So, I was in Chicago for a few hours and man, does it get dark there really quickly! I don’t know, maybe it was because the Bears lost a tough game. Hopefully they can bounce back.
I flew out to Dallas this morning for the Winter Meetings. This is always an exciting time if you are baseball fan and if you work in the sport. It gives us a great chance to see what exactly everyone else is doing. Every team always has needs, and this is the place where teams come to get better and fill those needs.
The charity event in Panama was awesome. Congrats to Andruw Jones on the event, as well as the Noriega brothers and Carlos Lee. They all did an amazing job. To be able to get the caliber of baseball players down there that they did was truly remarkable. Baseball is coming back to Panama and it’s very exciting. We played a celebrity softball game down there. I had Andruw, CC Sabathia, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson (or as I like to call him “UIC”), so we had a pretty good group. I got a couple of hits and almost pulled every muscle in my body. It was great that all of those guys took the time out of their offseason to go help out and it certainly paid off.
Now, it’s time for a few days here in Dallas. It’s going to be a fun time and already looks like some good news for Marlins fans! I will keep you posted.
OK, well we didn’t end the weekend the way we wanted, but we all know the big boys from the AL East are very tough. It’s hard to beat good teams, and the last two days, we just didn’t get any timely hits like we did on Friday. To be honest with you, I don’t really care whether we win by one run or 10; right now, winning is the most important thing. I would of course rather it be less nerve-racking, but that’s why this job is so fun. The tension you feel and the emotions that come with this game make it the best in the world. But when you aren’t getting the big hit, it makes everything else so much more important. Every pitch and every decision could be the ballgame, but that’s what it means to play this game in the race for the division.
We get the Yankees in town tonight, and I think CC Sabathia is going for them, so that should be interesting. We have battled tough this year against the league’s best, and I expect tonight to be no different. These are the teams we have to be beat to be considered elite. It will be nice to congratulate Derek Jeter on his 3,000th hit in person. I have always been a fan of his. It’s also going to be nice to see Freddy Garcia. I’m glad he isn’t pitching against us with the way he has been pitching lately. I also hate facing him because he is family. Freddy is married to my wife’s niece, and it’s hard to root against family. Also, we get to see Andruw Jones, as well, which is always a good time.
This should be a great series for the fans, and I think our boys will bounce back like they have done all season long. See you guys at The Cell.
Wow, I might have a couple grey hairs growing already (haha). Listen, I think it’s important to say that everyone goes through slumps. I’m not saying I’m entirely happy with our performance on the last road trip. All I will say is that I hope we snap out of it. And I hope we snap out of it in time to do something! I also am noticing that some other teams that were predicted to do well are struggling, too. It goes to show you that baseball is probably the hardest sport to predict who is going to win. It’s not like other sports where you get a couple good players and your team is great. In our sport, you need to compete every day for a chance to win. That’s why I love this game so much. You need to grind.
As I said, the road trip wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. But I do like New York a lot. I have a ton of friends there, and the weather we got was awesome. I had a chance to have dinner with my very good friends, Ruben Blades and Bobby Allende. The dinner was great because not once did anyone bring up baseball. This game is such a marathon, it’s good to get out for a night and forget about it. As I am sure you have all heard by now, I did get kicked out of one of those games in the first inning, and I’ll be watching the next few games from home. Lesson learned, and I’ll be rooting for my guys like everyone else. CC Sabathia was very tough on us last night, and we were out of it very fast. First two games of the series were very nice, and Brent Lillibridge made these two great catches to win us a game. We had some timely hitting and good pitching, and it wasn’t all great, but we were able to get the wins.
Now the Orioles come into town, and they are no longer surprising anyone. Everyone knows they have good players. My hope is that our fans stick behind us, even though we know we aren’t playing as well as we want to. There are still a lot of games left, and hopefully this weekend we start the homestand in the right direction. Or else … more grey hairs.