It’s time to move on and see what’s next
Well, that was a long vacation in Spain. What a great trip I had over there; I got to spend some time with some of my now my ex-players. It was great to spend such a great time with some great people. I had the opportunity to go to a Real Madrid game and see some bullfights, a lot of bullfights actually. Unfortunately, when I got back, I was the one that got the horns.
I received that phone call that nobody wants to get. It was short and to the point. I went to Miami to win and to be there awhile. That was the plan, but they chose to go in another direction. Money is great, but that’s not what it’s all about. Regardless of what I may say, anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a competitor, I’m a winner, and I want to win more than anything. I like to keep my word, so I like to go out there and compete. That’s why I love this game so much.
I don’t think I have ever missed a season or not been affiliated with a team since I started playing baseball. Even in 1992, I was part of a team. So, once February rolls around, I’m sure this is going to be a very new feeling for me. With great friends and family I’ll get through this and be better for it.
I want to thank everyone again for all of their support. Even the people who were happy that things ended up this way, thank you as well. My love and respect to you. Thanks to all those who have called me to show their support, even people from my former teams like the Braves and the White Sox. I really appreciate it.
Congrats to the San Francisco Giants and Bruce Bochy; what an amazing job you all did. Congrats to all the Venezuelan players who represented Venezuela in the World Series and made us proud.
Now it’s time to move on and see what’s next for me in my life. Always move forward and never look back.
Patience is essential
So, if you guys haven’t noticed, I’m not big on writing blogs when we are losing or going through tough stretches. One must remember never to get too high or too low; this is not basketball or football. You have to bring it every single day, that’s why this game is so hard. If you fail seven out of 10 times, chances are you will be in the Hall of Fame one day. Baseball is all about failure and how you react to it. In basketball, if you shoot 10 free throws and miss seven of them, you are very bad. That’s why it’s hard to compare baseball to any other sport.
So, we haven’t been playing consistently, and then we run into the American League East boys for a while. Wow, these guys are good. Tampa Bay and Boston can definitely play. I forgot about the American League for a little bit (haha), and certainly don’t miss seeing those guys all of the time. We just need to keep at it.
Great day off spending time with the family on the boat yesterday, and now it’s time for a weekend in Tampa.
Good luck to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals!
Winning is the best medicine
Winning is the best medicine, even if it isn’t pretty. I have been saying it all along; it is by far the best thing in sports. Winning makes everything better. You end up liking your family and wife more when you’re winning, and it’s more fun to go to work. Winning can cure all.
I had no clue until our day off yesterday that our road trip was the best in Marlins history. I hope people don’t expect us to keep that pace (haha). Winning in the Major Leagues is so hard; in this sport anything can happen on a daily basis. Winning on the road is even harder, so when you can win on the road it becomes extremely important for your success.
I’m glad we got Heath Bell back on track and throwing the ball well. JJ (Josh Johnson) looked better and the rest is obvious: Our pitching staff has been outstanding. We are back in Miami tonight with Johan Santana vs. Mark Buehrle, just like old times. It should be fun and I look forward to seeing everyone out there.
Let’s get this party started!
Finally! The Marlins have come back to Miami! Just like The Rock says (haha). It has been busy, busy, busy — so I haven’t been able to blog as much as I like, but we are ready to get this party started. The stadium looks nicer and nicer every time we get in there because they are still adding the finishing touches. It seems as though it’s going to be a loud place to play, and that’s awesome. Hopefully it provides a home field advantage for us.
We played the Yankees yesterday and again today. All I have to say is: Wow, we scored two runs off of Mariano Rivera, and that never happens. Hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come. Some of our key guys got hits like Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison (LoMo). If those guys stay healthy like we need them to, we should be alright.
The champion St. Louis Cardinals come into town on Wednesday for the opener, and then we hit the road right away for Cincinnati and Philadelphia. It would be nice if we are able to set the tone early. I love the energy from our guys so far. Maybe the energy comes from us being a young team, but they have been fun to watch so far.
We are so close to what we have all been working towards: OPENING DAY! No other sport does Opening Day like baseball does, and it shows. It’s always a special day for me; I’m very happy that this is going to be my 27th Opening Day. I consider myself very blessed to have been around for that long and to be given this opportunity with the Marlins. Now let’s kick some ass!
The games are underway!
Finally, the games are underway! Back to what we know and love: the game we have a passion for. The last couple of nights we played in the brand new Marlins Park, and it is definitely the place to be! It’s very modern and on the smaller side, so I expect it to always be packed. The clubhouse is awesome and my office has a lot more space than my old one did. I’m very excited about coming to this park every day and winning some games.
As far as the team goes, the guys are healthy and excited to play. That’s all you can ask for at this time of year. Spring Training is mostly for the pitchers. It’s a time for them to get their arms ready for the season. So far, so good! April 4 can’t some soon enough! I believe once the roof is closed, the new stadium is going to get very loud. We had it closed for the games against the University of Miami and Florida International University and I just get that feeling. Speaking of those games, it was nice to see the kids from those schools play. They are two very large schools with great followings and those kids didn’t get scared of the big boys one bit. It was very fun to see.
This is the time of year where you see how your team acts and maybe even see what they can and can’t do on the field. I just hope we keep having fun out there. Even with the Showtime cameras on, it’s always fun!
Fun times ahead!
I promised you guys an album yesterday, so here you go! I put up a couple of pics from my “Lunch with a Legend” experience back in Chicago and a few from the Marlins golf outing down here in Miami. It has been a great couple of weeks, but now it’s time to get to work. I will leave you with a picture of me and my boys, Carlos Zambrano and Mark Buehrle, out golfing. Good times ahead!
Spring Training begins
Wow! Where do I even begin? When I left Chicago snow was falling and yes, I love that! Before I left, though, I sat down with the guys from ESPN 1000 at Morton’s Steakhouse for “Lunch with a Legend,” and what a turnout. It was a great feeling seeing so many people there and I want to thank everyone that came out! Waddle & Carmen could be the best in Chicago; it was a very classy event and they ask the tough questions. There is a right way to do things and then there is a way to do things while being a jerk and sarcastic. That’s why I want to thank everyone from ESPN 1000 for always being so classy and doing things the right way.
Right now I am in Miami (just got to Jupiter) and I couldn’t be happier because all of the guys are fun and loose, they just want to go out and have some fun. Or maybe it’s just because I was around Jose Reyes. Being around that guy’s energy is just contagious. During the Marlins Caravan last week we went to hospitals, schools, senior citizen centers and then had a blast golfing with the Miccosukee Tribe. Those guys can play some golf!
It’s always great seeing my guys Carlos (Zambrano) and Mark B. (Buerhle). Carlos got slimmer and Mark was being his usual self. Mike Stanton is a house and Logan Morrison is … LoMo. He’s just a fun guy to be around. Hanley (Ramirez) seems ready to go, and looks like he has been working very hard this offseason. Now it’s finally time to go out there, have some fun and play ball. To be completely honest I am really looking forward to this year. I hate saying this, but that stadium is just unbelievable, there are no words to describe it! I was there with Jose the other day for a photo shoot and the guys had me rollin’ the whole time. He is just funky and I love it.
Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante are great together. It’s always good to see everyone hang out and get along. Looks like big boy Josh (Johnson) is ready to go as well. I just can’t wait to get out there and smell the pine tar and hear the bat hitting the ball. It sounds stupid, but that’s why we all love this game.
I want to say good luck to everyone in baseball before we get started. I hope this is a great year and everyone stays healthy.
Also, keep an eye out for an album that I will post tomorrow of the “Lunch with a Legend” event and the Marlins golf outing!
Wrapping up the offseason
I had a great time on Monday night attending my first college basketball game and seeing DePaul play for the first time. I have to say, it was probably the most non-work related fun I have had this offseason. Wow. The people at DePaul and the fans at the game were awesome; it was such a good time. Even though Marquette had a lot of fans there, it was a close game to the end. I’m glad I had the chance to go and I will definitely be back. Who knows? I might even try to get some season tickets for next year, it was that much fun.
How many of you caught me on “Baseball Tonight” on Tuesday? It’s always a good time to catch up with Karl Ravech and the boys. Believe me; what those guys do is not easy. I have been there before and props to everyone that works in TV … that is hard work!
Right now, I’m just getting ready to head down to Miami on Feb. 12 for the Marlins Golf Tournament, which should be a very good time. I saw the new stadium digitally on the new “MLB The Show” game for PlayStation 3 (my kids love that game) and wow, does the stadium look amazing on there. The stadium was sold out in the game, so let’s hope that happens a lot this year and the next couple of years. I will also be shooting a Pepsi commercial for Venezuela with Carlos Zambrano and Bobby Abreu. I will be seeing Carlos a lot this season, and I’m looking forward to it.
To be completely honest with you, I just want all this stuff to be over and to get this thing going. There’s nothing better than spring baseball. Oh yeah, and I hope to see a lot of you out tomorrow at Morton’s Steakhouse in Chicago to see me with ESPN 1000 at noon. Can’t wait!
Spring is just around the corner
How did January go by so fast? Well, February is here and I can’t believe it. And no, I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day, just in case you were wondering. February is always an exciting month because baseball is finally getting started. I can’t really remember an offseason that has been as much fun as this one, not only with the moves the Marlins have made but with the moves everyone has made. There are a lot of good teams out there and teams looking to bounce back from last year. April 4 can’t come soon enough.
I will be heading down to Miami on Feb. 13 for the Marlins charity golf tournament. I know Joey Cora has been practicing a lot so I need to get out there a few days early so I don’t embarrass myself. A couple days before that, on Friday, Feb. 10, I will be doing “Lunch With a Legend” here in Chicago on ESPN 1000 with Waddle & Silvy. I love working with those guys because they know a lot about baseball and sports in general. They treat everyone with respect and I like that. I hope to see everyone out for the event.
I finally made it to my first Bulls game of the year last week. It’s always great to see my old buddy, the guy who got me my first car in Chicago back in 1985, Steve Shanwald. I think it was a Toyota Supra (haha). The Bulls played a great game and Derrick Rose was awesome! I did see that they lost to the Heat, even though it was a great game. It would be very nice if the Bulls and the Heat face off in the Eastern Conference Finals so I can catch some games in Miami.
Back to baseball. Like I always say, every team looks good in January and everyone is optimistic and excited about their team’s chances. Usually this time of year everyone is saying the right things, but you have to go out and play the games. Everyone loves each other in February, but the key is to love each other in September. If you can do that then you are in business. Trust me, I know first hand.
It’s almost time for baseball!
I’m back! Yes, it’s good to be back in Chicago. I love my house here in the Bucktown area, and even though it’s cold, at least it isn’t as cold as it was a week ago, from what I have heard. I will be hanging around Chicago for a couple more weeks before I head down to Florida for Spring Training. Tonight I am going to head over to the United Center for the Bulls game, my first one of the year. I think they play the Bucks, who just beat Miami, so it should be a good game. On Saturday I might head over to the UFC event. I have never been to one of those so it might be a cool experience.
Now, on to some baseball stuff. Wow! Congratulations to Prince Fielder and his family. He deserves it and the Tigers definitely got better. I know Miguel Cabrera is happy. It seems like all the big-name hitters are going to the American League, thank God (haha)!
I have some things planned here in Chicago before I head out that I’m sure you are going to be interested in. We literally just set this up a few minutes before I wrote this, but on Feb. 10 I will be on ESPN 1000 “Lunch with a Legend” on the “Waddle & Silvy Show.” I’m very excited about it and it will be a good way to say goodbye to Chicago before the season starts. Hope to see as many of you out for the event as possible.
I think I am leaving town right after Valentine’s Day and I’m pumped up about it. I never thought I would say this, but I’m looking forward to seeing Joey Cora again, a lot (haha). That means only one thing: baseball is here!