Congratulations To The Cubs

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A HUGE congratulations to the 2016 Chicago Cubs for winning the World Series.  What a great time to be a baseball fan.  During the course of the last fifteen  World Series ten different teams have won the title.  In that span the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox have won three times and the St. Louis Cardinals have won it twice.  Of late it would seem that from year to year just about any team can be the winner.

Congrats to Joe Maddon for winning a World Series ring.  This is his second ring, but his first as a manager.  He won his first in 2002 serving as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach with the Anaheim Angels.  He did guide the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays to their first, and only, World Series appearance.  Unfortunately for him they lost in five games to a superior Philadelphia Phillies  team.  Over the last several years Maddon has proven himself to be one of the better managers in baseball.  This win with The Cubs was hard earned and well deserved.

Kudos to Chicago  Cubs President of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Epstein now has a special  place in baseball history.  He had a hand in helping bring World Series titles to two long suffering, and alleged cursed, franchises.  First to the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and now in 2016 to the Chicago Cubs.

Now that the 2016 Major League  Baseball season is over all of us baseball fans can look to 2017 with a clean slate.  Perhaps 2017 will be the year that our team brings home a World Series title.  In the meantime I am very happy  for the Chicago Cubs and their fans.

Phil Collins – In The Open Air

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Words can not express how great is was to see Phil Collins perform tonight at the opening of the US Open. For those who may not have seen it he performed two songs, In The Air Tonight and Easy Lover. This continues his slow emergence from retirement. As I was watching I couldn’t help but think if Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were watching.

It is apparent that Phil is still recovering from his recent surgeries. As great as it was to see him tonight it was also a little bittersweet because he looks a bit older than his 65 years. I know that no one stays young forever, but it can be hard to watch your heroes grow old. Despite his appearance he sounded great and he sang with great passion. His band was amazing, especially Daryl Stuermer on guitar. Special mention must be made for his teenage son Nick who handled the drums like a pro.

What’s next for Phil? Only time will tell. For me, as a huge fan, I would love another solo album and one more Genesis album. I think asking for a tour at this time is a bit too much to ask. If, however, there is no new music in the future I’m fine with that. Phil Collins has provided me with thirty plus years of enjoyment through his music. So much of his music has been and continues to be part of the soundtrack of my life. He has given up so much for his love of music: marriages, family time and ultimately aspects of his health. Speaking as a fan, this man owes me nothing at all, he has already willingly given so much of himself and his life.  Here’s to many years of healing, health and happiness to one of my biggest music heroes.

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Mariano Rivera: Forever The Sandman

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Today Mariano Rivera received a much deserved plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.  The plaque commemorates his status as an all time Yankee great.  What a pleasure it was to watch him pitch for 19 extremely succusful seasons as a Yankee.  One could argue that he was the best closer to ever pitch in baseball.  He was definitely the best closer that I have ever seen.  I do not believe that we will see a pitcher of his caliber again for a long time, if ever.

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Jose Reyes- The Mighty Fallen

 

How the mighty have fallen. Former Mets All Star shortstop Jose Reyes has been designated for assignment by his current team, The Colorado Rockies. The Rockies have ten days to trade or release him, or he may accept a demotion to the minor leagues.

Wow! How did we get here? At one point Reyes was considered one of the most dynamic players in baseball. He is a four time All Star and he won the National League battling title in 2011 when he batted .337.

Since leaving the Mets as a free agent at the end of the 2011 season he has played for The Miami Marlins, The Toronto Blue Jays and The Colorado Rockies. He has been a solid, but steadily declining ballplayer. I hope that this recent news is not the end of career. At 33 years of age I would say that he still has a few more good years in him.

In hindsight the debate that raged several years back seems rather silly now. Many were debating which New York team had the better shortstop. Well, the team from the Bronx had a shortstop  that should be a future first ballot Hall of Famer. Nuff said.

 

 

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The Confessions Of A Satisfied Yankees Fan

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As the 2016 Major League Baseball season begins, I have a confession to make.  Let me start by saying that I have been a fan of the New York Yankees for most of my life. I am going to make a confession that may infuriate some fellow fans and confuse others.  If the Yankees never win the World Series again, in my lifetime, I am okay with it.  Some may question my loyalty as a fan, based on this statement, but let me explain. From 1995 to 2015 the Yankees went to the playoffs almost every year, missing only three years. They played in seven World Series and won five of them . That is an embarrassment of riches. I have witnessed a great deal of amazing playoff baseball in my lifetime. Many fans have yet to see their team win a championship. Some fans have never seen their favorite team even make it to the World Series.  Another confession, deep down I would love to see the Yankees win it all every year, but that’s not realistic and it is a bit greedy.  I have seen enough winning baseball to last me a lifetime. That being said, let’s go Yanks!!!

The Super Bowl: Must See TV, Or Else

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Football fans facinate me.  Generally speaking, regardless of what teams are playing the fans are watching.  With baseball this is not the case, baseball fans want to watch their team. This is especially true in the World Series.  My team’s not playing? I have no interest in watching. That seems to be the concensus amoung baseball fans.

This is far from the case with the Super Bowl, nearly every football fan is watching.  And now everybody else seems to watch the Super Bowl, whether they like football or not.  And to add to that they expect that everyone else is watching as well.  I haven’t watched since Super Bowl 42, which was an amazing game.  I do enjoy football, but I haven’t felt compelled to watch in a few years.  I am a huge baseball fan, so The World Series excites me, whether my team is playing or not.

Over the last few years, the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, various people will ask me, “What did you think about the game?”  My response of, ” I didn’t watch the game” is rewarded by an incredulous look that basically says, ” You didn’t watch the game, what’s wrong with you?!?!” Just because everyone else is watching does not mean that I have to.  For me the conclusion of the Super Bowl means two things: football season is over and baseball season is just around the corner.