#baseball

THE INTRICACIES OF THE GAME

 

Another baseball season begins and as teams vie for fortune and for fame…I’m reminded of the time I tried to teach my children….

 

THE INTRICACIES OF THE GAME

 

It was years ago when we took our children to the ballpark on a bright and sunny day.

We wore baseball caps, sat in the stands and watched grown men at play.

 

We’d been sitting for a few innings when I heard my daughter exclaim,

“Daddy, this is boring...what do you like about this game?”

 

It seemed at their young age my children didn’t share my baseball adoration…and I was sure they weren’t quite ready for a lengthy explanation.

 

As we basked in the sunshine eating hot dogs with ketchup and mustard on our buns…I could have explained the rules of the game, about strikes and balls and runs.

 

I could have taken that opportunity surrounded by my children and my wife to explain how baseball, if we let it, can teach us about life.

 

I could have pointed out, although it is individual player’s name we scream, baseball teaches people to work together as a team.

 

That baseball teaches humility…for no matter how hard you work, or what path you in life you choose…sometimes you’re going to win...and sometimes you’re going to lose.

 

That baseball teaches perseverance, determination, tenacity and grit…that you shouldn’t worry when you strike out because you’ll get another chance to hit.

 

That you must endure the slumps in life and the havoc they may wreak…If you’re also to enjoy the jubilance and the joy of a winning streak.

 

I wanted to say no matter how many bases you run...no matter where you roam…that life will circle back and you’ll always feel safe at home.

 

All these thoughts went through my mind as we sat in the park that day…wondering what to tell my children as we watched grown men at play.

 

“What do I like about baseball,” I said smiling for suddenly I knew “What I like best about baseball...is sharing it with you".

 

Our children are all grown now and, as far as baseball...that’s a shame…because I never got to explain to them the intricacies of the game.

 

 

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BASEBALL

BASEBALL

 

Walking by an empty stadium I was reminded the other day

of when we took our children to the ball park to watch grown men at play.

 

We were in the stands with our baseball caps on when I heard my daughter exclaim,

“Daddy, this is boring...what do you like about this game?”

 

As I handed each of them a hot dog, with ketchup and mustard on their buns

I could have explained the rules of the game, what are strikes and balls and runs.

 

I could have taken that opportunity surrounded by my children and my wife

to explain how baseball, when we think about it, can teach us about life.

 

I could have pointed out although it is the individual player’s name we scream

how baseball teaches people to work together as a team.

 

That baseball teaches humility…that sometimes you’ll hear cheers…

and sometimes you’ll hear boos 

That some games you are going to win…and some…you’re going to lose.

 

That baseball teaches perseverance, determination, tenacity and grit

how you shouldn’t worry when you strike out for you’ll get another chance to hit.

 

I wanted to tell them down whatever paths they choose…no matter where they roam

When they round the bases to look for us…we’ll be waiting for them at home.

 

These are the thoughts that ran through my mind as we sat in the park that day

wearing our caps, eating our hot dogs…watching grown men at play.

 

“What do I like about baseball,” I said smiling for the answer suddenly I knew

“What I like best about baseball is sharing it with you”.

 

Our children are all grown up now…time moves on…and that’s a shame

because I never got to explain to them…the intricacies of the game.


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AMERICA'S PASTTIME

On our way into the stadium before the game had even begun

I saw them walking together…a father and his son.

 

They were excited, smiling…laughing as father and son are wont to do

They had on matching hats and shirts…the same color…Toronto blue.

 

The son was wearing a mitt on his hand…to me it looked brand new

Hoping, I’m sure, to catch a foul ball and make a dream come true.

 

I saw them at the concession stand where the father gave his son a wink

and said, “We’d like two hot dogs, two french fries and two drinks.”

 

On our way down to our seats still before the game had even begin

I saw them sitting in front of us…a father and his son.

 

They were excited, smiling…laughing as father and son are wont to do

Only this father and son were much older…in their matching Toronto blue.

 

I watched as the son put down his old mitt, stood and ask his father loud and clear

“Dad, I’m going to the concession stand…do you want a hot dog and a beer?”

 

The father looked up at his son, smiled and nodded his head…

“I’d like that.” His voice was barely above a whisper…

"The usual.” He said.

 

On our way out of the stadium…after the visiting team had won

I saw them walking together…these two fathers and two sons.

 

And it reminded me of what I love about baseball…

where the future meets the present and the present meet the past

where families just by watching a game make memories that last…

 

where fathers and sons come together…

fathers and daughters too

where even if the home team lost…and no foul ball was caught

 

dreams can still come true.


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Arsenal

Arsenal are trying to sign some "very big, very expensive players" this summer, says manager Unai Emery.

http://todayrecently.com

Several fan groups and bloggers have called for change at the club and Emery said the Gunners are being "very demanding" with their transfer targets.

They have already had bids rejected for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney.

"Our target is to achieve three or four players who really improve our team and our squad now," said Emery.

"We have very good players and very good young players who can progress to take and get big performances with us. Other players can come here to help us.

"We are being very, very demanding and we are first speaking about the possibility to sign very big, very expensive players."

Arsenal's only summer signing so far has been Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli but they are targeting Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba - though north London rivals Tottenham are also keen on the French 18-year-old.

Having missed out on Champions League qualification, the Gunners' transfer budget is thought to be as low as £40m.

So far they have made an offer of £25m for 22-year-old Scotland international Tierney, plus £40m for 26-year-old Ivorian Zaha, who has four years left on his contract and is valued at about £80m by Palace.

"I don't think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation," Palace boss Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports.

"I'm sure the player realises that if someone's going to take him away from us, he'll expect clubs to pay the market value. Until someone does that, there's not much to discuss regarding Wilf."

Author's Notes/Comments: 
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Love Hurts

Northside of Chi-Town is full of emotion.
In the ‘45 Series Cubs and Tigers are battling.
Sianis buys two tickets to show his devotion.
Is booted ‘cause his billy goat won’t stop bahbling.
He curses the Cubbies and causes a commotion.
 
But spring is rooted in fans' love and devotion
Like lush, green, yellow, crimson, ivy will never
Stop growing. Year after year fans fear
Hearts will shatter but remain forever
Faithful chanting “Wait ‘til next year!”
 
Generations grow up cheering with great emotion.
Generations grow old enduring gut-wrenching loss 
Bleeding among Lovable Losers time
And again, but no Cubbie faithful dares cross
To the Southside—it’d be a traitorous crime.
 
In 2003, faithful fans’ love and devotion
Promises fruition as Dusty Baker 
Arrives Northside heralded as the Cubs’ savior.
But NLCS Game 6 at Wrigley is a heartbreaker.
Cubs need five outs but collide with a traitor.
 
Steve Bartman’s still in hiding; his name elicits emotion. 
Castillo’s bat aims grenade over foul territory.
Cubs’ fielder Alou springs towards the heavens to snatch
But when feet touch dirt Cubs land in purgatory.
Faithful gasp: Curse of the Billy Goat sets a rematch.
 
Since that fateful day in ‘45 exploding with emotion 
Wrigley hasn’t seen another World Series.
Since Bartman's affair in 2003, Cubs haven’t won 
A playoff series. But Billygoat yaks to Mrs. O’Leary’s 
Ol’ Cow an’ scoffs at the new scapegoat’s unearned run.
 
In 2011, after 91-losses, Ricketts proves his devotion
Adding the sabermetrics guru who now values emotions.
Epstein arrives at Northside championing human connections
Rebuilds Cubs’ roster with players who reverse the motion
108-years and character solves equation for a winners’ resurrection.
 
Hearts ripping open is a crushing emotion
But fans never stopped believin' in near 
Foreseeable future ‘cause they’re loyal
Lovers and nothin’s as good as baseball ‘n’ beer 
At Wrigley for 81 games on your own home soil.
 

MY DAD AND BASEBALL

My father loved his baseball, he said, “One day you will see,

how baseball is a lot like life…come…sit…and watch with me.”

 

He said, “When it’s your turn to bat…you do not know your fate.”

“You take a couple practice swings…and step up to the plate.”

 

“You’re ready…but a little nervous, as you hear the catcher pound the mitt.”

“Will you make an out this time…or will you get a hit.”

 

“And sometimes you get that hit…and sometimes you make an out.”

“For that, my son, is what baseball…and life are all about.”

 

“But the wonderful thing about life and baseball…is no matter how you do,

the next time you come up to bat…I’ll still root for you.”

 

As I watched my granddaughter play softball yesterday,

I had to smile as my childhood and adulthood met…

It seems my father gets much smarter

 

the older that I get.


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