Friday, June 25, 2021

Jeremiah 29 - The Promise

I have had a recurring dream throughout my life, I am grasping a rope that seems to have no beginning or end, it is totally dark, and slowly my fingers  start to lose their grip. I drop my backpack, and even wiggle off my shoes in the hope of jettisoning some of my weight, but to no avail. I'm eventually left clinging to the rope with just one hand, and then just three fingers, desperately trying to maintain my position and prevent my fall. The dream always mercifully ends before my grip gives way . . .

Over the years I've come to believe that in my dream my grip on that rope represents my belief about the character of God. And while there are a lot of things that I can jettison while still holding onto the rope, I cannot let go of the only thing that stands between me and death, my belief in the goodness of God. 

When so many of us find ourselves in that position, navigating waters that are getting deeper and deeper, who (or what) do we turn to? Or away from? (John 6:68)

Friday, June 18, 2021

Baseball Will Break Your Heart

It has been my experience that the game of baseball will break your heart. 

This heartbreak starts young with some baseball fans. The game of baseball was incorporated into their DNA when they were exposed to the game on television, or maybe by playing stickball in the street, or perhaps it happened when they gathered together with other neighborhood kids on a dusty piece of land that would yield memories for a lifetime. The point being that when you embrace something magical early in your life, you can count on a life of ebb and flow as you grapple with your passion. 

There is another path into the game of baseball, of course, and that is through our Fathers. If you were lucky, your dad taught you not only the basic skills of the game but the nuance details that separate the observer from the participant. He decoded the unwritten rules of the game and if you were really fortunate, passed on his love of the game till it also became your game, and the two became one. At that point, his favorite players became your favorite players and the eternity of the game took one giant step. I mean, is there a greater memory than having your dad lead you by the hand through a concrete labyrinth until suddenly, you glimpse a view of paradise, and perfection became personified in your mind? 

Whatever and whoever your dad loved with regard to baseball, chances are you too have been infused with that same passion, carrying with you the unquestioning, unblinking, dedication of a true believer. You have been indoctrinated into a mystical fellowship, with a passion that will not give you up, but mark my words, baseball will break your heart. 

There was a time, I’m ashamed to admit, when the love of baseball fled from my heart. 

I was never very good at playing the game myself, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Perfecting my skills in the heat and dust of summer was a ritual for me as a child and above all I yearned for the game to embrace me the way that I embraced her. Alas, it was not meant to be. 

So I gave her up.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Vols Punch Ticket To Omaha!

Tennessee punched its ticket for a return to the College World Series in emphatic fashion.

A 15-6 win over LSU cemented a Super Regional sweep of the Tigers on Sunday at a rocking Lindsey Nelson Stadium, on a beautiful but balmy afternoon. Tennessee is heading to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska for the first time since 2005.

Jake Wyeth lined out to junior All-America third baseman Jake Rucker to record the final out of a 15-6 win over LSU in front of a loud capacity crowd, and the Vols promptly made a dog pile near the pitcher's mound.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Worst Song Titles (In My Future Lyric Collection)

"Ain't going to do you wrong 'cause I don't wanna do you right"

"When you left you forgot your dog, and that too high a price to pay."

"My car may not look like much, but it doesn't think much of you either"

"Can't lose my heart if I don't remember where I left it"

"Wading through the river of my thoughts"

"Darkness is always just on the horizon."

"Trading my dreams for a moment . . . "

"If love costs a dime, what can I get for a nickel?"

"Do you ever dream about dreaming?"

"If my life is a vehicle, it's on fire and I can't find a hose."

"Discarding the baggage of my life."

"Harold had a crayon, I've got a crowbar"

"Trading it all for a glass that never goes dry"

"Taking the first train heading toward Dixie"

"I'm confident that the road to unending joy winds through your eyes"

Monday, June 07, 2021

Vols Advance to Super Regionals!

Tennessee has advanced to the NCAA Tournament super regionals for the first time since 2005. The Volunteers went 3-0 in the Knoxville regional, disposing of Wright State and Liberty twice to advance. Their opponent will be a familiar one from the SEC — the LSU Tigers.

LSU beat Oregon late on Monday night, coming back to secure a 9-8 win. The next round features a weekend best-of-three series, with the winner advancing to the College World Series.

Tennessee broke out the brooms on LSU earlier this season in Knoxville, sweeping the Tigers on their way to an SEC East title. LSU is 38-23 overall, going just 13-17 in SEC play.

LSU won four straight elimination games on their way to winning the Eugene regional. After an opening loss to Gonzaga, the Tigers came back to beat Central Connecticut State, Gonzaga and then Oregon twice to advance.

They now return to Knoxville — the last place LSU coach Paul Mainieri probably wanted to go. More on that later.

Weekend Schedule

Game 1: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2.

Game 2: Either noon or 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, ESPN2/ESPNU.

Game 3: (if needed) Either 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPNU. 

Article by Terry A Lambert / 

Friday, June 04, 2021

Babe Ruth - Greatest Left-Handed Pitcher of All Time?

Quick word association - I say "Babe Ruth" and what comes into your mind? Home Run King? Greatest Ball Player ever? How about greatest lefty pitcher in all baseball history? Bet that wasn't in most of your responses. 

Let's look at some facts about the Babe and his pitching prowess. 

Can you name the only left-handed pitcher to ever win at least 23 games in back-to-back seasons for the Boston Red Sox? The Babe. How about this question, name the four pitchers of all-time who won two 20-win seasons before they turned 23? Christy Mathewson, Smoky Joe Wood, Al Mamaux, and Babe Ruth - and yes, I had to google the name, "Al Mamaux" as well. 

Who led the American League in ERA in their first full season as a big-league starter? The Babe (1.75 in 1916)

In the four seasons that Babe Ruth was primarily a pitcher, (1915-1918) he lead every left-handed pitcher in all of baseball in winning percentage (.659) and fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.07).  His ERA was under 2.50 for those four seasons. 

Need more proof? Check out this next head-to-head comparison with the greatest pitcher of his era.