been editing them when I have the time, and still have quite a lot to do, but other matters have intruded.

In addition to, I also have the web site. That covers professional and amateur adult baseball in Brevard County, Florida, AKA the Space Coast, where I’ve lived for nearly a year. (The anniversary is June 3.)

The local minor league team is the Brevard County Manatees, a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate in the High-A Florida State League. The Manatees don’t have a radio contract, so I volunteered to webast fifteen games for them this year along with the 2010 Florida State League All-Star Game on June 12.

The webcasts are archived in the Audio Gallery. I’ve done four this year. We’ll do each FSL team at least once, and the Tampa Yankees three times.

Many times over the years, I’ve picked the brains of minor and major league broadcasters for how they practice their craft. Growing up in Southern California, I listened to Vin Scully and Dick Enberg. The key, of course, is to find your own voice, not to simply mimic someone else. Listening to the webcast archives, I can hear when I borrowed a technique from the Kernels’ John Rodgers or the Travs’ Phil Elson or the Bees’ Steve Klauke. Scully and Enberg are there too. But as I gain more confidence, Stephen’s unique voice is starting to emerge.

It must be affecting the way I speak in everyday life. A couple weeks ago, during a job interview, I was asked what I do in my spare time. I told the interviewers about the Manatees gig. They said I have a radio voice, which surprised me, because to me a radio voice is someone like Jon Miller or the late Bob Starr — someone with “the pipes,” as they say.

A runner on the white second base and on the orange second base in the May 15 NXBL game between the Tampa Black Sox and Space Coast Rockets.


A new league started play here on May 15, the National Extreme Baseball League. The basic concept is that the infield has an extra set of bases, colored orange. The first batter in an inning runs the traditional counterclockwise direction on the white bases. The next batter runs clockwise on the orange bases.

Baseball purists seem to loathe it, although I consider myself a purist and I think it’s a hoot. I commented to a local sports editor that it’s “baseball for Mensa,” a phrase she said she might steal. It creates all sorts of new tactical decisions.

For we left-handers, it also balances the defense. In normal baseball, the second baseman, shortstop and third baseman are right-handed because they need to make the throw to first base; a left-handed infielder would have to make a difficult pivot on many plays. But when the batter runs the bases in the opposite direction, a left-handed infielder would have the advantage.

A local sports show asked me to film raw footage of the May 15 for their program. Click here to watch clips on (Windows Media Player and a broadband Internet connection are required.) The clip specifically shows situations where the clockwise orange bases come into play; one common situation has batters running the wrong way because they’re not used to the concept. If the batter runs up one base line by mistake, he must reverse course and pass through the batter’s circle before heading towards the proper base. But you’ll also see a couple plays where runners pass each other, such as on a double steal.

Also diverting me from Angels minor league baseball was the arrival in the Space Coast of seven members of my wife’s family. They’ve been here for nearly two weeks, so we’ve been busy playing host, and joined them on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas.

I’ve also been busy volunteering for the Brevard County Fire Rescue, database design and administrative work.

Anyway, I’m trying to find the time to get back to processing all the Cedar Rapids photos and videos. I’m well aware that the June draft lurks right around the corner, and then the short seasons for the Orem Owlz and Tempe Angels.

John Lennon was right.


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