Tuesday, December 30, 2014


For me, one of the more fun things to do over the holidays is make a nice fire in the fireplace and cuddle up with my kids and watch movies.

We watch the classics like The Christmas Story, but we decided to watch one of the most underrated classics out there.  The film is called School of Rock and Jack Black is in it, and he's zany and selfish for most of the film.

But there was that moment where he realizes that his love for music, and the love for music of the kids he teaches could turn into something bigger than him making it in the music business and getting back at the band that fired him.  It was about passion.  It was about ambition... it's about pushing to the next level and as they put their band out there in "The Battle of the Bands" and the kids all came together in what was their final performance, I found tears falling from eyes.

It's that same feeling I have watching my kids push themselves on a baseball field or at a swim meet.  It's happiness. It's that feeling that you as a parent, or a mentor did something right.  You got through to that kid in some way, and now, they are demonstrating their ability to achieve greatness right in front of your eyes.

I've been Jack Black.  I think we all have at one point in our lives. It's that glimmer in a kids' eyes when it all comes together in their heads, after weeks of practice and teaching. It's them standing on second base after driving in 2 runs and giving you the thumbs up.  They never hit before, but they decided to listen to you and choke up.  When they did, something big happened and after that boost of confidence, that same kid never looks back... they just keep going.  As a coach, as a parent, as a teacher, there is nothing better.  Not so much for that moment, but for later on when you're walking through town and you hear a "Hey coach!"  You turn around and there's that same kid... happy... now more determined than before... all because of that double and because of what you taught them.

Bleeding Yankee Blue is about inspiration and pushing to the next level just as much as it's about the New York Yankees.  That's why we love stories about the Yankees of yesterday and the prospects that will soon turn into superstars.  All of them, be it Jorge Posada or Ty Hensley have positive role models in their lives to get to the top, regardless of who or what is in their way. They also have it inside them. They want it, more than anyone wanted it in their lives.

I was always taken by a guy like Yogi Berra.  He was small, he wasn't considered the best catcher in the world, but that man won 10 championships and had one of the best runs as a player in baseball history with one of the most important franchises in sports history. He became a leader, because he could and was given a shot by a mentor... a manager named Casey Stengel.

Jorge Posada was the player that many considered "not too athletic", but for a guy that didn't run fast, he sure did come up clutch when he needed to.  Posada is another story about hope and desire and the want to be the best.  I have always looked up to him as a player, even though we are literally the same age.  He may be my peer, but he's an inspiration.  And so is Laura by the way...

We talk a lot about the Posadas because it's evident to me, both Laura and Jorge are perfect for each other.  Their values, their drive is very similar.  They push each other, they inspire so many around them, and it's because of that, that they will raise their children to eventually do the same.

It goes back to the 'School of Rock'.  It's that confidence and inspiration you find in a person, as if to say, "Try it! Because if you succeed... it's the greatest feeling in the world."  When they do take that chance... 9 times out of 10... it IS the great feeling in the world and they want more.

Everyone needs their own 'School of Rock'.  Everyone needs their mountain to climb.  Everyone needs a push once in a while.  Lord knows I needed it in my own life.  Here's the thing though... when I accomplished something big... it stayed with me and I continue to climb mountains each and everyday, for myself and for others.  I'm a teacher, a coach, a mentor and a parent... and while it may be the hardest job in the world, when your son or daughter, or player or student learns from you and 'wins big' as they say... there is no better feeling for them... and definitely for you.

I know... this has nothing to do with the New York Yankees.  It does however offer a glimpse to all of you, about how champions are made.  Make one... you'll never forget that feeling... ever!

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