Duke of New York
The figure running up the steps in the bottom part of Shea Stadium is Mets pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. Had an interesting chat with him about the upcoming playoffs. Simply put, he said there is no difference between playoff baseball and regular season. At least in his mind. Baseball is baseball he says. The time of the year changes, but that’s it. Makes sense and I can see how that logic has helped him in the playoffs. Look at his history. He has been clutch for the Yankees in the past and he was big for the White Sox during their playoff run last year. I guess after playing for Cuba with the eyes of a dictator like Fidel Castro, everything is a piece of cake. How can it not be?
On a completely unrelated and self-serving note, here’s a recent feature on Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz for those who want to read about an up-and-comer. He’s a good player Dad. My buddy Adam McCalvy who covers the Brewers said Cruz was once referred to as "little Vlad"…as in Vladimir Guerrero. We’ll see.
Oh yeah, and how about Nomar Garciaparra. I think every Me xican-American roots for him the same way we root for boxer Oscar De La Hoya. It’s a unique experience being born on one side of a border and having heritage and culture on another. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to it. If you can’t, ask somebody. Interesting stuff.