If you do not know me (I mean, really know me) then there is something you need to understand before you read this blog: I value the truth above everything else... except a good laugh. A good laugh will almost always beat the truth as far as I’m concerned. Everything you read on this blog will be true, somewhat true, or something I made up in an effort to get a laugh. Sometimes I will go on a rant that I don’t really mean (or only kind of mean). Sometimes I will mean what I write only to completely change my mind a year, month, or day later. Such is life. By reading this blog you agree not to get offended by anything I write (or, at the very least, you agree not to tell me or anyone else that you are offended). It is worth noting that my employer does not endorse my blog (or even read it, to tell you the truth). The Wife also does not endorse my blog (though she will read it from time to time). I am not paid to write this... it’s just my way of giving back to the community. I have, and will, touch on a wide range of subjects and will give my opinion on these subjects. Again, most of what I say is for laughs but every now and then I will say what I really think and feel (see my views on Westboro Baptist Cult). How will you know when I’m serious and when I’m trying to get a laugh? You’ll know. And if you don’t know, well... maybe this isn’t the best thing for you to be reading. So, sit back, read and enjoy. Leave comments if you want and don’t be afraid to publicly follow me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Picture time!!!!

Know Your Medal of Honor Recipients:

Private James Pym (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 25, 1876, at Little Big Horn River, Montana. His citation reads:

Voluntarily went for water and secured the same under heavy fire.

Seaman George Pyne (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on March 5 and 6, 1865, on board the U.S.S. Magnolia. His citation reads:

As seaman on board the U.S.S. Magnolia, St. Marks, Fla., 5 and 6 March 1865. Serving with the Army in charge of Navy howitzers during the attack on St. Marks and throughout this fierce engagement, Pyne, although wounded, made remarkable efforts in assisting transport of the gun, and his coolness and determination in courageously standing by his gun while under the fire of the enemy were a credit to the service to which he belonged.

Colonel Matthew S. Quay (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Virginia. His citation reads:

Although out of service, he voluntarily resumed duty on the eve of battle and took a conspicuous part in the charge on the heights.

Not sure if you have followed the news or not, but there was a rumor last week that my high school baseball coach (Coach Hatley) was going to be fired at the James Island Charter High School Board meeting this past Monday. I was there… It was great.  Over 100 people were there to show support for Coach Hatley (and Coach Wilkins, who was also under fire).  There was some exciting stuff that I can't do justice on here.  You'll have to ask me about it the next time you see me.  Anyway, here is a copy of the email I sent to support Coach.

Dear Mr. Gordon,

I do not believe we have ever met, so please allow me a minute to introduce myself. My name is Greg Horres and I played baseball at James Island High School for Coach Hatley from 1994-1997. My initial time with the varsity team was spent mostly on the bench, getting into games here and there. I was the starting second baseman my Junior and Senior years. After high school, I graduated from Winthrop University with a Business Management degree in 2002 and from Charleston Southern University with my MBA in 2010. I was recently alerted to a rumor that the JICHS Board is thinking of firing Coach Hatley as the Head Baseball Coach. I have loved James Island baseball ever since my big brother ([Sonny]) played from 1985-1988 and would hate to see the board make a mistake that would hurt the program. Please forgive me for the length of this email, but during my four years at JIHS I always saw Coach Hatley publicly give us players all of the credit for wins while he took all of the blame for losses. I feel that this is my chance to give him the credit he deserves. I hope that after you read this email, you will be kind enough to pass it on to the other board members.

As I am sure you know, Coach Hatley has well over 400 wins, many Region Championships, 3 Lower State Championships, 2 State Championships and has also been named Coach of the Year a number of times as well as being inducted into the Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. He has had many players go on to play in college and some have even played professionally. I do not know what reasons there may be for wanting to fire Coach Hatley, but based off of wins, championships and other honors, I do not see how it can be related to the success of the program. Heck, based off of those things, we should be talking about naming the field after him, not firing him. So then what could it be? Is someone mad because their son didn’t start? I would never blame a parent for caring for their children and wanting to protect them. I have three children myself and one of the hardest things for me is to watch my children fail at something. It is so hard, that I find myself wanting to do everything for them so that maybe I can shield them from the sting of failure. So if little Timmy is not starting, I understand his parents wanting to blame the coach. It is probably a natural thing to do. But is it the best thing to do? Do we really want to teach our children that the way to deal with adversity is to have mom and dad fix it? What happens when problems come up in college? Or in the “real world” when the “perfect job” is given to someone else?

So my concern is not just for Coach Hatley, but also for the future Trojan baseball players. Make no mistake about it, playing for Coach Hatley is not easy. If you want a coach who will baby his players and be their friend while making sure everyone is happy and feels special, then this is not the coach for you. And frankly, if that is the kind of coach you want then you are doing a disservice to the current and future players. Grown men who played for Coach Hatley decades ago still talk about how hard practices were when they were on the team. He is demanding and expects the best from his players. And if your best is not good enough, then he expects you to do better. He pushes you to do things you never thought you could do, sometimes to the point that you think he must hate you. But even as you are thinking he hates you, you keep going because deep down you know that he cares for you and believes in you. I remember he would tell us that there might be a team out there with more talent than us, but there will never be a team that outworks us. For us, the games were fun because all of the work we did at practice.

You know about the wins and the championships, but what you might not know is that they are only a small part of what makes Coach Hatley a great coach. Take a look at his former players and you will see his real success. Some are teachers/coaches, some own businesses, some are firemen, some have their masters, at least one has a PhD and one is an oral surgeon. All are hardworking and a very large majority (if not all) say Coach Hatley played a role in their success.

Please know that I am not writing to tell you Coach Hatley is perfect (who is?) or that I always agreed with him back when I was a player (like most players on the bench, I thought I should be starting). I am writing to tell you that playing baseball for Coach Hatley prepared me for life and that next to my Dad, he has been the greatest male influence in my life. He taught me how to handle pressure and how to deal with adversity. He taught me to be on time and that you are either getting better or you are getting worse, but you never stay the same. He taught me that if you played the right way and respected the game, the rest would take care of itself. He taught me to work hard and never give up and, most importantly, he taught me that you will never be your best if you make excuses. Probably the last excuse I ever made for a mistake was the first one I made at a JI baseball practice. "Excuses don't change man's love for the winner or scorn for the loser!" was what Coach Hatley told me. It was then I learned that mistakes happen... don't waste time making excuses for them, just learn from them and move on.

When I played for him, I thought Coach Hatley was teaching me the game of baseball and making me a better baseball player and, for the most part, this was true. I did learn the game and I was a much better player at the end of my high school career than I was at the start of it. But looking back I have come to realize that the lessons he taught have lasted much longer than my playing days. I doubt I could even name half of the classes I took in college and grad school, but 17 years after my last high school baseball game I can tell you the lessons I learned from Coach Hatley and I can guarantee you they have made me a better man.

Again, I thank you for your time. I hope and pray that Coach Hatley will be given the chance to lead the JICHS baseball program for many more years to come.

That’s the email I sent… The following are some of the statements from my “rough drafts” that I ended up not using…

"I hope you are not stupid enough to follow the jackass on the board who wants to fire a hall of fame baseball coach..."

"Late Citadel Head Coach Chal Port is probably the greatest baseball coach this area has had (at least in my lifetime). Coach Port loved Coach Hatley and thought he was a great head coach. My guess is that, though he may be dead, Coach Port STILL knows more about baseball than the whole JICHS Board combined. Therefore, I ask that you do the right thing... do the smart thing and keep Coach Hatley as the head baseball coach."

"With all due respect, whichever one of you jackasses votes to remove Coach Hatley as the baseball coach can burn in hell."

I didn’t speak at the meeting because I was worried that what I would say would end up more like the stuff that got cut from my email and not like the stuff I kept in my email. The best thing I could think to say was, “Thank you, board, for this chance to speak. I have come here to support Coach Hatley, but the more I think about, the more I realize it’s the young men on James Island who I am worried about. They are the ones who will lose out if you fire Coach. They are the ones you will hurt. Coach Hatley will be fine. He’s won almost 500 games; he’s won championships; he’s been named Coach of the Year multiple times… The greatest baseball coach in this area in my lifetime (late Citadel Head Coach Chal Port) loved that man and thought he was a great head coach. Think about that? If that doesn’t tell you how great he is, then you’re too stupid to be making a decision like this! My GOD, if Coach Port had felt that way about me, I would be wearing a F’ING SHIRT EVERY DAMN DAY OF MY LIFE THAT SAYS, ‘Coach Port thought I was great… Who the hell are you?!’. You want someone you can control? Hire someone else! You want someone who will be nice and speak politely to the players and make sure their feelings never get hurt? Hire someone else! But if you want a man who will teach young men to WALK THAT AISLE… WHO WILL TEACH THEM TO STYLE AND PROFILE… WHO WILL TEACH THEM TO BE JET FLYIN’, LIMOUSINE RIDIN’, KISS STEALIN’, WHEELIN’ DEALIN’ SONOFAGUNS… YOU’VE GOT HIM! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! At this point I’d raise both hands with 4 fingers raised (like the 4 Horsemen)… and then probably get escorted out of the building.

So… yeah… I’m thinking it was probably a good idea I didn’t speak. Though who knows… if this happens again, I might speak.

As you know, Sonny also played for Coach Hatley. Mom asked me if I told Sonny about what was going on… It went something like this…

Mom: “Did you tell Sonny about everything going on?”

Me: “Yep”

Mom: “Well, what did he say?”

Me: “Haha… Nothing”

Mom: “Well, was he upset?”

Me: “I guess”

Mom: “Well… you told him and you don’t know?”

Me: “Mom, when I told Maverick about all of this I got a better feel for what he was thinking than I did for what Sonny was thinking”

Mom: “Well, I just don’t understand… You don’t think he was upset?”

Me: “Mom, I don’t know… You know Sonny, he wears his feelings on my sleeve”.

Sonny did send a heartfelt email to the principal that was able to support Coach Hatley while also giving the principal his credentials (you know, just in case they decided to fire Coach Hately). That Sonny… always looking out for #1…

Picture Thursday

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