Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Keeping Purell in My Pocket

Greetings....a beautiful day finally!  I am sending my thoughts and prayers out to Big M who has been admitted to the hospital yesterday. He still battles cancer and has the love and support of his family and friends surrounding him. If anyone can beat this, Big M can!

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In the last post, I mentioned that dad was planning a meeting with the Czar after the season ends. He had his data collected and was building his arsenal. Then the big kid came home on Sunday night to see MJ on Monday morning and the conversation began.....

"Mom, you know that I hate this guy."

Uh huh

"But I have reservations about dad going in. I do not want to be vindictive and prefer to leave with my head high that I did not allow him to defeat me."

So, no dad going in to blast a hole in the locker room wall?

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No Rambo freeing the captives?


OK, I get it. You are not lowering yourself and handling your problems on your own. However, what about the guys who have learning disabilities who have been traumatized by the grade point average postings on the locker room blackboard. Don't you want to rescue them? After all, he thinks that he is above the law as he broke FERPA.


Fine, let's look to the future. I am going to the game on Sunday for senior day. I will be standing tall next to my favorite baseball player and will keep my dignity and composure. However, know this....as soon as I get off the field, I will use Purell on my hand and try not to vomit. In the long run, this guy is going to beat himself. We do not have to do a thing but watch the implosion and there will be one.

For example, the Czar has been starting his frosh on the weekends. They have one win this year. Psycho has been texting the pitchers telling them that they are suck and what are they going to do to get better. He is also tearing them down rather than building them up causing many of them to want to flee after this year is over. Psycho also called one kid an embarrassment. Well now....that's a coach, right? The kid is 18 and Psycho continues to put him on the mound. Can anyone say: "huh?"

I am not going to get involved, but I will listen and document. If anything happens to my kid, I will go in. The Czar has been baiting him to lose his temper, but he is not falling for it. Last week, he was standing in the locker room with two other players, the Czar walked in and said hello to the other guys and ignored the big kid. Hurtful? Maybe. Who cares? The pattern has been consistent and predictable. He is angry that the big lefty has his own thoughts on training and has not drank the Kool Aid. He is also resentful that he is not controllable, 'cause it is all about control. In the long run, he never took the time to speak to the kid and find out what makes him tick. If he has spent 5 minutes in a conversation, he would have understood the lefty. But he chose to make his own assumptions based upon faulty data and logic.

With that said, in my next post, I will share the summer plans and life after college.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mind numbing

Greetings! I am sorry that I have not posted in a while, because the big kid has gone underground. In other words, we have not had a decent conversation this week. He calls when I am either teaching or working. It reminds me of when he was a baby. He would scream every time I tried to eat something. It even happened when I was not home. One night, I worked at the hospital and called home on my way to dinner. I could hear him screaming in the background of the phone conversation. Weird, huh?

Ok, so...what is going on? Well, the team dropped three this weekend to a conference rival. It was pitching that contributed to the losses. And that is all I am going to say about that.

He is coming home today since he has an early morning appointment with MJ tomorrow. Dad is going with him to have a conversation with the surgeon and to glean more data. You see....

Dad is going in. That's right. As soon as the season is over, he is headed for a confab with the Czar. He has a multitude of issues to discuss with him starting with him calling us 'idiots' in front of the team. Nice, eh?

Second, he has bullied my son and a number of kids into submission. He needs total control or he screams. Yesterday, he told one of the freshman pitchers who has been working on his velocity that he will never start at this university. That's right. It seems that 'velocity' is not what makes a successful pitcher. Someone had better tell Matt Harvey and Steven Strasburg that they are doing something wrong as they vacation on their yachts and fly in their private jets.....just sayin'

Third, he has violated FERPA, a federal privacy law, when he placed the guys' grade point averages on the blackboard in the locker room. Besides embarrassing a number of guys, the gpas have been up all season. Dad wants him to apologize to the team and report his actions to the athletic director. If not, he sends his letter to the Board of Trustees.

That is just the beginning of the conversation. I have asked to be excluded since I do not want to go in and make nice. I already have the heebee geebees thinking that I have to shake his hand next week at senior day and pretend that I think that he is the best thing on campus since Girl Scout mint cookies. Currently, I am working on a mind numbing game and visualizing myself under a palm tree with a skinny margarita and basket of Pepperidge Farm goldfish pretzels....

Gosh, the ceremony is a week away and I have to get started on my guided imagery....send myself to my happy place....think good thoughts such as puppies who are housebroken, flowers that do not make me sneeze, and a cheesecake that does not pack on the pounds.

The big lefty also has to empty the apartment before he leaves campus. I do not want anything back. Repeat: Bring nothing home except your cute little face and computer. Everything else is to be bequeathed to Sky High. I don't even want the sofa back. Nope...it's history. He has to finish this moving before he comes home or it won't get done.

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Then what? Well, he will lose his deposit and be brought to court to pay for the trash men to come and take the belongings to the dumpster. By the way, I was the fool who co signed the lease, so....it is my butt on the line too....

With that said, I am off to work out and practice my mind numbing exercises.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Good morning! I just walked around the house with the landscaper to inspect the bushes and trees. It seems that my foliage is a perfect appetizer for the deer in my region. It also looks like they have quite a party at night when the rest of us are in bed. Hmmm.....one of my trees is eaten 2/3 of the way up, then there are leaves to the top. This was not the look that I was going for when it was planted which is half apocalypse, half spring time. Now it is war on the deer....eat the grass....eat the bushes in the way back of the house....go over to Sparky's house since she puts deer food out every night, but leave my tree alone.

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Whew....got that off my chest....on to the mountains....

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It was a quiet day yesterday....or so I thought....not hearing from the big guy means that he is working on school assignments and not bored. Yeah, I know, I get a call with boredom. I could be insulted....or complimented depending on the way that I look at it. When he wants to chat and has no one else, he calls me. Nice.

On to the complaint of the day.....yesterday the Czar went ballistic and it seemed that the kid was called out in the locker room.....

Here we go again...all he is trying to do is get through the next two weeks, leave campus and come home...then head off for the next phase of his life...but there is always drama....

The Czar comes in and  grabs the trainer. He asks the trainer to tell the team about his qualifications....then he goes crazy....

Paraphrase...."any of you who do not tell us what is going on are breaking protocols. We have the best health care staff in the country. Some of you (guess who) went out for a second opinion without following the process. Then you go and pay for surgery (guess who). If you did that, then you are an idiot...."

Ouch.....the rant went on for 15 minutes. It was obvious to everyone who he was screaming at, yet the team and big kid kept silent.

He called his dad to report the rant and tirade and then I got wind of it.

Dad is livid. Now the Czar has gone way too far as he berates the big kid for taking care of himself AND calls us idiots. Yes, I have done idiotic things in my life that will go with me to my grave, but hey.....when a child is injured and the treatment is not working, what parent would not seek further consultation? In fact, if I did not do so, I would be an 'idiot'.

Ok, here is where we stand. Dad is peeved that he and I were called idiots in front of the team. Now that we have been called out, it is fine that we address the concern face to face...mano y mano....idiot y idiot....

That's right, folks, we are going in. Uh huh. As soon as the season is over and the locker room is cleared out, we will have a sit down with the Czar to have our final say. It won't be aggressive or nasty unless he makes it so. But, he cannot bully us. When called out, I respond and take no prisoners. Is this a threat? Nope. I will simply go in there and call him out on the policies and laws that he has violated as well and the impact he has had on my kid's development.

One thing is for sure....without his constant criticism and bullying, my son would not be the pitcher he is today. It sounds odd, but the constant pressure caused him to rise to the occasion and improve his game. So, in a way, I can say that the negative pressure added a certain meanness to my son who can certainly take on the top talent in the country.

Stay tuned. The turbulence is about to begin.....

PS: There was a snafu in the media office. The big kid's photo is on the website and twitter feed to advertise the weekend series against a top ten team.....someone who cares was not checking....oops.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Good morning! It's another wet morning and the mood of the house is somber, angry, and sullen....NOT!

That's right! Life is like spring time right now with lots of flower buds and possibilities for a beautiful season.

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OK, I guess you are thinking, 'how is that possible, BPM? After all, the big kid has had a terrible blow. The Czar is looking for ways to humiliate him and his college career is over...yet.....

If a person keeps a positive attitude, one can see possibilities rather than problems....and here they are....

Yesterday was a banner day as the big lefty as he contacted the groups in Seattle, Jersey and Coach T.

Let's start with NJ.....they can see him to realign his body and work on his muscles. It's too bad that he needs this service, but I never said that his trainers and surgeons were following best practice models, did I? This will begin when he is cleared by his surgeon for work outs.

Seattle: They want to work with him. His big questions is how should he arrive? In other words, what kind of condition do they want him in before they begin the work outs. Dad's question is naturally 'how much will this cost?'

Coach T: If you are a regular reader, you know that Coach T has been his mentor and coach since high school. He was drafted to the majors in his freshman year of college and spent his years in the minor leagues. He was called to the majors for two days, never started, cut, picked up again, played minors, then retired. He was done after ten years of trying to make it.

Coach T was more than happy to hear from him as he listened to his story. He said several things....
1. He loathes college coaches
2. He will work out with the big kid
3. He will use his contacts to call his friends in the majors ONLY if the kid hits 88 mph on the radar gun. He does not want to stake his reputation on someone who cannot hit the mark.

This is so kind of him. He is currently working for his dad, does not have a college degree and has limited possibilities for the future. In a way, he sees more potential in the big kid since he has a degree (almost. See next week's posts) and spent his years working with a team. However, he wants to help, but the big lefty has to do his thing and return to playing form.

He was aghast that the trainers would make the players lift and do things that did not feel right. He was also glad that the kid balked at the work outs and advocated for himself to the detriment of his relationships with the coaches and trainers. When posed with the question of whether teams would pick him up if the Czar calls him uncoachable in a phone interview with scouts, his response was that they do not care. If he can throw, he can be a mean SOB and still make it.

He also asked if he thought that he would be drafted in June. The big guy's response was that he was never approached and has not heard from anyone. However, if anyone saw his outing against the SEC teams, there was a 0.01% chance that he would get a call. Coach T then replied that this may be the case and guys never know what is going to happen. Often, scouts watch from a distance.

And so....all of this leads to one word...'wow'.....

Once again, the emotions went from salty to sweet in a manner of days. There is hope for the future and his playing days may not be over. Coach T said that he might land up in indy ball for a day or year...no one knows for sure.

All of this information is great as summer plans are made. I was asked by Sparky when we were hosting a graduation party for the big kid....the answer is 'never'. His party is his life and the blessings that he has. He is going to both coasts to work out and I am sure that we will reimburse Coach T for his time.

Is all of this worth it?

Sure. I'll tell you why...it's the same old story...if he was a painter, I would send him to Europe to learn. If he was a dancer, he would be in new York. AS a parent, I have the responsibility to make sure that my children follow their passions, are educated, and will ultimately be independent and good people. I will do what I am called to do and so will they. We are a family...a team....we work with each other to achieve our greatest potential as humans and develop our God-given talents. If he can throw, then he has to cultivate this skill and use it for good and not evil.

With that said, I am back in the classroom tonight and have no idea what I am teaching.....


Monday, April 20, 2015

Survive and continue to move forward

Good rainy Monday morning! Happy birthday to our dear Tink. She is the most amazing person as she never complains about anything, although she would love to.....today, she was asked to be at work at 4 am. She said sure. Yesterday, her manager called, can you be in by 5 am? Sure. This kid is amazing and so kind. I am so happy that she is in my life.

On to the big guy.....I have not posted as I have been away so, I will briefly update you.

As you may recall, we drove to the mountains last week to speak to the doctors, professors, and coaches about the impending surgery. Naturally, the doctor finally saw the tear with the new MRI after MJ put a big smily face on it.

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 The pitching coach was ambivalent and did not care about the guy. The trainer showed some compassion but later threw him under the bus in the locker room sharing with the team that he let the team down by jumping into surgery. As far as the Czar was concerned, he was not in the office at 2 pm before a game, so he did not speak to him in person.

He left the university, had surgery, recovered for a week at home and returned. Not one coach contacted him during the week.

As he went to campus, he spoke with the sports psychologist who shared with him that the coaches were angry because he did not speak to them about the surgery. Huh?

Any way, he did.

Finally, he made an appointment to see the Czar and the poo hit the ole fan in a big way......

Here is the conversation in the big guy's words.....

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"I didn't call or text him that's why he's pXISYR$^&.
I said I didn't want to bother anyone with my problems and honestly I wasn't in a good state of mind.
He said I am selfish and I do what I want to do when I want to do them
My family takes care of all my problems
Asked what I'm doing after graduation I said working for dad he said good you'd get fired anywhere else 
If I was so concerned about being able to pitch you think I'd call the guy that's in charge 
He invested time in me and helped me. He could have kicked me out after looking at my prior stats but that he could help me.
He thought we had a relationship 
I had time to speak with trainer and assistant coach and not him. I said I went to the office and you weren't there. I didn't want to serve as a distraction.
I was in the proper state of mind to reschedule an exam and get a surgery done but not call him 
I didn't tell anyone that I was going for another opinion. 
They said that he would have supported me....
If I am in the proper state of mind I can hang around but you'll do whatever you want at the end of the day.
I'll get to you when I get to you in the future."
How do you like that conversation? 
I have nothing further to add to this post except....do not bring me into this conversation. I do not bail my kids out unless they need an adult hand. He was hobbling after the good docs diagnosed and treated the groin issue for several weeks. Any parent, friend, relative, or colleague would offer advice or help to a person who could not walk, right? This is what civil societies do. Right?

Gotta catch up on work.