December 03, 2010

Copying CeeGee (A late what I'm Thankful for Post)

I originally planned on putting this out on Thanksgiving, but I got sidetracked and didn't really want this to go to waste:

Since I started my blog last year after Thanksgiving you didn't get a corny "what I'm thankful for post." Well you're getting on this year, I wanted to talk a bit about my family. It consists of my Mom, Dad and younger brother (Tom). Basically I owe a ton to my parents, Anything I've struggled with they've been there to help, not to mention being completely selfless in the process.

My Mom with the constant rides to ball fields, motherly support, and many other countless things. My father has worked a job he hasn't been fond of for many years. He runs a beverage center here and his hours are 9-6 Monday-Saturday in a cold warehouse. Once in a while he'll complain a bit about it and many times he passes out within a couple hours of getting home, but he's done the majority of it to support his family. I worked with my Dad growing up and hated it. When I first started making money in poker he stopped asking me if I wanted to work. He knows making $7/hour wasn't something I wanted to do making more online. However my family has always supported my poker playing despite my Mom hating it. She still thinks that most of it is luck.

Perhaps the thing I love most about my family is the way they keep me grounded. You were never allowed to get too high. If I went 3-4 in a game, but a couple guys stole on me or I had a bat at bat that would be brought up at the dinner table if there was a need, mainly by my brother. For those that read my 10k month blog realize how important humility is to me and that all comes from my parents. There's not too many things that'll make you step back and think more than your mom asking "what were you thinking?" as you're eating your dinner after a game or stupid decision. Oh and forget about making excuses, not an option and only made things worse.

My mother who gained her baseball knowledge through being at a ballpark 6 days a week during the summer, listening to our pointless conversations, and watching Redsox games has humbled me personally a couple times at the ballfield when I was coaching. This is a woman who has marched into my dugout and into the third base coaching box to make a point (One was a strategic disagreement the other was a safety dispute). However  despite these embarrassing moments I know as always with her she's looking out for my best interest and would do just about anything I asked of her. She's given countless kids rides to the ball field when I needed help during my first couple years of coaching legion and never once mentioned it. In addition when one of us is sick she'll drop everything she's doing until we're better.

My Dad didn't care too much about results as long as I played the right way, he's very blue collar. The maddest I had ever seen him is when I became lazy one day behind the plate in summer league and he chewed me out after the inning for not helping out my pitcher. Not hustling wasn't an option neither was disrespecting the game. Although he has never mentioned this word for word I can summarize my Dad into one simple sentence "Do it right." Whether it be in day to day life, in the classroom, or on the ball field. My Mom and Dad are pretty far apart personality wise but work the good cop, bad cop routine to perfection that I've unfortunately seen a few times. In the end though I know they're looking out for my best interests and I'm extremely lucky to have them as my parents.

Now that leaves my brother who definitely deserves his own section. Tom and I are complete opposites. He's a lefty, I'm right handed. I'm very analytical he's not. I'm always early, he's always late. He was a pitcher, I was a catcher. He shoots from the hip where I generally think about what I'm going to say. I'm shy, he's outgoing. My style of humor is sarcastic where he is much more wity. I think you get the point.

He's 3.5 years younger than me and was always tagging along with me when I was younger. We always got along but I often got frustrated with him. Now we're very close despite being nothing alike personality wise. However it's a very weird relationship, I get the feeling something only someone with another sibling could understand.

We still disagree a ton. Especially when he spits something out that's wrong and he obviously haven't thought of and I say something about it. In the ensuing argument we say things we probably wouldn't say to anyone else. However the one thing we do have in common is the ability to forget, this means after our disagreements within 5 minutes everything is typically back to normal. A typical disagreement will be during a baseball game and he'll say something like "I think Jim Burns is really good" and I'll fire back with "No he's terrible". Well if Jim gets a hit he'll say something to me and I'll reply and it'll progress from there. Something about how he knows more than me about baseball, me telling him he sucked at baseball, etc.

At the same time we both do each other a ton of favors. When he played for my legion team he was basically my assistant coach and although I know he hated it he never asked out of it unless he was pitching. Furthermore a ton of advice is asked/passed between us. We generally talk at least 5 times a week and most big thoughts or ideas that go through our head are passed through each other.

Competing against each other is a constant battle, I don't talk a ton of trash but against him I chirp a fair amount. In addition there are no friendly games with each other, I think we've told each other the other one sucked about 6 million times over the years. Also, nothing goes unnoticed. For example I broke my brother in tennis to go up 8-7 (We were playing 1 set to 10) and said "that's game" insinuating that the match was over because I was going to hold serve the rest of the way. Of course he broke me the next game, at 30-40 I hit a terrible shot and decided to try and  volley. He had all sorts of time and crushed a passing shot by me. Before the ball had even passed me he just yelled out "Good one Joe Namath."

In addition we both know each other extremely well. There basically is no point of lying to each other because we both know what each facial expression means. Also, I can often tell how a conversation is going to go with the way he starts it. For example when he calls me Michael he's about to ask for something. However stepping back and thinking about it, it's really amazing how unique our relationship is. I'm assuming most good sibling relationships are like this but I'm fortunate to have a brother I get along with so well and shares the same common interests as myself.

It's very strange being away from them this Thanksgiving but I do owe a lot of my success to them as without my family I'm probably not nearly as successful as I have been. For that I'm thankful as my family has certainly made me a better person and I'm constantly learning from them. Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner, I'll be warming up some leftovers in a few days.


An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.  ~Spanish Proverb

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TecmoSuperBowl posted on December 03, 2010 at 02:44 AM


Excellent post imo. I thank my father for the man I have become and the values he instilled. Imagine a world where everyone had great parents...

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