Friday, April 23

Meeting Mosaic

A week ago I had the chance to attend a meeting with Eric Bryant. Eric is on the leadership team at Mosaic, a church in L.A. Mosaic is the next Saddle back type church, not it's style but it's influence. The pastor of Mosaic, Erwin Mcmanus, has 3 books out.I finished the first one (An Unstoppable Force) a few weeks ago, and currently in the middle of the other 2 (seizing your divine Moment, and Uprising). If you haven't read any of his books they are MUST reads. Seriously some incredible books. McManus is not only a great theologian he's an incredibly creative person. After reading An Unstoppable Force I had the same reaction as I did when I read Purpose Driven Church ten years ago, before it was the crammed down our throats. He's on the cutting edge, most notably I love his thoughts on creating a culture through the church.

But that's not what grabbed my attention in this meeting. What grabbed my attention was something called "The Character Matrix". Mcmanus came up with this when he was working in an inner city church in Dallas, back in 1993. Essentially the matrix is a lose paradigm to help people see what their character looks like. The Goal is to transform self-centered people into servant leaders. It's one of those things you have to see, and I have neither the time nor the ability to draw the picture clearly, but Uprising is all about this concept so read more there. But I write to say that I was very much challenged in that meeting, and so if your looking for a book pick up Uprising by Erwin Mcmanus.

Friday, April 16

This day in Baseball Hisory:

1997 - The Chicago Cubs set the mark for worst start in NL history, extending their losing streak to 12 with a 4-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Chicago broke the modern NL record of 0-10 set by Atlanta in 1988 and the overall NL record of 0-11 by the 1884 Detroit Wolverines.

THe Glory days!!!

It's a sick addiction, but I love to see the Cubs lose!

Monday, April 12

Quote of the Day

I saw a saying that I've seen before it read:

"Happiness is an attitude, not a future state of being."

Nothing revolutionary about this, but the location of it was out of place. Because it wasn't in front of a church, or even a school. Nope this cup of chicken soup of the soul was posted on the sign for Carl's Sports Attic (a trading card shop).

Monday, April 5

It's always nice to see a man with a little clout rooting for your team!!

Saturday, April 3

Season Preview

Opening day is tomorrow . . . night (yeah I know). But I thought I’d give my predictions on the standings as I think they’ll look come this October.

AL East

Red Sox – 2 words: Schilling, Martinez
Yankees – Starting pitching will get hurt
Blue Jays – Would be contenders in any other division in Baseball
O’s – Good additions still not enough
D-rays – Lou will have them playing better then the talent they have on the field.

AL Central – Division winner may only have 83 wins

Twins – I like Loshe and Santanna
Royals – Good line-up but rotation questions abound
White Sox- Not enough pitching
Tigers – Still the tigers
Indians – Still too young to do much

AL West

Angels – Added a lot to a team only a year removed from a Title
Mariners – Great pitching, just no power and too old. They’ll fade come September
A’s – Bullpen is shaky and the line-up isn’t as strong as it has been
Rangers – WOW, a complete mess

NL East

Phillies – A solid rotation and a potent line-up
Marlins – Pitching is too good not to compete
Braves – This is not your Fathers Braves team. To many questions with the line-up and the rotation. The rotation could be the 4th best in the division
Mets – They aren’t as bad as their record last year, but I just couldn’t see the braves falling to 4th.
Expos – How could they give Vasquez to the Yankees?? They really need to move this team in a hurry. I vote Portland, it’d be great to have an NL team with in a couple hour drive.

NL West – Similar to the Al Central just not bad. Any of 5 teams could win it.

Padres – New Stadium and some nice additions will push them over the edge
Diamondbacks – RJ and Webb will hold them in there
Giants – Slowly fading into the background, age gets this team
Dodgers – Pitching is still there, but like the M’s they have no power. Depodesta will make them a contender, but not this year.
Rockies – After Helton and Wilson I can’t think of a player on their roster, so they get last place.

NL Central

Cardinals – Yeah a bit of a homer pick, but I look at what they did last year and see that they’ve made significant up grades to their bullpen. They have 2 top notch pitchers (Williams was second in the NL in wins last year) along with 2 other work horse pitchers that will keep them in games. Combine that with the Best Defense in the NL and the Lineup the cards throw out and I just can’t pick against them.

Astros – Their pitching is un real, but Clemens (41) and Pettite both had era’s around 4 last year. Now they move to a park that is not Pitcher friendly. In the Last 3 years Pettite’s record away from Yankee Stadium is not that impressive:
21-14 with a 4.20 ERA and a .289 Average Against in 268 innings but a 3/1 k/bb ratio
Also they have an aging lineup with Kent/Biggio/Bagwell, they could but up big Numbers, but they could also age really fast. All that said they have 2 awesome starters in Miller and Oswalt. They could very easily run away with the division, it’s going to depended on the veterans if the postion players hit like they have in the past they could win it.

Cubs – Their pitching is great it’s the lineup and defense that are a bit shakey. Also I’m not convinced they have a solid pen. Last year the key to beating them was getting to the pen. The addition of Hawkins helps, and if Farnsworth puts it together then this could be a strong suit, but as I’ve said before. It’s the Cubs they find a way to lose!

Ok all three of the teams below are in a word AWFUL. The Reds have a good lineup if everyone’s healthy, but I dare you to name 2 starters in their rotation. And the Brewers and Pirates are both pathetic teams in nice stadiums.


AL Playoffs
Red Sox over the Twins
Angels over theYankees

Sox over the Angels

NL playoffs
Cardinals beat the Padres
Philles beat the Astros

Card over the Philles

Sox over the Cards in 6 ( I hope I’m wrong)

I just can’t see anyone beating Schilling and Martinez in the playoffs.

NL MVP – Pujols (finally)
AL MVP – Delgado

NL Cy Young - Beckett
AL Cy Young - Pedro

A couple of additional thoughts.

I don’t care what they say Opening day should ALWAYS be played in the U.S.! Not Japan, Italy Korea Australia, Russia, or China and no not even in Canada. Nothing against those countries but it’s AMERICA’S past time. One of the coolest things about baseball is the tradition that comes with it. When I visited Yankee stadium last summer it was more then just seeing a game it was seeing “The House that Ruth Built” the place where some of the greatest of all time played ball. You could almost see mantle and DiMaggio in the OF or Yogi behing home plate. Same with Fenway. Please for crying outloud Selig don’t screw up Opening day any more.

• As sorry a commissioner as Bud Selig has been you have to give him credit for the Wild Card. It keep more teams competitive deeper into the season, which makes for some phenomenal races.

• That said how is it that the Marlins have more World Championships (2) then Division titles (0)?

• I don’t care what the Cubs did in the offseason, they are still the Cubs and will find a way to lose before it’s all said and done.

• Also, why is it that nobody gives the cardinals any credit? They had a horrible season last year and had some key injuries especially early. They blew a League high 20 something save chances last year, and only finished 3 games out. So all they did this year was revamp the bullpen and bring in a more stable rotation to go behind Morris and Williams. Suppan and Marquis aren’t flashy but they can win with the lineup the cards will but on the field. Trust me the Cards will be there come September.

• How can the Cubs and Cardinals play their last series in July?? The 2 teams don't meet again the rest of the season. I don’t care if they are the 2 worst teams in MLB their rivalry is one of the best in the game and they should always have a series in Sept.

• Finally, Barry Bonds is a cheater. Ok well I can’t prove it but it sure looks like it. At the least he’s my favorite player to root against. (Yes, I’m still bitter over the 73 season. Give me Big Mac anyday)

That’s my take. I’ll update it at the break.