When Baseball And Real Life Collide

(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 12)

As you well know, I'm excited for baseball season.

But, unlike past years, I'm a little conflicted about the Mets this year.

Two of the team's prominent players have been involved in incidences of domestic violence, and I'm having a hard time finding it in my heart to root for them.

And I can't not root for them if I want the Mets to do well...and I so badly want the Mets to do well.

So I found a solution that allows me to watch the Mets this year with a clean conscience...and that I hope will help others.

Let me start by saying: This is not an original concept.

What got me thinking about it was all the Patriots fans (led by comedian and 'Last Week Tonight' writer Josh Gondelman, who was the first of them that I saw do this) who felt conflicted about the politics of key players on the team donating to an organization like the ACLU for every point the Patriots scored in the Super Bowl.

And, a friend reminded me when I told him about my Mets plan, after Aroldis Chapman was traded to the Cubs last year a Chicago woman did something exactly along the lines of what I'm doing. So, credit where it's due - I had forgotten about that but maybe it lodged in my brain somewhere.

The two Mets at issue here are Jose Reyes and Jeurys Familia. Reyes served a long suspension last year for an incident that took place while he was a member of the Colorado Rockies...and after the Rockies released him, the Mets signed him. I did not feel good about that. Then Familia was charged in a domestic violence incident that took place last fall...those charges were dropped, but Major League Baseball will likely suspend him. They've yet to issue a ruling.

Reyes is the Mets starting third baseman, and Familia is the Mets closer, so if the Mets are winning, they'll both be a big part of the reason why. And that bothers me. So I'm going to find an organization in Queens that helps women and at the end of the season I'm going to send them a donation. Here's what I've decided to do: 

-Familia is easy. I'll donate $1 for every save and inning pitched. By the end of the year this should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $100. (Also key for everyone to recognize in this endeavor: I am not a wealthy man.)

-Reyes is a little tougher, because his best playing days are behind him. If you're a long-time reader of my stuff, dating back to the sports blog days, you know how much I loved rooting for Jose Reyes (THE GREATEST BALLPLAYER WHO EVER LIVED!!) when he was a youngster. He was so exciting to watch. There was nothing more exciting than when he pulled a ball down the right field line or hit one into the gap because he was so fast it was an almost-guaranteed triple. But he's not legging out many triples these days. So I think with Reyes we'll go with $1 per double (what used to be a Reyes triple) and $1 per run scored. (If the Mets do well he'll be scoring a bunch.) 

Hopefully this leads to a nice contribution - and yes, I'll count the playoffs if the Mets do as well as I hope they will this year.

Heaven knows this isn't the first time the Mets have employed - let's call it what it is - jerks...and I'm sure other teams I've rooted for in other sports have been in the same situation. But I've stopped caring as much about the other teams. I still love the Mets pretty much unconditionally and to a fault...but at least now I'm mature enough to do something about the aspects I'm not crazy about. I just can't bring myself to stop rooting altogether. So this is my personal solution.

You're welcome to join me. Let me know - publicly or privately - and it would be nice to lump our donation together. I'm hopeful I'm looking at some kind of a donation between $150 and $200...not unlike what I'm likely to spend on tickets to a game at some point this year.

And, if you know of an organization that would benefit from this donation, please let me know that too. I'm posting this now to give readers a chance to decide if they want to get on board a couple of weeks before the season starts...It also allows me some time to figure out where is the exact right place to send the money.


*Kind of an unexciting week. I've been working, which is good, but nothing exciting to report. The snow day on Tuesday was slightly disruptive, but I managed to get a little work done. (And we completed a puzzle!) The 2-hour delay Wednesday morning, believe it or not, was more disruptive to my work than the snow day. Looking forward to a full, normal week this week.


*I was performing this week, so it was a good week. Thursday night in Quincy was a cool room. Small crowd, but they laughed, they were into it, so it worked for me. I hosted a show Saturday night that also had a small crowd but they redeemed the show. They were so engaged it was like a full room. Also, making a tiny crowd laugh reinforced my belief that I'm pretty good at this. That could easily go the other way.

*I'm very excited about the upcoming schedule. First of all, tonight I'm at The Hideout in Faneuil Hall. Haven't done the Sunday night show there yet, and I'm already feeling great about it because there's no event tonight at the Garden so I'm hoping to have an easy time parking downtown on a Sunday night. (I'm very excited about the parking aspect of the evening.) Thursday night I'm doing a show that's on MIT's campus, I think. I've had my eye on the show for a while, happy to be on this one. One of my favorite things about shows like these is seeing who else I'm performing with when the lineups come out. (One of my least favorite is parking in Cambridge. We'll see how that goes on Thursday.)

Anyway, can't believe we're already approaching the end of March, but this is exciting - next Monday, the 27th, I'm doing a longer set in Portland, Maine, which is great. And this Saturday is the last Saturday I have without a show until May. That's something I've been working towards - to have my weekends pretty well-booked. So that's satisfying.

What I've Been Enjoying

*OK. Last time I'll mention the NCAA Tournament. I promise. (Unless I do really well and I need to mention it again...but if you know anything about me you know that 1] I love the Tournament and 2] I'm terrible at picking the games. So, pretty sure this is the last time I'll mention it.) I'm in a new pool this year. Well, it's new for me. It's not new. As is so clearly laid out in the overly-detailed e-mails sent out by the guy who runs the pool it is the 13th year of the pool. (He writes that in Roman numerals!!! Big plus there.) There are over 900 entries in the pool...and it's funny because even though Kevin (who you met last week) is the person who introduced me to it and in theory the only person I know in the pool, of the 900+ entries there are other people I kind of know from my time in the media world. So that was a little weird to see.

But between the stat-keeping and the detailed recap e-mails and the sheer enthusiasm for the tournament shared by people in the pool....I love it. Here's what I've decided: This guy has managed to share with almost a thousand people the passion I have for the NCAA Tournament that for 25 years I've had trouble expressing in a shareable way. I know you know I love the tournament, and I know other people love the tournament, but I've never been able to share that love in this way. And that's a special thing to be a part of.


*Did you see the #TBT I posted on the Facebook page this week? (Like the page if you haven't already! Thanks.) I'll do it this Thursday too with a different Opening Day picture...but this one on Thursday was from the first-ever game at Citi Field. I was reminded, after I posted it, that was a school day. April 13, 2009. The Head of School at the time is the best person I've ever worked for in my life. I went to her in, like, February probably, after my dad had secured tickets. I said, "My dad was able to get tickets to the first-ever game at Citi Field..." I don't even think I finished the sentence before she said, "You have to go." Not like, finishing my sentence...but her insisting that I needed to be at that game. Which I knew....but I didn't expect her to be so adamant about. I was back at school Tuesday morning.

*Loyal reader Brendan sent this to me the other day: one of the local breweries here in Framingham has a beer called Sunday Paper Stout. (And, I suppose, if you read this early on Sunday you can still make their celebration this afternoon.) I guess this isn't something we have to worry about again until next winter, since it sounds like they're putting that beer away for a bit...but I'm thinking we're going to have to work out some kind of sponsorship deal. (Them sponsoring me....just to make sure we're clear.)

*I told you about the puzzle we put together on the snow day in the 'Writing' section above. It was a ballpark puzzle we bought when we went to Cooperstown a year ago. It was a challenging puzzle but we did it in about 5 hours on-and-off in the afternoon. My 5-year-old and I did the majority of the work - she's amazing at puzzles. The rest of the family joined in at the end and helped us finish it up.

*Also, speaking of the snow, I guess I should mention that I'm back to watching the snow melt like a crazy old man. There was some good melting on Friday.

*Thanks to all the new folks who jumped on board the Facebook page this week. Hope you enjoy what you see there.