Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Conspiracy Theory (#blogonthebus)

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who tweeted "#blogonthebus" y'all are the reason I am writing this post right now, thank you.

For today's post, I'm going to show off a skill I learned I had while I was in high school. My friends were talking about conspiracy theories and which ones were real and how some were just too iron-clad to not be true. I was getting fed up, and took a random number and event and made connections on the spot to show just how ridiculous the whole idea of conspiracy theory is to me. Today, I am going to take today's date - and make it to the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Today's date is 4/24/2012.

The Cuban Missile Crisis started on 10/22/1962.

When added together individually, the numbers of todays date equal 15 (4+2+4+2+0+1+2=15).

The only number in today's date that is not even is 1, every other number is even.

15 is not an even number - nor is it a prime.

The first even number from zero is 2.

15 PLUS 2 and 15 MINUS 2 equal prime numbers (13 and 17 respectively).

15 when used with 2 becomes 2 prime numbers.

The SECOND month of the year is February.

"February" has 8 letters in it.

8 (the number of letters in February) plus 2 (the number of the month) is 10.

The tenth month is October.

October has 7 letters in it.

7 (the number of letters in October) times 8 (the number of letters in February) is 56.

5 + 6 is 11.

11 is not even.

Multiply 11 by 2 and you get 22.

The two primes we got from 15 were 13 and 17.

When added together we get 30.

30 multiplied by 2 (the only even prime) is 60.

60 plus 2 (the first even from zero) is 62.

Look back, we have come up with OCTOBER - 22 - 62.

Today is going to be the start of another Cuban Missile Crisis.


I just wanted to illustrate how easy it is to mix and match random numbers to make them do whatever you want. Hoped you liked my ramblings, and I hope some of you laughed - I had a good time writing it and it killed an hour on the bus.

As always - GO TRIBE and be safe. Email me with anything about the blog colecook.soc@gmail.com, and follow me on twitter @C_M_Cook. Have a good humpday tomorrow, and finish the week up strong. We're gonna be working on getting a home win for the amazing fans of Lake County.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Time, & How To Pass It

Of all the skills need to succeed in the minors, passing time may be the most important. Good hands, the ability to read the ball, a resilient body - most people would correctly guess these will help one rise to the top of a heap of struggling minor leaguers. But you can have all the talent in the world, but if your brain rots in your skull as a result of sheer boredom, those talents will never hit the field. Thus - a true minor league talent, will also learn to master the talent of killing time. 

On a given "getaway day" (the day we leave a road trip city) the check-out time is 11AM, but the first bus to the field is not until 3. This may seem like an easy thing to do, just pass 4 hours. But much like Chinese Water Torture, even the most mundane of things can drive one throughly insane, and not like Johnny Depp insane where it's kinda cool and you move to France -- like Charlie Sheen insane. 

This brings me to the solution - here is a quick list of things to do to avoid the "Getaway Day Crazies".

1. The Buddy System - 
It's important to have a friend. The man who sits alone and plays on his iPad in the corner is not going to last long. Because on that day when the game just isn't fun anymore or heaven forbid, the battery dies on his computer - he is going to go postal. Having a friend grants you almost infinitely more possibilities. Plus it means you don't have to text "hey" to everyone you texted in the past week - trying to start a conversation. 

2. Eat - 
Eating is awesome. It kills time AND it is fun because (hopefully) you are eating things that taste good. Plus if you failed to listen to me on rule #1, you will be able to talk to your server. In the best case scenario of this situation, you and your buddy will be able to flirt-fight over the waitress that neither of you will never see again. *

*If you are unfamiliar with "flirt-fighting" its when two men, who are friends, are trying to flirt with the same girl and because they both think they are superior than the other, they begin to lay on the charm thicker and thicker until the woman becomes coated like a Cinnabun of compliments. There is no obvious hostility in flirt-fighting, its more a dance of backhanded compliments and not-so-sublte one-ups-manship. It's quite a thing to watch - especially if both parties involved have solid "game".  Side note - this has never worked to pick any woman up, because both men look entirely idiotic. 

3. Adventure - 
This point kinda relies on numbers one & two, because you are usually adventuring with someone in the search of food - but it can be done by yourself if you have a bit of a "I Am Legend" mindset (which I do). Not all towns in the midwest league have the possibility of adventure. Clinton, IA for example has nothing within walking distance besides two restaurants and a farming store. Not to say that these are not worth adventuring, but there are towns where time can easily be passed by treating a small town like a coffee table photography book. Simply by putting one foot in front of the other and keeping your phone in your pocket, you will see things that belong to a life that is strange and new and can be quite interesting to experience. 

4. Know Card Games -
This is a rule for any minor leaguer, waiting for the bus or not. Cards are an important part of our life, and the ability to sit down at a car game and know the rules is important. Furthermore, a card game includes other people, and there is no cure for killing time like good conversation, and believe me - if there's anyone who can conjure good conversation out of thin air - its a group of minor leaguers. 

5. Have a Late Check Out Room - 
Yes - this is a loophole and completely contrary to the whole point of this list - but its REAL. If you're the starting pitcher on getaway day, or just happen to be a lucky duck, you have a late checkout room. This means you can sleep in as long as you want, then lazily watch TV until you wanna eat and hop right on the bus. This is the best possible option, but if this isn't you - you gotta stick to rules 1-4. Trust me, it'll be all the difference in the world. 

Side Note - the above picture is what I think I look like when I have a late check out room. The below picture is far more accurate. 

I hope you liked my list and maybe you can implement some of these rules for passing time the next time you have hours to kill. Hope you are all having a good weekend, and as always - Go Tribe.

I have a few reader questions that I will get to in the next couple postings, I promise. If you have any questions or comments for the blog email me at colecook.soc@gmail.com. And I hope all of you follow me on Twitter @C_M_Cook, and if you're not following me, I have no idea how you got this blog (or why you're still reading at this point). Be safe out there guys. 

This is Cole Cook - urging you never to travel to Iowa. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Bad Beat

Today was a tough one for us. Baseball is going to hand you some heartbreak along the way, and you have to learn how to deal with it. We lost today's game 22-12, and everyone feels the sting of a game like that. It doesn't matter if you didn't get in, if you were on the mound when the runs were being scored, or if you went 3-4 with a dinger. When, as a team, you collectively suffer a tough loss, it can have strong repercussions. In an ideal world, a team will come together after the loss - but there are things that need to happen if this is to be the outcome. In a bad beat, or any loss for that matter, there will be always people that had a particularly bad day, or that blame themselves for the loss or feel like they had a worse day than should have or could have. 

I think when you see athletes angry after a bad performance, it's not only because they hate losing, but because they wish they could do it again I feel like all an athlete wants after a bad performance is to suit up and do it again. The competitive drive is so great, they just want to get out again and keep trying, trying to make it better. Especially in a sport like baseball, where the difference between a home run and a strikeout are so minuscule, it is so easy to look back at a pitch and wonder if you had thrown something else maybe that would have gotten the out. Maybe if you had just gotten your hands through a bit quicker that ball would have sneaked down the line. Baseball is a game of inches, and because of that, it's a game of 'what ifs?'.

With this in mind, when coming back into the clubhouse after a beat you have to be aware of who's around you and what a simple thing like a smile or a laugh could do to anger a teammate. It's not like a teammate will explode at you if you laugh after they have a tough go, but you don't want to put anyone in a situation where they're uncomfortable or feel like you're taking the game lightly. When you're in the minor leagues, the game is a job. It will never be anything more than baseball, it's not going to be life and death, but it's important. And when someone has had a bad game and his teammates seem to be taking it lightly, it can really leave bad taste in that player's mouth. I think what it comes down to is, it seems like your teammates don't have your back, and this is the very feeling that will destroy a team. There is a reason that bench CLEARING brawls take place - when one member of the team is assaulted, it may as well be an affront to all of us.

A good team will learn from a bad loss and grow together as a result. In 140 games (thats a minor league season) there are going to be a handful of games you want to forget. But if, as a team, you refuse or cannot learn from these times, you're gonna see more and more of those types of failures. Today was a tough one, but we will grow stronger because of it. Just like a bone heals stronger a break, a team can become better after a tough loss. One great thing about baseball is that usually you can get out there the very next day and all those runs and errors and strikeouts and walks are gone - you have a new slate on which to pursue greatness.

As always, thanks for reading & GO TRIBE!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First Series Recap

Before I get started on today's post, I would like to thank all of you who read, responded to or shared my last blog. It's an issue that is very close to my heart, and I put a lot into it; so I was very happy to see that y'all responded to it so well.

Moving on from less sad topics, we just got back from our first series of the year, a little three game roadie to Fort Wayne, which is the Padres affiliate in the Midwest League. I'm happy to say that we looked amazing and we were able to take 2 out of 3 from the Tin Caps!

The park is one of the nicest in the league, and the hotel is right beyond the right field wall so we can walk to and from the park which is amazing. Starting out a place like this is really good luck, cause there are some stadiums in the league that are no fun to play at, and that can start the year on the wrong foot. This year though - were are starting off WINNING.

It's always more fun playing on a team that wins, any athlete will be able to back me up on this. A winning team has a winning coaching staff that is in turn more relaxed and that's better for the players. A winning team has players that are doing well, and players that are doing well are about a million times more fun to be around than players who are slumping. Winning is simply the best; as my pitching coach, Jeff Harris would say, "You spell 'fun' W-I-N."

Now that the season has started, I have begun to get back into the familiar rhythm again, a rhythm of bus rides and stretching and eating at hole in the wall places and walking around small midwest towns looking for better places to eat. It's good to get back into the flow though, routines are the life blood of any ballplayer and getting back into that familiar pattern makes baseball so much easier.

At the moment, I'm sitting in my living room listening to Nick learn a bunch of country tunes on the guitar so we can get a huge sing a long on the bus next road trip. It's things like this that keeps things light and therefore keeps us winning. Baseball is a balancing act- you need to find that perfect place between staying mentally razor sharp and staying loose enough so you can survive 142 games without killing yourself or a teammate.

It comes down to little tricks, for Nick its playing guitar. For me its yoga, meditation and zen. For every guy it's different, and the key is to find what it is and be able to carry it out every day. If you can do this, it will probably be easier to win more games, and the more you win -- the more fun you have, and any toddler will tell you, it's all about having fun.

Sorry if this isn't the most exciting post of all time, but I just wanted to post something for y'all to peek at as you're preparing Easter Dinner or eating leftovers tomorrow at work. Hopefully the big club can come out on top tonight as they go back up against the Jays. I think its a really good sign that the Tribe keeps forcing really tough games, and I think that the Jays are a really solid club, and even though we haven't come out victorious yet - its good to see us hanging tough with these top teams. Also remember. it's early in the year, and there are 160 more where those came from.

As always, be safe out there, follow me on Twitter (@C_M_Cook) and shoot me an email with any questions or comments or stuff you wanna see on the blog (colecook.soc@gmail.com). I have a couple in my inbox right now, and I promise I will get to them in the near future. Go Tribe.