Do subscribe to the belief that we are never given anything more in life than what we can truly handle? If you do, the last 7 days are proof that I am a very strong person.
Monday: In court, once again fighting a recurring legal problem.
Tuesday: Internet connection was cut off, the same day my MLB.com article was published.
Thursday: A rainy day. Water-logged from my trip to and from the library to use the public computers, and heartbroken over the Nats’ series win over the Yankees.
Friday: Just a general feeling of malaise. Can you blame me?
Saturday: The contractors working on my apartment still hadn’t finished the job, even though the super had promised.
Sunday: While writing this very post, my time on the computer here at the public library ended. I was granted no extensions and was not allowed to make another reservation. (That is why the “week” in this post goes from Monday to Sunday.)
I was so glad to see last week end. But, at the same time, I learned something about myself: that, with God’s help, I’m stronger than I think and I’m growing stronger everyday.
I have one person to thank for my undying love for baseball: My “mother.”
In 1969 when I was 7 years old I was living in Washington, DC with my parents. In March of that year my mother passed away, and my father, a native New Yorker, decided that the best thing for me at that point was to go to New York to live with his sister, Lillian. I did not know Lillian at all. I met her for the first time when she came down to Washington shortly before my mother died. A few weeks later I was in a strange city, about to spend the rest of my formative years with a complete stranger.
Over time, I came to see my aunt as the only true mother I’ve ever had. In fact, I have always called her Ma. But things were very difficult for both of us while she was raising me. Ours was a tenuous relationship to say the least. I won’t go into details. Let’s just say we gave each other hell from the time I moved in until well after I’d moved out as an adult.
There were a few moments when hell disappeared and heaven was a place on earth. One of those moments was when my aunt introduced me to baseball. My aunt grew up in Brooklyn, and when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier she became a Brooklyn Dodgers fan.
She began following baseball in earnest and paid close attention to what Jackie was doing. When he passed away in the early ’70s, I recall her talking about how much of a fan of his she was, saying she followed everything he did, and everything his family did. She spent a lot of time at Ebbets Field, cheering him (and the rest of “dem Bums”) on.
My aunt is a woman of faith, and when she felt that she’d replaced God with the Dodgers, she “put away childish things” and stopped following baseball. I’m sure it was a hard thing for her to do, but I suppose it became easier when the the team left Brooklyn for Los Angeles.
So, she stopped following baseball, but it never left her blood. When Willie Mays tried to keep his career alive by playing with the Mets in the early 70s, she turned on a Mets game briefly one day to catch of glimpse of him, perhaps to re-live, for a few moments, the golden age of New York baseball. Then, when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, she again turned on the TV, but turned it off after Aaron had broken the record.
She didn’t turn the TV on again until October 1978, when the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers were the two teams in the World Series. I don’t really know why, but she was captivated by the series. Suddenly I found myself feeling the same way, and then, “that was all she wrote,” as they say. I became a fan for life.
My aunt didn’t stay captivated. In fact, she rued the day she introduced me to baseball. But I am glad she did. She passed both her love of the game and, more importantly, her faith in God onto me. These two things have sustained me, kept me going during this, the toughest time of my life.
Now my aunt is about to start a new chapter in her life. Her declining health has made it no longer possible for her to live on her own. She will be leaving New York early tomorrow morning to go down south to live with her daughter. This morning she reminded me that God will make a way. Somehow.
Thank you, Ma, and Happy Mother’s Day.
This past weekend was one to forget. The Yankees got swept by the Red Sox and I got swept away by a family emergency. The emergency began Friday night shortly before Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the season and lasted the entire weekend.
I’m hoping things will stabilize this week, just as I’m hoping the Yankees can put the brakes on this losing streak. Please, please, please! Stop the madness. I want my new radio show to go as planned this coming Sunday night.
I’m really looking forward to doing this show. I have two great guests lined up, including Andrea Claster Greenspan, creator of the Tessuta Game Day Purse:
Like it? It’s available in the colors and logos of each of the 30 Major League teams. What’s even better is that I’m giving one away on the show Sunday night! Click the link below to find out how to enter for a chance to win it:
So, enter the contest as soon as you can for a chance to win. I’ll have more info on the show in a few days.
I missed yesterday’s Yankee game, but I arrived home last night to some wonderful news. My man Melky won the game! Melky Cabrera, the centerfielder Yankee fans love to hate, hit a walk-off homer in the 14th inning.
This is why I love this guy. Yeah, he’s not a five-tool player. He’s not a projected superstar. He’s not “baseball is serious business.” He doesn’t tear his hair out whenever he’s in a hitting slump. He’s just a young player trying to stick in the big leagues and he’s having the time of his life while doing it. As the tune in this video goes, the Melkman knows he’s “gotta survive” and he appears to know how to do it.
There is a piece in today’s New York Times about the cost of tickets at the new Yankee Stadium. It’s very clerverly writen; Vincent M Malozzi does a cost comparison of Yankee tickets and what people might want to spend their money on instead. Since the top-priced seat at the Stadium is $2,650, and Malozzi has three sons, it would cost him $10,600 to attend a single game. Instead, he figures he could use the money to pay for one of the following:
Tuition at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York.
Cruising the Caribbean and, with the money you have left, buy a used Cadillac.
A two-week vacation: one week in Paris and the other on the Jersey Shore.
He continues, giving several other choices someone could make instead of choosing to spend it on Yankee tickets. Now, I would have loved this article had it not been for one thing: Vincent M Malozzi is a Mets fan. He talks about the top-priced seat at Citi Field being $695 but conveniently leaves out the fact that, for him and his three sons, that would be $2,780. I know it’s not half as much as what it would cost him for Yankee tickets, but it’s still a pretty penny. I could think of plenty of things to do with $2,780 and not one of them would be buying tickets to see the New York Mets. I could:
Ride the New York City Subway 1,390 times
Buy approximately 695 half-gallon containers of organic milk
Purchase about 185 boxes of Claritin-D 24Hr (15 tablets per box)
I could go on. Yes, I know, Malozzi is talking about luxury items and it goes without saying that one can buy a ton of necessary items with that much money. I get it. But when you’re struggling, sometimes a necessary thing can turn into a luxury.
I sat down this morning and posted my picks for the 2009 season over at my other blog, my real baseball blog. No whining and crying over there about my crazy life, lol. Anyway, if you’re interested to see who I picked to win what, click on the links below:
Oh, yeah. I’m also predicting another kind of winner: My new project.
Remember this guy?
When Jeff Weaver was a Yankee, someone on ESPN referred to him as Old Yeller:
He was referring to Weaver’s blonde hair, but he could also have used that term to say that Weaver pitched like a dog. Well, the dog is back. No, not with the Yankees. He is with Joe Torre, though. After Torre trashed him in his new book, Weaver came to Dodgers Spring Training and it looks like he’ll be Torre’s long man out of the pen.
Old Yeller came to a sad demise. Weaver’s demise with the Yankees wasn’t sad. It was just ugly. Dogs-howling ugly. How could someone who looked so good in a Yankee uniform perform so badly? Tall, lanky people always look good in pinstripes. Too bad that doesn’t guarantee great production numbers.