Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Archive for January, 2009

Aside

Why, dad?

why.jpg Why? A question that has been asked for centuries by scientist, philosophers and musicians. But it most often asked by children. If you have a child, you know this question and more than likely you HATE this question. Why do birds have wings? Why is the sky blue? Why do farts smell? Why, why, why?

Truce is not a big fan of the “Why?” question. Through all the advances in communications that Truce has made over the past 3 years, why, eludes him. For him, the whole concept of cause and effect is hard to grasp. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that I am in the other room and I hear a loud crash come from the kitchen. I run in there to see Truce standing above a pile of broken dishes. He will look up and me and say, “What happened?” Yes, he will ask what I should be asking. He’s not asking to be a smart-mouth (like I probably would at his age) he just knows that will be the question I will ask. He’s beating me to the punch.

Truce has come so far. Anyone who knows him will attest to that. Explaining something that happened is the next bridge that I would love for him to cross. The other day at school he was acting up and I asked why. He said, “I sad.” I asked why was he sad. Did someone hurt him, make fun of him, or was he frustrated? Why were you sad, I asked again. He looked at me and I could tell the wheels were turning, but he didn’t have an answer.

Later, I told Jennifer that I wish he could explain things to me. To tell me, why. Like every other wish that I have had for him to this point, he will get it. Of that, I have no doubt. So, for those of you with little ones, think twice before you roll your eyes or sigh the next time they start to go on about why something happened. Just listen to it with a smile and know that you are blessed.

Aside

Tribe outlook and update.

2569120142_8e64d7525a.jpgWhen last I briefed you on the Indians, here is where I stood:
“So, it’s December and we are still without a closer, a healthy, power-hitting DH, 3 spots in the rotation are up for grabs and we don’t have a 3rd baseman. Needless to say, I’m a little concerned for next year.” So, have the holes been filled? Let’s take a peek.

Closer – Well, the Tribe did it. They went out in the free-agent market and got the second best closer available in Kerry Wood. (The top closer being Francisco Rodriguez who signed with the Mets for 3 years and $37m.) We got Wood for 2 years and $20m. He’s the first closer that I have felt good about going into a season since Jose Mesa.

Power-hitting DH – Only time will tell this one. Travis Hafner has not been the same hitter since he got hit in the face in 2007. New injuries last year limited him and threw a wrench into the lineup for most of the year. If Pronk is healthy and puts up his average numbers: 30HR, 100R, 100 RBI, things will be good at the corner of Carnegie & Ontario.

3rd Baseman – Once again, I feel good about the Mark DeRosa signing for 3B. He’s a solid guy that appears to be a great “team” guy. That allows Peralta to stay at short and Cabrera at 2B. Splitting time between Garko & Martinez at 1B. That is a solid defensive infield.

Rotation – Well, here, not so much. For all the good the Tribe did in the bullpen in the off season; Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith and Masa Kobayashi, they well asleep on the starting rotation. Carl Pavano, I will say it again slowly in case you thought you heard me wrong, Carl Pavano. This guy turned one good season with the Phillies into a 4-year, $40m deal with the Yankees. He then proceeded to make only 26 starts over the next 4 years(including just 9 in the past 2 years), to end up with a 9-8 record with the Yanks. If, he’s healthy, I see him as a #5 starter, at best. The other 2 spots (well, 3 WHEN Pavano gets hurt) will be fought over by: Reyes/Laffey/Sowers/Lewis/Huff/Jackson. If we can get some useful inning from Laffey/Sowers (they have done it before). Things may just be held together with spit and duct tape.

Bright spots – I see the outfield being this club’s strength for the year. Grady Sizemore is already an all-star, but I see this as the year he breaks outs, cuts down on the strikeouts and takes on MVP consideration. Flanked by Choo and Fransisco (that’s fun to say), the outfield should be solid defensively and consistent at the dish.

Catching will be solid with Kelly Shopach backing up V-Mart. Everyone young (Fransisco, Cabrera, Carmona, Garko) has one more year of experience in the big leagues and I am only worried about Choo’s sophomore slump potential.

Overall, I like this team’s prospects. Barring injuries in spring training, I believe the opening day batting order looks like this:

1. Sizemore
2. DeRosa
3. Hafner
4. Martinez
5. Peralta
6. Garko
7. Fransisco
8. Choo
9. Cabrera

Only 14 more days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Baseball Fever, Catch it.

Aside

I'm humbled, thank you.

This post if purely a “Thank You”. I have been encouraged by everyone that has sent me an email, comment, IM, or note through Facebook that they have enjoyed my blog entries. Nothing like keeping the pressure on me to write more, but I’m up for the challenge.

If it makes it easier on you, please take a minute and subscribe to my feed by clicking the Subscribe button at the top of the page.

Thanks again for the encouragement, it has been welcomed and it’s greatly appreciated.

Aside

The Toys "R" Us kids grow up.

kidadult.jpg
Growing up.

When did you realize that you were growing up? Was it when you got married? Had children? Got promoted? For me, it was yesterday. Now, over the past few years most of my wild antics have gone by the wayside. I don’t drink as much as I used to, I don’t do crazy things as much, and I tell my friends to “be careful.” Being President of my Rotary club, serving on city council, and owning my own business has brought me a little more on the strait and narrow.

So why yesterday did I grow up? Actually it didn’t happen yesterday, I just realized it yesterday. I had lunch with an old friend from high school that I had not talked to for about 20 years. The conversation at one point turned to life. We made the joint comment that what used to be important to us: nice car, big house, boat, etc., didn’t mean squat anymore. I’ll stop there for now. Earlier in the day, I had a conversation with my very best friend and we were discussing this same subject. His quote was about the fancy stuff was this: “None of that shit matters. Life is too short to worry about that crap.” Exactly. Finally, this same conversation was played out a week ago when I talked to another good friend of mine. We both agreed “stuff” is fine to have, but serving the greater good and leaving a legacy that can be passed on is more important.

So, three different people, three independent conversations, but the same points: 1. Fancy things are great, but not needed. You need the love of your family, food, and a roof over your head. 2. We desire to do something bigger than ourselves. Give something back to the greater good. 3. Be happy in whatever you do, because life is too short.

How did I realize I grew up? By listening to what we were saying. It wasn’t the talk of how drunk we were going to get or the party that was happening this weekend. It was about adult stuff. Has the economy and it’s troubles caused us to start thinking this way? Maybe. Is it the renewed hope in a new administration running our country? Could be. I think for the most part it just the right time. We have 20+ years of life experience under out belt and are looking at the way we want to see the world for the next 20+.

Aside

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” MLK, Jr. 1963

It’s been well documented all the woes of 2008. Tomorrow we swear in a new president and we face some of the toughest times that Illinois has ever faced. Only time will tell what great things come from these times. See my previous post to see what I think can come from adversity.