Hi, it's been awhile. A very long while. Just checking in and letting you all know I'll be back blogging soon. A lot going on with me. Good things though!
Thursday, December 15, 2016
The professional locker room is a private sanctuary for the professional athlete.
It's like a very private and exclusive club. Things go one that aren't intended for the public to know.
In every Major League Baseball clubhouse there is a sign that says, "What you see here, what you hear here, what you say here, what you do here, leave it here."
That was possible before the 24 hour news cycle, social media and smartphones.
Now EVERYTHING is under a microscope.
There are too many reporters with a nose for news. (My high school journalism teacher Mr. Ginsburg's term. A reporter always asks "who, what, when, where and why". Still remember that almost 30 years later!)
It was a tradition to have a few beers and talk about the game with teammates in the locker room. Now a days after a few athletes have been arrested for DUI, alcohol is banned in most locker rooms.
Back in the 50's, reporters didn't dare write about an athletes drinking. Mickey Mantle had several DUI incidents not reported by the New York press. Can you imagine that happening now?
We live in a world where no one can mind their own business.
This world has gotten too sensitive. Too politically correct.
Yesterday, Major League Baseball announced that rookie hazing will be banned. Hazing as in men dressing as women.
Today on my Facebook I posted a picture of men in a locker room taking part in rookie hazing. They were dressed as women like they were going to a night club. They're all laughing and smiling.
It's a tradition to have rookies dress ridiculous and walk around in a public place such as the hotel lobby or the airport. It's inclusion into a special club. A club that says, "You're in the big leagues now!"
But some people too smart for their own good say that it's demeaning to the athletes self confidence and demeaning to women. So stop it, you're hurting someone's feelings. (Insert whiny voice.)
There was a lengthy report about how it seems men make women inferior. That wearing pink in self ridicule will cause further damage to the athletes mind. May cause depression and PTSD.
I can guarantee you that ANY minor leaguer would gladly wear a woman's dress, cheerleader outfit or Hooter's girl outfit and wear it with pride! It would be a badge of honor. It would say, "I'm a big leaguer now!"
It's not insulting, it's not humiliating and no harm is intended. It's a joke. It gets a few laughs in MLB Network and ESPN. Hell, teams even tweet out the pictures!
But people who don't play sports, but know what's best for us have taken away another baseball tradition.
Start handing out skirts and tampons to newborn baby boys. They're going to need them to survive this world they will live in.
Monday, December 5, 2016
A friend put up an interesting Facebook post the other day. He mentioned it's time for female sideline reporters, studio analysts and pre and post game hosts to go away.
I know a lot of guys who say they don't like seeing women talking about a sport they never played. I have another friend who gets irritated at the sight of them.
One time he said, "What do they know about coming up the middle and have their ass handed to them?"
I think that's why I stopped watching football. It is quite irritating to see women talk about a sport they never played.
(I talk about sports on TV, but I played the sports I speak of).
This phenomenon grew in the 1990's when ABC Sports had Leslie Viser roam the sidelines on Monday Night Football. She was great at it though. She was a journalist at the Boston Globe in the 1970's. She's very well respected in sports television.
Then she moved on and Melissa Stark took over. She was horrible. Then along came Lisa Guererro. Not any better.
Then it was the thinking, "Let's put a hot chick on the sidelines and let her talk. Who cares if she doesn't know what she's talking about?"
Then there's the queen bee of female sideline reporters, Erin Andrews. She's informative and insightful, but so irritating! It's that voice!!
Now she's everywhere! She's a celebrity now.
Then there are the talking heads at NFL Network. There's always a female on the panel on most of their programming and it's a reason to keep the TV turned off.
But they're not going away anytime soon.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
"Beaten by the queen of hearts everytime." - Little River Band
I'm sitting at my kitchen table drinking champagne. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series!
We all know the story, they haven't won in 108 years.
I'm thinking there was no radio or television back in 1908.
The Cubs were known as the lovable losers as long as I've been alive.
I'm thinking back to 1984. I ride my bike as fast as I can from Douglass Jr High School to get home so I can watch the San Diego Padres play the Chicago Cubs for the NL pennant. The Cubs were sure to win.
I get home in time to see the ground ball go through Leon Durham's legs. Padres win the Series.
Fast forward to 1989.
I'm a senior in high school. I'm in 7th period yearbook class. We're watching the San Francisco Giants play the Cubs for the pennant. The Cubs were winning. Our teacher Mr. Ginsburg turns the TV off as class is about to start. 50 minutes later, the Giants won the pennant. Another heartbreaking loss.
Move on to 2003. I'm 31 years old. I'm a working stiff on night crew at a grocery store. I had to go to bed early so I could be up by 10pm so I could be at work by 11pm.
I go to bed with the Cubs beating the Marlins in the NLCS.
I wake up and the Marlins won the pennant.
Last year, the Mets swept the Cubs.
My point is the Cubs could never win the big one.
But this year was different since day one of Spring Training.
You just knew it was going to be a special year.
I went to a Spring Training game in Mesa, Arizona. It was an electric atmosphere.
I saw the Cubs in San Francisco and Oakland. It was like attending a Cubs home game.
You just knew this year was gonna be special.
Now I sit on my couch watching the World Series post game show and it's a historic celebration in Chicago.
A friend joked on Facebook that the city of Chicago is shut down until further notice.
There have been jokes that Chicago will run out of booze win the Cubs win it all.
It's not a curse or a dream no more.
The Chicago Cubs are the 2016 World Series Champions!
Party on Chicago!
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
This is a dream I have every September 1st......
"Hi Felix this is Tommy Lasorda with the Dodgers. Congratulations kid! Your a big leaguer. The rosters are expanding. We need you tonight!"
Me- "Seriously Tommy?"
Lasorda-"Serious as a heart attack!"
Me- "Don't say that Tommy. You've had a couple of big ones. You mention the Big Dodger in the Sky, you almost with him!"
Lasorda- "Everyone is a comedian! Get on the bus to LA. You have no time to waste!"
Me- "Bus? I'm done riding buses! I'm a big leaguer now!"
Lasorda- "You're not a big leaguer until you put on that big league uniform in a big league clubhouse! Got it mister?!"
Me- "Yes, Tommy, see you soon....."
Alarm goes off.
It was a dream. But to a few select minor leaguers, it's their first time in the Show or for the older minor league veteran, it's his last chance to get to the bigs.
This is why I love September baseball!
I was at home enjoying my Labor Day holiday when a friend said, "Hey! You gotta see this!"
It was a message from Facebook from another friend asking if it was true what he heard about me.
So I start making phone calls checking to see if my father died. This friend thought I had suddenly past on.
After a few minutes, we got a message saying it was another Felix. Felix Castillo.
Mr. Castillo was the head baseball coach at Woodland High for several years. We've been mistaken for each other before. People thought I was the coach at Woodland High. (Friend literally laughed in my face when he saw that. He thought it was a joke that someone like me would be coaching a baseball team.)
Mr. Castillo was playing softball when he had a heart attack. He was 48.
I never knew him, but it made me think that life is indeed short and sweet.
We're not promised tomorrow. He looked healthy in his pictures. He had a family and was a beloved teacher at Woodland High.
There was a touching photo on Facebook yesterday that showed parents, students, faculty, family and friends of his at a memorial gathering at the athletic fields at Woodland High. It was at sunset. The place was packed.