A Father and Son, A Perfect Swing

As father – son baseball moments go, we have one that may stand the test of time, ranking right up there with Kevin Costner as the fictional Ray Kinsella, playing catch with his ghostly father with a backdrop of an Iowa cornfield  in the final scene of Field of Dreams.

For me, a Dad who has played ball with both of my kids, son and daughter, it was one of those “goose pimple” events.  Yankee star second baseman Robinson Cano, winning the All Star Home Run Derby, with his father and mentor Jose as his pitcher.

It was compelling television. Jose was stoic and unsmiling as he threw the batting practice tosses to his son, and didn’t even crack a smile until he knew that Cano would grab the title of “home run king” for the night.

The outcome never seemed to be in doubt. In the final round, Cano hit a home run with most of the pitches his Dad threw to him. In retrospect, it looked like they had been doing it forever. And they probably have.

Once victory was secure, the only thing left was a bear hug between a father and his boy.

In a night full of baseballs launched out of the park, majestic moonshots landing in second and third decks, Robinson had the most majestic of all, a couple of balls measured beyond 470 feet.

In an interview after the competition, the younger Cano did not reference his upper body strength, sense of balance, or his perfectly Ruthian swing as the factors for his stratospheric display. Instead, he gave credit where he thought it was due.

It was my dad.”

Cano said he wished the trophy could be cut in half — half for him, half for his dad.

“These are the things you share with your family, when you retire you can look back and say, ‘Wow, I was good in the day’,” Cano said. “This is something I’m always going to have in my mind and my heart.”

A committed father rarely understands the importance of his role. The statistics bear out that having a father at home shuts down that greater risk of having major challenges in life while growing up.

On the flip side, I think having a Dad like Jose Cano can not only keep a kid out of trouble,  but also accelerate any success that child might experience. And once you get momentum…

Jose was a professional athlete himself, who took the time to teach his son the finer points of the game, and obviously, the skills required to live a life of success within the sport he loves.

An old school guy, who puts family first and his needs and wants on the back burner if necessary.

Thanks to Jose and Robinson for showing us real must see TV for families. In a time where most television is reality garbage, this baseball event was one for the ages.

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On Posting More And Shrinking My TV Time

A New Year’s resolution that I wanted to make for 2010 was to make an attempt to step it up with my posting frequency here: to add fresh content that others would find readable and entertaining, and do it more than once or twice a month. Really…I had the best of intentions to do so.

But we all know about the stickiness of resolutions. They normally don’t take. They mostly crash and burn by the middle of February.  So, right now, more frequent posting can fall under the category of  “something I’d like to do”.

The issue involved that prevents me from posting more often is I have a life. With lots of stuff going on.

And my perception is that doesn’t leave a lot of time for blogging.

Sure, I could put up some cute photos, or a You Tube clip with a couple of sentences underneath and call that a “post”, but I’ll assume enough people are doing that already. I’d rather write something with a little bit of depth.  And perhaps the potential to make someone think.

I just don’t do it often enough for my taste.

But, back to the life. I have a job, one that requires several hours of focused attention. That’s how I make my money. A little old fashioned, I know, but it is what it is.

I have a family. A wife and two children who I like to devote most of my free time to. I’m aware that time itself is fleeting, and before it has a chance to run out, I’d like to spend as much of it with them as possible.

These two facets of my life are the most important—with family always coming first.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways to post more frequently, even though things have been busy. Trying to find the activities in my day that I could curb in the interest of getting better at, and doing more of, this writing thing.

Watching television is one of these activities.

To help me on the road to more frequent writing, I have a goal that many readers might think seems far fetched: with the exception of live Yankee baseball telecasts, to shut myself off from watching television.

And then use my previously spent “TV time” to live my life instead.

As a guy that likes to watch mostly sports on TV anyway, this sounds like a pretty simple proposition. However, it’s not that easy. There are some quality shows on television (albeit most are not), and like most other people, I sometimes find myself, after a day at the office, kicking my feet up in the recliner, ready to watch. Vegging out. Being lazy.

I’d rather not do that anymore.

I’ve been watching baseball games since I was a kid. I love them. This I cannot cut. Everything else: very negotiable. It’s negotiable because the one resource in our lives that we cannot renew is time. Time runs out every day, and before that time is gone, I would rather not waste it on an activity that does nothing to move my life forward. Going forward is the much better option.

Have you ever thought of what happens with less watching, more doing?

I can do the following:

  • talk and make plans with my wife
  • help my daughter with homework
  • play catch with my son
  • phone someone I haven’t spoken to in a while
  • take a walk or run with my dog
  • read something
  • cook something really good and tasty
  • make some sauce
  • and I can write. Post something worthwhile here. Offer something to the world, instead of playing with the TV remote.

This is just a partial list of worthwhile ways to spend a life, rather than being a spectator to the network and cable offerings.

But looking at it quickly, I think, what a great list. And how I should get started right now.