2006 Cincinnati Reds Preview 2006 San Diego Padres Preview Caring For Your Pool Cue Saving Time By Using A Ticket Broker On The Driving Range

2005 Overview:

The biggest news for Cincinnati Reds fans in 2005 was the fact that Ken Griffey Jr.(.301 35 92) was able to play an entire season injury free for the first time in over 5 full seasons.

What was so impressive about Griffey’s 2005 performance was his ability to completely return to form, hitting for both power and average. Griffey grabbed the Comeback Player of the Year Award for his outstanding efforts.

The rest of the Reds 2005 offense was provided by Adam Dunn (.247 40 101), veteran 2nd baseman Rich Aurilia (.282 14 68) and outfielder Austin Kearns (.240 18 67). Unfortunately, the Reds starting pitching didn’t offer many wins in 2005. Starters Aaron Harang (11 13 3.83), Brandon Claussen (10-11 4.21) and Ramon Ortiz (9 11 5.36) joined Eric Milton (8 15 6.47) and closer David Weathers (7-4 3.94 15 saves) to handle the majority of the pitching duties during the season. Weathers’ was picked up from the Mets and was converted into a full-time closer we he nailed down 15 out of 19 save opportunities. No real staff Ace emerged in 2005 with Harang leading the rotation with 11 wins. The Reds ended the season with a less then impressive final 73-89 record, finishing 27 games behind the NL Central Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Off Season Moves:

The Reds recognized pitching as their main priority during the off season so they traded away popular first baseman Sean Casey to the Pittsburgh Pirates for left handed starter Dave Williams (10-11 4.41). Unfortunately the Reds did little else to address their starting pitching needs. Veteran Infielder Rich Aurilia re-signed, and Cincinnati also traded for utility man Tony Womack (.249 in 2005), which was designed to give the team some options off the bench in 2006. Lefthander reliever Chris Hammond (5-1 3.84) also signed on from the defending NL West Champion Padres.

2006 Analysis:

Expect Adam Dunn now to move over to first base, leaving the outfield responsibilities to Austin Kearns, Ken Griffey Jr. and Wily Mo Pena. The Reds really didn’t significantly address the starting pitching in the off season and the one new starting pitcher they acquired (Williams) will hardly make a difference for the team in 2006. With Harang leading the group with only 11 wins there is a bunch of work to be done before the Reds can hope to contend. Williams was only a 10 game winner in 2005 so fans shouldn’t expect much from him either.

Like many major league teams, the Reds are relying heavily on their youngsters which include Kearns, Pena, Dunn, shortstop Felipe Lopez, and Ryan Freel. Fans were happy to get the old Griffey back in 2005 and are hopeful he will pick up where he left off when he starts the 2006 season. Dave Weathers is simply not a strong closer although the team managed to squeeze 15 saves out of him last season. Hammond was a nice pick up and should help out a struggling bullpen – but even more help is needed. Cincinnati Reds fans should expect more of the same in 2006.

2005 Overview:

In 2005, the NL West Champion San Diego Padres managed to accomplish more with less. Despite a new ballpark, the offense for the team was spotty all season. Ryan Klesko (.248 18 58) led the team with 18 homeruns while Mark Sweeney (.284 8 40), Brian Giles (.301 15 83), shortstop Khalil Greene (.250 15 70) and catcher Ramon Hernandez (.290 12 58) completed the better parts of the lineup.

The Padres pitching was the most solid aspect of the team led by rookie Clay Hensley (1-1 1.70 in 47.2 innings pitched). Hensley was called up in July and helped starters Jake Peavy (13-7 2.88), Woody Williams (9-12 4.85) and reliever Akinori Otsuka (2-8 3.59) post an 82-80 final record which was good enough to clinch the NL West.

Off Season Moves:

Padres GM Kevin Towers made sure to re-sign Brian Giles then moved on to strengthen the already solid bullpen by re-signing closer Trevor Hoffman (1-6 2.97 42 saves). Towers also traded third baseman Sean Burroughs to the Devil Rays in exchange for pitcher Dewon Brazelton (1-8 7.61), then upgraded their offense at third by trading pitcher Brian Lawrence to the Nationals for Vinny Castilla (.253 12 66). The Padres also improved their outfield defense, and added some offense, by trading Xavier Nady for the Mets’ Mike Cameron (.273 12 39 13 stolen bases). Second baseman Mark Loretta was also moved to the Red Sox for catcher Doug Mirabelli (.228 6 18) which became necessary with the loss of free-agent catcher Ramon Hernandez who signed with Baltimore. Starter Adam Eaton and reliever Akinori Otsuka were also traded to the Rangers in a 6-player deal for starter Chris Young (12-7 4.36) and backup outfielder Terrmel Sledge (.243 in 20 games). Catcher Mike Piazza (.251 19 62) and pitcher Shawn Estes (7-8 4.80) also joined the team as free agents in January.

The Padres had a busy off season looking to keep their team strong for another playoff run in 2006. The rotation, the best part of the team in 2005, may be a bit shakier in 2006 without Eaton and Lawrence. Newcomers Young and free-agent pickup Shawn Estes (from Arizona) aren’t quite on the same level. The ace of the staff Jake Peavy will be expected to shoulder much of the load again. The bullpen will be without Otsuka, Chris Hammond and Rudy Seanez, but the addition of Hoffman was solid pickup for the team. The weak offense has improved, with Castilla and former Mets Cameron and Piazza added. The Padres gave up very little to pickup Cameron who missed all of August and September due to devastating collision with centerfielder Carlos Beltran. Cameron will return to his natural position in centerfield in 2006. Piazza is also a good pickup. When rested he can still provide decent power numbers although he still remains a defensive liability when it comes to throwing. If he is used carefully there is no reason why he can’t make a positive contribution.

We all know that regular cleaning and maintenance is needed in order to keep your pool table in playable condition. Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about your game is properly caring for your pool cue. Here are some simple ways to ensure that you get the most out of the life of your pool cue.

Pool cues are made out of many different materials. Each of these materials expand and contract differently due to temperature leaps from hot to cold. To keep this down to a minimum, make sure you don’t keep your cue in a damp basement or a hot attic. Even leaving your cue out in the car for a short period of time can severely warp the components in the stick. Keeping your cue away from humidity and moisture is another way to lengthen its life. Most of the materials used in a pool stick will absorb water, which will cause swelling. This in turn makes the joints loosen and become brittle. The ideal temperature for a pool cue is between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate humidity.

Since the pool cue is constantly in your hands and your hands capture grit such as oils from foods, cigarette smoke, perspiration, chalk, and soda, you need to wash your cue to slow down damage. You will want to use a soft cloth doused in soapy water. Never use a kitchen pad or anything harsh. This will further damage the cue. After wetting the cue, you will need to immediately wipe the cue down with a different clean, dry cloth. After the “bath”, it is recommended to rub the cue down with a wax or furniture polish. This will help protect your cue until the next game.

Do you want to know the biggest reason most people use ticket brokers in order to buy performance tickets, event tickets and sporting tickets? It’s not the price (although many brokers are more than reasonable) and it’s not the ease (although phone and internet shopping is a heck of a lot easier then buying your tickets from the stadium). In fact, it’s a lot more trivial then that…it’s the time. People like time because time is the one thing you can never get back. It is possible to save time through using a ticket broker…here’s how:

Ticket brokers do the looking for you. One of the most attractive features of using a ticket broker is that they actually do 100 percent of the work for you, and they do it quickly. Most brokers have a legion of part-time employees who work on buying event tickets at low prices all over the country. These employees are actually brining the broker the capital with which the broker turns around and gives to you at a still unbeatable price. But how does this help save you time? You don’t have to go to the stadium and purchase the tickets yourself. Stadium ticket booths are notoriously known for having long lines, bad seating options and no shot at getting multiple tickets within the same vicinity. Ticket brokers are known for quite the opposite.

How else can using a ticket broker for buying your tickets save you time? Ticket brokers can send you the tickets to you days before the event, even next- day air if you wish. No more placing a ticket order and having to go into some office to pick them up. No more calling the ticket booth at the stadium and having to go in a few days later to pick them up. Save time, use a ticket broker.

You also won’t have to buy your tickets until a few days before the event you want to go to. This will save you time in deciding whether or not you actually want to go to the performance in the first place. Brokers hold your tickets until they can’t hold them any longer so take your time, weigh your options.

The best way to use ticket brokers in the most efficient manner is to pick a single ticket broker and use them for your every need. Many brokers love building personal relationships with their clients and the more they can do this, the more effective (and quickly!) you can get the best seats at the right events. This will even help the broker get a better understanding on what you like and where you enjoy sitting. They may even offer some games at discounted prices, since you are a consistent client.

If you are interested in saving time and not wasting a penny, look into purchasing tickets through the help of a ticket broker rather then through the stadium ticket booths. You won’t regret it and your watch will thank you.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day as a golfer, or if you’re an experienced pro the driving range can be your best friend. Driving ranges vary in style from patches of dirt with bit of grass, to full blown amusement parks. Driving ranges can offer players of all skills a valuable practice filed that can vastly help improve ones skills.

A driving range is a large field, or course that offers players a chance to hit balls typically 500 yards or more towards the sky. Driving ranges typically have stalls with rubber or wood tees in place for maximum swing time. Driving ranges often offer golfers a fee schedule based upon buckets of balls. Each bucket could cost anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on the level of driving range one is playing at. Driving ranges occasionally offer players the opportunity to buy time per hour, with unlimited balls. Driving ranges also have house clubs if the golfer chooses not to bring his or her own clubs. Golfers are often seen at driving ranges for numerous reasons including stress relief, exercise, and coaching.

Driving ranges are important because of their unique design. Driving ranges offer golfers a chance to hit balls without having to retrieve them. This allows golfers to take hundreds of swings without having to pause. This repetitive motion allows for golfers of all skill levels to perfect their ability.

Driving ranges are often found in cities, or anywhere with a large population. Also golf ranges can be found in areas with large amounts of fields that make it easy and affordable for ranges to be created. Some of the better country clubs also have driving ranges on site, that allow for members to hit balls a minimum charge, or for free.

When at the driving range be sure to bring your own clubs, or use their clubs. Never ask another golfer to borrow a club, because you don’t want to be on their schedule while at the range. Also golfers want to be careful of bringing clubs to the range. If you are new to golf, and have splurged on some high end clubs, you’re asking to look foolish in front of a lot of people at the range if you bring your clubs. High end clubs are developed with pros in mind, and often don’t offer the same type of support a beginners club does. This is important when trying to connect with the ball, it maybe easier to hit with a beginners club than a high end driver.

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