Perspectives: Baseball, Football, the Yankees, and More...
by Paul Semendinger
February 2, 2023
February has arrived. It's the month of the Super Bowl. And, better, it's the month of Spring Training. I love when baseball begins again.
I have been getting myself ready for my fourth season as a pitcher in 35+ men's baseball. Last year, for two teams, I went 8-4. I'm pleased with that and look to improve on that performance overall. I started throwing a few weeks ago and my arm feels great. Last year I believe I overdid it in my winter workouts a bit and my arm hurt for most of the season. I'm stretching and loosening up more before I throw this year and my arm feels much better. As one of the older pitchers in the league, this year I plant to wear uniform #56 as a way to remember Jim Bouton. He was also an "old man" pitcher after his big league career playing in the Met League in New Jersey.
I wonder which player will have the greatest Spring Training for the Yankees and will be the person we all dream on...only to have those dreams shattered within two weeks of the regular season. I can see Isiah Kiner-Falefa hitting .400 in Spring Training and then hitting .212 in April and May.
I have no interest, at all, in the World Baseball Classic.
I watched the AFC Championship game between the Bengals and the Chiefs. Whenever I watch football, I noticed that there are usually a host of calls and non-calls from the officials that hurt the flow of the game and often directly impact the final outcome. The NFL has a big problem there. They need to find a better way to officiate these games. Too often the outcome of the game just doesn't feel legitimate.
The Empire State Building displayed green lights on Sunday (see below) to recognize the NFC Champion Eagles, who just a week before humiliated the Giants. A NYC landmark honoring one of the Giants biggest rivals? Really? I know they did the same a few hours later for the Chiefs, but, again... really? If the Red Sox win the World Series will they color the Empire State Building red? I'd rather great New York landmarks honor New York victories and New York teams. The Empire State Building is, after all, named after the...Empire State. It's not the USA Building. It's about New York.
If you're a runner and you ever have the chance to do the Empire State Building Run-Up, do it. I have done it twice, run the stairs to the top. It's a fantastic experience!
I'll be rooting for the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, but in a larger sense, I'm not all that enthused about the big game this year.
Strat-o-Matic, the world's best tabletop baseball game just released (for pre-order) the cards from the 2022 season. I am eager to see Aaron Judge's card. It should be amazing. The cards get mailed home in late February.
For the last two years, I've been at the Teddy Bear Toss for the Hershey Bears hockey team. It's so much fun to see so many stuffed animals being donated to charities. This year they collected over 67,309 stuffed animals. Amazing.
We had a great discussion on the SSTN Show on Monday night regarding Yankees who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. In short, there are a host of players who belong. I'll write a series of articles about this in the upcoming weeks. The Hall of Fame should find a way to recognize these players. When lesser players are recognized in the Hall of Fame and better players are not, there is something wrong with the system.
Tom Brady officially retired, for good this time. I, for one, will miss seeing him play. It's not often we get to see the greatest player in his sport. I got to enjoy a lot of Tom Brady's games.
Who are the greatest in their sports?
Baseball: Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, or someone else?
Football: Tom Brady, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, Jim Brown, or someone else?
Basketball: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, or someone else?
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, or someone else?
When will we see the next greatest player? I suspect it will be a long long time.
Tom Brady was the last player ever drafted by the Montreal Expos to retire. I find that to be an awesome fun fact.
Don't forget to see the tab on the right sidebar listing all my author visits and Zoom calls with SABR chapters. Stop in and talk. It's all great fun.
Baseball is coming soon. I can't wait.
Let's Go Yankees.