Tag Archives: NY Yankees

Oh Baby Noel… Papa is waiting…

Happy New Year to you all. I truly hope that God blesses you with grace and abundance in 2016.

I can honestly say that this is the quietest and strangest New Year’s Eve that I’ve ever experienced. It’s the first New Year’s that I’ve spent separated from my wife since we met five years ago and its also the first that I’ve spent in a hospital. But all is well.

As I type this, my daughter is labor with our first grandchild and I’ve never been in a hospital as a visitor for this long before. My wife, is down the hall and around the corner in the room with my daughter and her in-laws. There’s a limit on how many people can be in the room with her and dad drew the short straw today. But don’t feel too bad for me… because the BCS games are on and I have the waiting room all to myself… for now.

But now that the games are both over and there’s very little on cable at this time of the night, here I am blogging while watching a replay of the game I just watched… and I’m exhausted. It’s 5:09am and my daughter was admitted at around 1:30pm yesterday. My granddaughter refuses to make her grand entrance for whatever reason. Had she come yesterday, she would have shared a birthday with her aunt and uncle who happen to be twins and judging from the current time, she lost her shot at being the first baby born in the new year. But now she will always have the honor of  being one of the many, many new babies to be born on this New Year’s Day.

Baby Noel, Papa is waiting on you. Waiting to plant the seed of your legacy yet to be fulfilled, waiting to tell you about God’s plans for your life and His unwavering love and grace. To catch you when you fall and to put you on the right path when you stumble or get lost. To make sure you always bleed Yankee blue and forever stay true to those “Boys in Blue”. My daughter, I see your true character though these past hours, you are truly God’s child. My son, I’m so proud of you for being the man He has called you to me. Both of my girls are safe in your hands.

Baby Noel, we will have so many firsts together, just as many as I’ve shared with Abuela. Our home will always be a safe landing place for you when you’re lost and one of wisdom when you’re hungry.

Papa has waited his whole life for you.


“Hey Mets fans… don’t forget where you’re from.”

Generally I don’t get involved in back and forth banter when it comes to websites like the NY Post and such but it’s World Series time I’m all in.

A few different websites are reporting that Mets fans are not too thrilled with the idea of having Yankees fans rooting for their team during the World Series. Going as far as to say, “We don’t need them bandwagoning our team.” The New York Times went out of their way to interview some drunken Met fan that compared Yankees fans rooting for the Mets to “…post-war Nazi’s wanting to come over for tea 10 years after the war.”

Seriously?

When I was growing up, Willie Randolph was my Yankee hero. I started liking the Mets in junior high school because they had a right-fielder named Darryl Strawberry. He was tall and lanky like me and I discovered my love of playing right-field because of him. I wasn’t quick enough to play the infield like Willie could. So in the 80’s, I loved the Yankees but I also cheered for the Mets. Once their front office decided that Davey Johnson wasn’t of value to them anymore and treated him like he hadn’t brought them their first championship in 17 years, I was done cheering for them.

 

Me and legendary Mets Outfielder Darryl Strawberry

 

Here’s why I still won’t cheer for the Mets, even throughout this World Series; Yankees fans are not Turncoats.

Mets fans… you can keep your team, we have our own. Unlike Mets, Cubs and Red Sox fans… we don’t start flying our team’s colors once the “good” starts happening for them. In the last 3 weeks, I’ve seen more Cubs hats and jerseys than I can ever remember. Mets “fans” are all over the place now too… and to their credit, Red Sox fans are nowhere to be found, as usual. It’s disgusting. I do realize that there are some die-hard and loyal Mets fans out there who feel the same way towards the Yankees and their fans, and that’s fine… I respect that. But, what those fans need to realize is that we aren’t interested in joining your nation or sacrificing our team loyalty to follow another team because of the moment. When any NY team enters a finals series, I’m excited for them… because I’m a New Yorker. If they win, I’m even happier because “When N.Y. does good… New York does good!” If you know what I mean. It’s completely insane to not want a team from your home state to do well when your team is no longer in the fight. But please, don’t think that Yankees fans are over here cheering the Mets along as if they were our team…. flying the colors in good times like their fans do. It’s not the Yankee way. We suffered through the 80’s and early 90’s with horrible teams but we always flew the colors and we welcomed the rest of New York to join us. That’s what winners do, they act like they’ve been there before and they never forget where they’re from.

 

Go Yanks!

 


New York State of Mind

swag·ger noun

  1. a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive gait or manner.
    “The New York Yankees have attained 27 World Championships with an exaggerated swagger”

    gomez_mcccan

I only started really paying attention Brian McCann following his dust up with the Carlos Gomez. I watched him play on TV when I was visiting my sister-in-law in Atlanta and I heard the analyst say those magical words… “He’s going to be a free agent this fall.” Music to any Yankee fan’s ears. With what the Yankees put behind the plate last year, McCann would surely be in Brian Cashman’s cross-hairs. The Yankees have a history of putting leaders behind the plate and I saw nothing last year that resembled anything close to leadership. Two of the greatest leaders that I’ve ever seen in my short life happen to be the two-man team of General Colin Powell and the late General Norman Schwarzkopf. Together, these two men led US forces during the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) and pulled off one of the greatest military upsets in US military history. What they accomplished as a team not only benefited the citizens of Kuwait but it also put the rest of the world on notice… “We have arrived and we aren’t going anywhere.” Leaving politics out of it, because I love politicians as much as I love migraine headaches, both men showed how far you can go through teamwork and great leadership. My father was a Marine and he used to always say to me, “Just because a person can lead, doesn’t mean that they should!” The world is filled with self-promoted leaders, people who have laid out their padded career stats on resumes and who appear to be battle-tested. However, when you see them in action, they resemble nothing close to the person laid out on paper. There are many athletes who show a lot of bravado on the field or on the court and when you take a deeper look at them, you have a sense that most of it is an act or just flat out fake. While I like Kevin Garnett, I’m not completely convinced that he’s the psychopath that he portrays himself to be during his pre-game rituals. Tyler Hansbrough, James Harrison, Warren Sapp, Brian Wilson… Carlos Gomez, just to name a few. I’m not convinced that if I’m in a foxhole and needed one person next to me they’d be the one to deliver. Then you have those who leave little doubt… Steve Smith, CC Sabathia, Ray Lewis, Josh Beckett (yeah, the former Red Sox pitcher), Marshawn Lynch & Brian McCann.

Swagger.

New York is a special place and not many people understand New Yorkers and what makes us who we are. We’re probably the most over-analyzed, stereotyped and copy-catted residents of the United States. The funniest part about being from New York is that everybody assumes that you’re from the city when you say, “I’m from New York.” If you look at a map, the island of Manhattan is that little sliver of land directly northwest of the rest of the entire state of New York! (Just had to get that out.) No, all New Yorker’s are not from New York City, but, we all seem to have that ‘thing’ about us that most of the city residents have. The spirit, the drive and the attitude that we won’t let anyone tread on us or our opinions on any topic being discussed. What does this have to do with Brian McCann?

Everything.

Brian McCann is about to become my favorite transplant New Yorker. He brings an apparent  love for the game and a respect for how its played with him to the Bronx. I could hear it in his voice and see it in his face during his introductory press conference, when he spoke about how he loves going to the yard and just being able to play ball… doing his job that he loves. How since he was a young kid, he loved the game and always wanted to be as good at it as his brother was at it. I grew up loving the game of baseball more than any other sport and when you say this to a room of reporters, you know it’s a fact.

Carlos Gomez is a young player who appears to believe that baseball needs him and that his accomplishments are bigger than the game. I can only assume that he loves the game just as much as McCann, but, all he’s shown me as a fan so far is an example of how much more he loves himself. To his credit, he did use Twitter to apologize for his actions and for putting his own feelings before his team’s. He still has a lot to learn and a long path to that wisdom. The fact that he took took the time to actually apologize shows growth, even if embarrassment was the vehicle. We’re not perfect, we all make mistakes and I wish Carlos nothing but success. The more he grows as a man and a player, the more the game of baseball will use him to show up and coming players what’s most important.

The game.


It’s time to turn the page…

Note: This post was originally written  for a special “Pinch Hit” series for the website The Greedy Pinstripes. It was originally posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Cano_1

No One Man is Above The Team” – Coach James DeBell Sr.
(A frequent quote by my high school baseball coach)

I knew it was coming eventually. Not the move to another team, not the way that it was done, not the money involved, not the turning his back on the city of New York and the Yankee fans and not the leaving behind a chance to be immortal in the garden that is Monument Park. It was that one question from my wife that I really needed days, not hours, to ponder… “How do you feel about Cano leaving the Yankees?” A question that was so raw and one that I never thought in a million years that I’d have to answer.

I met my wife Liz 3 years ago and though I’ve been a life-long fan of the Yankees, I’d never been to Yankee Stadium before. She’s not a fan of sports at all, but, my very first visit to the stadium was in the form of tickets for my birthday, thanks to her. We played the Blue Jays during Labor Day Weekend… Jeter had the day off due to a late night extra-inning game the night before, Bartolo Colon pitched good enough to keep us in it and Cano, true to form, had the biggest hit of the game… a two-run double to give us the lead and eventually the win. It was a great day and now my wife is as much a Yankee fan as I am, CC Sabathia is her favorite… and she named our puppy after my favorite player. The Yankees are a part of our everyday lives in some way, shape or form. You will always see the logo or some reminder of the team somewhere in our home. Baseball has and always will be a part of my life. I’ve played the game since I was able to hold a bat and swing it, it’s important to me and I love the “game”. Fans of other sports find us crazy because we sit and watch what they consider to be a “boring” sport, yet they have no idea just how smart you have to be to either play or understand this game that we love.

I don’t know how I feel about it babe, I mean… I’ll miss him but we have to think about the team as a whole, we can’t afford bad deals anymore.

I know that this really gets over-used but sports folks say it all the time, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” However, there is definitely an M & E in “Team” and that’s exactly what Robinson Cano was thinking with his demands for a record breaking contract. And to be frank, I personally couldn’t care less that he’s walking away from the Yankees and possible immortality when I really think about it. Robinson Cano is one of the most talented baseball players I’ve ever had a chance to watch grow into a major league player. The only flaw that I’ve ever seen is his game is him not feeling the need to hustle out some at-bats here and there but I personally think there’s a deeper reason behind it. I think the game is boring to him and he no longer finds any challenge in it, at least in New York with the Yankees. I saw it this season in his at-bats, in his fielding when flipping the ball to first after having to barely move to get it. Cano is so good at what he does that to the casual eye, he’s truly amazing (which he is) and what he’s doing is effortless, but, to the trained eye he’s just going through the motions and bored with being in that moment. Over the weekend it was mentioned that Cano wanted out of New York because he didn’t like playing for Joe Girardi and while I have no idea how much of that is true or not, nothing screams “selfish” like complaining about where your manager puts you in the line-up, especially publicly.  Managers are paid to manage and players are paid to play and the saddest part about this, if it’s true, is that Joe bleeds Yankee blue and was tossed from 5 games this past season, mostly for defending his players. But, he’s a horrible guy to play for because he just can’t seem to put Cano right where he wants to be in the lineup… I get it. Whatever. I personally don’t think Cano is the “star” that he thinks he is or that his representation has convinced him that he is. While he was healthy for most of the season and other’s like Jeter, Texeira and Granderson were hurt, the Yankees reportedly lost $58 million in ticket sales. If Cano had $240 million star power, I personally think those figures would have been more ‘green’, seeing as how he spent most of his time on the field this past season.

When Cano first signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation, I thought it was as bad a move for Jay Z as it was for him. Jay is the self-proclaimed “King of New York ” and could possibly be labeled as the single person who priced one of our most talented assets right out of the Bronx. He’s boasted on songs that he’s made the “Yankee hat more famous than a Yankees can”… too much bravado about an organization that he clearly knows little about. The Yankees were winning championships before the Great Depression and while I love Jay and some of his music, this isn’t the music business. Legends are made in this game called baseball… through hard work, dedication, patience and hustle. And while most can live with the lack of hustle from Cano, I can’t. Mainly because he wants to be paid like a super-star team leader, but, doesn’t want to act like one on the field during the final year of his current contract.  I was taught from day one when learning the game of baseball that no matter what, you ran to first like you were ultimately going to be safe, you respected the game and the people that played it before you and you respected your coaches and the umpires even if you didn’t understand their decisions. The game of baseball is not easy to play, though the legends in the making who are playing in the majors today make it seem that way. Ted Williams once said something to the effect of players who fail 7 out of 10 times at the plate will end up being some of the greatest to ever play the game.

There is no organization on this planet like the New York Yankees. When you see the logo, you know who it is, if you see a picture of The Frieze, you know where it is and when you see the pinstripes, you know what they’re about. Winning. Pride. Loyalty. I’ve turned the page on my loyalty to Robinson Cano and as being one of his fans. When I look at the men who have played in Pinstripes before him and how most have humbled themselves for the betterment of the team, I’m grateful that Monument Park isn’t a part of his vision for his own career. I can’t cheer on someone who is okay with coming to the yard every day and making it about themselves instead of the team. I’ve heard free agent after free agent come to the podium over the years and say, “Being a Yankee has always been a life-long dream of mine, so this is one of the greatest days of my life!” They’ve come from every organization, even the Red Sox. So while I wish Robinson the best, I really won’t miss him or the fact that Jay Z thinks that he would have been the man to help “sell the Yankee brand”. The Yankees don’t need any player to sell what they have to offer. The proof lies in those free agents coming to the podium… this stuff that the Yankees have sells itself.

Loyalty


I’m famous!!!! Well, kinda…

So, it was just another day of me neglecting my own blog, betraying the small and loyal reader-base that I have when I  casually responded to the  blog post ARE GRANDERSON’S DAYS IN PINSTRIPES NUMBERED? at Bleeding Yankee Blue.

Granderson_1

For those who aren’t baseball or Yankee fans… here’s the skinny in six sentences or less. Some baseball enthusiasts believe that Curtis Granderson, who is currently injured, should be considered for a trade or dangled as trade bait by the Yankees. It was my opinion that all he’s done is be a class act on and off the field, not complain about money or playing time and most of all, produce on the field. There are other Yankees who have done far less and they’re as hard to get rid of as the Bubonic Plague, even though the Yankees should try REALLY hard to do so. I read that post and that’s when THIS happened…

WHY WOULD WE TRADE CURTIS GRANDERSON?

I’ve written several passionate comments to posts on BYB about my beloved Yankees but this one seems to have struck a nerve. I have to thank Robert Casey (Twitter: @BleednYankeeBlu), founder of the BYB blog, for taking time out to acknowledge my comment and for giving it the attention it has received.  I also have to apologize to “Suzie Pinstripe” (Twitter: @SuzieProf), the  BYB Opinion Columnist, for my ranting response to her post. It was nothing personal towards her and I just think that I’ve heard so many times that Granderson “isn’t doing” something when all he’s done is do good things.

Granderson_2

My gripe is not with those asking for him to be traded as much as it is with other Yankee players. Those players who are making as much as $30 million a year and are not only do nothing on the field, but, who are doing everything to bring the wrong kind of attention off the field… allegedly.

You know how people get those “Free Such-and-Such” T-Shirts made when someone who is actually guilty gets locked up, but, in their own mind they’ve decided to make these people martyrs? Well, yeah… that’s not me. If a guy needs to get run outta town, I’m all for it if the numbers dictate that. BUT, that Granderson T-Shirt is looking like a pretty good idea right now because all the guy ever does is produce.


I’m guilty of “Treason”… sort of

I’ve been extremely distant from my blog for a little bit and I’m really ashamed to admit that it’s not because of some life-altering or changing event. I’ve simply been giving all of my time and “Yankee affection” to another blog. Yeah, I know… that’s “walk the plank” material but I promise you I was always intending on coming back home.

One thing I’ve never viewed myself as is a written… a “Ranter”, maybe… but writer, no. I started this blog because I wanted to share my views and thoughts about things that seem to affect me in on way or another. Lately, I’ve found myself posting a lot of responses to great articles on an even greater Yankee Blog call Bleeding Yankee Blue. The hard part about maintaining a blog isn’t necessarily finding material, because everywhere you look there’s a topic just begging to be blogged about. It’s finding, creating and maintaining an audience that appears to be  the hard part. When I see the hundreds of blogs out there that have a loyal following  I know it’s for good reason. I know that it’s because the owners have found a way to uniquely connect with the readers who have become loyal to them.

Moving forward, I’m committing myself to giving my readers more Reasoning than Ranting. Anybody can rant and rave but the message can easily get lost in all the chaos. I’m not always going to agree with everyone that I blog about or reference in my stories but I realize that being passionate shouldn’t translate into being insensitive.


The Mecca of Sports

Mecca_Panoramic
This is one of my first experimentation’s with Panoramic photography. I took about six shots with my Nikon D40 and used PS CS5 to get this final image. If you look closely, there are some areas that give this away. Overall I think it came out pretty good.


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