Thank You, Mets #UnfinishedBusiness

Source: New York Mets Official Website (http://mets.com/)

Source: New York Mets Official Website (http://mets.com/)

When the Kansas City Royals lost in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, against the San Francisco Giants, the entire team was locked into the 2015 season and making it back to the World Series. When the New York Mets finished 2014 with a disappointing 79-83 season and a post-season drought of eight years, very few within the team could imagine they’d get to the post-season, let alone the World Series. And that was the deciding factor–a team with World Series dreams vs. a team just looking to finish above .500. And with that, I cannot be more proud of my New York Mets. Because with no expectations, from literally anyone in baseball, the Mets scraped together a team that finished with 90 wins, a National League Pennant and the experience of being in a World Series.

I’m not in the business of blaming individuals whom, at some point in the season, played a huge part in what the Mets achieved this year. I’m really tired of the finger pointing, but at the same time I get it. Fans’ collective patience is minimal in a huge market like New York. We all knew the flaws, and I won’t discredit the team’s accomplishments by naming names. (If you don’t know the people in question by now, chances are you’re a fair-weather fan reading this.) The infielding, defensive weaknesses and lack of discipline in keeping the line moving instead of chasing the long ball–these were the vulnerabilities haunting this team. I’m going to be disappointed for about a week that the Mets didn’t win the World Series and then go back to remembering where they were in July and, finally, be amazed where they ended up. After all, “Ya Gotta Believe.”

There’s much more to talk about in future posts, like what the Mets can do in the off-season to strengthen the team and what we learned about the makeup of this team, including its future potential for a post-season win. For now, let’s just remember the simple fact that the Mets weren’t being groomed for a World Series bid, but they made it there anyway. With a World Series under their belt and a young team that’s ready to make some moves during this long Winter, Mets fans should have nothing but hope for 2016. Let’s Go Mets! And THANK YOU!

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Chase Utley’s dirty slide reminds us what not to teach our kids

Source: SNY.tv - METSBLOG

Source: SNY.tv – METSBLOG

Chase Utley’s intent was clear when he “slid” late and aggressively into Ruben Tejada – he wanted to disrupt any chance of a relay throw and break up a double play. His intent is clear because he said as much during a post-game interview. His skewed regard for the MLB guidelines, on how to legally break up a double play, is also clear. Even the consequences of his tackle are crystal clear: Ruben Tejada won’t be playing post-season baseball in 2015, with a fractured right fibula (see video of “the slide heard round the world” below).

What’s not clear is what the umpires and the MLB reviewers in NY were thinking when they overturned the original ruling and called Utley safe. The original call was an out, which is why a downed Tejada didn’t make a tag in the first place – that and the fact he couldn’t even move his right foot. This would mean the original call was in line with the neighborhood play, there to protect an infielder – attempting a double-play, relay throw to first – to not get hurt, like Tejada did. A neighborhood play is not reviewable and that is where it should have ended. Instead, things got weird. The play did end up getting reviewed, which is against the MLB rulebook, because the play was ruled a force throw to first and not a double play. Basically, the MLB NY office reviewing the play decided Tejada couldn’t have made the double play and so the neighborhood play wasn’t valid. Tejada never touched the bag nor tagged Utley. But Utley never touched the base, either. Furthermore, everyone on the field treated it like a double play: from Murphy’s toss to Tejada to Tejada’s attempted relay to first and to Utley’s acknowledged attempt to break up the play. Everyone thought it was a double play…except for the people who apparently matter: someone 3,000 miles away looking at it from a video screen.

Let’s get something straight for the people who are saying, “Quit whining! It’s Baseball.” It is baseball, and a guy’s leg is broken. This isn’t hockey or football or rugby – it is baseball. No one should be getting their legs broken fielding a ball to second. But they do and not because the MLB needs to look at ending aggressive slides into the fielder. The MLB does not need to bring in a new rule; they just have to enforce the rules already in play. We can all agree that there is a human aspect to the umpire calls – a ball is called a strike; a player is called safe running to first base, instead of out; a fair ball is called foul to save a no-hitter. In baseball, rules are made to be broken…not the player’s bones. MLB: enforce runner interference on the double play.

In Chase Utley’s post-game interview, he said, “You’re taught from a young age to try to break up double plays. Pedro Martinez said it best via Twitter:

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There’s a huge difference between an aggressive slide and a blatant attempt to hurt someone. There’s a way to play hard and give it all you got and then there’s this:

Source: NY Daily News

Source: NY Daily News

Let’s agree that as parents and coaches, we won’t teach the next generation of baseball players to win like the Chase Utleys of the world.

It’s been busy…

You know those times in your life where you barely have time to get a haircut and you have to bring out the hair trimmer and hope whatever you do to your hair resembles something not like the bowl cuts you got as a kid? That busy!

Remember when you used to be able to go to the gym 4-5 times a week and enjoy the extra energy that it gave you? Now I settle for climbing the stairs from the living room to the bedroom – every time I forget my cell, and then my watch, and then my wallet, and then my glasses. I have a pot belly but my legs are looking great!

Remember those Sundays when it was raining and you’d turn on the TV, sit on the couch and Netflix the day away? It took my wife and I a week to watch The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Do you understand the torturous patience it takes to invest the time in finishing that awful movie, knowing you’ll just wish that you could get your time back but too stubborn to quit half-way through?

Baby, work, dogs, baby…repeat.  It’s easy to get lost in the routine. But somewhere within the day in-day out, I try my best to read between the lines and find little successes. Whether it’s finishing a project at work that has a big impact for my team and the great people we work with, or just succeeding in putting a fussy baby to sleep without him waking up once, I try to remember these victories. That’s what StarterDads is all about – a written log of what it means to succeed as a dad (as a parent) – even when you’re completely drained or feel like the setbacks are wearing you down. So bring on the busy! And let’s get StarterDads started…again.

Rainbow Nation!

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Hah! You see what I did there? I know you grammar geeks did. That’s right, today is the day that the two-dad and two-mom families can celebrate on a national level. Because today, America is just a little bit more “union-y.”

SCOTUS made legal what love already knew–there’s room for everyone when it comes to family. Marriage equality won’t make families stronger; people will continue to take that on. People who have room in their hearts, accept the diversity in our culture, and are free to love and be loved–those are the ones strong enough to face the challenges of marriage and of raising a family.  For all my beautiful friends and family who get to celebrate their well fought and much deserved equality, I’m so excited for you. For my son, I’m so happy that you’ll one day be able to ask me, “Dad, do you remember when marriage equality was made legal for all?” And I’ll be able to say, “Yea, I do. And it was about time.”

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Easy Homemade Irish Soda Bread

My God; this looks amazing. For all the baker dads out there! Thank you to Italian Home Kitchen!

Italian Home Kitchen Blog

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Many people wish they could bake delicious homemade bread, but they think that the process is too cumbersome or that only professional bakers are able to produce a satisfactory loaf of bread. Fortunately, this is certainly not the case.

At Italian Home Kitchen, we’ve got the perfect recipe to get your started. A delicious loaf of Irish Soda Bread is not only easy to make, but it requires only the simplest of tools and ingredients. These are things almost everyone already has on hand.

This recipe leans more towards a traditional Irish Soda Bread, rather than the more Americanized and sweeter version that many people have become accustomed to eating. Real Irish Soda Bread is made with Irish wholemeal flour, similar to a coarse ground whole wheat flour that is used in many American kitchens.

To help lighten this bread and bring added flavor, we’ve added some delicious currants as…

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Here’s To You…Happy Father’s Day

To all the dads that have the undivided attention of their kids – even when you dead bolt yourself behind multiple doors just so you can use the bathroom in peace. To all the dads brave enough to admit that they have no clue what they’re doing.. and own it. And to all the dads who realize they’ll only be this little for a short amount of time, Happy Father’s Day!

And to my Dad, I wish you got to meet your grandson. I hope you know, for all the times I wouldn’t let you sleep after working the night shift, you finally got your revenge!

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