It's been a long while since I've had the opportunity to sit down and visit with the Cheap Seats Nation.
How the heck are you guys and gals?
All 10 of you. Well, 12 of you now that the Chronicle Times has hit the web.
A lot has gone on since the last time we've talked and I thought we should catch up.
I've been real busy since the last time we've talked with things like the first Co-ed State Track and Field Meet, the beginning of baseball and softball and the numerous weddings and other events that have littered the first few weekends of my summer.
Not to mention the two weeks I spent in my room crying my eyes out because my girlfriend Katie Holmes left me for Maverick. Thanks to all of you out there who sent me your sympathy cards, they are much appreciated and the healing process has taken place.
Another time consuming activity I have been participating in as of late is coaching. That's right, I said coaching.
Along with my brother Jim and neighbor Jason Still, we've taken it upon ourselves to mold the young male minds of the Correctionville, Cushing, Quimby and Washta communities grades k-2 in coach-pitch baseball.
We've had three games so far, and although we haven't kept score, I have it on good authority that we are undefeated. Now, if this is due to the great coaching skills or the immense talent of the players is up in the air. All I know is that I am enjoying the heck out of it.
I didn't really know how well I would like coaching a bunch of 5-8 year olds, but those little buggers have made my summer real enjoyable so far and I have a feeling that this won't be my last coaching assignment.
One of the little devils on our team just so happens to be my nephew Morgan and I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you about the homerun he jacked Sunday afternoon in Pierson. It was evident that a mixture of pure coaching genius and Carstens genetics have turned his swing into a lethal weapon.
Only problem is the Carstens wheels (or lack there of) come along with the genes. So you know he must have hit it pretty far to make it home.
How about them Twins, Struck?
Sorry, but I got to get my digs in when I can. I mean, how often does a guy get the chance to laugh at the Yankees?
It sure made my day Sunday when the Twins used a bunch of second-string minor leaguers to topple the $200 million payroll New Yorkers. I just can't wait to see who's head will be on the chopping block first, manager Joe Torre or general manager Brian Cashman. My money's on Cashman.
Eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders confirmed that he has reached a contract agreement with the Baltimore Ravens for the 2005 season. Now we get another season of Prime Time.
I should have watched what I wished for when I begged God to remove Deion Sanders from all those pregame football shows.
If Jimmie Johnson gets back into coaching I'm becoming a priest.
It's nice to see the Cubs decided to come around and play for awhile.
Not nice because I'm a Cubs fan, but now that they are winning I don't have to listen to my brother grumble about their misfortunes.
The one good thing they have going for them is that Nomar Garciaparra got hurt early in the year. This way they have an excuse for the entire season when they blow it again.
On the other side of Chicago, the streaking White Sox have made it a nightmare on my Twins to take the division lead. I'll be surprised if Ozzie Guillen can keep his team playing at this level all year long while Minnesota is a team more built for the long run.
I sat and watched the White Sox play a couple innings the other day against Cleveland on WGN and one thing was made abundantly clear to me in that amount of time. They have the worst television announcers in the game.
If you haven't had the opportunity to listen to a broadcast led by Ken "Hawk" Harrelson and Darrin Jackson, don't.
I heard better commentary between my niece and nephew when they were fighting over a box of crayons recently.
Here's a taste of what was said in the box while I watched:
JACKSON: Hafner is up for the Indians with the game tied at 3 in the top of the 10th. Damaso Marte on the mound.
HAWK: Come on Damaso.
(Hafner cracks a homerun, dead silence for thirty seconds).
HAWK: That's no good.
On a sad note, Goerge Mikan passed away last week after a lengthy battle with diabetes and kidney ailments.
Mikan, who had his leg amputated below the knee in 2000, revolutionized the game of basketball over 50 years ago because of his size and athletic ability. The NBA widened the lane specifically for him and instituted the goal tending rule to slow his efforts. He also led the Lakers to five championships.
I heard report that towards the end of Mikan's life his family was forced to sell off his belongings and memorabilia to pay for his medical bills. He was getting somewhere around $16,000 a year in pension from the NBA.
I think the NBA and their player's association should be ashamed to let one of their greats go down like that. Especially with the millions of dollars players get now because of men like him who paved the way for meager wages.
How can George Mikan get $16,000 a year after all he did for the game when a rookie's minimum wage is $385,000 a year?
At least one player made an effort to help the family. Shaquille O'Neal offered to pay for the funeral. Maybe he understands that there wouldn't be big money for him without those that came before.
It's just too bad he and the rest of the NBA weren't there for him before the end.