Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The promise of summer

Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is back. Well sort of. It's Spring Training and the boys are on the field and playing ball. If you missed it today, I don't know how you did, the San Francisco Giants played their first game of this year's Cactus League slate. They lost 9-4 to the Bay Area rival Oakland A's.

Now I'm not going to sit here and read into this, or analyze that. No, today was the first day of Spring games and just having the promise of summer is enough. There's nothing to be gained from picking apart the game.

Did Madison Bumgarner give up 4 runs and 5 hits in his 1.2 innings of work? Yes. But Spring isn't results oriented and we all know that. I was impressed by the ovation Bumgarner received after Bruce Bochy lifted him for Brett Bochy during the bottom of the 2nd inning. The accomplishments of last season are enough to tide us over for now.

I listened to the game on and off throughout the afternoon. Just hearing the voices of Jon Miller and Duane Kuiper was soothing for Giants fans everywhere.

I know, I'm delivering some hard hitting analysis here. Who cares? Baseball is back and the Giants get to defend their title.

Here's a quick list of the things I'll be watching for this March.

- The battle for the 1 open bullpen spot. Will George Kontos stay with the team? Can Jean Machi repeat his early season magic of last season?

- The backups on the bench. We know Gregor Blanco will be the 4th OF, but who's the 5th? Can Matt Duffy crack the infield behind Joaquin Arias?

- Will the Giants decide to keep 3 catchers this season? Andrew Susac has shown he belongs so will he get a shot? Can Hector Sanchez rebound from an injury filled 2014?

- Will Angel Pagan make it through Spring without injuring himself? Nah, just kidding, he waits until the regular season to do that.

So we're back. Baseball is here and we can all rejoice in its wonderful goodness. The Giants are defending champs for the 3rd time in 5 years. Enjoy everybody, I know I'm a happy man today.

Side note - I totally stole the name of this post from a Jackopierce song. Here it is below because, well, I love Jackopierce and this is my blog. So listen to it damnit! They are good if you like that sort of thing.

@2outhits on Twitter

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A personal note

Hi again! I know I haven't been here much lately. That's on me. Within the next few weeks this should get cranking up again with Giants stuff.

Until then, I want to share what's going on and why I haven't been around. This may coe out a bit scattered as my mind is all over the place. As some may remember we moved a couple of months ago to a house. Well, we've run in to some problems and need to leave quickly.

If you remember, our family is us grandparents, twin toddlers and the the twins mom. Well since we moved here our beautiful young man has been diagnosed with autism. We've started the ball rolling with doctors and all the things that we can do to help him.

Back to why we have to move. It turns out that our rent payment was taken by the "representative" of the landlord's company. We have a receipt showing payment, but apparently he just took the money and ran. Because of this we are being evicted from the house.

I did some digging on this guy and found there is a criminal history including fraud. Here's a link if you want to look for yourself.

Yes we have receipts, but as soon as the landlord put the eviction in motion the burden of proof fell to us. We have submitted what we need to a judge for review, but there are no guarantees.

On top of this, I received a shut off notice from the electric company on Saturday. The shut off date is this Tuesday, February 17. This was the first piece of mail we had received from the electric company. Written on the front was that it was delivered to wrong address therefore delaying us getting it. How that happens, I'll never know. It states clearly on the envelope this address.

This has added to our need to move quickly. We don't have $380 to throw away right now if we have to move. Heck, we don't have the money to move.

We've decided to move over to Kissimmee. When we first got to Florida that's where we landed and found jobs in a matter of a few weeks. Here in Tampa it has been very rough finding a job. Thankfully we do have some money coming in from the Etsy shop. If you're curious, you can check that out here: etsy.com/shop/secondsisterdesigns

Other than that shop and a random freelance gig for me, we haven't been able to secure jobs. In fact I was hired at one job only to be told the first day I went in that they hired someone else. Florida is a right to work state so it was just tough luck for me.

At this point we have called every agency we can for help. The response we have gotten is underwhelming. I don't want this family to be homeless.

We are going to have to put our stuff in storage to do this and hire movers. We do not drive so there is no easy solution of just shuttling our own stuff to storage.

We have found a hotel in Kissimmee to get a room. When we looked here in Tampa the cheapest we could find was $450 a week. Add to that the eviction I'm probably going to have on my record now, it's going to be next to impossible to rent here in Hillsborough County.

Kissimmee is only an hour away so it's not like we're looking to move far away, just somewhere we know and can possibly be safe.

In fact, here's the breakdown of our immediate needs:

$265+ tax for 1 week in hotel in Kissimmee
$150 for a deposit that the hotel requires
$550 for movers (again we don't drive)
$50 for train fare to get the family to Kissimmee

What we have is about $350 of our own. The expenses above don't even take in to account the 2nd week in a hotel.

We've set up a GoFundMe page if you'd like to help. http://www.gofundme.com/thankyou77

We had hoped that the twins mom's tax return would help us. We filed as soon as possible and because of changes to the IRS system it is taking longer. We've been deep down that rabbit hole to learn that. It is a widespread problem that may have even affected you or your friends.

I didn't even mention that I got a letter from the IRS stating that my tax return is under investigation. I have not filed mine. I don't know if it's the criminal above that has all of my info, but someone tried to file a tax return under my name and it wasn't me.

I know this is a lot. Imagine being on this side of it, it's overwhelming.

We have a packet that we received from the local free legal service. We have called all the agencies (Salvation Army, United Way, Metropoliton Ministries, Catholic Charities, etc) that were provided to us. The response we get is that we either have to fill out paper work and then wait weeks for an answer, or we've been told flat out it's not in the budget.

We don't have any family or friends here locally. In fact, nobody here comes from a big family. The most help we have gotten has been from those of you I know through social media. It's really kind of touching that many of you are willing to help.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know my problems aren't you're problems. I'm just hopeful that some people out there have big hearts and don't want to see this family suffer.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment, tweet me at @2outhits, or email me at Eric@2outhits.com.

I'm trying my best to just look forward and keep my family safe.

Here's the link again to the gofundme page. Thanks for reading!  http://www.gofundme.com/thankyou77


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another one bites the dust

Well that's it. We can put 2014 in the rearview mirror. There's no turning back. It happened.

As a San Francisco Giants fan, writer, talker, dude, this was a great year. It just can't be overstated how cool 3 titles in 5 yeas has been. I'm 35 years old and never thought I'd see one. Now 3? Pfft, It's all gravy. But I've probably said these things before.

I'm hoping that 2015 is the year in which both the Giants and I have a smooth year at the same time. Enough of just winning in even years. Let's see back-to-back titles for once! I kid because hey, they're the champs right now.

I've got a couple of year end posts up on TortureCast right now. Here are links.

Top 14 SF Giants moments from 2014 Part 1

Top 14 SF Giants moments from 2014 Part 2

I just submitted my IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. I'll have the full ballot along with my thinking sometime later this week.

Until then, thanks so much for reading, listening, helping, and all the good things from 2014. Happy New Year to everyone and I hope we all have a great 2015.

-Eric Nathanson