Well, the first half is done, and now we’re getting to the part where the men separate themselves from the boys. I had a great time at the All-Star Game and I’m happy everyone saw a great game with good pitching and timely hitting. We got to see the best closer ever, Mariano Rivera. He has broken my bat before and probably hundreds of others during his career. It was so amazing to see him go out like that in person. I actually shed a couple of tears.
One of the things I love about this game is that even though we all know Rivera is the best ever, he’s still been beaten and walked off on. That’s why this game is so special; you never know what’s going to happen. I’m glad that something positive came out of the game and the couple of days.
Congrats to Yoenis Cespedes on the Home Run Derby win. And Bryce Harper, wow, that young man has some talent. I wish all the news was positive, but the Ryan Braun news came out, and I fear there will be more. Cheating now with the rules that are in place is just goofy. I think Bud has his hands full, but he will do what’s best for the game. I have no doubt about that.
Looking forward to the second half, I see it as a wide open race. Both Detroit and Texas look good, and the addition of Matt Garza will help the Rangers. In the National League, the Cardinals look like the class of the league, but the playoffs are a different world. Pitching and defense win, every time.
I have been missing in action for a while, but I wanted to write to everyone who has supported me throughout this whole year, as well as to those of you who haven’t supported me, but are still reading this because you just can’t get enough, or something. I’m off later today to Spain, and I am really looking forward to this vacation and getting away from everything for a little while.
No matter what I do or where I go, baseball is in me 24/7, and that’s just the way it’s going to be. It’s very disappointing to see the way we ended this season and I don’t have to remind anyone that we had much higher hopes. But, what’s in the past is in the past. No regrets. Hopefully we can have a great offseason, get back on track, and come back ready to kick some butt.
Jose Reyes stayed healthy, JJ (Josh Johnson), Mike Stanton — all of those key guys being on the field for us was great this year. I loved the fact that every single one of my players played hard every day. That’s all I can ask for. I have to thank them for that. The staff and front office — we all went through this season together. Throughout the good and the bad, we stuck together. We had some good surprises along the way with Donovan Solano and Justin Ruggiano, and I know things will get better overall sooner rather than later.
I’m not a quitter and I will never give up on my guys. Soon enough we will all be in Jupiter, Fla. for Spring Training and the optimism will be back. Good luck to all the guys in the playoffs; make sure you appreciate it because it’s one of the best feelings you will ever have.
Thank you to everyone for their continued support. Have fun and I will see you soon.
I’m baaaaackkkkk!!! Don’t think just because I have been out of the country I haven’t been following some baseball. I know what’s been going on in the playoffs and all over the place.
On that note, ESPN has asked me to help them out during their World Series coverage, and I gladly accepted. I’m honored and excited to work as an analyst this year along side my man John Kruk and Barry Larkin. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I guarantee lots of laughing. Make sure you tune in; you just never know what’s going to happen. I will also be on SportsCenter a couple of times, so the whole thing should be a blast. Being around baseball is what I love and it’s what I always want to be doing. This is the second best way to be around the World Series; I’m just glad they picked me and wanted me to come on board.
Congrats to all the teams that made it. The Tigers — with all their injuries — put up an amazing fight. They deserve a lot of credit with all they had to put up with. I’m not surprised about Texas because they are a very good team. I’m happy for Wash (Ron Washington) and Michael Young since he has been their leader for so long. I’m a big fan of his.
I am a little surprised at how good the Cardinals’ bullpen has been. Wow. Tony LaRussa and his staff have done a great job working those guys in. As for the Phillies, I thought they would have moved past St. Louis with their pitching, but it wasn’t meant to be.
New teams and new cities getting excited about their teams is a good thing for baseball. If the Cubs pull off that deal for Theo Epstein, it would be awesome for them. The city of Chicago would definitely appreciate it, and he has a great history of winning, as we all know.
Also, I want to say great job by A.J. Pierzynski and Tito (Terry Francona) on FOX. They are doing a great job working with a great staff. Don’t think I forgot about Spain either. What an amazing time, but you guys have probably heard enough about that! See you at the World Series. I’ll be the guy in the nice suit (haha). Let’s hope it goes seven games. Why not? I’m torn because I was an American League guy, but now for less than a month I am a National League guy.
Who do you think will win? That’s why they play the games. Feels good to be back in the U.S.!