Search This Blog


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taking One Last Swing At Baseball's Big Time
On the night of Aug. 17, 2009, Reid Gorecki achieved what every minor league ballplayer hopes to achieve: He played in his first major league game.
"Everything I hoped and imagined it would be, it was," he says. "Being a part of that for the first time was just fabulous."
Gorecki was picked up by the Atlanta Braves after bouncing around various minor league teams for seven years. He put on a Braves uniform for a total of 31 games.
Then, it was over.
He hasn't been back to the majors since, and he's struggling over whether it's finally time to make a new life for himself beyond the field.
Today, Gorecki teaches youngsters how to play baseball.
"Gotta give back for all those years that I received lessons," he says. "Baseball was my life for 30 years."
Reid Gorecki coaches a young player in a batting cage. Remembering the first hit he got in the majors, Gorecki calls it "a dream come true."
Enlarge Jim Wildman/NPR Reid Gorecki coaches a young player in a batting cage. Remembering the first hit he got in the majors, Gorecki calls it "a dream come true."
He gives lessons in a warehouse-like building on Long Island, close to where he grew up.
"I have to start thinking about life after baseball," he says. "Tomorrow morning I have a test for the New York City Fire Department."
Still, he's having one more go at baseball — to say goodbye to the game in his own way.
Gorecki is playing outfield for the Long Island Ducks.
Their first game is Thursday night. Gorecki says he's looking forward to not only playing for this final team — but to winning a championship.
"I'm greedy when it comes to winning," he says. "I want one more ring."
Perhaps one more championship ring — and the remote chance of another big league ball club calling him to play.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's up with Pujols?

BY BERNIE MIKLASZ | Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:25 am | (0) comments. Here is an excerpt from today's Bernie Bytes blog: Albert Pujols . . . what's up with this guy? You may have read about his latest round of growling. Speaking to USA Today, Pujols indicated he didn't care if the Cardinals gave his No. 5 to another player. And writer Bob Nightengale indicated that Pujols doesn't care about receiving his 2011 World Series ring, and Pujols would be fine if Tony La Russa just dropped it off at some point this season. There was also a Pujols reference to "haters" in St. Louis. And Pujols ripped the Miami Marlins for, well, something. Three observations: (1) Pujols is a great player and he will have a monster year, because he's always at his best when fueled by rage; (2) This is the most insecure and overly sensitive star athlete I've seen in 30 years of covering pro sports; (3) Apparently no amount of money, not even $250 million, can buy happiness. It's really a shame that Pujols can't take the high road with Cardinals fans, and just ride out the inevitable period of bruised feelings. Leaving St. Louis wasn't going to be painless for anyone concerned, and I'm not sure why Pujols deems it necessary to reopen the wounds, instead of trying to engage in diplomacy. The Cardinals offered him $220 million. The Angels, bankrolled by a massive new TV deal, offered him a lot more. Pujols had every right to take the Angels' money. If that was the most important thing to him, then Pujols acted properly, because it's his life. It was his call. Pujols wasn't obligated to stay in St. Louis. He gave the Cardinals 11 extraordinary seasons and didn't owe the franchise a thing; if any player deserved to cash in on an epic deal, it was Pujols. If he wanted to leave, then leave. It's a business. Pujols should know better than to expect to have it both ways. You can't walk out of St. Louis, and still expect to be loved the way you were before. It's simply not possible.