2011 Season

Edition No. 11

June 24, 2011





Baseball brethren,


It has been a spell since I last penned a Bullpen, so allow me to share with you the league standings through today, some information about The Trip, and a few other tidbits of information from my tired old mind.  First, the standings:












Lincoln Tribe




Bronx Bombers




West Des Moines Cubs








Millard Monarchs




Da Bums




Kansas City Blues
















Omaha Senators



With Albert Pujols on the shelf, it will be interesting to see how long the Chiefs will be able to hold back the Wahoos and the Tribe.  At the other end of the spectrum, I wonder whether the Tigers, Bears and Senators will be fighting it out all season to stay out of the League bowels. 




So, we finally have a game plan for the 27th Annual Hot Stove League Trip.  On Friday, August 19, this year’s participants will return to Denver and Coors Field for the first time since 1995, and will see the hometown Rockies take on the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in Friday evening and Saturday night contests.  As Shamu posted on the Message Board recently, there are cheap flights available on Frontier for less than $200 roundtrip, so be sure to book your flights now. 


We are still reviewing lodging options for the Trip, including the Eagles’ Nest, although the thought seems to be that a venue in LoDo might be preferable, for the sake of convenience. 


Those league members who have indicated that they are definitely a “go” for the trip are Shamu, McBlunder, Big Guy, B.T. and Skipper, while Possum, Underbelly and Tricko are reportedly definite nos.  Itchie, Jim Ed and Mouse are all trying to work up the gumption to beg their spouses for a kitchen pass, while Screech and SloPay are yet to be heard from on the point, which is not unheard of from these two characters. 


Anyway, with our Trip plans now in place, our streaks remain intact, and perhaps next year we will be able to put together a more exotic trip, such as to the Bay area, Seattle, or perhaps the new ballpark being built in Miami. 




I realized recently that my brain matter is so saturated with meaningless information, mental to-do lists for work, responsibilities centered around my four kids, and other cluttering data, that I no longer seem to be able to develop any “deep” thoughts about anything.  Not that I was ever one to lay down profound thought after profound thought –– I’m just plain not smart enough to do that –– but I have long prided myself on being able to think things through, roll things around inside the old skull, and develop some at least mildly interesting theories and thoughts.  No more. 


Sadly, my brain seems to be so short on working space that I can only now muster up superficial, unimaginative, fleeting thoughts.  So rather than lament the situation, I have decided to embrace it, and will now call my offerings From the Bullpen Lite.  Good stuff, with lots of fluff. 


So here goes. 



My visit to Cashman Field in Las Vegas on Monday to see the Las Vegas 51s take on the Reno Aces was a trip. 




Cashman Field looks like it belongs in Las Vegas, a splashy grandstand and façade and casino advertisements all over the outfield walls, including a giant poster of entertainer Gordie Brown right down the left field line.  On the right field fence, there are posters for The Palms, the Wynn, and at least one other casino, practically surrounding an old fashioned Meadow Gold logo.  Interesting contrast. 







The fans at Cashman Field were an extremely motley crew, reminiscent of the band of misfits that we sat with at the St. Paul Saints game last August.  Lots of Mohawks, mullets, gnarly tats, and ill-fitting and unappealing clothing wear.  At first I was a bit surprised, but then I realized that this is where the entertainment dollar of the people who sweep the casino floors and clean out the casino urinals gets the most bang for the buck.  Sawbuck to get in, beers for $3.50 and $5, and lots of promotions like free bat night, tee shirt night, Robby Alomar bobblehead doll night, and the like.  Great place to people watch. 


Lovable 51s mascot “Cosmos”



If I gave Possum his assigned date now for next season’s Wahoo Warrior guest publication (June 2, 2012, Ted –– book it), is there even a 10% chance that he will submit it to Linda on a timely basis?  And between now and then, will he exceed 100,000 words in his HSL Message Board postings, roughly the same as SloPay’s lifetime oral output?



Who among the thirteen of us is most likely to follow in the footsteps of Nails Dykstra, pissing away their lifetime earnings and having to try to scam someone out of money to scratch out a living?  He must have had the same financial planner as Tony Dorsett, Leon Spinks and Prince Fielder. 



Love Erstad as the Huskers new baseball coach.  Great hire.  He will have the program turned around in two years. 



Have been out to Vegas three times in the last two months for depositions, and the buzz recently was the mayor’s race, which was won by the current mayor’s wife.  The outgoing mayor, Oscar Goodman, was prevented by term limits from running for reelection after 12 years in office.  Goodman was a criminal lawyer for the mob in his earlier life, reportedly one of the toughest, meanest, nastiest mouthpieces ever to take the bar.  Now, he is the beloved outgoing mayor of Sin City, whose popularity with the voters was so great that it allowed his politically virgin wife to ride his coattails to a smashing victory (69%) over her liberal Dem competition.  Amazing.  Only in Vegas. 



One more plug for Joe Jackson Ernst, who made Honorable Mention Class B All State in baseball this spring for Mount Michael, and is hitting the crap out of the horsehide this summer.  Shown here sliding into home plate against Waterloo Valley, Joe Jackson is at least a three-tool baseball player, unlike his dad, who could only be called a tool. 




Not to be outdone by his older brother, “Whippin’ Will” Ernst continues to thrive on the Mount Michael bump.  Shown here with a look of sheer determination on his face in a game against Springfield, Will followed that outing up this past Monday with one-hit shutout against the Arlington nine.










Lastly, and sadly, Charles’ beloved father, Gerald Sinclair, passed away yesterday after a courageous, 14-year battle with cancer.  Below is the obituary from today’s World Herald:


Sinclair, Gerald "Jerry" A.

Jan 25, 1936 - Jun 23, 2011


Died after a 14 year battle with cancer.


His last days were spent anticipating his joyful arrival in Heaven and he was an inspiration to his family and friends. He was born in Portland, ME. He was preceded in death by father, Capt. Charles A. Sinclair, mother, Alice (Sweet) Sinclair, brothers David and Steven. He served in the Army as an MP during 1955-57 where he met his bride. He is survived by Shirley Jean (Cline), spouse of 54 years; three sons: Charles D., his wife Jan, and daughters Hannah and Rachel of West Des Moines, IA.; Jeffrey S. and his partner Clyde McNeal, Jr. of Omaha, NE; and William D., his wife Teresa, and children Lindsey, Breanne and Jeron of Camdenton, MO; a brother Thomas and his wife Jane in Elm Springs, AR and a sister Jane in Westbrook, ME. He is also survived by several in-laws, cousins and many nieces and nephews. Jerry graduated from Westbrook (ME) High School where he participated in football, basketball, baseball & track. He received his B.S. in Education from Dana College in Blair, NE and his MA, plus additional graduate hours, from the University of Omaha. He was an educator with the Blair, Lewis Central, IA, and Millard Public Schools, from which he retired in 1995.


During his tenure at Millard, he was a long time member of the Nebraska Chapter One/Title One Advisory Committee. He was also a member of the Nebraska State Gifted Student Committee. Jerry was a long time active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. During the early retirement years, Jerry served as a volunteer for the Adult Literacy Program in Arizona. He also volunteered with local schools in the Phoenix area, enhancing the reading ability of numerous students. Jerry enjoyed visiting his sons and their families and watching the grandchildren participate in their various activities. He also loved to read and watch sporting events on TV.


Information on the upcoming Memorial Service will be forthcoming. Memorials can be sent to the Millard Education Foundation and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Millard.


Shamu, may you and your family be provided with all of the strength that you need to deal with Jerry’s death.