Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fantasy Camp 2014 reunion

Well the reunion has also come and gone. I played in the 8:00 am game at PNC Park, and managed to make a nice running catch in the outfield. At the plate, I only got to bat once, but made the most of it by driving in our team's first run of the game, and later that inning coming around to score.

And then in the nightcap, the Pirates came back from behind and beat the Nationals in a tight game. Raise that Jolly Roger!

While I have had a great time these past 4 years at the Pirates Fantasy Camp, for some personal reasons I am afraid that I must step back from it for a while. Thanks to Joe B. and all the Bradenton staff, pro staff, and other campers, it has been fun. Maybe I will see you all again somewhere down the road.

Take care everyone.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pictures on the Pirates web site

I just noticed that there are some pictures of me on the Pirates web site in the Photo Galleries section. If you go to the Pirates web site, hover over News, and select Photo Galleries under the Related Links section, you will see the Fantasy Camp galleries for January and February of 2014.

There is a picture of me with Jim Rooker in the Day 4 gallery:

Me & Rook

And in the Day 6 gallery, there were 3 pictures that I managed to get into:

Victory dance (???)

Number 1

Team photo

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fantasy Camp 2014 recap

What an amazing week. Team Traynor played super solid baseball all week (excepting for the McKechnie game of course), let by great pitching and infield defense. In terms of my personal contributions defensively, there was not much to do in the outfield, as I only got a chance to catch one fly ball the whole week. However, top to bottom, everyone chipped in and helped out in one way or another, whether it was George making some nice catches in the outfield for us before he got hurt, or Bill swinging a hot bat. And I was happy that I got a couple of timely hits to help our teams out of a couple of tight spots.

Unfortunately due to the rain, we played the requisite number of games, but in terms of innings, we were shorted by about the length of a whole game, but there is nothing you can do about that. Joe B. and the whole Pirate City staff did an outstanding job in that regard, so they have my admiration and thanks.

Here were my final batting statistics for the week:
8 games played
.500 batting average
10 hits in 20 at-bats
6 runs scored
2 triples
4 runs batted in
0 walks
3 strikeouts (still higher than I would like...)
1 hit by pitch

And some additional statistics:
21 plate appearances
.700 slugging percentage (14 total bases in 20 at-bats)
.524 on base percentage (11 times on base in 21 plate appearances)
1.224 OPS

While the week was fun, it is nice to be back home. I hope to see all the campers at PNC Park for the reunion in May. Let's Go Bucs!!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Championship Game Day

The 2014 Pirates Fantasy Camp has finally come to a close, and I am happy to report that my team, Team Traynor, came out victorious in a rain shortened 5 inning game here on field 3 at Pirate City. The final margin of victory was 5 to 2. At the dish, I struck out swinging in my first at bat, and in my second at bat, I hit an opposite field triple with 1 RBI, and then I later scored the final run of the game. In the field, I had no chances.

Team Traynor played fantastically all week, with all facets of the game clicking on all cylinders. Special thanks to our pro staff coaches Bruce Kison and Lee Lacy, our assistant coach Robbie Kison, our Bradenton Booster Dick Davis, and a special shout out to my fellow teammates Dan, Jamie, Eddie, Rick, Paul S., George, Keith, Bill, Roger, Paul T., and Jimmer, I had an awesomely fun week of baseball. And of course the whole thing wouldn't be the same without Joe Billetdeaux in charge. Thanks Joe!

I will post a recap of the camp after I get back to Ohio. See all you campers at the reunion in May.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 5

The big news of the day is that Team Traynor squeaked into the playoffs. There were 3 teams in our division that finished with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss, at which point the tiebreaker is runs scored, of which we had the most.

On an unrelated matter, apparently Mother Nature did not receive the brochure from the Bradenton Area Chamber of Commerce, as the crappy weather this week continued today. It was blustery and rainy today, but we did manage to get in part of the baseball that was to be played.

Our weather shortened 5 inning semifinal game was against Grant Jackson's team, which we won by a score of 6 to 0. At the plate, I went 2 for 2 with 2 singles, one run scored, and one RBI. In the field, I played all five innings in the outfield and had one fly ball hit to me that kind of died in the wind, and as a result I was unable to make a clean play on it, but it turned out not to hurt us. 

By the way, prayers and thoughts out to Buck Jackson, he ended up in the hospital, and hopefully he is going to be OK.

The championship game has therefore been moved to Day 6, which was supposed to be the day that the Pirates fantasy campers faced off against the Baltimore Orioles fantasy campers. The 6 other teams for us will have that responsibility, while we play in the championship game.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 4

We knew that we would need to pick up 2 victories in today's games to make a playoff push, so Team Traynor was ready.

The skies were threatening in the morning, so they decided to shorten the game lengths to 5 innings and play them back to back, so that we could get both games in before the inclement weather. Our first game of the day was on field 3 against Team Waner, who was the other undefeated team left in the league. We came out swinging on offense and superb on defense and pitching and won the game by a score of 13 to 2. At the plate, I was 2 for 3 with a single and run scored, a triple with 1 RBI and a run scored, and a line out to the shortstop. In the field, I played 4 innings in the outfield with no chances.

Our final regular season game of camp was lengthened back to 7 innings as the weather must have cleared up a bit. This game was on field 1 against Team Wagner. Again, we had it all working as we won the game by a score of 8 to 0 and ended our regular season with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss. At bat, I had a fly ball out, a strikeout swinging, and a single, and in the field, I played 4 innings and made a nice running catch of a fly ball. Luckily this was one of our TV games, so hopefully it will be on the DVD.

Whether we make the playoffs or not is yet to be determined. We could end up with 3 teams in our division with identical records of 5 wins and 1 loss, in which case the tiebreakers would be runs scored and runs allowed. Stay tuned...

Day 3

Well the weather certainly cooperated on Tuesday, as warm temperatures and a sun splashed sky greeted us at McKechnie Field for our very important matchup with Team Vaughan. Both teams were 3 and 0 and looking to solidify their standings for a playoff position.

Unfortunately for Team Traynor, they had all the answers while we couldn't figure out what the questions were, and we lost by a score of 11 to 3. My troubles at the plate continued with an 0 for 3 day with 3 ground ball outs, including the final out of the game. In the field, I played 4+ innings in the outfield with no chances.

We need to win both games on Wednesday to lock up a playoff position. It is a daunting task, but one which we hopefully will be up to the challenge for.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 2

The morning looked a bit ominous with heavy rain showers in Bradenton, but luckily there is one turf field here at Pirate City that is ready to play almost immediately after the rain stops.

As a result, the morning game on field 3 was shortened to 4 innings in length. In our game, we played Team Carey and won by a score of 6 to 1. I only had one at bat and popped up for an out, and played 2 innings in the outfield with no chances.

Then, in our second game of the day on field 2, we defeated Team Clemente by a score of 7 to 3. In that game, I went 1 for 3 at the plate with a single and run scored, a strikeout swinging, and a ground out (again, bad call by the umpire, I think I beat the throw). In the field, I played 4 innings in the outfield and again had no chances.

Tuesday is the game at McKechnie Field, it should be interesting to see the renovations they have made there.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 1

Hello friends and family back up in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yes, it is that time again, when winter doldrums turn to sunshine and baseball at the Pittsburgh Pirates Fantasy Camp.

There was not much sunshine today, as it was quite cloudy in Bradenton, with just a few misty sprinkles. And of course, much baseball.

For the evaluation game, I was assigned to team 8 and played on field 4 versus team 6. Since it was an evaluation game, the score didn't matter (especially since our team lost), but I went 1 for 2 with a single and a strikeout on a bad call by the ump. In the field, I played 3 innings in the outfield and made a catch on a long fly ball.

My team this year is Team Traynor, coached by Bruce Kison and Lee Lacy. Our first game was against Team Cuyler on Field 4, and we were victorious by a score of 16 to 1. At the plate, I had 3 singles in 3 at bats and was hit by a pitch, scored a run and had 1 RBI. In the field, I played 4 innings in right field and did not have any chances.

Tomorrow is a double header day, so hopefully the body will hold up.