Why I Wish I Were AJ Burnett

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 6:55 PM [General]

    "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride." English Proverb.

    There are many things in this world I wish I could change.  Some much more important and philanthropic than others.  I wish there was an end to hunger.  I wish there weren't any wars.  I wish that all diseases have been eradicated from our planet, especially as I sit here with a stuffy nose and a sore throat.

    Then there are the common wishes of everyone I know.  I wish I was  beautiful.  I wish I was thin.  I wish I was taller.  I wish I had more money.  Surprisingly enough, everyone wishes for more money.  Even those who seem to have enough for 30 lifetimes, need more.  I wonder what they plan to do with all that money?  Albert Pujols will need to live to 1000 to use up all the money he is making playing baseball.  Do you really want to live to 1000?  Not I.  Imagine the horror of time and time again watching all your friends and family die.  But maybe if he could live to 1000, he could have everyone around him live to 1000 too.  He could have a 950 year old son.  He could also have a 5-year-old son. **SHUDDER**

    I often hear people say "I wish I was...." and insert a name.  I wish I was president.  I wish I was Peyton Manning.  I wish I was Bruce Springsteen.  I wish I was a supermodel.  Mostly people are looking at the fame and fortune that goes along with that person's position in society.  The prestige, the power, the popularity are all an enticing aphrodisiac ready to be claimed without the years of patience, persistence and practice needed to accomplish such achievement. (And yes, I did watch Mr. Popper's Penguins recently if you were wondering.)

    Yet despite all this, today I decided that I wished I was AJ Burnett.  Yes, that AJ Burnett.  The dismal #2 starting pitcher for the Yankees.  He has a record of 34-35 vs. the Yankees with a 4.79 ERA.  Wow, those are really dismal stats.  The guy who melts down when pressure is applied.  Like that time in chemistry class where the teacher makes a beaker of water boil at room temperature by changing the pressure.  He just totally decomposes.

    Frankly, I have to believe that there are many times that even AJ Burnett doesn't want to be AJ Burnett.  Yet today, on AJ's 35th Birthday, I want to be him. I envy AJ being AJ.

    In honor of AJ's birthday, I see many people commenting on twitter, and even Facebook, on their hopes and aspirations for AJ this season.  Over and over again, I am reading the same words, "I have faith in you AJ".

    You have faith in AJ?  Seriously people.  You trust this guy?  I worry about him hurting others pie-ing them during walk off celebrations, never mind getting out of a self-made bases loaded jam.  I have absolutely no faith at all in him in those situations.  I have more faith that the Easter Bunny is gonna sneak into my house and leave Lindt chocolate under my Christmas Tree while Santa Claus leaves a Lexus with the huge bow on the roof in the driveway next to the pile of money the tooth fairy brought me.

    Honestly, I'm not AJ's mother! (Although in a sick sense I am kinda old enough to be his mother if I gave birth to him in 7th grade like some of the students I see are doing. ) I don't have that unwavering faith, that unconditional love and belief that everything you do is wonderful and destined for greatness that only a mother can see.  You remember the fuss she made when you came from kindergarten with your hand print in clay, with a ribbon tied around the top as a Mother's Day gift.  You would think you had just scaled Kilimanjaro while simultaneously solving world hunger and curing cancer and with your spare time on the summit, you negotiated permanent peace in the Middle East.   I do that with my kids now too.  We want our kids to feel important, to feel loved,  to feel validated.  We want them to know they can do anything, go anywhere, be anyone they want.  And what a beautiful concept.

    Except, it isn't really true.

    Everyone can't be president.   You need connections to even start your political career.  Those who put their names on the ballot trying to make things better without being sponsored by the "correct" people soon find themselves in the single digit of vote tallies.

    Everyone can't be a supermodel.  You really need the right genetics to be stunningly beautiful, amazingly tall and the ability to not eat.  Something every American will tell you is very difficult to do. Height alone is based on a minimum of 3 alleles, you would need them all set to tall to topple 5'10".

    Everyone can't be a starting pitcher for the NYY.  Many have tried, few have made it.  Its more than just skills.  It's the ability to deal with us, the fans, and the press, and the realities of NY.  Yet fans keep repeating some mantra of "I believe in AJ".   I don't have that unwavering faith in AJ, that unconditional love and belief that everything he does is wonderful and destined for greatness.  I cringe every time he climbs the mound.  I pray he doesn't pitch any games I have tickets to. I am not his mother!  I don't have to have unconditional belief in him.  I can demand proof he is good, just like a voters picking a candidate for president.  And you know what, AJ hasn't given me any reason to have faith in a long time.

    Yet miraculously enough, AJ still has his legions of fans who truly believe in him.  And it makes me wonder, how has he pulled this off?  I don't have this kind of faith in myself, nevermind others.  My oldest daughter reminded me 5 times last night to wash her blue and white striped sweater for school today. Ye of little faith, my Faith.  (My oldest daughter's name is Faith, yes that does get confusing sometimes, especially at church).  Faith had little faith that I would get her the special sweater on time, yet I've never missed a clothing deadline!  My youngest, Chloe, is constantly adding basic supplies like chocolate milk, dancing chicken nuggets and whipped cream to the shopping list.  I buy these things every week, yet Chloe doesn't have faith that I will buy them again.  I guess she lives in fear of a house without whipped cream.  Horrors.

    I pick up my husband's shirts from the dry cleaners every week, I pay the mortgage, I take the kids to dentist appointments, I do the laundry, I do all the banking.  I am a model of consistency.  My house is a totally hoarders free environment.  Yet I am asked, reminded or questioned.  "Mom, did you buy...",  "Did you get my shirts from the cleaner?"  "Do we have markers for my science project?".  At work, I see numerous students each week at their homes.  I travel throughout the city, prepare meaningful lessons and teach one on one. Yet I am still asked "Did you submit your time sheets?"  I want to sarcastically reply, "No, I decided to work for free from now on."  Who actually forgets to submit their time sheets?  There is such an undeserving lack of faith of me.

    AJ Burnett is not a model of consistency, yet we all "believe in AJ".   I'm thinking, am I drinking the wrong water that I don't feel this faith?  And how did he earn this faith, while I, Mrs. model of consistency, have gotten none?

    I wonder what it is like to have others have such faith in you?  To have the undying devotion of people you have never met, who swear their allegiance to you and your performance, without a scrap of evidence that you will actually follow through!  Maybe AJ has missed his true calling.  Pitching doesn't seem to be a realistic career goal right now, but faith healer or religious savior might work out.  I could see AJ as a charismatic preacher leading a mega church of believers who all send him 15% of their salary or government checks.   He could be richer than Pujols.  AJ could be a cult leader.  He already seems to have his believing disciples.

    I only wish people had that kind of faith in me.  That kind of over the top unwavering faith, that unconditional love and belief that everything I do is wonderful and destined for greatness.  How glorious that would be.  For just one day, to live where there is so much belief in my ability to do anything I dream of.

    I wonder if I would enjoy this glorious ride or absolutely hate the undeserving love and affection.  I just wish I had the chance to find out.

    But I live in the real world.  I just want to ride to #28.

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    The Bromance, a Pitching Obsession

    Sunday, July 24, 2011, 8:58 PM [General]

    My youngest daughter made her first communion this spring.  She looked like an angel, dressed up in a pooffy
    white dress which she could wear as her bridal gown, if 8 year olds actually got married.  She had the veil and the gloves, the obligatory cross necklace and white high heeled shoes.  She wore her first high heels.  By the end of the day, she hated them, but I just told her it was part of being a girl.  We are uncomfortable.  Get used to it.

    The party afterwards, at my house was full of family and friends.  Some of these friends we have known for over 30 years.  We have shared many good times, and bad times with the happiness and sorrow melding together to form the bond that unites us.  We have grown old together.  And when old friends get together, as usual, we began talking about the present, our futures and our combined past.  The good times we had, and the things we wish we could have changed. One of our richest memories of the past included a fanatical Yankee Fan named Mike.

    Mike is a character. He is one of those people with a heart of gold who wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, but lacking in the ability to socially successfully carry out his intentions.  He is loud and from my observations, doesn’t usually think before he speaks.  He has an addictive personality, which he has conquered in many ways to the joy and relief of his family and friends.  But this addictive personality now shines through when he hooks onto an idea that he feels is meaningful and he is unable to let it go.  No matter what happens, whether it was about his church being remodeled, the plight of the homeless, or his local support group, Mike puts all his energy into the topic forefront in his head abandoning all other ideas until justice has been served.  And in 1995 the topic du jour was the NY Yankees pitching rotation.


    The NYY pitching rotation is always a topic of conversation.  Whether its 2009 with Joba’s inning limits, 2010 and who is the 5th starter and why is Javy Vasquez on the team, or 2011’s do the NYY have a true consistent starter beyond
    CC.  The pitching rotation is the centerpiece of any team and responsible for leading the defense against all competitors.  In 1995, Mike became enamored with a new call up who was starting in the NYY rotation.  Now, my opinion of prospects varies greatly from most other fans.  I see prospects as poker chips to be played or cashed in. 
    My favorite saying about prospects is “Don’t name the cattle”.  As a cattle rancher, you wouldn’t give a name to every animal in your herd.  Besides time consuming, well, you know what will happen to the cattle. 

    At every chance, at every night out, we heard about this young pitcher from Mike.  I remember waiting for the movie Apollo 13 to start while Mike droned on about this new prospect and how great and exciting he was.  And how this guy he had such a long career ahead of him.  How this prospect was the best thing since Star Wars, sliced bread and running water combined.  This obsession was much more than a one way bromance, it was truly over the top, a stalker type obsession. 

    And this was an obsession that he shared with everyone.  Mike wasn’t content to share his bromance with only our group of friends.  Oh No, Mike was a regular caller into talk radio. Often while out, I would hear Mike call into the Mike and the Mad Dog show.  “Mike from XXXX you’re on the air”.  Those words began to fill me with terror.  I truly felt bad for the guy, knowing we were all about to be showered with more bromance love.  Mike and the Mad Dog even discussed on air what could make a fan be so enamored with this pitcher for it to borderline on
    obsession.  For what was so humorous to all of us, except Mike, was that this guy really wasn’t that great a starter.  He wasn’t very good at all.  He had a 5.94 ERA, not very good, but much better than anything I could ever throw. But for some reason, Mike had fallen in love with this pitcher and wouldn’t let him go.  Just as fans fall in love with a player, and become blind to their faults, Mike was blinded to this prospect’s faults as a pitcher.  To Mike, this guy was Cy Young. 

    This led to playful bantering as only friends could do where Mike would defend this player to death until going totally off on us.  Of course, this eventually led to this topic was all but banned from our group.  Whenever the conversation started, one of us would quickly change the subject to something less stressful like war, famine, poverty, taxes, politics or basically anything else.  Even the mere mention of the NYY filled the group with fear.   Gossip was even more favorable than another tirade and ruined evening. Who wanted to hear his fantasy land about the fabulous
    pitcher all the time? Who really cared?

    Eventually, the NYY had enough of the situation too.  The guy bounced around between the majors and AAA, and eventually he was placed in the bullpen.  If we thought Mike was over the top with this bromance before, we had no idea that what was to come would make Fatal Attraction look sane.

    Mike went on a personal rampage to get this guy his starting pitcher job back.  Now, we may all vent on Facebook or Twitter, but I do not see any of us actively trying to change the NY Yankee roster.  But you haven’t met Mike.  Mike complained to everyone who would listen, he was well off the deep end. He started his campaign with incessant calls to talk radio, trying to rally fans to protest this injustice.  He argued so vehemently with Mike Francesa that Mad Dog was mocking him afterwards for the rest of the show. Eventually, Mike was blocked from calling their show.  I know, hard to believe anyone gets blocked from that show.  So then, Mike began phoning people in the NY Yankee organization to make his point.  I know how much I love when people not involved in my job, call me at work to tell me how to do my job, especially over the top hysterical people.  So I can just imagine how great these attempts to contact the NYY front office went over.  He tried desperately to reach George Steinbrenner himself to explain the error of the NY Yankees ways.  Mike tried to find out his private phone number, address and even George’s schedule. Mike planned to casually bump into George at some affair in the city and explain to him that the NYY didn’t know
    what they were doing and had no pitching management skills.  (Part of me wanted to be there for that conversation,
    the other part of me wanted to hide in fear.)  When meeting George didn’t work out, Mike tried to talk to every executive he could think of.  When our group visited to the old Yankee Stadium, Mike would disappear while he tried to get into the executive offices to plead his case.  Everyone from the parking attendants to the concession stand employees to security guards to the police stationed in the stadium knew Mike’s position.  They all nicely sympathized with him, while politely telling him to move on. Our group, for the most part, pretended we had no idea who he was while quietly ensuring we had enough money amongst ourselves to bail him out of jail.  I was expecting to see his picture posted by the entrance gates with Do Not Admit printed underneath. 

    The man was obsessed.  He knew this young pitcher had so much potential.  How could he see this man’s worth and no one else?  If only the Yankees could see it. 

    Eventually, and thankfully, a new girlfriend put this quandary to bed, before Mike got himself arrested as a stalker.  It was a funny moment from out past that we all chuckled over as we consumed Lasagna and brownies in honor of Chloe’s first communion.  Mike has since moved on, and is today still a productive member of society who has overcome many obstacle to be a respected community leader.

    And when all was said and done, ironically, Mike was right.  This young pitcher did have great talent.  Great drive!  Great stuff!  But not starting pitching stuff.  Closing pitching stuff.  Yes, this poor pitcher that Mike spent that
    summer obsessing over was the one and only Mariano Riviera.

    Mo just earned his 25th save this season.  This was his 15th season with at least 25 saves.  A feat that I do not
    think will ever be matched.  And shortly, he will notch his 600th save, all as a Yankee.  He has had a most remarkable career, a Hall of Fame career.  He has lived an unimaginable existence.  He is the greatest closer of all time.  He did have the right stuff. 


    Imagine if Mike had actually met George Steinbrenner, and
    changed his mind and Mo’s past. 

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    Sometimes a Cap isn't just a Cap

    Saturday, July 2, 2011, 2:56 PM [General]


    July 4th weekend has always signaled the official start of Real summer fun for me.  Schools let out in late June in the NY/NJ area, so July 4th weekend is always the start of fun in the sun.  We celebrate the birth of our nation
    with all things Americana:  a family BBQ, a day by the pool, fireworks at the high school football stadium, and NYY

    For July 4th weekend the NYY, along with all the other teams in MLB will wear patriotic caps.  The cap is a marvel of red, white or blue with stars and stripes.  What makes it a marvel is year after year, it just looks wrong. 
    It’s not that it is that ugly, although it just isn’t eye pleasing and I hear some of the players grumble about it. 
    It just doesn’t resemble the team colors and style I am accustomed to. I often think a blue NYY cap is pretty patriotic. 
    And, if a change is really necessary for increasing merchandising, then add some stars and stripes to the sides. 
    I’m always amazed when people buy these caps.  I would think they have limited appeal.  But then again, I don’t understand why people leave that label tape stuck to the bill either. 

    These caps appear year after year on Memorial Day, are brought back out on July 4th weekend, then they are
    resurrected on Labor Day.  All are holidays where people celebrate by joining family and friends for BBQs and pool parties, long weekends at the beach and fun in the sun. These are patriotic holidays that our society has turned into joyful, social events even though the history of Memorial Day would seem to preclude that.  But when those hats are used on September 11th, they make me feel sick.  September 11th isn’t about fun in the sun.  September 11th isn’t
    about beach vacations.  September 11th isn’t about BBQs. I’ve never seen a Kohl’s 9/11 sale, or a Bob’s Furniture 9/11
    deep discount. September 11th is like Pearl Harbor Day, there are not parties, luaus or streamers.  There is
    a somber dignity around 9/11 that other holidays lack.  September 11th is a day of sadness and mourning.  It is a day of remembrance.  A day those of us who lived through just wish we could forget.


    On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, I had taken off work to take Faith, my then 1 year old to her pediatrician for her checkup.  We were moved from the waiting room and ushered into an examining room.  One of
    the Doctors was crying.  Our doctor told me that something had happened at the World Trade Center, and the doctor was trying to contact her husband.  This is how I heard the news. The day was filled with grounded planes, and quiet
    skies.  Highways and roads were closed.  People were frozen wherever they were.  Family friends were trapped for
    days in Las Vegas. Diverted planes landed at airports across the country, and that is where weary passengers stayed until air travel was deemed safe again. 

    I remember spending the day checking on family and friends, especially those who worked in the city.  One friend was late to work, as usual.  I don’t remember the last time this girl was on time for anything.  She was barely off
    the ferry before racing back on and was transported to NJ.  Her office was among the rubble.  Another worked by the Empire State Building.  She had trouble evacuating to NJ.  Her day consisted of hours of walking, abandoning her heels and going barefoot thru Manhattan and finally getting a ferry to NJ.  She gathered those going to her hometown area, and gave the bus driver directions thru every NJ back road so they could reach their destination well after dark without ever touching Route 3 or 46 .  And these were the lucky ones.

    My next days would be unusually busy.  My job was at the local high school.  We immediately went into crisis mode.  A Thursday memorial ceremony in the school’s Peace Garden was interrupted by the school’s drug and alcohol counselor running inside to get word on a missing family member. Rumors went around that he was found, alive.  Rumors would prove to be false.  We would spend weeks talking to students, making sure everyone was OK.  No easy
    task when you have 3000 students in the building.  And of course everyone wasn’t OK.  No one was OK.  No one would ever be OK. It was about learning how to cope.

    My community is close to NYC.  We are a suburb about 20 min out of the Lincoln Tunnel.  From my church, we could
    see the smoke rising from the toothless NY skyline, missing its crown jewel of the twin towers.  When you stood at the
    vestibule doors, the smoke rose through the glass etching of the Ten Commandments, right through commandment #6, at the top of the second page “Thou shall not kill”.  I still look at that etching each Sunday, and even though the smoldering remains are long gone, I remember that for weeks, we could see the city and our future burn. 

    Everyone did what they could.  The First Responders in NYC were outstanding.  They worked tirelessly.  So did many of the citizens around them.  One of my biology teachers was also a podiatrist.  He volunteered his time,
    going to the city to work at ground zero tents to treat those working in the pit.  His colleagues gave up their free
    time to cover so he could leave our high school early.  He would travel through the Lincoln Tunnel, alone as cars were still banned from traveling through the tunnel then spend hours treating those firefighters.  Every
    day we could see the agony of those working at ground zero etched on his face.  

    A history teacher’s husband was a welder.  He and his friend loaded their pickup with their equipment and drove to the city. She tells of them being allowed through the Holland Tunnel, and escorted out on the NY side to the
    ground zero site. There they helped at the ground zero site for days in work they wouldn’t speak of.

    My sister-in-law had her CCD students bake treats for the FBI, which worked around the clock to find the terrorists
    responsible.  Some people prepared meals for others.  Others checked on shut-ins.  People donated food and water, clothing, whatever was needed.  We became a community that cares.  In the depths of desperation, we found hope.


    September 11th is a special day in the history of our country. For all of us who lived through those eerie days of
    skies bereft of airplanes, and highways closed to all traffic, September 11th will never be a day of celebration, but of mourning.  Maybe more so for those of us in the NY metro area who live daily with its aftermath. For the death toll continues to rise from those who breathed in toxic fumes to those who have lost hope.  Those who volunteered to help others continue to be repaid for their kindness with respiratory distress and disease. For those who gave their lives, and those who lost their future, September 11th is a day to remember, and honor those who serve. 

    Faith graduated 5th grade in June.  As she left her elementary school with her went the last of the students who were actually alive September 11, 2001.  Not that she has any memory of that day.  Her thoughts about 9/11 will be on how we, as a society, explain those events to her. How we, as a society, portray 9/11 to the next generation.  How
    we, as a society, show respect to the people and events of 9/11.   I never want her to think of this as a day of rejoicing, but as a day of sadness for all that was lost and pride in all that stepped up to the plate to help out. 


    So MLB I challenge you.  Dump those ridiculous stars and stripes red, white and blue hats for September 11th. Make sure the Mets and Yankees are in NYC.  Have the players wear first responder caps, Fire vs. Police; army vs. navy; EMTs vs. National Guard.  Use the proceeds from these caps to pay for scholarships for those whose parents died during the terrorist attacks, or the fall out afterwards.  Do not promote 9/11 as a day of Americana BBQ joy, but as a day of Americana sorrow peppered with pride.  Do it because September 11th is a day of respect for those who have chosen to spend their lives helping all those around them, even at risk to their own lives.  Do it because it is the way we want our society to remember those who gave so much. Do it to honor those who truly stepped up to the plate on 9/11.  Do it for Faith and her generation so that they will truly understand.


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    The Yankee Team Mom

    Sunday, May 8, 2011, 12:35 PM [General]

    Today is Mother’s Day.  A day we in America honor those women who have raised us, and made us who we are.  For better or for worse, moms have been there as the driving force in our lives.  They have given up many of their comforts and most of their time to raise their families full of love and happiness.  They have caused us to love or hate by their attitudes, their values, and their joy in living.  While the 1950’s mom encouraged her sons to play football and her daughters to take ballet, today’s moms have crossed the boundaries and have as eclectic tastes as there are flavors of ice cream.  And these interests have created a population unique and self-assured.

    Many of us owe our love of sports, to not only our dads, who took us to games, and explained all the rules, and subtleties, but also to our moms, who did the same.  Our moms put up with late dinner and later homework as there were countless T-ball practices, and games which went on forever with final scores of 56-55.  Our moms moved dinner times around to accommodate when MLB’s game start times, and let us eat on TV trays so we didn’t miss a pitch.  Our moms were probably more important in our love of baseball development because if they hasn’t approved, we would all be at the opera right now. 

    My love of baseball started when I was little, and my mom told my dad to take me, along with my brother to meet Willie Mays.  He was signing autographs at a local appliance store.  We waiting in line for hours, and saw him for only a moment.  His eyes looked tired, after spending the night signing autographs for fans and kids, his hands were hardened from years of swinging a bat and fielding balls. His back was achy from being hunched over a table he dwarfed, as his normal office didn’t require a desk.  He was older by then, but it was still magical looking into his face, and seeing the love he still had for the game, the fans and for life. 

    Willie Mays came from another era.  An era where the road to the majors was not so expensive.  For many of today’s players, the road to the majors is paved by moms, giving up many luxuries for entrance fees to tournaments and teams, traveling around the country on weekends going from showcase to showcase, and giving up precious family time so that these future professional athletes could reach their dreams.

    And yet when these young men finally make it into MLB, there is a lack of women to guide them.  I wonder what that must be like.  After years of strong women nurturing and growing them, from their moms at home, to their pseudo-moms, their teachers, at school, to nothing.  It occurs to me that this might just be what MLB needs.  Team Moms. 

    I, of course, will be the NYY team mom.  My qualifications are impeccable.  Let me share my resume with you. 

    Background:  I have two adorable girls, ages 8 and 10, who are diehard Yankee fans.  They complain bitterly when I go to games without them.  They know the players, they know their positions, and they have picked out their Yankee husbands.  They have pink Yankee hats, pink foam fingers, and authentic jerseys.  My Yankee fandom cannot be questioned.   This would be an asset to the clubhouse where I could help rally the team on to victory.  I could heckle the umpires with taunts of them dressing inappropriately for TV, with call of “That mask is the wrong color; it doesn’t match your chest protector.” If not, I could incite a good bench clearing brawl for entertainment purposes only.

    Mommy Skills:

    1. Medical Expertise.  I have bandaged numerous skinned knees and scraped elbows.  I have held hands through minor and major surgeries.  I have the superhuman ability to kiss booboos and make them feel better.  This would have come in useful just this week, as I could have stopped Chavez from going on the DL.  Of course this would have involved kissing his foot, but as a Mom, I’m willing to take one for the team.  I’m thinking Nick Johnson should travel with his mom at all times.
    2. Diagnostic Skills.  I can determine from another room whether a child has a cold or allergies.  I daily decide if children are well enough to go to school or not.  Think how this is such a necessary skill for the NYY.  I’ve often wondered why players who are soooo sick go to the ballpark just to sit all day.  Doesn’t it make more sense for them to stay at the team hotel, eat soup, drink tea from room service, and sleep in a comfortable bed?  By being in the clubhouse, aren’t they just infecting each other in an underground environment ripe for the spread of viruses and bacteria?  Here is where I would be infinitely valuable.  Sick players would be made to stay at the hotel, with a visiting mom service hired to provide extra moms for the sick players.  These visiting moms would kiss foreheads, order tea, make you eat soup, and encourage you to sleep and watch bad TV.  At the clubhouse, as the head mom, I will be looking for signs of illness, and spraying Lysol continually.  Sick players would be immediately isolated and sent back to the hotel.  No more flulike symptoms running rampant in my clubhouse.  Media, reporters and beat writers would be checked at the door for signs of illness.  We can’t have any germs brought into our sterile environment.  One cough from Kim Jones, and she would be shown to the door, or asked to interview Boone Logan. 
    3. Preventative Skills.  Helping players feel better is only half the battle.  My goals would include preventative action.  Players would no longer be allowed to play in the rain.  Or extreme cold.  Or extreme heat.  How healthy can it be to get all hot and sweaty in a cold rain?  I know that CC’s mom would agree.  Not on my watch.  And to be stretching those muscles on cold Minnesota evenings during April.  Come on! Alex had hip surgery.  We don’t want anything snapping in the temperature extremes!  Not happening.   And an afternoon game in 110F in Kansas City, No Way! Colon would get heat stroke!  I would have the ability to order other teams to install Air conditioning to outdoor facilities.  As team mom, I would have the power to overrule the umpires and MLB and ultimately Bud Selig on this issue of safety and preventative precautions.  The schedule might also be shortened, or shorter games played, depending on if the Yankees are winning. During the 5th inning, if I deemed the climate inhospitable, I would have Joe send Mo to the mound to get the obligatory save. Then call the game.
    4. Laundry Skills.  As a mom, I do at least 3 large loads of laundry a day in a machine that can fit a king sized quilt.  Yes that is a lot.  But everyone needs to look presentable and clean.  Therefore, I applaud the clean shaven, short hair look of the NYY.  A mom’s all American dream.  But these rules need to go further.  From this day further, no dirty uniforms will be allowed in the field.  So Jeter, you slide into 2nd headfirst during the first inning, you better be prepared to change your shirt when you get back to the dugout.  No going back out onto the field to play looking like you was playing in the dirt, even though you are.  And Gardner, the same to you with those diving, grass stained shirts.  Except after the game, you are going to be scrubbing those jerseys with a toothbrush.  Not easy getting out those stains Mister!
    5. Hygiene.  We all know this is essential to the health and wellbeing of all.  Therefore, as team mom, there will be no more chew allowed.  First of all, it is a bad habit which causes cancer.  But it is also gross.  Like the rest of us need to see you spit?  And while talking about spitting, there will be no more spitting.  Saliva is an essential part of the digestion progress, and it stops dehydration.  Everyone will swallow their saliva from now on.  You think I want to mop that up?  And when you spit, the rest of us walk in your saliva, then walk on the field, which others dive on.  EWWWW!  And Jorge and Cervelli, no more rubbing dirt on your hands from the home plate area.  That area is filled with DNA from the saliva of other players, which then gets passed to the ball which the rest of us touch.  EWWW! 
    6. Diet. Also banned will be sunflower seeds in shells.  Who is the poor schlump who has to clean up that mess? Moms make everyone clean up after themselves.  If the players had to sweep out the dugout, no one would be spitting out those shells.  I have never mastered the art of DE-shelling sunflower seeds in my mouth and I have lived a productive life.  Buy the deshelled ones from now on.  And Alex, no batting with a mouthful of food!  What if you choke to death?  Does Cano know the Heimlich?

    Organizational Skills:  As a mom, I have organized numerous schedules integrating all members of the family.  I have coordinated many fundraising events for my school and church.  I keep a household running efficiently on less money than Nunez makes in a month.  Therefore I would be an asset to the Yankee organization.  I would be able to reorganize Girardi’s binder for maximum input with minimum controversy.  Pages that are headed with 7th inning pitcher, 8th inning pitcher, 6th inning pitcher would be shredded and recycled.  Advanced sabermetrics such as that that show Tex is an awful 1st baseman would be banned.  The person who collects and collates and prints out all that material would be reassigned to spraying Lysol on the field to kill the bacteria from opposing players spit.

    Motivator:  A mom is the family cheerleader.  She picks people up when they are down, and kicks them in the butt when they need it. In mom’s world, it doesn’t matter if you are going to the hall of fame, if you need to be talked to, she will do it.  Imagine how this could play out for the NYY.  AJ never would have had a bad season last year.  Mom would have fixed that.  And Soriano, I would march out there in the middle of the inning and make him apologize if he ever started up with an ump again and that eye rolling would stop.  And Nunez would have made only 1 error vs. Detroit.  That would have been fixed, and done with so he could have concentrated on the game.

    And as far as Phil, I would keep his spirits up and his soul focused while he worked out and gains strength.  I would also have him being a productive member of the Yankee team so he would not be home switching channels during a game.  Moms always find something to keep their kids active and motivated.  Phil could chart pitches; devise a game plan with Martin or maybe AJ could mentor him in pie throwing. 

    Intuition:  As a mom, I have learned to read between the lines, and find the truth.  I can take the most benign incident and find its underlying cause.  A bad grade on a test can be from a hidden playground bullying incident.  This could have major contributions to the NYY.  For examples, I realized that Jeter was having knee problems last season when I saw a picture of him in the Post in cargo pants.  He had to have been hiding a knee brace.  That is the only possible explanation for Jeter, a fashion forward, wearing cargo pants.  Fellow tweeter @mochachick8 this year confirmed my suspicion during the Texas series.  While in the stands she saw Jeter adjust said brace.  This was confirmed by those sitting around her behind the NYY dugout.  As @mochachick8 ‘s dad had stated, a bad knee leads to a bad back which leads to pitches inside he can’t get to.  Just like DiMaggio.  There! As team mom I solved the Jeter quandary.  As for JoPo, he will start hitting well after his kids surgery in June.  Issue over.  Swish’s hitting woes? I have that answer too! 

    Fashion:  I think when you are appearing on TV, you should dress nicely in coordinating colors and patterns.  All players after the game would need to dress in stylist yet personality enhancing clothing.  I will personally help each player achieve their fashion potential through individualized hands on shopping experiences.

    Past Work Experience:  I worked in a large NJ high school (almost 4000 students) for 20 years teaching chemistry to 17 year olds.  I currently teach high school science to students who are too ill to go to school, or who temporarily lack mobility (broken leg), pregnant students on maternity leave, or gang members banned from school at their homes.  This should more than qualify me to work with the NYY.  I would love the easier environment of working in the Bronx.

    I have taught CCD, and have run 2 daisy troops, 2 brownie troops and 1 Junior Scout troop.  If I can deal with hormonal preteens, parents planning wedding sized first communion parties and small children, the NYY should be a breeze.

    Additional Skills: I can tell a blood from a crip.  I helped deliver puppies. I’ve raced world cup yachts. I am afraid of birds. I am immune to dirt.  I am able to find any address, no matter how bad the directions. I can handicap a harness race.  I have over 40,000 tweets(this may be a negative). 39998 of those tweets were about the NYY.   I haven’t updated my FB page in a month.  I speak Spanish so poorly that people laugh at me. I use stub hub regularly. I have the MLB app and the NYY app on my phone, but not CNN app. I truly believe I speak weekly with David Price’s dog ( @Astro_dpsdog ) I once had a question on the Joe Girardi Show.  My fantasy baseball team makes players go on the DL list (If this isn’t a marketable skill, I don’t know what is then!)  I make the BEST brownies.  I can tailor them to each player’s needs.  CC would have my new Captain Crunch Brownies,  Alex’s will have sunflower seeds, DRob’s will be layered with marshmallows and chocolate bars giving them the high sock look. 

    References: @Astro_dpsdog;  @sunnysocal;  @yankeeMegInPhl (creator of the rally bra!) Others available upon request. 

    I am more than qualified to be NY Yankee team mom and look forward to hearing from you.

    Contact me: Twitter @dp57 I’m available to start immediately!

    And Happy Mother’s Day!

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    What If This Is The End?

    Sunday, May 1, 2011, 5:26 PM [General]

    I can’t imagine what Phil Hughes is thinking today. Feeling today.  Being today.  He is sitting in a hotel room in St. Louis, waiting to see if he has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.  His life must be a living hell.  Waiting, wondering, hoping and maybe praying.  Tomorrow he sees the specialist.  Tomorrow he starts the journey to learn his fate. Does he have this circulatory problem?  Will he need surgery to remove a rib? Will this only require some physical therapy?  Will his life follow the path to baseball greatness, will he be able to compete in MLB, and will he end up a high school baseball coach, filled with stories from his few years in the show, and a wish that life had treated him better.  How will he face the possibility of the end?  With dignity and grace?  Hope and desperation? Despair? 

    We all come at some point to a fork in the road.  Andy Pettitte did so last winter.  He decided to end his baseball career to spend time with his family.  He made a choice which devastated many, but was the right one for him.  But somehow his choice was different, because it was his choice. It was his right to choose.  Andy chose to end his career.  What of those who don’t get to choose?

    There are so many I know of, who are unemployed.  Not by choice but by economy.  They did not choose to remain home with their families, but there they are.  They are trying to get back to a work force that is changing.  Trying to find a place as a productive member of gainfully employed society, without the safety net of a lifetime worth of money stored in a bank account in the Caymans.  They need to support their families, to pay their mortgages, to buy food.  They live with the underlying fear that maybe that last job was their last good job.  Was this the end of their employment career?  

    Others fight on, not wanting to get to the end of their careers.  They are holding on, hoping they can fight off the hands of time.  They hope that they are able to keep that magical fountain of youth from escaping their grasp for just a little longer.  Mo is 41.  He has to be feeling the aches and pains of age.  The simplest things start to become more complicated.  What was once on auto-pilot now requires some thought.  Maybe it isn’t so much getting older, as getting wiser.  Knowing each day, the end is near.  Knowing that each moment on the mound is special, because tomorrow is can be taken from you, in a microsecond.  And then what?  What do you do when you reach the end?

    I wonder how Jorge Posada feels.  At almost 40, he is near the end.  Baseball is a young man’s game.  It is made for those still quick and nimble.  It is made for those not ravaged by years of playing catcher, with multiple concussions, achy knees, and pummeled hands.  I wonder if he realized each time he stepped behind in the plate in 2010 it would be his last season there.  If he recognized it would be his last time as the director of the infield; his last time as both a fielder and a hitter.  I wonder if each at bat this season, he wonders if this is his last April, his last May.  I wonder how you function, when you know the end is near.

    Today I went to the 95th birthday party of my great aunt.  She is still living independently in a senior living apartment, taking care of her own breakfast and lunch each day.  My parents do her food shopping, but only because she refuses to pay the prices at the store downstairs from her.  She has slowed considerably, and needs more naps and reads voraciously, but overall she is doing great, especially for 95. She had outlived all her sisters and brothers, and all of her girlhood friends. I wonder how she approaches each day.  She is surely closer to the end of her life than the beginning.  She has seen more sunrises than are ahead of her.  (Though, frankly, I could be wrong.  She is quite the mustang.)  How do you face each day knowing the end is near?

    I hate endings.  I avoid them whenever possible.  I hate that my babies have turned into kids, and my kids are turning into preteens.  I hate that my daughter is leaving the safety of her elementary school and entering middle school in the fall.  I hate that her childhood is ending. But change is inevitable, and part of life.  And with change comes new beginnings, and endings.  How you face them is how you choose to live your life.  It shows the person you are, and the beliefs you have.  For me, changes have brought many endings in my life.  Yet I’ve always thought, please let me leave on my own, before they ask me to.  When I’m gone, don’t let everyone say, “Thank God”, but rather that they miss me. 

    So tomorrow is Phil’s big day.  How will he face it if it is the end?

    How will you face it if it is Phil’s end?

    How will you face your own end?

    0 (0 Ratings)

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