February 2009

Puerto Rico

 

PR.jpgI’m in San Juan promoting the World Baseball Classic as it is a host city for Pool D of the first round.

The games will be played March 7-11.

I came down here in 2006 to see the games. I saw Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic. You’ve heard that saying that they were hanging from the rafters? Well, in this game, they litteraly were hanging from the rafters. So much enthusiasm.

Of course I’ve been coming to Puerto Rico for many, mnay years. I was a player here in winter ball. I played for Mayaguez and then with Santurce.

There has always been a rivalry here with the Dominicans, and this Classic is no different. So let’s take a look at which country is really better:

The best Dominican player I ever saw was Felipe Alou. The best Puerto Rican was Roberto Clemente.

Winner: Felipe was much better when Roberto came into the league. He made Roberto look like an amatuer. But Roberto got hotter than a Dominican trumpet player real quick. Unfortunately his career was cut short so we’ll never really know who was better.

Dominicans love Presidente beer and Puerto Ricans love Medalla.

Winner: I only drink Lasorda wine

Dominicans love the muerenge and the Puerto Ricans love to salsa dance.

 
Winner: I used to be great on those hard woods and loved to do both, but it really depends on how good your partner is.

The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are both island nations with beautiful beaches, but who’s are nicer?

Winner: I have no idea because I’m always at a ball field.

Both the Dominicans and the Puerto Ricans love their rice and beans, but who’s are better?

Winner: Does anybody know where an Italian restaurant is?

Most beautiful women?

Winner: Sorry boys, I’ve been married for 59 years.

I love both countries very much as the people are tremendous. Both coutnries love baseball and both countries are working very hard to improve the future of their respective nations for future generations.

So who’s going to go further in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico?

Only gypsies predict…..

 

Now that I’m in San Juan my miles traveled this year are:

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Ciudad de Mexico

 

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Today was another great day in Mexico City.

I started the day on a sight seeing tour bus and drove around the city looking at all the monuments and historical buildings. Then Idid more interviews, had some lunch, and then went to a bull fight.

It was an experience like I’ve never had before.

But I was particularly honored when the torero came over to me and presented me with his montera. 

That is a great honor, and I was overwhelmed by his gesture.

After the bull fight I went to a department store and held an autograph session.  There were quite a few fans wearing Dodger hats and shirts, which made me very happy.

The people here have been wonderful. When you visit a city, it’s not the buildings or bridges or streets that you remember; it’s the people.

So I look forward to returning for a game or two of the World Baseball Classic, as Mexico City is a host city in the first round, and the four teams that play here are Mexico, Cuba, South Africa and Australia.

Viva Mexico!

Tomorrow we fly back to Glendale and resume spring training with the Dodgers.

My travel miles to date are:

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Mexico City

 

Tommy and Fernando.JPGI am here in Mexico City promoting the World Baseball Classic.  Mexico City is hosting Pool B of the first round which consists of Mexico, Cuba, South Africa and Australia.

The games will be played here March 8-12.

It is great down here, and the people are very generous.

I guess it is part of their culture.

I can remember when Fernando and Vincente Romo came to me with a bag of peppers.  They had heard that I like peppers, but these were supposed to be the hottest peppers on the face of the earth.

They didn’t think I could stand them.

They told me they had peppers that no human being could eat.

I put the first one in my mouth and said, “No picante.”

“No Picante,” they said.

No picante.

I put another in my mouth and again said, “No Picante.”

“No picante?!” They couldnt believe it.

I did this again and again with about eight of those peppers, each time, no picante.

They just could not believe it.

As soon as they left my office I yelled at the top of my lungs that my mouth was on fire and ran to the shower.  I opened my mouth and turned on the shower hoping it would help.

It felt like someone had poored gasoline in my mouth and lit a match.

Reno

 

18266.jpgToday I find myself in Reno, Nevada.  Tonight I will speak at the 25th Annual Bobby Dolan Baseball Dinner.

This dinner will benefit the University of Nevada Reno.

The miles keep adding up…. 

Legatus = Ambassador

 

Bermuda 005.jpgToday I spoke at the Legatus Winter Summit in Bermuda.

Legatus is a Catholic based organization that brings Catholic business leaders and their spouses together in a monthly forum that fosters personal spiritual growth.

I was born a Catholic, and have lived my life as one.  I have been mass too many times to count, but I have one question that has not been answered; why don’t the Corinthians ever write back?

I have tremendous respect for the Collar.  In fact, there was a terrible blizzard and two men were driving and saw a body lying in the snow.  They stopped, got out of the car and rushed over to him.  He weakly asked for the two men to go get a rabbi.  Twenty minutes later they returned and the dying man asked the rabbi to deliver the last rights.

The rabbi said, “Sir, you must be confused.  You need a Catholic priest.”

And the dying man looked up and said, “And what, bring him out in this weather?”

All kidding aside, I have tremendous respect for all religions.

I went to Catholic school as a kid, and I will never forget Sister Core Immaculate.  She taught me in seventh grade, and would always say, “Thomas, there is a lot of good in you.”

She believed in me when nobody else would.

After I guided the Dodgers to the World Series in 1977 I went home to Norristown and they held a parade in my honor.  I had her ride in the car with me.

To this day I carry her picture with me wherever I go.

When the Big Dodger in the Sky calls me, I will thank Him for blessing me with this life, and my family.  When times get tough I keep my faith and hope things will get better.

My father always said because God delays, God doesn’t deny.  I will always remember that, and am thankful he taught that to me.

I leave you with some words.  When you go to bed tonight, and you lay your head on your pillow.  Thank God for all the good things He has given you.  Sometimes you might feel cheated, denied or deprived, but just look over your shoulder and see how many are worse off than you, and then you’ll see just how lucky you are.

So when you do say your prayers tonight, if you have any compassion in your heart, you’ll say a prayer for Tommy and the Dodgers.

Thank you.

Albuquerque: Welcome Tim Wallach

 

Wallach.jpgI was in Albuquerque this morning for a press conference announcing Tim Wallach as Manager of our triple-A affiliate.

Albuquerque, welcome your new Isotopes manager, Tim Wallach.

Tim is a tremendous baseball man.  He spent 17 seasons in the big leagues, and three playing for me.  Our farm director, De Jon Watson, decided to hire Tim because of his vast knowledge of the game, and I congratulate him on his wise decision.

Tim is going to be an outstanding manager.  Like I said, he knows the game very well, he loves baseball, and he loves young players.

He is a good teacher, just ask Adrian Beltre.  When Tim was our batting coach Beltre hit 48 home runs.

I know Tim will have a great impact on our young players and help them make the next step from triple-A to the big leagues.

Good luck, Tim.  I’ll see you soon in Albuquerque.

 

When I land at LAX my miles-traveled this year will be:

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