Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Follow Up on Jeter

Here is the official statement by New York Yankee short stop Derek Jeter. Many of my arguments and statements are reflected in his release.

"While I know that voting for these awards is primarily based on differing opinions and statistical debates, it's also part of what makes baseball such a great sport.
"Having said that, I'm flattered and honored to have been considered for the American League Most Valuable Player Award. I want to congratulate Justin Morneau on this well-deserved honor. He is a special player, and I suspect this won't be the last time you will hear his name mentioned when awards are being passed out.
"You've heard me say it a thousand times, but winning the World Series for the New York Yankees continues to be my main focus. There is no individual award that can compare with a championship trophy, and I look forward to working towards that challenge again in 2007."

Derek Jeter...11/21/2006, courtesy of the New York Yankees

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Anti New York???

Today the American League MVP was announced and to many people's surprise, New York Yankee short stop, Derek Jeter was not awarded this coveted award. Many in the sports world thought that he deserved this award for his stellar play this year.

Jeter was awesome this year...absolutely awesome! He rose to the occasion it seemed whenever his team needed him. The one home game I attended this year, Jeter hit a double to score the go ahead run. The Yankees ultimately lost the game, but he started a much needed rally. It was a rush to hear the roar of 55,000 fans as the ball rolled into the left field corner. As Jeter stood at 2nd base the same 55,000 fans chanted MVP at the top of their voices. I must confess to joining this massed choir, and it was a thrill for me.

Looking back over the last few years, the New York Yankees have been snubbed by the MLB offices and these awards. Many felt that the 2005 American League Cy Young award should have gone to Mariano Rivera last year, who was lights out for the entire season. I have heard a well known radio broadcaster who is a New York Mets fan, say that Rivera could be the MVP for all of baseball for the last 10 years, but he has never won such accolades from the baseball writers.

Why do you say? I believe that in the baseball world, there is a hatred for the New York Yankees. I believe it is the old philosophy that you either love or hate the Yankees. Clearly that may seem so in this case. Derek Jeter is excellence on and and off the field. He does whatever it takes to win. He may not have the best numbers, he did rather well this year, but players would rather be on his team than against him. Fans can remember the "Flip" play in the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland A's, or the dive into the stands on July 1, 2004. Red Sox fans cried out in the latter as their "star" shorts stop Nomah Garciapara was sitting on the bench sulking. They acknowledged the supremacy of Jeter. I heard it with my own ears on Boston sports talk WEEI.

Justin Morneau had a great season, but Jeter was clearly ripped off. I am sure he is a little saddened, but he has four world championships, and for Jeter he would trade all of the personal accolades for a team championship. He would say the award doesn't matter, he wants the championship.

That my friends is the attitude of a true team player, a winner, a true MVP.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's That Time of Year Again!

It is that time of year again! Last Friday, the 10th, we started our kettle season in Norwich. The first day was a bear!!!! We have two new stands about 30 minutes frome the corps, but only about 20 minutes from our home. These stands are definitely worth the drive, but it is proving to be very hard work. In Sanford, I could pick up all my kettles in 20 minutes and be home. Here, but more specifically on Friday, it took 3 hours! I have another person helping me, so I have that knocked down to 2 and a half hours. I have been getting a day and half on a tank of gas in our van. Now, I am not complaining, but to raise the amount of money we are looking to raise, will require some sacrifices.

All that being said, we are looking to have a record year in Norwich. A few factors will assist with this.

1) Good kettle workers--It appears we have a good bunch this year

2) Two new stores--the more stores the more money! $$$$$$

3) We have started a week earlier--More stands, more stores, do the math

The need for assistance and operating funds is at an all time record high. We are serving more people, and our community continues to grow as a result of casino expansion, and economic development.

I must confess to taking a certain level of pride with being able to raise money at Christmas. I love to compete against myself and strategize on how I can beat myself. That is how I got the two extra stores.

Well, I wanted to post an update as I didn't have a chance to turn my computer on from Friday to Sunday! I hope to post updates to my blog every couple of days at the very least in this busy season.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Afternoon at the Movies

Well, the holiday business is upon us. I am looking toward spending hours daily driving my Christmas kettles around, late nights, early mornings, but all of this comes with the necessity of working to raise the dollars needed to fund our programs. We stand to have a record year here in Norwich, and the hard work will be worth it. Due to the so called, "calm before the storm" we decided to go to the movies as a family this afternoon and go see The Santa Clause 3---The Escape Clause.

This movie must either be in an extremely limited release or perhaps an early release as the main cineplex that we usually go to, one that has 12 theatres did not have this movie playing. We drove 20 miles away to Colchester and caught it at a smaller theatre.

The movie was basically killed by the critics. I wasn't expecting a whole lot. I was surprised though however as the movie was a decent family movie. Martin Short was good as Jack Frost. All of the original cast from the previous two movies were also there. For you Star Trek TNG fans out there, Michael Dorn, aka Lt. Commander Worf, played the Sandman .

If you have seen and enjoyed the previous sequel, you will probably enjoy this movie. If you have small children that are easily impressed and aren't interested in quality movies, they will like this movie. It will not win any oscars, but the movie was fun and the family time together was even better.

We picked up some Chinese food and returned home this evening. As the busyness of the season begins on Friday, it was a nice time to enjoy together with no stresses and no work to think about. The only work in the outing was dropping our big van off for service tomorrow. I have to get it ready to be on the road for 14 hours a day for 37 days!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's Amost Here....Election Day

As I drove throughout the Connecticut country side today, it seemed as though there was an ocean of election day yard signs. Some examples...

I'm Sticking With Joe--Lieberman for Senate

Ned Lamont for Senate

Rob Simmons for District 2 US Representative

Joe Courtney for District 2 US Representative

Jodi Rell--Governor

Joe DiStefano--Governor

There were more of course for the local and state representatives, but these are the ones that I will be involved in making a decision for.

There has been much national attention given to our senate seat. Senator Joe Lieberman was a former VP nominee, and Presidential candidate. He lost the democratic nomination to Greenwich millionaire Ned Lamnot, who doesn't have a whole lot to say except that he opposes the war. Many know that Senator Lieberman has been supportive of the war in Iraq and had a much photographed embrace with the President following a recent State of the Union Address. One thing I admire about Joe is that he doesn't play the party line. He votes with his heart and is not afraid to cross the aislet to get things done. He will have my vote on Tuesday.

The House race is especially tight. Incumbent Rob Simmons (R) is being challenged by Joe Courtney. One of the big successes of Congressman Simmons and the aforementioned Senator Lieberman is saving Submarine Base New London. This base was on the BRAC commission closure list and these two guys fought tooth and nail to keep it open. Their work was successful and the base survived this round. For that alone, Congressman Simmons gets my vote. He seems like a hard worker in Washington and serves on the several key committees. If the base was lost, it would have had a ripple effect on the economy in SE Connectiuct which may have led to further lay offs at Electric Boat in Groton...the world famous builder of Submarines.

The Governor race I must confess to going along party lines, but Governor Jodi Rell, stepped up into a scandalous posiotion following the indictment of former Governor John Rowland and has served our state admirably. At one point recently, I heard she had a 80% approval rating. She has brought integrity back to the capital and seems to be a hard worker. Being a fairly new resident of Connecticut, I am not aware of all of the states problems, but Governor Rell seems like the right person to have in Hartford at the time.

In a few days, all of the signs will come down, the commercials will be off, and life will return to normal. What will the news commentators have to talk about????