The little things that we treasure: “A Glove of Their Own”

02/27/2011 8:31 AM - Devo

A Glove of Their Own.jpgI recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Bob Salomon co-creator of “A Glove of Their Own”. 

Our conversation was one that covered all aspects of the sports world; business, the state of the game, and little things we miss in the hustle and bustle of today fast paced, media driven era that we now live in. 

As we get older we tend to lose focus on the pure things that the game of baseball offers.  We forget this was a game we played as kids for the fun of it, before the unions took over, before the strikes occurred and before it became a business. 

As children, we played the game of baseball is play for the love of the game.  To get out on that field and play a game with our friends strictly for winning and bragging rights!  No one at that age is thinking about where their next endorsement is coming from, or how many millions their next contract will be.   

When we get older and our skills diminish we tend to “pay it forward”, pass on the message and qualities of the game to our children, or the next generation of players following in footsteps that have blazed the trail before them. 

A Glove of Their Own is the Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Children’s Book Award and finalist for Eric Hoffer Book Award, and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year.  Its purpose focuses on helping the less fortunate in their time of need from kindness and courtesy of those who can. 

It brings you back to the days of backyard baseball, playing catch with your dad, living for that one last at-bat and one last chance to strikeout your best-friend who at that time is your mortal enemy. 

It’s not just me that has embraced the story, Bob Salomon and his teams’ vision has caught the eye of some of the biggest names in baseball; Craig Biggio, Bernie Williams and Tommy John to name a few.  And why not, “a message to give to those in a time of need”, sounds great to me. 

This book truly delivers on the message of giving as proceeds from the book are donated to organizations so that children can have a glove of their own. 

For anyone interested in getting more information about “A Glove of Their Own”, visit their website here.  

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

Devon is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.  He is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network.  Devon is a Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com , member of the Yarbarker Network, and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Devon is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies

He has continued to further his knowledge by completing Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class and interning with The Football Outsiders.

Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com

You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and facebook

 

Schaumburg Flyers: The Madden Curse has nothing on this

02/25/2011 6:16 AM - Devo

Reverse the curse 3.jpgMy last venture in the Independent baseball world dealt with how, out of all the Independent leagues that are now in play, one champion can be determined and whether that was even a possibility. 

Now that the baseball season is nearly upon us, the news is fast and furious; good and bad. 

The Schaumburg Flyers of the NAL are literally a team without a home after receiving their eviction notice to leave Alexian Field. A deadline of March 6 to find a new home is bad enough; on top of that, a court order states the Flyers’ are nearly $600,000 in debt. 

It’s not like this appeared out of nowhere. The village and park district sued the club for almost $1,000,000 earlier in the off-season.    

No home and drowning in unpaid rent, the North American Baseball League has a unique problem; finding a new team to fill the void on very short notice. 

Bringing together three leaders in the Indy industry; Golden Baseball League, Northern League and United League under one roof is a tremendous achievement.  Unfortunately, losing a franchise and trying to establishing a new one at the same time does make you wonder if the new league can conquer this mountain. 

Reports in the Daily Herald state that a sale is imminent giving us some hope that all or some of the schedule can be salvaged. 

It’s unfortunate for Schaumburg and the community.  This is just another example of how hard it is to run a successful Independent franchise.  Despite a long run of consistency, the Flyers’ are one of many befuddled by this bad luck or curse that doesn’t discriminate. 

We will find out in days who the mystery buyer is and a seamless transition is one that I’m sure everyone is hoping for. 
 

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

Devon is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.  He is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network.  Devon is a Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com , member of the Yarbarker Network, and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Devon is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies

He has continued to further his knowledge by completing Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class and interning with The Football Outsiders.

Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com

You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and facebook

 

 

The Blue Jays have too many quality relievers. Is that a problem?

02/22/2011 6:29 AM - Devo

Casey Janssen.jpgThe Toronto Blue Jays have been busy rebuilding their bullpen; Octavio Dotel, Frank Francisco, and Jon Rauch. With these three legitimate relievers, someone has to be the odd man out in the Jays pen. 

Jason Frasor just resigned. Jesse Carlson is a reliable lefty specialist along with David Purcey (though both have a lot to prove). Shawn Camp, one of the most reliable guys the Jays have had in years, is not going anywhere. 

Those six players really don’t have much to worry about this spring.   

A few players we feel the hammer coming down because, for once the Jays have a plethora of pitchers widely capable of becoming a starter or reliever. It really depends on what the Jays’ needs are when its time to place that red tag in some poor players locker.   

And yes that’s a “Major League” reference. I could mention Ricky Vaughn and his tantrum after Dorn hazed the youngster, but I’m referring to Gentry, the guy with no lines but has the most dejected look on his face when cut.  Classic! 

Jesse Litsch and Marc Rzepczynski will battle for the number five spot in the rotation, the loser heads to the bullpen, maybe? 

That leaves one out of the following to make the opening day roster; Casey Janssen, Josh Roenicke, Robert Ray, Jo-Jo Reyes, Chad Cordero or Carlos Villanueva. And don’t forget Canadian, Scott Richmond and spot starter Brad Mills will stand their ground when the time comes. 

Reports out of MLB.com suggest Janssen is the odd man out, which makes a lot of sense.  The top five guys in the pen are the best right-handers the Jays have at this moment. 

Janssen has paid his dues, appearing in over 160 games in the past four years for the Jays while posting a respectable 4.12 ERA. Villanueva is the only one who has had an extended period of time in the pros. He has proven that he’s reliable to come out of the pen and give the club 100 plus innings a year, probably meaning mop-up duty when things get out of hand during the season. A 5.34 ERA in a full 2009 season does make you wonder. 

Realistically, it will come down to Janssen, and Villanueva battling for that final job.  I don’t think Litsch; coming off an injury, will make the rotation and has to prove himself before becoming someone to rely on in the later innings. It’s not rocket science when you think about.   

Janssen gives the team the best shot to close the gap between the sixth and seventh innings. In the end, he gives you the opportunity to win.
 

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

Devon is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.  He is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network.  Devon is a Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com , member of the Yarbarker Network, and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Devon is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies

He has continued to further his knowledge by completing Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class and interning with The Football Outsiders.

Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com

You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and facebook

Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera and his off-field issues leave me scratching my head

02/20/2011 9:48 AM - Devo

Miguel Cabrera.jpgWithin hours of Miguel Cabrera’s DUI, the events that transpired had been posted by literally every major news outlet. 

I am by no means claiming to know what demons Cabrera is facing or the reasoning that led to what happened that night. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone what Cabrera did. Being stopped and detained was, of course the best possible scenario.  With that being said, this is the second known incident that has been brought to light in a short-time and possibly not the last. 

It’s very obvious there’s a problem. Maybe the root cause is due to his profession and the unrelenting pressure that is placed on many athletes in today’s society, no one can say for sure. 

I try to use many personal experiences when I write my articles, and I can say with no bias that the pressure in baseball is enormous. Some can handle it, and some cannot.  Many show the tell-tale signs of stress and anxiety while many deal with it other ways. 

I was never ever even close to having as much talent as any of today’s professional athletes, yet I had enough talent to play professionally and experience the joy and turmoil that comes with it. 

My career in Independent baseball will not register a blip on the radar of anyone unless they were there, still, for those who got on that rollercoaster ride at the time, that moment was our last chance or the only shot at the dream. The pressure was as great as any I have experienced. 

So, I am not surprised when I hear of a situation like Cabrera or Josh Hamilton and their struggles, though it baffles me when I read reports that players are unfazed by their roles and the circumstances they are faced with during a 162-game season. 

Professional athletes are undoubtedly playing on another level when compared to the everyday person or the weekend warrior who is still reliving his high school football days.  Sometimes we forget that our sports figures are human. 

How many examples of a breakdown do we need to witness on national television or publicized in the papers before we stop and think of what that person is going through.   

In the June 21 issue of Sports Illustrated, Pablos S. Torre penned an article “A Light in the Darkness”.  It focused on depression, anxiety and other mental health problems faced by many baseball players. 

Concentrating on such players like Ian Snell, Steve Blass, Zack Greinke and Bill Pulsipher, the reader is let into to a brave new world where mental health issues are something of a taboo issue.   

Phrases such as performance anxiety was used by Blass, who said after a terrible relief outing he would wander the streets at night devastated by the results. Snell expressed his inner pain, something he had been dealing with since his senior year in high school; “If a player messes up, why does everyone automatically think he’s a bad person”, and “is the world better without me”; This all after he went 7-12 with a 5.42 ERA in Pittsburgh. 

Now that the “Do you know who I am” comment is viral, stop and think about what Cabrera and his family are facing before it’s used as the butt of every joke.  Cabrera aside, how many others are on the cusp of a situation like this in pro sports. We think because someone makes $20 million a year they have no problems.  I beg to differ. 

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

Devon is an author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey.  He is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network.  Devon is a Demand Media Studios writer, featured writer on Examiner.com , member of the Yarbarker Network, and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada.

Devon is a former professional baseball player with the
River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies

He has continued to further his knowledge by completing Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class and interning with The Football Outsiders.

Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com

You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and facebook

 

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