Monthly Archives: June 2018

Views from the Press Box at the Nat – Part 1

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The view from outside the press box as the sun was setting

Friday night, June 29th. The Canadians, after winning their last series against Tri-City, spanked the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 11-1, in the opener of a five-game set.

THE GAME: Yes, it was a rout, but the chatter in the press box early on was about LF Brandon Polizzi, the No. 9 hitter in the Vancouver lineup. A few of us were impressed with Polizzi, who started the game in left field before moving over to second base after two innings. Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 35th round in 2017, Polizzi has good speed – and is arguably the best base runner on the Canadians this season. If he’s not hitting .148 (coming into tonight’s action), he’s probably the leadoff hitter on the club.

Anyway, the exciting Polizzi thrilled the crowd on this night by smacking a run-scoring triple to right field to cap a three-run second inning, as the Canadians took the lead early and never looked back.

3B Bryan Lizardo, the regular third baseman playing first base on this night, was 4-for-4 with a double, three runs scored, and three RBI. Five games into the season, when the Canadians had their home opener at Nat Bailey, Lizardo was hitting just .071. Tonight’s four-hit game raised his average to .325.

RF Griffin Conine continues to impress. One of the highlights of the C’s offensively – there were plenty on a night the team scored 11 runs – was Conine’s two-run triple to right during a five-run sixth-inning outburst that put the game out of reach. The son of former major-leaguer Jeff Conine, Griffin had homered the day before in the 3-2 victory over Tri-City.

North Vancouver’s Will McAffer, meanwhile, has become this team’s “vulture.” Entering the game with two outs in the fifth in relief of starter Jordan Barrett, McAffer got out of a bases-loaded jam to preserve a 5-1 lead and then proceeded to work the next three innings to earn his third win of the season.

Barrett, the starter, didn’t throw harder than 90 mph, according to the radar gun. He did, however, have good location in the first four innings before seemingly tiring in the fifth and came one out short of a victory. Some in the press box were crowning Barrett “Cy Young” – until he couldn’t get out of the fifth inning, that is. Still, it was a good night for the left-hander drafted by the Blue Jays in the 18th round in 2017. He gave up just one hit with eight strikeouts – walking five.

The only player who struggled offensively was CF Hunter Steinmetz, who was making his Canadians debut. Called up from Bluefield (rookie ball) the day before, Steinmetz went 0-for-5 hitting out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup. The native of Jefferson City, MO, was selected by the Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Missouri State.

Overall, a great night for the home team, as the C’s banged out 16 hits – they outhit the Volcanoes 16-2 on the evening – to send Salem-Keizer, the league’s top team at 10-4 entering play, to the lopsided loss.

THE ANECDOTES: And oh, by the seventh inning, the game had dragged on so much that I desperately needed a Coke. I walked over to the fridge to grab a bottle – before Jordy, one of the media relations assistants, persuaded me to put it back. I needed that. It’s easy to give in to temptation – on a long night, sometimes I just have a craving for a pop. But I definitely needed the awesome Jordy to keep me in check. Yes, I placed the Coke bottle back into the fridge and stuck to water.

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OTHER SIGHTS: What can I say about the sunset? Well, a picture is worth a million words, so I’ll let the follow image do the talking…

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6/28/18 Lesson

Morning Students:

Listening video – Pet Peeves (things that annoy us) & Being Busy:
Listen to this video and answer the questions on the worksheet.

Life: Yes, people DO want you to fail…

That’s right. People DO want you to fail. I’ve experienced it. It happens. That’s life. You then shut those people out of your lives.

Up to now, there have been three Dereks in my professional life. All wanted me to fail. That’s rough. But that’s life.

Years ago, I was young and very naïve. I was in some kind of trouble, and Derek #1 was in a position to help me. I sought his assistance, but his response was “I can’t do it.” No, he could, but he didn’t want to. Okay, so, life moved on. I realized, at that young age, I had to do everything myself to get out of that mess. I learned to become independent. Looking back, Derek #1 could have made things easier, but he chose not to. That’s fine.

Fast forward to several years later. I was in a company where I frequently gave input to my boss, Cheryl, so that operations could be smoother and more efficient. Some of my ideas – designed to improve efficiency – were eventually implemented. Cheryl valued me as an employee. But then, the company hired an older woman named Sally, and I believe there might have been some power struggle there, because Cheryl abruptly resigned. During one particular staff meeting (actually, it was the only one Sally called while I was still in the company), when I tried to present an idea, Sally shot me down every time – in fact, interrupting me mid-sentence. Yet, she let others speak.

Either she heard some gossip about me from other employees, or she was against me because I was valued by Cheryl. Maybe even because I’m a short Asian male. Whatever the case was, that was definitely discrimination. Of some sort. Others were allowed to speak, but I was cut off each time.

Derek #2 observed this during the meeting, and he sought to undermine me. When Cheryl was around, the staff was expected to be respectful toward me because I was one of the supervisors. After Cheryl’s departure, Derek #2 knew that he didn’t have to listen to me anymore because he saw that Sally – clearly – was against me and wasn’t on my side. (Previously, Derek #2 often looked like a scared kitten when Cheryl lectured him.)

Anyway, I gave some constructive feedback on the emails he was sending out to clients – giving him pointers to be more professional-sounding in the emails. Derek #2 flatly refused and waged war. (During this time, the environment was toxic, with Amie, a manager, always asking me to step out when she needed a cigarette, to vent about how incompetent Jay, the project manager, was. Because Amie was the manager, I let her speak without interrupting.) Derek #2 somehow got Amie to team up against me, and told Sally things about me in an attempt to get me fired.

I was called into a private meeting with Sally – and Jay, who was there as a witness. I had just completed a tough medical project for the company. But Sally had her poker face on, and she said, “Do you know why you’re here?” (Duh. She’d never called private meetings before, and this was unannounced, so what was her point in being that rude?) In typical fashion, she displayed her discriminatory attitude toward me, saying I had done things harmful to the company. I explained that Derek #2 had threatened me, and that I had some things to say about that. Of course, Sally said that was between me and him and nothing to do with the company. At that point, I knew Sally was the type of two-faced person who pretended to be kind and caring in front of her own bosses, and negative toward me for whatever reason. I left the key on the desk, and walked out, never to return again. I had no interest interacting any further with someone who wanted to be the judge, jury, and executioner. Sally, as far as I was concerned, was the type of person who could drop dead and I would not shed a tear.

Derek #3 was a fellow instructor I encountered sometime later. An arrogant prick, he loved dishing out insults while frequently bragging about himself. Unprompted, he would show people photos of his apartment or his car – or new phone, etc.

I would want to discuss the progress of common students that we were teaching. I saw it as an opportunity to come up with ideas to help those students improve. He would, instead, go on and on about how those students were doing GREAT in his class because he was a superior teacher. I let it go for a while. Finally, one day, tired of his insults, I had the audacity to return the favour. His face turned red and he wanted to fight me, and threatened to throw me to the ground. He then tried to get me fired. He failed, of course, because it was clear to the administration that he was acting childish and being unreasonable.

The point is that all three Dereks wanted me to fail.

There was also the case of Abbie, a person who complained about ex-managers and co-workers from other companies (some hair salon where she worked) as well as ex-managers in the same company – saying they all were against her, blah blah blah, … and oh, a person who wanted to destroy me.

But we can save that one for another time.

6/25/18 Lesson

Morning Students:

Writing assignment – Click here for the details.

Listening video – Listen to this video and answer the questions on the worksheet.

6/20/18 Lesson

Morning Students:

1. Try this error correction exercise. Please, please, please, remember what we learned in class!

Remember the daily homework that we discussed:

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