Thursday, April 30, 2009

"The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself"

2 years ago I wrote a blog about one of the most important skills/attribute any player can have CONFIDENCE!!!!!

Confidence is as delicate as an egg for some people as it can be shattered at any time. The truly great players always have confidence.
They pop up, make an error, give up a homer and you can just see that it does not bother them. They exude confidence. They are fearless.

I can see it in certain players eyes :
Some want the ball hit to them (i.e. Micky Pekins/Eric Z/Hector/Cabezza),
Others want to hit in a big spot (i.e. Gilberto Gonzalez/Butchy),
Certain pitchers want the ball (i.e. Murphy, Lou Gonzalez/Fran).
Whatever the case, as Eminem says "success is their only motherfucking option, failure is not". Great players have confidence all the time, lesser ones have it sporadically.

The biggest factor that erodes Confidence is Fear. I'm not talking about being afraid of getting beat up, robbed, or laughed at, I'm talking about Fear of Failure. Fear of Failure can either push you to play/perform harder or burn you up alive and cause you to freeze, press, and get tight. Once the latter happens, its a wrap - you are done.

At times in the past, heck even now sometimes, I've been afraid to fail. I've seen it in many other players. It's only "natural", but it is a counter productive "natural" that must be conquered. What gets me is that people are afraid to admit they are afraid. It's a man ego thing. We always want to prove ourselves and never admit weakness.

In the end, it all comes down to what FDR said so eloquently at his 1st Inaugural address

"The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself"

Believe that !!!!!!- ghetto ending but so true

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Wizard

Saturday Central Park Softball Commissioner Steve Jimenez, has a new glove.
Top Ten Reasons Steve has the word Merlin on his new glove
10. Merlin was a magician
Steve considers himself a magician on the mound
Steve is an open pitcher (non-modified) and he has his days where he makes bats disappear, but he also has his days that you wish he would disappearl. Whether you agree with him or not he has softball love.
9. To make everyone happy, a commissioner will speak like a Wizard. That is, they speak in riddles and let people figure things out on their own
8. He Longs to emulate the true baseball wizard Ozzie Smith on the field

7. The Wizard of Oz was his favorite movie growing up

6. He finished 3rd in a Dungeons and Dragon Tournament in 1985 and is obsessed with wizards
5. It's all part of the master plan for Softball domination
4. If he ever loses his glove the person who finds it will have no problem locating him I mean everyone knows who Merlin is of course
3. Don't hate ... he's got style
2. There is no explaining the very personal intimate man-glove connection. Its a relationship that transcends words and takes years of trust. If Steve is freaky enough to give a glove a name, then will who am I to judge.

and the Number One Reasons Steve has the word Merlin on his new glove

1. ?????????

Thinks the Wicked Witch of the West got a raw deal in OZ a

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rubbing Elbow With Celebrities at CitiField

The Mets may still suck but at least we now have a beautiful new stadium ... CitiField !!!!!!!!!!! On my visit to the ballpark I was expecting to just watch a game but to my surprise I ran into the King of Pop Michael Jackson and the star of Con Air Nicholas Cage

AKA softball players Issac "Gubi" Delgado and Alex "Con Air" Goldman

Gubi's Michael Jackson jacket made him an instant celebrity Some people even thought he was Eddie Murphy doing his Delirious standup routine

and I was part of his entourage as groupies were loving us
(fyi - Astrid "Mrs. Top Ten" approved this picture for blog purposes)

Anyway, The King of Pop wanted the Mets to follow his advice and ....

but with the Met pitching being what is most loser Met fans like me were ready to jump off the center field bridge by the 5th inning

As for the stadium it is simply Awesome

The Jackie Robinson rotunda is very cool

The Score board is amazing and if your standing on the long lines waiting for food you can even watch the game

As you can see the King of Pop has no VIP privileges anymore as he had to wait on a long line to buy Blue Smoke barbecue (highly recommended).

Yankee Stadium is next on my list, even though I may have to miss a month's mortgage payment to go.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

RIP, 1040 and SB

It's April 16th, one day after the Tax deadline. I'm writing this blog one day too late, but I hope you got your taxes in on time or Uncle Sam

will be knocking on your door wanting his money!!!! "Bitch Betta have my Money!!!!!!!!!! They say that Death and Taxes are the only sure in life, but I disagree I think Softball should be grouped in there as well.

Top Ten Reasons/Factors that prove Softball should be grouped in as a Sure thing along with Death and Taxes

10. Inevitability Factor - all are subject to deadlines
Death - Unless your the immortal superhero Thor everyone has their time , without exception

Taxes - To live in a "free country" you better pay up by April 15th
Softball - After Winter, must come spring and with spring "hope springs eternal" for all softball players

However, an actual softball game has one huge advantage over Death and Taxes in that time is irrelevant. You have to get 21 outs. If it takes you 3 hours or 45 minutes, you have to get those outs. Except in a Mercy of course. If your league has a game time limit then the commissioner should be killed and/or fined like in death and taxes.

9. Bottom Line Factor
Death - When it happens it's a wrap homie so enjoy your time now
Taxes - Pay what you owe or give the country an interest free loan and ask your accountant "How much you getting Back" at the end of the year
Softball - Your judged by your wins and losses

8. Comeback Factor
Death - many people believe in an after life
Taxes - File an extension and you can pay later
Softball - "It ain't over till it's over"

7. Signature factor
Death - Someone signs a Death Certificate
Taxes - You sign your tax return
Softball - You sign a contract, insurance form, roster, and if Mr Johnson is the umpire you will probably sign your score sheet so that a protest can be reviewed but never approved

6. Cheater Factor
Death - everyone tries to cheat death

Plastic surgery, Cryogenics, special diets, drugs. In my favorite TV show Lost they always say that the universe has a way of course correcting itself. I guess it goes back to the depressing inevitable thing again.
Taxes - Lots of people "Cheat" on their taxes so as to maximize their $$$
Softball - Wringers, bribes, paying players, and manipulating officials is no holds bar in softball.

5. Peace Factor
Death - everyone always talks about finding peace before they die.
Taxes - Your happy this shit is over with and you find peace in it.
Softball - Peace in softball is difficult to find b/c of the stress factor. At the very minimum try an find joy in playing and competing otherwise you'll never find peace and it will not be worth it.

4. Dishonor Factor
Death - Death before Dishonor is any true warriors motto
Taxes - If you get caught by the IRS they will drag you through the mud
Softball - Better to lose on the field , than win by forfeit

3. Unpredictability Factor
Death - you don't know exactly when your gong to kick the bucket
Taxes - Until you sit down and fill out your tax form you don't know how much you owe.
Softball - is like Disney World, Anything can happen and it usually does

2. Complication/Age Factor
Death - people associate advanced age with Death. It is only natural
Taxes - the older you get the more complicated filing you return gets
Softball - Unless your a late bloomer, the older you get the most likely your skills erode. Also, as you get older you get more responsibility and complications like work and family make softball tough to squeeze in.

and the Number Reason/Factor that proves Softball should be grouped in as a Sure thing along with Death and Taxes

1 Heartache factor
- no explanation necessary
Taxes - No one likes to pay the Man. No one.
Softball - Walk off losses stick in your craw forever

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Clinton Park - 54st Fields UPDATE

written by SBI investigator - Juan "blondie" Moreiras

Believe or not, the Clinton field renovation seems to be close to completion. Converting this park to to turf was a much needed evil. Of course grass is better, but this field was horrible and downright dangerous. We know the Parks Dept doesn't care about any grass outside of Central Park, so turf was the right choice. I think this is going to revitalize the leagues and we should see some better competition this year.

The layout is pretty similar, 2 softball fields and one baseball field. However, there is only one field with dirt cut-outs around the bases. This is the field closets to 54th and tenth. Not sure why they did this - you'd figure the Baseball field should have some dirt? The other notable difference you'll note is that this field has been moved out (away from the dugouts) about 10 ft. They also installed a "misting" pole near right field (wtf?). I guess its so the RFielder can keep cool between innings. The dugouts are new and look great.

There is some bad news for the Yorkiville umpires - these fields are properly MEASURED! Yes, the party is over for those umps who used to make home to 1B 90ft so game would go faster. For years we argued about the base distance and they always ignored us. No mas!

Unfortunately, all the parking along 54st has been replaced by bus parking

Hopefully the park will be ready "Spring 2009" as the sign says...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


While I know he has nothing to rap about anymore one of my favorite rappers of all time is Eminem.
Love him or Hate him - their is no doubt that he is a special talent.

While his movie 8 Mile sucked (except when he rapped) his song by the same name is clearly his best.

The 8 Mile, was more than a bus ride, it represented the long hard journey he experienced toward success. They often say the best part about life is the journey. Softball has it's own Journey. I know I'm a 40 year old loser nerd, but every time I hear this song it reminds me of the softball journey.

So Top Ten Lyrics from the Song 8 Mile that make me think of the softball journey

10. 8 Mile Lyrics : "Sometimes I just feel like, quittin I still might Why do I put up this fight, why do I still write "

Softball Connection:
This is 2 fold.
(1) I've worked so hard to become a better player, sometimes when you struggle or don't get a chance it gets very frustrating. Then again it is a game of failure and you should have realistic expectations.
(2) Why do I still Blog about softball? Is it worth it? I mean you get criticized or dissed sometimes, but as long as I have the passion for the game I will continue.

9. 8 Mile Lyrics : "Sometimes it's hard enough just dealin with real life Sometimes I wanna jump on stage and just kill mics And show these people what my level of skill's like But I'm still white, sometimes I just hate life Somethin ain't right, hit the brake lights Case of the stage fright, drawin a blank like .... Man fuck this shit yo, I'm goin the fuck home World on my shoulders as I run back to this 8 Mile Road "

Softball Connection:
Recession, Stress, Injuries, Family - sometimes the real world is hard to deal with, that's when you need softball more than ever.

8. 8 Mile Lyrics : "I look like a bum, yo my clothes ain't about shit At the Salvation Army tryin to salvage an outfit "
Softball Connection:
A picture is worth a thousand words

Man I'm glad I lost weight.

7. 8 Mile Lyrics :
Every song has a Chorus. It's the Theme. It's Core. It's Heart.
8 Miles chorus is excellent.
"I'm a man, I'm a make a new plan Time for me to just stand up, and travel new land Time for me to just take matters into my own hands Once I'm over these tracks man I'm a never look back (8 Mile Road) And I'm gone, I know right where I'm goin Sorry momma I'm grown, I must travel alone ain't gon' follow the footsteps I'm making my own Only way that I know how to escape from this 8 Mile Road "
Softball Connection:
It's simple the only way to get better and win is to take matters in your own hands. Practice, get in shape, play ball, be open to new ideas, don't go about playing in a mindless fashion. In other words, have a plan. No one else cares. No one else will do it for you. Hard Work is a must.
6. 8 Mile Lyrics :
"I'm walkin these train tracks, tryin to regain back the spirit I had 'fore I go back to the same crap To the same plant, and the same pants
Tryin to chase rap, gotta move ASAP.....Sometimes I get upset, cause I ain't blew up yet It's like I grew up, but I ain't grow me two nuts yet Don't gotta rep my step, don't got enough pep The pressure's too much man, I'm just tryin to do what's best .... I'll make it on my own off to work I go, back to this 8 Mile Road "
Softball Connection:
Like I said above, It's all hard work to break out of your scrub shell.
If your not a stud player there is no easy way out. Your not only fighting to get better, but your also fighting people past opinion/perception of you. Just keep at it, don't quit, the journey is long and hard but always try and do what's best for your player development. So corny but so true.

5. 8 Mile Lyrics :
"And I try, sit alone and I cry Yo I won't tell no lie, not a moment goes by That I don't pray to the sky, please I'm beggin you God Please don't let me pigeon holed in no regular job "

Softball Connection:
Dealing with frustration sucks. Losing sucks. Sterling Sharp once said that "Losing hurts more than winning feels good". I agree.
Also, wasted opportunity/time is a killer as well. No matter what we all think time is the enemy and we only have a limited time to play this game.
4. 8 Mile Lyrics :
"You gotta live it to feel it, you didn't you wouldn't get it Or see what the big deal is, why it wasn't the skillest To be walkin this borderline of Detroit city limits It's different, it's a certain significance, a certificate of authenticity, you'd never even see But it's everything to me, it's my credibility "

Softball Connection:
Softball is like the hood. It's all about credibility. Can you play? Do you hustle? Do you care? Can you manage? Can you recruit? Do you know what you doing? Are you reliable? I cannot emphasize how important Softball Street Credibility/Respect is. Like the credit card commercial says "Priceless". If you don't have it, then the journey to earn it is hard.

3. 8 Mile Lyrics :
"You never seen heard smelled or met a real MC who's incredible upon the same pedestal as me But yet I'm still unsigned, havin a rough time "
Softball Connection:
You can't play in softball until you sign with someone. Their are a lot of different ways players get signed/recruited. I usually get signed in a package deal. People ask me to play b/c they know I can bring the player they really want with me..... someone like Gil/Castillo. They basically use you to get to the pretty girl. This can have it's pros and cons, and deserves its own blog attention. Anyway, signing with the right team is key. Playing time, winning, friends, location are all key factors to consider.
2. 8 Mile Lyrics :
"But when it comes crunch time, where do my punchlines go Who must I show, to bust my flow Where must I go, who must I know "

Softball Connection:
When you get a chance you must show you can play. You don't have to be Barry Bonds on steroids, but you can't embarrass yourself. Keep your mouth shut and play hard.
and the Number One Lyric from the Song 8 Mile that make me think of the softball journey
1.8 Mile Lyrics :
"And it's cold, tryin to travel this road Plus I feel like I'm on stuck in this battlin mode My defenses are so up, but one thing I don't want
is pity from no one, the city is no fun .....
I got every ingredient, all I need is the courage Like I already got the beat, all I need is the words
Got the urge, suddenly it's a surge Suddenly a new burst of energy is occured Time to show these free world leaders the three and a third
I am no longer scared now, I'm free as a bird Then I turn and cross over the median curb Hit the 'burbs and all you see is a blur from 8 Mile Road "
Softball Connection:
It's simple.
You either have the Softball Fever/Desire or you don't.You have to get out there and play, try new leagues, make connections, always try to step up your game.
Like Eminem raps "I must travel alone ain't gon' follow the footsteps I'm making my own Only way that I know how to escape from this 8 Mile Road "

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It's April 1st that means it's April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fools' Day, and it is one of the most light hearted days of the year. In the name of fun and good hearted mischief people trick or play practical jokes on one another to get a good laugh. Well this year in NYC Softball, the Park's department is playing us all for Fools as their are hardly any fields available in Manhattan. Finding a field to practices or play scrimmage games on nowadays is about as easy as finding buried treasure at the beach.

Dude this is Unacceptable !!!!!!!!!!
It's APRIL!!!!!!!!!!
Its been a long winter and we want to play stress free!!!!!!!
I'm mad as Softball Hell and I am not going to take it anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Top Ten Reasons Why Their are No Fields to Play Softball on In NYC

10. 54th Street is Thankfully under construction. Soon the worse field in Manhattan

will be redone. Patience is key here as the wheels of progress turn slowly.
9. Central Park is Closed!?!??!?!? What the fuck?? It's April. Today was the 1st day it rained in weeks. This is pathetic. So much for government bailout. They can't even open the park on time.
8. Politics - Bloomberg extended his term limit as King, I uh mean Mayor - so no need to be nice to the little guy anymore. I mean parking tickets are over $100 and permits costs are high, so of course the budget is dried up and the fields are closed. Just another case of the Man keeping Us Down.
7. Who needs Softball Fields when the New Yankee Stadium & CITIFIELD are opening,if you can afford to go.
6. Recession - I have no idea why the recession would effect the parks, But nowadays its the excuse we use for everything else so I might as well make it a line item in my Top Ten
5. Like I was trying to say in #9 The Parks Department sucks and is impossible to deal with.
4. The only fields available are above 96th street and only a select crowd travels there.
3. Co-Ed Football/Soccer seasons are still not over. I mean c'mon they've been playing for the last 20 weeks
2. No need to play everyone is either watching March Madness or planning their Fantasy Baseball Draft

and the Number One Reason Why Their are No Fields to Play Softball on In NYC

1. Simple Economics : Demand exceeds Supply