Friday, October 28, 2011


"I got the power!" are the lyrics of a song that I have no clue what the title is...I just hear it at games. The purpose is to gear up the team to perform at their best and win the game. Sadly, if it was all about a song, we would all be winning Olympic gold medals. But life was not designed that way.

I am referring to the disappointment that kids feel when they are cut from a team. They move through the Kubler-Ross Stages of Death and Dying...Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. The woman was a genius since this theory can be applied with any situation in life and not just the last phases as I type my last blog with my very last breath (yes, I will probably have my laptop or iPad on my lap on my death bed chronicling the good, bad, and ugly).

Let's consider the player who was a freshman, recruited for the team and promised the possibility of a try out with the potential to make the team. He is not offered a scholarship, just the ability to try out for the team. This kid has to come in with the attitude of 'they want me' so there are no problems here, right? In many ways, I wish that this player had considered the possibility that he could have been cut...'cause he was....He spoke with Buddy during fall ball after the coach announced that no jobs were safe. He already felt that he made the team and did not push the limit to make it. He quizzed Buddy about traveling and room mates, and meal money rather than how do I make the roster? Buddy. very uncomfortable with the conversations, deflected the questions and moved on to the immediate situation of what was going on rather than what was ahead. Even Buddy knew that this kid would not make it as cuts crept closer and closer. This recruit did not hit during fall ball and failed to make the roster. To say that he was "blindsided' is an understatement and he is beyond consolation right now.

The next player was brought in under a hoax. As legend has it, when the coach visited the baseball academy where he was recruiting two players, the academy lied about the players' abilities. For example, when this player ran sprints, the person holding the stop watch reported the wrong times in favor of the player. Another pitcher's speed was falsely reported too. Both players made the team with scholarships, then their real lack of talent showed through on the diamond. The coaches, feeling betrayed, eventually minimized these players roles and both are in jeopardy this year as one scholarship was taken away and the other was cut in half. One player is now non roster red shirt and the other does not have a role and was basically told that he would not play this year.

Another outfielder was cut because he did not hustle and did not seem committed. He has taken it in stride because he was ready to move on from baseball into a life of many possibilities. Yes, Virginia, there is more to life than throwing a ball. When I was a college senior, I dropped off the tennis team because I was basically tired of it. I did not want to play competitively anymore...I wanted to be a 'big girl.' And so it goes with any college athlete, they have to move through the process.

With Buddy and his boys, I am not sure when they will finally say, "I have had enough." He has no plans even for a college major past baseball. Perhaps he is looking to become a scout, coach, teacher, or work in the front office of a team. Whatever he decides to do, he has to have a passion for it, just like pitching. He has to want to do this job so much that he pulls himself out of bed every day knowing that he is going to work on a job that he loves. I am not sure when he will finalize his long term goals but I am definitely ready to hear what else he likes besides baseball. I am not sure if he can make a decent living sleeping or eating ice cream unless his name is either Ben or Jerry.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The day after....

Good morning....It's raining in the northeast and it's my looong day, so this may be a short one. I never know until I begin to type and click on submit...

Got some good news on the Buddy front. He had his end of fall ball meeting with the coaches and it seemed to have gone well. According to the big leftie, the coaches see a new maturity and depth to his personality. In the old days, he would have given up a walk, then a hit or two until the bases were loaded, then a run would score and he would finally be out of the inning. This fall, however he was able to walk the first batter then then deliver the KO punch to the rest of the batters. Needless to say, they are pleased. They asked him to mentor the freshman since they see a lot of his former personality in the new kids. Further, the head coach told him that he wanted him to pitch twice each weekend and that he needed to be prepared mentally and physically. Oh boy, this means that I may have two sightings in one weekend rather than one or none. Lastly, they felt that he was moving toward the MLB draft. OY!!!! I'll write about that one later.

OK, so the conversation was a really good one. He needs to perfect his curve ball which he plans to do over the winter as he has been trying to find his mentor Coach T. T has not answered any of his calls or texts and Buddy is wondering if he has gone "major league" in his head. I doubt it, 'cause he's a good guy who may be out of the country, hunting, or hanging out with the family and friends.

Back to the meeting, they also mentioned that they like the way that he eats, sleeps, and focuses solely on baseball, and were pleased when he had only one suspiciously bad grade. Yippee...he thinks about nothing except this sport. Where will this get him after college? That is to be determined, right?

Now to the not-so-good news. Some of his very good friends from freshman year were cut. His room mate from the dorms will be leaving the university and transfer to another school where he can play ball. Another friend will be rostered and red shirted but not play. He too is looking for another program where he can play. Therefore, he too is leaving the university at the end of the semester. Lastly, LW was given a bad review. He is the last person on the pitching roster to be called into a game, therefore, he has to rework his attitude and begin to train harder to find a spot in the rotation. Needless to say, this is a big blow to LW's fragile ego as he sorts the conversation out in his head. Interestingly, the coaches asked Buddy how his living situation was, and he answered in a vague way, yet the coaches know what is going on. They did reprimand Buddy and Big Red for leaving Angel at the party where he was picked up after drinking. Buddy once again explained that it was because Angel was in deep conversation with a girl that he liked and they did not want to interrupt the time (if there is a next time) they will know better and protect Angel from himself.

And so it goes....Halloween parties begin this weekend. This time last year, Buddy called home at 1 am to report that he had been punched in the face and knocked down. Let's hope that I do not receive any more of those calls and that he now knows to "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" when someone who is drunk and punch happy comes his way. Again, the coaches say that he has matured...let's watch...

Have a good day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's up?

Every time the big kid calls, we start the conversation with "what's up?" or "zup?" I generally ask him how is feeling and then we move on to what the latest disaster/trial/tribulation that is on his mind. Currently, he is walking to his meeting with his partner on a project, a red-shirted field hockey player. According to Buddy, she is nice, but not a committed student. Hmmm. Anyway, he claims that he did more work on the project. My response was that he continues to carry the team and he should look at it as a privilege. Keep in mind that on any team or with any group work, someone on the team does most of the work and he should get used to it. Life is built that way. It is not fair. If life was fair, the Phillies would be in the World Series now.

Speaking of not fair.... players were cut yesterday and some are handling it better than others. Buddy's one friend was at the apartment yesterday and is taking it in stride even though he did not see it coming. Others are completely devastated...and so it goes. It is a business and the coaches want to keep their jobs. If the team does not perform and make a name for itself, they lose their jobs. It can be a cut throat business. Again, it is division 1 baseball and not Legion try-outs. The stakes are higher and therefore the rules of etiquette change. It is survival of the fittest and so it goes...goes...goes...gone...

On another note, when I spoke with Buddy the other night, he asked me to edit one of his papers. After I sent it back to him with minimal changes (he did a good job), I asked him if he received it through his email. As he tried to retrieve the paper, he noted that the Internet was not working and there must be an outage or short in their service. After calling the cable company, it seems that someone (Buddy) did not pay the cable bill. Here is his explanation:

"I thought that the cable bill was debited out of my account through the credit card (my card)." So, when the bill came, the guys put the envelopes (4 notices) on top of the refrigerator. Since he does not eat in the apartment, he did not see the notices and therefore because he did not pay the bill, cable was shut off. Another life lesson learned by a group of guys who know it all. Losing their cable was probably devastating since they could not check their classes, emails, facebook, and internet.

With that,I sit back and smile. There is nothing that I can say or do that can prepare him for all of the situations that he will encounter. Living in an apartment is more than moving furniture in and paying rent. There are utilities and cable, maintenance, and responsibilities that the guys do not have when they live rent-free at home. They move from the shelter of their fully equipped home bedrooms to a situation in which they have to pay attention to every detail. BP mom is not there to read the bills, look at mail, and lock the doors. They are on their own to clean and be responsible. By the way, the last time I was on campus, I was asked not to enter the apartment since he thought that I would be totally grossed out. Since I have a queasy stomach by nature, I gladly complied. I can only imagine the filth that they are living in since I collected his gear from his freshman dorm room. Some of the clothes, shoes and boxes are still in the garage with a note that they are quarantined until they pass Board of Health safety standards.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Life has calmed down a bit this week as Buddy reported that he has tendonitis in his left shoulder now that fall ball is over. As I recall, Chase Utley had it in his knee and he was out for a few months. Who knows how long Buddy will feel the discomfort. As a person who has regular bouts of tendonitis, I know that it can be a literal "pain in the joint!"

As I offer my mom-isms to him such as "have you been seen by a doctor? trainer? shaman?" His replies are generally short and something like "I got this one covered..." OK, Einstein, copy that....

And so, here is my official diagnosis and treatment....The kid has tendonitis due to faulty training techniques and possible overuse. Treatment includes ice, motrin, rest, and perhaps some massage and some physical therapy....But no one asks me, so I will keep this information to myself (for the time being)

How can he be expected to close games in the bottom of the 9th if his shoulder hurts all of the time? It's crazy, but I have to leave it to the training team to watch over him and help to ease the pain. Just as long as there is no tear, then he will be fine.

By the way, today he meets with the coach regarding his fall ball performance. He gave up one run the first day that he pitched. After that, he walked one batter and had a stellar season, so I am interested in hearing what the coach has to say.

Sadly, kids are going to be cut today. I know a few of them and they have no idea. So this news is going to be devastating. I pray that they can get over the pain of it, but it will probably take some time to do so. This is not a pretty business and yes, it is a business. The team is expected to play well, be on television, win, recruit, and make a national name for itself. Although the coaches have hearts, they have to focus on what is best for the team and school. As a former coach, I never had to cut players, but I do know what it is like to sit on a bench or feel totally out of synch with the rest of the team. I will have more information this week as the cuts are made. Is Buddy safe? Yes, the big guy is fine and slated for more appearances in the spring. This year I can count on a trip to Florida knowing that he will be there.

Got to run....

Monday, October 24, 2011

So what?

As Pink sings: So what I'm still a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't need you
And guess what
I'm havin more fun
And now that were done
I'm gonna show you tonight
I'm alright
I'm just fine
And you're a tool so
So what
I am a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't want you tonight.....

OK, gang...why did I post these lyrics sung brilliantly by Pink? Well, as I sat in my happy place this morning sipping my coffee and preparing for the day, I received a call from an angry young man situated on a campus in the mountains. For 15 minutes he complained about the Lone Wolf. As the caffeine hit me faster than usual, I used my BP mom vernacular and took out the patented phrases:
"why do you care?"
"why are you letting him live in your mind rent-free?"
"can't you let this go?"
"how do you plan on surviving another 7 months?"
"get a grip and move on..."
"sigh....deep breath...let it go....time to move on....this is crazy..."
"You are going to have to find a way to deal with it..."
"did you eat any vegetables this weekend?" oops...that question was from my patented 'I care about you because I am your mother and you need to eat your veggies file...'

Back to LW.....I am through with this mess. He is going to have to 'man up' and deal with the decision that he callously made 6 months ago when he cavalierly stated: "I can handle him." If this is handling him, then "NASA, we have a problem".

No matter what I have advised him to do, he did not heed the warning and moved on with his own decisions. And so it goes...on and on and on and on.....I think that I am going to develop a tape of mom-isms for when he calls.

Mom-ism 1: "uh huh, uh huh...yep...this is're right...the world has conspired against you and only you..."

Mom-ism 2: "Yep, the teacher hates you...."

Mom-ism 3: "I never thought that LW would selfishly make your life miserable. It never crossed my mind."

Mom-ism 4: "You're tired from training? That is indeed a surprise as you live out your dream to play D-1 college baseball."

Mom-ism 5: "Someone punched you and broke your phone in an alcohol-related brawl? What a shock!"

Mom-ism 6: "You opened the book, studied for the test, and earned a B+? What an intelligent thing to do. I must share this with my students."

And so it goes....I may make a mp3 tape of my voice and send it to him to download onto his iPod. When the dust settles, he needs someone safe to vent his frustrations. He can call me anytime (and he has). My crucial role is to listen, not joke, and share with him that someone loves know, the person who makes the magical stuffed cupcakes....

enjoy the day!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bullpen mom...forever and ever and ever....

Good morning! For some strange reason, fall ball continues. I thought that it was over last week, but lo and behold, I think that it will morph into winter ball then spring ball then summer ball. When does my kid do his homework? If I hear the phrase: "I am so tired..." one more time, I will scream...or not....

Yesterday, he sent me his criminology grade. Remember this course? It was the one that he really liked at the beginning of the year. Then the work began, the first test was taken, the first "D" was earned and badda badda bing...he hated the class. Well, knowing the word "eligible" was embedded in his head, he rallied to earn a "B+" in his last test. As evidence, he sent the scanned test to me (kind of a CSI thing to do....) and he did not complete the last two questions which could have earned him his highest test grade of the past two years. In a true Buddy-like comment, he replied "I thought that I was done with the test..." I then asked for his permission to say it since I never put the kids down and said "DOIEY!" And so it goes, he works his butt off to study and makes a mistake like not finishing his test.

The way that I look at it is that he likes the pressure of bringing his grades up. It is like the bottom of the 9th, he needs three outs to finish off the World Series....instead of getting the first three players out, he walks them, 'cause he likes the stress...then he systematically gets the last three guys out while never giving up a run. Yet, as we watch from the stands, our hearts are pounding while perspiration drips off our foreheads onto the ground making a big puddle, the Big Kid finishes the game and he wins it for the team. A hero, because he always comes from behind to prove his value and worth. From a mom's perspective, he has a great deal of value and worth as he and his sister carry my heart in their hands.

With that said, Dog overhead the head coach say that Buddy was "born to close". What the heck? Does this mean that I have to sit in the stands every single game until infinity watching other guys play, my kid leaning over the bullpen fence spitting out seeds until the bottom of the 9th inning forever? I guess that I am going to be Bullpen mom until the day I die...and so it goes....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cupcake Power

Good morning. I have an early meeting, so this will be a quick one....On Sunday, we traveled and watched the baseball scrimmage. My favorite outfielder, Angel was competing for a starting position and struggling with his hitting. After he popped up to his best friend and room mate, Buddy, he stayed at the field long after the other guys left for dinner.

He was so late that after dinner we stopped by the locker room to pick up papers that Buddy had left (thank goodness his head is attached to his neck) and we found him in the batting cages. Swing, swing, swing and so on and on and on....While driving the guys back to the apartment which conveniently is located (not) miles from the stadium, he voiced his sadness about his performance. Dad and I listened and could not offer any lame advice like "all things pass"...."There is a time and place..." ..."hang in there" and so on.... All I could do is hand him a homemade chocolate stuffed cupcake and we were on our way.

Last night Buddy called....he pitched and faced 4 batters. Sadly, he walked Big Red, but got out of the inning with ease. LW struggled again and it was everyone else's fault including the sunset and lights on the field. Over to Angel...he hit a single, double, walked and lined out. Was it magic? A change in batting stance? new glasses? power of positive thinking? Visual imagery? What could it have been? According to Buddy and was the homemade cupcakes. Yes, folks...the power of a double chocolate mound of cake filled delectably with frosting and covered with chocolate ganache. So, when you are in a batting slump, BP mom's chocolate cupcakes will do the trick...they are filled with magic, love, and self confidence.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Take care

Good morning! What a beautiful weekend! The weather and the changing trees in the northeast make this part of the US one of the prettiest. And so, we took a trip into the mountains to see the trees and our favorite leftie. But first, let's back up a bit....

I had no intention of making the trip on Friday since he doubted that he was going to play. In fall ball, they test the condition of the existing players as well as the new kids on the team. Unfortunately, after this weekend, the roster is whittled from 42 to 35 players, therefore, it is 'crunch time' for the marginal players. This part always breaks my heart because I feel for the kids. I have been 'cut' before from teams and it is never a good feeling. In fact, it is a bad, bad feeling leading to a great deal of self doubt and psychological rationalizations such as "the coaches don't know what they are doing" or "they will regret this decision. They must be blind" or "they always hated me" and finally, "they will definitely regret this and I hope that they lose every game...." It's a natural response as your mind works to soothe the hurt that you feel when you were not good enough to be part of a team. This sadness finally ends and you wish the team well yet still have a bit of a scar from the process.

With that said, Buddy called on Saturday and said that they had a double header on Sunday and that he was scheduled to play. Oh goodie! And so, with the nice weather and beautiful foliage, we planned to make the trip late Sunday morning to catch the action. However, before I hung up the phone, the big kid uttered: "Safe trip..." Safe trip? Did he just say that? I am hearing things? Does he care if I make it? Really? He is thinking about someone else? Really? Me? Safe mean, don't have an accident? Don't die? Or in other words, I really care about you, so take it easy....

I was shocked, yet overjoyed. In a sense, he has finally picked up a part of what I have been trying to teach him over the years...that is to care about others more than you care about yourself (he's not there yet, but has glimmers of hope). My theory is that Angel has been a terrific role model. I have never met anyone so kind and sensitive at his age. he wants to be a Resident Assistant next year to eliminate living expenses. Further, for summer ball, he will "suck it up" and live with a host family even though he has an opportunity to share an apartment with Buddy. He is once again, concerned about the money. He is not bleeding his folks as they have 3 other children to consider. He is mature beyond his years (except for that one blip of underage drinking). And so, his sensitivity has been influential on my child and I am grateful.

Angel has struggled since the citation and Buddy has been his friend throughout it all...although...he has let him 'swing' a bit as Angel has had a hitting problem this fall. Buddy shared with me that he knows what Angel is doing wrong, but would not tell him because he had to face him in fall ball and did not want him to hit him when he pitched. And so, since Buddy's fall ball season is over, he told Angel last night that he was lunging at the ball, rather than sitting back. If you were Angel, would you be angry if your best friend knew how to solve the problem, but did not tell you? I might be...then again...every man for himself when it comes to fall ball performance.

And so it we arrived for the second game, I could see the big kid in the bullpen (where else?) leaning over the fence spitting seeds out of his mouth looking bored. Yet I knew that he wasn't since he was scheduled to enter the game at some point. And again, it was like deja vu...he sits in the bullpen, we sit in the stands and both of us wait and wait and wait....Meanwhile a game is going on and I really could not be too interested since I did not know any of the new players. With that said, at the bottom of the 7th inning (they play 7 innings with double headers), who runs onto the field and stands on the mound waiting for someone to catch his ball? Yep...the big kid...finally....he's got the ball and is ready to go. But where is the catcher? Naturally, it is the end of the second game and all of the kids except Buddy are tired so they saunter out to the field. Come on guys...let's move it.

Finally, the start of the inning as he warmed up and was prepared to face the first batter who was.....Angel.....he never had a chance and popped out after three pitches. The second kid struck out. The third kid grounded out to third base. Eleven pitches...six hours of driving....done. Game over... sigh....well, at least the trip was magnificent.

After a quick dinner together, we dropped Buddy off at his apartment with his cupcakes. As we pulled away, he asked Tink to text him when we arrived home. Really? He cares about us arriving home too? Wow....what is going on? Has the real kid been abducted by aliens and someone else is in his body? Or is this a new way of looking at life? Hmmmm....I don't know, but am going to relish this one all week until the next crisis...until then...take care!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Flaming shots

A windy day in the northeast and I finally took the dreaded certification exam that was to be completed in four hours in less than two hours this morning. After studying and worrying a bit, my dad called last night and said a prayer for me. How can I not pass now? Bedsides, I used Sparky's theory of test taking and a few times when I really did not know the answer, I chose "c". Sparky, this is a true test of the validity of this theory.

While studying, I had to compartmentalize issues that were emerging in Buddy's apartment. With Angel feeling like he let the world down when he was sort-of arrested (really only cited) for underage drinking, Buddy had to work his counseling skills on helping the poor kid get over the fact that he perceives that he let down his friends, family, team, university, state, country, and Creator with one mistake. Goodness, at least he wasn't driving! With that said, he still loses his license yet he is punishing himself by staying in this weekend and not attending the homecoming football game or any parties. His citation would have been expunged if he told the authorities where he got the liquor. He would not "squeal" and therefore is paying the price.

On the other hand, Buddy went to a concert last night and sat in the front row (how did this happen? I had to rummage at the bottom of my purse for loose change to buy a cup of coffee and he is in the front row of a concert...). Anyway, he also decided to skip the homecoming game to study and do his homework. Tomorrow is a scrimmage double header and he is going to pitch. So, his time to complete assignments has been limited by the added game. Further, now that he has bonded with his new mentor (the sorority girl was fired), he is more organized and confident.

Now, on to the matter that I have had to place in the back of my mind for the past twelve hours. It's none of my business how a person chooses to parent a child unless it affects my children. For example, when Buddy was in high school, he went to a new friend's house. I did not know the family at all and wanted to meet them and ask a few questions. At that time, there was a situation in our region of a teenager who was left home with his older sister. They had a big party, found the father's gun, and he shot and killed his best friend. This story and its proximity to us hit me as a parent. So, I asked the new friend's mother if they had a gun and if was locked up. Yes, they had a gun and it was locked up and she would be home for the evening. "Ok" I said, "I will drop the kid off." To this day, she shares that story with anyone who will listen. As far as I am concerned, it is no joke. Additionally, I would ask the same question and hope that any other parent would have asked the same of me if they did not know our family.

And so, that is a case in which I stuck my nose into someone's business in order to protect one of my children. There certainly are other instances, but I will save them for the future. As you know, LW has had a tough fall and is in need of support and counseling. From my perspective, three hours away, he is falling apart. Therefore, his parents have decided to give him material things to make him feel better such as new clothes, food, and video games. However, this week, they decided to be creative and break the law. To boost the young lad's disposition, they dropped off three cases of beer and a bottle of Captain Morgan rum. Let's review...the kids are 19 years old. Angel, a good kid, was picked up for underage drinking which is against the law, the last time that I checked, and LW's parents decide to show love and support through booze. Ya' know, alcohol is a depressant, right?

Yes, I remember clearly when I failed my first college composition and Grandpop and I went bar hopping and hoisted flaming shots to help me to get over my disappointment. In fact, he paid for them and we stayed out all night....Oh, I am sorry...that never happened.....

Back to LW and his supply of booze...I am not too worried about it, since the kid has trouble sharing....remember the Oreos and the apple juice? My senses tell me that LW is going to hold on tight to his brew and may not have a party. With Angel and Buddy on the sobriety bus, he is going to be drinking alone, 'cause Lord knows, he won't share with Big Red.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, this is a tale of parents and how they tend to their teen's needs by breaking the law. I am appalled, angry, and a bit peeved. I am not sure what to do about it and have to think clearly. Therefore, I will strap on my lucky sneakers and head north into the mountains tomorrow and consider having a conversation with all of them. In the meantime, I too am going to bring something to the apartment....Buddy and Big Red's favorite chocolate stuffed cupcakes...pure liquor....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A break up

It's a rainy day in the northeast. I could be depressed, but the memory of the past five gorgeous days remains with me as I let my mind wander to the gorgeous skies and gentle breezes....hmmm...OK, now I am back and have to post before I head into the office. It's time to break out the Gap rain boots which in theory are great. No water penetrates the plaid plastic however no air circulates either. My feet feel like they are in an oven with no chance to breathe as they bake, sweat and are wet from perspiration as opposed to the puddles. This is a no win boot....and so it least I am no longer in college with the plastic Stroehman bread bags on my feet trying to stay dry for 8 hours as I run from class to class in the rain.

Speaking of college, there is always news on Buddy and Tink front. Tink took another math test this week. We eagerly await the results. Buddy is studying with his tutor for his criminology test (his former favorite class until he got the first grade back) and math quiz. He can't believe that there are no breaks from the work in college. Imagine? No breaks from studying, taking tests, attending classes, and writing papers....I will have to ask for my tuition money back. I am obviously getting too much for my money. If I pay less, perhaps he will not have to take so many tests. I will check with the Bursar.

We spoke this morning about his training session. He is complaining about a "knot" in his shoulder...yes, the left, I don't know what a knot means. Is it a blood clot, muscular tension or strain, new muscle or what? Why he complains to me when he has an entire state of the art medical system at his fingertips, I will never know. He has access to trainers, doctors, masseuses, physical therapists, and counselors. Who does he complain to? Yep, you got it right...BP mom. What does BP mom say? "Go to the trainer!" Yeah, yeah,

The morning conversation continues. He obviously could not reach his dad by phone, so I sat in my chair with my coffee and had a lovely chat with the Big Kid. It looks like Option 3 is the winner of next year's living arrangement with Dog, California, and an unnamed player to be announced. He has actually done his homework this year and therefore is making an educated decision. For new readers, please refer to older posts for some of his now famous decisions.....all supported by the sentence: "Mom, I can handle it...."

The winning location of the Buddy's new apartment is: (drum roll, please)...the apartment over Dunkin Donuts!!!! Fireworks, balloons, and applause please! Did BP mom call this one right or what? All I can say is that momma knows her son....BP mom DD stock now...the baseball team has a new hang out....

As I mentioned, the plan is that our leftie is going to live with Dog and California.
However, California has received a number of letters from major league teams and he is eligible for the draft this summer. If drafted, he will go...not just go....He will take any luggage...just his glove and cleats and leave Buddy and Dog in his dust. Therefore they need a plan B and C 'cause BP mom is not going to fund their addiction to DD alone. We need two more players or kids to live in this apartment. Therefore, Buddy will chat with the pitching coach to determine whether a junior college kid is coming to campus and in need of a place to live AND he wants to ask a high school friend to join in the craziness. I know this kid and his mom well and I approve :-)

What is going to happen to Angel, Big Red, and Lone Wolf? The break up conversations and results will be covered in future posts. Let's just say that there will be fireworks, a parade, and some shouting, sharp objects, and hurt feelings. More to come...stay tuned!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A very peaceful weekend!

We are having great weather in the northeast. I cannot believe that we will hit 85 degrees in October. I have to go outside before the weather turns rainy, snowy, raw and damp for Halloween. Pumpkins and scarecrows are adorning lawns and the leaves on the trees are turning a beautiful shade of red. Life is good...Tink and I went with family yesterday to celebrate cousin Songbird's imminent nuptials to her soul mate. It is a wonderful couple to watch as they are in love with a capital "L". They are going to marry in Ecuador and have a reception in the states next year...until then...Vaya Con Dios!

With the great weather, the college team was able to have their usual Sunday scrimmage. Many of the players struggled...could it be a physical let down from the previous day's football game and activities? One of Buddy's friends could not pitch out of an inning. It looks grim for him. He may not make the roster this year. LW gave up 3 walks and 6 runs in 4 innings. Buddy worked two innings and had 2 strike outs, no walks, 6 batters up and 6 batters down. Then he was pulled out. Coach proclaimed that he was "back!" This means that his fast ball, slider, and curve ball were effective. In fact, according to Coach, he has not pitched that well since May's playoffs.

Dad has a theory about Buddy's recent surge in his abilities. He feels that the summer did nothing but cause him to regress. There were no regular work outs, routines, or coaching sessions. Buddy's free time was spent in his room watching Netflix and vegetating. Once fall ball began, he had his routine back. It took 4 weeks to regain his previous form, but now that he has it back, he will not let it go. Whew! I think a celebration is required. Time to head back to campus and take the kid out for a steak on Sunday. Hopefully this weather will hold up.

On to the household drama of the weekend. Buddy called last night. it seems Angel wants to call us and apologize for ruining our weekend. I don't recall this weekend being wrecked. In fact, I loved it...I worked, saw family friends, and did not have a midnight wake up call about some crazy college drama. In other words, it was peaceful. Dad told him that our weekend was fine and Angel is a good need for apologetic phone calls.

On the other hand, LW's family showed up, dropped lil bro off for the weekend and brought LW some video games and new clothes. Then they took off to party with friends. LW was out and left lil bro at the mercy of Buddy, Angel and Big Red. In other words, he hid in LW's room. They never mentioned the previous week's drama and note, and so it goes...this is the difference....Angel was mortified with his behavior and sought apologies...LW and his crew are oblivious. And so it goes...and goes...and goes.....

Got to go...have to study and work today. Enjoy the great autumn weather!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lessons in life

Happy Sunday! It's a good one in the BP mom household. No late night calls about drunken disorderliness or suicide's a day that is looking mighty fine.....yep...mighty fine.

Yesterday, I did receive a number of calls from our hero. Yes, he is feeling, he is not going to the football game because he has too much work to do...yes, he is pitching today. That was all I received in my communication from him. On the other hand dad got the real news that he proceeded to share with me. Here it goes....

No, LW did not try anything shady or fatal. His parents did show up at the apartment and left his little brother with him while they went out for the evening. Naturally, I don't have all of the facts, but lil bro' was there watching television.

Yes, Buddy and Angel went to a sorority social together. Excuse me, but didn't we formally have disdain and revulsion for the Greek system? Are we talking out of both sides of our mouths? Huh? Well, they had fun and Buddy left Angel there because he was making strides with one of the ladies, So, our hero left his roomie as he was so close to obtaining her phone number. When Buddy got home, who was sitting on the sofa? Yep..LW's lil bro. Where was LW? His brother replied: "he went to a party...." and he left his kid brother to rot watching television and playing video games alone. That is...until...Big Red showed up with his girl friend. Thinking that he was going to have the place to himself, he was woefully surprised that this kid was on 'the sofa.' Consequently, Red was not a happy camper...

As Buddy, Big Red and girl friend, and kid bro settled in for the evening, he received a frantic phone call from Angel. "You gotta pick me up....I am in the ER and don't know how I got here...." Ouch! Did the sorority girl take a swing at him? Did he black out? Was he drugged? What happened?

When Buddy and his favorite catcher arrived at the hospital, Angel was in a stall with an IV in his arm. He swore that he had no idea what happened and was trying to piece the last few hours together. It seems that he had left the party inebriated. On campus, there are roving ambulances that pick kids up who appear intoxicated and in danger. Therefore, when they stopped Angel, he failed the breathalyzer test. They transported him to the hospital where he woke up on a stretcher. When he realized where he was, he quickly called his reliable room mates to help him.

Here is where the story becomes confusing...he was not arrested...I don't think that he received a ticket...but his blood alcohol level was high. Therefore, he has to pay a big fine and attend alcohol safety class, and lost his driver's license for 90 days. Now, I know that this is a good kid, who made a bad decision. Therefore, this situation has thrown him onto the sobriety wagon with Buddy.

Angel called home the following morning to recount the story to his parents. From what Buddy tells me, his saintly mother used some not-so-saintly expletives as she proceeded to yell at him for two hours. Today, Angel's parents will be in the apartment and ready to intervene as necessary. In the meantime, what have we learned here?

Well, I have learned that if these kids do not learn from this, then they are not the intelligent guys that I once thought. Anything bad that has happened to them has been related to drinking. Yes, the drinking is more than a glass of is beer, shots, and hard liquor. They are ill equipped, as is anyone, to handle it. So, why oh why do it?

They have so much to lose. LW almost lost his life. Angel has lost his driver's license and is panicked that he may have lost his scholarship (I doubt it, but he should worry about it). Big Red and Buddy just stand there and wonder what they got themselves into...I don't remember these lessons from college and I was sober most of the time....

Friday, October 7, 2011


Good morning! It's Friday and I am proctoring a midterm exam trying to type softly and not disturb the panicked exam-takers. Are they cheating? I haven't seen anyone except one girl's eyes look at another paper. Here is my philosophy about do you know that your neighbor has the correct answer? How do you know that you don't know? What if you cheat and 'borrow' the wrong answer? Sparky told me that when you are in doubt, choose 'c' as the answer. This would be tough and disastrous in an essay test, but Sparky is pretty smart, so I will go with her test-taking theory.

Last night when I returned home, Diva dog was retching and vomiting nonstop. She was in obvious abdominal distress and Tink and I were really concerned. After an hour, she calmed down a bit but I was ready to call canine 911 for help. (OK, the girl with the red hair just finished the test first and handed it to me...the rest of the students rolled their eyes). Tink slept in a sleeping bag in the mudroom and took care of DD. Such a great dog owner...she has a test this morning and never once thought about it since she was more concerned about little diva.

Over to Buddy..he is now feeling peppier as the midterms and papers are completed and fall ball comes to an end. Sadly, he has to deal with 2 progress reports but he feels that there will be no more academic problems. Once again, can you spell 'eligible'? "I got it, mom" he reports. And so it goes.....

As BonJovi sings..."it's my life...."

Thursday, October 6, 2011


The big history test is over and Buddy and 300 classmate's fate rests in his "Birkenstock, hairy armpit, nose ring, pink haired" teacher's assistant. If she is in a good mood, he got a 100. If she is in her typical foul mood, then he is doomed. Let's keep our fingers crossed that she did not have a fight with her room mates yesterday. By the way, I am all for a big curve in this course.

He feels a bit stronger since he was kicked out of practice for two days. He is delighted with this state of events. Last night he had a paper due at midnight that he was starting at 4 pm. Can anyone spell procrastinate? He narrowed down the topic to 'women who are opposed' OR 'money can't buy you happiness.' This one made me laugh...let's think here...he is not a woman, he doesn't know any that are oppressed, therefore he has nothing to go on to write 900 words. On the other hand, after attending two mega bucks private schools with peers who were given sports cars for passing a spelling test, he knows something about money and how it does not bring a person joy. I actually had to talk him out of writing about the women. Perhaps the streptococcus has affected his brain.

Fall ball is over in 10 days and he is looking forward to spending more time with his friends rather than playing in scrimmages. He is placed in for two-three innings each weekend and commands the radar gun when he is not sitting in his bullpen. Boredom has set in and he is ready to focus on school and training. Guys are going to be cut next week and they are getting nervous. Buddy is safe and he knows it, so the tension that he had last year is not present. However, he understands the panic in the other guy's faces. Each year, the team has walk-on try outs then they cut the roster to the league standard. Last month, two players who had been cut last year were arrested for assault and battery. Once again, you add big guys, too much drinking, and rowdy behavior and you can find yourself waking up in the pokey the next day.

And so it goes.....I am off to work a 12 hour day today. I think that Thursdays are not my favorite day of the week, but I could be wrong. Fortunately, I am not oppressed, have a job, and have tools to work the system as opposed to the women who don't...perhaps I should introduce my son to one so that he can write that essay next time....have a good day!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


There is never a dull moment in BP mom's life. Yesterday's road trip settled a number of interpersonal issues for our hero. He looked somewhat relaxed (for him) and had his sense of humor back. He is on antibiotics for his strept throat and to his delight was kicked out of practice for being contagious. He ran off to study hall to continue studying for his big history midterm today (good luck big guy...).

Once I left the university, we did not chat about the Lone Wolf again. Buddy has to learn to compartmentalize the issues that emerge in his living arrangement. He has to leave it behind to focus on what he has to do to succeed and not be distracted by all of the drama...drama...drama....drama....did I say: "drama?"

While we drove to lunch yesterday, he showed me the places that he wants to live in next year with Dog and California. One house was in the center of town. Dog was being kind when he said that the house had "character." Use your imagination for what "character" means. I promptly vetoed this one. It is in the center of the hub of activity on campus. They will never sleep and will have drunken students pounding on their door wanting to use their bathroom at all times of the day and night.

I picked out another apartment building that had 6 floors and balconies. "Uh mom...that's $800.00 a month per person." Whew, glad that he is finally looking out for my money OR has he seen a recent bank statement showing very little in it? I am not sure, but that building was crossed off the list too.

My only suggestion was to stay off the main streets (there are two) but he is convinced that he is (once again) making the right decision. The guys have now narrowed the selection to the place over the Dunkin Donuts and the one over Citizen's Bank. My spidey senses tell me that DD will emerge as the winner. If this is the case, then I will promptly spend the $18.00 that I have in the bank on DD stock, 'cause those guys can eat. In fact, as I stood next to him yesterday, I swear that he grew another inch or perhaps his hair was particularly fluffy. Not sure, but it added an inch.

And so, life continues....he enjoyed the cupcakes that Tink and I made for them and is ready to kick butt on the history exam. I too will try to compartmentalize and focus on my work for a change. Poor Tink has been making dinners and cleaning the dishes since I am studying for a certification exam next week. Like Buddy and millions of others, I waited for the last minute and am currently cramming while making my index cards and placing them strategically around the house. It definitely brings back my college days as my mind wanders away from the subject onto something really important like who was kicked off Dancing with the Stars?

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Life is not easy

Greetings! It has been quite a while since my last post and I ask for forgiveness. I have been out of town, working, and handling issues that have emerged this past week. In many ways, I have been too distracted to post, but will now try to catch up with what has been going on....and a lot has happened.

I have to be very delicate in writing this note for a number of reasons that will be revealed as you read on and on and on......

Last week, I traveled to the south for a long weekend and the presented some of my research at a symposium on the other side of the state. Both trips were successful but took me away from writing, although issues still emerged.

Once again, I write this blog as a means to communicate the intense nature of baseball and my son's quest and drive to make it or not make it to the major leagues. Playing college and professional sports is not an easy venture. My friend's son is a quarterback at a large well known university. I have known this boy since grade school and he is a great kid. Anyway, his team lost on Saturday and he threw three interceptions. Imagine his heart ache as he tries to deal with this performance. He faces criticism week after week and still remains positive. I have a new admiration for all of these players as they strive to do things that only a few people can do.

Therefore, football like baseball is loaded with people looking to bring a person down. Blogs and websites are devoted to hating players and teams. In fact, when I look online, there are sites that are purely dedicated to demonstrating how bad certain players perform on any given day. With that kind of pressure, a person can go crazy and need some external assistance. This is where it can and does take a village to create and handle a professional ball player.

I am not trying to skirt around the impending issue, but merely pointing out that this level of sports has its positives and negatives. To that end, I will begin....

Buddy has had some difficulty putting life into perspective and therefore contacted the sports psychologist who works with all of the athletes and has experience with their unique needs. He has many years of experience and is committed to helping the kids. So Buddy finally went to see him and immediately liked him. He plans on seeing him every week until he can sort things out in his mind and place baseball into the correct place in his life. I applaud him and wish that I had someone who would put things into perspective for me a closet organizer.

Gradually, he has felt more confident and relaxed. However, with fall ball, there is still a great amount of pressure for all of the players as they compete for starting spring positions. They are tired and stressed because they also attend college full time. The anxiety and stress trickle into their personal lives and they are distracted and become closed off. With Buddy, he tends to become very quiet and introspective as the season continues and basically hides. Yet, the big guy is in college and does not hide too much and still likes a party or movie or playing video games.

The weekends are great fun as the guys plan to attend football games and parties. Plans are made with the guys who they consider friends. Lone Wolf, formerly known as Nemesis is on the outer fringe of the circle. LW has been very difficult to live with and has a trigger-like temper, will not share his food, and makes inappropriate and rude remarks to anyone in ear shot. The guys had been freezing him out to avoid conflict for several days until LW screamed at Big Red for drinking some of his juice. The argument was heated and ugly and LW was told that everyone hated him. Not one of their finer moments, but it happened nevertheless. Later that day, LW joined the guys at a party where he continued with his inappropriate behavior and was shot down by one of the girls who he wanted to date. He was beginning to seethe and drink more and became combative and belligerent. Buddy had to get him out of the party and bring him back to the apartment. As Buddy settled in for the night, LW barged into his room and demanded that they talk about what had happened. He then showed Buddy marks on his chest where he had 'cut' himself in an act of self-loathing. Floored, Buddy was completely unprepared to deal with this type of issue. He wanted to help LW but was not equipped to handle it. What does he do? He calls home to talk with me about the cutting.

To me, cutting is an act caused by a person who is desperate and it seems that LW was desperate. We chatted a bit and I suggested that he ask LW to call his parents for some help. He could also meet with the sports psychologist to work on his issues. There is truly something wrong and this young man is screaming out for help and attention. It is unfortunate that he has taken his issues this far.

On Saturday, things went back to normal as some of the guys went out and Buddy stayed in the apartment since he was feeling sick. As he walked to the kitchen, he found a note written by LW saying that he has had it and is sorry about committing suicide. It was ten o'clock at night and Buddy once again did not know what to do. That's when he called in a panic. At first, it seemed like a cry for attention and LW seeking to make the guys squirm for their impatience with him. But a kid does not write something like that as a college essay. He is in a great deal of pain.

Buddy went into action and called the guys to come back to the apartment. He then tried to contact LW who did not answer his cell phone. Next, he contacted the psychologist for assistance. They spread out and drove in a rush through campus trying to find him and stop him from hurting himself. Finally they found him in his friend's apartment playing video games. Yes, that is correct. He was enjoying himself with a group of guys while the other kids were driving crazily trying to find him.

I am going to stop the story here for a few quick notes. Number 1: he left the note to be found by Buddy whom he knew would spring into action. Number 2: the guys were speeding around town trying to find him. They could have had an accident and either killed themselves or someone else. Number 3: he was alive but did not answer his cell phone even a text message. To me, this is a great manipulation by someone who cannot figure out how to get his way without trying. He wanted friends, but did not know how to make them. it is very sad.

Back to the story...they found him and brought him back to the apartment where the psychologist sat with them and started a dialogue on the issues. It ended around 2 am when Buddy called home to report that LW had been found and he was alive. I then told him that he is not responsible for this action and therefore should not shoulder any guilt. That night, I was ready to drive to campus at midnight to help sort out the mess. Fortunately, I was not needed but was ready to go.

On Sunday, I asked for an update and whether LW had contacted his parents and told them about the note. To me, this is very very serious. His parents needed to know this information in order to help him. Keeping it from them would be a grave mistake. LW told Buddy that he called his mother and told her. Since this person has not been truthful in the past, I figured that if he really told them then his parents would be there that day. Which parent would not come to campus knowing that their child had written a suicide note? SO, I waited and waited to hear when the parents arrived. They never did which told me that he did not call them. By the way, Big Red wanted to tear up the note, but LW took it and ate it. Hmmmmm

So, what's BP mom to do? You got it right...I called his mother on Monday and asked her if she was OK after Saturday night. When she did not know what I was talking about, I told her what had happened. Can you imagine someone calling and telling you that your son wrote a suicide note two days ago? What would you do? What would you say? I probably would have dropped the phone and jumped into the car.

This is not what happened. I could tell that she was teary and apologized for giving her such bad news but she needed to know. You cannot keep this away from the person who could help this young man. He needed her and she had to know. When LW found out that I called, he was very angry with Buddy who calmed him down and told him that I called her to make sure that she was feeling alright because I was concerned about the family. I am not going to go into the conversation because she shared some intimate details about this young man and I would prefer not to write about it, but this woman has been dealing with this behavior for quite a while. I hung up the phone feeling very bad about them.

I immediately shook off the guilt and sadness and wanted Buddy to know that he is not responsible for any of this nor should he shoulder any blame. Furthermore, if he is still distracted by these antics and unable to focus on school and baseball, someone was going to have to move out of the apartment. Consequently, I decided to take the trip to campus today and make sure for myself that everything was normal. Before I left, I made sure that the therapist could see us together. My senses tell me that my son needs to establish workable boundaries and be equipped with tools to defuse future situations. We went to meet the doc and had a great conversation where he shared that Buddy handled the crisis with a great deal of skill. With that said, we worked on a plan together and left the office. Who was sitting outside of the office in a chair, slumped, and glaring at us? Yep....there he was...LW.

Immediately, I was concerned that he would think that we were talking about him (since we were) but I did not want Buddy confronted in the apartment. First, he does not need any more drama. Second, he was diagnosed with strept throat today. However, one important item was discussed in the meeting and that was how to share with LW that he was not going to live with him next year. This is almost a done deal as Buddy is going to live with California and da Dog, so LW is not invited. This will cause hard feelings and possible ramifications. He cannot be this young man's baby sitter for the next three years. He has to focus on his own life and attend to his issues.

To end, this young man is troubled and needs assistance. He has many wonderful qualities but lacks some basic social skills. According to the doctor (and common sense), some of the best athletes never learn how to get along with others because people want to be near them because they can throw a ball. This type of friendship is fake and not real. This fellow needs guidance, someone to confide in, and methods to work out his frustrations without taking them out on his room mates. He is in my thoughts and prayers as I wish him the very best. It is not an easy road and I hope that he has the help that he needs to live a long and happy life with lots of friends and family surrounding him.