And for Ken Griffey, Sr., a man who just four years ago was diagnosed with prostate cancer, this is definitely great news.
Fully recovered and feeling strong, the elder Griffey has joined other sport legends Len Dawson, Rod Woodson, Jim Kelly and (one of my personal favorites) Ozzie Smith in the Depend Campaign to End Prostate Cancer, a movement which educates the public on this important men’s health issue.
By sharing his own personal story, Griffey, Sr. hopes to help quell this potentially devastating disease. “I was diagnosed early. To me, that’s the most important thing: to get diagnosed early. Because then there’s treatment and it’s pretty much curable.”
Griffey was fortunate enough to know this before he was diagnosed, so the fight against the disease began long before he actually acquired it.
“My doctor explained to me that I was a strong candidate for it because of the fact that it was in my family. I had four uncles that passed from prostate cancer. My doctor was very cautious about it, making sure that with each physical I was tested for it.”
Today, not only is Griffey, Sr. spreading the message against prostate cancer, he’s also living life to the fullest, working every day as the hitting coach for the minor league Dayton Dragons, and reflecting on his own illustrious Major League career.
“Getting the opportunity to play with Junior, hitting the back-to-back homeruns with Junior, being world champions with the Cincinnati Reds… those are the major highlights of my career.”
In light of his son’s recent retirement from baseball, when asked about how long it took for Senior to transition he replied: “It didn’t take me long!”
Of course, Senior’s was a decision forced by injury. “For Junior, it was a decision based on the fact that he wasn’t getting the opportunity to play. He sat out for ten games or something like that. We had talked about it last winter. We discussed it. And I think he felt pretty good about the idea of coming home to be with the family.”
And as one legend leaves the game, a new sensation potentially takes his place in Stephen Strasburg. Not since Ken Griffey, Jr. came up in 1989 has there been more buzz about a rookie phenom than there is right now about Strasburg.
“Yeah, that’s exactly right. When Junior came into the league, everyone wanted to see him play.”
Did they ever. One would have to be from another planet to not know how colossally good Junior’s career was, how he became an idol for the masses, how he used class and composure to solidify his future place in the Hall of Fame.
Indeed, Strasburg has a long way to go. But Ken Griffey, Sr. does see the potential: “From what I’ve seen, he has a tremendous career ahead of him… if he stays healthy.”
Then, with a deep-hearted chuckle reminiscent of one who has overcome adversity and seen baseball legends come and go, Senior said:
“I’ve seen him on T.V. But I couldn’t tell you much about how he pitches unless I face him.”
Ken Griffey, Sr. has faced an obstacle or two before. And I’m pretty sure that if he strapped on the cleats today, he’d still have plenty of fight in him.
For more information on how you can join Ken Griffey, Sr. in the fight against prostate cancer, please visit the Depend website.
(by Jeffery Lung)
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Special thanks to Kristin Adams from Taylor PR for arranging the interview with Ken Griffey Sr.
This was the first time I ever spoke to a baseball legend on the phone, so to say I was excited about it doesn’t quite relay just how excited I was. Think Erin-Andrews-in-my-living room-like excited.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 Seattle Mariners!
Let’s see, he’s about 1 for 7 and even the 1 was kind of a bloop. Yep, definitely on par with the Mariners.
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And if you haven’t already done so, make sure you check out the all-new, all-awesome RSBS
Subscribe to the podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
Remember when you were an adolescent and all the problems in your life were someone else’s fault? Remember when the entire world revolved around you and your desires and everyone else could kiss off? Remember when you spent more time and energy whining and complaining than actually participating in the betterment of the world around you?
Dear readers, you know how I feel about the huff-and-puff man-child Milton Bradley. He’s a waste of talent, an infectious disease, a massive weight on the hopes and dreams of aspiring baseball clubs.
And he just doesn’t get it.
From spinning make-believe stories about Chicago’s evil, racist fan base to bad-mouthing Sweet Lou for something that took place 10 months ago to constantly forgetting how many outs there are in any given frame, Milton Bradley is the ultimate poster child for what is wrong with sports in the 21st century.
Me, me, me, me, me, whaa whaa whaa, me, me, me, me, me!!!
SHUT… THE… ****… UP.
If I were Don Wakamatsu, here is the one thing I would say to this embarrassment of a professional athlete:
“Don’t say a friggin’ word. And don’t make your customary grimacing faces, don’t stare down umps, don’t do anything but play baseball all season long. If you break these rules, you’re gone. No questions. Gone. Outta here. See ya. Go away. Never come back.”
And no, I wouldn’t care how much money I had to pay him to leave.
In an era where seemingly nothing is certain, the one thing that can be counted on is that Milton Bradley will destroy his own team. He has proved it over and over again throughout his entire career.
And to be quite honest, he makes me want to throw-up.
So don’t hate me (yeah, I mean you, Milton), because I’m right.
That was a lame attempt at fake excitement for an entire world of sports I could care less about it. At least I know I’m not alone. In fact, a very tiny minority of US Americans actually know anything about ice dancing, mogul jumping and figure skater beating (see Tonya Harding meets Nancy Kerrigan circa 1994).
Even NBC has a pretty good idea that the next two weeks are gonna just plain suck, which is why whoever inked Bob Costas to lead that whole Olympic thing ought to get a raise.
You have heard me rave about Costas before, so I won’t bore you with any more bromantic praises for my mental doppelganger (at least, not now anyway); but I would like to present just one example of why Bob Costas is the bomb.
We all saw Costas buzz McGwire and stick handle Dubya, but have you ever seen him prod a foreigner towards the Dark Side? Then you will enjoy this:
Ichiro is, of course, hilarious in this clip, but Costas’ body blasting reaction at the 25-second mark is just priceless.
And you know I’m right so don’t hate me.
Baseball, Apple Pie & Lobster
While still behind the modern US American game in terms of global appeal, Japanese baseball does have a special place in the universe of our national pastime. Indeed it has evolved much beyond the infant and fundamentally challenged Chinese game and the linguistically worldly fella in me likes to think that even Japanese basebrawls tend to be a bit more aggressive than their Korean counterparts’ elusive yet intriguing pitcher’s mound chicken dance routine. Still, there is more to it than that.
During my first year in China, I had a Japanese roommate named Hayashi Nobuhide. Nobby — as we white devils called him because, well, it was easier to pronounce — was a rabid baseball fan. In fact, our friendship, which was predestined to be rocky due to 60 years of bad history, was solidified by our matched passion for the game.
Some of my fondest memories revolve around us getting up at 5am to watch the 1999 World Series during which he vehemently professed his equally tired hatred of the New York Yankees — for they were, to Nobby and his Japanese brethren, holistically representative of “all that’s bad with America” (his words, not mine, though most probably true, especially when considering the likes of Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch and Tony Tarasco).
And that year, Nobby cheered on the Atlanta Braves just like any other rabid Japanese nationalist: while wearing a Seattle Mariners cap.
Ichiro! Ichiro! Ichiro!
“But what about Hideki Irabu?” I asked.
“**** that traitor! Go Ichiro!” he replied.
“But Ichiro’s not playing.”
“He should be! ICHIRO!!!”
To hear Nobby tell it, Ichiro Suzuki was more popular, more influential, more inspiring than Jesus Christ himself (not to mention having a better stylist). Everything about Ichiro, from his odd pregame warmups to his ritualized on-deck routine to his classic power pose at the plate was unequivocally all-things Japanese: systematic, graceful and proud.
Consider the fact that this undying allegiance came during the height of the steroid era, and I gotta admit, Nobby had a damn good point:
Sensationalized as the above may be, the truth remains: Ichiro is powerful.
And now, that power has multiplied. The Japanese gifts continue to grace diamonds all across US America. From Ichiro Suzuki to Takashi Saito to
Kaz Matsui Kosuke Fukudome Hiroki Kuroda, the game has plenty of room for Japanese imports.
If we’re lucky, maybe someday we can even borrow the Hiroshima Toyo mascot; ‘cuz nothin’ says powerhouse baseball like a wet, smelly Carp.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Produced, shot and edited by Atonal Studios.
Special thanks to Theo Roll.
California knows how to party. Texas and Washington? Jesus and rain. How did these teams end up in the same division anyway?
(For best playback results, watch in High Quality)
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And don’t forget to check in regularly over at The Max blog to vote in their ongoing March Madness tournament pitting the top 32 MLB fan blogs against each other.