New Orleans Baby Cakes


-David Strobach-

*WARNING: Scary big babies below.  Viewers may experience nightmares*

The Miami Marlins Triple-A affiliate’s named has been changed from the Zephyrs to the Baby Cakes…Yes, that is correct.  Let’s take a look…

The nightmares…It’s like Mardigra Chuckie with a baseball bat and a crown.  I wouldn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night and see this big baby.  Maybe that’s how they are supposed to intimidate opposing teams?  I mean if I saw a team of big Chuckie babies, I am GONE.+

Aside from the fact that the  mascot is terrifyingly hideous,  I get it.  I do love how this name applies to the New Orleans area and their religious traditions.

So, if a player goes through the Marlin’s Minor League system, they    get promoted from a Jumbo Shrimp to a Baby Cake! #GOALS

What are your thoughts on this new logo?

Baseball – THE CASTRO CONNECTION


-David Strobach.-

There is no Hall of Fame where Castro is going……

Fidel Castro, the cruel and harsh Cuban dictator, may have had an opportunity that could have altered the path of Cuba, history and his own life.  Fidel Castro was a star pitcher at the University of Havana.  It was always rumored that Fidel tried out for either the Washington Senators or the New York Yankees.  So…what if?  What if he had made the team?

This is more than baseball…this is world history.

Castro, one of the most cruel dictators in the world; could things have gone differently?  He ranks among the inhumane ruthless dictators in history.  Let’s review:  Castro, a communist, lived in an obscenely luxurious palace, ruled with violent military force, while his own people would average an income of about 19 dollars a month.  Human rights were being stripped from the people including: freedom of choice, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech.  Embargos left the people hungry and without employment. Whoever would oppose him was imprisoned, many “disappeared”, and thousands were forced to flee Cuba.  So many innocent lives and families were affected.  Sadly, numerous people were tortured and killed.

Think about this.  What would’ve have happened to Cuba if Fidel Castro made it to the “Bigs?”  Would so many lives still have been ruined? Would another ruthless dictator just have taken his place in history?  How would the Cuban missile crisis have turned out?  Would it ever have happened at all? Would Cuba be communist?  If not, would they have been our allies?  Could the Cold War have ended differently or at least the threats?  Could world history have been totally different?  What if headlines read, CASTRO THROWS NO HITTER! instead of CASTRO KILLS PROTESTERS????

Image result for fidel castro baseball

It’s amazing to think . . . what would have happened if he had only made the team and been part of something awesome, like BASEBALL !?!?!?

PERHAPS NOW, AFTER HIS PASSING, RELATIONS WITH CUBA WILL CHANGE……AND IN TURN, WE CAN ENJOY BASEBALL TOGETHER!

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Pic from: http://sabr.org/bioproj/topic/fidel-castro-and-baseball

 

 

Living Strong


-David Strobach-

In honor of the anniversary of my brother Zach kicking cancer’s butt, I wanted to post our story.

 

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I was sitting at the kitchen table one afternoon, in early October, 2005 drawing a picture.  My sister Delilah was at her friend’s house, my brother Zach went to a car show with friends, and my twin, Sophie, was home with me. The sun was shining, trying to add warmth to the crisp cool fall day.  And, there I sat, carefree, enjoying the pretty fall colors, drawing leaves with assorted crayons of red, yellow, and orange.  Then, my mother received a troubling phone call from one of Zach’s friends.  His friend, Nate, with a sickening worry in his voice told my mother that Zach was having intense pain in his groin and lower back.  He couldn’t even walk.  I saw my mom put down the phone, knowing something was wrong from the look on her face.  Even though I was only five years old, I could sense something wasn’t right.  That was when the darkness came.

As soon as Zach got home, my mother rushed outside.  I never actually saw Zach and that’s when I knew that it could be more serious.  She told me she had to take Zach to the hospital.  That’s when I flipped my picture over to draw something else.  I started to draw a picture for Zach of him in an ambulance.  I was hoping everything would be okay.

Looking back, I remember my mother telling me that she thought Zach may have just torn or popped something in his groin or lower back because he was a skater and may have fallen.  She thought some movement may have made it “out of whack.”  Zach had a slight pain for a little while before the car show day.  He even went to a chiropractor for some physical therapy.  This was a very reasonable and a logical thought.  She was very wrong and the darkness stayed.

Mom transported Zach from his friend’s car to our car and rushed him to the hospital.  There, they found a mass on one of Zach’s testicles.  My mom heard a vague comment about Lance Armstrong, but was confused. They wouldn’t tell her anything other than to come back the next morning to see a specialist.  They decided to do immediate surgery even without a biopsy.  A biopsy was too risky because there was a risk that trying to extract this suspicious mass would cause some cells to fall into the bloodstream.  If some cells fell into the bloodstream, it could spread throughout his body.

After surgery, the doctors reported to my parents that Zach had cancer for sure.  It was called testicular cancer.  They told her it was the most aggressive type of cancer cell.  The doctors did say that they believed that they extracted all of the cancer.  Zach was sent home and everything was thought to be okay.  They also found nothing in his blood cells to detect cancer.  They didn’t know Zach was “marker negative,” which means the cancer cells would not come up in blood tests.  My mother thought it was strange that he was just fine.  Maybe it was just the darkness, but she had a gut feeling that something was wrong.
Just to be sure, my mother wanted a second opinion.  She took Zach down to Rush hospital in Chicago.  The doctor they saw was a trained specialist in this field.  He worked under the doctor that treated the famous biker, Lance Armstrong, who also had testicular cancer.  After Zach was checked out, the doctors brought back terrible news.  The cancer had already spread to parts of his abdomen and lymph nodes. It would be awhile before the light and laughter would return to our home.

It’s so weird how life can literally change in an instant.  Before this, Zach was on top of the world.  He had just turned sixteen, had a girlfriend, got a driver’s license, and he got a sharp little sports car.   He had just started his junior year at Walden H.S.  Then it came all crashing down on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  The clouds and the darkness came in the form of cancer, an uninvited stranger in our home.  If left unchecked, the cancer would have progressed to the lungs and to the brain.  Zach again needed a very complicated and immediate surgery.  If my mother didn’t trust her gut and didn’t bring him in for a second opinion, the doctors said Zach would have died within six months to 2 years.

My mom and dad, understandably, had trouble dealing with the news.  They felt overwhelmed, depressed and shocked.  They couldn’t process and learn all the necessary information fast enough.  My sister, Delilah, was in fifth grade and adored Zach.  She was scared, but young enough to be a little clueless.  Sophie and I could sense something was wrong, but we were confused.  Cancer was like having an unwelcome stranger move in, where everyone is acting differently, and I tried to be on my best behavior. Sadness clouded our family.  We were scared that we didn’t know what was wrong.  There many hushed phone calls and sleepless nights for us all.  Zach was down mentally and physically, scared, exhausted, yet hopeful, and strong.  It was frustrating for him to have to rely on everyone else to do things for him.  Zach was used to being thought of as a good-looking guy and vanity wise, it began to hurt his ego.  He just wanted life to get back to normal.

In the surgery they removed all of the cancerous areas that were shown on the MRI’s.  Then, they ordered several treatments of chemotherapy to flush out all remaining cells.  He was out on a six month plan which was considered short, but still treacherous.  Chemotherapy is a variety of medicine that they put through an IV in your body to attack your cancer cells.  But in fact, it really is poison that kills the fastest growing cells in your body which include the lining of your mouth, your intestines, white blood cells, hair, nails, skin, and finally cancer cells.  So while you’re attacking cancer cells, you are attacking all of those other things.  A lot of people think chemotherapy is one thing, but each phase is different.  It’s specifically designed for each patient.  There is also some trial and error because too much can harm you and too little wouldn’t help at all.

Just when you think having cancer is bad enough, going through the chemotherapy results in devastating side effects.  When mom brought Zach to the chemotherapy section of the hospital she said it sucked the air out of her lungs and she couldn’t breathe.  Everyone around her looked like they were dying.  She realized Zach would look like this soon.  Zach lost his hair everywhere on his body.  He once said that you don’t realize how much you need you nose hair because when you bend over everything drains out. He laughed, a little bit of light broke through.  His hair follicles even hurt.  A vivid memory my mother still sadly tells me is when Zach was lying in the hospital bed and complained that his head hurt.  When he shifted, a huge chunk of his beautiful, black, thick hair was now part of the pillow and no longer a part of Zach.  It took my mother’s breath away and she was speechless as she started to tear up.  When Zach lost his hair I remember being terrified of him. Until then, the scars and gory stuff was buried beneath bandages and clothes.  Now, I could see the metamorphosis left behind by cancer.  Sunken, lifeless eyes and pale grey, hairless skin moved into my brother’s body. Zach was so weak, so sad that his little siblings, including myself, were scared of him.  He was frightened, not recognizing his own reflection in the mirror.

The darkness grew and black spots began to appear on his fingertips and toes.  It was the chemo burning his body from the inside out.  Also as a result of the chemo, Zach had painful ulcers in his mouth and intestines.  He experienced nausea and brain fog.  My mother tells me that one day Zach woke up screaming and peeing blood because of kidney stones caused by the chemotherapy.  To try to counteract some of the side effects they gave Zach steroids.  These at least provided some relief and gave Zach an appetite, but also resulted in a bloated look, further distorting his normal good looks. But Zach, my brother, my inspiration, was not going to be beat.

Glimmers of light started to appear and brighten our home and Zach’s spirits.  We were all going to battle to fight this!  Zach’s support from Walden was monumental.  Students and staff sent him well wishes and bought him a PSP video game to occupy his time at home. Many of his friends were always there for him.   At my grade school and church, St. Rita’s, we would pray for him every day.  We were fortunate to have many friends and family that helped make and deliver meals to our house.  The support and prayers from others helped us greatly as well. The doctors and nurses were amazing.  They all began to provide hope, and a light at the end of the tunnel that drove out the darkness.


About a year later, Zach was finally done with treatment.  It’s a bitter sweet, and somewhat fearful feeling that treatment is over.  It didn’t feel like an endgame, it felt like a waiting game to see if “it” comes back.   Zach wasn’t going to sit around and wait for anything, there was too much living to do. Zach went on to enjoy prom, graduate from high school and get a degree from Marquette University. He is happy, healthy, handsome again, and the bravest man I know.  And here I sit, nine years later, at the kitchen table, not drawing but typing. The sun is shining brightly, adding warmth to a glorious cool day.

“You beat cancer by HOW you live, WHY you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

-Stuart Scott

 

Bleacher Boy Logo Reveal


-David Strobach-

Today I have a big reveal for you all! I am totally psyched to share my new logos created especially for Bleacher Boy.  After some less than scientific surveys of fans, family, and friends, I am pleased to say we have 2 winners.  My primary logo, liked by serious baseball fans, and my personal favorite is…

Final logo

My secondary logo is a favorite of many of the ladies and vintage fans:

 

Logo 8

Look for the logos to identify Bleacher Boy as it grows to the next level.  Special thanks to my graphic designer, Andrea Stern, and to those who responded so enthusiastically!!!

Feedback is always welcome!

 

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Tim Tebow Comes Out Of Retirement…For The MLB!


-David Strobach-

Former NFL QB and Heisman winner, Tim Tebow, has decided to pursue a career in professional baseball.  This is completely SERIOUS. So serious that he plans to hold a workout for MLB teams later this month and he’s been reportedly training over the past year in Arizona to refine his skills since he last played as a junior in high school in 2005.  At Nease High School, Tim Tebow was an all-state baseball player who raked .494.  Below is Tebow pictured in high school. Mark DeRosa jokingly said on MLB Network that he swings like Mark Teixeira.

(Courtesy of The St. Augustine Record)

 

Not convinced yet?  Tebow’s agents, Jimmy Sexton and Nick Khan,,  are working with Brodie Van Wagenen, the co-head of CAA Baseball, to make his baseball dream come true.  Van Wagenen said in a statement, “This may sound like a publicity stunt, but nothing could be further from the truth. I have seen Tim’s workouts and people inside and outside the industry – scouts, executives, players and fans – will be impressed by his talent. As an agent, I have a genuine respect for how hard it is to succeed at the game of baseball and a true admiration for those who possess the talent to play it at the Major League level. Tim’s tool set is real.”

 

The reactions revolving around Tebow’s baseball dream have been mixed…

 

Former Major Leaguer Gary Sheffield and 9-time All-Star has been impressed with Tebow:

Chad Moeller, a former MLB catcher has had great things to say about Tebow, “I am beyond impressed with Tim’s athleticism and swing, and it goes without saying that he has shown a high level of discipline and strong work ethic. I see bat speed and power and real baseball talent. I truly believe Tim has the skill set and potential to achieve his goal of playing in the Major Leagues, and based on what I have seen over the past two months, it could happen relatively quickly.”

 

Tom Kotchman, former Los Angeles Angels scout said to WEEI-AM, “We wanted to draft him, but he never sent back his information card. Who knows if it got to him, and if it did we just never got it back. Otherwise we were going to take him.”

An Independent League team has even offered Tebow a contract:

The White Sox AA affiliate, the Birmingham Barons joined in on the fun with a Michael Jordan reference:

Adam Jones, Greg Swindle, Dontrelle Willis aren’t too sure about Tebow:

 

https://twitter.com/GregSwindell/status/763031491651723264

Tim Tebow will continue to be ridiculed for his choice, but that won’t stop him.  He’s dealt with media crap his whole career.  Tim Tebow is the role model every kid should strive to be.  He is incredibly hard working, committed and persistent as well as a fantastic all around man.  I am rooting for him to make it. Is it likely? Odds are against him but anything is possible and I would love nothing more than to see Tebow prove everyone wrong!

Northwoods League HR Derby Makes A Big Splash!


-David Strobach-

The Northwoods League, an elite collegiate summer league, had their All-Star Week festivities down in Kenosha, WI where the Kenosha Kingfish play. The week started off with a home run derby, but this was no ordinary derby.  The players were launching balls off a pier into Lake Michigan over a fence constructed of buoys!  The hosting Kenosha Kingfish had their man, Marty Bechina (who plays for Michigan State), win the derby after blasting 6 dingers into Lake Michigan. I was lucky enough to attend both the home run derby and All-Star Game, and man it was an exciting two days.  The Kenosha Kingfish hit it out of the park (and into the lake) while hosting the All-Star events.

 

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Panorama of where I was seated for the derby.

 

 

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View of where the hitting was done off the pier.

 

After the derby on Monday, the All-Star Game was Tuesday at Historic Simmons Field in Kenosha, WI  between the North and South Divison.  The game got out to a rocky start after the North Division put on 7 runs in the first inning which included many errors (9 total in the game).  After a rough first inning, it was very good baseball from there on out.  The North Divison won 9-5 and both teams racked up 14 hits a piece.

 

My view of the Northwoods League All-Star Game

My view of the Northwoods League All-Star Game

 

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NWL All-Star Game

 

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Panorama from my seat at Historic Simmons Field

It may not be Major League baseball, but this event was a lot of fun! Get out there and support your local baseball teams!

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MLB Stars Talk Favorite and Least Favorite Uniforms


-David Strobach-

Watch as MLB stars talk about their favorite and least favorite uniforms around the league!  My favorite uniforms are the retro 1982 Brewers look and my least favorite uniforms are the current Miami Marlins! What are your favorite and least favorite uniforms in the MLB?

Kris Bryant is very fond of his rival Pirates all black uniforms. Photo: Paul Beaty/Associated Press 

 

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