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By Bleeding Yankee Blue
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Thank You, Mr. T

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I’m a creature of habit in so many ways. I go to what I know when I feel off, lost, alone or confused with whatever type Maddux-esq bleeder crosses the plate of life. I make jokes…normally at my own expense. I sing along to my favorite songs…been belting out “House of the Rising Sun” a good bit of late. I’ll watch baseball and I write. Lord knows the Yanks haven’t been a ton of help this season…and I could use those Bomber of the Bronx that’s for sure.

I’ve been lucky to have had so many coaches in my life when stuff goes sideways. Not just skippers on the diamond, field, water or court, but the best ones from the game of life. My old man, lifelong pals or even a fella I met reading a blog about those Pinstriped Players and became fast friends with. These people have been to me what Mr. Torre was to Jeter. Sometimes when you feel like you’re last in your own “division”, relating to what you know isn’t just a good thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.

I’m here at the end of the bench beating myself up for everything like Paulie would do after missing that 3-2 limper that passed over the dish and wink at him on the way by. I’m angry, confused and utterly spent…but KNOW I must play on. There are people that count on all of us and to say, “Bulls**t I quit!” just isn’t what you do. If you truly have heart, you know you can’t quit on anyone that needs you.

So why Mr. T? Why bring up Stoic Number 6? Because of something he told Jeter. I’m paraphrasing of course, as I wasn’t on the roster or in the clubhouse to hear it. “We play the game with all we have. We
play it heart and soul…but it isn’t ours. We are charged to return it to the next generation better than we were given it.”

That’s something I’ve thought about a lot lately. The way Joe Torre was a Yoda-like thinker is why, in my opinion, he is a Hall of Fame Manager and person. 
I try to play the game I was given by my folks, family, the old guard with respect and with my heart and soul. Having good manners, good intentions, trying to be a hero as my grandfather, the good Cop from Bay Ridge was to the people in the neighborhood he patrolled. I owe that to them.
My time as a kid enjoying the everyday fun of school, little league and carefree summers is over. I need to turn over the game to my kids (the next generation) and steward over it like the Old Timers watching this current group of young Yankees. There is something in Torre’s message that shakes you out of whatever is dragging you down. It is like hearing Mickey Goldmill screaming his war cry of, “Get up! Get up you son of a bitch! One more round…cuz Mickey loves ya.”
We all must find the message in what Mr. T said. He wasn’t just about Baseball…it was about so much more, and he knew it when he said it to that skinny shortstop from Kalamazoo.
I write when I’ve lost my way and can’t see how things will work out. It helps to see my words on the page. Whether it be a post, song lyrics, a reminder…do what you know. Remember you are important to so many, and so many loved to watch you play the game. Now it’s your turn to give it back better than you received it. That’s how it’s done the right way.
Not a song that fits the post…but it’s a great one nonetheless.

–Mike O’Hara

BYB Contributor
Twitter: @mikeyoh21


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