* I still believe Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta will hit. They will hit, right? They’re not washed up. They can still sting the baseball. I believe this with all my heart.
* It’s hard seeing guys start the season in slumps. I know slumps are a part of the game, but to start the season in a 2-for-30 funk or something similar is brutal.
* I’m one of the coaches for a T-Ball team in League 42. We’re named the Panthers because I went to Derby High School and the co-coach, Randy Smith, went to Great Bend. And the kids were good with the name. We’ve had two practices now and they have been eventful.
* These kids haven’t even held a bat yet. We’ve been working on the proper throwing motion, how to catch grounders and which base is which. Last night, I think we made tremendous progress in teaching our 15 five- and six-year olds the locations of home plate, first base, second base and third base. Shortstop is a little iffy.
* One of our parents reached out to the coach of her son’s team today to explain that she and her family had just become homeless. We have tried to prepare for situations like this, but it’s eye-opening when it actually happens. She wrote in her message to the coach that she wants her two sons to still be on their teams in League 42 because “they love baseball.” We’ll do everything we can to make sure her sons continue to play.
* We have an unbelievable group of people involved in League 42. And our coaches are top notch. Many have coached at Westurban and at other high levels of youth baseball. Yet they want to be with these kids, 98 percent of whom are beginners, because they realize the importance of the mission. One of our coaches is giving up some time with his son’s traveling team to be involved with his League 42 team.
* I’m taking the plunge into the HBO series Game of Thrones. I’m starting at the beginning, thanks to Netflix. I’ve binge-watched two series in my life – Deadwood and The Wire. Will Game of Thrones be the third?
* I’m also getting back into Veep after not watching it much during its last season. And I tried the debut of Silicon Valley. It’s too early to tell on that one.
* I need to read more. I’ve been telling myself that for years, to no avail. Telling myself that I need to read more has absolutely no effect on me reading more.
* Did I use “effect” correctly there? Or should it have been “affect?” Does someone have an easy way to explain when to use one vs. when to use the other? I have not been able to get affect/effect figured out and I’ll be 60 years old soon. It’s embarrassing.
* I sure hope 24 is as good as it was during its first run. It’ll be a terrible thing if it isn’t. I’m looking forward to the debut of the series in early May.
* I have a column coming out on Korleone Young this weekend at Kansas.com and in The Eagle. I’ve had a couple of long conversations with Young, the former East High basketball star and can’t miss prospect who missed. He’s a really interesting guy. And a smart guy. I just hope he’s a real guy. And by that, I hope he follows through on everything he’s told me and others. Young has had an interesting life and insists that he’s intent on helping kids avoid some of the mistakes and pratfalls that he’s made.
* I’m going to write about Young every year for a while. One reason is because he’s a fascinating person with an interesting story. And another is because I want him to succeed in this second act of his life. I think he has a lot to offer this community and especially young and impressionable kids from the inner-city. He says he wants to be held accountable. He wants to prove himself. I’m hoping he does.
* I’m looking forward to spending some time on the patio at The Shamrock later today. It’ll be soothing.
* I sense a big change coming in college athletics soon. I’m not exactly sure what form it will take, but the amateurism that college sports used to espouse is dead as a door nail. Hypocrisy is running rampant. The NCAA’s grasp is loosening. Something big is about to happen.
* Dorial Green-Beckham has been dismissed from the Missouri football team. My respect for Gary Pinkel just grew.
* I have six phone books piled up in my office. Do people use phone books anymore? Wait, I just used one last week to contact a guy I know in town. His number was in the book. He answered his home phone. I felt like I was back in 1967.
* I miss 1967, by the way. And 1964.
* Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in both of those years. Good catch. But I miss those years for other reasons, too.
* I’m going to Salina and the Stiefel Theater on July 11 to see Three Dog Night. Their lead guys, Cory Wells and Danny Hutton, are in their early-70s. I’ve been a fan of the group since I was in the eighth grade. I’m only sorry original drummer Floyd Sneed is no longer with the band.
* I first saw Three Dog Night at what is now Koch Arena when I was in the ninth grade. I’m not sure how I got there, since I was too young to drive. Surely my parents didn’t take me because that would have just been pathetic. And I would have remembered that, surely. No, I’m sure I was there with friends.
* That might have been my first concert.
* I wish I had a running tally of every day in my life. A diary, I guess. Although I associate diaries with sappiness, for some reason. I would just like to be able to go back through my life and see what I did every day. I’ve seen stories about people who have photographic memories and can remembers things like that. I envy them.
* What did I do on Feb. 17, 1983? Heck if I know. But I had to do something.
* OK, enough of this nonsense. Have a great weekend, as always. Feel free to drop by McAdams Park this spring for some League 42 baseball. We’ll be playing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays with practices all day Saturday. It’s a blast.