Battling Bipolar Disorder One Inning At A Time

Battling Bipolar Disorder One Inning At A Time

Struggling with bipolar disorder can create solid innings in life to disastrous innings in which a person would just rather forget. Remember living with this mental illness is ongoing process and that a person is never “healed”. From medication changes, mental health professional visits and emotional mood swings, a patient needs to always remain aware of their condition.
A quote I heard recently:
“I overcome it (bipolar disorder) by never letting it out of my sight.”
In other words, you (or someone you know) constantly are aware of your moods, medications and medical professional visits.
One game at a time.

The “Bare” Facts On MLB Managers Buck Showalter And Brad Ausmus

I love the game of baseball. I love history. Hence, I love baseball history. 

Speaking of baseball in the past, the Detroit Tigers are playing in a 3 game series versus the Baltimore Orioles in Detroit presently with Tiger’s winning the series opener yesterday on a rainy afternoon. Earlier today (a sunny day), the Tiger’s held onto  the victory that nearly slipped through their paws in the ninth inning.  The opposing managers, Baltimore’s, Buck Showalter and Tiger’s, Brad Ausmus, both have baseball history in the MLB and have some major career differences.

buckshowalterpic1oriolespresentday Age: 57 (turns 58 in May)

Bats/Throws: Left

Position: 1st Baseman

Drafted by the New York Yankees in 1977

MLB Debut: NY Yankees farm system for 7 years-mainly due to Don Mattingly playing 1st for the Yanks

Managed New York Yankees (1992-1995),  Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000), Texas Rangers (2003-2006) & Baltimore Orioles (2010-Present)

AL Manager of the Year in 1994 and in 2004; Manager of the Year in 2012

ESPN Analyst in early 2000’s and later again in 2008 full-time

 

 

bradausmuspicdugoutleanAge: 44 (turns 45 on the 14th of this month)

Bats/Throws: Right

               Position: Catcher

Drafted by the New York Yankees in 1987

MLB Debut: 1993  

Last MLB Game: 2010

Played for San Diego Padres (1993-1996), Detroit Tigers (1996; 1999-2000),  Houston Astros (1997-1998; 2001-2008), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009-2010)

Manager of the  Detroit Tigers  2014

 

You can see some career similarities and differences between these two baseball bosses. I find the history of baseball fascinating and this includes the player’s, staff, manager’s, announcer’s etc paths to being a part of Major League Baseball.

Anyone who knows me, knows of me, likes me, doesn’t like me, follows me on any social media, has worked with me, went to school with me…knows I love the game of baseball, in particular, the Detroit Tigers. I was born into and raised by a passionate group of Tiger fans. Truth be told however, I have a passion for the game of baseball. I’m not even certain how to explain this passion but ya’ll who have the same within, you know exactly what I am referring to. We get a rush when a “6-4-3 double-play” is made, when an outfielder overextends himself and makes a ‘web gem’ worthy diving catch, etc.
As much as I love to watch the boys of Motown make these plays, I get this same rush when any team’s players make great defensive plays or has a great at bat whether he crushes the ball someplace or works the count from 0-2 to a full count and then continues to foul off pitches until he finds his pitch to hit.
The same goes for the coaches and managers of baseball. It’s pretty easy to sit back and watch or listen (I do love to listen to a game on the radio), criticizing the manager’s decisions or blaming them for a player’s poor performance. There is no doubt about Showalter’s resume when it comes to turning a team about to a solid championship team. Impressive indeed.  We have yet to see how young Ausmus will fair this season, but I’d say an undefeated record thus far 4-0 is a great start.

So the surprising similarity between these guys? Well, if you Google “Brad Ausmus” (typed Google here ladies, not oogle), you will notice the Google’s suggestions are (in this order): “Brad Ausmus stats”, “Brad Ausmus married”, “Brad Ausmus shirtless”. I find it funny that Google likes to remind you first that he’s married but then says, “go ahead, here is him shirtless”. Haha.

How does this relate to Buck Showalter? When I Google him these are the searches that come up: “Buck Showalter gif”, “Buck Showalter salary”, “Buck Showalter family”. Yeah, nothing about him being shirtless.  However, I did come across a nickname. In fact, his given name is actually William Nathaniel Showalter III. Ever ponder where he got the name Buck? Yep, you guessed it…he was allegedly given the nickname “Buck” due to his tendency to hang around the clubhouse “buck” naked during his days as a minor league ballplayer in the New York Yankees organization. When he played baseball in college he went by the name “Nat”. No one truly knows for certain about the origin of the nickname, except for Buck. I found it interesting that these men were both drafted by the Yankees organization 10 years apart and found it amusing  that both of these managers were at times without a shirt…or more though.

Good luck to both managers this year. Detroit and Baltimore have excellent teams this season.

Brad Ausmus, Quite A Catch As Detroit Tiger’s New Manager In 2014

Brad Ausmus, Quite A Catch As Detroit Tiger’s New Manager In 2014.

Brad Ausmus, Quite A Catch As Detroit Tiger’s New Manager In 2014

 

ausmusbacknamefield

As the lights of the stadium begin to dim, the ball park staff and boys in uniform wrap up their last-minute Opening Day preparations. Most likely the Motown Boy’s pitching ace, Justin Verlander, has ‘ran for the border’ to order his traditional Taco Bell meal the day prior to taking the mound. Somewhere, two-time MVP and 2012 Triple Crown Winner, Miguel Cabrera, is joking around with a teammate.

One by one they retire for the evening, leaving with high hopes for a game one victory in the series opener the following afternoon. Lighting from the concourse surrounding the ball field and the soft glow of stadium lights greet the reflective thoughts of Detroit Tiger’s new manager, Brad Ausmus, as he steps just inside where thousands of fans will be seated tomorrow. He slips his hands under his untucked, recent wardrobe addition, an official MLB #7 jersey, sighs and puts both hands in his pants pockets. Looking across the field into the fan’s seating behind the bullpen, he sees one of his boys, Torii Hunter, veteran outfielder, a family man and a man of faith, taking the time to send up prayers for his ball club as they begin their 2014 season.

This is how I imagine the photo above, as I sit here awake about 10 hours before game time.  Admittedly, this past season of life has been a tough one. Furthermore, today has been a trying day for this gal who has a passion and love for America’s favorite past time that we call baseball. I let out a few sighs myself as I similarly look out onto my own field of life and wonder what this next season will bring. I am blessed with a support system which is made up of encouraging and supportive family and friends who play different roles in my life.  Putting myself into Ausmus’ shoes (or cleats if you are Tiger’s former manager, Jim Leyland, who always chose to wear them), I can only imagine what this former MLB catcher’s thoughts might be the evening before Opening Day.  By this point with spring training finished, the team should have mostly adapted to how their new skipper plans to guide them to success.

Ausmus, 44, is not much older than some of his veteran players he is managing for Detroit. He brings a fresh perspective on how to play the game and in particular, aggressive base running. Tiger’s have not been known for much speed in years past but smart base running does not have a need for speed. One of the sharpest baseball minds actively playing, undoubtedly belongs to the aforementioned joker of the team, Miguel Cabrera. Yes, Miggy. This Venezuelan-born phenomenon (yeah I said it), has incredible base running instincts. If you get to actually watch him play at the ball park, keep your eye on him (he’s also comical on and off the field, kid at heart) I don’t think I can fully appreciate his wisdom and natural instincts for baseball without actually being out on the field playing along side of him. His teammates, Torii Hunter, specifically speaks about this in an article about a year ago. I will repost it soon for all of your benefit. Hunter is amazed at how Cabrera adjusts when hitting off a pitcher, each pitch, he calculates and adjust his own arms, legs, stance…he is in awe. And remember, Torii, has played with some of MLB’s greatest. He has never witnessed anything like Miguel. And I am betting that neither has Brad Ausmus.

Brad was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1987 and his major league debut came in 1993 with the San Diego Padres. Detroit not only welcomes him presently as manager but he also played for the Tiger’s in 1996 and from 1999-2000. A significant part of his MLB career he played for the Houston Astros in 1997-1998 and then once again for his longest duration for the same team from 2001-2008. He finished up his playing days in 2009-2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The long-standing assumption is that catchers make good managers because they are involved in both the offensive and pitching facets of the game. Whether for their handling of a pitching staff, or their captain-on-the-field duties, or their ability to see the entire baseball diamond from their position, or their knowing the intricacies and strategies of the game.

A canvas of 30 big league dugouts found 32 men who managed in 2012. A dozen were catchers at some points in their careers: Sandy Alomar Jr., Bruce Bochy, Tony DeFrancesco, Joe Girardi, Clint Hurdle, Jim Leyland, Joe Maddon, Mike Matheny, Bob Melvin, Mike Scioscia, Eric Wedge and Ned Yost. The Marlins appointed Mike Redmond as manager in early November 2012 and he was given a 3-year deal. I researched and researched until I believe I got these facts correct for you folks regarding former catchers that are now managers. Since 2012 season to present, three more can be added to this list: John Gibbons, Fredi Gonzalez and of course, Brad Ausmus.

newausmustryonjersey

The ladies who follow baseball (for whatever reason), will definitely be keeping their eyes on Detroit’s handsome manager. It is my humble prediction to you fellow baseball fans, that we will see many females wearing AUSMUS jerseys. Just FYI ladies: Brad is a (seemingly happy) married man with two adorable little girls-look but do not touch 🙂

Whether you’re watching Detroit Tiger’s baseball to see what the young manager can do this season for the team or to check out the men in uniforms, I think we can all agree that Brad Ausmus is quite a catch.

Pick A Lane!

How many times have you been cruising down the highway in the passing lane (and I mean that literally, I am a ‘cruise-a-holic’ when it comes to highway travel), when some aggressively speeding imbecile decides to whiz by you in the right lane? Personally, I feel it’s ridiculous on their part when they pass on the left or right.  I’m already locked within a safe  margin over the speed limit (under potential speeding ticket range).  And might I add, I always set my cruise 5-6 mph above the speed limit set by state law, so it’s not like this ‘Miss Daisy’ is just slowly driving along.

Regardless of my competitive nature, it’s not the fact that the irresponsible buffoons race ahead of me in traffic it’s how they dangerously go about putting themselves in the “lead position”.  Highways that have more than two lanes merely give these people more passing lane options.  You will notice I am using the non-gender specific pronoun “they” and “people” here because I have evenly dealt with both male and female self-appointed NASCAR drivers.  I have on numerous occasions found myself in the middle of a need for speed NASCAR qualifying race on the freeway.

Recently I reviewed the MLB rules for pertaining to how a batter is allowed to overrun first base and I rediscovered the running lane.  My initial understanding of these rules was simple, yet I learned what I believed to be true about running through first base wasn’t entirely accurate.

Here’s what I originally thought: I believed it mattered in which direction the runner turned after he crossed first base as to whether he could be tagged out.  I was wrong.  The official MLB rules states: 

In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire’s judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead; except that he may run outside (to the right of) the three foot line or inside (to the left of) the foul line to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball; Rule 6.05(k) 

Got it?  Well, first, take a look at the photo below.  The running lane is clearly marked in chalk-and by my larger, orange markings (which I know, aren’t straight but…).  The line begins halfway, 45 feet down the first baseline and then stops of course at first base.  The lines marking the three-foot lane are a part of that lane and a batter is required to have both feet within the three-foot lane or on the lines marking the lane. The runner is permitted to exit the three-foot lane by means of a step, stride, reach or slide in the immediate vicinity of first base for the sole purpose of touching first base.Runninglane4Labeled

Referring to the MLB rules again, there is nothing in them that state which direction the player must turn. The rule states that the runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning first base as long as returns to the base.

Of course, there is an exception to this rule (and more in which I won’t discuss in this post) in that the runner can make no attempt to go to second base or he can be tagged out.  This comes down to the judgment of the umpire and not whether the player turned into foul territory or not after crossing first base.

Wouldn’t that be interesting if someday the MLB implemented instant replay to decipher a runner’s intent after touching first base?  Yikes.  And by ‘interesting’ I mean, please no.  Let’s draw a chalk line in the dirt someplace that we won’t cross.

I understand crucial umpire calls have seemingly determined the outcome of games.  Being a Detroit Tiger fan, I remember the blown call at first base by an ump (whom I will not include his name here, the man felt bad enough) that kept Armando Galarraga from his nearly perfect game on June 2, 2010.

To error is human.  Sometimes those mistakes we make are just more painfully obvious.  I have mixed feelings about instant replay in this game of baseball I love so dearly and I plan on writing another post about that in the future.  For now, I will just share that I like the human element, the imperfection of an umpire’s vision.  It ignites a rip-roaring anger within me when a call goes against the Tigers, yes but I still prefer this over “rewinding the tape”.

I wish I had the authority to tag other drivers ‘out’ when they are hastily passing me on the road.  I would be benching those that dangerously passed me on the right. And ejecting those jack holes that have to hurry and pass me on the left only to cut immediately back into my lane, just before exiting off the highway.  Remember, it’s not that other motorists pass me that irritates me, it’s how they go about it.

 

Torii Hunter Part of the Detroit Tiger’s Pack As They Hunt to Become World Series Champions

I thought I would share this excerpt from Torii Hunter by Yardbarker.com regarding playing with the Detroit Tigers and the chance to get his much sought after World Series Championship. Enjoy!

 

“The whole season, I knew I was playing with the Tigers if I left (the Angels),” said Hunter, who was eventually replaced in Anaheim by free-agent slugger Josh Hamilton.

Hunter said Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was pleasantly surprised to discover the level of interest Hunter had, and they quickly came to terms.

“People thought I was crazy,” Hunter said. “But I want the ring … I’ve been searching a long time for the ring.

“I’m tired of sitting on the couch and watching other guys celebrate (a World Series triumph). I want to win the World Series, and I want to win it with Detroit. This is my last push.”

Hunter will be 39 when this contract runs out.

To Shea or Not To Shea Your Hair?

Baseball fans are still buzzing about the newly unveiled MLB  batting practice caps, so I thought I’d keep the rally going and discuss about what lies smashed beneath whatever hat style you choose:

Our hair.

Love Your Hair?

Love Your Hair?

How many of us have cut out photos of various hairstyles we love and excitedly bring them to our stylist hoping she can create the same look for us?  Most likely what draws us to certain styles besides our own personal taste is how healthy it appears.

Perhaps one of your resolutions for the new year is to have longer, curlier, more manageable hair or maybe even adding a colorful tint to your tendrils with a new color.  Regardless of what it is you desire to do, the most important thing is to ensure your hair is healthy.  I suggest bringing your mane to a healthy condition before you do anything else, especially if you’re planning on putting any chemicals in your hair (perms, dyes, etc).

How do you get beautiful, shiny healthy hair?  Naturally. 

Recently I discovered (and tried) various all-natural products for my hair and face.  I truthfully had never put much thought into what the ingredients were in my hair products until last year.  Something about turning 35-years-old had me contemplating  my facial product choices so I began googling ‘natural face cleansers’, ‘all-natural face soap’, etc.  After gathering important factual research (I never purchase anything quickly haha) and reading reviews, I decided upon a particular website that has a store on eBay named Enchanted Waters.  I will share in a future post the facial products I now faithfully use that have made a beautiful and beneficial difference for my face 🙂 Anyways, back to our hair!

An amazing, natural and revitalizing pure ingredient is shea butter for your hair.  Enchanted Waters mentioned above has a 3.5oz Tea Tree Conditioning Shampoo Bar that is FANTASTIC for your hair and contains:

  • Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Soy Oil and Sunflower Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Essential Oils of: Tea Tree and Cajeput
  • Parsley Powder
  • Glycerin
  • Natural Vitamin E

This is pH balanced for all hair types, contain NO harsh chemicals and promises to leave you with thicker, more manageable and shinier hair!  And of course, you can check elsewhere for shampoo bars so here are a few other cautions to be aware of when shopping for shea butter:

FAKE UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER: Hard, green or some awkward color, smells bad, mixed with various ingredients.


TYPES OF SHEA BUTTER:

  • Unrefined: Pure, straight from nature (most expensive)
  • Refined: bleached but has some of it’s original components intact.
  • Processed/Industrialized: Stripped of its natural components. Non natural components like hexane is added to yield more shea butter.

The Tea Tree Conditioning Shampoo Bar mentioned above has shea butter in addition with other natural ingredients.  You can also purchase from other websites pure, unrefined shea which can be used once or twice a week as a revitalizer.  Massage it into your scalp and hair and then wrap with a warm towel for 30 minutes.  It improves hair texture, moisture and growth.  If you’re a swimmer, you can apply it to help protect hair from chlorine and salt.  Shea Butter is a daily moisturizer that has numerous uses:

Stretch Marks, Chapped or Dry Lips, Chaffing, Blemishes, Hands, Cuticles,

Feet, Cracked Heels, Bumps, Massages, Dry, Flaky, Rough & Dull Skin,

Dark Spots, Marks, Minor Scars, Premature Facial Lines, Blisters, Knees, Elbows and More!

Obviously, I cannot say enough positive about Shea Butter and other natural ingredients we can use to enhance our natural beauty.  Give it a try and if you have any questions, comment below or shoot me an email at belleofbaseball@gmail.com.  I would love to hear your thoughts and what hair products you love and use!

So whether you were contemplating purchasing one of the new MLB batting practice hats or not, by creating healthy hair you will not need to wear it to cover up a bad hair day!

Healthy is Beautiful no matter what size and shape you are, remember that!

I am going to cleanse and moisturize my face with the soap and facial moisturizer which I will be sharing with you in a future post so I gotta go!