Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spending money and playing ball in Carolina

The economy bites. Don't blame the Nadels.

We knew that when we moved to Charlotte, with its lousy public-transportation system, we eventually would need a second car because Roberta wouldn't be able to walk to work after we bought a house.

Due to our unfortunate Christmas Eve accident that totaled our Prius, we first had to buy a first car, which we did Jan. 1. We then closed on our house in suburban Matthews and, while it was being painted but before we moved in, we bought another car.

Which means that so far in 2011, we have bought a house, a new car and a late-model car. This, of course, is in addition to all the stuff one must buy and services one must use -- including the plumber who had to unclog the kitchen sink on our third day in the house -- when one moves into a different dwelling.

Yep, once upon a time, we actually used to save money. But what fun is that?


One non-house, non-vehicle purchase I had to make: a pair of cleats for my new gig as assistant softball coach at Charlotte Country Day School. We've had two practices to date and I have enjoyed getting to know the head coach and the girls, who are very different from the 7th grade basketball players I coached at the same school.

The coach is Eric Johnson, a former baseball/football star at Western Carolina who was a high draft pick of the Cleveland Indians and spent five years in the minors. He also was on the Bears' practice squad for two seasons. In addition to being an amazing athlete -- as you might imagine -- he's a knowledgeable coach and a good guy who is dedicated to helping these girls have success and fun.

This whole move to Carolina was supposed to be about experiencing different things and meeting new people, and that's just exactly what I've done.

I'm one lucky guy. A little poorer financially, but lucky nonetheless.


  1. Congrats on the softball coaching gig. Is it fastpitch?

    My only word of caution and from being involved with my daughter in fastpitch since 8U and now four years in elite travel, softball is not baseball. So please don't think that every thing learned in baseball is transferable to softball. Some is some isn't. Take some time and learn some of the differences in the game. Big thing is that the reaction time to make a play are a lot shorter than in baseball because of the shorter distances between bases.

    A fast girl with equipment from a standing start in the batters box can go from home to first in 4 or less seconds. At the 14U travel level where ny daughter plays, she has been timed at 2.90 in the 20 yrds with is the distance between bases and 5.85 in the 40 which is equal to running from home to second base.

    Have fun and post some video of the girls playing on your blog.


  2. Oh yea, I am the team web/pr/media guy for the Plainfield Lightning and have just upgraded the site. It includes links to video training, Today's is a softball hitting drill. The site is


  3. I'll check out your site, Mike, and thanks for the tips.

    I won't, however, be posting any video of my team. Just not my thing. Besides, it's a school team and they have rights to all that stuff.

  4. You're welcome and understood about the video.

    What till you make your first mistake and call it baseball instead of softball. I still do it and my daughter still corrects me. "It's not baseball Dad, its softball. If it was baseball, it would be easy."

    Belive me, from someone who has been hit by a 50 MPH fastball from 43 feet at pitching lessons on a ball that got away from her and I didn't react as fast as I should have, there is nothing soft about it. And yes she laughed.