Monthly Archives: October 2015

Fun Fact Friday: Comebacks in the World Series.

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Well Today is Fun Fact Friday: Comebacks in the World Series:

The Mets have lost the first two games of the World Series. Those of you who follow this blog, know my love of the Royals but for this series I can’t turn my back on one of my favorite players David Wright! So, I am a Mets fan.

For Fun Fact Friday: There are 11 teams who have been at 2-0 and come back to Win the World Series. Here are the last six since the rules changed from 1969.

The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates, 1978 New York Yankees, 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers, 1985 Kansas City Royals, 1986 New York Mets, 1996 New York Yankees.

Let’s Go Mets!!!

TBT: Miss Baseball’s Anniversary

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Yesterday was Miss Baseball’s one-year anniversary. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a mom with two wonderful boys who live with autism. When you live with someone with autism, it is very easy to lose yourself, and I did. I was so busy being a mom, nurse, occupational therapist, speech therapist and special needs teacher to my boys, I forgot about me. I am not ashamed to say I became very depressed. I even went to therapy. I found a great therapist who didn’t use a pad to solve the problems but a simple question. What do you like to do? Stop being everything to everyone else and start being something for you. I rediscovered my passion for writing, and then baseball came back into my life. Then I combined my two loves, writing and baseball, and Miss Baseball was born.

What a wild ride this has been. I went from not knowing how Twitter works to having almost 800 followers. My Facebook page has some of my most wonderful followers. Thank you to all my fans. Your support means a great deal to me. I would also like to thank all my baseball players who have been supportive of me.

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When I hurt my knee, Derek Holland gave me some wonderful words of encouragement.

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//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsEncouragement and positivity are important in recovery. Having Derek Holland’s words really made all the long hours of physical therapy worth it. I am all better and very grateful for the kind words.

When you ask your favorite player to sign a photo you have saved for years

When you ask your favorite player to sign a photo you have saved for years

Thank you again Dean Palmer for my autographed photo. When I wrote about Dean Palmer, I never thought in a million years he would respond. And I am amazed that he did.

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On a more serious note, being a special needs parent, I am very particular to the charities that I support. While I don’t have any children with vascular birthmark, it frightens me to think that there is a child with one of these and it is either misdiagnosed or, worse, wrong advice is given. Please go to the Frank Catalanotto Foundation. Learn about this condition and all the good work that the foundation does. Also, to Frank Catalanotto, thank you for all the retweets of my articles. I wouldn’t be here without your support.

Last but certainly not least: Frank’s Ranger teammate Gabe Kapler, whose blog on KapLifestyle inspired me to write. I am very honored to be a part of the KapLifestyle family, and I would like to thank my “brothers” Matt Fields and Matt Paré.

I’ve got to do a quick shout-out to Cleat Geeks. Thank you for letting me be a part of your website. I really enjoy writing for you.

There are also some great people behind the scenes. I would like to thank Peter Summerville and Stephanie St. Amour. Thank you Stephanie for all the MANY times you have helped me on my blog.

Finally to Duncan Gilman, my friend since the seventh grade. He’s also my social media guru. He tells me do this and do that, and it would help my blog. I would do this and that, and each day my blog got more traffic, and I got more followers. He has celebrated every triumph and consoled every failure. There would not be Miss Baseball without Duncan. Thank you is not enough, but I am at a loss for words on my gratitude for all that you do for me.

Today, I thought I would end with my favorite article. It’s something that I truly believe: Baseball is life. No matter where you go or what you do, baseball is always there.

 

 

Baseball is life

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I once read a Twitter post that said, “Baseball is not life, it is something you do. Life is something you live.”  A former ballplayer wrote that, and I can understand it. But I disagree  with it. Baseball IS life.

I am back from a much-needed vacation. I toured the city of Corpus Christi while avoiding Tropical Storm Bill. While my intention to go to a single game was washed out, I was treated to a double header the next day.  The USS Lexington is close by, and I took my boys to view the massive museum.  We toured the ship, and when my youngest was too tired to go on, we headed over to the mess deck to get a drink. We passed by this case full of baseball artifacts from 1933 and ’34 Navy baseball teams.

The vision of sailors, playing baseball — I think about them on the flight deck, with gloves on, tossing a ball around.  I have a vision of the stands in the ballpark and sailors watching and cheering the other sailors playing.

I think a little bit about the Twitter quote as I walk over to Whataburger Field. The Frisco RoughRiders and the Corpus Christi Hooks are Double A-ing my fun with a double header.  I get the last ticket behind home plate.

Manger for the Hooks Rodney Linares and acting as manger for the Rough Riders Jason Hart

Hooks Manager Rodney Linares and RoughRiders Acting Manager Jason Hart exchange lineups.

I am in my seat ready to watch some baseball, when my seat neighbor appears, a nice woman with her mom and a family friend. That’s right, I am sitting behind home plate and it is girls’ night out. My neighbor  is a huge Hooks fan, and the teasing commenced as I cheered for the RoughRiders. She and I talk about baseball throughout the game. She had her favorite players, ones she liked because they were kind to her child and others that were kind to the eyes.  Yes, I was giggling like a schoolgirl over some cute ballplayers; not going to apologize for that. Baseball pants are the world’s greatest invention.  Two games, 7 innings each, and the RoughRiders lost both, but there was some good ball in there, and I see a great team. I even have a favorite RoughRider. His name is Drew Robinson, and he wears 16 (Dean Palmer’s Ranger number) and he has a passion for the game.

The game is over, and I find the Frisco team bus. And while I couldn’t wait for the players to come out, I did meet more people.

I met the founders of Keeper of the Game Foundation, and the business card read, “Serving kids with special needs and disabilities while promoting servant leadership.”  As a mom of two children with autism, I am in awe. I am then handed a photo of my favorite player, Drew Robinson, and I hang it here near my desk.

After saying my goodbyes and getting in the car to head back to my hotel, I am just as relaxed after a double header as I was playing in the ocean.  Baseball is life — it keeps popping in my mind. Seeing baseball artifacts on the USS Lexington, going to a double header and being with other women who love baseball as much as I do, meeting people who understand how important baseball could be to special needs children. It just made me think, this is life.

Baseball is life. Baseball connects us. It moves us, it bonds us into a community. Baseball has all the markers of life: passion, love, hatred, obsession, lust. Baseball is the perfect euphemism for life. You may strike out more than you hit a home run, but you never stop swinging.

 

 

Gabe Kapler for manager

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The baseball world is buzzing with reports that Gabe Kapler is the front-runner for the new manager of the Dodgers. Who is Gabe Kapler? Well, I am not going to tell you: You can read Kaplifestyle. Writers put themselves into their writing, and even if they try not to, it just happens. As I write this post, I am trying to keep my excitement down.  I am going to make a call. Gabe Kapler is going into the Hall of Fame, and he will be one of the greatest managers ever.

I know this sounds like some sort of advertisement, but it is just excitement. Now where did this excitement come from? It came from one day seeing him on Twitter and following the link to Kaplifestyle. I was not prepared to read what I read.

Honest Communication was the first post I read. Blown away is an understatement. Never before had I read someone who just cuts through the bullshit and gets to the point while still maintaining a sense of decency and compassion.  Kap can be funny and honest, as in his post Whining and the Murder of Smoke Detectors. If you have ever had a smoke detector go off for no reason, Kap has a solution. It is one of the funniest things I have ever read.

I may be a fan, but I am no sheep, and you can’t be a sheep with Kap. He encourages everyone to find their own path and think for themselves. But future Dodgers may want to look out because there may be some crickets in the dugout. Better Dugout Snack. Sorry Kap, don’t care how much protein is in them, I am not going to eat crickets.

I will tell you what I will eat. Strawberries. Before Kaplifestyle, I was getting sick every month. I mean really sick. I needed antibiotics and steroids to become human. Yes, I was taking my vitamins, but then I read these posts and changed my life. Fighting Cold? Reach for Berries and Viral Myths: Drink Your Milk. Food is a better way to absorb your vitamins. Now, I no longer know my doctor’s phone number by heart, and it’s been a year since my last shot.

My second love and third child is baseball. It was always something so important to me. Baseball is Life: Rejection and Failure & Baseball is Life: Mindfulness. These are two of my favorite posts. They are about how Kap takes his baseball experiences and helps young ballplayers learn from his life. Mistakes and triumphs are equal parts to learning.

Nearly a year ago, Kap became the Dodgers’ director of player development, or as he calls it, human development. He got all the minor league teams to have at least one Spanish-speaking coach so that there would not be a failure in communication. And it brings up morale when you are able to communicate with your team and coaches.

During the Dodgers’ Winter Development Program, he worked the young players’ minds in the classroom instead of working their bodies. This prevented injuries and kept the focus on baseball instead of a showcase of ability. During the program, he even taught his young players about metrics so they could better understand what they are being measured by.

This is after just one year. What could Gabe Kapler do with a whole team? I can’t wait to find out.

 

Its only a game, then why do I hurt?

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The Texas Rangers were so close, and yet so far. It has been a while since I have written, I now fully understand why sports writers learn to be objective, it hurts too much to be a fan. Yes, I want to be positive but its hurts when your team doesn’t go all the way. The post season is a magnification of what is wrong with the team. We were asking a great deal from all of our players. Many of them very much injured or coming back from injury. Yes, you might think its time to point fingers but the reality is, you don’t know how someone is going to perform until they get out there. Still, for me there was this hope and love that I thought they would make it all the way and when Game 5  hit I was convinced that was the end all be all, we were going to win.  Oh that’s the problem when you give your heart away it get broken sometimes.

I saw a tweet from a former MLB player.  He talked about how the “bat flip”.  That the Rangers fans need not to be angry at the bat flip that if Beltre had done it we would have applauded it.  As a Ranger fan I was not offended by the bat flip, I was more offended by showing up my pitcher. Ranger fans are angry because we were so close and didn’t make it. This was supposed to be our year. We came back from last place, this was not how the story was supposed to go. The bat flip was the last straw.

It just goes to show how much fans love the game. We see the players love on the field. Who didn’t get a little misty when Beltre came out and started to cry. As fans we take possession of the team, they are not the Rangers they are our team. While we didn’t play in the field we did cheer for you, buy the tickets, buy the merchandise, support your charities. We made an emotional investment in you.  In the end after the tough loss of the series and going home, it hurts and no matter how much of a positive spin you put on it. It hurts.

Texas Rangers in October its easy to forget April

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While the Rangers maybe over for the season they are far from over as an organization. Jeff Banister talks about how the playoffs were not a reflection of the whole season.

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The Rangers were plagued with injuries but the Rangers kept coming back and won a very hard division of the American League West. The beginning of the year they had a winning percentage of .334. They then pushed back and became contenders. An remarkable feat, once you consider who they lost Darvish,and Holland. Darvish will be back next year, and Holland will have a fresh start and be able to get his rhythm down. During the year, Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre have been playing injured. Now they will have a chance to heal. Sure there were mistakes but mistakes that can be corrected and we have a great manager to guide the Rangers. I am sad that they didn’t make it but there is an excitement for me, the best is yet to come. Its time to put your doubt away for the Texas Rangers are stepping up to become a force. This is only the beginning…

Chase Utley: Dirty or Aggressive?

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There is a line, Many times we see the line and wonder how close can we get before we cross that line. I know and love the game of baseball. Some of my favorite players have been in some of the biggest brawls and done other behavior I wasn’t proud of but I understood it was apart of the game. I like a guy who is going to beat the crap out of the water cooler or break a bat, it shows a passion. There is an ugly side to baseball, the side where you hit a player after your player gets hit. I get it. I am not saying you should do it. I just understand that this is what happens.

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On Saturday Chase Utley, did what I thought was the dumbest slide ever, it looked like the forgot to slide he started his slide so late but then he never touched the bag. As I write this I was getting ready to say that Chase didn’t need to be suspended that the play looked dumb rather than dirty until I this video, and watched the replay.Sorry Chase, it was dirty.

AS I wrote earlier there is a line, and we all see it and sometimes we don’t mean to cross it but it was crossed that day. As Utley is coming up to 2nd, he starts his slide extremely late and never touches the bag, but upon further review, he was coming right up to a shortstop whose back was to him, my natural instinct would be to get out of the way, it didn’t look like Utley was getting out of the way, I think he went head on.
Frank Thomas on FS1 was upset that this kind of ruling would be done in the playoffs, having not seen it, I took sympathy with Frank, I mean this is a lousy time to change the rules, We barely have catchers following the “Buster Posey Rule” I understood, but then there is Joe Torre.
I have much respect for Joe Torre, he is an expert at baseball and is a clear level headed guy. He understands the pressure of playoffs and he decided to make this ruling to suspend Chase Utley.
Utley is going to appeal and sent an apology out to Ruben Tejada, but he keeps saying his intent was not to injure. I do believe that. I don’t think anyone wakes up and intends to hurt someone else. What makes this play so bad is the Shortstop Tejada had his back to Utley and Utley could see that and kept going.

Who would be on your Field of Dreams?

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Author Note: I can’t watch the Rangers game, so I am reposing this. I wrote it and thought it was fun. No one read it.  The playoffs make you think of the past so for fun of all the past Rangers who would be my dream team. These are who I chose.  Who would you choose?

 

I am on Twitter, and one of my favorite all-time ballplayers, Frank Catalanotto, retweets from a Blue Jays fan.

“Can we re-sign and to a single day contract and have them throw/see a single pitch so that they get a ring soon too?”

I saw that, and my brown eyes turned green and my Ranger fandom cried out, oh no, sorry Jays fan, if Frank is going to get a ring, it’s going to be a Ranger ring. He was a Ranger for a long time, and he came back to the Rangers after he left the Blue Jays.

Doesn’t he looks good in a Rangers uniform?

Another of my favorite baseball player and my twitter peep

Another of my favorite baseball players and my Twitter peep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I thought, who would be in my Field of Dreams? I am standing in Iowa in a cut- down cornfield. Who would be my Ranger Dream Team? To play in a World Series game, to get a Ranger ring?

 

 

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My lineup as they come out of the corn rows:

Frank Catalanotto, RF

Will Clark, 1st

Mark McLemore, 2nd

Michael Young, SS

Dean Palmer, 3rd

Rusty Greer, LF

Pudge Rodriguez, C

Gabe Kapler, CF

Mickey Tettleton, DH

If I am having a Field of Dreams World Series Ranger Edition, there is only one pitcher:

Nolan Ryan

Oh, my bench is impressive, too. Full of happy memories.

Steve Buechele

Pete Incaviglia

Ruben Sierra

My bullpen:

Charlie Hough

Kenny Rogers

Kevin Brown

Rick Helling

Aaron Sele

Darren Oliver

John Wetteland

Tell me, who would be in your Field of Dreams?