2014 Season     

   Ediion No. 11        

June 18, 2014



As of Wednesday, June 18, 2014, the Hot Stove League Eastern Nebraska Division standings are as follows:













































Based on Big Guy’s observation about the standings at this point last season, the standings above probably do not foretell the future.  However, seeing Screech in first place (instead of the usual cast of characters… Ted, Scott, Chuck) makes you smile a bit.  It is like seeing the perennial bridesmaid get a date.


I just hope the Baseball Gods are not playing a cruel joke on poor Jeff.  Just like those poor girls Ernie and Mouse used to ask out on a date to a fraternity party, only to find out that the party was the annual “Pig Party”.




Speaking of college days gone by, it was very fun to see our lives come full circle as we note the Ernst, Thielen and Bridges’ graduation parties that occurred this year.  The HSL was founded by mostly wife-less and/or child-less guys.  In our brief 30 years of existence, we have seen the “less” disappear.  Thankfully, we have an HSL record of this transition.


Never one to shirk his journalistic duties, Skipper took dutiful note of a few of our marriages and the birth of HSL offspring.



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Does anyone remember in the early days how dismissive Dave was about any excuse involving a wife or child interfering with an HSL activity?  My, my, my - how we have changed.  Now, we proudly announce our marriages and tout our kids.  Life just keeps getting better.


For some of us, wives and children were relatively easy changes to accommodate in the HSL.  The demands of the HSL brought about an even more difficult change for each manager… computers.  Again, this change in the HSL was documented by Skipper as shown below. 



Moreover, the modernization of the HSL was further covered by the legitimate press in the this article which duly recognized Bob Hurlbut as a pioneer in the field.



Seriously, do all of you remember when Bob used a fax machine to send us the statistics?  I will always remember (probably inaccurately in some details) when Possum bitched about the statistics being late and Bob said something to the effect, “I needed to get a new fax machine.  It’s not like you can go into the Seven Eleven at eleven o’clock at night and pick up a Big Slurpy, a prepackaged bean burrito, Cheetos, a Snickers, and a fax machine”.


As I have said before, thank God for Bob.  I must not be the only one who feels this way.  Below is a recent advertisement I saw in an in-flight magazine.



Computers have greatly changed our game.  Remember talking to Matt at Stats in Chicago to put in your weekly free agent drafts on Sunday?  We had limits on how many starts a pitcher must make before you could demote him.  Hitters had to be up a minimum number of days.  It was an orderly, calm process. 


Today, Denny and Bob make daily moves at 5:00 AM, followed by Big Guy, Scott, Chuck and Jeff at 5:15 AM!!  There have been approximately 584 transactions this year and 45 of them (excluding waiver wire transactions) have occurred between 2:00 AM and 5:59 AM.  Bob has done 15, Denny-13, Rick-6, Scott-4, Jeff-2 and Ted, Chuck, Jon, Mike and me have done one each.  Only Ernie, Buser, and Itchie have not made a transaction in the 2:00 AM to 5:59 AM timeframe.  However, Itchie did do a transaction at 6:18 AM on June 10th – Infante dropped for McCarthy.  Either Itchie was just getting home from the boats or he had a very early morning flight.


To do a transaction, you have to wake up, start up the computer, rub your eyes, read some stuff, etc…  Minimum, it has to take at least 15 to 30 minutes, which means you guys are getting up before 5:00 AM to do fantasy baseball.  Do you guys wake up at 4:30 AM and think “I gotta pee… oh well, might as well pick up a couple free agents too?”




One of our adjunct HSL members, Tony “One Way” Childers, had a recent serious health scare and he has made some significant changes in his lifestyle.  Here’s a picture of Tony with the HSL in Houston in 2000.



I am sure many of you remember Tony from our 1995 Colorado trip.  One hundred beers!  Below is a picture of the 1995 Mile High boys (sans Itchie and Tony).  Blongo either favors his left side as his “best side” or he thought we were getting a mug shot.  Anyway, it is absolutely amazing that we were not mobbed by women.





Attached is Ernie’s recap of the 1995 and 2000 Trips.  We all wish Tony the best.




A sad change in real baseball is the recent passing of Tony Gwynn.  As noted in last year’s edition of the Chronicles, the HSL was lucky to see Tony’s 2000th hit in 1993 and I was lucky enough to meet him and tell him about the HSL in 2004.  He was a class act.  RIP, Tony.




The story about Gwynn got me thinking about other brushes with fame.  We have all encountered famous people.  For example, traveling for business has allowed me to meet such esteemed luminaries as Charo, Sinbad and Richard Kiel (“Jaws” from James Bond fame) at different times in the LA airport.  Also, as some of you know, I met Kirstie Alley on a flight out of LAX.  Talk about changes – from Rebecca on “Cheers” to “Fat Actress”!  I will save that story for a future Chronicles.


By far, my most exciting encounter with a famous person occurred last year at our AZ draft.  See for yourself.




Screech has hardly changed a bit!




Speaking of fame, I recently attended the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner.  It was a great event with several inductees we all know such as Phil Cahoy, Dean Thompson and Mike Kemp.  Most of the inductees told fun stories, but one inductee, Rick Bonness, told a particularly fun story that showed how even bitter rivals can become life-long friends.  The retelling of the story by OWH columnist, Mike Kelly, is below.  We all may be ruthless competitors in the HSL, but we are also brothers.  Thirty years together will do that to you.



Another inductee to the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame did not attend the dinner – Mike McGee.




Unfortunately, Mike was not there to accept the honor, rather Mike’s old high school coach accepted the plaque.  I had so hoped to see Mike and ask him about a certain game and a certain player.  Didn’t happen and based on Mike’s old coach’s opening line, it might not ever happen.  Mike’s old coach opened his comments by saying, “We don’t know where Mike is.  Apparently, nobody does.”  Makes you wonder, huh?  Itchie may have gotten sick of hearing Mike brag about his scoring prowess over a certain Middle-Eastern Catholic boy and gave good old Mike the Hoffa treatment.


Time to shut it down for this edition of the Curbside Chronicles.  Please stay tuned for the cartoons.








Buser shows Dave another

new technology.




Chuck's worst nightmare.



Grandpa Bob




Buser's journey to enlightenment




Blongo vs. Moses





Zach and Itchie


Marriage Advice for Dave