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.
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.”
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.
Over the past 3 seasons, the Yankees have paid Alex Rodriguez $91 million dollars in exchange for 34 Home-runs and 119 RBI’s. Curtis Granderson, hit 43 Home-runs (a Team best) and had 106 RBI’s (another Team best) in 2012 alone… at a salary of $10 million. Many people are calling for Curtis Granderson to be traded before the end of the 2013 season. Alex Rodriguez has yet to pick up a bat and swing it meaningfully this season.
*Hater’s side note – Granderson led the Yankees in strikeouts in 2012
**Reality side note: Home-run hitters generally strike out more than other hitters on their respective teams
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
Anyone who knows me knows that the Yankees are my all-time favorite sports team. I’ve loved baseball since I was a little kid. My Uncle Harold was instrumental in teaching me about the game and I remember walking down to his house on hot summer nights to sit on his front porch and watch the Yanks play on WPIX. After every game, he would stand on the sidewalk and watch me walk to the far corner to my house… I would wave when I got there and he’d whistle to let me know that he saw me. I would get home and think all night about how great Willie Randolph was and how I wanted to be as great of a player one day as he was.
I’ve witnessed some of the greatest baseball moments ever in my short life and 75% of them have involved my team, the New York Yankees. But as much as I love the Yankees, I’ve never had the opportunity to see them play in person before. Every time I’ve made plans to do it, life has kicked in… something more pressing has taken priority. That changed on Sunday, August 7th, 2011.
My girlfriend came over to my house, sat down next to me on the couch and handed me a card and a manila envelope. The card was actually a birthday card (my birthday is in October) so I immediately knew she was up to one of her tricks. She’s extremely thoughtful and always surprising me and it’s truly one of the things that I love about her. After reading the card she tells me to open the envelope and I pull out 3 pieces of paper… the first is a seating chart that says “Yankee Stadium” at the top. The other two pages were two tickets for the Yankees-Blue Jays on September 3, 2011… Labor Day Weekend. I was in disbelief at first and all I could do was stare at the tickets for a minute and then the seating chart and then back to the tickets. In the 35 years that I’ve been a Yankees fan, I could never imagine the feeling of holding Yankee tickets in my hand and knowing that I was going to see them… the team that I’ve loved since I was 6 years old.
As we waited outside of Gate 4, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what she looked like on the inside. When we finally walked in, we were right behind home plate and it was more beautiful than I imagined. Several players were on the field already (no BP today because the Yanks played extra innings the night before, just my luck) and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. A lot of people would argue that but when you grow up in a city with a Triple-A team and small stadium, anything you pay at a major league stadium will be well worth the price. Yankee Stadium looks massive when you watch games on TV… it seems like the ball travels forever when it’s hit into the deep seats. Our seats are perfect, 28 rows from the field, ground level and right along the third base line, we can see everything… even right into the Yankees dugout. My girl did good! We tried going to Monument Park but there was almost a two-hour wait for that and I wanted to walk around and shoot as many pictures as possible. One thing that is highly disappointing about the Yankee Stadium experience is access to the players. If you’re not sitting anywhere near home plate, you have a better chance of being President than going down near the field to get autographs from them. (More on this when I write about our Cleveland/Progressive Field experience.) What’s even more disappointing is that this isn’t because of player safety, but, because of all the “stars” in the $3k seats that security is trying to protect. When the spectators become more important that the game on the field, something is definitely wrong. One major highlight about the Stadium is the food and it’is pretty awesome and there are so many options, but they’re kind of pricey ones. I recommend the Waffle Fries from Nathan’s ($8) and pass on the $6 Hot Dog though, it’s not worth the price (And I now hear that it’s $6.75… the Yanks still gotta pay A-Rod that $25mil. per year!).
I still can’t believe that I made it… The Mecca of baseball in my eyes. My favorite team is on the field, my favorite player is at second base and the house is packed. It’s a beautiful day, I’m with the woman of my dreams and we we’re having a blast. The game was great and Robinson Cano came through with a clutch hit to give us the lead. The Yankees won 6-4 and I couldn’t have been happier. Even though I never stepped foot in the old Yankee Stadium, I’m kind of glad that I never did. My first trip to the new sports Mecca was with someone I love dearly and I was able to start new memories there. I know there will be more to come. Since this trip, Liz and I have decided that we’re going to make it our mission to reach all thirty MLB stadiums over the next 10 years. I’ve officially started a Bucket List and put this mission at the top! #GO YANKS!!!