Thursday, October 26, 2006

Intro to Baseball...

For those of you that have no interest, know someone that has no interest, or knows someone that's never know the game of baseball, Game 4 of the 2006 World Series featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers in the new Busch Stadium is something that should be exhibited forever as a tool to turn people into baseball fans.

Regardless of what team you're pulling for (the Cards won, 5-4 to take a series lead of 3-1), this game had just about everything you could ever want to see in baseball.

-- Clutch hitting from BOTH sides - including some of the best 2-out hitting from the Cardinals I have ever witnessed in baseball, was featured in almost every single inning from the 3rd on.

-- Diving tries at catches - from the Flying Inge at 3rd, to the almost-a-death-defying-catch from Granderson to the I-Have-The-Biggest-Heart-In-Baseball dives from one David Eckstein, this game had some of the best air ever.

-- Giant Little Stat-defying Errors: While pitchers were certainly on the top of the heap tonite, the errors committed were "small" errors, but really turned the tide of the game, again, and again and again.

-- Young and Old Guns Showing Skill: I don't have enough praise for both of these teams, as to their skill levels, their tenacity (good gawd, Sean Casey, one of my favorite players ever - just a total professional that contributes over and over) and absolute drive to win these games.

-- The Boys in Baseball: I have always had interest in David Eckstein, "the Ecks Factor", who joined us from the Angels just this last year who - in my opinion, demonstrates the heart of what baseball is. The man hauls his ass every second he is out on the field. It's not just running out groundballs, it's running his ass off, 115% of the time that he's on the field and off. The man in interviews is a shining sample of a bit of what baseball used to be for me, which was an absolute love - a commitment to excellence that I wish so many more players in today's game would take as the centerpoint of their career, rather than the shiftless money-and-fame viewpoint that we see from so many over and over again.

-- The Callers of the Game: While I am an old school fan of Tim McCarver (his days with Jim Palmer are the things of legend) his inability to stay in topic (though is that his schtick now or just the obscure social referencing during the game? Who knows...) is more often than not irritating - but see that's part of the game too! He is easily compensated for the silky-swami of baseball color commentary and play by play, Joe Buck. Folks I would just about assasinate any other commentator, in any other sport to have this guy voiceover the action. Just astounding, able to give what I want to hear, and verification of the often hard truth that is baseball. Kudos to YOU Joe, and to Fox for ensuring that he's on the mantle of what we in St. Louis would and continue to love to hear.

I want to hear what you the listeners, either haters of baseball, semi-fans, or even the die-harders think of this years offerings. Stellar events here in my own town, that really make the heart reel.


As originally posted at The LunchTimeGab: An Online Variety Show Not to Be Missed...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

October Challenge - 07 -- Ode to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Guitar Stupor!

This time last year I was well into my 2nd month of an exercise program, and with the assistance of Maya, my virtual trainer, and eating controlled portions and some patience I managed to lose 40+ pounds taking me to a very comfortable 205. A very trying time as everyone knows about lifestyle changes, but one that I feel very satisfied with.

Last week my wife and I got home LATE after she was done and had stayed on late at work to collect some overtime and she had brought home a pack of "Sugar Free Tollhouse Cookies" and baked a dozen when we got home. Boy, who knew how satisfying 3 warm chocolate chip cookies and milk are after a rediculously long day at work! After downing the glass of milk and cookies I quickly fell asleep - a nice deep sleep...

I awoke to the form of a dark, sunglassed figure in my central cone of vision, clad all in black, who had a guitar and was playing this fantastic spanish guitar music! I know, you're thinking I've finally gone off the deeper end - Wrong!

It was a man named Esteban, who was hawking his "Esteban American Legacy Acoustic/Electric Guitar Package" on one of the umpteen informercials played at 4:30am on the weekends. I'm not sure if it was the production value of the informercial, the magic of the music he plays, or the residual influence of the hypnotizing Chocolate Chip Cookies and milk, but I immediately ordered the deal which will arrive in a short 7-10 days!

That's right! This year's challence will be to become at least proficient in playing the guitar, with the help of the new 22 piece Esteban American Legacy Acoustic/Electric Guitar Package that you can find out more about here.

Each page on the website plays a different song from his collection as well - very entertaining from the very spanish excitement stuff, to some very tame good thought-provoking music.

Do you play the guitar or another instrument? Do you have tips and tricks that will help me get a leg up on learning to play a solid "axe"? Send them to me at my Email address or just comment on them here! Look for pictures and updates soon!