Monthly Archives: August 2012

I want to play hide and seek

After a couple of loud yells of “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” coming from Jacqueline in the bathroom, I opened the door. She was sitting on the little Lightning McQueen potty, and greeted me with a smile. Once again, as if she didn’t have my undivided attention already, she repeated, getting incrementally more quiet, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”. I responded, “Yes honey, what do you need?” Then, in a way only Jacqueline could say it, “Act-u-all-lll-y, ummm, (rolling her eyes around the room) ummm, I want to play hide and seek.” I asked if she went potty and she confirmed she had. In a whirlwind of activity, she cleaned up, looked over her shoulder, said, “No stinker in there”, and ran past me. Meanwhile Theodore had approached the room and was now peeking around the door jam holding the frame with both hands, leaning in, on one leg, while both feet were still in the hall. Without changing his stance or losing his grip he yelped, “Daddy, I go runnin!”, and he was off. I stood there holding toilet paper in one hand and the pan from the potty in the other. I laughed as I heard the twins rapid footsteps and the fleeting yells of “Bye-bye!”, as they ran off. Just another moment that reminds me of how fortunate I am.

These Sox don’t deserve the likes of Pesky

As if we needed any further proof of the character (lack there of) among this current Red Sox club, this week’s embarrassment takes the cake. This clubs collapse last season was tough to handle but not a shock as information became available. This club got Francona fired, as if he were the one losing the games. Oh, I know, he wasn’t fired. Face the facts, he was fired. No thanks to this collection of elevated, entitled nobody’s. The list of things contributing to the growing dislike of this team during 2012 is too long to list here. Ownership would rather entertain, sell bricks, delve into futbol, and sleepily address the public from behind their smoke and mirrors show, than win baseball games.

Today, I write about the players though. This week, this team essentially blew off one the most likeable, true gentleman, and talented members of the Red Sox organization, ever. Yes, ever. Johnny Pesky broke in to the Majors in 1942 at the age of 22. All he did was set a rookie record, leading the American League in hits with 205. Over the next three seasons he went off to war, serving his country in the Navy during World War II. He returned to the field for Boston and led the American League in hits and at bats in 1946 and 1947. In each of his first six seasons, Pesky finished among the top 8 players in the Major Leagues in runs scored. This during an era where the only guys scoring more runs than him were the likes of Williams, Musial, Ott, Kiner, and DiMaggio. He even finished in the top five in MVP voting twice. He had a lifetime .307 batting average (ranked 138th all-time of players with 3000 or more plate appearances) and an on base percentage of .394 (ranked 79th all-time). Among the storied history of Red Sox baseball, Pesky ranks in the club’s top ten of all-time for at bats, batting average, and on base percentage.

Those are measurable stats that anyone can look up. Pesky, though, may have been better measured by the number of smiles he gave and received. Or maybe it was in the number of years he represented his beloved Red Sox. Maybe it was the number of players he shared his experience with over the years. No matter how you slice it up, Pesky measured up. This roster of Red Sox players don’t come close.

Pesky came up when Major League players walked to the ball park. They actually mingled with the common man. They were common men. They worked jobs to earn a living when the baseball season was done, even the best players did. They weren’t entitled to anything. They were guaranteed nothing. They even went to war defending our freedoms. Freedoms that included playing the greatest sport on earth, our national pastime, baseball. He played when, God forbid, players were paid year by year, based on performance. They signed one year contract after one year contract. They didn’t save their best work for a free agent year because every year could have been their last.

I guess you can’t blame this current roster of Red Sox players for not relating to the descriptions above. You can certainly blame them for not knowing better though. All but four current players blew off Pesky’s funeral this week. They couldn’t give back a couple of hours of their precious time to honor a man who was a better player than most of them, a better man than maybe all of them, and who was more or less a part of Red Sox baseball since he was drafted 72 years ago. Pesky played his rookie year with Williams, Doerr, DiMaggio (Dom), Cronin, and Foxx, among others. I apologize for even mentioning this current Red Sox roster with Mr. Johnny Pesky in this piece. It’s not fair to him.

Embarrassing. Ridiculous. Selfish. Disconnected. Spoiled. Soft. Clueless. Entitled. Disrespectful. These are just a few words that come to mind when I think of these Sox blowing off Pesky’s funeral this week. Fitting as fitting can be, the Sox blew a 6-0 lead, en route to another loss tonight as I wrote this.

I’m happy that I had a chance to meet Johnny Pesky long enough to shake his hand years ago. I still have his autograph upstairs in my closet. I always paid special attention when I heard him talk about today’s ball players, especially when assessing their potential. After all, this man played along side Williams and Foxx. He faced Feller, Sain, Spahn, Lopat, Trucks, Newhouser, and Roberts, among others. He knew the game and he knew talent. Hearing him talk the game was worth listening to. Paying last respects to him at his funeral would seem obvious, especially for those playing for the organization that Pesky proudly represented for nearly 70 years. I mentioned earlier that Pesky and the players of his era were common men. If I’m right, then I’ll take a league full of common men over this group any day of the week. It’s clear to me, these Sox don’t deserve the likes of Pesky. Rest in peace Mr. Pesky.

Jimmy Fund – Cancer doesn’t care

 

Their shapes and sizes are different. Their voices do not sound the same. Their lifestyles are as diverse as diverse can be. Their ages are not part of the equation. Their place in life is not of concern. Cancer doesn’t care, it attacks anyone, anywhere, anytime. Yet, these people, their message is similar. Their message is strong. Their level of resiliency is elevated beyond most of our comprehension. Their sense of thankfulness is undeniable. Their sense of being blessed is apparent. Their sense of concern for those around them, even in their time of need, is truly selfless. Their message is inspiring and humbling at the same time. They are cancer patients, cancer survivors.

These two days are honestly two of my favorite days of the year, let alone the baseball season. It’s the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. The telethon ends tonight, but the need for funds doesn’t end. Progress is being made and in this field progress costs money. You can support this tremendous cause a number of ways. You can call 877-738-1234. You can text KCANCER to 20222 for a $10 donation. You can visit the Jimmy Fund website @ http://www.jimmyfund.org/eve/event/redsox-radio-telethon/default.html.

I think of my friend Joe Hubbard who passed away earlier this year. He battled cancer, and even though he’s no longer with us on earth, I still think he won. Joe got more out of his day-to-day life, even with cancer, than most of us get in 50 years. Virtually everyone who came in contact with Joe was better off for having met him. He won.

I think of my Aunt June who passed away two and a half years ago. She battled cancer too. To look into her eyes at any time during her battle would show you that she had, and was, getting more out of life than most of us. She had Gods pure love sparkling in her eyes, always. She had a face that would rather smile than anything else, always. She won too.

I think of my cousin Gayleen who passed away less than a month ago. She battled cancer as well. She was 43 years old, a year younger than I. We grew up together at family get togethers and over Holidays. I’m so fortunate to have been able to visit with her just three weeks before she passed. I know she won because today she’s enjoying heavens perfection while I write this from an imperfect earth.

Since yesterday morning I’ve been listening to WEEI in the car or online. I watched the Red Sox game on NESN last night, and I will watch tonight. I’ve listened to the doctors, the patients, the survivors, the nurses, the families, and even the players, talk about this disease.

The stories are powerful, true, and nothing short of amazing. Yet, to hear these folks, who are, or who have been in a fight with cancer, tell their stories is humbling. My worst day is nothing compared to the days, or even single hours, that these people have lived through. They’ve lived these moments many times over, and over, and over. And we have our bad days like it’s a big deal. It’s not a big deal at all. Perspective is healthy, it’s real.

I think of my friends and family, those who have battled cancer in any way, shape, or form. I’m sure there are more people around me that have battled and I’m not aware of it. There’s a lot of success stories, more than ever. There are a lot of stories that still end too soon. Roughly 1.6 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012. More than 1,500 people in the United States will die from cancer each day this year. There’s work to be done.

Give if you can. Listen if you want. Understand if you care. Know that these are real stories. They happen every day. Somewhere around 182 people will have their world turned upside down by being diagnosed with cancer in the next 60 minutes. 182 new people every hour of every day this year. Please help if you can.

Morning banter

This is just a sample of this mornings’ banter. It could be any morning really.

Jacqueline: I want to color.
Me: Okay, you want to color, over here?
Jacqueline: Ummm, no. I want to play cards for a while.

Meanwhile, Theodore hearing that she wanted to color had grabbed a coloring book for her. As he sets the coloring book on their play table…

Jacqueline: Oh, thanks buddy.
Theodore: You’re welcome. You color.
Jacqueline: I play cards now. I promise.
Theodore: I help you.

And on and on it goes. They’re chatting away this morning. It’s pretty funny and it gets heated every once in a while. Then I step in and try to reason with them. Theodore usually moves on to something else, while Jacqueline tilts her head to the side and takes the opportunity to share all of her thoughts with me. Most times she has quite a bit more to say than I do. So it goes, another precious morning with my twins.

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Good as new

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The twins playing in Caribou, Maine

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Photos from a hill in Sherman

These pictures were taken while I was out for a ride with Theodore and Jacqueline. We were in Sherman, Maine at the time and I just had to stop and take in the beauty around us. If my pictures and descriptions could capture the breezes felt and the perfect smells of summer, they would. I described this scene in a recent blog (Lazy Moose Vacation), but the pictures do a much better job of it.

To me, this spot just shouts out peace, calm, and perfection in all of its silence. I stood on this rise in the road and I thanked God for the creation before me. I am just a small being in a large place, blessed beyond my mind’s ability to comprehend, thrilled to have the sense’s God gave me, and so thankful I can take in places like these.

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