2012 Season

Edition No. 5

April 3, 2012









For the 28th consecutive season, the HSL Draft Day was the funnest day of the year.  Despite a complete dearth of preparation, I had a great time spending five hours with my chums, and actually walked away convinced that I have picked another contending team.  Of course, in reality, I probably havenít, but my Positivity Gene that is hard-wired into me simply will not allow me to believe any differently, at least until I am back in last place after a few weeks of the campaign.  No matter.  For right now, Iím feeling damned good about my chances. 


Thanks to B.T. for bringing all the grub from Big Fredís, to Linda for preparing our Draft board and our coveted Draft sheets (what would we do without them?), and to each and every one of you for continuing to come back and participate in this great Band of Brothers.  Itís not merely what we do, itís who we are


I havenít yet had time to provide you with my pithy analysis of your drafted teams, but I promise that I will work on this while I am enroute to Miami for Opening Day, and will publish this annual feature of From the Bullpen next week. 




As I mentioned to most of you at the Draft, on Saturday night I went to the Peter Frampton concert at the Orpheum.  While this was Micheleís idea and I was only mildly enthusiastic about the show, it turns out that it was one of the better concerts that I have been to in my young life.  The dude can rock.  He has a whole lot less hair these days, but the dude can rock. 




The Orpheum theater was not sold out, perhaps 90 percent full, but I want to tell you, this was one enthusiastic crowd.  I was expecting the throng to consist of mostly people older than me, but it was actually a healthy mix of old rockers and young rockers.  From start to finish, the crowd was ardent, appreciative and loud. 


I actually had no idea that Frampton was a Brit, but he seems to be a whole lot nicer than a lot of the rockers that came over from across the Pond to entertain people stateside.  He did a good job of interacting with the audience, displayed a winning sense of humor, and provided some interesting tidbits of information.  It turns out that the Frampton Comes Alive tour has been going on for more than a year, and that Omaha was the final stop.  This was the 35th anniversary tour of his Frampton Comes Alive album, which most of us probably owned (except maybe Tirebiter), with the flowing locks and the de rigueur unbuttoned silk shirt showing off the hairy chest.



Anyway, I was glad that I went and have a new appreciation for Frampton, who still has a wonderful voice and sounds very much like he did back in the í70s, which cannot be said for Steven Stills, or for the lead singer for Kansas (cannot remember his name), or most of the other í70s-era rockers who are still touring and singing. 


I would not put Frampton in my top ten list of all concerts that I have attended, but he would probably make my top twenty.  Just for fun, and to try to get a little bit of Message Board chat going, I list below my Top Ten List of Concerts Attended:







The Doobie Brothers


Billy Joel


Dan Fogelberg


Simon & Garfunkel




James Taylor


Steely Dan


Eric Clapton


Jimmy Buffet (all ten times)


Letís hear from all of you as to your top five or top ten concerts attended. 




Last nightís doubleheader (Varsity and Junior Varsity) contest at Fort Calhoun produced something rarer than consecutive lightning strikes of a flying sow:  Two Ernst boys hitting triples in the same ballpark on the same day.  Speed merchants, we are not.  Nonetheless, the stars were aligned and the Fort Calhoun pitchers were accommodating enough to serve up pitches which the Ernst lads were able to convert into three-baggers. 


In the JV game, in the top of the 2nd, young Will came to the plate with the bases drunk with Knights.  On a 1-and-0 count, young Will laced an opposite-field ball just fair down the left field line which darted to the fence, plating all three runners and landing Will on third with a stand-up triple.  For the evening, the Burr went 2-for-3 with a HBP, scored thrice and knocked in four runs. 



In the nightcap for the Varsity, Joe came to the plate in the bottom of the 3rd with a runner on first and smoked a fastball into the power alley to right which carried to the fence, scoring the run and landing Joe Jackson on third with, yes, another stand-up triple.  Right then and there I should have gone out and bought a Powerball ticket. 



In addition to his three-bagger, Joe acquitted himself admirably on the mound, pitching 6-2/3 innings of 3-hit ball to carry the Knights to an 8-to-1 win over the Pioneers, and striking out 11 Fort Calhouners (9 looking) along the way.  All in all, not a bad night of baseball for the Teutonic Twins. 






The boys and I leave tomorrow morning for our annual Opening Day trip.  This year, we are headed to Miami to see the Marlins open up their new ballpark against the reigning World Series Champion Cardinals. 


This will be my tenth straight Opening Day trip with the boys, and sadly, perhaps the last one that I will be able to be together with them, at least for a while.  If Joe does play baseball in college as is his plan, I doubt that his college coach will be as understanding as his high school coach in terms of excusing him from a game or a few practices, but you never know.  In any event, it should be a great trip and I will report back to you all on some of my thoughts regarding the new ballpark. 


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Back at you next week with Skipperís Picks ĎNí Pans.