I had this cartoon pasted on the door to my freshman year dorm room. My recollection is actually that it was not a “horrible car accident” but that someone had been run over by a BICYCLE but my memory may be faulty …
I DO think it was a New Yorker magazine cartoon. And later on I framed it and had it in my old apartment. Somewhere along the line, in one move or another, it was lost.
I see it referenced online periodically but have never been able to find the cartoon. Would really, really love it if anyone found it and could reblog it.
But now that we’re 18 days out from the election, Mr. “Severely Conservative” wants you to think he was “severely kidding” about everything he’s said over the last year. He told folks he was “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party, now suddenly he’s saying, “what, who, me?” He’s forgetting what his own positions are, and he’s betting that you will too.
I mean he’s changing up so much—backtracking and sidestepping. We’ve gotta name this condition that he’s going through… I think it’s called “Romnesia.” That’s what it’s called. I think that’s what he’s going through.
Now, I’m not a medical doctor but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it.
If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work—you might have Romnesia.
If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care—you might have a case of Romnesia.
If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be “delighted” to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases—man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia.
Now, this extends to other issues. If you say earlier in the year I’m going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent and then in a debate you say, I don’t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks—you need to get a thermometer, take your temperature, because you’ve probably got Romnesia.
If you say that you’re a champion of the coal industry when while you were Governor you stood in front of a coal plant and said, this plant will kill you—that’s some Romnesia.
So—I think you’re beginning to be able to identify these symptoms. And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions.”—
THE BIG LEAGUE ALL-STAR GALA AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' ON TRIPLE-A!
I’m pretty sure that my first-ever road trip for the sadly-departed USA Today/Baseball Weekly was when they sent me to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the summer of 1993 to cover the Triple-A All-Star Game.
From that year through 2008 in Louisville, Ky., (with the exception of being assigned elsewhere in 2007 when I could have had a return trip to Albuquerque, damn you ex-employers!), the Triple-A event was an eagerly-anticipated event for me.
A chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. A chance to see players I’d been watching and others I’d yet to see, from up-and-coming prospects to veteran journeymen.
A chance to visit new parks and new cities.
And, always, a highlight was watching the ever-escalating game of “Can You Top This?” when it came to the host teams putting on a great event.
A few of the most memorable moments?
The Home Run Derby in Toledo in 2006 where sluggers Andy Marte and Ryan Ludwick squared off in one of the most legendary duels in HRD history (well, at least in Triple-A HRD history), as Marte blasted 29 home runs in his three rounds, mostly of the tape-measure variety.
Watching Ryan Klesko, Billy Ashley and Ryan Thompson engage in tarp-sliding in the puddles created by that rarest of events, a huge rainstorm prior to the 1993 game in Albuquerque.
Acting as field/dugout reporter for ESPN during the TV broadcast of the 2002 game in Oklahoma City.
And, possibly the single most memorable and all kinds of awesome events, being present at the on-field pre-game wedding of Norfolk Tides fan favorite Benny Agbayani at the 1998 event in Norfolk. If memory serves correctly, he had actually declined a pre-break call-up by the parent Mets so that he could fulfill his commitment as planned. He and his bride had fresh leis shipped in from their home state of Hawaii and, as one of the few women on the field, I got to wear one. (Yeah, yeah, I got lei’d at Benny Agbayani’s wedding. Whatever. It was awesome.) Oh, and the gala that year was held on an AIRCRAFT CARRIER.
The gala is always eagerly anticipated, and my guess is the host team starts planning as soon as they are awarded the game, more than a year in advance (next year is in Reno and you KNOW the Aces are going to come up aces.)
So I’ve been out of the loop for a few years. I missed the Portland, Oregon, game in 2009. The Lehigh Valley (Pa.) event in 2010. The return to Salt Lake City last summer, which I would have enjoyed since the 1996 game was one of my favorites ever (due to the participants, not the gala – that was kind of lame, actually. I heard last year’s was much better.)
But there was no way I was missing Buffalo. There was just so much to be there for. The fact that it was the 25th anniversary of the game, which was launched in 1988 at Buffalo’s Pilot Field. Still a part-time sportswriter at the time, I wrote up a preview of the game for my local paper because one of our “local boys” was the starting pitcher for the American League, Roy Smith of Mount Vernon, N.Y. (now a scout for the New York Mets, who just happen to be the parent club of the Bisons).
Plus I have had a long-time connection to the club, dating back to covering them through a series of stories in 1997 as they marched to the final American Association championship before that third Triple-A circuit dissolved, and the 1998 club, which won the championship in its new home, the International League, and competed in the first Triple-A World Series in Las Vegas.
Knowing the Bisons front office, which has remained remarkably intact over these last 15 years, I had a feeling they’d win any game of “Can You Top This” to which they felt challenged.
And even so, they surpassed my expectations at Tuesday night’s gala.
Held at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre, guests entered on a small red carpet and then had the luxurious and expansive old lobby, the seats in the theatre and, most notably, the stage itself to avail themselves of an array of food and drinks, including Buffalo wings, of course, as well as locall crafted beer.
To say the dessert bar was a hit would be an understatement. Check out the baseball-designed chocolate-covered strawberries, and the candy buffet provided by Eaton Chocolate (www.eatonchocolate)!
With the big league game being played on Central Time in Kansas City, there was some “down time” before the big hanging screens lit up with the game, so during that span, as folks milled and mingled, six All-Star players competed in one of – okay, THE most – creative event I’ve seen at one of these: a relay eat-off of Buffalo’s spiciest wings.
Three players each from the International League and Pacific Coast League were seated with napkins at their neck and large bottles of water in easy reach. Hosted by the Wing King, , so perfect for Buffalo, an eat-off of Buffalo’s most spicy wings. Each guy had water bottle and a bobble head of the event’s host, nationally famous Drew Cerza, aka “the Wing King.”
Though the IL would have seemed to have an advantage with two Bufffalo–based players, in Bisons (Mets) first baseman Val Pascucci and Syracuse Chiefs (Nationals) infielder Jim Negrych, a Buffalo native, the PCL rallied from behind as anchorman Jim Henderson, the closer for the Nashville Sounds (Brewers) edged out Charlotte Knights (White Sox) catcher Josh Phegley down the stretch to give the PCL the victory. The other two members of the winning team, Iowa Cubs infielder Josh Vitters and Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers) pitcher John Ely took home the title, Wing King bobblehead dolls and undoubtedly a case of heartburn.
Now, minor league baseball players are a tough bunch to impress.
But they were still raving today about the sleight of hand performed by Buffalo-based magician extraordinaire Lou Cirulli, aka “Magic Lou” (www.magiclou.com) Now back home after nearly a decade on the west coast in Los Angeles, he took table after table of skeptics and turned them all into dazzled believers. I am not kidding. Players, wives, owners, whatever. Just ask Charlotte infielder Dan Johnson and his wife Holly. They will totally back me up on this. He should be on the big stages in Vegas. Or late night TV shows.
Whoever had the idea “hey, let’s have a magician stroll through the tables and do tricks during the game” might have been looked at like he was crazy, but whoever it was, give that man (or woman) a bonus.
Coming tomorrow, more notes from the big day and main event, including notes from the luncheon which featured guest of honor, Hall of Famer and, may I add, my husband’s all-time favorite baseball player, Tom Seaver.
Sitting here in the press box at Coca Cola Field in Buffalo, New York, about to watch the Triple-A All-Star Game Home Run Derby festivities (a few people have mentioned on Twitter that there is apparently some other All-Star Game going on somewhere this week but I am all about the Triple-A event so that’s what you can look forward to reading here over the next few days!)
A little more this week on my history with the Triple-A game itself and my beloved Buffalo in particular, but for now, let’s get to the event at hand.
After nearly two decades of covering minor league All-Star Games and the associated Home Run Derbies, you might think that you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Most of the time, you’d be right (it’s sad that for me the most memorable HRD came in 2005 in Frederick, Md., at the Class A Carolina-California League event when a foul line drive by Miguel Montero nailed me in the right shin … the resulting case of cellulitis almost cost me my leg. But hey, I got the ball.)
But there is a reason that the Buffalo Bisons have been considered among the crème de la crème of Minor League Baseball’s organizations over the years, a reason the club got the 25th annual Triple-A All-Star Game (well, partly because they also hosted the very first one!). Great ownership and management and some creative out-of-the-box thinkers have resulted in an unusual tweak to the proceedings tonight that have me kinda wishing I was just a regular old fan so I could be in the mix for the prizes!
Anyway, one of the highlights of a Home Run Derby tends to be the hordes of kids (and yeah, more than a few “kids at heart”) who stake out territory on the outfield berms to chase down the home run balls.
At Buffalo, however, that territory is taken up by the entrance/exit ramps to I-190 in left field and a parking garage in right field (though there are a few rows of the Bully Hill Vineyards party deck in right field – which is where I’d want to sit if I were just at a Bisons game for fun. Another glass of Love My Goat, please.).
So instead, the Bisons posted a series of “targets” in different locations, attached to the fences towering over left field (ostensibly to keep passing cars from getting hit, but according to Bisons beat writer Mike Harrington, who is the font of all things Buffalo and one of the best in the biz, former Buffalo slugger Jeff Manto used to aim for – and hit – passing cars during BP back in the day), center field awnings and right field locations.
If a contestant – celebrity or Triple-A slugger – hits one of the targets, a seat number will be pulled at random with the holder of that seat winning a prize package from the sponsor.
The prizes range from gift certificates from local and national restaurants or businesses to a two-year lease for a 2012 Lincoln MKZ from local dealership Towne Auto (that can only be won if the target, at the top of the fence in left-center field, is hit in the final round of competition).
Among the six Triple-A sluggers, four – Texas Rangers outfield prospect Joey Butler, Houston Astros veteran DH Mike Hessman (who has 369 career homers), Cleveland Indians former Olympian Matt LaPorta and Buffalo’s own hometown hero, Valentino Pascucci – are right-handed so seem the only candidates to win someone that sweet ride.
(NOTE 7:41 p.m. Butler has just hit a home run over that left field fence that landed just shy of the interstate. And yeah, there are a few fans stationed out there racing for the ball.)
But some of the other more memorable prizes include a suite for the Bisons 25th anniversary celebration game in August; $1,000 cash; a two-night stay with a $250 spa certificate and dinner for two at Western Door Steakhouse courtesy of Home Run Derby sponsor Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel; a $100 grilling basket from Wegman’s (hope my husband is reading this); and a Bully Hill Party Deck event for 25 people (if someone wins that, I can be their new best friend!)
Way overdue, but what better time to relaunch the baseball part of my blog than sitting here, eyes still bleary, first cup of coffee in hand (a second one coming before I even think about reaching for the car keys) before getting in the car and heading eight hours north (okay, northwest if you want to be picky about it) to Buffalo for the 25th annual Triple-A All-Star Game!
One of my favorite events in one of my favorite cities with GORGEOUS weather forecast on tap (remember, please, I’m coming from D.C. where we’ve had triple digits and power outages since I came home from Cary, N.C., almost three weeks ago!).
And armed with a new camera, look for plenty of photo-blogging, Tweeting (@LisaWinston if you are interested), Facebook updates (facebook/LisaWinstonBaseballDigest) etc. Or just stay tuned here. I’ll have internet in the hotel AND the pressbox. Just like a real reporter (j/k).
And yeah, from here on in, I’ll try to make the content ratio 70:20:10 in terms of baseball:pop culture:Dana’s dog Rilo. Okay, maybe 50:40:10. Or something.
Math class is hard said teen Barbie as she pissed away a potential $50,000 payday because she couldn’t do math in her head on live TV in front of millions of people.
In the meantime, my last time in Buffalo? Voici. See if you can identify the only person in this picture from 1997 who is currently playing in the major leagues.
No, of course there is not, which is why I will wave a fond pageant-queen type of wave farewell to the first day of June by posting this awesome instragram borrowed from none other than my daughter, Dana Wells.
While we were skyping today, her puppela Rilo was pretty much getting into EVERYTHING. And luckily Dana is only in a cute little studio and I think it’s pretty clean so there wasn’t THAT much He could get into.
But this picture of his latest “find” when it comes to a place to chillax, be comfy and look up at his mommy and her camera and say “what? you got a problem with this?” is the best yet.
I present to you Rilo in his mom’s guitar case.
And with that, since Twitter is being a pill and not let me add more people to follow on my NEW AND SHINY account, I will bid you farewell and will dream that I am riding a bike down the beach in North Carolina with both of my fluff-bunnies in the basket of my bicycle.
I just realized that not only have I been remiss in writing and catching everyone up on everything — something I do plan to do very soon … but in doing so, anyone who happens to surf by my page sees a photo/gif (I think that’s the right techie term) of someone pouring sparkles on a very buff butt that is not my butt.
Maybe I need to add something new here … oh, and the reason for that particular “reblog” of the sparkly butt was that it was something deep and complicated reblogged from the awesome Fernando Perez, and at the end of his post he mentions that he had read and loved the great memoir “Candy Girl” by Diablo Cody on my recommendation. And he thought the sparkle-butt would be a good logo for the book. Okay?
So. Things I will be blogging about really soon:
My cool new job
The amazing and inspirational experience of doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (as soon as I finish making my Flickr album that I can link)
Dana stuff, of course (new EP coming soon, etc.)
Pictures of my grand-dog Rilo
How amazing it’s been sorting through old family pictures, expanding my family tree and learning about relatives I didn’t know existed.
In the meantime, here is my Poppy’s passport photo from when he came to the United States from Russia:
I first “met” veteran left-hander C.J. Nitkowski back in the days when there was a Baseball Weekly, as I wrote a feature about his involvement with this weird thing called “the internet” and how he would, when he wasn’t pitching, write stories (they’d probably now be called “blogs”) about baseball life.
If C.J. didn’t invent the Internet like Al Gore did, he did at least help pioneer the potential for interactivity between players and the rest of the world.
In the years since then, well, I don’t have to tell you how the advent of the world online has changed every facet of baseball journalism. You’re reading my Tumblr. Or maybe my Twitter feed that connects to my Tumblr.
The connectivity and availability of info has been a big boon for reporters, media and fans alike.
It’s also, in my opinion, had more than a little negative effect on the world of sports journalism.
But you don’t have to listen to/read my thoughts on how … because in his terrific blog, C.J. Nitkowski pretty much sums up everything I hate about what has happened to the coverage of baseball since the advent of these newfangled interwebz things.
And he does it even-handedly — acknowledges the good, but nails the bad.
So people who know me KNOW I am a lazy lox who barely gets off my butt. But these last few weeks have inspired me to actually DO my training every week — 4 days of walking, 3 days of cross-training (in my case, Pilates which help my back and “core muscles” as they say).
I’ve found a wonderful team, Flower Power Empowered, that allows me to train with them despite the fact that I am not technically a “member” of their team and for this I am so grateful. Plus, they are awesome fun.
Tomorrow, we are meeting up at 7:30 a.m. for a nice, relaxing EIGHT-MILE WALK. I can do it. I can do it. Icandoiticandoiticandoit. Seriously. And when it’s over, a few of us will be heading down to Arlington, Va., to participate in the national Avon Walk for Breast Cancer 10th Anniversary celebration (the veterans and the first-timers, bonding together).
My plans for Sunday? Well, yeah, I’ll watch the Super Bowl. But rather than cooking a big pot of chili, I will be making my first batch of “Winston Cup Cookies.” Anyone who has donated so far to our team, Winston Cups: Hope and Diamonds, and for whom I have a “snail mail” address will be getting a batch of “thank you cookies” shaped, if things work out with the cookie cutter, like a ribbon (well, everyone except Steve F. who is getting cookies shaped like a hot dog … we have bonded over our love of Liebman’s Deli in Riverdale and their hot dogs which are second only to Papaya King in the hot dog pantheon).
So if you’ve made a donation, keep an eye on the mail for yummy delicious and special cookies.
If you are a newshound, right about now you are probably sick of reading about … well, without going into major detail or starting up any kind of political or philosophical kerfuffles, a certain foundation that is associated with breast cancer research, pink ribbons and annual Walks for the Cure.
So what I WILL say here is that that is NOT the group with which my upcoming AVON Walk for Breast Cancer is associated with.
Now that I have gotten that “pink elephant” out of the way, I wanted to give a few updates on what I’ve been doing, what I WILL be doing this weekend, and, most important, share a few pictures of more people I love who inspire me.
I’ve already talked about my amazing and beautiful baby sister Stephanie, with whom I have partnered up to form the two-person/four-boobed Winston Cups: Hope and Diamonds team which will be schlepping our way through the May 5-6 Walk for Breast Cancer here in Washington D.C. 13 weeks from tomorrow, we’ll be sucking down coffee and meeting up at the Washington Memorial at 5:30 a.m. (ouch) to embark on our two-day journey.
Until then, a few hundred miles apart, we’ll be training so we’re ready physically for the challenge (we are MORE than ready emotionally, especially thanks to the amazing early outpouring of love and support we are receiving).
And I will be writing another blog about Stephanie and our relationship over these 40-plus years. It may be one that surprises you. You can look for it in late March to coincide with a certain sister’s birthday.
Although I have only just started to send out letters to my friends and loved ones, letting them know what we’re doing, the response has been overwhelming. And one common note is that I don’t think I know a single person whose life has not been affected by breast cancer, whether they are a survivor or the loved one of a survivor or the loved one of someone who was not as fortunate.
And while I will be walking with my sister, we will both have SO many people in our hearts and minds for whom we are also walking in spirit if not in reality.
I want to dedicate my next few blogs to some of them …
Tonight, I want to send my love and endless awe to the amazing Barbara Jean Germano, who underwent a lumpectomy last week and is in the process of radiation treatment over these next few weeks/months.
Without BJ, I doubt this blog would even exist because such a key part of it is the glut of gorgeous baseball pictures from my voluminous iPhoto collection and I think she took about 90 percent of them!
If there was ever proof that breast cancer can strike anyone, even the people you consider the healthiest, strongest people you know, then BJ’s diagnosis a few months ago is that proof. She literally (yes, I know the proper use of literally) glowed with health. So when I learned that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, it was like being hit in the gut.
But I also knew, KNEW, that if anyone could kick cancer’s ass and make it sorry it even thought about messing with the wrong person, it was BJ. I know that sounds like a cliche but it is the God’s honest truth.
Turns out, knock wood (hey, I am superstitious, something you can’t NOT be in all these years in baseball), I was right. Despite a relatively advanced stage of cancer, she underwent chemo like the trooper she is and when it was done, the tumors were in such a state of remission that “all” she needed was a lumpectomy and radiation. It was GONE. I think the doctors were amazed, but anyone who knows BJ knows that if anyone could use the power of positive thinking and faith and strength to make that happen, it was her.
So while I walk those miles (ironic since I am the lox and she is the most buff, athletic lady you’ll ever meet — her legs are the envy of everyone who sees them!), I will have her beautiful smile and her voice saying “Lisa Lisa LISA!” in my mind.
A little background on our friendship. I started working on the national minor league baseball beat for USA Today Baseball Weekly when I came on board in 1992, and got my first assignment to cover a Triple-A All-Star Game in 1993 when it was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico (I would cover the game on an uninterrupted streak until it returned to Albuquerque, a few years back, when MLB.com opted to send me to Double-A instead. I wept.)
I love lying in the sun and I love coffee. Neither has done wonders for my youthful look. But that morning of the game, I headed out to the team hotel pool with the temps at about 100 degrees. Only one other person sat out there, a gorgeous and tan woman who had a pot of hotel coffee. She offered me a cup. We became fast friends. And so began a friendship that is running up on two decades now.
Over the years, we shared so many Triple-A All-Star Games together. It was OUR THING. I loved hanging out with her. I loved sharing a hotel room with her, as I did later on when she’d cover it for my paper, either freelance or when they were finally smart enough to hire her as their official in-house Photo Editor.
When we needed a freelance photographer for minor league events, I always asked for BJ.
Though there is no picture of us together, one of our most memorable experiences was when we co-covered a pair of 1997 Triple-A League Championship series, making the I-90 commute between Buffalo, where the last-ever American Association finals took place between the Bisons and Iowa, and Rochester, her home town, where the Red Wings faced off with, I think, the Columbus Clippers. That trip was marked by a few memories. My first-ever trip to Wegmans. And, as we left her apartment in Rochester to get into her car for the drive to Buffalo, my managing to miss one of the steps out of her garden apartment complex, falling, and spraining my ankle so badly that within minutes it had ballooned to five times its size. Luckily, one of her neighbors witnessed the spill and brought me crutches. We got me into her car and promptly spilled a thermos of coffee on my seat so I not only had a swollen ankle on her dashboard but a hot wet pair of jeans (shut up and get your mind out of the gutter).
I survived and we had the best time ever. And if you ever go to Buffalo, get your wings at Gabriel’s Gate on Allen Street.
A few years later, as I mentioned, the paper was smart enough to bring BJ in to run the show and I had so much fun apartment-hunting with her in my neck of the woods. Loved having her in the office. Loved being able to work with her on such a regular basis.
She left the paper about a year before I did and moved to Arizona, where she still lives, in the heart of spring training heaven.
I love getting to see her when I go out there, and even now she’s turning me on to new discoveries (hello, frozen crinkle sweet potato fries!).
Barbara Jean, I love you and miss you and you inspire me. You will be in my heart every step I take this May.
Tomorrow: The other survivor who inspires me and whom I love so much — my Aunt Rhoda.
A crazy-busy last few days filled with cooking, baking, eating, whining like a baby about indigestion, working crazy hours at my awesome part-time seasonal retail job (including the 5 a.m. Black Friday shift) and soaking my feet in equally awesome bubble baths – not to mention preparing for the upcoming Winter Meetings – has made this girl a little backed-up when it comes to going into more detail about my “25 Tweets in 25 Days” backstories (and also a little backed up on the tweets themselves).
I was going to start posting them last night when the internet went down.
Seriously. If you don’t believe me, ask my husband (who noticed a few minutes later and came running upstairs shouting “the Internet is down! The Internet is down!” when I’d already shut down my laptop, crawled into bed and started catching up on old Tivo’d shows)
Anyway … here is Day 12’s back story. Days 13-14 coming soon, as well as picking up a little late on my Days 15-16 tweets. Maybe even by tonight!
The goal is still to have the last tweet run the day I leave for the Winter Meetings. I love good timing.
DAY 12: Contrary to what some people may believe, no, most baseball players are NOT jerks.
When people find out what I do for a living, especially people who are fans but don’t work in the game (and sadly, sometimes people who DO work in the game), I frequently get asked if most baseball players are real jerks.
Um, no. They’re actually not.
I won’t go into morbid detail about this because needless to say, the odds alone would ensure that after 25 years as a professional writer who has dealt with not just players at every level – major leaguers, minor leaguers, independent leaguers, field staff, managers, front offices, old-timers, all the way down to college, high school and rec league dreamers (and their parents), — I’m gonna have faced my fair share of … well … horses’ asses. They’re in the society at every level and they’re in baseball.
But that said? If I were to take the time to put together my David Letterman-esque list of Top 10 Guys (and Gals) I’d Rather Bite On Tin Foil Than Ever Have To Talk To Again From My Sportswriting Career, the results might surprise you!
For one thing, I don’t think I could fill even half the list with players.
And no, I won’t list those who WOULD make the list here … other than to say that only one of them is even currently arguably a “big star” in the game.
The rest are a motley assortment of bitter old guy fans (one sent a poorly-spelled letter to my boss that he wouldn’t read our paper again until I was busy emptying the garbage and other things a woman SHOULD be doing), bitter young fans who don’t know why they don’t have my job which they could do infinitely better, “old school” front office types here or there who are realizing the game is changing and feeling that folks like me are part of the reason why (there have been blessedly few of them since my early days of employment) , and just garden-variety asses who would have been asses if they worked in baseball, as doctors, as lawyers, as dot.com geniuses, whatever.
I’ve also found that those who hammer over and over about their complaints and their “woe is me, people are so mean and unfair” (and Twitter has made this more prevalent than ever) tend to attract more active response from the jerks.
In other words – grow a pair (literally or figuratively) and hit ignore, or these days, unfriend or unfollow and/or block.
It’s not you. It’s them. Unless, of course, you want it to be about you.
It’s just luck of the draw and I try not to take it too seriously.
And maybe … just maybe … that attitude is why my tweet for Day 12 is what it is.
"I don’t know everything. I don’t pretend to either. But I do generally know where to find the answers. Better late than wrong."
This is pretty self-explanatory, no?
But I’m often surprised by how many people, when asked a question people expect them to know the answer to (and they don’t), kind of blather on and on aimlessly, or simply state firmly and assertively, something completely WRONG-O.
In my first tweet of this series, I talked a little bit about how the internet has helped and/or hurt journalism (and in particular sports journalism and in more particular-particular baseball journalism).
One of the “helps” is that there are a lot of great and reliable factual websites where, if you don’t know the answer to something, you can find it (becoming familiar with which ones ARE reliable and which are not so much, that’s another story).
But overall, there is very little that is fact that can’t be confirmed on the ‘net if you know where to look, or, often in my case, by calling the person in question to simply ask.
On the occasions that I am asked by aspiring journalists or what-have-you for career advice, one thing I ALWAYS warn them is this … If you don’t know something for sure, DON’T PRETEND YOU DO. It will bite you in the ass. I promise this.
There is nothing wrong with saying “You know what, that’s a good question. I am not 100 percent sure of the answer so I will find out and get back to you with it.” And then, DO find out and DO get back to them with it, if you can.
Right now, I have an absolutely fabulous part-time seasonal sales job for the holidays at my favoritest favoritest store in the whole wide world. It’s like sticking a chocoholic at Willy Wonka’s factory. But not with chocolate. And believe me, I know a LOT about this company’s product because I think I have helped support them single-handedly for the better part of a decade.
But there are still many things I don’t know (because they, like baseball, have a constantly evolving and changing line of products and stories about the products). So when a customer comes in, if they ask me a question about something and I don’t know the answer, the worst thing I can do is “make it up” … instead, I ask someone there who DOES know (and am lucky enough to have a few managers, at least one of whom is always there, who actually DO know everything!) And each day, each shift, I learn more and more and can answer more and more.
SO the advice I give may be for baseball and journalism, but really, it’s for life.
As a Rule 5 Draft geek (never Rule V, please note), today is one of my favorite days of the year: 40-man roster deadline.
I’ve mellowed a bit as the years have past. I used to kill a million trees (or so Jonathan Mayo told me) printing out rosters and constantly updating them and then re-printing them.
This time I’m doing it all online and will not print out the 40s until they are final.
And hopefully someone will shoot me the list of all the players that are R5 eligible in the next few days *she said sweetly, batting her eyelashes like she had a piece of sand stuck in her eye*
But some things won’t change. I guarantee you that on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 8, I will be sitting in the front row of the ballroom in Dallas awaiting the start of the annual draft and suppressing my little squees of joy when players I know have been waiting for that chance to be on a 40-man roster and go to big league camp get their names called …
Will they make the cut? Will they be the next Dan Uggla, the first player to make the All-Star Team the year of his Rule 5 selection? Or other Rule 5 later-success poster boys like Johan Santana or Jose Bautista or Shane Victorino (a TWO-TIME Rule 5 pick), just to name a few?
Who knows. But it’s always fun to see the list of who’s available (and often to field phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages from some of the eligible guys asking if I’ve heard their names in talks). Yes, eligible players often LOVE to be taken … it means people think they have what it takes to make it to the big leagues, maybe sooner than later, even if perhaps they’re stuck behind a perennial All-Star with their own team.
In slightly expanded form here … (as in, more than 140 characters)
IMHO, the Winter Meetings “experience” can often be determined by two words: Hotel Lobby.
This is one reason I am so looking forward to this year’s event in Dallas which, along with the Sheraton in Anaheim, is one of the most “participant-friendly” set-ups in the expanded rotation.
Really? you may ask, Why is that?
Well, thanks for asking …
While there are important participants who would really rather NOT see and be seen (GMs tend to get pestered by everyone, for example), overall, an event of this size needs a nucleus which is big enough to find everyone you want to find in a small area, but not an area SO small that it’s crowded and stuffy. And it’s also essential that that area have a bar. Or three.
The Dallas lobby has an easy to spot main entrance, a good-sized lobby, and then you reach The Bar. Which is big and round and opens up onto the second part of the lobby where you can always find a place to sit, plus a kiosk for snacks and coffee during the day. A few nice restaurants line the sides.
Generally, you can find almost anyone and everyone you want to see there, from first thing in the morning (on line for coffee) until the wee hours (not on line for coffee).
In addition, there is (or was, hope it’s still there) a sports bar downstairs where you can watch games on TV, grab some bar food if you’re hungry, and find more people to share drinks with.
Because it’s a high rise hotel rather than, say, a meandering maze like Opryland in Nashville, it’s nice and compact and your feet aren’t barking at the end (my very first meetings were in 1989 in Nashville … like a moron, I wore high heels the first day. Like a double moron, I overextended myself feeling I had to be everywhere at every moment. And like a triple moron, I came home with pneumonia.) In dallas, there are only so many places one can go, and most are right near each other.
Plus, the hotel is not in downtown Dallas (IS there a downtown Dallas?) … rather, it’s outside of the city in an area where the only other place to go is the convention hall where the Trade Show is (you don’t even have to go outside to get there).
So, unlike, say, Las Vegas (where you had to walk through casinos to find anyone, there were few real “bar areas” and everyone went out every night) or Disney World (where people brought their families) there is little if any reason to leave the hotel. And unlike Nashville, where there are a ton of bars hidden throughout the maze, it’s easy to find who you’re looking for.
If you come to the meetings with any kind of agenda, job to do, or people to see, you’d have to try really hard NOT to get it accomplished.
As long as those ice storms don’t close the airports like they did last time, anyway.
See you in Dallas, where I promise to bring you my thoughts and ramblings live from the lobby.
(Photos from Winter Meetings of the past forthcoming within a few hours so you can have a visual here)
The Orioles have not yet retired Hendricks’ #44 (coincidentally my own lucky number) but no one on the active roster wears it. With the return of the 1970 Orioles “birdie” to the 2012 uniform, and the arrival of a new GM in Dan Duquette, what would be a better way to kick of the season than with a tribute to one of the most beloved players in team history by retiring No. 44 on Opening Day? Just a thought …
Come on out to Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood on this Monday, November 7th, for some music, fun, and, of course, potato vodka! Or, you know, beer. Or soda. Whatever you want to drink, really, it’s up to you because the cover charge is only $5! Yes, you read that correctly! Five bucks for a whole night’s worth of music!
I will be playing at 8pm for half an hour, and I hope to see you then!
Bar Lubitsch 7702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA Monday, November 7 8pm $5, 21+