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Thursday, December 19, 2013

ROOTING FOR THE BELIEVER


I am a father who has a love for my family so great, I just want to see my children achieving big things in their lives.  I like to see my kids “win” and bringing home the trophy, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Hey, that’s life.  Sure, at that point kids, and even adults, want to quit. They become frustrated.  They believe they "Can't." But it’s the believer that steps back and says, “You know what, next time I WILL win.”  To me, they’ve won already because they know they CAN, it just may be that that time, they didn’t.

Believing is half the battle.  Anyone that has read Bleeding Yankee Blue since the beginning knows that I root for the believer.  I root for the underdog, because, quite honestly, I believe that if they are there, they have a chance.  There are so many athletes in history that may not been the obvious choice for a champion, but they were there and sometimes they won it all. I applaud that.  You can go through history and list dozens.  But there are a few that stick out in my mind, just because of what I remember, and the feeling I felt for those athletes when they were in the big moment. They knew they could achieve victory... you could see it in their eyes.


I remember Dan Jansen in the Olympics in 1994. The man had gone through tragedy losing his sister to leukemia years before and after competing in the Olympics in speed skating, he left the 1988 and 1992 Olympics with no medals, he was down and he was beaten... but he wasn't defeated. 


In 1994, he defied expectations and won the gold, only to dedicate it to his late sister. With time against him, he kept fighting and he believed he could... then, he did. I always found that courageous, as a high school kid watching this man and even today, years later.


I remember the media and the fans down on guys like Joe Torre and Jorge Posada, 1 a manager and 1 a catcher.  I remember the press suggesting both were not qualified to handle their jobs.  Both did though. Both became champions.  What the hell does the press know anyway? What do the doubters know? No one knows what’s inside a person, their abilities, their fire in their belly.  It's desire, ability, love of the game, and refusal to fail… all apply here.  


I think a lot about Ty Hensley, a first round draft pick for the New York Yankees in 2012.  Sure, that’s a great achievement, but he knew it didn’t stop there.  He knew he had to keep working hard. When he got hurt, he didn’t stop there either.  He battled, worked through his abdominal / hip injury, healed and he’s 100% ready to perform for the New York Yankees.


And even if the doubters come out and say, "Well, he'll never be great", let me explain something to those people; Ty, or Jorge or anyone with a goal, doesn't hear you.  Ty’s ready to do great things for the Yankees, because they took a chance on him.  He’s refused to fail.  Desire, ability, heart… the will to win.  The will to "want it."  Ty gets it. 


I believe in the underdog and I believe in the believer.  There were flashes in the pan that contributed huge in the past, all because they were given a shot and they held onto it and became winners when they saw a window of opportunity.  Shane Spencer had a nice run in New York. So did Aaron Small.  Jeremy Lin was a Knick a few years ago and no one gave the guy credit, until they noticed that he was more talented than anyone expected. Why? Because someone gave him a chance instead of him being benched and pushed aside.   He took the reigns and showed New York what he was all about.


It even applies to a guy named Dean Anna, a 27 year old minor leaguer with the ability to play, but no one but himself believed in him.  Now the Yankees do too. The Yankees signed the “Dean of Swing” this off-season and while his resume isn’t spectacular, they saw something in this young man; Desire, ability, love of the game and a refusal to fail.   


Anna gets knocked down but he gets back up.  Now look… No one knows what will happen with this kid and the Yankees.  The Yanks just signed Brian Roberts to man second base and most likely Anna’s shot will be limited.  Anna may be designated for assignment for all we know.  But he also may not. If he is though… what does that mean? Nothing! Especially if you believe. Anna believes in himself.  He’ll always have that fire and I appreciate that and you should too. 

Life is full of obstacles. You can either walk away from the mountain, or you can climb it.  I laugh at fans who think they have it all figured out.  The ones that see 1 strikeout in an at-bat and scream, “The guy’s a bum.  I love this one, “He’s a full time minor leaguer, he doesn’t have a shot!” Are you serious?  Baseball is a game of failure and life is full of challenges.  We weren’t put on this earth to fail. We were put here to achieve.  Everyone is an underdog, until they win… then they’re a champion.  And let me also state something else… if you've never won that trophy, if you fall just alittle short but give it your all.  If you push hard, but you didn’t get the gold, know this… you’ve won already… because you never gave up on yourself.  In my eyes… that’s a champion.  Desire, ability, love of the game, heart...and refusal to fail.

All apply champ! Never give up, ever and no one can ever knock you down. 

I root for the believer, that’s me.

Thank you to all the Bleeding Yankee Blue readers for continued success.  You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in the history of Yankees fandom.  Thanks for reading, sharing and enjoying. Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and join the group Bleeding Yankee Blue (Official) on Facebook, just type it in.

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