It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my blog & figured this would be a good time to get back into writing. As you can tell by the new address & look, I’ve changed locations on the web. It shouldn’t change anything but if you do have any suggestions and/or comments on what you’d like for me to write about, let me know.
My first post is a re-post. I figured since a good chunk of us are “jonesing” for baseball, I’d share an idea I had a couple of years ago when I posed the following on Twitter & Facebook – “Baseball is…”
As you’ll see, the responses were amazing. While you may still be getting ready for the holiday season, this is a good way to look ahead to Spring Training…it is, after all, just around the corner.
February 13, 2010 – Tuesday morning I woke up and felt like “connecting” with baseball fans that follow me on Twitter as well as the folks on Facebook. Oh, I’ve been connecting with my “followers” and “friends” for some time…actually since late May of last year when I finally decided to give social networking a chance. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be having “conversations” with people I really don’t know…it’s the beauty of the “space” we are currently experiencing.
Having immersed myself into Web 2.0 and all of its trappings, I found myself a couple of months ago with an idea…a concept if you will. While there any number of sites that are out there that offer a bevy of opportunities to “connect” and “network” with people, there wasn’t one out there that met my personal interests…at least not in functionality. So I figured I’d do my own…and that’s the “project” I’ve been working on.
Which brings me back to Tuesday morning. I love reading all the different articles out there on how people have connected through social networking and how companies continue to figure out how and to what extent social media can help them. Personally, I was feeling really generous because things have been good lately and I like to “give”. Professionally, I wanted a reaction. I wanted to see what people would do if I posed a question or thought and whether or not enticing them would get their attention.
I asked for my “followers” (I really don’t like that term, but I’ll leave that for another day) and “friends” to complete this thought: Baseball is…
I had no idea what to expect. For some, it was difficult to answer in 140 or fewer characters (and those that couldn’t, posted it on my Facebook page). For others, it was very easy. Never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate some of the responses that I received and more importantly, I didn’t think it was going to be as difficult as it was to pick just one for the Jimmy Rollins helmet. Man, I was dead wrong. After spending last night going through all of them, I picked the post by Matt Rozycki who responded on Facebook with the following:
Baseball is more than a game. It’s a science, addiction, and lifestyle all wrapped in one. Baseball fans don’t root for their favorite team. They breathe with them. Their hearts beat with them. Baseball fans feel a greater love for their team than most other people will feel in their entire lifetimes. Baseball isn’t something that we watch at the end of the day; it’s something that we rush through our day to get to. Baseball is one of the few things in life that transcends time.
Nicely done Matt. As I read all of the thoughts, I came to the conclusion they needed to be posted so everyone can see how others view this grand game of ours. Oh, before I forget…here’s mine:
Baseball is the essence of my being. It’s what I was born into; raised in; and currently immersed in. It’s not being able to explain to others just how much you care because there are no words. It’s what I know and have always known. It’s why two of my children have names such as Mattingly and Hobbs.
Enjoy the following posts and thank you to all for participating. I loved reading every single one and as always, I appreciate your interactions in the social space. Feel free to post more thoughts in the comments section. I’m hopeful we can take our “conversations” to a different place at the end of the month…
· Ultimate entertainment – age 1-100. Something fun for everyone.
· How I connect with the important men in my life. And how I make stuff happen with “important” men @ work.
· Taking its time to get here!!!
· What allows us to dream…allows us adults to stay young and innocent
· A privilege. Live it, love it, respect it!
· My life-blood during my military career, following my team got me through all the bad times. Thank you MLB!
· Hard to watch if you’re a Mets fan
· In our blood
· When all you think, all you and say and you do are in harmony
· Nirvana in the dog days of summer
· The beautiful mix of tradition, competition and passion that will continue to unify the world for years to come
· The best excuse to talk to your parents, your kids, your family, your friends or the person next to you
· The sports equivalent of comfort food. What you come back to when you’re sick of the fancy ****
· A language…we communicated to other with our play
· A connection to the past, our vision into the future and the life and blood of America
· My escape from the ordinary
· The reason I’m single. Girls have a low tolerance for guys who spend 8 hours a day watching baseball after work
· Everything that football does not have…passion
· What brings everyone together regardless of age or race
· A motivation – unexplainable – a spiritual event that lifts the soul – A game not long enough, for each play excites me
· So much better during the offseason now that MLB Network exists
· Life from childhood memories through adulthood from the calming sights & sounds provided by the game
· What binds our nation together
· A dream for some, a reality for others, but essentially it’s a joy for all
· A referendum on life, one inning at a time
· What I look forward to through the trying times of football season
· A rush, a surge, a rage of energy. A relief, a retreat, a calming pastime. A ball of memories wrapped in one.
· My sunshine on a rainy day if the roof is closed. A love in my heart around Valentines Day
· What I wait all football season for
· Yankee Stadium in October
· Hot dogs and beer
· What we wait for during football season
· My refuge
· 8 days away! Finally!
· A microcosm of Life on a 360ft. diamond
· The reason I am going to Florida for one week. Spring Training baby
· Better in Texas with Nolan in and Hicks out! “Hello Win Column”
· The summer sun warming your face w/ lemonade, w/ smells of dirt and grass
· Our beautiful game for there is as much poetry in it as anywhere in sport. Oh yes, there is magic on those fields!
· Standing out in centerfield looking towards the infield, forgetting everything but the most wonderful thing
· An Epic Story
· The most horrible curse that’s even been inflicted upon me
· A pastime that keeps us preoccupied for 162 days a year and the reason I am so good at web design
· An escape from having to think about anything else but still able to keep mind engaged and brain thinking
· The fountain of youth. Where else can 40 year olds play sports?
· The great American catalyst. Nothing brings people together like baseball. Probably the #1 reason 2 strangers will stop and talk
· The enduring definition of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
· My life, my wife and everything I love to do. It is my obsession and it is where all of the money I earn goes
· The ice in the drink of life. Irreplaceable
· A simple game that inspires complex strategies, passion and emotions; elation, despair and unyielding loyalty
· Something EVERYONE can love and appreciate
· The only sport my wife likes…our vacations: WBC, Spring Training, Road trips
· Like Jack Bauer. Both will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more
· The only reason why I wake up EVERY morning
· The best boyfriend I’ve ever had (We’ve been going steady for 3 years)
· More than a game. It’s a form of art, utilizing the strategies of chess, yet with an appeal that reaches the heart of a child
· The gift that keeps on giving
· The place I can escape the work world and remember when it was always just my dad and I at the park
· Less than a month away
· The only reason I would ever listen to what Bud Selig would ever say
· Forever’s game
· About the love of the game. It is about spending time with family and friends, tailgating and eating good food. Baseball is also Americas pastime and is the best sport in the US
· Where I took my wife on our first date and why I named my sons Ryan & Brett
· The only game that can unite a country after September 11th, be past down through generations through remarkable stories like how fast Ricky Henderson truly was and how fast Nolan Ryan could the the ball, and is the only game where I can convince my wife to skip watching the dang Bachelor because the Rangers are on the MLB Network
· Not just a game…it’s a life. You have your ups and downs and you struggle to not strike out and give up. You live to win!
· The low and outside fastball on the black, the 3-2 curveball, the squeeze play in the 9th, the foul ball by 2 inches, the bad call at first base, the 4 year old sleeping during extra innings, and the hot dog vendor yelling something you can’t understand. It’s breaking up the double play, the check swing appeal, the fungo bat, and batting gloves in the back pocket. It’s running on a non-stealing count, getting thrown out trying to take the extra base, trotting in from the bullpen, and chewing a giant wad of gum. All in all, baseball is just plain amazing.
· What makes this country great. No matter your political views, your race, your age, your gender, your income…etc, baseball is what brings people together for a common good, often to the tune of 35,000 to 45,000 at a time. Baseball is often the building block for a son to have a relationship with his father, particularly during the awkward teen years when “dad can’t understand anything”. It links generations together–My grandparents are 80 and watch every single televised game (roughly 159/season), and I can talk about “that play in the top of the 6th” with my grandfather (or grandmother, for that matter), the next day. Baseball is universal, and helped begin the healing process for our nation after 9.11. It pre-dates so many of our national traditions, and is woven into the very fabric of who we are. I am so proud that, in recent years, we have started to (officially) share this wonderful game with other nations around the world. Seriously, I could go on for days.
· What keeps you from running off a bridge because you’re stuck in (Dallas) Cowboy nation. The thoughts of baseball are crucial for survival.
· Not a hobby…it’s a way of life…. it’s like looking at the ball and glove and saying hey bud…. let’s party…Spicolli..circa 1980ish!!!!!!!
· Baseball is what brings spring sooner. Knowing catchers and pitchers are reporting makes feet of snow a little more tolerable.
· Crazy! It’s the one sport that I’ll watch on a nightly basis with my husband. The only thing that makes me crazy enough to stand in 4-inch deep water puddles at the Ballpark in Arlington while watching a doubleheader against a team like the A’s. The one sport that makes my husband crazy enough to convince me to name our son that’s due in June “Nolan Ryan Austin Roberts,” the only sport that I’m interested enough to have my own fantasy team and learning guys crazy names like Coco Crisp or Milton Bradley. (thought that was a joke when I first heard his name) It is a passion of our family and has become part of our identity. Through all the years of suffering as a Rangers fan we continue to have hope that some day we will taste victory, and until then I will continue to stand up in pouring rain and cheer on some guy named Ichiro.
· What makes my heart smile…
· The reason my DVR is broken…Darn you C.J. Wilson for making me rewind and replay you so much!!
· As my 3 year old, Aimon, puts it…”Dad, Baseball is Life.”
· What has me rushing home after work to catch the 5 o clock hot stove. Baseball is what keeps me going whenever everything else in life isn’t going the way I want it to. With loved ones losing their job, losing hair because you’re so stressed out, living paycheck to pay check, baseball finds a way to keep you going. Baseball is life; it’s my passion in life that will never go away.
· What I’m using right now to help my son learn how to turn fractions into percentages! Batting averages rule!
· Always a great way to help fill any awkward situation, and create a common unity with complete strangers.
· Such a great game where you can have writers/broadcasters/fans/players all tweeting like crazy trying to find the most clever thing to say during a Twins vs Tigers game in the metrodome. I’ll never forget watching that game and seeing everything that I love about baseball all wrapped into one game. It’s the one game where it can make all of us flat out giddy and it’s the one thing that can get tons of people all trying to find one thing creative enough to win the amazing gift of J-Ro’s helmet
· Spending Super Bowl Sunday having a good time in a cramped little booth in Secaucus remembering players, projecting stars and having a good time hearing and telling stories about the game we love.
· America’s Pastime and the best sport out there! It’s Mom, Apple Pie, Hot Dogs and Beer, it’s a love of the game, it’s the best sport on grass, it’s Spring and Summer altogether…and it’s the ties that bound me and my family together when I was 4 years old…and I am still a fan to this day! I LOVE BASEBALL!
· Almost here, thank goodness
· NOT just a bat & a ball…. it’s got a field, bases, players, fans, food, cheering, umpires, traditions, boos, music & a well of American passion that will bring a grown man to tears!
· Sunday afternoon with the family and a few cold ones cheering on the home team. It’s the Sunday afternoon game that I enjoy most!
· Ballet in the dirt, every move eloquently mastered.
· Like spring. It brings the renewal of life, of warmth, of faith. Everybody has an equal chance, a fairness, and everything starts out smoothly.
· Baseball means peace to me because I’m free to play the game I love. Running, sliding, hitting, catching, diving and throwing. It’s having fun and being free. I’m free from my medicines and it brings peace to my heart! …. Baseball is a drug that can cure an illness!
· More than just a sport. Baseball brings great friends, new and old, together to the ballpark and partake in America’s greatest pastime. When I think of baseball, I think of unity and gracefulness. As you sit and watch the game, there’s always a chance you could be watching history, and that is an amazing feeling. Whenever the season comes around a feeling like no other takes over my body. Indescribable really. This feeling lasts to the very last pitch of the World Series. I’m a die-hard Phillies phan, but honestly it’s the game of baseball and all of its grace that I’m a true fan of. Baseball is more than just a sport, and it has a different meaning to each individual fan. That’s what makes baseball great.
· The game that makes very elderly New England women smile and laugh on a jam packed subway at 11:30 at night and say, “Wasn’t that GREAT?” on their way home from Fenway. It is also the game that has made many cranky New Englanders smile when they hear “Sweet Caroline” because it brings back such fond memories of being at Fenway. Baseball gives New Englanders hope — hope for spring, hope for summer, hope for victory, hope for the pennant.
· The real “Beautiful Game.” There is no rival in the poetry of sports. It is leather, wood, grass and dirt. It is history and legend while relevant and modern and it delights in bringing the two together. It is the magic of Buerhle in ’09, the awe of Carter in ’93, and the hope of Boston in ’04. It is the mourning when the joy of Pittsburgh was taken from us; the still shed tears with Gehrig and the courage of Robinson and Doby. It is Cooperstown, hot dogs, it is “Take me out to the ball game” and “Sweet Caroline,” and it is the local traditions of every stadium and fan. It is the unquantifiable beauty of a well-turned double play. It is the tangible spirit of fans, players, cities and nations. The pride of victory and the sadness of defeat. It is all of these things and more but it is always the grandest of old games.
· Quite a conundrum. For a few lucky ones, it provides for the family. For most of us, however, it turns our beautiful wives into “baseball widows” for 9, if not 12 months out of the year. But no matter how you look at it, baseball is great!!!
· “Baseball IS All of This and More” – A Poem
The Sox versus the Yanks,
And pie-in-the-face pranks.
It’s a few dogs and a few beers,
It’s a few boos and a few cheers.
It’s controversy left by steroids and “juice”,
It’s mound intimidation from Randy and Goose.
It’s a guy named Cal who never wanted to sit,
And a transfer named MJ who could barely even hit.
It’s Boston and New York always being a buyer.
It’s a robbed fly ball by some kid named Jeffrey Maier.
Some guy named Joe with no shoes and no laces,
It’s controversy of Spiderman being on the bases.
A man named Rickey who was always “on the go”,
Or that guy Knoblauch who plain forgot how to throw.
It’s a Pujols moonball that takes forever before it lands,
It’s Derek Jeter hustling and diving into the stands.
It’s “Manny being Manny” and Griffey Jr. – “The Kid”,
It’s that unspeakable thing that poor Steve Bartman did.
It’s thinking a 3-0 series lead was nothing but a lock,
It’s a Game 6 gem symbolized by a bloody sock.
It’s dirt and mud and grass and hats,
It’s balls and gloves and cleats and bats…
Baseball is a highlight of my life…
And complete hell for the wife.
Baseball is all of this and more…
…So let’s get the 2010 season started,
29 teams are waiting to even the score.
· Will Smith rap “Just the Two of Us,” re-written for this special occasion
Just the Two of Us
From the first time the doctor placed me in my moms arms,
She knew I’d be wearing a glove on my right arm.
Although questions arose if I’d be tall enough,
Would I be able to throw the ball far enough?
From the hospital that first night,
I started to swing a bat it was quite a delight.
My mom got kind of upset,
She wanted me to be a scientist.
That night the ball game was on,
Sure enough Harold Reynolds hit one gone.
That’s when my mom knew I was lost in this game,
25 years later and the Rangers still no ring.
Just the two of us, me and that Rollins helmet can make it if we try, Just the two of us, (just the two us)
Just the two of us, until it’s passed down to my son from the sky Just the two of us, that Rollins helmet and I
*That has to the be worst rap ever but that’s as much as I got while sitting in my cubicle here at work