MISSING MR. BALLINGALL — Here is a quick excerpt from Damien High School, where he worked for over 30 years. It’s not complete, but it captures an awful lot about the guy.
While he is justly proud of his many accomplishments, he notes that “I am most proud of the graduates I’ve had who have returned to the coaching community.” As the announcer for many Damien High School sporting events, during 2007, “The Voice of Damien” earned the exciting opportunity to do some stadium P.A. work announcing games for both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Clippers where he met legends Tommy Lasorda and Vin Scully.
For those interested in knowing more about Chuck, Damien’s full memorium effort can be found here. There is also a more complete biography, letters from school officials, and a page to see and share remembrances.
FINAL TIDBIT: The nerdiest among you might enjoy this, which is an invitation to the 1983 Glenbrook High School round robin debate tournament. It is relevant to us for 3 reasons. First, it shows yours truly from Brighton High School as a contestant (as a sign of how powerful we were, they mis-spelled both my name and that of my partner). Second, it shows Chuck Ballingall coaching for Damien (no surprise). Third, it was found by Josh Clark, longtime ASFBLer and owner of the Royals, who is now the coach at the prestigious Montgomery Bell Academy and found this last week in a storage closet in Tennessee, which is a long way from Utah, California, and Chicago. Josh worked for Chuck for a couple of years; special thoughts going out to Josh this week.
FREAKISH WEDNESDAY. Last week I ran the games and exchanged an email with Chuck Ballingall about the survey at 12:43. John Weerts — who’s hand I have not yet had the pleasure of shaking but who I am digitially connected to — dropped by my office for an unexpected visit around 4pm because he was in town. We just missed each other by 20 minutes. By 5pm Chuck had passed away.
FANTASY VS. REALITY
AL EAST Reality: Boston has surged and taken control, but the Yankees aren’t out of it yet. Fantasy: Baltimore has shoved themselves into first place with a +11 WOR and the Yankees are better than the actual team; this has bumped the Bosox back a notch. The Rays, who have been scuffling, were 6-0 last week.
AL CENTRAL Reality: After some back-and-forth, Cleveland is acting like the defending champs and is 6 up on the Royals and Twins. Fantasy: Detroit is +9.5 on the real club and nudged into first by a half game; the Chisox are roadkill in reality but +6.5 in the ASFBL. The Tribe are hanging tough and still look like a team to beat.
AL WEST Reality: The Astros are running away with it but have been awful since the All-Star break. Fantasy: The Astros are solidly in control and only Oakland (John Weerts) is in positive WOR territory.
AL WILDCARD Reality: There are 6 teams within 5.5 games of each other and there’s a see-saw battle for the last playoff spot. The Yankees are in the best spot but nobody feels comfortable with a 3-game lead. Fantasy: The Yankees are also in the top spot, and whoever finishes second in the AL Central will have to battle with Boston for the second spot. Seattle and Anaheim — and maybe the A’s — are within striking distance and one good run could make them contenders.
NL EAST Reality: Nobody is going to catch Washington and nobody else is going to make the playoffs. Fantasy: Somehow, Andy Somers’ has the team more than 10 games better than the actual version despite the rest of the division being +15.5 WOR. Was perfect this week and now leads the league in wins. The Las Vegas Mets managed 2 wins this week but Philly (Johnny Mac) and Atlanta (Danny Wildes) are coming on strong and making WOR headway.
NL CENTRAL Reality: 3-dog race between the Cubs, Brewers, and Cards. Fantasy: Cubs and Brewers and battling it out with the Brewers in front and the Cubs gaining a few inches this week. The Reds (Raphael Malveaux) have vaulted into the top WOR spot in the league.
NL WEST Reality: The Dodgers are having a historic season and while Arizona and Colordao look tough they are a distant second. Fantasy: Arizona and Colorado are +bigtime WOR and that’s pushed the Dodgers back a few spots. Leo’s Rockies are within 5 games of first.
NL WILDCARD Reality: The Cards and Brewers aren’t out of it, but these spots seem to belong to the DBacks and Rockies. Second place in the NL Central gets you an early vacation. Fantasy: Colorado looks to have the top wildcard spot in hand, and the Dodgers have 68 wins; Cubs and Reds each have 62. The loss column puts the Cubs a game closer than the Reds, and while making up 5 games in the last 6 weeks is daunting, it’s possible, and the Central runner-up has a better chance of catching a wildcard spot than the actual clubs.
QUICK REMINDER: If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please do so. The link is in last week’s newsletter. We have 12 responses so far, and we’d like to get more than 20. If you have taken the survey, please don’t do so again. The form is supposed to prevent it, but I’m sure that’s not perfect. Best quip of the week came from Adam Symonds: “I assume you want me to vote up to 25 times a day on this one?”
FEATS AND FAILURES:
Corey Kluber of COL had 11 strikeouts against CLE on 8/8/2017
Yoenis Cespedes of NYM robbed 3 hits against TEX on 8/8/2017
Carlos Rodon of CWS had 10 strikeouts against HOU on 8/8/2017
Justin Verlander of DET had 10 strikeouts against PIT on 8/8/2017
Miguel Sano of MIN struck out 4 times against MIL on 8/8/2017
Tyler Skaggs of LAA had 15 strikeouts against BAL on 8/8/2017
Daniel Descalso of LAA struck out 4 times against BAL on 8/8/2017
Chris Archer of TBR had 11 strikeouts against BOS on 8/8/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 17 strikeouts against TBR on 8/9/2017
Max Scherzer of WAS had 10 strikeouts against MIA on 8/9/2017
Delino DeShields of TEX had 5 hits against NYM on 8/9/2017
Ryan Zimmerman of WAS had 6 RBI against MIA on 8/10/2017
Corey Seager of LAD robbed 3 hits against ARI on 8/10/2017
Chris Taylor of LAD struck out 4 times against ARI on 8/10/2017
Mike Zunino of SEA struck out 5 times against LAA on 8/10/2017
LAA and SEA played 13.5 innings on 8/10/2017
Tanner Roark of BAL had 10 strikeouts against OAK on 8/11/2017
Kyle Finnegan of OAK had 11 strikeouts against BAL on 8/12/2017
Drew Pomeranz of BOS had 10 strikeouts against NYY on 8/12/2017
Rogelio Armenteros of HOU had 11 strikeouts against TEX on 8/13/2017