• Happy Father’s Day!

    Posted by on June 16th, 2013 · Comments (6)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Happy Father’s Day

    Posted by on June 17th, 2012 · Comments (8)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Major League Dads: Baseball’s Best Players Reflect On The Fathers Who Inspired Them To Love The Game

    Posted by on June 14th, 2012 · Comments (0)

    With Father’s Day right around the corner, this is a perfect time to share some information on the new book “Major League Dads: Baseball’s Best Players Reflect on the Fathers Who Inspired Them to Love the Game.”

    First, some background on it via the Publisher -

    Baseball is America’s favorite pastime and one of the best ways for fathers and sons to bond. Major League Dads is an inspirational look at such connections through a collection of heartfelt essays from interviews with [137] of the top players in Major League Baseball, such as David Wright, Carlos Pena, Brad Lidge, and Derek Jeter. Through personal recollections, you can read firsthand what their dads meant to them growing up and how they coached them to success both on and off the field.

    And, here’s some more via a Press Release on the book:

    It’s a long road from Wiffle ball in the backyard to the bright lights of Major League Baseball.

    A ballplayer’s journey begins with pitch and catch; he gets organized in T-ball, machine-pitch leagues, coach-pitch leagues, Little League; he escalates his talents with travel teams, pony league, Babe Ruth League; he becomes a ballplayer in high school and college. And maybe, just maybe, there is a career thereafter. But behind every ballplayer’s journey is a father who loves his son and shares with him a passion for the game as he coaches and mentors him down this long road.

    Throughout the journey, he shares his baseball knowledge. He helps keep things in perspective while he stokes the passion. He preaches discipline, hustle, work ethic, determination, patience, sportsmanship, the fundamentals, and the Golden Rule. On the bench, in the stands or in the backyard, these dads teach their sons more about life than how to hone their swings.

    This spring, Kevin Neary and Leigh Tobin offer an amazing collection of heartwarming and humorous stories, vivid memories, and great advice, shared by players who each declare that they made it to the majors because of their fathers. MAJOR LEAGUE DADS: Baseball’s Best Players Reflect on the Fathers Who Inspired Them to Love the Game, Foreword by Terry Francona (Running Press, May 2012), is a special gift to every man who’s ever thrown a baseball to his father or son, as these talented sons pay tribute to the men who showed their love through a batted ball, a session of pitch and catch and a lifetime of loving guidance.

    Each story in MAJOR LEAGUE DADS describes the influence the players’ fathers had on their baseball careers. Some had the major league dreams at a young age and some didn’t, but they all had their fathers as their coaches in some capacity. Players like Derek Jeter, Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Greg Maddux, Joe Mauer, Jimmy Rollins, Mariano Rivera, David Wright, Mark Teixeira, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Evan Longoria, all three Molina brothers, and a handful of second- and third-generation stars reveal personal stories and warmest memories. These are men who love the game and who love to talk about their fathers—a perfect combination for this book.

    Some dads were more supportive than baseball wise. Instead of talking baseball or teaching how to throw the perfect knuckleball, they were motivators, cheerleaders, always standing by with helpful words of encouragement, lessons, or guiding principles that they return to even today: “You are only as good as you next at-bat”; “Never give up”; “Never get too high or too low”; “Learn from your mistakes”; “Be humble”; “Respect the game and their teammates”; “Think for yourself”; “Play the game right”. This is key information in the game and in life.

    Filled with insight and amazing anecdotes from some of the biggest icons in the game, MAJOR LEAGUE DADS is less about baseball and more about the relationships between fathers and their sons. It’s about seeing your son in a major league uniform for the first time. It’s about seeing the only man who really matters in the stands watching you with a big smile on his face. These men have put in the hours with their sons, made many sacrifices, and helped them love baseball, because they love their kids. And the result is a strong father-son bond with each other and the game.

    I’ve read “Major League Dads” and enjoyed the book. I believe that any parent or child would be touched by some of the stories shared with this work. Best yet, this is a clean and wholesome book that you can share with your loved ones without any fears regarding its content. And, I would bet, after reading it, you’re going to want to find your parent and/or child and go have a catch. The stories of these big leaguers and the relationships that they have with their fathers are wonderful.

    Personally, I have always said that, just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. And, “Major League Dads” backs that up. I highly recommend this book.

    Happy Father’s Day

    Posted by on June 19th, 2011 · Comments (3)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Posted by on June 20th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Father’s Day Eve And The Day Itself

    Posted by on June 21st, 2009 · Comments (5)

    I had a terrible nightmare last night. During it, I was watching the Yankees lose the 2009 ALCS to the Red Sox. It was Game 5, played at the new Yankee Stadium, and the score of the game was 16-5 (to give Boston the pennant). And, the score should have been worse as, in one point during the game, Aubrey Huff hit a three-run inside-the-park homer (to left-center) that was called back because he missed a base. (Yes, I know that Huff plays for the O’s. I can only guess, in my mind, that the Red Sox traded for him during the season.) I’m not exactly sure where I was…while watching this game. It was a big building like a banquet hall. And, there was a strange collection of people there, including Joe Buck, Tony LaRussa and his wife, and several readers of this blog who came by to introduce themselves.

    What I remember best from the nightmare is feeling so sick that my head was spinning because the Yanks were losing to the Sox, at home, and so badly. Yikes.

    On the brighter side, when I woke up this morning, my wife and kids had a few Father’s Day surprises for me. Among those were a book that my daughter made at school entitled “All About My Dad!” Inside, she wrote things like “My dad’s favorite thing to do is to watch the baseball games” and “My dad’s favorite television show is YES.” And, on the back cover, she drew this:

    fd2009

    Ah, if that won’t chase the nightmares away, what will?

    I’ve said this before on this blog, and I’ll say it again, now, because I do believe it to be true:

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day! Treat yourself to some Yankee baseball. And, more importantly, enjoy your family today. I know that I will.

    Dad, DiMaggio, & Damon

    Posted by on September 21st, 2008 · Comments (1)

    In the last 29 games that he’s played, Johnny Damon has played centerfield for the Yankees 23 times. This being the last game at this Yankee Stadium, I’m figuring that both Xavier Nady and Hideki Matsui want to be in the starting line-up…so, that means Damon should be starting in centerfield today…at least it sure seems like he should be there.

    I’ll be attending the game with my dad today. Like me, he’s been a Yankees fan since he was a small boy. I’ve asked him, in the past, if he recalled exactly when his first visit to Yankee Stadium occured. His answer went like this:

    “I’m not sure. It was probably in the mid to late ’40′s. Your grandfather used to take us. We used to go on a Sunday. Back then, every Sunday was a double-header and every Monday was an off-day. Your grandfather would drive up…and we would always be late and leave early. We’d get into the park during the third inning of the first game and leave during the seventh inning of the second game. And, it pissed me off…every time.”

    So, while I cannot tell you when my father saw his first Yankees game, it’s a pretty safe bet that he saw Joe DiMaggio play in that game…

    For what it’s worth, his favorite Yankees players, from what he’s told me in the past, were Bobby Richardson and Allie Reynolds. And, he’s always spoke fondly of the 1950 trade that brought Joe Ostrowski and the 1951 trade that brought Stubby Overmire to the team.

    Still, he got to see Joe DiMaggio play in person at Yankee Stadium the first time that he attended as a fan…if my guess is right…and now he’ll get to see, in person, Johnny Damon play in DiMaggio’s spot (if my line-up prediction is true) during the last game at this Yankee Stadium.

    And, for me, the thrill in all this will be that I will be sitting there, next to him, when he gets to watch Damon play.

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, I can’t think of a better way to payback dad for passing along this passion for Yankees baseball than to be attending this game, the last one at this Yankee Stadium, with him today.

    If you’re going to the game today, or watching it on TV, or listening to it on the radio, and you have the pleasure of doing it with someone that you love, take a moment to enjoy being with that person – as much as you enjoy witnessing the game. It might just be your highlight of the day. I know that it will be for me.

    And, if you can’t be with someone that you love, take a second and think of someone that you love…or a few people for that matter. After all, you don’t need to have someone in front of you to enjoy the relationship that you have with them. And, by thinking of them, during the game, you’ll make them part of the moment. I cannot think of a better take-away for a Yankees fan from this game.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Posted by on June 15th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Treat yourself to some Yankee baseball today. I know that I will.

    Randy Levine a.k.a. President Bluster

    Posted by on October 20th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    From Mike Vaccaro -

    What Torre wasn’t able to handle, and what was destined to be his Waterloo even if he opted to accept this transparent and temporary stay, was the new way the Yankees are run, the passive/aggressive obstacle course that now passes for the organizational flow chart.

    George Steinbrenner? Torre could handle him. You knew the man was in the room, and you knew what was on his mind. You knew if he was mad at you, and you knew if you were in trouble, because there was never a moment when the boss was the Boss when he would spare you the full wrath of his rage.

    But Torre’s special gift was that he could defuse Steinbrenner, deflect him, disarm him.

    Now the Yankees are run by a tangle of titles, by a couple of Steinbrenner sons and a gaggle of in-laws and headed by a professional politician named Randy Levine who never has made any pretense about the fact he is unconvinced that Torre personally hung the moon in the night sky.

    Torre always believed the harshest postgame questions asked by the Yankees’ own state-run network originated in Levine’s office. Whether that was true or not, it certainly tells you they weren’t destined to be bridge partners, and it tells you the man who ran the team on the field wasn’t necessarily prepared to share a foxhole with the man who ultimately ran it off the field.

    And the man who, ultimately, ran him off the field.

    Levine has thrust himself into position to be what Steinbrenner used to be, if this coup d’etat doesn’t work out the way everyone on Thursday’s conference call solemnly promised it would.

    He will be the new villain. He will be the new target. He will be the one that Yankees fans point to if the man selected to replace Torre turns out to be anything less than a cross between Connie Mack, John McGraw, Joe McCarthy and Miller Huggins – none of whom, for the record, ever managed a team to the postseason 12 consecutive years.

    Remember in “The Godfather,” when Michael Corleone ominously and chillingly informs his treacherous brother-in-law: “You have to answer for Santino, Carlo.”? In a year, in five years, if the arrow on the Yankees’ growth chart doesn’t keep inching north, that will be Yankees fans, demanding to Levine: You have to answer for Torre, Randy. You have to answer for the insane expectations that would render Torre’s resume wanting.

    Of course, there is a way where this can all work out for Levine, and for the others who now populate the crowded Yankees conference room, and it’s the same blueprint Steinbrenner eventually fell into. They won. A lot. They became a multibillion-dollar success story, even if it sometimes seemed to happen in spite of Steinbrenner. Maybe that can happen for the New Boss, too.

    Last week, I suggested that it may be Levine to pull the plug on Torre. So, this report is no shocker to me.

    The interesting thing is, during his press conference yesterday, when asked about Levine, Joe Torre said that he had very little to do with him – and that, as a manager, it was his job to work with the G.M. (Cashman) and not Levine. So, it’s somewhat suggested there that Torre felt like he should have nothing to do with Levine – or have to answer to him – and perhaps that led to part of the non-connection or power-envy thing that may have existed between these two.

    I’ve stated in the past that Randy Levine just rubs me the wrong way – in that he always seemed like the Yankees version of Larry Lucchino to me.

    Lucchino, with his ways, eventually turned off the people that he worked with while he was with the Baltimore Orioles and the San Diego Padres. And, you don’t hear that much from him out of Boston these days – at least, nowhere as much as you used to hear from him.

    I suspect the same will happen with Randy Levine in New York.

    Randy Levine is full of sound and fury – and, usually signifying nothing. Randy Levine is President Bluster. The Psychedelic Furs should write a song about him.

    Levine is annoying – and, he may be a detriment to the team. But, he’s going to be transitory in the big picture. His type usually is – by nature of their being.

    Plus, while Levine has some skin in the game now, let us not forget that, in Yankeeland, Steinbrenner blood is the magic potion. Unless you have some “Big Stein” in your hemoglobin, you will never live forever in the Yankees team photo.

    Once the new Stadium is built, and all around it is in place, Randy Levine will have less value to the Yankees. By that time, he should be half-way out the door.

    So, lament President Bluster now – and just hope that the ticking sound that you hear in the background when he speaks is the expiring Yankeeland lifeclock in the palm of his hand blinking brightly in red and just about to turn black.

    Happy Father’s Day!

    Posted by on June 19th, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Just as baseball and apple pie are staples of America, statistics and fathers are the hemoglobin of baseball. So, since today is Father’s Day (really, it is, Hallmark says so!), I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!

    Treat yourself to some Yankee baseball today. I know that I will.