A Belated Goodbye To Eric Hosmer, I Feel Like I'm Saying Goodbye To My First Love

A Belated Goodbye To Eric Hosmer, I Feel Like I'm Saying Goodbye To My First Love

How do you send off a baseball player who took your breath away?
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I would like to try something here if you’ll let me. You see, I tried to write a goodbye to a baseball player who felt like an old friend two months ago when he did not sign a contract with my team: the Kansas City Royals. I tried to write it again a month ago when I first saw him in a Padres jersey and not our royal blue on opening day.

I tried to write the goodbye a week ago when I got back to Kansas City and didn’t see the three-story banner labeled with “Eric Hosmer #35” hanging from the top of Kauffman Stadium. I’m trying to write the goodbye right now, and the only luck I’m having is writing about all the times I tried to write it. Let me just take a minute, dig a cleat into the box and take a breath. That feels good. It feels familiar.

Alright, friend, if baseball isn’t your thing, you don’t have to stop reading. I swear to the Baseball Gods (the same Gods who bless a spring day without rain delays and send wind drifts that carry the ball over the fence) that I will not make any (more) references to the sport. Think of Eric Hosmer in this narrative as your first love back in grade school, and I promise it will be topical and worth your ear.

Ready? Here we go, back to this familiar breath I just took. The first time I took that breath, I was ten rows away from a ballplayer I tried so hard to hate. He was the hot-shot, pretty boy from Miami joining our baseball team’s starting lineup, and I was the equivalent to a high school theater dork, who wore t-shirts that were two sizes too small. But, the guy tried so hard to continue standing where he stood.

Do you know that kind of person? The ones that, no matter where they are, will try to show you that they belong there? They don’t do it because they feel the need to fit in. Trying to fit in was for people like me. They do it because they know that any good they can do in the world is just a few steps in front of them. They think to themselves, “I might as well take the steps.” I saw Hosmer take those steps play after play that day.

The second time I took that breath, the person who I hold most dear had taken me to see him play again.

“Hosmer reminds me of you,” she said. “He looks like you when you wear that hat, and everyone who commented on the Instagram picture of us agrees with me.”

Who was I to disagree? I took that breath again when he brought the city I love a championship. I took that breath again when he had his last at-bat as a Royal.

And here I am: breathless, trying so hard not to be. For anyone who does not understand baseball references, allow me to share some insight into the game; if you wait for the game to make a decision for you, you can’t play the game. Hosmer chose to take the steps to somewhere else and find another way to do good.

I would like to thank him for the good he gave me. Thank you, Hoz. I’ll see you on the Diamond and will forever crown you as a Royal. Let’s try to take this breath together one last time. Here we go… one… two…That feels good.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Will Bryce Harper And Manny Machado Ever Sign Anywhere At All?

So please, Harper and Machado, put us out of our misery and just pick a team and sign somewhere already.

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As the MLB offseason is coming to a close, I can't help but feel like it has barely started. Why? Pitchers and catchers report to their respective spring training camps in less than two weeks, and many free agents have yet to sign with a team.

Needless to say, it has been an unusual baseball offseason. This offseason has left me with so many unanswered questions. Even though my beloved New York Mets have made many respectable signings, and trades, this offseason, I am still left pondering the fate of other major league teams.

Where will the superstars that everyone can't stop talking about, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado both 26 and together possessing 10 All-Star berths and 61 career bWAR sign? Will they join a rival team of mine? Or bolster a team in another division's line-up? Where will the rest of the free agent's sign?

Trade rumors are spreading like wildfire, and yet, baseball fans including myself are left with no definite answers. Yes, apps like MLB At Bat and Bleacher Report may be blowing up our phones with alleged rumors and clickbait written by esteemed baseball writers, but no progress has been made.

So please, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, put us out of our misery and just pick a team and sign somewhere already.

Regardless of the recent release of the MLB: The Show 19 Cover, Bryce Harper did not announce where he was going to sign. Though Phillies fans are believed to have Harper in the bag, no official news has been released. Honestly, the suspense is killing me!

Philadelphia met with Harper in his native Las Vegas to pitch to Harper, and the pitch allegedly went so well that the ball club decided to focus solely on Harper instead of both Harper and Machado.

Other teams such as the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers have each shown a great amount of interest in both free agents Harper and Machado.

The Chicago White Sox have a stockpile of prospects and have kept payrolls low. They've also been collecting members of Machado's inner circle including Jon Jay, whom he trains with over the offseason and Yonder Alonso, his brother in law.

Could these all be signs that he could be going to the White Sox? According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the White Sox gave Machado a formal offer of $175 million over 7 years. Yet, no further progress has been made on that front.

The Los Angeles Dodgers had previously acquired Machado from a trade with the Baltimore Orioles. Machado even said he loved playing in Los Angeles during the second half of the 2018 season, so why wouldn't they try to bring him back? They should be in on Harper too, which would be more logical for the Dodgers, since they need a superstar bat and can accommodate his salary.

Though Harper has received some incredible offers, some forget that he could stay with the Nationals, a ball club that he has been a part of for 17 years, after all. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if he stayed put and didn't go to another team at all.

The New York Yankees who were said to be interested in Machado never made a formal offer to him, and never truly seemed interested at all. The Chicago Cubs, who were said to be interested in Harper never made an offer either, despite Kris Bryant being one of Harper's friends, and Harper having a dog named Wrigley.

Most recently, there have been said to be mystery teams in on Machado, including the San Diego Padres and who knows who else. Obviously, this offseason is far from over and who knows, maybe these two won't even report to spring training after all.

This new trend of free agents waiting to sign with teams is a hint to all of us invested in the baseball world that something deep within the offseason free agency is broken. Hopefully somehow, someway, we will get the answer to the question: Will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado ever sign anywhere at all?

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