Saturday, December 13, 2008

Watch Retirement, Workouts, Heisman, PSU & Pirates Updates

After nearly 2.5 years, my watch is on its last legs. Since the end of the summer it has been sometimes been acting up a little bit in terms of a fading display. So, back in August, I bought the replacement (exact same watch--I'm a creature of habit) and was just waiting for the old one to kick the bucket.

But, on Friday morning after swimming, I noticed that the outer cover on the face had popped off. This was the final straw, so I decided to retire it in the drawer as an emergeny backup and break out the new one.

This watch has been a good one for me over the last few years. It joined me about the same time I was hired at my current school and is the one that accompanied me on my 2nd marathon & training in the fall of 2006. It's also been around to capture some 5k, 10k, and half marathon PR's in the past two years. And, it's been on my new swimming, biking, and triathlon ventures over the past year.

It's been a good watch, but I've got a replacement so...not really a big deal. The new watch will now be along for the ride. Moving on....

Beth's riding her bike (inside) this morning and then we're heading over to the Y for swimming.

This week marked an upward turn in my training as I'm getting back into the swing of things (and I'm healthy again):
Sun- 1:20 on the roads with Beth (it got a little snowy at the end)
Mon- Box workout with the sprinters/jumpers
Tue- 5 miles on the road with the distance guys
Wed- AM swim (50yd repeats)
Thu- 6 miles on the road in the distance guys in a NASTY 35 degree raining downpour
Fri- AM swim (800yd wu, 2 x 400 yd, then 100yd in 1:26......with flippers...); Box workout with the sprinters/jumpers PM

The Heisman Trophy award is tonight. I'm not a big follower of individual awards, but there's a couple of interesting story lines tonight.
First, of the three Big12 QB's with big stats who led their teams to one-loss seasons, only two were invited to the presentation along with Florida's Tim Tebow. The Heisman committee cited that they always invite 3 to 6 players, based on the final votes and just look for a natural break in the voting (as suggested statistically by an accounting firm). I'll be interested to see how far back Harrell (from Texas Tech) was in 4th and how close 5th place was to him (and who 5th place was).

The other story is that Tebow (only a junior) has a chance to be a repeat winner for only the second time in the history of the award. That in itself isn't all that interesting to me. But, his story and how he wears on his eye black the phrase "PHIL" "4:13" which is Philippians 4:13 from the Bible stating, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That's a neat testimony and witness to give credit to God in a sports culture that really emphasizes ME (see the TO-Romo continuing saga in Dallas).
Since PSU isn't in the national championship, I'll be rooting for the way, can we somehow work out a playoff for the Division IA Championship? That will have to be a blog post for a slow day. I've got a few good ideas in my head.

I was sad to see backup redshirt sophomore QB Pat Devlin is going to transfer. He had a great 2nd half in the OSU game to lead them to victory when Clark got his bell rung. Clark is back for another year, so Devlin would only have one year as the starter after that. I understand his reasoning, but think that it's not the best decision to go to Division I-AA for two years versus starting at PSU for only one year. Plus, who's to say that Clark wouldn't get hurt at some point next year.

I think that he chose the worse path as far as marketing himself for the NFL. He's probably thinking he could be like Joe Flacco (from Univ of Delaware after transferring from Pitt) and his success this year with the Ravens, but I think that was a unique situation. Either way, good luck.

Here's a quick summary from the last week:

-The Pirates tried to trade Jack Wilson (only because he has one of the higher salaries on the team), but were unsuccessful. I'm kind of glad. As we saw last April, there is no good replacement at SS currently in the system. Wilson's offense leaves something to be desired for his price tag, but his defensive excellence and leadership should count for something. I'm glad that they didn't settle for some poor return in a trade just to move Wilson.

-The Pirates picked up a guy by the name of Donald Veal from the Chicago Cubs roster in the Rule 5 draft. The Pirates have to keep him in the major leagues all year or else they have to give him back to the Cubs. He's a big lefty who has some velocity (low 90's). I guess he was highly regarded in the Cubs system in 2007, but then had a bad 2008. We'll see how it turns out--it was a pretty low risk roster move that could have upside.

-No big free agent signings. Just the signing of 32 year old Ramon Vazquez. I have to admit I've never heard of him, which is saying a lot for a big baseball fan like me. I guess he's supposed to be a utility player backing up the infield spots. We'll see how it goes.

-This has the potential to be a LOOOOOOOONG baseball season....

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