Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 Baseball Predictions!

Take me out to the ballgame!  Take me out to the crowd!  Buy me some...

America’s pastime is back!  

Watching baseball and playing fantasy baseball are true pleasures of the summer.  Like everyone else I’m ready to get this year started.  Once again, the Phillies and Team GOAT (my fantasy team in the Muddy, Bloody, Beer League) are true contenders! While I'm hoping for another parade down Broad Street and another notch in my fantasy championship belt, the most important thing is to enjoy the season. Baseball offers an escape from the daily grind and provides a great opportunity to spend a few hours with friends and family.

Here’s what I expect from the 2011 Season:
Division Winners:
  • American League:
    • East: Boston - Too much offence for NY to keep pace!
    • Central: Tigers - As long as Cabrera can stay off the sauce!
    • West: Athletics - Rangers fall apart late and the A’s take the title!
    • Wild Card: Yankees - Too much money spent to miss playoffs!
  • National League:
    • East: Phillies - Pitching is too good and the Braves are too young!
    • Central: Cardinals - They will do it for Pujols... or he’ll walk!
    • West: Rockies - The Giants just got hot at the right time last year!
    • Wild Card: Giants - Squeak by the Braves! 
World Series:
  • Phillies over Boston
Award Winners:
  • MVP:
    • AL: Evan Longoria
    • NL: Sir Albert
  • Cy Young:
    • AL: Justin Verlander
    • NL: Cliff Lee
My Drafted Fantasy Team:
League Info: The league is a competitive but small 6 team league. Yes, every team is stacked! We have daily lineup changes in a weekly head-to-head format. Each team is allowed 4 reserve players, but only one of them can be a pitcher. A team can pickup one free agent each week but can make unlimited waiver wire pickups. (Free agents are placed on waiver on Friday and processed on Sunday.) (The league is run on Fantrax.)
Here's how my draft went: (I picked 5th out of 6)
  • Round 1 - Pick 5: (SS) Hanley Ramirez
  • Round 2 - Pick 8: (3B) Evan Longoria
  • Round 3 - Pick 17: (OF) Matt Holliday
  • Round 4 - Pick 20: (P) Felix Hernandez
  • Round 5 - Pick 29: (P) CC Sabathia
  • Round 6 - Pick 32: (P) Ubaldo Jimenez
  • Round 7 - Pick 41: (OF) Andre Either
  • Round 8 - Pick 44: (OF) Nick Markakis
  • Round 9 - Pick 53: (C) Victor Martinez
  • Round 10 - Pick 56: (1B) Mark Teixeira (Steal of the draft!)
  • Round 11 - Pick 65: (P) Matt Cain
  • Round 12 - Pick 68: (2B) Martin Prado 
  • Round 13 - Pick 77: (P) Tommy Hanson
  • Round 14 - Pick 80: (OF) Curtis Granderson
  • Round 15 - Pick 89: (2B) Ben Zobrist  
  • Round 16 - Pick 92: (OF) Jay Bruce
What do you think... a genius draft? I know I'm weak at 2B but it is a pretty weak position in general. Good luck to the Phillies and all my fellow fantasy GMs!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrate Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day!

The U.S. Senate has declared, March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”  It was 38 years ago today that U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam.   

It is very nice that the Senate  honored the Vietnam Veterans.  The Vietnam War took place at a time when much of the youth were wearing beads and proclaiming flower power.  This self proclaimed love generation scorned the military and the very soldiers that provided their freedom.  Many burned their draft cards and refused to serve their nation.  

The brave soldiers that did serve were were often disrespected.  Many were spit upon as they returned home.  Fortunately, for our country not all were so selfish.  Many men and women respected their duty and the honored the sacrifice of the soldier.       

At the age of 17, my father decided that he needed to his part and presented his parents with a letter of consent allowing him to enter the military early.  He wanted to serve his country.  Shortly there after went to Paris Island and became a Marine.  He wasn’t in Vietnam long before he was injured.   While resting on top of a tank, he was struck with an explosive device and woke up in Germany.

Despite being a Purple Heart recipient my dad rarely spoke of the war and never sought glory or admiration.  Despite losing vision in one eye and having bits of shrapnel that remained in his body my father never complained or asked for special treatment.  Unfortunately, my father passed away almost 15 years ago so I’ll never know for sure but I think he would have quietly appreciated this declaration for a moment and then went on with the work at hand.

I’d like to thank all military personal and their families for their sacrifice.  Most soldiers don’t ask for recognition so it is very important that we offer appreciation as often as we can.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Why did I start a new blog?

Why start a new blog?  Especially a new blog about balancing my priorities!  Great question.... if I have enough spare time to write a blog I must not be too busy balancing my responsibilities.  Well... this blog (hopefully) will actually help me with my priorities.  In particular, I expect writing this blog to improve my "Personal" and "Career" priorities.
Let me explain...

Personal:  This blog will help me improve personally by allowing me to view my actions and interests from a different perspective.  If all of my posts start to be about drinking cheap scotch till I'm sleeping on the bathroom floor I'll know that something in my life is out out line.  Hopefully over time I'll see equal posts towards each of the different priorities.  Sure some topics will be more fun to write about than others and some aspects of life require more daily actions than others so they will naturally receive more recognition but over time hopefully this blog will reflect a life that is balanced and moving in a positive direction.

How do you keep you priorities balanced?  Do you establish a plan or simply fly by the seat of your pants?  Let me know - post your comments below! 

Career:  No, I'm not delusional into thinking this blog will turn into a big money making career and I'll be the next jet-setting blogger like Perez Hilton.  Writing is a very important skill and helpful no matter what career choice you take.  (I highly doubt anyone has been held back for being too literate.)  Recently I was selected for a temporary promotion in my employer's Public Affairs Department.  When applying for the position I became aware that I have very limited examples of written work.  Sure, I've written some for my current position but most, if not all, are very instructive in nature.  Clearly, I need to find a way to expand my skill set.  By writing this blog I will gain experience writing about a variety of topics and hopefully improve my writing skills over time.  A skill that could ultimately improve my career.            

Life is all about taking advantage of opportunities.  And it takes consistent work to be in position to do so.  What actions are you taking to be best prepared to accomplish for your goals?  Let me know - you never know who might read and be able to help you out!

Hello World!

In life, I’m constantly balancing competing priorities.  With this blog I’m going to discuss those priorities and whatever else is on my mind.   

As a young family man I have many competing priorities and each day offers only so many hours to meet my goals.  To be the person, father and husband I want to be I’m constantly trying to find ways to improve all aspects of my life.  I feel that success is a cumulative result of person’s life and to be successful a person needs to have balance.  Success in one aspect of life at the expense of other areas is not true success.  Unfortunately, each day only has so many hours and the more time I spend on one area the less time I have for the others.  The great dance of life!

Personal vs. Family vs. Career vs. Health and Fitness vs. Recreation vs. Finance

This blog will hi-light my thoughts as I balance those priorities.  I hope that you will follow along and enjoy my ride.  Feel free to provide any comments or suggestions!     


From Thought of the Jay!