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2011 Area Code Games Day 5

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August 9, 2011

I woke up this morning to pick up a newspaper (for those of you reading at home who might be too young to remember what a newspaper is, it was like a text message, but with sentences) to find a wire story about the soccer club Real Madrid signing a seven-year old prospect to a contract. Yes, seven years old.

Then I headed over to Blair Field to watch all the old geezers, the 16, 17 and 18-year olds, play Day 5 of the Area Codes, the last full day. Man, how it must stink to be over the hill at age 17. Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you. Satchel Paige said that. No, I don’t have time to explain who Satchel Paige was, other than to say, there ain’t no Satchel here this year. (more…)

2011 Area Code Games Day 4

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August 8, 2011

By the end of the fourth game of the day, my hand was molded in the shape of a stopwatch grip. My finger was pressing the button with each pitch. One problem — no stopwatch in the hand. That’s what 29 innings in one day will do to a guy. It took three phantom timings for me to realize, oh, my watch is on my lap, not in my hand. It’s time to time out.

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Area Code Games Day 3

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August 7, 2011

Sunday we learned more about right-hander Lucas Giolito, one of the big high school arms in the 2012 draft, than all the radar guns in the world can teach us. The moral of the story is pretty simple – audacity means as much as velocity when you want to pitch in the big leagues.

If I’m a pitcher, and that hitter is spitting where I’m eating, he’s gotta get off the dish. A guy like Giolito has the big arm, the velocity – he was “ez” 93-96 today, he can run it up to 96-98 – so for the teams that are watching, it becomes either, well, you can show us status quo, or you can show us something more.

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2011 Area Code Games Day 2

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August 6, 2011

I like Max Fried’s name. Namely because I can play with it – is it “freed,” as in, I would have been freed at 7 if they hadn’t stretched the last game of the night to nine innings – or is it, “fried,” as in, I am fried after digging through prospects. I’m not sure.

I can say that Fried, who might be coming to a High School near you, improved significantly since I saw him here last summer. Thinner, taller, smoother and you can’t give a guy a breaking ball. Another Southern California lefty, Kyle Twomey is smooth and sneaky fast, which is what it says on my scouting cards, but could also be the name of a band. And a couple of California right-handers, Chase De Jong and Justin Garza, get results in different ways – one guy growing into his arm and the other sneaky quick.

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Area Code Games Day 1

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August 5, 2011

Who changed the colors around here? Who changed the logo? And wait, where did this menu come from? Nobody told me anything! I’m shocked, shocked to find sarcasm here! Let me have a look around…ok…so the new readers who find us looking for the Area Codes don’t know what we used to look like…ok, so be it. Sometimes, change is for the good.

Pitching usually plays here. Ty Hensley is the best known arm from day one. He was 90-92, but you can find him at 93-94 on a more amped up day. I was fine with this look, mainly because I know more is in the gas tank because of the loose arm and durable body. Fine by me, I know more is in there.

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