Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eye of the Storm: 14 Days to Fall Ball

20 Days to Fall Ball...
Sunday, August 14...14 Days

8:07 am - I woke up early for a Sunday with nothing on the schedule. I was planning to mow the lawn at some point but it was still raining when I walked downstairs. It must have been quite a storm last night because I vaguely remember waking up at some point in the wee hours of the morning.

10:38 am - It took awhile to get going this morning. I laid on the couch watching third round highlights of the PGA Championship for about an hour. I still haven't showered but did make my way to the kitchen for a bowl of cereal.

12:12 pm - I stepped outside for some fresh air and to pick up a few fallen branches from the maple tree near the street. The branches appear to be the extent of the damage from last night's thunderstorm and fortunately they fell nowhere close to any power lines in the neighborhood.

12:46 pm - I received a text message from Coach McGee reminding us of our recruiting meeting on Wednesday. That is also the day where our freshman will move in to their dorms. We will be on site to provide a helping hand to our guys as well as others in need.

1:05 pm - The first pitch of the Indians game was thrown in the background on TV. While the Tribe went for the sweep, I began checking emails and started organizing my upcoming week. There was still a lot to be done for our fall prospect camp (Saturday, September 17) which was dominating my to-do list. In addition to the workload from setting up a camp, I still have some recruiting calls to make before Wednesday's meeting. I made a good portion of calls the past few days but there were still a few kids who needed called.

2:07 pm - I started looking over some stats from the 2011 season to accompany my practice plan for the first day of Fall Ball. We have good kids in the program but it helps strengthen your argument if you have concrete numbers to back you up. A good way into this endeavor I realized the numbers were a series of outliers. We only posted a .500 record (4-4) when we didn't commit an error last year. Ordinarily, teams are well-above the .500 mark when they play errorless baseball. However, I would bet that if we played more than eight games without an error, our record would have been much better. We just didn't have a big enough sample size.

4:15 pm - The Indians game had been postponed and the PGA Championship was getting good but I was still stuck on these numbers. I was working my way through each game of 2011 and had decided that I needed to look at 2010 as well. In fact, over the next few hours (or days if I don't get through it tonight) I would take into account every game since Lake Erie transitioned to the Division II level in 2009.

6:42 pm - I just ordered a Stromboli as I sit here at the computer staring at my excel spreadsheets in no mood to make dinner. I'm looking at some interesting numbers but right now I'm sure exactly what they mean. In the majority of our games, we would allow between three and eight runs a game where we would only score between two and seven. So the lesson here is if we hold our opponent to three runs or less, we win nearly 63 percent (10-6) of our games. And if we score two or less, we win a dreadful 7 percent (1-12) of our games. This puts a premium on offensive execution and keeping our errors to a minimum. But I didn't need to spend all day sifting through stats to figure that out.

7:31 pm - Looking at the differences between runs scored and runs allowed in 2011, I am having flashbacks to high school chemistry class where we took data and produced daily box plots. Those flashbacks quickly turned to nightmares because I quickly realized my high school chemistry teacher was also a high school umpire who had, on occasion, rung me up due to a very pitcher-friendly strike zone.

7:41 pm - The Stromboli's still wasn't here. I think the driver is lost.

7:49 pm - Food finally arrived. I took a break from the stats. Actually, I called it a night. Realistically, I had about a week to get the numbers in order before I started laying out my plan for infield practice during the first few weeks of fall ball.

Up next: 13 Days to Fall Ball

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