Monday, July 8, 2013

Jays win Minnesota Series - a mid-season Review - All Star stuff

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013: Twins at Jays - Game 3 scorecard -

Jays played their 88th game of the season and won it - and won the series as well.

The Blue Jays are now only 2 games under .500.

Tuesday the team travels to Cleveland to begin a set of three; then to Baltimore for three ending Sunday afternoon on the 14th - just before the start of the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, part of the All Star break festivities - which (started on Friday - but really) starts on Monday with the Home Run Derby. Tuesday the 16th is the All Star Game. (see mlb schedule at the bottom of this article)

The Blue Jays first game back after the break is Friday, July 19th in Toronto vs.Tampa Bay Rays.

Mid-season review

After Reyes came back, the team's line-up and defence changed ... and while the manager was 'evolving' the team towards whatever it was becoming --- the pitching began it's inevitable return to the terrestrial plain.

Of note - the Jays this season have not had a Starting Rotation. Again this year the staff has been hit by more than their share of injury. All year long the Jays' General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has been borrowing spot starters from a deep roster of pitchers in the Jays' minor league system (the tactic gives the surprise starter's team an advantage, as the opposing team doesn't have good knowledge, or good books on the spot-starter - if he does well he gets another start...). The Jays' record could be seen to be inflated by a couple of wins because of this agressive general managing.

GM Anthopoulos indicated last week to the Toronto Star reporter, Brendan Kennedy that he was open to deals for starting pitching: - July 02, 2013
"Blue Jays: GM Anthopoulos mulling upgrades to starting rotation"
by Brendan Kennedy

"Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos suggested before Tuesday’s game, in his usual oblique manner, that he may be in the market for upgrades to the starting rotation in advance of Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline."

This team has three Starters healthy; the rest is subterfuge.

'The Bullpen's Start'

The bullpen has an extremely low ERA.

I'm wondering - since the bullpen's ERA is so extremely tiny - if every 5th start should be designated a bullpen Start. Bullpen pitchers form a 'start committee', create a pitching specialized plan: someone starts the game and throws the number of pitches that they're used to throwing (or perhaps through the order once); then he gets relieved. The next pitcher pitches whatever innings they're used to ... .


On the offensive side, this team is all about speed (Davis, Reyes, Bonifacio, Izturis, Baustista, Kawasaki). But then this team is also all about power (Bautista, Encarnacion, Lind, Arencibia, Rasmus, DeRosa). After a real tough couple of months in April and May, the team finally found itself a batting order just as they kicked into that great month of winning ball that culminated in the 11 game winning streak. Later, after scuffling along for a week, Reyes came back and Cabrera went on the DL (due to his legs issue) - and the line-up doesn't kick like it did before. Then the pitching started sucking and the team wasn't getting enough runs to make up for it - like they were doing during the good month. So how to configure this line-up so the team remains a team even when a Reyes comes back - or a Cabrera is missing?

Melky Cabrera might be a bigger loss to this batting order then one might think. Almost invisible is he, going about his job - hit, hit, hit - like a clock on the mantle. When Bonifacio and Kawasaki were able to turn the line-up over - there was Melky to help keep it going - a key link towards some really big innings.

Izturis is as hot as a potato right now. Nice compliment for all the lead-off hitters grouped at the bottom of the order. (Manager Gibbons has determined that forcing the other team's starter to face Bautista and Encarnacion in the top of the first (batting #2, #3) benefits the team by destroying good pitching early in the game with a big first inning. With Cabrera hitting lead-off, the table was often set - even with-out a classic #2 hitter (or #3 hitter) - the metric was working). With speed and average hitters grouped at the bottom the order the line-up would often turn over resulting in 2 or 3 runners on when Bautista, and then Encarnacion would come up.

Now with the great Cabrera on the mend - is Reyes a Cabrera?Does it make sense to bat Cabrera #2?


All-in-all I'd say, this .500 team is better than their record suggests. The lack of consistent quality starts is the teams Achilles heel right now.

Odd thing to come to - after the Herculean job the bullpen, all the pitchers on the roster, have done so far this year - but there you have it:

What miraculous thing have you done for me lately?

Another starting pitcher please.

ALL STAR stuff:

Edwin Encarnacion was voted onto AL All Star Team by the Players. Baustista voted on by Fans starts in RF. Brett Cecil Going.

Munenori Kawasaki - not going. But your vote is worth nothing (as you may vote as many times as you like - Citizen). So let's vote Kawasaki onto the team!

Actually, you cannot - it's too late.

But you may "Twitter Vote" for Steve Delabar - Tweet this - it's good for one vote; change it slightly, and Tweet (vote) again. #RaiseTheBar is the keyword: Steve Delabar  (TOR) - #RaiseTheBar @MLB @BlueJays"

"From 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, July 11, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag (noted above) will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire five-day voting period."

For complete voting details see:

MLB Press Release: 7/6/2013 "All-Star Game Final Vote sponsored by (#finalvote) now under way; Twitter voting returns to Final Vote Thursday, July 11" -


Friday, July 12 - Tuesday, July 16
T-Mobile All-Star FanFest at the Javits Center

Saturday, July 13
All-Star 5K & Fun Run benefiting Sandy Relief, presented by Nike, at Brooklyn's Prospect Park
All-Star Charity Concert benefiting Sandy Relief at Central Park

Sunday, July 14
Taco Bell All-Star Sunday at Citi Field featuring: SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and
Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game

Monday, July 15
Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Citi Field
featuring the Chevrolet Home Run Derby

Tuesday, July 16
84th MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field

via MLB -


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

R.A. Dickey by the numbers - Jays win

Was reading the play-by-play at espn and I thought I'd look at just the Bottoms of the innings. The effect was so rewarding - below I copied the play-by-Play and shortened it to a certain degree. I think the effect of reading the 29 items is fantastic!

This is Dickey's Pitching Line - and below that is a list of the 29 plate appearances by the Tampa Bay Rays - only two over the minimum because of a double play in the 6th that erased a base hit.

Toronto Blue Jays
Pitching             IP   H   R   ER   BB   SO   HR   P/S      ERA
R Dickey (W, 7-8)    9.0  2   0   0    1    6    0    93/68    4.72

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

R.A. Dickey pitching for Toronto

1. M Joyce      K 
2. D Jennings   GO 6-3
3. B Zobrist    Ks

4. E Longoria   Ks 
5. J Loney      FO 8
6. W Myers      GO 5-3

7. L Scott      GO 3UA
8. J Molina     GO 1-3
9. Y Escobar    Ks

10. M Joyce     FO 5f
11. D Jennings  Ks
12. B Zobrist   GO 5-3

13. E Longoria  GO 4-3
14. J Loney     BH 7/8
15. W Myers     FC 6UA (J Loney Out)
16. L Scott     FO 4 pop

17. J Molina    LO 5
18. Y Escobar   BH 7
19. M Joyce     DP 4-6-3 

20. D Jennings  BB
21. B Zobrist   FO 3f
22. E Longoria  Ks
    D Jennings  SB
23. J Loney     FO 7f

24. W Myers     FO 7
25. L Scott     FO 5f
26. S Fuld(PH)  LO 6 

27. Y Escobar   GO 5-3
28. M Joyce     GO 1-3
29. D Jennings  GO 5-3

Box score  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9   R   H   E
TOR        0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  1   3   6   0
TB         0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0   0   2   0

Data via espn -


Monday, June 24, 2013

Jays shut down by Rays' Jeremy Hellickson - Streak over

Scorecard: Jays at Rays - Game 1 -

Jays hit a wall named Jeremy Hellickson.

In the 2nd inning Esmil Rogers began throwing the ball up in the zone (battery trying to get command of a pitch that wasn't working?). All three pitches left the yard.

2nd time in Tampa Bay franchise history that the team has hit back-to-back, to-back home runs.

And that's all she wrote.

The Jays had a bases loaded chance in the eighth with Bautista up. Bautista hit into a fielders choice which plated the runner from third - the Jays only run. Encarnacion then Flied Out to right to end the inning.

Hellickson had 4 - three-up, three-down innings of the 7 he pitched. In the others, he faced only four Blue Jay hitters.

Jays had 1 hit and 4 walks off Hellickson, spread evenly over his 7 innings. Three of the walks were left on - one was part of a double play. Of the Jays 3 hits over the entire game - one scored, one was left on, and one was part of a double play.

A dominating performance.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Invincible @BlueJays win 11th straight - execute textbook inside-game - Encarnacion: 3-5 4RBI 2R, Bautista heating up

Scorecard for this game, Orioles at Jays - Game 3:

The Invincible Jays won their 11th straight game this afternoon, sweeping the Baltimore Orioles for 3, their third such series sweep on this unholy run. The Jays powered through the innings this afternoon piling on crooked numbers like destiny was calling them by name.
Edwin Encarnacion continues to bat with a pretty stroke, going 3 for 5 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Amazimgly Jose Bautista has been scuffling overe the last week, but is showing signs of heating up as he (lately uncharacteristically) worked two Baltimore pitchers for walks (plating both times). Later, in the 7th, @JoeyBats19 hit the ball deep in the clutch - plating 3 and snuffing out any hopes the Baltimore's had of rallying late.

Josh Johnson finally gets a 'W' - with an average outing. He totally deserves it after giving the Jays 4 very good Quality Starts since his return to the roster in early June.

Inside Baseball

One of the most beautiful things in baseball - in my opinion - is the manufacture of a run.

Today the Jays created a run out of thin air - 'textbook-style' (see an image of the beautiful thing below). In the bottom of the 2nd inning Emilo Bonifacio, batting 8th - squares to bunt, then pulls the bat back on the pitcher's wind-up, then with a swing that stops short, a 'swinging bunt' - he loops a dying quail over pitcher Freddy Garcia's head into short CF.

Next pitch he steals second.

On the NEXT pitch Kawasaki sacrifice bunts to first base - moving Bonifacio to third. Melky Cabrera sees one pitch and then hits a sacrifice fly out to medium-deep, right-centre field - plating Bonifacio.

I scored the game as usual... and I knew I was going to write about this play. In my opinion this play is a symbol of how different this team is to any other we've seen here in Toronto - it's a Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees kind of team - they can play all the different fashions of the game ... so as I was scoring the game, I made sure to add the pitch notations in this 1/2 inning - so you can better appreciate the pace of events. I'd say the whole cycle - from swinging bunt single - to the run plated - took about 2 minutes.

Image from Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013, "Orioles at Jays - Game 3"


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jays win 8th straight - pitching is light's-out, almost from the time the game starts - I play with numbers...

Scorecard for this game, Rockies at Jays - Game 3:

Image: Rockies at Jays Game 3 Box Score
Since the Jays started getting timely hitting to go with the power hitting, about a month ago (and in the last 10 days or so, lights-out pitching), the Jays have 18 Wins over their last 30 decisions.

Extend that winning percentage to a season (162 games):

18       x           30x            30x  
__   X   ___    =    _______    =   ____    x = 97.20
30       162         18(162)        2916

97 Wins!

Last year, the New York Yankees won the AL East with 95 wins. The Baltimore Orioles won the Wild Card with 93 wins; the third best record in the American League (tied with Texas Rangers).

Fun numbers to think about when the team is hot - but not of much relevance.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jays win 7th in a row - Esmil Rogers stymies NL batting order - winning run plates in bottom of 1st

Scorecard for this game, Rockies at Jays - Game 2:

Image: Rockies at Jays - Game 2 box score, Tuesday, June 18, 2013

 Image: MLB AL East Standings 2013 06 19
(Image via -

John Gibbons used the nice defensive replacement cycle again:

Bonifacio started at 2B. In the top of the 8th he moved to LF - Melky Cabrera out of the game. Batting in Cabrera's place at the top of the order, Kawasaki comes into the game playing SS, which moves Maicer Izturis from SS to 2B - where Bonifacio started.  

Maicer Izturis started at SS. In the top of the 7th he made 1 of the Jays' 2 errors. It was the 3rd and final run of the Rockies 7th. Mark DeRosa started at 3B. In the 2nd he threw one over 1B into RF - no run scored. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pitching is very good in 8 and 2 Jays' 6th consecutive win.

Scorecard for this game:

Rockies at Jays boxscore, 2013 06 17

After falling to 10 games back in the AL East and resting there, the Jays are now on a long awaited streak of winning baseball.

MLB STANDINGS 3013 06 17
(Image via -

Everything is working swimmingly, defense, situational hitting, speed game is effective - special kudos for the extended (AAA) pitching staff, which has put up zeros all over both Leagues of late.

I like the 9th inning defensive substitutions Gibbons made today:

Bonifacio in for Mark DeRosa (2B) - but Emilio plays LF in place of Melky Cabrera, who is out of the game. Kawasaki takes Cabrera's lead-off spot in the order and plays SS; that moves Izturis over to 2B - where DeRosa started.

I think that cycle, or something like it, works for lots of combinations of starters.

Nice. Very National League - Joe Maddon, type stuff.

(Sorry if I fired anyone in April.)


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Complete Game Baseball Scorecard, Rangers at Jays - Game 3

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013
A DIY html baseball scoresheet for scorekeeping baseball games in Blogger

Sunday, June 9, 2013 - Rangers at Jays - Game 3 -


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sometimes you scorecard a game; sometimes the game scorecards you

'Game Notes' from Thursday night's finale of the home, at-home series at Turner Field in Atlanta - Jays at Braves - Game 4 - scorecard is here -

Game Notes

Sometimes you scorecard a game; sometimes the game scorecards you.

I was eaten by a scorecard today.

You can see in the bottom of the 3rd - I had the order out of whack. Missed the last out in the bottom of the 2nd - had to erase 9 at-bats - a HR included - and move every play down one for an inning and a half. Happened again later but I caught it before the inning ended and no homer to contend with (they take a lot of time, colouring four corners, plus any RBI-ed runs).

Hate when that happens.

Jays got eaten up today too --- by baseballs.

JP Arencebia plated one run with a pass ball and one more that wasn't in scoring position when the subsequent "BH" rolled under Edwin Encarnacion's glove (for the second time tonight) - plating two runs. (Scored a base hit by the home town scorekeeper.)

Manager John Gibbons might have put more defence on the field in this game - instead of worrying about right-y left-y match-ups against the great Mike Minor - that's my take-away anyway. See it as a pitching duel with very few runs - which is what it was - 'till the roof caved in with errors and battery problems in the 6th.

At any rate - it's all there - scored properly I think (see link at the top).

The Jays still haven't had their 'dream team' on the field yet this year. Aside from the fielders who have gone down (Reyes, Davis, Lawrie) - the Jays have now used 29 different pitchers. But, on the other hand several of the starting weeks injuries are getting close to returning to the Show: Josh Hamilton is pitching games at AAA Buffalo; Jose Reyes ran sprints on the field today... . (From reports I heard the radio crew - Jerry Howarth, Jack Morris and Mike Wilner - talk about during the game.)

That's eight games in a row without TV (my TV just died, and minor league hockey was on SportsNet basic cable for 4 days before that).

Anyways, I really cannot abide the on-again, off-again television broadcaster.

Radio:  It really ties the room together --- Dude. :)

"The Big Lebowski" Official Trailer


Monday, May 27, 2013

This Line-up is HOT! Now... What's wrong with the Pitching?

'Game Notes' from tonight's scorecard, Braves at Jays - Game 1:

Game Notes

This team is hot at the plate and has been since the thumping of Boston (Sunday, May 12) where Gibbons hit Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion 1,2,3. And, I should point out - when Gibbons started batting Bonifacio 8, and Kawasaki 9.

Watch these line ups over days ... the four batters in the 4,5,6,7 spots rotate about based on who's hot and perhaps pitcher vs batter stats).

Now how to find Maicer Izturis some playing time, find a role for him on this team.

If I was Maicer Izturis I would be practicing eight hours a day to become, Bunting Superstar! Mirror what Kawasaki does - Reed Johnson does [yes TO fans, that was THE Reed Johnson tonight in RF]. Study pitcher's pick-off moves; do the whole specialist, speed thing.

Now with the line-up clicking, 'What's wrong with the pitching department?! :)

There's always something.

If this team gets cooking together, I don't see that there is a time soon when Jays fans need to begin to worry the team is too far out. I like the idea that even 2/3rds of the way through (game 108 !?!) is not too late for this team to get back into a play-off race (with the balance we have across the leagues these days).

Hovering around 10 games out - this team has the power to put together a 10 game win streak (with the pitching they think they have). Do that in late August and every April and May is forgiven.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kawasaki smacks walk-off double - Jays split Baltimore series

Game Notes from Sunday afternoon's scorecard, Game 4 between the visiting Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Orioles at Jays - Game 4" -

Game Notes

Bottom 8th

Tommy Hunter makes a barehanded catch of the Bautista line-drive ground ball ends the 8th Inning. Down by 1one with the bases loaded, rallying once again in this game that the Jays have never lead - Hunter's catch and assist is a deflating game changer.

At this point - Hunter's play seemed likely to be the play of the game in another Blue Jays' loss..

Here's the video from MLB of Tommy Hunter's amazing barehanded catch. You can hear a *smack* - as he grabs the hurtling ball from it's path. Lucky.

"Hunter's slick defense"
(Embed code seems not to be working - see at the mlb link under this article.)

9th Inning

Both teams left base runners all over the base paths today, but especially the Jays. In the 4th the Blue Jays have runners on first and second with no outs, and could only muster one run on a sac-fly. Then in the 7th the Jays' leave the sacks full, without plating a run in a two out rally. In the eighth they again plated only one while batting at one point with the bases loaded and one out.

Jay's were not getting that key base hit of late that would put them in charge in this series. The Blue Jays since opening day are 7-17 in one-run games. (Baseball Reference 2013 Jays: .)  The Jays are more apt to lose rather than win - close games.

So it was typical of this game - and of the Blue Jays season in general - that when Munenori Kawasaki came to the plate with one out in the 9th, with the tying and winning runs on the bases, an aura of doom was swimming with this reporter's thoughts. The Jays had, after all, just given up two insurance runs to the Baltimores in the top of the inning.

Kawasaki was in a place of much tension - set up where he could succeed at exactly what he was good at doing: turning the line-up over, getting the clutch base hit - and in doing so in this instance, likely plate the tying run and keeping the rally wheel rolling. Or he could fail at exactly what he does best, and end the game the goat after an otherwise fairly good day at the plate.

Munenori Kawasaki did neither --- instead he slapped an Ichiro-style line-drive towards the left centrefield gap, right between the left and centre fielders - and it skips off the turf and scoots to the wall! The hit not only plates the tying run - but the winning run too (all the way from 1st in the person of not-so-fleet-a-foot (but off on the 3-2 pitch) Mike DeRosa)!

Kawasaki could have taken the extra bag for the official triple (Balitimore centre fielder Adam Jones had no play on DeRosa and made no throw)... but on his way around second Kawasaki veers off towards the team celebration that is erupting out of  the third base dugout, just as Mike DeRosa crosses the plate... .


Video of Kawasaki's walk-off double is presently not available for embed.

"Kawasaki's walk-off double" 
(Embed code seems not to be working - see at the mlb link under this article.)

You may watch these videos at this MLB page:
(Click the video tab, top-right, scroll down the list on the right.)

 Line-ups pitching totals via:


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Jays' manager Gibbons' outrageous 'Cycle of Hitters' lineup works brilliantly in romp of BoSox

Game Notes from Sunday afternoon's scorecard - Game 3 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, and the Boston Red Sox --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Jays at Red Sox - Game 3" -

I've managed at the Co-ed Rec league level, and sitting around on game night's drinking and talking with your best baseball friends about line-ups can be fascinating and fun. Understanding who is who on a team is one of the great challenges of managing. Sometimes moving one player up one spot in the lineup changes everything.

Sometimes it changes nothing.

But in baseball - as in life - there are so many variables you often don't know if what you did was the reason the team began to win; so you're usually left with little myths that become apparent are in function --- like grouping all the outfielders together in the order; never play her starting in that ball yard; always drinking at a different bar after each win ... stuff like that.

Usually what happens on winning teams is the team begins to believe in stuff that is absolute BS - but because the team believes these things... they become true. And you don't mess with them - and the team goes all the way to the finals (and loses; because they drank too much all year. :)

Today as I was filling in the lineup in the scorecard I imagined John Gibbons getting really drunk with his favourite baseball brain trust mind and coming up with today's outrageous lineup:

Toronto Blue Jays Lineup - Sunday, May 12, 2013

1. M Cabrera LF
2. J Bautista RF
3. E Encarnacion DH
4. J Arencibia C
5. A Lind 1B
6. B Lawrie 3B
7. C Rasmus CF
8. E Bonifacio 2B
9. M Kawasaki SS

Its a variation his lineups all year - but with one revolutionary difference - what he's done is moved all the lead off style players to the Bottom of the order - and moved the *almost* NL Batting Champion, and the AL *almost* Home Run Champions into the 1,  2, 3 spots.

If you look closely, it's my line up proposal from April 29th --- on it's head.

Optimal Blue Jays' Line-up

1. C Rasmus CF, or R Davis RF
2. E Bonifacio 2B, or R Davis RF, or M Izturis 2B, or M Kawasaki SS
3. M Cabrera LF
4. J Bautista RF
5. E Encarnacion DH
6. A Lind 1B
7. B Lawrie 3B, or Mark DeRosa 3B
8. J.P. Arencibia C, or Henry Blanco C
9. M Kawasaki SS

From my April 29th blog,
"What's wrong with the Blue Jays' Line-up?"

And as I wrote in an article a week later - on May 5th - in "Munenori Kawasaki, through the Looking Glass" (

"There is after all - once through the batting order (through the looking glass, if you wish) - no 1 or 9 hitter, but simply a cycle of hitters."

Well, this cycle of hitters lineup worked fantastically today.

(Or is it that the Boston's just beginning to stink up the joint?)

Whatever version of ethereal real is the truth - the Jays are now stuck with this lineup until another mythos begins to present itself.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Jon Lester 1 hits Jays in complete game shut out win for Boston

Game Notes from Friday evening's scorecard - Game 1 of 3 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Jays at Red Sox - Game 1" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 0
Boston Red Sox: 5

Boston Red Sox
J Lester
(W, 5-0)	9.0	1	0	0	0	5	0	118-79	2.73

Not much one can say. I'll let Brooks Baseball tell the story.

Brooks Baseball - Jon Lester, Release Point, All Pitches

Brooks Baseball - Jon Lester, Strikezone Plot, All Pitches


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Disrupting MLB Advanced Media's no-embed meme with HTML5 'iframe'

For a while there it looked to me like MLB Advanced Media had convinced all the MLB Clubs to allow sharing of the locally produced content --- thus making the site truly a place of advanced media ...

But over the past few days I've run into the same old fallacious content hording meme at that results in video content being unavailable for embed.

For example, in last night's 'Game Notes' post I talked about the Izturis foul ball call - the article relied very much on my memory of the event (and later, after MLB posted video content on the subject) - seeing a replay of the event. As it was I was left with adding a boring link at the bottom of the post, rather than an nice embed. An embed would have 'blinged' the article beautifully (worked well with the content I wrote).

Embedding video on blogs and in social media networks ensures readers have an excellent user experience - and thus leave them with a 'warm glow' after experiencing my content production - about MLB's content production.

It's a win-win for producers all the way down the line - and adds value to both producers content.

Without embeds, that key Live feel that makes internet media experiences truly great - falls down to mediocre, lame, a 'loser', Web 1.0 - kind of experience where the reader is left wondering why the writer didn't embed the video - or wondering why MLB is so lame that they don't allow embeds.

Bad taste in the mouth - no warm glow = Internet #Fail.

So I thought I'd stop waiting for MLB clubs to catch up to the new Now - stop waiting for MLB to stop ruining my baseball writing presentations --- and do something about it!

The world of internet technology is all about Sharing --- it's THE foundation stone of the thing. And as we are at the very beginning of a long period of revolution about communications, the technology of the internet is seemingly, forever moving forward.

So even while the clubs of MLB dither and prevaricate about signing content deals with their media production partners that allow widespread sharing - I've been learning more and more about with the possibilities in the new and game-changing HTML5 protocols. I've discerned from my limited understanding of iframes - that an iframe basically allows one to open any page on the web inside of a styled box in a html document - and that I could end-run any coding that does not allow embedding videos by housing the entire MLB page inside an HTML5 iframe tag

Below is an 'iframe' that houses an page that is running the video I wanted - on page load. It's the Rays' video of last night's game where Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon gets ejected for arguing the Izturis foul ball call.

MLB won't allow embedding of this video - they only offer a link to the page.

That link to the MLB page is coded so that it renders inside an HTML5 iframe. Around that iframe I added an 'outer container' - that has an 'overflow hidden' element in it, and thus only shows a relatively small 'keyhole' - a window through which you can see - that reveals a small portion of the web page behind it. By tweaking the position of that page behind the keyhole, I can position that page so the video lines up exactly in the keyhole. So now it looked like it's a video embed.

Now I said to myself triumphantly, I can embed any video from any web page on the planet - coded for sharing or not. If it's up online - it's embeddable in any blog or website - period.

Take that, you dinosaurs of the broadcast era. :)

(You need to be running an HTML5 Browser or this post is likely a bloody mess --> Chrome 25, Firefox 19, IE8, Opera 12.1, Safari 5.1)

MLB - 05/08/13 "Maddon tossed for disputing call" (02:29)

Update 2013-05-12:
This Experiment failed after several attempted work-arounds; so I've place the coding in a textarea - if you want to try fiddling with it.

I believe the hidden page behind the overflow hidden keyhole element, extended beyond the right border of the main-wrapper (the body of the blog), and thus kicked the sidebar wrapper down under the body.

But as a proof of concept this 'faux-embed' did work. But the concept doesn't have the flexibility to work anywhere but in a blog or website that has it's body width set specifically to house the MLB Gameday defaults.

Update II: MLB has the video available for embed now. :)

Update III:: Oh. Now I see on render, that this is not the case.

Another kind of faux-embed. :)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Izturis's foul ball - did the Umpire get it right?

Game Notes from Wednesday evening's scorecard - Game 3 of 4 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Jays at Rays - Game 3" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 4
Tampa Bay Rays: 10

Izturis's foul ball - did the Umpire get it right?

This was a weird one.

I sat down to score tonight's game hoping to see the Tampa Bay Rays' phenom Matt Moore (5-0, 1.94 ERA) pitch towards his 6th win with whatever he does to get those kind of numbers. Instead I watched two teams play sloppily on the base paths and a couple of pitchers barely avoid being crushed by avalanches of their own design.

Ricky Romero had one out and the sacks full with three runs in, in the first before Gibbons pulled him in favour of veteran starter Edgar Gonzalez - today's call-up from AAA Buffalo to replace line-drive-to-the-head starter J. A. Happ (on the DL - he's OK; was at the ball park, gave press conference) - and Moore - the 6 win Moore - was just awful ... but just awfully wild enough that the Jays couldn't get that key hit all night long - with the bases full of runners - all night long. And when they did string together hits late, against the Tampa bullpen, ran themselves out of the inning with stupid base running and at one point actually scored a run on insane base running by two runners on the same play! (Arencebia and Davis in the 7th)

The foul ball

In the 6th the Umpires got into the act, calling a ball hit into the field of play a foul ball.

With the ball hit to 1st baseman James Loney fielding *behind* the 1st base bag, that ball should have been seen by the Umpire as a ball in play, a fair ball --- should it not?

On the replay though, the ball seemed to hit first in the left handed batter's, batters box - foul - before lining to the fair side of the bag at first to the waiting Loney.

The thing is, the batter's box is in foul ground - so therefore isn't that immediately a foul ball? Like when the batted ball hits the batter - still in the batters box - isn't is called a foul?

But then a ball in play can roll foul and then roll fair again along the fouls lines; the call - fair or foul - only happens after the fielder touches the ball (that's why you see corner fielders - who think they don't have a play at first on a slow rolling ball down the line - scoop the ball in foul ground away from the field of play - they're making sure there is no mistake, that they don't let it run fair again and allow the runner a base hit).


I have never seen a ball hit first foul and then on a seemingly straight line end up passing into the outfield fair.


I think that a hit ball has to hit in fair ground *first* before it can then go foul - and perhaps come back fair again.

I think the Umpire may have gotten it right after all.

But that's not what all the experts on the broadcast thought - and Joe Maddon the Rays' skipper got thrown out of the game by Home plate Umpire Scott Barry for arguing it.

What say you?

MLB - 05/08/13
"Maddon tossed for disputing call" (02:29)


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"The Horrific Line Drive"

Game Notes from Tuesday evening's scorecard - Game 2 of 4 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Jays at Rays - Game 2" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 6
Tampa Bay Rays: 4

Bottom of the 2nd:

"The Horrific Line Drive"

Tampa Bay centre fielder Desmond Jennings hit a line drive back up the middle that hit J. A. Happ in the right side of his head. The ball was hit so hard it ricocheted off Happ and out to the Rays' right field line bullpen. Bautista got it back into the infield to hold Jennings to a triple. (read more in the scrolling south east text box, top At-Bat box - bottom of the 2nd inning)

As the medical crews from both teams stabilized James Anthony Happ on the side of the mound the entire stadium was dead quite - it was like there was no one there - everyone on the edge of there seats, whispering as they watched.

Soon after Happ was off the field in a wheeled stretcher, news came that he had been taken directly to a waiting ambulance and then immediately to the nearest hospital.

I've never seen anything like this before, and it shook me up pretty good. I think it shook up everyone - even the game took on a going-through-the-motions feel for at least four innings.

I'm still shaky, and my adrenaline is pumping as I begin to write this after completing the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd.

It's just that - we still don't know what going to happen here.

I wish James Happ a speedy and uneventful recovery.

Every infielder's worst nightmare.


'The Horrific Line Drive' is from Gregg Zaun - during the 4th inning break on Sportnet's 'Blue Jays Central', with host Jamie Campbell.

Video via NewsJCM's Youtube Channel


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Munenori Kawasaki, through the Looking Glass

Game Notes from Sunday afternoon's scorecard - Game 3 of 3 between the visiting Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Mariners at Blue Jays - Game 3" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Seattle Mariners: 2
Toronto Blue Jays: 10

Munenori Kawasaki, through the Looking Glass

I missed today's game; this scorecard was produced after the game from the MLB, 'Gameday', Play-by-Play page (

As I was filling in the line-ups I said to myself, 'Holy cow what is Gibbons doing now - batting Bonifacio 8th? Doesn't he read my blogs? Doesn't he understand that Bonifacio is a top-of-the-order kind of player?'

But was I wrong, this line-up - with the turn-the-line-up-over 8 and 9 hitters (Bonifacio and Kawasaki) - really worked against Seattle pitcher Joe Saunders today (although with the exception of St Louis Cardinals' manager, Tony La Russa - where pitchers hit eighth - I've never seen this done before).

Admittedly, Bonifacio went 0 for 4 in the 8 spot - but his presence down there seemed to bring out the best in Kawasaki - who had a great game at the bottom of the order.

In 4 plate appearances Kawasaki sacrificed, which drove a run in; walked; then singled, driving in another run, and in turning the line-up over, allowed Encarnacion to plate Kawasaki himself; singled again to turn over the line-up again, which resulted in another run scored later that inning. Over-all Kawasaki went 2 for 2, 2 RBI, and a run scored.

I still believe that batting Cabrera 3, Bautista 4, and Encarnacion 5 is the better order - but if you want to start with the 8 hitter as your - of several lead off batter - well then, OK. There is after all - once through the batting order (through the looking glass, if you wish) - no 1 or 9 hitter, but simply a cycle of hitters.

Put 'em anywhere you wish Mr. Gibbons, as long as there's more guys who are capable of getting on in front of the nuclear-ball aided dynamic duo.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Skipper Gibbons likely fired after Jays leave town

Game Notes from Saturday afternoon's scorecard - Game 2 between the visiting Seattle Mariners and the struggling Toronto Blue Jays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Mariners at Blue Jays - Game 2" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Seattle Mariners: 8
Toronto Blue Jays: 1

In some years of baseball writing I have learned never to make predictions; but today I'm going to go out on a limb and make the great leap. Gibbons is already fired - the Jays are waiting for the correct time to make the announcement.

This is not a surprise to this writer - I've been calling for Gibbons' head since an April 16th game against the White Sox, when Gibbons pinch hit Rajai Davis for Colby Rasmus in the 7th in a close game. The move weakened Gibbons' defence going into the late innings (- and the move cost him the game as the winning hit (White Sox, seventh hitter - in the ninth) sailed over the second-string centre fielder's head. (see complete game scorecard for that game -

Listening to the TV Play-by-Play today - and having watching the team closely through the year so far - I agree with Buck Martinez's take on the level of over-all team 'elan' (today, catcher Henry Blanco not knowing how many outs there were - and the entire team not seeming to know how many outs there were).

I have also learned in some years of baseball writing, that road trips are great places for bad news.

Toronto leaves town for Florida after tomorrow afternoon's finale with the Mariners - I expect the Blue Jays will release Manager John Gibbons at the beginning of this road trip - likely after the papers have gone to bed in the wee hours of Monday morning, May 6th.

It's always nice to let someone off the bus near their home (Texas).

All Scorecard 'Game Notes' are cross posted at Michael Holloway's Baseball Blogs -


Monday, April 29, 2013

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013 Minima II v 3.6 Architecture

In the last post on Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013 Architecture I had the batting totals boxes grouped in eighteen, seven column boxes, four rows high. My text editor, blogger and all the Browsers I tested the coding in (Chrome, Firefox and IE7), didn't like it.

So I threw out all that coding and instead created seven narrow, long columns that run the entire length of both scorecards - in each column are seventy five elements that are individually the totals boxes for each batter in the line-up - times 3 for substitutes.

The bench tables and the pitching tables were also formed in the manner I discovered browsers hate - so I tried something that I didn't really think would work - but it did.

The bench tables and the pitching tables are coded in six different columns - yet on render they look like they are placed on top, as one thing - in fact, each line and even the main title text are in separate columns.

That this works amazes me, because I thought that separating the coding like that, separating 1 pixel wide lines, and text like that, would lead to instability issues; but on zoom the elements grow in size exactly together - even the 'Bench Table' and 'Pitching Totals' header titles - which are both in two separate columns, align perfectly at any zoom setting.

Now the only coding not in one of the base-level columns, is the per-inning-totals Totals box - which is (will be) a positioned element, coded at the very bottom of the mark-up.

Columns are amazing.

Columns good.

Here's another schematic I drew to illustrate the architecture.

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013 - "Test: Minima II v 3.6.01 - bench, pitching tables in the columns" -


What's wrong with the Blue Jays' Line-up?

Game Notes from Sunday afternoon's scorecard - Game 4 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Blue Jays at Yankees - Game 4" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 2
New York Yankees: 3

What's wrong with the Blue Jays' Line-up?

(Written after I filled in the line-ups for today's game)

Yesterday I ranted here in Game Notes about how John Gibbons doesn't seem to know his players. Specifically I wondered why he didn't bat Cabrera in the 3 spot - as he is the team's best batter (average, situational, power); and move the heavy hitters into the 4 and 5 spots. I may have come off a little harsh, and without backing up my opinion with some details.

Here's what I meant:

Optimal Blue Jays' Line-up

1. C Rasmus CF, or R Davis RF
2. E Bonifacio 2B, or R Davis RF, or M Izturis 2B, or M Kawasaki SS
3. M Cabrera LF
4. J Bautista RF
5. E Encarnacion DH
6. A Lind 1B
7. B Lawrie 3B, or Mark DeRosa 3B
8. J.P. Arencibia C, or Henry Blanco C
9. M Kawasaki SS

The idea is to position 2 of the Jays' speedy, slap-hitting, inside-game-capable players in the 1, 2 spots; and bat Cabrera in the 3 hole.

This is not set in stone - for example, Lind, Lawrie and Arencibia can move up and down in the 6, 7, 8 spots - depending how they're hitting ... Lawrie and Rasmus as well show speed,average and power, so they can move in and out of the top of the order and down into the clean-up spots - giving the manager lots of flexibility in defensive planning.

Kawasaki is also top of the order style hitter - but Kawasaki is a ten year veteran of the Japanese leagues, he has the experience that may make him valuable batting ninth and in turning the line-up over --- so let him excel in the 9 spot through that added responsibility. Allow him to lead from the bottom through his sacrificing a number of at-bats batting low in the order, in order to help the team. Kawasaki may be better suited to this role because in the baseball culture he comes from, putting the team before the individual is highly accented - much more than it is here.

The use of the 9 spot in this way is based on the way many great managers have used a very good hitter in the 9 spot --- like the New York Yankees managers have done through the last period.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Every wrong move - is Coach Gibbons in over his head?

Game Notes from Saturday afternoon's scorecard - a match between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Blue Jays at Yankees - Game 3" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 3
New York Yankees: 4

This coach doesn't see baseball the way I see baseball. I don't agree with his approach with regards to defensive substitutions late - the way he's utilizing the parts he has; how he has the line-up configured, and how he uses the pitching staff; how he seems to determines everything that happens on the field from the foundation stone of the lefty / right-y pitcher batter match-ups meme.

Rasmus out of the line-up because of a lefty right-y match-up thing??? How about putting your best defence on the field against one of the stingiest pitchers in the league in what appears to be a closely matched series?

Of coarse it doesn't matter if the whole world doesn't like the way Gibbons' manages, the question is, do the players on this team respond to how he's doing it? As far as I can see no one is being put in a position to succeed, it's like he hasn't a clue who he has on the team - it's all about a calculator struck in average vs pitcher over time.

For example why not move Bautista down to the four spot and bat Cabrera three - he's the best batter and a idea three hitter; move Bautista and Encarnacion down to four and five spots and then you show the team who they are - a contender. Instead Gibbons sticks with the line-up architecture that the Jays' have used the past three seasons - because they didn't have the parts to configure the line-up in this, the ideal fashion.


Jays' shaky defense obscures positives in tight tilt with Yanks

Game Notes from Friday evening's scorecard - a match between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, and the New York Yankees --- the complete scorecard of which ... is here: "Blue Jays at Yankees - Game 2" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 4
New York Yankees: 6

Yankees win by 2 with a wild pitch and a pass ball by the Jays' battery - both of which plate runs That and base on balls all over the place; plus a double play not made in the second - and that's all she wrote. Shaky defense loses this one.

Interesting - this beat up Yankee team, and this still-finding-their-way Jays team - seemed to struggle together today - the game had a battle of cosmic forces kind of feel to it. These teams are well matched.

We'll have an indication whether or not my feeling is correct if the Jays win the next two. Quite an unlikely feat at this point.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013 Architecture

Starting in the fall of 2010 I started to teach myself how to write html; and to build a way of scoring baseball games on line and publish them for free via Blogger. It took me a long time to learn how to code a web page correctly - but this spring I finally gleaned how it is done properly. To internalize the knowledge, I produced a schematic of the 2013 version (see the image below, and check out the real thing at the link).

Websites are configured in 'columns'. Every element of a web page is held in Horizontal position within a column. Vertically they are held in place by either stacking elements one on top of the other; or via the html 'position:' tag.

In this production, the vast majority of the page is held in place by 'div' elements stacked into one of 13 columns.

The Game Notes area (default top left); the per-inning totals table; and the bench and pitching tables for each team are coded at the bottom of the html - and positioned over top of the columns.

Here's a schematic of the 'Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013' - that I produced with my computer's 'Microsoft Paint' program:

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013 -


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hats off to Yankee starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda ...

Game Notes from Saturday afternoon's scorecard - a match between the visiting Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here:

Game Notes

46,095 paid tickets

Final in 11
New York Yankees: 5
Toronto Blue Jays: 3

As the TV sportcasting crew was saying all game long, the Jays were hitting the ball right at positioned Yankees ... And that tells you (me) that the Yankees' starting pitcher had full command and control of his pitches today - pitching to spots against the Jay's offense, that resulted in the batted ball going where the Yankee brain trust predicted they would most likely go.

Hats off to Yankee starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda for executing the game plan.

On the sloppy play by the Blue Jays' defence (which cost them the game) there is plenty of blame to go around. It seems everyone is trying too hard - especially Lawrie who is a natural leader - and so everyone is trying too hard ...

Not to mention that it is still uncertain who will stick with this team. With lots of major league capable talent just down the road in AAA Buffalo, who knows what will happen if some under performance is detected - anywhere on the field, it seems (if John Gibbons' PH and defensive replacement meme is any indication - which as yet, it is hard to tell  what messages he's trying to send to his players --- from here, a mile away from the stadium, at any rate).

Which reminds me of an idea related to this - do second-time-through coaches get the usual honeymoon ... Or are we allowed to call for their heads in April?  :)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dammit Jim, I'm a Health Insurance Adjustor, not a Baseball Writer!

Game Notes from Tuesday night's scorecard - a match between the visiting White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here:

Game Notes

Gibbons PH for Rasmus in the 7th.


Usually you try to put your best defensive team on the field with a lead late. As the score was tied...

I like the way Joe Madden manages - everyone moves to the same position at a certain point in the game when the coach decides it's the best inning. That team is your defensive juggernaut.


It has to be a physical problem, because Rasmus was 2 for 2 with a home run when Gibbons pulled him, late, in a low scoring, tie game.

Dammit Jim, I'm a Health Insurance Adjustor, not a Baseball Writer!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

drawing illusions with code

This is a bit of code I wrote that creates the outfield icon perimeter in the Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013.

To show you how it's made, below I add 'border: 1px solid;' to two 'containers'.

The border reveals the two containers which each have a white background. The inner shape is a 'border-radius:' - code that lets you put rounded corners on a box.

Here I show the two containers pulled apart. I moved the right-hand container 'left: 30px;'.

If I put a box with a white background around the half circle you can see the five shapes create an illusion:

A floating semi-circle. The top of a parachute. Perhaps the ice-cream end of the cone.

'radius-simple' - that will go into the scorecard


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Baseball Art - "Izturis slides, Perez blocks, Jerry Meals gets into position"

An instant of a game caught on high definition camaras, broadcast on line at MLB and paused by me at this instant. The shot reminds me of the action in the Ty Cobb photo (see below) of him sliding into third, into the camera.

Everything's in motion in this frame. The tension before resolution is at it's zenith. I love the way the umpire is 'flowing' with the play.

"Izturis slides, Perez blocks, Jerry Meals gets into position"
"Izturis slides, Perez blocks, Jerry Meals gets into position"
by Michael Holloway
(open image in a new tab to see full size)

So what happened?!

--> Izturis looked to be blocked off the plate, but the ump had the only good look at it - he ruled the runner's cleat touched the plate (otherwise he was out).

Charles M. Conlon's photograph of Ty Cobb (1910), via Graham Womack's Twitter background image -

Updated version - with cropped section restored (from Baseball's Golden Age: The Photographs of Charles M. Conlon 1993)

Screen Print via Time Magazine


Top image created from a screenshot from MLB, Gameday, "Kawasaki's sac fly"

MLB | "Kawasaki's sac fly" | TOR@KC: Kawasaki drives in Izturis with a sac fly (01:16)

(Can't link directly to it - the link above gets you to the MLB Box Score for this game. Click on the Video Tab at the top and check the list of videos for this game - your looking for, "Kawasaki's sac fly".)

[This is a bad user experience, MLB Advanced Media.]


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WHY do 'IMG' tags align left to right by default - unlike any other tag?

Minima II v3.5.0 latest version DIY baseball scorecard for Blogger

Originally at +Michael Holloway in Google+
2013-03-26 12:48 AM (edited) - Public

This is the story of a fella who tried to learn how to code web pages without a teacher. Yeah, it's been done before - but this is my story, a long story/short - by way of introducing the latest version of my DIY html baseball scorecard - using Blogger as the publish medium.

I started a new Blogger blog for this year's version ( - I used the Template Editor to pick a blog with a left sidebar, had to settle for a blog template that had one on each side, erased all the coding for the right sidebar, and then made the body of the blog really, really wide. I was done in about 20 minutes - simple. Simple I hoped, would mean fast.

When I started coding this scorecard monster back in 2010 (, somehow I got the different default properties of the 'img' tag, and all other html tags - confused. I found out early in blogging, that if one wanted to place two images side by side, all you had to do was make sure they were small enough to fit in the space that one was providing for them and - by default in all browsers - they sit one beside the other; unlike any other tag, all of which align one Under the other.

So when I finally got to the point of discarding 'tables' as a way of positioning elements in the scorecard - and instead started using the position attribute - I was constantly trying to get elements to run left to right - like images do - trying to take advantage of the browser defaults to reduce coding and increase efficiency.

Blogger didn't like my coding; browsers didn't like it. I was at a loss ... all my scorecards we slow and sometimes became scrambled, especially in the new Blogger Compose Interface ... Until finally a couple of days ago - I realized, all elements align one BELOW the other by default, in all browsers - ALL EXCEPT image!!!

This new baseball scorecard is now built like all other web pages - positioned columns with rows of elements in them.

So far so good in Blogger.

Next I'm going to try and rebuild the monster with all the style in css in the Template of the blog (which will reduce the number of bytes per post by about half. Blogger likes that - and each post must be 1MB or less).

See how css in the template renders the new coding in Blogger's Compose Interface (which has been the biggest problem of late) - tomorrow perhaps.

Still lots of tables to make with columns and rows; and per-inning-totals coding to do - but it all looks like its going to end up smaller than Blogger's maximum of 1,048,576 bytes.

So it's looking like I'll be able to start scoring games in time for the start of the MLB season next week ... And log as many games as I can this year, on the way the the World Series where the Toronto Blue Jays will win in 6 over the San Fransisco Giants.

(when pigs fly; but there's a good chance the team will make the play-offs. :)

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013 | Monday, March 25, 2013 | TEST: optimized for browser defaults, style in html, scrolling text areas, 11 col, 9 row, 2 teams -

Internet Baseball Scorecard 2013:

Full size image (

(edited for clarity)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Earliest Baseball Memories

William Ivie, Jr. (I-70 Baseball one of the fearless Baseball Bloggers Alliance, baseball bloggers, put up a form asking folks to sumit their earliest, most profound baseball memory.

Below is my submission.

Add yours to the form - Bill guarantees your submission will be included in the article. (I'll link to the piece when it's published at I-70 Baseball.)

'Earliest Baseball Memories' form:

My Earliest Baseball Memory

My earliest baseball memory is standing in right field as a 14 year old; the team from my Village visiting another - Bright, Ontario was it's name (where the great cheddar cheese comes from).

It was my first year in the PeeWee league, and in our new farm house in a new Township, in a new Province ... and I wasn't feeling like I was 'on the Team'.

I wasn't in right field because of my great arm or ability to track balls slicing towards the right field line (both of which I later discovered I was very good at) - this was 14 year old's - I was in right field because the couch didn't bother to find out what part of the game I was good at. I was the outsider, the kid from Alberta - in right - I was there because hitters at this level aren't adept at hitting the ball the other way - and 90% of us were righties.

I watched motionless from medium-deep right field as the bottom of the innings paced by.

As the brilliant setting summer sun began to spot the infield the character of the light became angelic - like when the cinematographer puts oil on the lens of the camera to get that wisps of cloud look around the edges. At one point I noticed that I couldn't hear a sound from the infield. The wind was blowing in - and so even as I was playing relatively shallow (because of the wind) - because of the wind there was an acoustic shadow in right. The game I didn't feel much a part of was all happening in a fully brilliant, dream-like holiness - but in complete quiet - like a silent film made by god.

And I found myself at that moment, pinning for the hoop and backboard my dad had mounted for me on the yard-light pole, halfway to the barn - practicing my free throws and 20 footers.