Saturday Morning, Snow Covered, Random Thoughts…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

  • Bill O’Reilly: you hypocritical, misogynistic, smug piece of garbage; if you had even an ounce of decency in you, you’d give those millions that Fox paid out to you, to women’s shelters…You, Bill O’Reilly, represent all that is wrong with America today.O'Reilley
  • It’s snowing this morning, no really, it’s snowing this morning…after just a beautiful spring day yesterday!!  It’s freakin snowing this morning.
  • Day 5 of no elevators in our building…my legs feel like rubber going up and down those 8 flights of stairs.  Starting to feel locked in, claustrophobic.
  • Did I happen to mention that I was sitting at the ballpark yesterday, under a beautiful warm sun…the weather so nice the Goldeyes could have played…and this morning…SNOW!!   SNOW!!   NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • It feels like we are mere moments away from WWIII…Russia flying jets within miles of both the USA and Canada; North Korea flaunting its nuclear mite; China, a behemoth flexing its muscle with North Korea…and Donald Trump playing golf, while trying to decide whether or not to Nuke North Korea!!
  • I can’t thank the Winnipeg Goldeyes enough; you guys are simply the best.
  • Giant snowflakes!!!!
  • Can not wait for by six days at the cabin in Falcon Lake…peace and quiet.
  • That home run that the Yankees Aaron Judge hit against the Chicago White Sox  on Wednesday, has just landed in New Jersey…man oh man oh man…did he destroy that pitch!!  Super star in the making!!

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  • After all of these years of watching the Yankees sign over the hill stars, it is so refreshing to watch some young blood on this team; and they’re playing well without two of their young stars, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorious.  It’s nice getting some solid starting pitching and seeing players like Starlin Castro, Chase Hedley and Matt Holiday really contributing.
  • If the Jets had Mike Babcock behind the bench and Fredrick Anderson in net, they’d be in the playoffs.  The Jets are far more talented than the Leafs, but Babcock has them playing a much more disciplined game than Paul Maurice could ever get out of the Jets.  It also doesn’t hurt when you get solid consistent goaltending.
  • Two weeks from today and the Winnipeg Goldeyes start training camp; without SNOW, please!!!
  • My dear, dear friend Lisa; yesterday was your birthday.  I can’t put into words how very much I miss you…I hope you have found some peace.  You just knew me, understood me…you displayed empathy when I needed it and lit into me like nobody else could.  You know my pain, you understand my pain…yet, you too, didn’t have the strength to carry on.
  • It’s amazing how many of Trump’s minions have fallen since he took office…from Mike Flynn to Bill O’Reilly, it is only scratching the surface…
  • You caption the above…sad, so very, very sad.  I may not have been a fan of Reagan, but at least he was composed and had some dignity.

  • If you’ve never read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale…it is a very important read, given the circumstances of the world today.
  • Well according to Ben:  Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals is old (32), Carly is turning 40 and she’s really old…and Zaida Chuck “you’re really old Zaida”…oh to see life again through the eyes of an 8 year old!!!
  • Kim Jung Crazy and Donald Bloated Psychopath…they will be the undoing of this planet…
    Un
  • And finally…Aaron Hernandez…what a sad, sad, story…what a wasted life.

Winnipeg Goldeyes…The Inside Pitch; Steve Schuster interviews players and coaches from around the league.

Chuck's Eclectic Blog.

Lets-play-ball-269x300FINAL EDITION OF THE INSIDE PITCH ON APRIL 26th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

WINNIPEG, MB – The final edition of The Inside Pitch airs live Wednesday, April 26th at 7:00 p.m. on 93.7 FM CJNU.

This month’s guest panel features Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney, returning starting pitcher Mikey O’Brien, recently retired outfielder Adam Heisler, San Diego Padres’ Minor League Infield CoordinatorKevin Hooper, Arizona Diamondbacks’ Independent League Scout Chris Carminucci, and Goldeyes’ Director of Sales and Marketing Dan Chase.

Rick-Forney

2017 will be Forney’s 12th season as Goldeyes’ manager, and his 21st overall within the organization.  During his first 11 years at the helm, Forney has guided the club to an overall .550 winning percentage, nine winning seasons, eight playoff appearances, and American Association championships in 2012 and 2016.  Last year, the Goldeyes became only the second team in American Association history…

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Winnipeg Goldeyes…The Inside Pitch; Steve Schuster interviews players and coaches from around the league.

Lets-play-ball-269x300

FINAL EDITION OF THE INSIDE PITCH ON APRIL 26th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

WINNIPEG, MB – The final edition of The Inside Pitch airs live Wednesday, April 26th at 7:00 p.m. on 93.7 FM CJNU.

This month’s guest panel features Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney, returning starting pitcher Mikey O’Brien, recently retired outfielder Adam Heisler, San Diego Padres’ Minor League Infield CoordinatorKevin Hooper, Arizona Diamondbacks’ Independent League Scout Chris Carminucci, and Goldeyes’ Director of Sales and Marketing Dan Chase.

Rick-Forney

2017 will be Forney’s 12th season as Goldeyes’ manager, and his 21st overall within the organization.  During his first 11 years at the helm, Forney has guided the club to an overall .550 winning percentage, nine winning seasons, eight playoff appearances, and American Association championships in 2012 and 2016.  Last year, the Goldeyes became only the second team in American Association history to win multiple championships, and the first since the Fort Worth Cats won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007.

O’Brien was 10-4 with a 4.34 ERA for the Goldeyes last year, and was re-signed on February 3rd.  In the decisive Game Five of the American Association Division Series at St. Paul, O’Brien pitched seven shutout innings on three days of rest, helping Winnipeg advance to the American Association Championship Series.  It was the Goldeyes’ first victory in a Game Five since 2003, and their first on the road since 2002.  OnAugust 5th at Gary SouthShore, O’Brien notched the 50th win of his professional career.

Heisler played two seasons for the Goldeyes from 2015-16 before announcing his retirement from professional baseball in January.  Heisler hit a combined .315 with 42 doubles, 12 home runs, 93 RBI, and 71 stolen bases over 176 games in a Goldeyes’ jersey.  During last year’s playoffs, Heisler hit .302 with eight runs scored in 10 contests, and was a combined 6-for-11 in Winnipeg’s Game Five wins at St. Paul and Wichita.

Hooper

Hooper is in his second year as Minor League Infield Coordinator for the San Diego Padres, and is responsible for helping develop infielders at all levels of the Padres’ organization.  Hooper previously managed the Wichita Wingnuts from 2009-15, and led the club to the 2014 American Association championship.  Hooper’s .610 managerial winning percentage is the highest in the American Association’s 12-year history.

Carminucci is in his fifth year overseeing the Arizona Diamondbacks’ independent league scouting efforts, while also taking on a larger role in the club’s Major League scouting department.  Carminucci played a significant role in the Diamondbacks’ purchase of David Peralta from the Amarillo Sox in 2013, and has signed numerous other American Association players to affiliated contracts.  Carminucci has previously served as an owner, general manager, field manager, and player at the independent level.

Chase has been with the Goldeyes since 1999, and oversees the creation and execution of the team’s marketing and promotions.

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The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season on May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders.  The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park.  Season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings for the 2017 season are on sale now.  For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website atwww.goldeyes.com

Falcon Lake…Penguin Resorts; my spring/summer second home…by Chuck Duboff

Wonderful feedback from yesterday’s blog…on my spring/summer time retreat…Penguin Resort in Falcon Lake.

Chuck's Eclectic Blog.

FAlcon 15 Cabin 11 at Penguin Resorts…my second home.

Penguin Resorts in Falcon Lake…so very peaceful and beautiful.  It has been my spring/summer escape back to nature for the past fifteen years.  Waking up to loons singing amidst the fresh clean air,   No garbage trucks at 4 in the morning, police and ambulance sirens non-existent, people yelling on the streets…not happenin; just a breathtakingly beautiful place to read, relax, hike and allow nature to recapture your soul.  The owners, Irene and Ken, truly have invested not only their money, but have worked hard to make this resort a place where you feel welcome and are left not wanting anything.  Enjoy the pictures which follow (if you have any questions about the resort, drop me a note and i can connect you with Irene.)

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falcon 14 The Trans=Canada Trail is right beside the cabins…amazing hiking.

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Falcon Lake…Penguin Resorts; my spring/summer second home…by Chuck Duboff

FAlcon 15

Cabin 11 at Penguin Resorts…my second home.

Penguin Resorts in Falcon Lake…so very peaceful and beautiful.  It has been my spring/summer escape back to nature for the past fifteen years.  Waking up to loons singing amidst the fresh clean air,   No garbage trucks at 4 in the morning, police and ambulance sirens non-existent, people yelling on the streets…not happenin; just a breathtakingly beautiful place to read, relax, hike and allow nature to recapture your soul.  The owners, Irene and Ken, truly have invested not only their money, but have worked hard to make this resort a place where you feel welcome and are left not wanting anything.  Enjoy the pictures which follow (if you have any questions about the resort, drop me a note and i can connect you with Irene.)

Falcon 7

Falcon 12

falcon 14

The Trans=Canada Trail is right beside the cabins…amazing hiking.

FAlcon 19

San Diego football fans embrace our Blue Bombers!! Thanks to Ed Tait of the Bombers for sharing this story.

If you didn’t get a chance yesterday to read this story…some San Diego football fans, who have lost their Chargers, have taken on our Blue Bombers as their new team to cheer for!!

Chuck's Eclectic Blog.

                            Scott Mortland and his son Gregory in their new team colours.

APRIL 14, 2017

PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO A NEW TEAM

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San Diego football fans embrace our Blue Bombers!! Thanks to Ed Tait of the Bombers for sharing this story.

                            Scott Mortland and his son Gregory in their new team colours.

APRIL 14, 2017

PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO A NEW TEAM

Scott Mortland has a compelling story to tell. It’s about a fan’s heartbreak after a beloved franchise is yanked from his hometown.

It’s about a bond between a father and a son.

And it’s about how a diehard San Diego Chargers fan from Carlsbad, California has now sworn his allegiance to a new football team in a far, far away city.

And that would be the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“It’s a little random, this story, but I think it’s going to lead to something special, especially for my son,” began Mortland in a chat with bluebombers.com this week. “And I think the Bombers are going to be the next chapter. A great chapter.”

Mortland is 57 and retired now after being a part owner of a small software company. He and his wife are the proud parents of four adopted children, the youngest of whom is 21-year-old Gregory, who is intellectually disabled.

A diehard sports fan, Mortland has had season tickets to the San Diego Padres and Chargers and has been a loyal supporter of all sports teams related to the city, including the American Hockey League’s Gulls and even the El Paso Chihuahuas – the Padres Triple-A affiliate in west Texas.

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He began to take Gregory to games about seven years ago and the impact on his son, who is non-verbal but very social, was instant.

“The rest is history,” Mortland said. “We love the Padres. He enjoyed going to the Chargers games. I’ll be honest, he doesn’t get sports at all, but he loves being out in the open air and he loves meeting people. He just enjoys the experience. He has had a blast at the hockey games, too.”

And then came the news on January 12th of this year that the Chargers – after 56 years in San Diego – were packing up and moving to Los Angeles. Mortland, like many other fans who grew up cheering for icons like Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner and LaDainian Tomlinson, was crushed.

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“It was devastating news,” Mortland conceded. “I consider myself a native San Diegan after I moved here from Arizona when I was nine years old. This became my home. I grew up here and all these teams are mine.

“The NFL is just a juggernaut. ‘Big business’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. In the last six months, three franchises have left their cities (St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland). What’s hard for fans in San Diego is, yeah, they’re moving up the freeway and you can still follow them, but L.A. already has a football team. The Rams originated there for almost 30 years before moving to St. Louis for 20 years and then coming back. They’ve got two baseball teams, two hockey teams, two basketball teams, two colleges (USC and UCLA) who are revered and are treated as if they were professional. All the press here says that this franchise (the L.A. Chargers) are going to get lost with all those other teams that have existing fan bases.

“Now, when you grew up here in the 70s and 80s you are definitely made to feel you are the stepbrother to the L.A. teams,” Mortland added. “So, the fact they moved there is problematic for me. If they had moved to Vegas or San Antonio or some other city in the States I probably would have maintained my fanship.

“But going to L.A. and the way it was done… it just broke my heart.”

The day the Chargers made their exit from San Diego, Mortland gathered up all his team’s gear – his son’s comforter, hats, T-shirts, etc – and neatly placed them on his driveway for donation to Goodwill. A Facebook post notified all his friends he was done with the Chargers.

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And then he began searching for a new club.

That brings us to how he came to find the Blue Bombers…

“And when I went on the website and saw how involved the team was in the community with ‘Harris’ Heroes’ to ‘Medlocks Kicks for Kids’ to the connection with the indigenous community… I realize all teams do that, but it began with the bolt for me.”

“I looked at the roster and saw that Chris Randle went to Utah State – my niece went there on a basketball scholarship, and Tristan Okpalaugo went to Fresno State with Derek Carr and was nominated for the Bulsworth Trophy (awarded annually to the top player who began his career as a walk-on).

“As I was looking more and more into it I just thought, ‘This is my team.’”

Mortland reached out to Allan Hnatiuk in the Bomber Store and had his new gear shipped to him in California. And it wasn’t long after he spoke to Fan Services Manager Carol Barrott that Mortland decided he and his son Gregory absolutely had to get to Winnipeg for a game.

bombers

“We’ll be there for the July 27th game against Montreal,” he said. “We’re thinking of going up to a game in B.C., too, because it’s close and we may go to another in Hamilton because I have friends in Toronto. We were told about the zoo and that it’s a great city. We can’t wait.

“The only thing I want to make sure of is that Gregory gets a photo taken with Buzz and Boomer.”

“That’s why you play baseball.” Wes Darvill, Winnipeg Goldeyes 3B, talks about baseball and playing in Winnipeg…by Chuck Duboff

Great feedback from fans of the Winnipeg Goldeyes on this interview with Goldeyes 3B Wes Darvill…Enjoy.

Chuck's Eclectic Blog.

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The start of training camp for the Winnipeg Goldeyes is only 22 days away; the Goldeyes offices are buzzing, manager Rick Forney is putting the final touches on his camp roster and fans are anxiously waiting for the season to start.

I thought I’d track down one of the returning players from the 2016 American Association championship team; our 3B, Wes Darvill,  will be returning for a second season at the hot corner for the Fish.  I connected with him while he was in Langley B.C.

Wes was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs; he’s seen lots of cities across North America, playing ball: Myrtle Beach, Tennessee, Daytona, Boise, Peoria and the 2016 season right here in Winnipeg.

I could hear the excitement in Wes’ voice as he thought back to the Goldeyes playoff run: “Lots of baseball, great fun, and lots…

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“That’s why you play baseball.” Wes Darvill, Winnipeg Goldeyes 3B, talks about baseball and playing in Winnipeg…by Chuck Duboff

FullSizeRender (14)

The start of training camp for the Winnipeg Goldeyes is only 22 days away; the Goldeyes offices are buzzing, manager Rick Forney is putting the final touches on his camp roster and fans are anxiously waiting for the season to start.

I thought I’d track down one of the returning players from the 2016 American Association championship team; our 3B, Wes Darvill,  will be returning for a second season at the hot corner for the Fish.  I connected with him while he was in Langley B.C.

Wes was drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs; he’s seen lots of cities across North America, playing ball: Myrtle Beach, Tennessee, Daytona, Boise, Peoria and the 2016 season right here in Winnipeg.

I could hear the excitement in Wes’ voice as he thought back to the Goldeyes playoff run: “Lots of baseball, great fun, and lots of close games.”  When I asked him about the night they won the Championship, Wes gave a wonderful quote: “That’s why you play baseball.
Your team realized a goal; we knew all season we were a good team, we believed in ourselves and it was just an awesome feeling winning the championship.  It was a great feeling knowing we all had each other’s backs and  were all happy for each other!!”

IMG_9463Wes took a week off after the season and then got right back into training, working out 5-6 days a week with a personal trainer who’s from Winnipeg.  Wes has found that the specific training for baseball skills really pays dividends.

Wes said he learned a lot last season: how to deal with those times when  he was having troubles with his swing, how pitchers were pitching him and how to make adjustments to the pitches that were getting him out.  He said he knew the first month of the season that he wasn’t at his best and found his swing as the season went along.

When I asked why he’s returning to Winnipeg, he said that it’s a great city to play in, the players get treated so well by the team and it’s a great atmosphere at the ballpark.  As fans we should be thrilled that yet another ballplayer loves playing in our city.  Wes said that the guys loved having breakfast at the Stella’s on Portage avenue each morning…they enjoyed the atmosphere there!!

When I interview the players, I ask them if they’ve got any interesting baseball stories to share; Wes had a great one.  One spring training he was playing in a major league exhibition game with the Cubs; it turned out it was also his dad’s birthday.  Wes told me that his dad is one of those people who doesn’t like presents…so what did Wes do…on his dad’s birthday he hit a home run!!  Seriously, how great a birthday present is that!!  Like Wes said, you can’t put a dollar value on something like that; thanks for sharing that Wes.

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He did comment on Reggie Abercrombie and the pranks they played on each other; he said that you couldn’t find a better leader than Reggie and that the speeches he gave before games really lit a fire under the team.

Wes wanted to thank all the Goldeyes fans for their great support and he’s excited to see the fans come out and support the team again!!  We’re all looking forward to seeing you back in a Goldeyes uniform again Wes!!

Shaw Park

Mike Trout…he’s what baseball is all about, making dreams come true for baseball fans of all ages!! by Chuck Duboff

If you’re a baseball fan, a die hard baseball fan…there’s a very good chance that at some point you dreamed of playing catch with your favourite player; I would have loved to play catch with Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, Paul O’Neil…how great would that have been!!

Last night a young fan of the LA Angels, a centre fielder on his team, had his dream come true as he got to play catch with Mike Trout before last night’s game.  What a thrill…and this truly is what makes baseball so great…I love hockey and football, but there just isn’t the same connection with the fan as there is in baseball…it’s the perfect game!!

A big shout out to Mike Trout for making this young man’s dreams come true and for showing all of us that baseball continues to be the fan’s game!!!

 

 

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Watch for an interview with the Winnipeg Goldeyes Wes Darvill in tomorrow’s blog.

 

 

 

It was one of those “moments”…filled with joy; playing catch with Ben…by Chuck Duboff

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Playing catch with Ben.

One hour of playing catch with my grandson Ben.  He asked me questions about pitching and I explained to him: “extend your left leg, look at the glove you’re throwing to, slow your pitching motion down” and he soaked it all in.  With every pitch his accuracy got better and the pop in the glove was crisp and loud

It seemed like mere moments ago that Matthew and I were doing the same thing; playing catch, pitching, enjoying our team winning a championship.

It felt like five minutes ago that I was pitching on the “Giants” little league team; throwing a no hitter, playing short stop and my only ability as a hitter, being able to drop down a great bunt.

Not sure where all the time went, but I know I’m blessed to be able to go out and play catch with Ben…and him so deeply engrossed in learning the nuances of the game.  After about an hour of throwing, I said to him:  “You’d do this all night, wouldn’t you?”  His response was simple and to the point: “Yes”  He sure got the baseball gene from his dad Chris and from his Zaida Chuck…

I spoke earlier in the week about those “moments” in life that fill your heart with joy…that answer the question: “what’s it all about?”  Well, for one hour yesterday the answer was right in front of me…the sheer joy of playing catch with Ben, that’s what it’s all about!!

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“I have to slow my pitching motion down like Aaron Sanchez does Zaida.”

“Every day on the baseball field is just a blessing” Goldeyes Josh Romanski. RF signs on for second season with the Champs…by Chuck Duboff

This blog was written just days before Josh was signed by the Minnesota Twins; we found out this morning, April 12th, that after being released by the Twins this past weekend, Josh will be returning to the Goldeyes this coming season.

Source: “Every day on the baseball field is just a blessing” Goldeyes Josh Romanski. RF signs on for second season with the Champs…by Chuck Duboff

Those moments…awareness prevails. By Chuck Duboff

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© Chuck Duboff

Those Moments…Awareness Prevails

What does it all mean?
What’s the point?
When will we understand?

It’s in the moments
That fill your soul
With a joy
Unexplained.

The warmth of a hug,
A genuine smile,
Kindness expressed,
Love shared.

It’s a child…
Holding you tight;
The grass…
A lush, brilliant green;
A song…
Perfect in every way.

There’s no book,
Course,
Tutorial,
Lecture…
To explain those moments.

When your soul
Is overcome
With a happiness,
Real and profound…

That’s what it’s all about,
No grand announcement,
No cataclysmic event.

It’s being aware,
Genuinely alive…
To the here…
To the now…

That my friend
Is what it’s all about.

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