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We Finally Have an Answer


Do you and your family always get asked that same question over and over again? You know what I mean. No? Ok, I’ll give you a few examples. Some friends of ours were dating for the longest time and of course the question they got asked all the time was, when are you getting engaged? Well, earlier this winter, that question was answered. Or are you and your spouse happy and all alone at home like a few of Lyn’s good friends? I know they get asked all the time when or if they will have kids. So far, a dog has been a wonderful child to them.

If you know my family, you know that we are busy from March 1st to when we go to Northern Pines in early August. School starts right after that so we rarely have time for any other type of vacation. Well, Jeff, what does this have to do with you finally having an answer? If you don’t know where I am going with this, I invite you to reach out and contact me to get to know us better. I know some of our friends are probably getting excited reading this as they have figured it out by now.

Our family’s most asked question is ‘When are you going back to Disneyworld?’ Well, we finally have an answer (Hence the blog title). Josh has requested that we make one more trip to Florida before he goes off to college. To us, this left only one timeframe to plan this trip. That was Josh’s senior year winter break. The St. Louis Blues got awarded the next NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on January 2, 2017 so going over New Year’s wasn’t really an option. We even had other options like a cruise or going to California instead to go to Disneyland. Some great old friends and In-N-Out among other things tempted us. Luckily, Lyn has been in regular contact with her friend, Laura Liden, Dream Vacation Planner, at Pixie and Pirate Destinations travel agency. So, she told us about a deal that got us a free dining plan to help with the raised prices of Christmas time at Disneyworld. So we jumped on it. Josh finishes finals around 1030 on the morning of December 21st, so we are flying out as soon as we can to check into Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort that day to take advantage of the deal. We will fly back as late in the day as we can on December 27th to take advantage of as much park time as possible.

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So if you want to join us at some point down in sunny Florida over Christmas, we welcome you. As of today, I believe the deal we got may still be available. We look forward to spending Christmas at Disneyworld. So just to repeat the dates, we invite you to join us December 21-27 at the beautiful Disneyworld resort! 

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2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Right Thing is Seldom the Easy Thing


Yeah, it’s been a long time since I have written a blog. You may be wondering why I choose today to start back into it. Well I blame someone my wife knows somewhat well and I probably only have shaken his hand. His name is Derek Glanvill. I have been slowly reading Mike Matheny’s book ‘The Matheny Manifesto’ and the quote on page 136 from one of Mr. Matheny’s friends is from Mr. Glanvill. ‘The right thing is seldom the easy thing.’ Mike calls Derek and his wife Penny two of his closest friends. Derek’s son Sean passed away this past November at the age of 20 due to a brain injury that followed a 2007 car accident he was involved in. Mike watched Sean’s toughness as he fought and survived long after doctors only gave him a one percent chance to live. Sean is one of the main reasons Mike Matheny now wears the number 26.

Let’s just say that reminding myself that the right thing is seldom the easy thing was something that I tried to do this past summer while I was helping coach my son’s baseball team. I played a minor role in coaching. I was a batting practice pitcher and first base coach. But I had another ‘role’ that I enjoyed. One of the other coaches, Greg Viehman labeled me as ‘Dr. Phil’. I guess this was because I was willing to talk to the kids and figure out what they were thinking in as much as they would tell me. I couldn’t do this for every player but there were more than a few that would talk to me and liked the fact I treated them just like another person. It wasn’t always easy.

My job on the team was not to argue with the umpires, that was head coach Bill Becher’s job and he did it well when needed. Every time I went out to a game I would introduce myself to the umpires and shake their hand. Many times I would have delightful conversations with them during the game while I was in the first base coaching box or the dugout. Umpires are in fact humans. They are not perfect and they know they make mistakes. If one tells you they don’t, they are not truthful to themselves. I enjoyed being nice to everyone. I also often chatted with the opposing team’s first basemen.

Players on a baseball team get mad. One of my ‘unofficial’ roles was to try to calm them down. I joked with one particular player that they can yell, and get mad at me all they want but they need to respect the game enough not to get themselves get kicked out. I would do whatever I could to get in between them and violence with an opposing player, manager or even an umpire. The players were more valuable to the game then I was. My thought was that I wasn’t doing the easy things; I was doing the right things.

I had fun this summer helping out my son’s team. I enjoyed being part of American National Varsity baseball. I was more proud of those young men than they will ever know. I watched them win a tournament, play teams with players as old as 28, and even become all-stars. There was a young man who was primarily a pitcher but even received an all-star selection as a Designated Hitter despite hurting his shoulder during the season. I was especially proud to watch my son pitch in a couple of games that made the local paper’s attention and he made the all-star team as a pitcher and was the only player from the class of 2017 on the team.

I am thankful today for the chance to remind myself that doing the right thing does pay off in the end. So I thank Derek, Mike, Sean, Bill, Greg, R.J., Matt, Mitchell, and especially Josh amongst others who remind me that I still have things to say when I write and that I will always continue to strive to do the right thing.

To learn more about Mike Matheny, The Manifesto, or more, please visit here

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2015 St. Louis Cardinals Preview


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Yeah I know there has been one game played in this season already. I felt I still have time to write my Cardinals individual preview for the year. The 2015 Cardinals bring with them an energy, a mission. Many of them were not happy with the way the team was defeated in the 2014 National League Championship Series by the San Francisco Giants. If you have read my previous predictions blog, you will know that I have the Cardinals winning the National League Central and losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs.

Five new players made their Opening Day debuts with the Cardinals last night. Manager Mike Matheny has a strong core group with the key newcomer being RF Jason Heyward. Heyward comes to the Cardinals due to the passing of young phenom Oscar Tavares’ passing right after the season ended. The thought on Heyward was to get him here for his walk year and hope to have him resign with the club and be a part of the new core. At 25 years of age, Heyward could have a long bright future wearing the birds on the bat. Coming with Heyward in the trade from Atlanta was hard throwing right hander, Jordan Walden. Walden brings a closer like mentality to the Cardinals bullpen as he slides into the eighth inning role vacated by now starter Carlos Martinez. Matt Belisle and Carlos Villanueva join Walden as newcomers to the Cardinals bullpen and Mark Reynolds joins the team on the bench. Reynolds provides additional power off the bench for the Cardinals with the ability to occasionally start at first or third base. His downside is a bunch of strikeouts and not that great of a batting average.

The thought is that if Jayson Heyward re-signs with the Cardinals, he will join the likes of Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Matt Adams, Trevor Rosenthal, and Michael Wacha as the potential core that could lead this team for a lot of years to come. All of those players have the ability to be even better than they already are. The Chicago Cubs talk about how they are rebuilding for the future. They don’t get it. You do it with quality players who are more concerned with the team winning then how much money they make or their own personal stats.

The starting pitching on our team looks pretty good on paper. Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, Michael Wacha, and Carlos Martinez make up this rotation. I will call those first four as pretty darn solid as any rotation in the National League. A fifth starter will not be needed by the Cardinals until April 25th, unless the first four get an extra day off in there, which may not be a bad idea. I believe that is why they sent Marco Gonzales down to Memphis to start. Well that, and you kind of need to have #18 on your Opening Day roster. We shall see how the season plays out with the rotation. All I know is that the bullpen will probably get a lot of innings as none of the staff is considered to be an innings eater. So good luck to Walden, Rosenthal, Belisle, Villanueva, and the rest of the pen because you will probably get lots of work this year.

The Cardinals lineup will not blow a lot of people away but to me it is one thing, and that is solid. If they are all hitting and battling the way they are supposed to be, I do not see an easy out in the lineup. Jason Heyward slides right into the second spot in the lineup.

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My 2015 Postseason Playoff Predictions


The regular season is about to begin in Major League Baseball. I included a lot of stuff in my postseason awards blog that I decided to add an additional blog for my predictions (or at this point somewhat educated guesses) at the 2015 Playoffs. Let me start by reminding you of the final standings I’ve picked this week.

AL East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

AL Central:
Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers (WC)
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins

AL West:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Seattle Mariners (WC)
Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers

The Seattle Mariners will host the Detroit Tigers in the Wild Card game. Seattle is too powerful in one game, sorry Tigers fans. Seattle then travels to face Chicago. I give the Mariners the edge here also in a hard fought series. Meanwhile, the Angels host the Red Sox and dispose of them in what could be a pretty nasty series. The Angels then face the Mariners in the ALCS and beat them in a long hard fought series that could involve a few walk offs.

NL East:
Washington Nationals
Miami Marlins
New York Mets
Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central:
St. Louis Cardinals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds

NL West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres (WC)
San Francisco Giants (WC)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies

The Padres will host the Giants in the Wild Card in a wild and crazy Petco Park. The giants are no match and the Padres enjoy an easy victory. Their momentum will carry them onto a series defeat of the Washington Nationals. That leaves the Cardinals against the Dodgers. The Dodgers get their postseason revenge against the Cardinals. It will take a midseason pitching acquisition to help them beat them. They cannot ride that mountain and fall to the Padres in the NLCS.

An all Southern California World Series is upon us for 2015. San Diego Padres fans are ecstatic. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is just the better all around team. All the money they have spent recently pays off and the World Championship comes to Anaheim.

Thank you for reading either just this one or all of my prediction blogs for the United Cardinal Bloggers project. Enjoy the season.

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My 2015 Awards Predictions


The last of my five blog predictions series for the United Cardinal Bloggers is here, or is it? I get to be in top guessing mode here with my awards thoughts. There will be a bonus blog tomorrow with my Postseason predictions. I have might have given you a few hints in the previous blogs this week so let’s see who I’ve picked for these awards.

American League MVP – Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Until someone dethrones him or he misses a bunch of game with injuries, Trout should be the choice. There is no other player like him in the game today. He is the true five tool player and the best the American League has to offer. Other candidates include Jose Abreau, Chicago White Sox and Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners.

American League Cy Young – Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians. Yes, I know he won it last year. I believe he is not done getting better. Who knows how good he can be. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners, and David Price, Detroit Tigers will also have really good years.

American League Rookie of the Year – Steven Souza, Tampa Bay Rays. Souza will have a chance to grow into a star inside the Trop if they let him. Other possible candidates include Daniel Norris, Toronto Blue Jays and Rusney Castillo, Boston Red Sox.

National League MVP – Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres. I am just a bit excited about Matt Kemp in San Diego. He will be a happy baseball player and a happy baseball player plays relaxed and usually at their highest level. Add Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins, and Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals an there is a lot of talent in the National League.

National League Cy Young – Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals. This will be the shocker pick of the year. Max Scherzer gets all the hype in D.C. but he will not even be the best pitcher on the staff. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers and James Shields, San Diego Padres also have a great chance.

National League Rookie of the Year – Joc Pederson, Los Angeles Dodgers. If you trade the guy that could be the MVP, his replacement better be pretty good. I think he is. He will sneak into the award as the other votes are split between Chicago Cubs stars of the future, Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler.

Comeback Player of the Year – Brandon McCarthy, Los Angeles Dodgers. The story of the comeback of McCarthy will be awesome to watch. Catch those late night sports shows and new MLB Network show MLB Central each day to hopefully see his story of triumph bloom.

You get a bonus blog tomorrow for Postseason Predictions. Monday will also be a Cardinals specific preview blog even though one game was played. Remember, these thoughts are just my opinion. I hope they make you think and pay attention to the wonderful game of baseball.

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My 2015 National League West Predictions


Continuing with my March assignment for the United Cardinals Bloggers, it’s my National League West Predictions blog. This could be one of the most watched divisions in baseball. I think it could be one of the best.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers – Not my favorite team due to the attitude of some of their players, but I know good baseball when I see it and it is happening in Chavez Ravine. Clayton Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball. The additions of Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick up the middle improve this team both at the plate and in the field. I just hope they have enough pitching and my pick for NL comeback player of the year, Brandon McCarthy should help.

2. San Diego Padres (WC) – I think the Padres are a lot closer to the Dodgers than most people do. I think these two teams will be fighting at the top of the division all season. The Matt Kemp acquisition was brilliant in keeping him in the same division. He should be back in form and is my early pick for NL MVP. Add Justin Upton and Wil Myers to that outfield and the Padres should be very much improved. Oh yeah, their rotation is pretty dang good also, being led by newcomer James Shields.

3. San Francisco Giants (WC) – The Giants are going to squeak into the playoffs. Maybe even by default. They have enough pitching to survive the fight in the West. I also believe that Joe Panik will have a big year for them. He will step up until Hunter Pence returns from injuries. I think Casey McGhee will be an outstanding replacement from the Panda dude. He may even be better. Other guys will need to step it up for this prediction to come true but I have a feeling the team by the bay can figure it out.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks – I think the DBacks will be exciting to watch. But exciting doesn’t always mean that they will win more games than they lose. Their pitching will have to step up. Paul Goldschmidt is a really good player on not that great of team. Adding Mark Trumbo and hopefully letting Cuban import Yasmany Tomas learn in the majors brings that excitement that’ll cause me to flip to see a few of their late games.

5. Colorado Rockies – Not enough pitching and there are rumors that you want to trade your two best players. This is Rockies baseball. If they keep all their good players like Justin Morneau, Charlie Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado healthy, they may not finish at the bottom of this division. I just think we will see Troy Tulowitzki in some American League jersey before the trade deadline.

Another wacky division in baseball is the National League West. Many will miss a lot of these late games but I suggest you check the highlights. It will get interesting and another reason why they play the games. Please come back tomorrow for my postseason picks and awards.