Tuesday, August 27, 2013

40 Before 40 -- what I did instead

-- by @Josh_Suchon

My original "40 before 40" list turned into a colossal failure. I only accomplished eight of the 40 items. 

The failure can mostly be contributed to putting a bunch of ridiculous items on the list, taking a new job that cancelled a trip to Hawaii that was going to check off numerous items, and moving to another state where a lot of the items were no longer feasible.

Instead of being depressed at what I didn't complete, here's my list of 40 things that I accomplished instead.

The lesson is that while making goals and planning is helpful, life is best when you're spontaneous and just experience what's around you ... or when you just go through your iPhone, just start picking random photos, and declare that it's something you accomplished. 

1. Got stranded on the side of the road, during a wine trip to Santa Barbara, when our bus broke down. Fortunately, my friends don't blink an eye. We just crack open beers on the side of the road, and watch the girls get cars to honk as they ask for a ride. The bus cooled off, the driver got us to the next winery, we got a new bus, we kept wine tasting. You haven't lived until you've rode home on a wine bus, music blasting, all the girls dancing in the aisles, and a view o the sunset on the Pacific Ocean out the side of the window.

2. Discovered where the "Melrose Place" apartment was located. Turns out, it was less than a mile from my old apartment in LA.

Monday, August 26, 2013

40 before 40, the checklist

-- by @Josh_Suchon

One year later, it's time to re-visit the "40 before 40" list that I created last year. The sad truth is I didn't come close to completing all 40 items. In fact, I only did eight of them. That's a .200 batting average, and you'll get released for that kind of production in baseball. 

Most of it can be blamed on a massive life change, moving to Albuquerque, NM for a new job. That forced me to cancel a trip to Hawaii that was supposed to check off numerous items on the list. However, the new job provided an opportunity to see a lot of things that I'd have never otherwise experienced.

Since I'm neurotically addicted to lists, and categories for lists, here's a list of what I wanted to do, what I accomplished, what I neglected, and why.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How PCL realignment affects the Isotopes/Dodgers

--by @Josh_Suchon

The move of the Tucson Padres to the city of El Paso prompted the Pacific Coast League to realign its four divisions for the 2014 season. The divisions will now look like this:

Pacific Northern: Fresno, Reno, Sacramento, Tacoma.
Pacific Southern: Albuquerque, El Paso, Las Vegas, Salt Lake.
American Northern: Colorado Springs, Iowa, Oklahoma City, Omaha.
American Southern: Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Round Rock.

The biggest impact involves the Albuquerque Isotopes and Colorado Springs switching sides of the league. The Topes moved from the "American" side to the "Pacific" side of the 16-team league. 

For those not familiar with the league's format, teams play the seven teams in its conference 16 times (eight home, eight away). The eight teams on the other side of the league are played just four times (going to their city every other year).

Here's a breakdown of how the change impacts the Isotopes.

* Overall easier travel with a geographic rival in El Paso

Travel in the PCL can be brutal. It's definitely the most difficult league for traveling. Teams don't fly charter. They fly commercial, almost always the first flight in the morning, and it's rare to get a direct flight because the cities have small airports.

It's roughly 265 miles, or a three hour and 45-minute bus ride, from Isotopes Park to the new ballpark in El Paso. This affords the Topes an opportunity for a bus trip to an opponent's ballpark.  Previously, the Topes would fly to all cities to begin a road trip. (Once on a trip, there were a few bus trips between cities, such as Iowa and Omaha, or Memphis and Nashville.)

While the full schedule hasn't been released, it's likely that opponents will usually take an eight-game road trip to Albuquerque and El Paso. The ability to bus between cities is dramatically cheaper, easier and greatly preferred by players/staff. This will help out everyone. 

For the Topes, there will be a few more direct flights -- such as Vegas. Even for the connecting flights, the total distance will be shorter and more manageable.