Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ranting Part 1

Time to rant....

yes, it is time to rant....and rant, I will.....

Ready? Strap on your safety goggles and helmets.....

As you know, the big kid had an injury. Now, he needs a MRI to confirm whether he has a sports hernia. What does this mean?

Best case scenario: 4 weeks rehab

Worst case scenario: Surgery. College career over.

I probably will not be eloquent in the upcoming paragraphs, so please bear with me....here goes.....

The kid trained on his own in South Carolina over the Christmas break. When he returned, he was throwing 90 without struggling. He felt great. Arm was limber and he was in a great frame of mind. Then he returned to campus.

The trainer through his bullying tactics demanded that he follow his protocols and lift. When balking, the trainer and coaches berated him and placed him back into submission.....good dog.....

Then his elbow began to hurt and he needed rehab. This lasted several weeks and he missed the opening of the season.

Once he rehabbed, he was back on the mound....

He was placed in a game against a top ten school in the south and was tremendous...see Andy Pettite post. The day after he threw 98 pitches, he should have been resting, but the trainer had him lifting. Then he heard a pop. He has not been the same since that day. The trainer continued to make the guys lift even on the days when they threw and finally last week, his velocity dropped from 91 in January to an all time low of 81. He still performed well but he should have killed this team rather than just beating them.

Yesterday, he could barely walk and he has been limping for a few days. The Czar announced to the team that some people limp around and look for attention. That's right...let's pretend that we have an injury in order to get off the mound. After all, he has been working toward his senior year since he was four years old.

Today, he saw the MD who proclaimed that he probably has the sports hernia. Reading between the lines, this is not good.

Grandmothers....please stop reading now.....

This is a manifestation of egos who have come together and think that they have the answers to everything.

Why is there snow on the mountains? Why do my pupils constrict or dilate? What is the Theory of Energy? Why do the Amish ride around in buggys? What is the best way to train an athlete? How should I treat every athlete?

With their 'know-it-all' attitudes, they have totally screwed up my son's and the other guys' dreams and aspirations. They have not listened to him when he said that his body does not respond to lifting. They mocked the global experts on training and rehabbing. His surgeon specifically told him not to lift. By the way, he is team doctor for the pitching staff of a major league team. The pitching doctor is full of *%)^# although he trains every 90+ mph  pitcher in the south.

There is no body of evidence or best practice models that support their methods and now, he may be  out for the season. His senior year....walking in throwing 91....limping out with nothing but a bag full of angst.

Will I let this go?

What do you think?

Oh baby.....

Once the reports are back, I plan to do the following:

1. Collect the medical evidence of how their training problems has caused him undue harm of his arm, shoulder, and groin.
2. Collect letters from his surgeon and Yoda attesting to their modalities have caused more injuries.
3. Bring in the documentation of their reign of terror.
4. Sit in a room with the coaches, athletic director, and trainer to deliver the news.

Because if my son has his way, he will walk away knowing that he has effected change for the guys who remain on the team. He also wants to consult an attorney about this issue. I won't stop him.

Lastly, one who is new to this blog might say "why did he not stand up for himself."

He did. Over and over....but the coaches sat him on the bench, made him breathe, yelled at him, and would not let him play. They also threatened to cut him. Then where would he be?

I wish that this story had a happy ending. And it still might. The days are not over. However, as it stands now, I will stay optimistic and help him to rehab.

If he needs surgery, I will take him to the best surgeon in the country. For rehab, he has Yoda.

Once he finishes rehabbing, he can go to either Texas or Oregon and be placed on an independent league team. He was also on television a few times and I hope that someone saw him pitching.

Because the reality is:

He is a good pitcher....a great pitcher....he can make it and has had every obstacle thrown in front of him. My guess is that this story is far from over. Stay tuned. The MRI is tomorrow and momma is heading to campus, not as mom, but as Dr. BP Mom and let me tell you, when I unleash the beast (Dr. BPM), I take no prisoners.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Snoop and Me

Double header today and I am not in the stands. No need since I know that the big guy is not going to play. He had his start and as he texts me: "Arm is dead." Ok, you know what to do.

That was my advice besides 'have faith'.

With that said, I have lost my desire to watch television over the years. There is nothing on that I want to see, so if I watch 30 minutes of television a day, that would be considered a great deal for me. I would rather read a book, article, magazine, work out, or write. I guess I am pretty boring. I can't say that I have watched the new shows. I have never seen a Greys' Anatomy...ever....I am probably the only person on the planet not to watch Mc Dreamy and Scandal. No interest plus I do not have the mental space to allow something else into my brain. I would then become obsessed, want to be in front of the TV when the show came on and work my schedule around television. Nope. No more.

Although, when I do have time and not much else to do, I will turn the television on and flip through the 1000s of channels that we have and not find anything of interest to watch until.....

That's right.....I found something of interest to me and  believe that I have watched every episode. No, it is not Nashville, Two and Half Men, or 48 Hours. The show is.....drum roll, please.....

"Snoop and Son...."

OK, before you finish laughing, let me tell you about Snoop and Son, Cordell. Snoop's son is a good football player who could be great under the right coaching. So Snoop moves his family from LA to Las Vegas to play on the number one ranked high school team in the country, Bishop Gorman.

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The show follows Cordell and his father as he works to improve his game and approach to football.

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During the show, Snoop is on his kid like nothing I have ever seen. Yes, I have witnessed parents who were over the top and nagged the coaches that their kids were the best. But Snoop doesn't do that. He is constantly on Cordell's back to the point of the big receiver breaking down. Snoop is all about making his kid a NFL player. Cordell wants it too, but it does not come easy.

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As I watch the show, I can't help but think, this may be the way parents help their kids. Snoop moved the entire family for Cordell to train with the best. He can afford it. But what about families that do not have the rapper's money? They deal with the what they have and pray for a big break.

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Over the years, we have helped the big lefty to achieve his dream. He has been on travel teams, had the best equipment, coaching, and opportunities. Further, we have moved him a few times for summer ball in the midwest. All of this sets him up, but he has to do the rest.

I see Snoop's angst when Cordell misses a touchdown pass. I felt the same way when the kid gave up back to back doubles last week. He only struck out three on Wednesday night as opposed to eight the week before.....so, what's the difference here?

I actually  don't know. Snoop rags on his son. I leave mine alone to do his thing. With the coaching that he has had and his work ethic, he knows what to do. I refuse to insult him after a game and think that it will motivate him to do better.

During some of the interviews, Cordell expresses a wish that his dad would tell him that he loves him (he ultimately did during the last show.) Then he says that his dad is too 'gangster' to say it.

Me? I don't have gangster in me unless I am driving down I-95 with the tractor trailers trying to pass me. I tell the kid whenever I see or speak to him that I love him. With every fiber of my being.....Non judgmental....forever...there is the difference. Maybe it is the way men and women interact with their children. How many men (besides BP Grandpop) tell their children that they love them? Probably more than I know. I hear dad say it to Tink all the time.

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However, the similarity between Snoop and myself is evident. We both want what is best for our kids. Both boys are seeking something only an elite few can attain. Will it happen for the big lefty and Cordell? Not sure. But I will be tuned in to Snoop and Son when Cordell goes to college.

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Off to work out.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Missing: Velocity

Good morning! I finally have time to write a bit. First.....Happy birthday to Sparky! Enjoy the day, kiddo.

On to baseball in the mountains. As you know we traveled to the mountains to watch the kid pitch against my alma mater. Naturally, I wanted the lefty to win. Did he?


Once again, the day was miserable...rain...wind....frigid temperatures during the day. As the day progressed, the rain stopped and the wind dies down. The temperatures were perfect....high 30's.

The ball park has propane gas heaters for fans to stand by when they are cold. I sit by them warming throughout the entire game. They actually work until the 7th inning then my feet and not my head order me to leave and warm up.

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The big guy did well. He did not have as many strike outs nor did he have excessive velocity on his ball, but it was enough to keep the team in the game. Once he was relieved, the team went on to score enough runs to win the game. He received a 'no decision'.

While on the mound, I could see that his speed was down since he was not striking out as many as he had in his previous outings. hmmmm.....

As I drove down the mountain since dad and Tink were told to sleep as they both had a 5 am wake up call, he called and began to spew....

"I don't know what happened to my velocity. It's gone. I pulled a muscle in my groin so I cannot use my legs fully."

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Groin, eh? That sounds painful. Did you ice it? Did you see the trainer? Are you working it out?

All answers were non committal which means that maybe he saw the trainer and maybe he is icing it.

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As of today, it still hurts which means that he is keeping it a secret and not telling anyone to prevent being pulled out of the line up. Sheesh....do you want a permanently damaged groin? I doubt it. But, he can be a bit of a nut case, so I keep my advice to myself since it falls on deaf ears.

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In the meantime, when he calls to complain, my response is "man up."

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That's right. He knows what to do and all he is looking for is a person he can spew venom without worrying about the consequences. Yet, I want him to stop complaining and do something. A former supervisor of mine use to say: "Fish or cut bait." That's what I say.

Don't complain. Do something. You are the master of your fate. Take over the helm of the ship and begin to call your own shots. You should not have any regrets that you did not speak up when you needed to do so.

Whew. Glad that I got that off my chest. I pray for him and hope for the best. I have seen him at his best and worst. he has so much talent, I hate to see his fear of retribution from the coaching staff prevent him from actualizing his goals, yet they play mind games and they (the entire team) cannot break loose.

Oh well....prayers....prayers.....prayers.....Pray, hope and don't worry....St. Pio's famous line. I am going to try to think this way.....

Moving on......


Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Good morning! Sorry hat I have not written but yesterday was a work marathon and over the weekend, I had to prepare for it. Now that things have settled, I can give you an update......

Over the weekend, there was a 'snow out' and a cancelled game. On Sunday, they played a double header. The opposition was a midwestern team that was nationally ranked. The first game went into extra innings. Even with bases loaded, the Czar put in one of his recruited frosh who proceeded to lose the game. This pitcher was recruited and has an ERA over ten. With the game on the line, it took only three batters to put the opposing team in the lead. Consequently, they lost.

During the second game, the team came back from a 7 run deficit and took advantage of 8 errors. That's right. Eight. They won! Yippee. The opposing team's coach would not let his team shower after the game and put them on the bus for the long, arduous, and arguably miserable ride back to the midwest.

With that said, the line up was announced for next weekend. Guess who is not starting? You guessed it. Guess who is starting....you guessed it. And further, this poor freshman (whose era is over 10) has more walks than strike outs. Remember Fresno when the big kid walked a batter and was nailed to the bench for a month? Well, apparently there is a double standard here.

Here is my quick take on it.....

First, this poor frosh (and the other starter who is struggling) was promised a weekend start if he came to the university. I firmly believe this is what happened, although I could be wrong. His opposing batting average is over .400. What do you think?

Second, as far as a young pitcher is concerned, it is incumbent upon the coach to develop their potential. Therefore, you place them in situations where they can build confidence, war scars, and experience. By putting these guys on the mound with the rest of the team knowing that  they are going to lose the game is a crazy philosophy. What ever happened to the philosophical tenet "for the greater good?"

Ain't happening here.

Am I miffed? yep. But not because my guy is not on the mound on the weekend, but because there are better pitchers on the bench who sit and watch as these two inexperienced and scared kids throw the ball for hit after hit after hit....run after run after run.....It's not fair to the guys who have worked hard to improve. Further, there is a kid on the bench who struck out 9 batters in a row. Tell me. Why does he sit?

With that said, I love my guys and want to see each one succeed. They call me the team mama which is sweet. yeah, I know that they like me because I feed them, but I think that it is a bit deeper since they know someone is in the stands rooting for them holding a bucket of dubble bubble and a bag full of chocolate oreo bombs.

On to the big guy...he is on the mound tomorrow night against my alma mater. Last year, he schooled them. I am hoping for the same again. He is confident and ready to go. When he gets discouraged about weekend starts, we remind him that he is starting and earning his stats anyway. So, tomorrow...off to the mountains.....

Dad and Tink are coming. Usually, I am happy about this but they don't understand my pre game activities. I have to clue them in on the process perhaps using Powerpoint slides with hand outs. I'll call it the 'do's and don't's of watching the big kid starting with BP momma in the stands'.

Okey doke, gotta to run.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Double header

Good morning! Nothing going on today except a double header that starts at 11 am. The first two games of the weekend were 'snowed-out.' Hey, that's baseball in the northeast...a bit frosty....chilly....unpredictable.

The big guy will not pitch this weekend and is not sure when he will be handed the ball again. There is a Wednesday night game in which he could throw. He could also be moved to the weekend since two of the starters have ERAs of higher than 9.....yes, the number that you see is nine.

It's amazing how we have come full circle. In the past (say the last four years), I would be at the double header shivering and wondering if I would be rewarded with a sighting or two. Yep, I have traveled miles and miles and sat throw hundreds if not thousands of hours of good, bad, and mediocre baseball, and waited to see if my kid was  put into the game. I would wait.....wait....wait some more....One game, I traveled to Florida, watched five games. He finally warmed up and threw 6 pitches, then was taken out.
Of course, there was the famous Texas trip when he warmed up in the sleet and wind and threw 5 pitches. That is a touching memory too.

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Oh well, this is the way it goes when your kid is in the bullpen. I am now watching the parents who are traveling to Texas, Florida, North and South Carolina and waiting....waiting....waiting.....they blink....their kid was in and out.

Ahh, the nature of the sport.

I'll keep my week open and follow my guy when he gets the ball tossed to him.

More later.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mr. K

Greetings! I am back on the keyboard before heading out. It's the first day of spring...and it is snowing....yuk.

The team won their last two games and the big kid pitched the home opener.....

Fade to black....

Picture this....it is cold....20's...windy....definitely not a great day for baseball. But, hey...we are playing ball in the northeast AND I recall two weeks ago, the games were cancelled in North Carolina due to snow. So, it's not just us.

Usually I get to the field an hour early to watch warm ups, but on Wednesday, I decided that I was going to check into a hotel instead. I planned on staying overnight since I was getting flack from people who did not want me to drive home after the game. Sheesh....I do love my bed....but I gave in.....

After getting to the field completely bundled up, I looked at both squads. The starters were not wearing long sleeve shirts under their uniforms and their arms were bare. Can anyone say 'popsicles?'

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The game begins and I see that the big kid does not have his best stuff. His velocity is low but he manages to strike out 8 batters in 6 innings. He threw 98 pitches with no walks. The Czar was pleased and said so during his post game interview. He always makes the success of the team his fault. When they lose, it is their fault. Get it?

After the game, I went back to the hotel and waited and waited and waited.....when it appeared that the hotel restaurant was going to close, I ordered a steak for the kid so that he could at least have some post game protein. BD, we are changing our post game routine to a better meal that has veggies and protein. He needs it to physically recover.

Around 11p, he and Tonto stopped by for dinner. They ate cold ziti, split the steak, and consumed the chocolate bombs. They spoke about the game. The reason that they were late was because he had to meet the 'media'. He had to wait in line since the Czar needed to be interview and videoed for his take on the success of the game.

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As we chatted, they mentioned that they had to life weights before the game. Huh? Uh, no...what?

yep. The trainer made them lift and their bodies were a mess. Tonto can no longer pitch because he has a bad shoulder from the training. Does this make sense? Tonto is done. He is riding out the season, will graduate, and not look back. He can't take it anymore and wants a normal life where he can get out of bed without cringing.

Will they ever learn?

Yesterday, the big lefty went to the pitching coach and pleaded his case. He hurts more from the training than the games. Now that he has 15 strike outs in two games, he has some leverage to make change.

He tells me that if he does not lift, the trainer reports him and mocks the guys and tells them that they are 'soft.' If he wants soft, he should check out my biceps formerly known as muscles....just sayin'

Ok, be soft as you strike out the first two batters that you face.

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With that said, the game today has been postponed. The university is getting 6 inches of snow, so I assume the field is covered with a white blanket.

On to my errands and projects.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Home Opener

Good morning! I am sorry that I have not written but there was nothing to say. I don't want to belabor the point that the team has only won one game this year. I am keeping out of it. I am not judging. I am not in the locker room. My role is not to judge but to support my boy and his boys as a parent.

No, no one has taken over my keyboard. I am going to watch and wait for the implosion. The Czar is so sure of his coaching skills that.....

Fade to black....

Yesterday, I finally touched base with the big kid. He was happy to be home because he was not allowed to perform his stretching exercises on the road. Remember, they are banned because the coaches and trainers believe that for velocity, a pitcher needs strength and not flexibility. However, there is no data to support this theory ergo....they are wrong....just sayin'

The pitchers have banded together and call themselves the Society of Pitchers.

They gather on a regular basis and tell war stories. He could not tell me any stories because I would be shocked. Therefore, he left the stories to my imagination....flowers, trees, and blue birds...right? Doubt it.....Let's wait to read the book.....

Anyway, the Society has a new motto: "Let's get yelled at."

it's simple and effective. They decided since they were all walking on egg shells trying not to be yelled at, they were tight and stressed. As a group, they decided to say "Screw it" (I paraphrase) and be themselves. In other words, as they are more like themselves, they play better BUT they will get yelled at.

See the logic? I do. This way, they can perform at a better level, tune the Czar and Psycho out, and work out the kinks on their own. Gotcha.

Actually, I do get it. I am all for the motto and cannot see where it will get them into any more trouble than they are already in.

Tonight, they travel to the western part of the state. The Czar asked the big lefty to pitch but he was not ready, His back and groin hurt until someone pulled his hips back into alignment. Ouch...then as he returned home, he could use his equipment to unleash the muscles and loosen them. Of course, there was also an epson salt bath involved. Now he is ready.....

Sooo....he starts tomorrow night in the home opener....30 degrees...in the mountains.....This is terrific. Why?

'Cause I do not have to drive to Pittsburgh. My car is acting up and needs attention. I don't want it to peeter out on the turnpike. It goes into the repair shop and I get a loaner.

And now, I prepare in the only way that I know how.....backed ziti...chocolate bombs....lucky sneakers.....minus 20 degree coat and hat.....rosary.....hand and feet warmers......Tums......

Got to work....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Attention Scouts!

Greetings. I am back in the northeast and it is raining. I don't care. I am home!

I stopped by the bakery yesterday and picked up a cake that had "Mom's home!" on it. That's right...chocolate with vanilla frosting....something for everyone.
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On to the big kid...he has not called in a few days which means that he is in a good place AND with his posse. No need for the folks...although they lost the last two games and have two more this weekend before they break spring training.

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Honest to jimmy......this is my take on it......

They won one game to a sub par team. Not good. The only bright spot was the big kid's play. But that is a momma's perspective.

Thanks to BD and Wildcat, I was able to watch the ESPN feed on Tuesday's game. Here are some of the comments (that I can remember. These quotes are not verbatim).

"Inside slider hit the batter. Bet he wants that pitch back..."

"He looks like a weekend starter....."

"Coach is willing to take losses in the rebuilding process. This is never good. A competitor NEVER accepts defeat."

"He would be great if he had another pitch besides the fast ball." (Note, the coach called fast balls since the opposing team could not hit them."

"He looks like Andy Pettitt."

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Andy Pettitt.....

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Freakin' Andy Pettitt....
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Andy Freakin' Pettitt....
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Freakin' freakin' freakin' Andy Pettitt!

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Are you kidding me???? Freakin' Andy Pettitt??? OH MY GOODNESS!

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The best comment was: "He looks like a draft pick."

A draft pick? A FREAKIN' DRAFT PICK??? Are you kidding me? Please tell the scouts? Attention! Any scouts watching the game? he looks like Freakin' Andy Pettitt and a draft pick!

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On to the Czar's post game comments...." Well, the big lefty has always had good stuff. However he has had location problems....blah blah blah...left handed compliment....no compliment at all..." can't let people know that he has been wrong for two years about starting this guy.

Now on to the future.....will he be moved to a weekend start? Will the Czar continue to allow his freshmen to take blow after blow on the mound rather than bring them in gradually? After all, their combined ERA is over 10. Their confidence is shot.

Let's consider some wisdom from the big kid over pancakes at IHOP the next day with BD: "Freshmen are not ready for the big games. I now understand why I did not start over the years. You have to have focus and not break it. You go from being a high school stud to one of many arms that can throw a ball over the plate." Yep, my kid has grown up and now sees life as it is...not from his narrow perspective.

Gotta go...still battling a huge deadline.


PS: I remember one more story....as the big guy entered the dugout after an inning, a player says to him: "You are playing great." The pitching coach yells: "Don't tell him that. He sucks." In the next moment, the Czar said: "You're playing great." Sheesh...