Wednesday, March 29, 2006


On Monday afternoon, I had just finished spending some time with Howard Johnson and I was walking alone back through the complex toward an empty Tradition Field. But music was still playing. It was Phil Collins' "Take Me Home." How appropriate.

I bought the cassette during the 1985 season-my first-and listened to it all year. The soothing "Take Me Home" completes the tape and needless to say, it takes me back and I remember how it was. But its not then any more. Its now.

I've met some of the young men who are trainers in the Mets minor leagues, and I feel great kinship with them. Their dreams are the same as mine once were. For now, its enough to be part of the game. Its as close as you can get without being there I suppose. Some of them get to come to big league camp now. And they take turns coming over to cover Tradition Field for the day. Rey Ramirez' strong relationship with Omar Minaya has enhanced their role and acceptance. I've enjoyed meeting them and sharing things.I wish them well. Some of them have called me Sir. Please don't. We're colleagues in more ways that once.

Charlie Samuels is grey now, as I am around the temples. His dog slept on the floor of the equipoment room. When we talked, it was like I'd never left. Charlie has those kind of people skills. We'd met our wives about the same time and we're both divorced. We're both still devoted and involved in our kids' lives. Charlie's been there so long now that someone on TV once described him as legendary.

Speaking of legendary, there's Mets' publicist, Jay Horwitz. Marty Noble pointed out to me he's known around baseball as just "Jay". An entity now. Finally being named a Vice President for the Mets after years of disregard, he remains unchanged. Trim and energetic, I still have no idea how he does it. Now he's co-travel director, too. Remembering names and the slightest of details, its remarkable what he accomplishes. And he amazingly has time and genuine concern for everyone. His help to me this week I'll never be able to repay.

I know what surreal feels like now. The only thing that come close to comparing was going to my 20th high school reunion. But this is better. Phil Collins' song laments a longing to be taken home. This week has taught me we can have more than one home.

Somehow our journeys are hopelessly and wonderfully lonesome. Perhaps this is a good thing.


At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Tommy_Calzone said...


Just a note to say I have been reading your blog and really enjoy the way you paint the picture for us regular fans. I grew up on the mid - late 80's Mets and it is has been a pleasure being reminded of the moments I shared as a kid with my late father. Keep up the fantastic work & thank you.



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