Tagged: Jorge Posada

Playing Poker with The Core Four: Jeter, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera

I’ll see your bet and raise you something that matters.


casino_chips.jpgAs we patiently await the offers, counter-offers, re-offers and lack of offers to and from key “Yankees” players Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera, who are floating around in the purgatory of the baseball space-time continuum, and the probable retirement of Jorge Posada after the 2011 season, we are brought to a few basic points of life:

  1. Be thankful for what you have.

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  2. Never assume anything.

      
(Remember what Felix Unger said on that topic?)

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        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKlWGZHEO7Q&sns=em

 

  3. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

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  4. Appreciate those around you. They are the ones who will save your a-$-$ some day.


  5. You can’t fully appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

It pains me to see the Yankees organization snub it’s nose at its leader. Yes, Derek Jeter had a not so stellar season as opposed to previous years, but he did manage to earn a Golden Glove Award.  Yes, as we all do every day, he has aged since his rookie debut.

However, that should not be used as ammo against his past accomplishments – which far outweigh the bummer moments – and his future record breaking 3000 hits record to come. It would be a real downer to see him hit that almighty stat donned as anything other than a Yankee. There are plenty of players who would give their left arm to have a golden right arm as good as his and stats as “bad.” Both Brian Cashman and the new generation of H.H. Steinbrenner & Co. could learn a thing or two from this seemingly humble servant who has done everything to set an example for all athletes to follow.

Pitcher Andy Pettitte has yet to come to a decision as far as weathering out another year with the team in New York vs. returning to his home state of Texas. Plagued by a secret back injury in the post-season, Pettitte would seem to be the biggest gamble for the Yanks if he doesn’t fully heal from his 2010 traumas. Despite the rather unsavory odds, they have left the welcome mat out for him…at least until they slam the door shut when the pesos runs out.

Lastly, as far as the old hotstove is concerned, I find it odd that any pitcher should be offered more than NYY’s expert closer Mariano Rivera, let alone double the amount. Yes, he is older and toward the end of his career compared to a much younger starter Cliff Lee. Like watching Jeter’s ballet-like throws from short stop, witnessing Mo put the batters asleep is a thing of beauty.  Any opponent would find having The Sandman on their roster a dream come true. It’s really quite sad that the core Yanks who have held the team together all these years are offered less money for their experience than acquisitions. Not much of a reward for their dedication.

Then again, they are making millions of dollars a year. Kind of hard to feel sorry for them from that perspective. We should all be so lucky.

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Afterall, how much money can you get before it really doesn’t matter anymore? Seriously, somebody please tell me at what point the money becomes insignificant, and no longer outweighs the truly important things in life such as family, friends, non-work goals and dreams, and morals?  The way I see it, most big ticket professional athletes could coast through life on $1M per year for the remainder of their existence on this planet (the one the rest of us call earth) and still have plenty left over for their heirs and favorite charities to get by on.

Which brings me to fellow pinstriped compatriot Jorge Posada who has stood guard over Yankees home plate as if it was his own island territory, blocking runners from ever stepping a toe on his little piece of real estate. Yes, he, too is aging. Aren’t we all?

Before you call the game on him, consider the fact that while busy fending off Yankees opponents, behind the scenes, Jorge and wife Laura were quietly involved in young son Jorge’s life-threatening battle with craniosynostosis, a rare disorder that most of us can’t even pronounce, let alone spell or hope to understand. 

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Witness The Jorge Posada Foundation http://jorgeposadafoundation.org.  I’d say they deserve at least a few “Hip! Hip! Jorge!”s and some generous tee shirt sales to boot on behalf of their charity.

Rest assured, the Steinbrenner’s money will be well spent should they choose to contribute to Posada’s coffers one more time.

My final word on the subject is:

“COMPROMISE”

definition:  com•pro•mise  n.  1 a settlement in which each side gives up some demands or makes concessions

If this is not done in a timely manner, it could lead to:

definition:  com•pro•mise  n.  2 a) exposure, as of ones reputation, to danger suspicion or disrepute  b) a weakening of one’s principles

Compromise seems to go against human nature.

Lack of it is the reason why spouses divorce,

why parents and children don’t get along,

and why wars are waged.

Giving in to other’s wants is one of the most difficult things for any human being to do. It involves sacrificing something of oneself. To be successful in the process, it is important not loose sight of the goal at hand.

In the case of the Yankees Management vs. The Core Four, that means keeping the family together in a dignified light, regardless as to who is waiting backstage as an eager understudy. Good things come to those who wait. The next string of superstars will get their day when the time is right and they are called upon in a time of need.

It is important for each side to to avoid mud-slinging. It only results in a hungry psychologist’s dream of hurt feelings and offended parties, which ultimately leads to pride and ego getting in the way of what each side really wants:

EACH OTHER!

So, please boys, play nicely. Make it a “do over.” Start all over from home plate, run joyfully across the wide-open green field, over the pitcher’s mound, meet each other somewhere down the middle (shortstop would be ideal), and give each other a big group hug. You know you want to.

Then tell each other how happy you are to be together as one big family – The New York Yankees 27 times World Champions! No other team can claim that!

Then, you will live your dreams together as you are destined to.

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Do You Believe in Ghosts?


Over the course of the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the ghosts of Yankee Stadium. In recent history, it was always a given that the spirits of Yankees past lurked about “The House that Ruth Built.” From the Great Bambino himself to baseball legends such as Lou Gehrig and Thurman Munson, it is a logical conclusion that a lifetime of baseball moments made in “The Great Cathedral” would, at the very least, continue to reverberate through time and that, in the afterlife, a great communion of souls would team up together to haunt opponent after opponent when called upon.

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Anyone who has been there will tell you the place had its own sort of energy unlike any other stadium, a sort of aura about it that left most first-time visitors awestruck.  From Monument Park to the concession stands and back to the Bleachers, it took on a character all its own. Many modern-day players have made reference to “The Ghosts,” coming out during a game, including current Yankee Team Captain Derek Jeter.

In a previous blog entry, I asked Yankees fans to summon the ghosts of Yankee Stadium to help our boys to victory during the playoffs. I expected a flurry of unexplained Yankee miracles of the kind we fans have grown accustomed to…no, we expect…but that didn’t happen. No miracles, no amazing moments. Just mediocre plays that made for a disappointing end to what was a stellar season, otherwise. It was an anticlimactic unfurling of injuries and missed opportunities.  A major let down that left Yankees fans disgusted and in utter disbelief to find that their focus had somehow shifted to raking leaves and Halloween costumes.

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So, I found myself asking the following irreverent question:

What if there just aren’t any ghosts at the new Yankee Stadium?

[gasp!]

If one follows the theory that spirits who still walk the earth are stuck in some kind of time warp or a timeless eternity set in the past – their past – and that they may not even be aware that they have passed on, one would have to address the obvious possibility that they might not even realize there is a new stadium or even that the old one is defunct.

What if returning to the old Yankee Stadium was their Heaven and, with all good intentions, we have now taken that away? Is it possible that the spirits are so upset and offended that the Babe’s home – their home- has become another victim of the wrecking ball that they flat out refuse to move to the new stadium, choosing instead to relive their choices of baseball moments on the hallowed ground where they forged so much history?

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Ask many old-time Yankee fans and they will voice their discontent over the closing of the old stadium – the first three-tiered sports arena ever built – and, in essence, the end of an era. To many, all the modern ammenities in the world cannot make up for a historic structure opened in 1923 that we once knew and loved, and the opportunity to see a ball game for only a few bucks on a hot summer night!

So, what if the ghosts decided to stay put on the old stomping grounds?

What if they, too, chose not to move on? 



Embedded in those old concrete walls were: 

•  the voice of 1927 Manager Miller Huggins addressing his World Championship lineup before the games 

•  Lou Gehrig’s infamous retirement speech that made the world aware of a disease call ALS

•  the crack of the bat by Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio 

•  the sound of Catfish Hunter’s pitches smacking the catcher’s mitt during Game 6 of the 1978 World Series 

•  the furious stomps of fans in the upper deck when Reggie Jackson became “Mr. October” 

•  multiple generations of passionate “boo”s mixed with cheers of “Let’s go Yankees!”

• the wolf-like howls of the crowd when the calendar page flipped from October 31st to November 1st to crown Derek Jeter as “Mr. November” 

•  cheers of “Hip! Hip! Jorge!” in the stairwells as fans exited after games 

•  “The Voice of God” a.k.a. Bob Sheppard announcing the players while organists Toby Wright and Eddie Layton filled the air with music from a 50,000-watt Hammond organ.


“Baseball has been erased, rebuilt and erased again.” – Field of Dreams

Perhaps, as Doc saved the little girl in that classic baseball movie, the old spirits of River Drive will come to the rescue when we convey our sincere thanks and appreciation for the memories. When we tell them we’ve built this new field for them, too.

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“Build it and they will come.”

“The House that George Built” may not be quite the same as the old Yankee Stadium, but in time, it, too will be filled with its own history, it own timeless memories. It is still young. It’s time for a new generation of devoted fans to make their imprint on the walls, to fill it with a new brand of passion, derived from tradition, that can come only from a pure love of baseball.

Together, we can create that perfect moment in time. Together, we can feel the magic of baseball. Then, when someone asks, “Is this Heaven?” you can answer, “Yes, it’s Yankee Stadium!”

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Don’t change that dial!  More coming in the next installment of NYY Logo Girl!