Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Family


A member of our family is in the hospital. So, the attention for Sohna and myself has turned from our work and Our Washington Nationals--over to family commitments. And because of this unexpected development, there has been little time to watch the past two games played by Our Washington Nationals. Family is more important. Responsibility to duty which also played out last night at Dolphin Stadium outside Miami.

For a small bit of time I did catch a few innings as Collin Balester made his Major League Debut. Nervous in the beginning, sharp through the middle innings--Balester hung tough in the 5th when most Rookies would have wilted. And came away with his first Major League Victory.

But what I enjoyed the most about Our New Number 40's effort was his Father--Tom. Tom Balester posted up with his entire immediate family from California to see his son pitch in his very first Major League Game. Was this man ever enjoyable to watch and proved again how important family life can be.

After as a funny and endearing interview with Debbi Taylor early in the game as you will ever see. After MASN consistently showed Mr. Balester cheering on his son--as passionately as anybody could support someone. And then seeing Tom Balester tell just about EVERY SINGLE PERSON sitting near him "That's My SON!! That's My Son!!" over and over--You had to love the guy!!

He was great.

And a surfer dude no less. Mr. Balester manufactures surfboards from his hometown of Huntington Beach, California.

Family support is important in ANYONE'S life--at all times. Comfort and confidence comes from those who have your back. Those who are always there for you. And when Mr. Balester mentioned how many hours and days and weeks, unquestionably years, of his life he and wife had given up to drive their son to every single baseball game Collin ever played growing up--you had to appreciate their passion. His thoughts were poignant and endearing. Good Parents provide backbone--their time given up, willingly, to make their offspring's life better than their own. In fact, Tom Balester's devotion reminded Sohna and I of another pitcher for Our Washington Nationals and his Father--the son, Chad, the dad,--Mr. Ed Cordero.

Without ever hearing or reading a single word about Tom Balester before I watched him on television last night--I could see he was as devoted a Father right away. And I was proud for him. And proud that his son--Collin--made him proud in Miami. It was a touching moment. Very special for a Father that had always been there for his son.

Hopefully, Collin Balester can build on his debut performance and become the quality starter and long term success story Our Washington Nationals need. At the mid-way point of the 2008 Season, with all the injuries, all the losses--Our Number 40 could help turnaround the lackluster year we have all witnessed thus far. Besides--who wouldn't want to see Tom Balester around New Nationals Park much more often. That man's a total kick!!

He understands what family is all about. Kinfolk, which Sohna and I always believe are most important.

PS--Yeah I know, Our Washington Nationals lost this afternoon to The Florida Marlins on a two run homer by, of all players, Alfredo Amezaga. The first hitter Charlie Manning faced after a 95 minute rain delay. Sorry Charlie--but you can't let that pest take you deep. No, can't ever happen. EVER. The Marlins just seem to have Our Washington Nationals Number in 2008.

17 comments:

paul said...

Godspeed, SBF. It was a total kick to see Balester pitch and to watch his Dad watch Collin.
Our rotation is now looking amazingly good. The bullpen is amazingly weak, though.

Andrew said...

SBF & TAQ, hope the family situation is getting better. You are in our prayers.

Andrew said...

Paul said "The bullpen is amazingly weak, though."

I totally disagree with you. It has its issues and its growing pains.

Rauch and Hanrahan have their moments of brilliance.

Ayala and Colome have had their struggles for sure.

I missed the Manning relief appearance so if I am wrong please let me know. Amezaga is a switch hitter and probably went to the right side, and if that is the case Manning shouldn't have been in that situation against a switch hitter as he is a "situation" lefty and shouldn't face RH batters. We need a quality Lefty reliever which we don't have.

Saul Rivera has his moments and Shell is very young as is Manning.

We have a real hole without a strong Chad Cordero.

Our biggest issue as I see it is inherited runners and putting our relievers into the correct situation which comes down to coaching.

Any feedback?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Reading the comments while I had a moment: Our bullpen is so out of whack with Chad Cordero gone. Rivera, Hanrahan and Ayala are perfectly suited for the 6th & 7th innings--possibly stretching to the 8th. Big Jon Rauch for the 8th or later. "The Chief" not being there has forced Manny to pitch relievers in situations that they may not be comfortable.

How many times have we played extra innings without the proper reliever available in the bullpen. There has been a domino effect--and overuse has alot to do with it. Manny has been unable to trust Colome, Manning (to a certain extent) and Sanches before him and others. Manning should be the situational lefty--nothing more. Pitch them to their strengths. Something that has not been entirely possibly in 2008--due to Chad Cordero being lost.

We miss the guy, more than some realize.

janet said...

Best thoughts and prayers for your family.

Kenny said...

SBF,
Don't forget about Saúl Rivera. Not only has he been mostly lights out in the past two weeks, rumor has it that he might have his own fan club this fall...

Anonymous said...

Our bullpen has been out of wack since day one. Are the manager, pitching coach and even the GM supposed to be able to fix it by now? I don't blame the players it's a whole team effort to still be this out of wack and still blame it on Cordero's injury.

Andrew said...

I missed the Manning relief appearance so if I am wrong please let me know. Amezaga is a switch hitter and probably went to the right side, and if that is the case Manning shouldn't have been in that situation against a switch hitter as he is a "situation" lefty and shouldn't face RH batters. We need a quality Lefty reliever which we don't have.


Oh boy, I was right. I just saw the replay of Amezaga's HR off of Manning and sure enough he batted from the RIGHT SIDE!

I SEE THAT AS A COACHING MISTAKE!!!

As I noted before, Manning is a lefty specialist and will suffer badly when "left" in against righties as has been shown.

An Briosca Mor said...

Oh boy, I was right. I just saw the replay of Amezaga's HR off of Manning and sure enough he batted from the RIGHT SIDE!

I SEE THAT AS A COACHING MISTAKE!!!

As I noted before, Manning is a lefty specialist and will suffer badly when "left" in against righties as has been shown.


On the radio broadcast, Charlie and Dave mentioned how badly Amezaga hits from the right side of the plate compared with his hitting from the left side of the plate. Here are his splits:

VS. LEFT: .179 / .500
VS. RIGHT: .268 / .715

Given that, how is it a coaching mistake to have a lefthanded pitcher face him? Manning should have gotten him out.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to your family. Here is another good family story, about one of our ushers, his step father has been in your blog before with the Phanatic.
http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/news/2008/jul/03/exceeding-expectations/

Andrew said...

abm said "On the radio broadcast, Charlie and Dave mentioned how badly Amezaga hits from the right side of the plate compared with his hitting from the left side of the plate."

Don't believe everything you hear. Yesterday was a day game which changes all the numbers for Manning and Amezaga.

Amezaga is much better in day games. In fact, he is batting .444 in day games vs. the Lefty and came into yesterday's game at .500 vs. a Lefty during day games and then compared to batting at night this year he only has 1 hit vs. a Lefty.

We have scouts and stats and these stats are there for almost anyone to pick up.

I stand by what I said ---- I SEE THAT AS A COACHING MISTAKE!!!

An Briosca Mor said...

Amezaga is much better in day games. In fact, he is batting .444 in day games vs. the Lefty and came into yesterday's game at .500 vs. a Lefty during day games and then compared to batting at night this year he only has 1 hit vs. a Lefty.

How big is the sample size in his day game vs. night game splits? Colin Balester is headed for the Cy Young after his outing the other night. Ooops - small sample size. Never mind.

Andrew said...

The statistical sample is larger for the night games but still needs to be considered just like he hasn't hit off of Jesus Colome so I think Colome should have been the choice.

After the game, Amezaga said he was hoping for an inside pitch from the lefty which is also in Amezaga's hot zone when batting RH.

I do like that you think Collin Balester is headed for a Cy Young.

LOL.

An Briosca Mor said...

I do like that you think Collin Balester is headed for a Cy Young.

LOL.


I do like that you fail to understand metaphor.

LOL.

Andrew said...

I did like your metaphor, hence my LOL (laugh out loud).

We are at the 1/2 point of the season and I would still look at Colome' over Manning at that point.

My initial point was saving Manning for that classic lefty to lefty matchup and not use him against the Switch-Hitter who does much better during day games.

Nobody expected Amezaga to hit a HR as he hasn't had much power this year, but Amezaga was sitting on the inside pitch on a 1-1 count and unfortunately that is what happens during Nats/Marlins game this year.

SenatorNat said...

Hope the family health situation is improving for you two.

As to the bullpen, Rivera and Ayala have gotten a lot of work the past two seasons: Rivera holding up still; but, Ayala giving out, and he still leads NL in appearances, I believe.

Obviously, if, for example, Hanrahan had come on and miraculously been a great substitute closer for Cordero, then Rauch could have moved back to set-up, and Ayala and Rivera to 6th & 7th. No such luck - so, as said, without the Chief, all the others are in a haphazard pattern on the road to victory, and tires are blowing out. (actual metaphor)

Roger Bernadina is Nook Logan incarnate, it would appear, thus far. Making Lastings look very good comparitively. May, as a result of the Milledge groin pull, learning that Dukes is going to be preferred as 3 hitter, moving Milledge to 5, or even 2 (where I think he belongs).

Can we just leave FLOP in Cincinnati after Sunday's game, telling them "Oh, isn't he on YOUR team?"

Trust in "Colin from Cincinnati" (mixed HBO reference point). All Mystical

Old Nats Guy said...

Bernadina gets a much better jump on fly balls than Nook Logan could ever hope, but at this point seems overmatched against major league pitching -- especially left-handers. He has potential, but with lead-footed WMP under contract through 2009, it appears that Bernandina will remain in the minors (or be traded for another high profile, high strikeout, underachieving power hitter) until 2010 at the earliest.