Let No One Steal Your Joy, Shout it From the Bleachers!

***Composed Friday evening, 1/26/13***

Snow in the D!  I am sitting in the hotel room as I compose this post just a block away from Comerica ParkTiger’s Fanfest 2013 will be in full swing tomorrow just across the street! We only live an hour away but for the sake of not having to rush, we thought to make it a little more of a trip 🙂  I honestly don’t know how I’m going to sleep! The excitement within me is already at a dangerous level…well dangerous in regards to  foreseeing sleep deprivation for me tomorrow.

Ya’ll know by now how much I love the game of baseball.  It’s a simple sport yet has a complexity to it as well that only a true fan of the game can appreciate.  What makes us love it so much?  I’m not certain I know how to translate it into a type written form. But as I stand in the on deck circle and now up to the plate, I’ll give it a try.

How do you explain why seeing past television footage of moments in baseball’s history can bring you to tears?  My team is obviously the TIgers and every time I watch certain clips, the tears fall, but they are happy tears from the passion I have. Even commercials will emotionally move me.  No shame!  I love the fact that I can feel so deeply about baseball, about Tiger’s baseball. 

When anything in this cruel, hard world invokes your emotions, ignites your passion, gets under your skin…hang onto it!  Life it tough, stressful and the people in it can be not-so-loving.  Tears of joy are a blessing to be able to shed, so shed em!  I have witnessed too many people in my life and heard too many stories of people that have for some reason hardened themselves to…I don’t know…to feeling? To being able to feel?

You know what I’m talking about here or what? We allow the blah of life to steal our joy.  Crack a dang smile when you hear a young child giggle!  Shout hallelujah when the preacher reveals one of God’s truth to your heart you hadn’t pondered before!  Jump off the couch when your team has just drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 9th inning! Now are you smelling what I’m stepping in?  I joke, yes, because I love humor, it’s good for the soul…but I am also being serious people.  Unleash the passion you have inside and use it for good.  Do you know how contagious it can be?

I believe it stems from love.  Whatever or whomever you love creates a passion inside you.  Great.  LET IT OUT! If ya ain’t vocal, that’s alright, let the gal or guy you love know in a note, tell them how special they are, be gushy once in awhile, it won’t hurt.  Your loved ones need to know they mean something to you.  If you’re anything like me, then you want your loved ones to show you how they feel.

Anyways, show some love.  Whether it be to someone or about something you enjoy.  Like so many baseball fans I have seen hold at games, make a sign and share your joy!

I gotta get to bed now so I can hopefully fall asleep soon.

 

Love to all the baseball fans out there-and even to those of you that aren’t 🙂

Play ball!

Cold Michigan Grateful to Wear It’s Mitten

Brrr!  As I sit cozy and warm inside the house, the temperature outdoors is struggling to stay in the single digits. IMG_0284

Often around this time of the month in January, I will hold onto any small change in the weather that appears to be the beginning of warmer, spring weather with it.  Thus far in this new year of 2013, there have been no such signs!

Spring time is loved by many people here in Michigan because it brings new life with it.  We are thrilled at the first signs of spring like early blooming flowers that can protrude even through leftover snow that’s still melting around us.  This begins our mental checklist of things to get done as spring approaches and what projects we wish to work on when it’s finally here.  We look forward to the first time we can open our windows and let that fresh spring air flow through our homes that have been sealed tight to keep out winter’s harsh cold.  And of course for each MLB team, a fresh baseball season.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

-Rogers Hornsby

Admittedly, my mind drifts to baseball as I stand outside on an early spring day.  I breathe in deeply and can smell baseball, ahh the scent of a new season as the spring sun warms your face.  Makes me smile.

As much as I love gardening, spring-like weather just reminds me that MLB’s Opening Day is around the corner.  On a cooler spring day here in Brooklyn, MI , I think to myself “these temps would still add an extra sting to a batter’s hands.” Why do I say “add”?  Well, it’s my opinion that the temperature only adds to the sting a batter experiences when hitting the baseball.  Hitting the ball off the handle of the bat is from poor timing and/or a pitcher jamming you inside most likely.  I believe it has little to do with how hard you grip the bat and everything to do with how close the ball hits the sweet spot on the barrel of the bat.  Batters can experience the hand stinging in very cold temperatures to very hot temperatures.

When it comes down to it, good pitchers are the main source for bat sting.  Ask any pitcher, he’ll tell you 🙂

 

 

Al Kaline, Mr. Tiger’s Thoughts On Substance Abuse and Hall of Fame

Al Kaline, Mr. Tiger’s Thoughts On Substance Abuse and Hall of Fame

Just thought this went with my post from yesterday and wanted to pass it onto you.

I greatly respect Al Kaline as a person and as the ball player he was back in his day 🙂 As a young kid, I even would attempt to grab #6 uniform number in any sports I played 🙂

Anyways, enjoy and goodnight all

100% Pure

I have been asked my thoughts on all this substance abuse by athletes and I really don’t feel like giving it any more attention than it’s already been given.  I really have nothing to say regarding steroids and all that…

Except…

The Creator’s already made someone pretty amazing…

Let the natural ability, strength and endurance God’s already given you and let that be your performance enhancer.  Be thankful He’s blessed you with athletic ability and use it to play whatever sport it is you enjoy (whether it be professional or recreational)!  Even if you’re actually not too athletic yet have somehow found yourself established in professional sports or else on your way to a career in sports-go with it!  You’re there for a reason because He intended you to be there.

Now I cannot claim this as truth but I’m going to say it anyways:

Not one professional athlete has made the decision to enhance their performance with drugs as a result of a love for their sport.

So why would they chose to?  Well, it happens when those things (money, fame, etc) in life they want become their reason for playing.  You take your eye off the ball, you lose sight of what’s important and you will drop the ball.

Watch the ball into your glove and remember how truly blessed you are to be (professionally) playing what you love as a career. 

There, that’s all I have to say on that, a quick 1-2-3 inning 🙂

Love Covers All the Bases

***NOTE: I WROTE THIS ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, AS THIS HORRIFYING EVENT’S DETAILS WERE CONTINUALLY BEING RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC***

Comfortably reclined on my sectional couch with my fingers poised I took notes on my laptop as I was glued to the TV news throughout the day Friday.  Anyone else find they were unable to function at times as details of the Connecticut school shooting streamed through your media devices?  This tight-knit town of Newtown, CT had a very low crime rate and is a place where everyone knew everyone.  Truthfully, my stomach is still upset.  I knew without a doubt, even though I had long durations of sitting there frozen, that I would write about this tonight.

My 3-year-old daughter, Lylah, sat curled up next to me watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on my tablet-a much happier program than the one unfolding before me.  This led me to think on the sweet innocence and joy children have within them, such gifts from God.  To witness the fatality count of elementary children was heart-wrenching and it truly did leave you asking…”why?”  What causes the alleged 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, to shoot not only all these children and adult school faculty staff but also members of his family as well?  You will hug your loved ones a little more often today and ask yourself whether you and your family are as safe as you once thought.

News teams scramble to get the most updated information to give answers to the questions all of us watching have.  Admittedly, I was on the edge of my couch cushion trying to put the pieces of this horrible tragedy together as they became available.  It seemed the more information relayed to the public, the less it all made sense.  I found myself relating the compassion I felt for the people affected by this tragedy to my passion for the game of baseball.

We desperately try to analyze what went wrong to cause this horrific shooting by gathering any and all facts relating to the suspect(s), victim(s), gun control is again brought up, school (and other public places’) security revisited and so on.  And this is done not only to prevent future sickening incidents like this one in Connecticut but also to ensure those responsible for the crime are brought to justice.  Baseball players (and teams as a whole too) analyze their individual/team struggles in order to learn from it, fix the problem(s) and continue to put them into practice to record the most wins they can in the 162 game season.  Each player has their individual stats but they add up to team stats.  They each contribute to make their team the best they can.

Likewise, the people in Newtown make up their small community ‘team’ in Connecticut.  From what I understand, people seem to care about one another, they know one another, they help one another out in times of need…and they suffer this tragic loss together.  People step up to plate in love to take care of those that need healing.  The aftermath of a senseless crime like this brings people together and we are already witnessing this as they are backing each other up in comfort, love, prayer and tears.  This should be the main focus for this quaint town as they begin the healing process.

The answers we all seek and especially asking why as we look back really shouldn’t be so focused on.  I realize by saying this it probably isn’t too popular.  I do truly understand the need/want to try to prevent these tragedies however I believe we can’t completely predict human behavior, we can only theorize what could happen.  Trust me, I was audibly asking why with tears in my eyes sitting in the living room with my daughter too.  Our minds are intricately complicated, along with the emotions created within us and even those differ by gender, upbringing, personality etc.  Truth be told my friends, just as a bad season for great baseball players happen, there are awful things in this world that happen that we have no explanation for and no control over.  I challenge you to be a light, an outstanding teammate in your community because you know what happens when you are?  You expose the darkness around you.  You can be the light to someone’s inner darkness with prayer, a kind word, a good deed…you never know how much of a difference you can be.

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I DO KNOW THIS: Love covers all the bases. LOVE covers a multitude of evil in this world.  If I have a decision to make (a more substantial one than how I’m wearing my hair to a special event or which shoes should go with the fabulous new outfit I bought), I strive to lean towards the side of love.  I literally ask myself, “What would be the most loving response?” or “how can I best show love here?” I have to constantly remind myself to put on love and control my reactions just like everyone else and more times than I care to admit, I fail.  It might sound cheesy but even if it doesn’t produce positive results or if I never know the result, I’m good with knowing I chose love.

Perhaps instead of why, we can ask in the present, how?  How do we move forward from this point?  How can I help the people where I live?  And regarding the shooting, I believe the people of Connecticut will soon move forward to asking themselves how to help heal those family and friends affected.  Hope is always alive!  Jim Leyland, Detroit Tiger’s manager, always encourages his team by saying, “we play hard 9 innings.” The game isn’t over until the last out is made, in baseball, you can be behind 5 or more runs and comeback in the 9th inning to win-which are extremely exciting games to watch, assuming it’s my Motown Boys with the comeback win!  However, you win and lose as a team.

Keep the hope going; pass that onto others with genuine care, encouragement, love and prayer.  Tragedy often brings people together and I believe the folks of Newtown will mourn this loss together.  Press on as a team, one pitch at a time, one inning at a time, one game at a time.  Let your team know that you have their back for the full 162 game season, through the good and the bad.

Hug your loved ones today. I am grateful to have both a personal and professional support team in my life!

Until next game,

Belle of Baseball

This Belle Benched Due to Feeling Foul

Happy twelfth day of the new year to ya’ll!

Whew! So this belle has been benched the last few days due to a cold.  My little girl and I caught this nasty curve ball of a sickness and we are yet battling to throw it back to where it came from.  I naturally picked it up too while trying to nurse her back to health but I’m fairly certain playing at an indoor playground for families contained the perfect ‘germ storm’ to contract something.  The kids had a blast playing together and I even got a workout as I maneuvered my way through the obstacles.  One of the smaller obstacles was a young boy (we’ll call him, ‘Jimmy’) Lylah’s age with a runny nose and a bad cough who seemingly enjoyed chasing us around.  I was so excited to get the kids out somewhere to play, after many cold and windy days indoors at home, that I truthfully hadn’t even considered the abundance of germs at these facilities.  That is, not until little ‘Jimmy’ insisted on attacking us with his snot rockets.  Oh well, regardless of the many bad bacteria attempting to catch us, we had a blast and created lasting memories.  I’m certain before winter’s end, you will find us there again.

As cute as little Jimmy was, I felt myself steering Lylah away from him and his bacteria boogers by putting myself in between the two toddlers to protect her from direct contact.  I recall when proudly carrying my daughter for nine months, that feeling of being able to protect her while she’s inside my womb.  It is such an honor and blessing that God chose us ladies to be the gender who gets to experience this.  We connect with our little ones from the moment we find out about them.  I laughed just now out loud remembering how I was over four months along before I knew I was pregnant with Lylah (yeah, I’m not the quickest or most in tune with my own body haha) and the moment I found out I think I went from walking regular to waddling.  Anyways, I felt like while my unborn Lylah was inside my tummy I could protect her from the world.  I controlled what I ate and drank, what other outside elements I exposed myself too, etc.

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Now that she’s 3-years-old, I enjoy watching her make her own decisions, within reason of course, with the tools I hope I have given her to make those choices.  Sometimes, believe it or not, my sweet angel girl does choose to be naughty and reaps the not-so-fun consequences.  Similarly, a major league pitcher will throw the wrong pitch as he attempts to retire the opposing player up to bat.  He is continually perfecting his pitching arsenal with coaching staff so he is ready to unload on command during a game.  Ultimately, a pitcher hopes to throw the wisest, most effective pitches, while his coaching staff watches to see if the instruction they passed onto him benefit the team with a positive outcome.  Even the best of pitchers, like Detroit’s, Justin Verlander, can make a crucial mistake and reap the not-so-fun consequences as they watch the batter trot around the bases with a home run.

My head still feels slightly foggy today and when I talk I sound like Elmer Fudd but every sniffle and each cough expelled from me is well worth it when I know my daughter’s bout with this is improving.  I believe that my momma instincts to nurture would kick in even if I had a staff of people at my beckon call.  Amidst the snot and sniffles, there is truly something precious about nursing your sick child back to health. My present unruly appearance (one look at my disheveled, sickly self would scare anyone away so do not come to my front door 🙂 ) is a trade off I’m willing to endure. She spent most of her sickest days just cuddling with me and now is back to playing.  And I am once again back to stepping on those toys that hurt like a son of a slider to step on!

(Sniffle) Life is good.