Friday, September 26, 2014

I Hate Cats...

I hate cats, or so these are the words I speak every time someone asks me about my preferences to the classic fight: Dogs or Cats.  Truth is I prefer dogs, maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe it’s because I grew up around dogs.  The problem is 6 ½ years ago I married into a cat…no not just married into a cat but also married into a crazy cat lady.  Her family is one of the country, they are farmers and have farm cats running around outside and against my mother in laws better wishes, one of those cats occasionally infiltrates their house.  I should have seen it coming, I should have realized that my short time with my wife would not be enough to do what my mother in law couldn’t, keep cats out of my house.  Not long into our marriage my wife (the crazy cat lady) threatened to bring home another cat, another black cat.  As are most things in our marriage, my wife and I are ying and yangs, sit on opposite side of the teeter-totter fighting towards who gets to sit the highest.  I like animals with a white coat; she likes her animals with a black coat (I joke around with her that it’s because she wants it to match her black heart). I made the mistake of saying something to the effect of, if another cat is coming home, it’s going to be that white one.  Well that white kitten soon became a part of our family.  As a part of the agreement, the cat would be named after a Yankee to fit my family tradition of naming animals after those that wear Pinstripes.  Damon (D for short) was now a mainstay with us.  An outside cat that would be treated to a warm house, food at his whim, and all the cuddling he could get.  

D was part dog...

I would often get frustrated with D as I’d wake up in the middle of the night and he’d be on my neck curled in a ball mistaking me for a place to sleep.  He drooled like Hooch from the classic Tom Hanks movie “Turner and Hooch”.  In fact my relationship with D was much like that of Turner and Hooch.  As much as I wanted to not like him he grew on me.  How could he not, he was great with my kids, he let them mess around with him, pulling on his ears, and hair and then coming back for more.  He was a friend to me, my wife, and most importantly my kids, and he was full of love.

So what does this have to do with a sports blog?  Well yesterday while watching Jeter’s lastgame in the Bronx D taught me one last lesson in life.  My wife called and told me we’d have to put the critter down, that he had cancer.  F***king Cancer!  I was pissed, but why? It’s a cat…I hate cats.  Unbeknownst to my mother that I had already spoke with my wife in regards to this, and was ignoring the situation like a man does (because it’s easier than dealing with it, seriously what could I do) she told me to call my wife.  It was the bottom of the 9th inning…Jeter was up third…it was a tie game…AARRRGGGGHHHH.  Knowing this isn’t one of those situation to ignore I made the phone call.  Nothing had changed, my wife and I were still on the same page, a few tears were shed, and I missed Jeter’s walk off single.  I was SO mad at my mother, why are you butting into this situation, it was being handled and not only am I losing a friend, now I missed it, probably Jeter’s last big moment, something I can tell my grandkids about.  Truth is I wasn’t mad at my mom, I was hurt that I was losing a friend that I didn’t even like…it’s a CAT!  I will still get to tell my grandkids about Jeter’s last big hit but I’ll also get to use it as a teaching moment, one that my mother and a cat named Damon reminded me of. 
Those lessons:

Family comes first, and by family I don’t just mean those that have the same blood in their veins.  

It’s ok to swallow your pride and even shed a tear. 

And most importantly, make your choices in life based on love.

Thank you old friend…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Our Friends...and why we cheer

This week for my Introduction to Marketing class we were asked to perform a bit of research on John Earle, better known as Johnny Cupcake.  I decided to grab a theme from his interview we watched from Full Sail University and test its theory.  Mr. Cupcake spoke of his struggles in dealing with friends and family in his business.  Although a small sample size, I sent a message out to 23 friends requesting a brief write up (paragraph or less) on why they cheer for their favorite sports teams.  I figured this would fit in with my “About Me” section on the right, while keeping the sports theme alive on Pinstripe Fever.  Although I had more people drop out of the conversation (3) than reply to my post (2) I was pleased to say my predictions on who would reply were 80% correct which supported my own theory, one most know his relationship with friends.  Whether it be 1. casual, or as I like to call them drinking buddies, 2. Professional, your friendship serves a purpose or benefit to each other, or 3. a combination of the two which is the strongest of friendships.  The other factor one must weigh in on, is the situation each friend currently is in.  In my example I only provided 24 hours for replies which is too short of a time period to truly judge my friends I sent messages to, but does speak volumes for those that did reply.  Much thanks to Marshall and Tonya for their speedy responses! 

What I found coolest about my short experiment is the reasons for Marshall and Tonya’s fandom.  Marshall’s revolved around the local stations where we grew up and the games he was able to watch, which is the origination of how I grew to be Yankee fan.  My Grandfather started the Yankee tradition for the same reason.   Tonya’s story revolves around family and even one specific moment that is etched in her brain.  My grandfather passed the Yankee tradition to my father, who passed it onto my brother and I, even naming me after Thurman Munson.  Without further adieu, here are their stories…

 Tonya K:
Ok here's my sports message. I'd say one word sums up my loyalty to my teams and that's family. My dad loved to listen to the Twins on the radio. He spent all summer on a tractor and in a time before satellite radio they were his entertainment. As a 9 y/o I saw my dad came home early to watch the Twins in the '87 World Series and with one tv we all watched the Twins.  He was cheering and happy and clapping and I don't remember ever seeing that before.  Four years later it happened again.  After that I could have nothing else to say but we could only talk about the Twins, good, bad or the ugly as a family.  As much as I get frustrated with bad pitching, getting rid of my beloved Morneau, every spring I'm excited for the next season. My dad gave me that loyalty and can't see it changing.

Marshall B
Twins & Vikes- use to watch with my dad mostly the Vikes on Sunday while cleaning the bar.  Braves-James Conlon, daycares older son & the most important part TBS had every Atlanta sport on if they played TBS, also the reason I watched the Hawks growing up.  Bulls WGN had every Bulls home game on watched almost all of them when I was younger. Now still love my Braves don't watch as much I still keep up with them. Twins & Vikes kill me now, love hate relationship. Fighting Sioux hockey for life!

 Thank you to:
Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves and for use of the logos presented...I'd give you more links at the bottom, but that means you didn't read or click above.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Robert Casey and I visit about Art and how it has influenced him.

 A recent interview with Robert Casey in regards to Art and how it has shaped him in his media career.  A big thanks go out to Robert for taking his time to visit with me and also to all the other Bleeding Yankee Blue writers for keeping me entertained!

Interview w/ Robert Casey of Bleeding Yankee Blue

Saturday, September 6, 2014


One of the greatest hitters of all time, Ted “Ballgame” Williams said: “The hardest thing to do in baseball is to hit a round baseball with a round bat, Squarely.”  Over the last twenty years no ball player has done that better than Derek Jeter.  Currently sitting at 3449 hits and projected to finish this season and his career as number 6 on the all time hits list and provided he didn’t slide into a freak injury in the 2012 playoffs, Jeter very well could have moved to number 4.  He has a career batting average of .310 and is responsible for 3217 runs.  He is a guaranteed first ballot hall of famer and yet often individuals use the term “overrated” when they speak of him. 

I can think of only one reason any individual would make this statement, they don’t believe in winning, they prefer the thrill of a homerun over the grind of a full season.  In a culture I like to call “The A.D.D. “ we lose interest in the game during the lulls.  These lulls are where Jeter is so successful, where he wins.  His ability to understand the game on both sides of the ball, to foul off a pitch over and over to work up the pitch count or to adjust his placement on the defense to cut off a ball up the middle.  Jeter sits at number ten on the all time list for SS in the category of W.A.R. (wins above replacement) so is he overrated…no, but both sides have to stop making Jeter someone he is not.  Derek Jeter is not the greatest SS of all time, he’s not the greatest Yankee of all time, and he’s not some chump that is just lucky because he is a Yankee.  In regards to being the greatest SS, its hard to rank him against Honus Wagner and Cal Ripken Jr., there is no way to definitely say he is better then them, but you can say he ranks up there with them.  As for greatest Yankee, I can only say one name and that is Lou Gehrig.  Sure that list expands fast if you open up Pandora’s box but if you’ve read this far you know the rest of the list.  As for those that think he’s lucky to be on the Yankees which have allowed him to win his five rings, then you forget that the George Steinbrenner era of Yankee baseball has no problem firing any player, manager, or coach that doesn’t lead them to success.  Jeter was the cornerstone of the teams from 1996-2001. He’s a winner and he won in an era that was more enamored with homeruns then winning. Due to this steroidal era of baseball Jeter’s ability to play the game right, to be a team player goes unnoticed by many.  So for the next 23 games I suggest everyone just appreciate the opportunity to watch a hall of famer that has played this game with love with trueness, grit, and heart that matches the best of them…of all time.  Now hold on while I book my hotel for Cooperstown in 2019.

Original Oil Painting by: Jamie Cooper
Check him and the story behind this scene at:

"Grantland Rice, the great sportswriter once said, 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.' Well Grantland Rice can go to hell as far as I'm concerned." -Gene Autry

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Farewell Speech - Lou Gehrig

In 2009 my wife was due to give birth to our second rugrat.  After being named after Thurman Munson (middle name is Thurman) it was a pretty big deal to me to continue the Yankee legacy and name my son after another great Yankee.  I fought for the name “Gehrig Scott” by using my father-in-law’s first name as my sons middle name.  After starting a Facebook page, filling my wife’s inbox with emails from strangers and a sister-in-laws accident (we love you Sasta) my wife finally came to the middle and we agreed on Eli Gehrig.  We call him Buster but that’s a story for another time.  Anyway, I’ve been working a lot lately and decided to send a little I love you out to the rugrats by posting….The Farewell Speech.  I only hope I can raise my kids as half as honorable as Lou Gehrig.


The Farewell Speech – Lou Gehrig

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t have considered it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrows? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat and vice versa, sends you a gift, that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeeper and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies, that’s something. When you have a father and mother work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body, it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed, that’s the finest I know. I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. And I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.” – July 4, 1939 at Yankee Stadium on Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day

Big Goose Open

Big Goose Open
Watercolor design by Michael "Million" McGough

I wanted to post this week about a golf tournament that was started last year (2013), by a group of friends and I, in memory of a good friend that passed away, much to early from Kidney Cancer.
Chris Gustad was a buddy I met in 2000 while attending Lake Area Technical Institute for Aviation Maintenance. He was by far one of the, if not the smartest guy in the class and was a blast to hang out with. There are too many stories to tell and a few that probably shouldn’t be told. I am honored to be apart of this tournament and wanted to give a quick shout out and thank you to those that have been a big part of implementing it so far….

Rich and Julie Gustad for allowing me to be apart of this event. You raised an awesome son and I was blessed to be apart of his life.

Sara Gustad, although we didn’t get to know each other very well through the years (partially because I was too busy partying) I look forward to getting to know you better through out the future. Your direction and advice has been huge in directing this tournament and you are one of the strongest people I know.

Anne and Brent Nye, thank you for raising an awesome daughter and providing all the help I could ask for. Your energy and help are awesome!
Tawnya Schrank, your willingness and want of success motivate me to make this event better and better each year.

Thad Stofferahn of Nortec Seed has graciously been our tournament sponsor for the first two years and I hope to keep the friendship for years to come. Your dedication and Ideas to the cause drive our ideas and provide hope to others.

Mike “Million” McGough, you have been like a big brother for me for as far back as I can remember (for better and worse) and when I came to you to design a logo you nailed it with ease.
To all the Hole sponsors and prize donors from year one, you were the pistons in the engine that allowed the event to happen. Cheers to another year! I promise to post a longer link in the future to make sure everyone gets their due, there were so many of you!
The Volunteers from year one: Leah N, Bill N, Justin B, Tali, Baker, Mrs. Baker, Erynn, Liz, I know I’m missing someone, please forgive me!

To my old man and brother for supporting me by driving 5 hours after one golf tournament to make it to this tournament. This tournament is truly about family and friends and you showed that.
And finally, to my wife: For the hundreds of letters printed, hundreds of envelopes hand written, and everything else you did, for giving me the time to work so much on something that means so much to me. You helped bring the personal touch the tournament needed. I am forever grateful.
And one finally isn’t enough: To Chris, Biggie, Guddah, Goose, for being you! We miss you so much and pray you are looking down at us from above.

So here’s to August 2nd, 2014 and the Second Annual Big Goose Open! The day can’t come fast enough!

Guddah On!

A Place In Cooperstown - Roger Maris

Here is a paper I wrote for my English Comp. class last month.  It was easy to pick the subject and I was proud to write something about a fellow North Dakotan.  I need to add to the paper to make it a really strong case, but was restricted to 1000 words max.  I’ll be sure to post the update when it is done.
I hope you enjoy it.

In December 2014, the “Golden Era” committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame will meet, providing another opportunity for it to correct what has been wrong in the Hall of Fame for the past 43 years: the election of Roger Maris. In his 12 years in baseball, Roger played in 7 All Star Games, 7 World Series, won 1 Gold Glove, and became the single season Home Run King, surpassing Babe Ruth, a record that stood for 37 years and some say still stands today. Through Roger’s hard work and dedication to the game he put up stats that match others in the Hall of Fame, yet he is still not enshrined in Cooperstown, NY. This paper will break down two simple reasons why he should be voted into the Hall of Fame at the earliest possible chance, this December.

The lore of baseball is very much about the stories that come from it and the history that is re-lived by fans every April to October. Yet inside those stories are players that are judged by numbers. These numbers often decide how a player will sit upon the baseball shrine we call Cooperstown, “The Baseball Hall of Fame”. Although referred to as the Hall of Fame and not the Hall of Stats, writers often focus on just those stats and too often ignore the parts of the game that cannot be measured or judged by a number on a paper. This is the case for Roger Eugene Maris, who fully deserves his spot in Cooperstown, NY. Using Maris’ baseball lore and his stats, anyone can see exactly why this is so!
Roger Maris came from the hardworking community of Fargo, ND, where he helped his father lay railroad tracks. He was a multi-sport star at Fargo Shanley High School, and according to his official website that is run by his family (, he went on to be a two time Most Valuable Player (1960, 1961), to make seven World Series’ appearances, more than any other player in the 1960’s, be nominated to seven All-Star Games, win one Gold Glove (1960) and become the single season home run king for 37 years, until a historic year in 1998 in which Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa battled it out to become the new home run king. (That year, Mark McGwire finished the season with 70 home runs to become the new king of the long ball.)

From 1998 until now, the 61 home run mark has been surpassed six different times by three different people: thrice by Sammy Sosa, twice by Mark McGwire and once by the current home run king Barry Bonds. Each one of these players has been implicated in the steroid era of baseball, which makes Maris’ accomplishment that much greater. His form of steroids was good hard work in the form of railroad ties.

So, take aside the fact that many still consider Roger Maris the legitimate home run king, after it has become well known that everyone to surpass him has been involved in performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). If you were to compare Roger’s stats to some individuals currently in Cooperstown, say, Bill Mazeroski, Phil Rizzuto, or Ray Chalk you would say that either Roger belongs in that group, or that group doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. In fact, Roger matches up or surpasses all these individuals in every category except stolen bases, yet he matches or surpasses each one of them in Runs Scored (R) and Runs Batted In (RBI’s). Knowing baseball is such a team sport, it can easily be realized that Roger was more important to his team than a player that moves from first base (1B) to second base (2B) without putting a run on the board. Roger was a major part of not only scoring runs himself, but using his bat to help his teammates score. But like I said, it’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Stats, and Roger separates himself from every one of these players by being the only player to surpass Babe Ruth, the greatest baseball player of all time, in single season home runs, cleanly.

So what is it that got these individuals into the Hall of Fame and overlooked the single season home run champ? Well, according to the rules laid out on, the official Baseball Hall of Fame website, it was a 75% vote or higher from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and in Bill Mazeroski’s case it was a 75% vote or higher from the Golden Era Committee members of the voting class. The Golden Era Committee is one of three committees that offer a chance to players that are no longer eligible according to the BBWAA voting laws, usually from not being an active player in the past 20 years. Although Roger was overlooked by the Baseball Writers, The Golden Era Committee has a chance to correct this omission to Cooperstown. This committee meets every three years with the last meeting in December of 2011, which would make this year its next scheduled meeting. It would be another insult to the game of baseball if The Golden Era Committee didn’t do its job and insert a ball player that has the baseball lore and stats, Roger Eugene Maris, into the 2015, Cooperstown, NY Hall of Fame Class.

Statistics generated from


Crossman, M. (2011). When ’61 was about to meet 61. Sporting News, 235(3), 14. Retrieved from

Give Roger Maris place in Hall of Fame. USA Today. Retrieved from

Reilly, R. (2005). Seeing 61 in a New Light. Sports Illustrated, 102(15), 92. Retrieved from

Eastham, C (April 3, 2009) The 10 Least Deserving Baseball Hall of Famers., 4, 7, 10. Retrieved March 13, 2014 from

Eras: Golden., retrieved March 13, 2014 from election/eras-golden

Hall of Fame Batting Register., retrieved March 13, 2014 from

Career Statistics., retrieved March 15, 2014 from