I’ve been reflecting on my favorite Christmas presents over the years and I have been blessed to have had many awesome gifts. But, my favorite is still this baseball cross plaque that my crafty and thoughtful mom made for me. I have shared this with many:
“This plaque that my mother made, helps me to remember to always get over errors and leave it all on the field. It reminds me to “give thanks” to God and to my family. It encourages me to become a better teammate, to listen to my coaches, and be a good sport. I like to live by the motto: “God, Family, Baseball.” God always comes first. What I see is that God has a massive hitting streak going (all the gifts he has so generously given us). It’s game seven of the World Series against all evil. God understands that we make mistakes and always will, which are our errors. He forgives us for the BIG errors, and we should forgive ourselves for mistakes, learn from them, and move on. With a runner on third, a sacrifice bunt will win the World Series, but what if Jesus only needed a hit to break a record? To save his team (the world), he sacrifices! He sacrifices to save us all!!!! We all need to remember this each and every day. So whatever your beliefs, have FAITH. It will get you further than any home run.”
Everyday I see it, it reminds me who I am and what I stand for as a Catholic. It reminds me that God is with me and helps me to be a better person. It helps strengthen my faith. We all will make mistakes, but that is ok. Forgive others, forgive yourself. Since Jesus died for us as his sacrifice to save us from sin, he will bring us home to heaven. During this joyful Christmas time, let’s keep Christ in Christmas. Let’s remember what Christmas is really about, the birth of the Christ child. It is a time of Peace and Hope. So during these troubled times, be a good teammate for the human race – God Bless You!!
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“The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. By choosing not to come to a hearing before me, and by choosing not to proffer any testimony or evidence contrary to the evidence and information contained in the report of the Special Counsel to the Commissioner, Mr. Rose has accepted baseball’s ultimate sanction, lifetime ineligibility.”
Statement by then Commissioner
of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti,
August 24, 1989
Today, the commissioner of baseball, Robert Manfred, has decided to uphold the ban of Pete Rose from baseball with this following statement,
“Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing … or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.”
Pete Rose was caught gambling on MLB teams and even his own, the Reds. He was rightfully banned and thankfully, that was upheld. Even worse is that he is STILL gambling to this day on the sport. Baseball is a sport with a beautiful history, celebrating all the good hearted players, but Pete Rose is not one of those players. He left the biggest black mark on baseball since the 1919 Black Sox, who were also all banished from baseball. None of the 1919 Black Sox players including Joe Jackson got reinstated or got a shot at the Hall of Fame, so why should Rose? The Hall of Fame is for CLEAN and RESPECTED players, not crooks. “Home Run King” Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire have not been voted into the Hall of Fame, most likely because of their link to PEDs. That sends a message to baseball players that you don’t’ belong in the MLB if you don’t abide by the rules. Gambling may or may not have had any affect on his performance, but what he did was wrong and he deserves the consequences. The fact that he is still betting and just goes to show that some people never get the message…..
Tommy Lasorda preaches my thoughts here:
Pete Rose paid for his mistake. Rightfully so, he is still paying for it now. Kudos to Manfred for keeping Rose out of baseball.
What Are Your Thoughts?
“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.”
Above is a fantastic quote that applies to not only sports, but life in general. Class, Pride, and Character are more important than any athletic talent in the world.
Something that I always preach is to exemplify class and good character. Some might say I’m the “Preacher Boy” as well as the Bleacher Boy! 😉 Always respect the umpires and coaches no matter what. An ump may call a strike that skips to home and a ball that was surely down the pipe. That skipping strike was called a strike, so the umpire is correct, not the batter barking back. If there is a problem, it’s the coaches job to deal with it. Take that called strike back to the dugout with a head held high, respecting the call. Let’s face it, we all get mad at awful calls, but the call is the call, and that margin of error is part of the game. Go back next time and succeed! When errors or strikeouts occur, never slam any equipment or throw a temper tantrum – trust me, you look like an idiot. These mistakes happen to the best of us…even Mike Trout! Stay up, keep a positive attitude, after all, baseball is a game of failure. If other players are melting down, support them, don’t push them down. If someone is getting crap from his own teammates about a mistake he already feels bad for, how is he supposed to recover for the next one? Not all players agree with the decisions of the coach either – which is fine, but never talk back or bad mouth your coach or the opposing team’s coach. It is completely reasonable to voice an honest concern or question about the team in the appropriate place and time with respect – but NEVER during the game. If your team is getting pounded, don’t take the frustration out on your opponents in any way, other than winning. Yes, they may be crazy waving cowbells and blowing fog horns after everything (trust me I’ve been through this), but if someone barks at that team, it makes them no better. Don’t give away the game by showing the other team that they have gotten in your head. Also, please DON’T be that cowbell team! Have pride in success, but don’t shove it down their throats. Like the great Vince Lombardi once said, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
If these three qualities are shown, respect will be earned. Abiding by these three principles will allow winning to take care of itself.
Always remember, when you are playing you are not only representing yourself and your team or school, but also your family and what they stand for.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a safe and happy day! What are you thankful for?
Two kids are trying out to play shortstop. Jeremy has all the talent in the world to be a five tool player, always making the sensational play or getting a big hit. However, he is always fooling around and not working hard. He never encourages is teammates. Jeremy enjoys his parties and late night video games. He shows up to practice half crapping it, but still is obviously the best player on the field despite that he drags his butt going on and off the field. Jakob on the other hand has some talent, but isn’t close to Jeremy’s natural “level.” Jakob, however, comes to practice early ready to work, stays late for extra batting time and always gives it his all. He loves nothing more and desires no more than to be on the ball diamond. He always hustles and leaves it all on the field. Let me ask you this…what should the coach do?
Most coaches may start the more talented kid and I don’t disagree with that. They are the better player and deserve to start. The problem is that I see that some coaches can be blinded by talent and their own desire to win and they tend to forget about their hardest working players on the bench. Let’s say Jeremy plays no other position, so there is no room for Jakob. Jakob may barely touch the field the entire year, yet still gives the most effort. Sometimes, effort is never ever rewarded.
Effort needs to be rewarded so that those hardworking players don’t lose heart. If you reward effort, Jakob gains more confidence and this motivates him to keep working at his 3 P’s like I’ve preached. If Jeremy sees Jakob getting rewarded and not himself, it may very well light a fire under his butt. If the most talented, but “lazier” player feels that someone much less talented than him is taking his position, it has to scare them. They’ll either cry to their parents about it so they can yell at the coach or hopefully they will work harder. If a coach gets that call from a parent, they should tell them straight up that he is being out hustled. Jakob has the heart and the desire….I don’t think you can teach those qualities in a player. The value is not measurable. In the long run, those with the heart, the desire, the hustle, eventually beat out the Jeremys of this world.
The cocky, no effort, uncoachable kids all eventually hit their peak, and never climb any higher. Coaches may not notice at first, but eventually they will, trust me. Coaches need to put the Jeremys of a team on notice early on, encouraging them to change their entitled ways – it will help them from sinking when and if they move on in the game and aren’t the big fish in a little pond anymore. A season shows character and the type of people on a team – There is room for success for both the Jeremys and the Jakobs on every team. Don’t lose HEART! Be that “little engine that could” and give it your all and you’ll eventually be the tortoise passing up the hare.
Thank you to Wicked Baseball for the picture to inspire this article.
You asked for it – I finally got it!!! Here is the feature story done by Fox News with Tom Pipines highlighting this blog and my children’s book that I’m trying to publish. I was able to get a recording from my lovely grandparents! If you weren’t able to watch when I was on before, or just can’t get enough of Bleacher Boy, 🙂 here it is. ENJOY!
Link to my story on the Fox website HERE