Big Trades Within The Division Have Always Been Part Of Baseball

As the trade deadline approaches, most broadcasters are naturally discussing completed as well as possible transactions in Major League Baseball. During a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins, the announcers had just received the news of a huge trade that had been completed.

The Orioles had traded Zack Britton to the New York Yankees, which prompted the TV analyst to criticize the deal. He complained that the Orioles, who are deeply buried in the East side of the American League, had violated some unwritten rule about never trading within your own division.

I was doubtful that such a rule existed, for any club planning to trade a player would make a deal yielding the best return. When you are wanting to do what is best for your organization, geography would not trump your own interests.

The very next day reinforced my doubts as to that so-called unwritten rule to which the announcer had alluded, for another huge inner division trade had been completed. The Tampa Bay Rays shipped starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox, who are currently on top in the A. L. East.

Giving the benefit of a doubt to the broadcaster, I wondered if the rule had once existed but had disappeared like complete games and sacrifice bunts from today’s state of the game. Recalling some notable transactions over the last fifty years, however, I realized that there had not been an unwritten rule that suggested teams not trade within their own divisions.

Here are eight cases since the Seventies in which well-known players were traded from one team to a rival in its own division.

San Francisco traded future Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey to a team not only in the same row in the standings, but also in the same state. The San Diego Padres acquired Stretch from the Giants way back in 1973.

Early in the next decade the Houston Astros traded All-Star outfielder Cesar Cedeno to West rival Cincinnati, which in turn sent third baseman Ray Knight from the Reds.

The year immortalized by George Orwell’s futuristic novel, 1984, saw a notable inner division trade. The Philadelphia Phillies shipped popular outfielder Garry Matthews to the Cubs, and he helped Chicago to the playoffs soon after that.

Two years later future Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter was traded by the Montreal Expos to Eastern Division rival New York, where Carter helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series Championship against the Boston Red Sox. Apparently the Expos, like the Astros and Giants before them, had been oblivious to the rule not to trade to rival clubs.

All Star slugger Carlos Delgado, less than a year removed from winning a World Series Championship with the Marlins, was sent from Florida to the New York Mets back in 2005. Three years later on July 29, 2008 the Texas Rangers traded first baseman Mark Texiera to the Angels.

In 2010 the Milwaukee Brewers swapped All Star center fielder Jim Edmonds to N. L. Central rival Cincinnati, who felt Edmonds would help the Reds reach the postseason for the first time since the end of the twentieth century. Again, if such a rule existed, it continued to be ignored by most clubs.

In a more recent transaction the Minnesota Twins in 2011 agreed to send designated hitter Jim Thome to the Cleveland Indians, the club with which he started his illustrious baseball career. Thome was contemplating retirement, and he wanted to end his playing days as a member of the Tribe.

Cheerleader Teams Always Do Well With a Car Wash Fundraiser

There are a lot of advantages to cheerleading squads that other sports simply don’t enjoy. I guess that goes without saying, especially in high-school, but I would submit to you that the same applies for those in college – let me explain and give you a real life example here if I might.

Over the years, I’ve participated and planned many car wash fundraisers. It started in High School as I was the president of many clubs on campus and Senior Class President also. One thing we always needed more of in our clubs and organizations was money – there was never enough for our unquenchable thirst for grandiose events. In those days I had a business washing cars, boats and aircraft, mobile car washing and we used the equipment to clean cars at those fundraisers. Eventually, we got really good at organizing them and making a decent amount of money.

Still, we could never make as much as the cheerleading squad for obvious reasons. First, they could out sell us 3:1 in pre-sale car wash fundraising tickets and during the day of the event they’d pull cars off the street in droves with a simple sign “Cheerleader Car Wash” and a couple of girls on the corner in bathing suits. Hey, that’s just not fair, but that’s life. Yes, a definite advantage indeed. Needless to say, if you are a cheerleader parent or student advisor and your squad needs money – a fundraiser of this type is quite easy to hold and quite apropos for the summer months.

The other day, I was talking to a mom at Starbucks who had a daughter who made the cheerleading squad in high school for the next calendar year. Her sister was a cheerleader a few years back at that same school and the mom remembered how expensive it was for cheerleader camp, competitions, uniforms, and travel expenses, and the mom really didn’t want to go through that one again, nor did she want to be assigned duty at “another damn bake sale” I think were her exact words. I explained the car wash fundraising strategy and how they could do pre-sale tickets, and use a busy corner to host the endeavor.

She did remember doing at least one fundraiser of that type a few years back and thought it was fun, but said she remembered getting sunburn, and I explained with proper planning no one has to get burned and her daughter’s squad could make the money they so desperately needed. Please consider all this and think on it.

Spares – How Do I Line Up for Spares?

So you’ve been bowling quite a few times now and feel pretty comfortable with your approach, release of the ball and trying for strikes. You are usually able to keep the first ball somewhere around the middle of the lane and hit the headpin most of the time. That’s great! I hope that some of my tips have helped to get you there. Believe it or not, that was the easy part–now it’s time for the real challenge within the sport of bowling, picking up your spares.

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

It seem logical that the fewer pins standing, the easier it should be to knock them down. Well, I’m here to tell ya, that just ain’t so! Even if you don’t count splits, consistently picking up your spares can be the hardest part of the game for many bowlers. The thing is, the fewer the pins, the smaller the target–therefore, less room for error. Think back to some of the strikes that you’ve had and how the pins were flying all over the place. You may not have hit the pocket (between the 1 and 3 pins for righties) or even the head pin, but somehow all of that pin action resulted in a strike. Spares are a different animal though. Fewer pins and less pin action requires greater accuracy. Don’t worry, it’s not impossible–here’s a technique that can greatly improve your spare shooting, which in turn will increase your scores (that sounds good to everyone).

3-6-9

What?! 3-6-9? I know, sounds like a counting drill or something. Actually, this is probably the quickest and easiest way to increase your consistency on spares. The 3-6-9 refers to the floor boards on the lane. You will be moving your feet that amount of floor boards to either the left or right in order to attempt a given spare. This method only works once you have a spot on the approach that you place your feet on for your first (strike) ball, as well as a spot on the lane (most bowler us the arrows) that you aim for on that shot. The amount of boards that you will move to the left or the right will be based off of your strike ball spot on the approach. I will explain this from the right hand bowlers’ perspective, so if you are a lefty use the same principle just invert the direction of the move.

Why Do I Have to Move?

The seven front pins that you see when you have a full rack are what you will use to determine your move, starting from your strike ball position on the approach. You will move you spot on the approach the opposite direction of the side of the headpin that your remaining pins are on. For each pin left of the headpin, you will move your feet three boards right while aiming at the same arrow. Conversely, for each pin right of the headpin, you will move left three boards. Since there are three pins to either side of the headpin, you will move 3, 6, or 9 board. So, if you leave either the 3, 6, or 10 pin, since they are to the right of the headpin, you will move your feet on the approach to the left 3, 6, or 9 boards to the left, respectively. At first this sounds and feels like it’s exactly the opposite of what you should do, but trust me it works.

So on the flip side, if you leave the two pin, because it’s the first pin left of the head pin, move your feet three floor boards to the right of your strike ball spot, while aiming at the same arrow. This will feel awkward at first but you will get used to it. Once you’ve move for your spare there are key elements to your success:

Walk to the foul line at your usual speed and STRAIGHT!
Aim for your usual mark (arrow) and watch the ball go over it.
Roll the ball at the same speed as for your first shot–don’t slow it down.

Many bowlers trying this for the first time have a tendency to walk crooked without realizing it; trying to walk toward their arrow. In order for the 3-6-9 method to work for you, you must walk in a straight line. To see if you are walking straight, pay attention to where you placed your feet to start you spare approach. Most bowlers use the dots on the approach to get themselves lined up. Well, the same dots are right at the foul line. After you let go of the ball look down at the dots and see if your slide foot is on or near the same dot (board) that you started on. If so, great! If not, keep working on it, you will get it eventually.

Got to Pay Attention to Yourself

Watch the ball roll over your usual arrow. If you don’t, there is no way to tell if you are doing this right. Accuracy is key, but slowing the ball down is not necessary. If you can usually hit your mark for your strike ball, you will be able to do this with a little practice, but slowing the ball down changes everything about your approach and release which effects your accuracy. Don’t do it. Maintain the same speed as your first ball; that’s the approach and release that feels most comfortable so stick with it–your just standing in a different spot–everything else should be the same.

What if There’s More Than One

This tip concentrates on the single pin spares, just to get accustomed to the new feel on the lane. For multi-pin, non-split spares, start with aiming for the pin closest to you. Once you get used to shooting at individual pins using the 3-6-9 method you will understand how to make small adjustments to get more that one pin.

This Can Work for Everyone

This can work with both a straight shot and the more advanced hook or curve shot. Those rolling a hook may need to adjust slightly depending on the amount of hook you get. That’s it! Not too tough, just takes practice. As I said, it feels awkward at first, like you are trying to do the opposite of what your mind believes to be right. Keep working on it you will get it–and in turn your scores will go up!Have fun on the lanes.

SOCCER CLEATS – How To Choose Them

Soccer is a game played by thousands and loved by millions. Every soccer professional chooses their cleats according to their requirement and condition of the ground. If proper cleats are not worn by the player it may prove to be a big disadvantage on his side because cleats provide proper grip and adhesion towards the ground. Soccer cleats are chosen on the basis of various factors, some of them are as follows-

1. ACCORDING TO THE PLAYGROUND SURFACE- If the condition of a ground is rough and not too soft then the player should use firm ground cleats with 12 to 15 studs in other to maintain friction and allow flexibility. Studs come in different shapes like conical, blade-shaped, etc. But if the ground surface is wet and muddy, then the player should go for soft surface cleats, so that the stickiness of ground does not restrict friction and provides sufficient traction. However, in soft surface cleats, the number of studs is 6-7, structured ideally. And, for hard and rocky ground surface the cleats having flat studs are preferred as they provide maximum grip to maintain balance on the hard surface.

2. ACCORDING TO THE MATERIAL- Soccer cleats are made from various types of materials like from kangaroo leather, goat leather, synthetic material, mesh, etc. Each one has its own advantage and disadvantage. The cleats made from kangaroo leather are usually preferred as they provide great comfort to your feet and are quite durable. But they are very heavy and expensive so you can also opt for goat leather cleats as they are less expensive and provide the same comfort, but are as heavy as the former one. Cleats made from synthetic material is used widely because they are light weighing and cheap, but they are not suitable for all the weather and are not durable as kangaroo leather cleats. Many companies have started manufacturing artificial leather cleats having water resistant quality and durability.

3. ACCORDING TO THE COMFORT- Selecting right cleat could be a challenging task as the main priority is the comfort. Cleats should not be too small or too wide. They should fit properly and not hurt your toes resulting in blisters. Choose the cleats that can balance your back and forth movements. Your cleats must have a large strike zone so can easily kick the ball. The insoles in cleats should be soft and bouncy enough.

4. ACCORDING TO THE BUDGET- The price of cleats differs from company to the company offering different types of quality and material. The quality of cleats is classified as top-tier cleats, mid-tier cleats, and low-tier cleats. The professional soccer player chose top-tier cleats as they are manufactured to cater the demands of the player. They are very expensive and cost around 100$-500$ depending on the manufacturing company. The mid-tier cleats are in great demand as they are available at reasonable prices and are as durable as top-tier cleats. The low-tier cleats are for the beginner. They are cheap and of inferior quality.

Waterproof Surfboard Remote Control for Efoil

Over the last 6 months, I have spent hundreds of hours researching, building, and testing a new electric efoil surfboard and waterproof surfboard remote control. While I have been able to create a DIY electric hydrofoil propulsion system that works, myself and roughly 700 other DIY electric surfboard builders have yet to find an easy and affordable way to build or buy a waterproof bluetooth remote control.

Let’s face it, no one feels cool riding their electric surfboard with a DIY waterproof remote in a lunch bag. It will be a challenge for someone to develop a colorful, floating, waterproof surfboard remote control that is designed with smooth throttle control, comfort, and be affordably priced.

Currently, there are over 80 builders in various online forums and Facebook groups, trying to create a solution that will be easy to build and work well. Each month new designs and parts are being tested by these builders, which if all goes well a new design will work well and take things to the next step of testing and then into production.

If you are trying to build your own or thinking to build your own remote just keep in mind that parts you buy have a big risk of not working and you will quickly spend $150-$800 on parts. This is the whole point of open source design and building groups. This process of design can move fast, as everyone pitches in and shares insight and they all get something great in the end to use.

There are several new electric surfboard and jet board systems now. Many have waterproof a remote, but they do not sell to the DIY efoil builder’s community.

A waterproof surfboard remote control will be a game changer for the water sport industry to support electric surfboard, jet surfboard, and efoil companies to use an open source remote control and not have to spend $45,000 or more on research, testing, plastic molds, bulk orders, and 6+ month turnaround from start to finish.

If this type of product becomes available will open the doors to the electric water sports industry as currently there are no waterproof remote control systems available for individuals that comes complete with a receiver allowing it to be used with virtually any electronic system available on the market. It does not matter if you have an electric skateboard, electric wakeboard, electric surfboard, or efoil. A universal remote will work all devices meaning you only need one!