What happened to the Golden Rule?

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, sports figures, politicians etc. were revered and protected by the media. They traveled with them and wrote about how people were “doing their job” not their personal lives.  They all knew about the personal challenges, the indiscretions, the failures, the bad decisions, their families, the late nights and all of their imperfections.  They were people, just like the writers and the writers respected their privacy.

Those days are long gone.

Today the media and our society is constantly searching for any nugget of information they can find to identify any and all flaws in a person, pass judgement without all of the facts and then work 24/7 to pull on every thread of a persons life to validate their perspective and point of view. We see this everyday in political reporting and we most certainly see this in sports reporting.  Reporting and news is no longer about truth, it is about humiliating, degrading and tearing down people and publicly sharing that in as many ways, as many times and through as many media channels as possible. When did our society lose respect for the rest of society?

We are bombarded by shows that call themselves “news shows”, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all other forms of social media that have enabled every person on the planet to become “reporters.”  For real breaking news, these media channels are a godsend as action can be taken faster and in many cases lives can be saved.  For this we can be grateful.

But more than 90% of the “news” reported is not news at all.  It is about sharing a person’s mistake or error for entertainment purposes, regardless of the embarrassment and personal suffering that the person will have to go through after it all goes public. The collective society that I am referring to uses no discretion or common sense, nor do they treat others as they would want to be treated; the “golden rule.”  Apparently the golden rule is dead.

Why does our society delight in the misery of others?  Why is it OK for the media to put aside any discretion and insist on reporting everything about a person’s life?  Why do “news” stories such as Deflategate consume us to the point where we are now questioning everything ever accomplished by the quarterback?  Because it is unfortunately what our society has become – one that basks in the glow of others failures for their own personal or business benefit.

It is no longer about the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.  It is about tearing down people’s lives whenever possible because this is now how we define the “news”. Well here is a headline for you – treat people with the respect and dignity that you expect. Listen don’t judge. Help don’t hurt. Maybe we can make the world just a little better today.

We will close today with a tribute to the great BB King, because now the Thrill is Gone 😦

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Are you awake?

Focused on expanding my horizons the last couple of week by reading about some topics that I am not familiar with.  One I focused on was the concept of being awake, living in the moment. Being awake you say?  But I am awake 12+ hours a day you say!

Are you really awake or are you just going through the motions?  Do you live in the past, present and future all at the same time? When you are engaged in a discussion, are you thinking about something that has previously happened or other things that you need to do? Or are you truly focused in the moment with all attention on that one idea, thought, person or event?

Initial thoughts:

  • Focus solely on what you are doing – this will not be easy at first but keep trying
  • Look people directly in the eye and listen hard to what they are saying – As my friend Brendan says, God gave you two ears and only one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak
  • Give the gift of attention – focus on the present/the moment

I will spend more on this topic moving forward.  If you want some further information now, please visit http://freedomfromtheknown.com/living-in-the-moment/

And for you music lovers, let’s go to a song that you can sing and remember as you embark on your new journey of focus.

Enjoy the day and your new found focus 🙂  Wake up!

Webman

Glory Days

My favorite sport is baseball.  Can’t get enough of the game.  Love all of the strategy and yes, all of the statistics.  They measure everything now.  With all that data, they are finding new ways to win ballgames by understanding player tendencies, deploying new defensive shifts, throwing certain pitches in certain counts and of course looking for clues/any advantage they can by “stealing” insights.  Does a pitcher move his glove in a certain way before he throws the curveball?  Look, he sticks his tongue out when he throws the circle change?  It is the smallest of details that continue to separate the winners from the losers.

A little Boss to start your day.

Changing sports to football, check out the great infographic on all NFL team logo’s over the years.  Really cool.

Infographics-NFL-Final

Enjoy the day.

Webman

Game Changers

Baseball is my favorite sport, hands down.

Today we are going to start with the greatest player of all time.  A true game changer.

George Herman Ruth, Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948), best known as “Babe” Ruth and nicknamed “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”, was an American baseball player who spent 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) playing for three teams (1914–1935). Known for his hitting brilliance, Ruth set career records in his time for home runs (714 since broken), slugging percentage (.690), runs batted in (RBI) (2,213 since broken), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164). Ruth originally entered the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox as a starting pitcher, but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919, he converted to a full-time right fielder. He subsequently became one of the league’s most prolific hitters and with his home run hitting prowess, he helped the Yankees win seven pennants and four World Series titles. Ruth retired in 1935 after a short stint with the Boston Braves, and the following year, he became one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ruth is credited with changing baseball itself. The popularity of the game exploded in the 1920s, largely due to his influence. Ruth ushered in the “live-ball era“, as his big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only excited fans, but helped baseball evolve from a low-scoring, speed-dominated game to a high-scoring power game. He has since become regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture. Ruth’s legendary power and charismatic personality made him a larger than life figure in the “Roaring Twenties“, and according to ESPN, he was the first true American sports celebrity superstar whose fame transcended baseball.   Off the field he was famous for his charity, but also was noted for his often reckless lifestyle.

Ruth’s name quickly became synonymous with the home run, as he led the transformation of baseball strategy from the “inside game” to the “power game”, and because of the style and manner in which he hit them. His ability to drive many of his home runs in the 450–500 foot range and beyond resulted in the lasting adjective “Ruthian“, to describe any long home run hit by any player. Probably his deepest hit in official game play (and perhaps the longest home run by any player), occurred on July 18, at Detroit’s Navin Field, in which he hit one to straightaway center, over the wall of the then-single-deck bleachers, and to the intersection, some 575 feet (175 m) from home plate.

Thank you Wikipedia for the above information.  www.wikipedia.com

26 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. 🙂

Enjoy the weekend.

Webman

 

Why I Love Fantasy Baseball!

I have played fantasy baseball for many years.  For those that may not be aware of what fantasy baseball is, here is the definition from Wikipedia:

Fantasy baseball is a game where participants manage an imaginary roster of real Major League baseball players. The participants compete against one another using those players’ real life statistics to score points. It can be very time-intensive due to the 162-game season of the MLB and the inconsistency of players.  So you are a real team manager, able to make all of the rosters moves you want, make trades, bench players etc.  In our league, we set our rosters only once per week, on Sunday, and hope that no one gets hurt on a Monday as you cannot adjust your roster until the next week.  Those of us participate because:

  • We love baseball
  • We like the camaraderie
  • It keeps us up to speed with all of baseball and not just your favorite teams
  • We love talking smack

Every league has a chat board where the managers discuss everything from how their teams are doing, pumping up their players in an effort to trade them, sharing the most mundane of baseball facts and statistics and my favorite part, poking a little fun at the other managers.

This season has already seen some incredible posts so I wanted to share with you the one thread that still has me laughing out loud.  It is between three managers – Who Ate My Cheese, Lost on the Beach and MDC or Musique Du Chin.  (Chin music of course.  I did not originate this name but after the statute of limitations was up, borrowed the name for my team).  Here comes the thread – I am still laughing out loud about it – Chinteresting 🙂

CHEESE – I came across this story today on MSN, and I thought it had a hint of MDC in it.

http://todayhealth.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/16/11188357-for-cosmetic-surgery-chins-are-the-new-breasts-chinplants-on-the-rise?lite – I for one will refuse a chinplant, however will enjoy a cheeseplant, which is better than a face plant.

LOST – For the record, The Arena Baseball League has a very strict policy against Performance Enhancing Chins (PECs). We have received some information regarding MDC’s off season trip to the Dominican Republic and we are vigorously investigating the matter to see if there is any impropriety. There have been some strong concerns about this recent photo of the Chin in his team’s media guide:

A younger version of the Webman! Oh that Chin 🙂

LOST – I can’t stop laughing. I think I just spit coffee out my nose. Maybe my favorite post ever!

CHEESE – He could bunt with that chin. Unfair advantage. Point deduction demanded. Ohh the Chinsanity.

MDC – Now that is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I will need to check Ancestry.com to see if I am related to Bill Cowher, best chin of all time.

So there you have it.  This is my main reason for playing fantasy baseball.  These guys are just flat out funny.

Webman

Play Ball!

Spring training begins.  The start of a new season.  From April to November, baseball is our game.  Finally the folks on the MLB Network will actually have something meaningful to talk about.  I can start watching again.

The Webman loves baseball, always has and always will.  In my home town of Mt. Vernon, NY I played in the Junior Minor Leagues, the Minor League, Little League and the Babe Ruth League.  I was a pitcher, catcher, third baseman, shortstop, basically played any position where the manager needed a player.  I remember these days fondly.  I had the privilege of playing with many great players and had terrific friendships with  my teammates and many other players in the league.  My father became very involved when I was young and he ended up dedicating much of his life to youth baseball, running the leagues for 34 years.  He had an amazing impact on so many people and kids, I still hear from folks about the impact that he had on their life.

My dad’s influence lives on today at Brush Park, where he spent just about everyday of his adult life in the summers.  The town recognized him a few years ago and named the fields after my father.

I am very proud of my father and miss him.

The game of baseball has changed so much over the years but the essence of the game has not changed at all.  About a year ago, the MLB network played Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game from Yankee Stadium.  For those of you that are not baseball fans, this is the only perfect game to ever be thrown in the World Series in the history of baseball.  I watched the game and the one thing that was absolutely the same was the passion, skills and strategy that is a part of every major league game.  The simplicity, the harmony, the beauty of a game that looks just like the game today.

One of the areas that has changed the most is the pitching game.  Years ago the pitchers basically took the ball and went out to pitch 9 innings.  Today, with the exception of the best pitchers in the game, like Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, C.C. Sabathia and a number of other front line starters, the pitching game has become a game of specialists.  Most starting pitchers pitch 6 innings and then turn the ball over to the 7th inning specialist, the 8th inning specialist and the 9th inning specialist, The Closer.  Within these last three innings there are also sub-specialists, such as the lefty specialist, the righty specialist, the speed specialist, the curve ball specialist, the sinker specialist and the off-speed pitch specialist.

Here is a great graphic on how much the pitching game has changed:

Today the leader in complete games in Roy Halladay with 66.

In order to compete in the game of life, you need to change what you are doing.  You need to adapt to the changing times and remake yourself continuously.  You cannot be who you were, you cannot do the job the way you used to do it, you need to change or you will be no longer be successful.  Learn something new, tackle your fears, volunteer for something you have never done before.  If you do not try new things, how would you ever know if you are any good at them.

Yes the world is changing rapidly.  Grab a glove and get in the game 🙂

Webman

Today is Your Day

“Every day is a new opportunity.  You can build on yesterday’s success or puts its failure behind and start over again.  That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.” Bob Feller, Cleveland Indians Hall Of Fame Pitcher 

I am a huge baseball fan.  Played it for many years, watch it whenever I can, go to the ballpark whenever I have the opportunity.  One of my dreams is to take a road trip to all of the recently built new stadiums and enjoy the local ambiance and spirit of the fans.

Recently I have found life to be more challenging then ever.  Finding the right professional opportunity.  Spending enough time with the family.  Making sure to get those workouts in, eat healthy, have fun, learn, grow, support three teenage daughters (One is actually 20) – man life has become challenging.  Add to that the desire to stay up on technology, innovation, new business opportunities, stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, e-mail, cell phone, text messages and the like.  Whoa!  When you list it it looks overwhelming.

What I have learned is that life does imitate baseball.  Some days when you have all of your pitches working, you feel as if you can conquer the world.  You can spot the fastball, buckle the knees with the curve, throw that nasty slider and of course freeze the hitter with your circle change-up.  On these days, everything is so easy.

Other days we take the mound, but we do not have our best stuff.  We make the best out of what we have.  We course correct, use different speeds, try to change the cadence, think outside the box, we persevere and many times we succeed.  These are the victories that we savor because we had to do everything possible to get through today’s game.

And then of course there are days where we just don’t have it.  We grab a glove, get in the game, but nothing works.  We try and try and try to no avail.  It happens to everyone, even the best of them.  But the best of them learn from these experiences, modify their approach, practice and prepare even more for the next game.

Did you have your fastball yesterday?  Do you have it today?  If not, what did you learn?  What are you doing differently today?

Today is Your Day – Make it Great!

Webman