Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More New York Yankees collectibles

Newspapers would routinely insert special magazines or coupons that you can exchange certain collectibles. Sometimes they cost a little money (a dollar or two). Me being a Yankee fan, I was a sucker for them. This is a nifty magazine insert that was included every Friday for almost three months. Then after that, the inserts were posters. I don't think that you can say that they were hastily put up materials. On the contrary, the magazines had well-written articles and was tantamount to a game broadcast with all the stats, facts, and figures. But I can't say the same about the posters; they were horrible.

And when you go to a game (whatever sport) there are giveaways at the gate. These too were collectible items. In New Jersey, I got a Devils scarf. At Nassau, I think I had shirts, stickers, and bobble heads. At the old Yankee Stadium, I got a scarf, a shirt, a bobble head, several free drinks, and others collectibles. Obviously, I don't have any of that with me now since I left everything back in my old room there save for a Yankees bandana from Snapple.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A little spring cleaning of my own

Was pulling out stuff -- things I need to do this Holy Week. Spring cleaning here in Manila. You see, am also taking this time to finish Turn On the Bright Lights that needs a little more editing. As I was rummaging through a folder, I found, much to my surprise, an envelope filled with game tickets to Yankee Stadium, movie tickets to AMC, Hudson Mall, Newport Centre, Kips, and other stuff. Will use them as part of the final jacket design.

What's in there? The New York Lottery tickets ($19 million was the jackpot prize for one ticket). There were like a dozen of them. Never won anything though. The Yankee tickets there were like two dozen of them against Tampa, Boston, Anaheim (now California), Texas, Seattle, Chicago, and Toronto among others. They cost $18 in the Upper Tier boxes. Easy internet is along 42nd Street. There's the 3D glasses for the Rockettes show at Rockefeller Center, a Hello Asia card that costs a dollar less than the retail price, a Metro Card, a schedule of comic book artist appearances at Midtown Comics, schedule of Masses at St. Patrick's Cathedral (I worked one block away and two from the NBA HQ), a guide to MOMA, a menu from Burger Heaven, the New York Post magazine (underneath the certificate of authenticity), and a pocket catalogue from Modell's.

This here is the 2004 New York Yankee Medallion Collection from the New York Post. Everyday, they would print a coupon in the pages of the newspaper that when you clip you could redeem from the news stand or other accredited exchange centers. At this time, I was moving for good from New Jersey (but was staying in Ewing a suburb of Trenton) to New York but before I left, I remember walking at 5am for about two miles from where I lived to go to 7-11 just to buy the Post and redeem the coupon. And it was autumn at the time and I had to leave early lest the supplier run out! Jeez. The things one does when he's a fan.

The next set are uncut trading cards from Fleer that you could get from the New York Daily News. One set is the cast of American Idol Season 3 (with Jasmine Trias and Camille Velasco) while the others are the Yankees and the Mets. Hahaha! Yan buking talaga na fanboy supreme.

The last is another clutter of basura I've accumulated -- promo Punisher (Thomas Jane era and I have a pic with him that's on my Face Book page) postcards, more phone cards, flyers for comic books conventions, a plane ticket to Detroit, a ticket to the Univer-soul circus (it's an alternative circus I went to at Prospect Park in Brooklyn that was fun to watch), a promo flyer for the schlock-glam rock Brit band The Darkness, a guide to my bus back to Jersey City (the 99S bus), and other stuff. Whew! What was I thinking of saving this stuff?

Turns out that with some of my stuff at my parents' place, I still have some memorabilia. I thought that everything was lost during Typhoon Ondoy. Found notebooks of stuff I wrote, scripts, a print out of the Craigslist ad we put out when we were giving tours in Manhattan, postcards from Mexico and the Museum of Natural History, and a few more items. I found my autograph of Marky Ramone. Will post that some time soon. I know I have a pic with Hillary Duff somewhere. Hahaha. Yes, I did serve as a chaperone for a cousin of mine who went to watch a concert.

Recovering them put a smile on my face.

Ten Club

After beating the hot San Antonio Spurs 90-84, all of a sudden, the New Jersey Nets are 3-1 since Tuesday this week and are 10-64 with eight games to go. Mookie Blaylock where are thou?

Abby 'round the world

I've been following 16-year old Abby Sunderland as she circumnavigates the globe by her lonesome in a boat. I picked up these FAQs from her site so you'll know the whys and wherefores. This girl is simply amazing. Wish her luck as she rounds the dangerous Cape Horn.

What inspired you to take this trip around the world?
 I’ve been around boats all of my life. I started single-handing when I was 13. Every little kid dreams of being a fireman, princess, doctor or whatever. My dream was to sail around the world. Watching my brother do it last year made me realize my dream could be done. But dreams don’t come true overnight; I knew it would take lots of hard work and perseverance.

Will you be taking the same route as your brother, Zac?
 No, I will be taking a different route.

What made you decide to take this route?
 There are good and bad things about both routes. There’s a trade off. Where I’m going, it’s freezing. Where Zac went there were pirates. Personally, I’m terrified of pirates so I chose the route around the southern capes.

What advice did your brother Zac offer you?
 He offered me a lot of advice but told me to never become complacent, and to constantly double check the equipment and systems. 

Will you be stopping anywhere? 
No, my goal is to go non-stop.

Is anyone going with you or following you?
 No. This is a solo trip and unassisted.

Will your parents be doing any flyovers while you are on your trip? 
It’s possible they will be able to when I am sailing around Cape Horn or near Western Australia.

Why did you choose a boat like Wild Eyes? 
The southern capes require a high performance boat. I expect hostile conditions and winds that are 60 knots. This requires speed and safety. Wild Eyes was designed in Australia and built to the highest standards for these types of conditions. 

How do you know what the weather conditions will be on your route? 
I have been working with Ken Campbell at Commanders' Weather. He specializes in detailed marine weather forecasts for racing and cruising yachts anywhere in the world.

Do you have radar and alarms?
 Yes, I have a WatchMaster that I can set so I can sleep and several safety systems that will alert me if anything comes near the boat.

When will you sleep?
 The first couple of days, I will be getting settled and probably getting used to sleeping every few hours for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. I know there will be times when I will stay awake all night. Hopefully, I will get to catch up on sleep during the day.

Your launch was delayed many times. What caused the delays and how did you handle them?
 It was tough being delayed, but it was stuff we had to fix and couldn’t put off. I am very excited now and thankful for everyone who had made this possible.

Are you scared of being out in the middle of the ocean by yourself? 
My parents would not let me go if I wasn’t scared or if I didn’t understand what I am getting myself into. You can’t sail without a healthy respect for the ocean.

Is there an emergency or rescue button on your boat?
 Wild Eyes is equipped with the best equipment and communication devices. I am fully trained in how to use them.

Can you call home? 
I have a satellite phone so I can call home and contact various Team Abby members for weather conditions, route specifics, or if I have equipment issues.

What will you eat and how much food are you taking? 
I will be taking 6 months worth of dehydrated food by Mountain House.

How much fresh water can the boat hold and can you get more?
 The boat has 2 fresh water tanks and I’ll be able to turn sea water into fresh water about every 2 weeks.

How do all of your electronics run? 
The boat is equipped with solar panels on the back, batteries and an inverter.

Will you be able to take a shower?
 Yes, I have a hand-held shower.

How will you keep warm? 
Lots of clothing and a diesel heater!

Do you have enough fuel? 
Yes, I have 60 gallons if I need it.

How do we follow your journey?
 My website has a link to my blog. You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and various other sites.

Is this trip a race? 
No, I am not racing. I’d just be happy to make it around the world safely.

Your father has said a sailing adventure like this is 80% boredom, 15% on the edge, and 5% sheer terror. How will you be spending most of your time? 
I am taking my school books with me so that will keep me busy. I don’t want to stay in high school another year so I’m motivated to get my school work done.

What are you taking with you for entertainment? 
I have a lot of fun books, my iPod, a couple of cameras, and I can always fish!

Are you taking any good luck charms on your trip? 
I’m taking some things that family and friends have given me to bring me good luck. I hope they work!

What will you miss the most?
 My family for sure, especially my little sister who I wanted to take with me but I don’t think she’d like that. I will miss people the most but it will be worth it. I’ll be doing something that I love and it will be a great adventure. 

Will you be offering any sailing lessons once you get back? 
Maybe. I’ll think about it.

How have you mentally prepared?
 This trip is going to be hard on the boat and extremely hard on me. I’ve talked to tons of people who have done the same thing. I know there will be some wonderful times and I know there will be times that I wish I wasn’t out there.

How do you wash your clothes? 
I don't get to wash my clothes very often, but when I do I do it in a bucket.

How do you carry enough water? 
I have a thirty gallon water tank and a water maker so I can fill my tank whenever I need to.

What kind of cameras do you have on board?
 Most of my cameras were sponsored by GoPro. They're really awesome little things and we have them set up in waterproof cases. They are also called point of view cameras because you can put them on your head or your chest and film what you are doing while you are doing it. I also have a Canon video camera (thanks to Samy's Camera) that isn't mounted for video blogs and pictures. I'm still working on figuring out my cameras but I'll try and get some pictures on the blog soon, maybe some video too!

How do you keep from falling over board? 
I wear a harness whenever I'm on deck and if I were to fall off, Alan Blunt, the rigger that was working on Wild Eyes, set up a system for me to get back on board. If for some reason that didn't work I have a hand held epirb (or PLB) that I keep with me all the time when I'm outside. This was loaned to me by Dr. Daniel Chen from Microwave Monolithics. His design of PLB (personal locator beacon) is used by a lot of government officials because they are so powerful and reliable.

Do you have an anchor?
 Yes, I have two anchors. You never know when you might need one!

How do you keep from being bored? 
Well, keeping the boat up takes a lot of time. Other than just sailing, there is usually always some sort of job for me to do. And of course, on days like today when it’s cold and rainy, it’s perfect weather for a good book and hot chocolate.

Are you out of fresh food? What are you eating? 
Yes, I have been out of fresh food for quite awhile now. And no, I don't do any baking. I am eating Mountain House freeze dried food. It’s pretty good, even after eating it almost every day for one meal or another. Mountain House is definitely the best freeze dried food out there. But as with anything that you eat for weeks at a time, you get a little tired of it.

Do you have paper charts? 
Yes, I mainly use my chart plotter, but in case my electronics were to go down, I have paper charts for my whole trip.

Why do you get off course? 
When planning a route you have to look at all of the wind patterns. When you’re on a boat, the route between two points is not always a straight line.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Seven days before the bats start swinging

Seven more days! yep, the new baseball season unveils on April 4 and the defending champions, the New York Yankees go on a road trip through two tough opponents -- Boston and Tampa Bay. Nothing like going straight from the frying pan and into the fire. They'll be home by April 13 when they face the Los Angeles Angels. In game one of the three-game series, the Bronx Bombers are scheduled to receive their championship rings. So Joe Girardi, how about #28?

Last year, many people made reference to the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada who have all been together for the past 15 years in Yankee Stadium winning five World Series in seven attempts. I thought that Girardi should have been mentioned. After all, he was a part of four of them (three as the starting catcher and one as the manager) missing out only on the 2000 victory against the crosstown Mets.

Anyways, new faces, new season, and all new excitement. Hope this one ends once more with a parade down the Canyon of Heroes. The pic below was taken during last year's Spring Training where actor Richard Gere threw out the ceremonial first pitch in a game against the Cincinnati Reds in Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The second pic was submitted by Iraq veteran Bill Rochelle to the 2009 Yankees Universe photo contest. The pic was taken when he was stationed in Tikrit in 2005.

Bleachers' Brew #202 Graduation Speech

This appears in the Monday March 28, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror.

Graduation Speech

by rick olivares

During my son’s graduation last Saturday, a youthful speaker talked about how she pursued what she loved and took up a college course that was opposed to what others expected of her. She refused to be a slave to the conventional and to join the rat race for commons. And she correctly noted that while the world has changed and rendered many of what came before as redundant or even obsolete, new jobs and ventures that were unthinkable 10 years ago have opened up and flourished. It’s a whole new world out there for the taking and it entails a paradigm shift to grasp the magnitude of what lies ahead.

As she spoke, I thought about others; people who have challenged conventional wisdom and cliché-be-damned, wanted to change the world. And it does make great food for thought.

At the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2007 in San Francisco where Apple Inc. Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he ended his keynote address with a statement that said volumes not just about his vision but also of what set apart an all-time great from mere mortals: “There's an old Wayne Gretzky quote that I love. 'I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.' And we've always tried to do that at Apple. Since the very very beginning. And we always will."

That resonated with me just as much as when Michael Jordan revealed his secret about making free throws during a slump. His Airness said that if his short was short, he simply aimed for the back rim of the basket. That way even if the shot still clanged off, he would still be in a position to grab an offensive rebound. Being one step ahead with an already quick first step – that’s bleeping deadly. Armed with that mindset and iron clad will, Jordan turned out to be one of basketball’s greatest scorers and rebounding guards ever.

Sports is life, and conversely, life is sports. The same can be said as well for business. There is so much more to be learned not just from team captains but the captains of industry. Let me qualify that further – men who are trailblazers with a mindset to change the world rather than people who make cash on investments or a penchant for railroading small businesses while making it their own.

Recently, the BMW Oracle Racing Team of Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison recaptured the 33rd America’s Cup beating defending champion Alinghi 5, a sloop-built catamaran owned by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, two races to none.

The 90-foot trimaran (a multi-hulled boat) used by BMW Oracle, nicknamed “USA-17” used the largest rigid sail of the world’s most famous regatta and won the best-of-three series. Ellison who plunked down a fortune to win the race quickly debunked his technological advantage: “We’d like this to not be a matter of who invested the most money but who sails the best. In the end, it’s going to come down to how good is your sailing team? How well do you call the wind? How good are your tactics?”

“What I have as a problem is that technology is deemed as a determining factor as opposed to skill,” he said.

When scientists of the University of Florida invented Gatorade, it did help its football team win a game against the Louisiana State University Tigers as it rehydrated the Gators in a match played in 102-degree conditions. The sports drink helps but by no means does it guarantee an automatic win. An athlete or a team still has to go out and win it.

Ellison’s words aren’t a paean to those who love the sport but the message of one who knows what he’s talking about and with a keen eye to the past.

In the year before Gretzky built a hockey dynasty in Edmonton in 1984, the big story was when the United States had its 132-year win streak at the America’s Cup snapped by Alan Bond’s Australia II beat American skipper Dennis Conner using an innovative winged keel.

Conner came back to win the competition in 1987 when he beat Kookaburra III, out of New Zealand that justified Ellison’s point of winning boiling down to ability.

Maybe more than ability, it also takes courage.

Ted Turner, three years before he came up with cable news giant CNN in 1980, was the original Captain Courageous before professional wrestler Christian Cage stole the moniker. The media mogul, who first made his fortune in outside advertising, actively competed in boat races and skippered the 12-meter yacht Courageous to win the America’s Cup in 1977.

After Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing team reclaimed the cup after an absence from America’s shores for 15 years, the software innovator, in a master stroke of marketing genius, opened up the competition, as is the right of every winner, to races across North America, Europe, and Asia that will culminate with the main competition. That will bring in more countries or yacht clubs into the race and increase interest. His coup de grace – massive television coverage. “No sport can be successful without good TV coverage,” he underscored.

The same goes for friends and colleagues.

Steve Jobs’ model for business is the greatest band in the history of music --The Beatles. Glowed Apple’s icon, “They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are not done by one person, they are done by a team of people.”

Art imitates life. And life, conversely, imitates art. And sports, it’s the same.

As for the lady who gave a talk during my son’s graduation? She stuck with her dream – of making music – and she works with orchestras from Asia and the rest of the world fulfilling a dream. She’s employed along with so many other musicians who stuck to their dreams in an unconventional company that scores music for films, commercials, and whatnot.

To celebrate my son’s graduation, we digested all that food for thought and more to go with some pizza, pasta, ice cream, and some drinks to wash it down.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cutting down those Nets to size

Enough of them New Jersey Nets (9-64), they looked content to slide back to their sucky ways after they won their ninth game of the season that assured them of not having the fewest wins record for a single season. The Chicago Bulls (34-38), never ending with their rebuilding, crushed the nets 106-83. It sure was nice to see Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose running the floor again. And what can I say about Jannero Pargo, the guy hometown like Rose who had a memorable series against the Washington Wizards in 2006? He scored a season high 27 that snapped the Nets' two game win streak.

Now if they can tab another hometown favorite -- Miami's Dwyane Wade -- in the upcoming off-season's free agent wars, then this team is going to rock.

Axed (a parody of the commercial)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Norman Black & the Batang PBA

Coach Norman Black gave a basketball clinic for kids at Ali Mall in Cubao with the help of Talk 'N Text players Mark Cardona, Jared Dillinger, and Jimmy Alapag this morning, Saturday, March 27. Norman has really grown into that role of coach and teacher. The kids and the crowd that was watching was clearly having a good time. Lots of humor too. Made it really relaxing for all. I was checking the 20% sale at Fully Booked in Gateway and I passed by. Picked up the new issue of Philippines Free Press that used my Manny Pacquiao piece as the cover story. That really surprised me. And I did pick up the latest issue of Fortune magazine. Excellent reading material. And I love the article on how US vets from Iraq and Afghanistan are making success transitions as corporate executives. Fascinating. Now back to Norman... after the Holy Week break, we'll get into the Ateneo Blue Eagles and other college teams.
Have three people to sign up for my request for those who want to write about the PBA. Looking for a few more. Email me.

Saturday Short Stuff

The Beckham experiment of Major League Soccer isn't the unqualified success people expected it to be. Not unless we're counting jersey sales here. There have been no rash of defections from Europe to American teams. If anything, Landon Donovan made a bigger splash by playing for Everton FC.

But that's okay... India's top footballer Sunil Chhetri, who played forward for Dempo Sports Club in the Indian league signed up to play for the Kansas City Wizards. Taking it in, it doesn't seem much since India is hardly seen as a footballing nation like the Philippines. However, in the big picture, it's good for India as Chhetri has scored 16 goals in 35 international games, and it will bring in Indian journalists to cover MLS. Much like the Chinese media who follow Yao Ming in the NBA. It's also good because you'll never know if there's a possibility that a Filipino player could be given a tryout with an American team.

The New Jersey Nets beat the Sacramento Kings for their eighth win in 71 games. Do you even need to know the match score? At this point, it's all about Ws and Ls. T-minus 2 and counting. They don't just want to tie the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers with a 9-73 record. They want at least two more wins to even avoid being a co-holder of that dubious record. They should even play to win every game. Not just circle in red the winnable games. But in this picture, Courtney Lee, on the fly for a slam, makes the Nets deceptively look like a world beater.

And to Nets CEO Brett Yormark who got into a shouting match with a fan, Chris Lisi of Middletown, NJ for wearing a paperbag on his head... chill! You should get mad at yourself for putting a shitty team on the floor that can't win. You should wear that paper bag on your head now because you just got yourself on the news. See the pic below for the confrontation.

Since we're on the subject of non-winning teams, MY TEAM -- the New York Islanders -- got an underwhelming win over the Calgary Flames to snap a three-game slide. Does the score matter? Okay, it was 3-2 and now the Isles... have a 30-34 record; good for 14th spot in the 15-team Eastern Conference. In the picture below, NY's Finnish left winger Sean Bergenheim lands an elbow on a Calgary player's face while battling for the puck. You go, Sean!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Street Heroes

Caption: Erica Inocencio, Roberto Orlandez, John Robert “Blueshark” Gaerlan, Raymond Elona, and Mario Titoy of the Philippine team that beat host South Africa 2-1 in the 1st Deloitte Street Child World Cup in Durban, South Africa pose with the Shield trophy and the medals they received outside the Amici Restaurant in Don Bosco, Makati. During the 12-day competition, the Philippines upset superpower Brazil 6-2 before they prevailed over the hosts. The Philippine team is one of two countries – the other being India that won the World Cup – that brought home a trophy.

This story appears in the Friday March 26, 2010 edition of the Business Mirror.

Street Heroes
story and photo by rick olivares

The Philippine team to the Deloitte Street Child World Cup capped a smashing two weeks of athletic achievement on the international stage when they beat host country South Africa 2-1 in the tournament's inaugural edition for the Shield trophy.

The long and arduous 15-hour flight from the African continent notwithstanding, the Filipinos were clearly excited to be back on home soil in front of an adoring crowd of countrymen and media people during a press conference held at the Amici Restaurant just outside Don Bosco, Makati.

The Street Child World Cup is an international football competition for players from 14-16 years of age (boys and girls) who must have lived on the streets at one time in their lives. The Philippines was one of eight countries invited to compete in this tournament that was held in South Africa. The participation of the team from the Philippines was coordinated by team manager Craig Burrows and Ed Formoso, coordinator of the football program of the Henry V. Moran Foundation. The team was selected and trained by Henry V. Moran Foundation with support from Tuloy sa Don Bosco, Gawad Kalinga, and Nayon ng Kabataan.

In Team Philippines' first assignment, they played the United Kingdom. They got off to a good start with three shots on goal being stopped by only the post and the crossbar. After a scoreless first half, the Filipinos were so excited about notching their first goal that they failed to get back on defense. The British were superb in the counter-attack and felled the Filipinos 4-2. During the match, one of the British players viciously elbowed team captain Erica Inocencio in the face. Undaunted, she retaliated and got the rest of the other teams cheering for the Philippine side.

Said the Philippines striker Noriel Pineones, who notched five goals in the tournament, "Even if we lost, we came away very confident that we could beat them. First time kasi."

After a second 2-0 loss to eventual finalist Tanzania, the Philippines rebounded mightily by shocking Brazil 6-2. They went on to face host South Africa for the Shield trophy, the only other prize that was being handed out in the competition. Midfielder Mario Titoy, unmarked in the third minute of extra time, headed home a corner shot from Pineones for a 2-1 win.

Ever gracious in victory, the Filipinos picked up a South African flag and ran around the pitch in jubilation as the crowd and other participating teams cheered on. "They played with a lot of heart and because of that, they were the crowd favorites," marveled coach Jess Landagan who hopes to see some of his wards suit up for his team at the Rizal Technoligical University.

Members of the Philippine team and delegation include: Erica Mae Inocencio, Raymond Elona, Jayson Simangan, Ladylyn Ampe, Lorelyn Cabanayan, Roberto Orlandez, Noriel Peneones, Mario Titoy, John Robert Gaerlan, and Gerry Boy Joaquino. Aside from Landagan and Burrows, also on hand were team assistant James Gates and social worker Marivi San Juan.

So much thanks to my good friend Ed Formoso -- you should have won the PFF Presidency and not that guy who won no thanks to the former Prexy. To People's Tonight's Bong Pedralvez for the mention during the press con. Essentially, he said that I've been writing about this team as well as the Homeless World Cup team before and that I write a lot of football. There's another colleague who does the same -- PDI's Cedelf Tupas (who we joke around as the manager of Nonoy Baclao since they are both from Bacolod and dorm mates in Cervini). And Bong... it's L-I-V-E-R-P-O-O-L not those goddam Mancs. Say it again, Liverpool FC.

To Peter Amores and the Futkaleros and my man, Hamed who should be playing for Ateneo but is now in San Beda. To Bill and Deb Shaw! Hope to finally contribute to The Jeepney and help out with the Homeless World Cup Team. And to former national player Rudy del Rosario. Thanks to the Street Child World Cup Team for giving me a souvenir from South Africa -- the post-tourney Championship book. I will treasure that! So Noriel, what say you to playing for my alma mater Ateneo de Manila? Hahaha. I asked that during the press con and everyone doubled up. That was after the earthquake, okay?

Traveling to see other countries and experience new things is something that moneyed people take for granted. It can be such a common even pedestrian thing. For these kids, hearing them talk about the long trip. Seeing different kinds of birds and animals. A different life; a different world. It can be really touching. They talk about making new friends but perhaps the most important thing is that they have a renewed sense of hope. "Kaya ko pala magbago," said Noriel. "Kaya ko pala mayroon magawa na importante."

As we all ate at Amici, one of those working there as a waiter, was a former member of the first ever Philippine Team to the Homeless World Cup. He feels good about having money in his pocket. That he can eat three meals a day. That he has good shoes to protect his feet.

As Bill Shaw likes to say, "Who would have thought that a ball, a simple ball, can make so much of a difference?"

Amen. See ya up in Antipolo with Jeff Long, Bill. Now here's hoping I get to go with you guys to Rio.

Friday Stuff

A friend from New York, Paul Arellano, wrote from NYC regarding the Save the Gate movement. Wrote Paul: "Baka pumayag si Bloomberg. Malamang sa landfill ang bagsak ng gate na iyan o tunawin. Magandang tourist attraction iyang gate sa Bronx dahil pinapaganda ng todo todo ang Bronx ngayon. Dapat iyon ang arguement ni Hagan. Sayang ang old Yankee Stadium kung sa bagay napakahirap maghanap ng parking diyan."

Thanks, Paul! When I left, they were beginning to work on the old World Trade Center site. I wondered if they were using anything left of it for the new memorial but am not sure there is. There are some quarters pushing for the rebuilding of Blue Eagle Gym to the point of tearing it down to make way for a newer and better venue (the old fogies refuse this citing the place as a landmark but they don't even contribute anything to its upkeep). I'm all for it. Save the facade with the Blue Eagle but that place has seen better days. If Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium, and Yankee Stadium have been torn down to make way for bigger, better, and much improved facilities -- and they are way more historic -- then why can't BEG go the same route? Even LFC's cherished Anfield will eventually go that route.

Anyway, more on the Save the Gate next week.

From Sanjeeb Gopaldas of Shalimar Sports who sent me this. Sanjeeb is a massive sports fan and he roots for another UAAP school (from Taft) and is a dedicated reader of Brew. We've been corresponding on various matters from time to time and I'm happy to have made his acquaintance. He once told me that he was able to purchase John Feinstein's books on a San Francisco sidewalk for a dollar each! Good finds and good buys, dude. Anyways, if you're looking for Kinesio taping, you might want to click on the image below to enlarge it. Good luck with it, pal.

When Tiger Woods takes the greens of Augusta, it will take a supreme effort to concentrate with all the crowds, fellow golfers, and possible hecklers. I'm not going to speculate about that just yet. Will wait for the actual tournament and watch.

And indeed, the decision to let go of CJ Giles was in the words of an SBP official, "Solomonic" after he and Nate Johnson failed a drug test for Al Riyadi in Lebanon. Friends I've made from other teams that are based in the Middle East have told me before that Giles was more than a party animal in Beirut and was such a distraction and disappointment for the club. All I can say is, sayang talaga. All that talent going to waste.

We began this post with the Yankees and we'll end on that note. Phil Hughes is named the team's fifth starter after CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettite, and Javier Vasquez. Joba Chamberlain who has struggled in his starting role moves to the bullpen once more. I agree with the choice and it seemed fairly obvious that Hughes would be the choice. But if he falters, either New York adds another arm or Joba moves back in. For now Chamberlain will be a crucial link to Mariano Rivera. Hmm. Is that possible -- that Joba could take Mo's place when he retires?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Stuff

The NU-look National University Bulldogs will be leaving early next month for training in Indianapolis! Hoosiers are us, dawg!

There's a possibility that former Chicago Bull and Charlotte Hornet BJ Armstrong will be a part of the Junior NBA program not the NBA Asia Challenge as I previously stated.

Got an invite to the Bikers Party of Kawasaki on April 8. Thanks, Teench! So is Katrina Halili going? And the Kitty Girls, eh? Interesting.

Looking for bloggers who want to write about Philippine Basketball Association players. Email me if you're interested then we can talk! This is going to be fun. Thanks.

The 1st HIGH PERFORMANCE SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness) CAMP FOR ATHLETES this SUMMER!

The hottest sport training program in the US is finally here! Join the first ever SPEED, AGILITY and QUICKNESS (SAQ) CAMP in the Country! Get your young athletes to GET FASTER, MOVE QUICKER and REACT BETTER! U.S. Speed and Conditioning Specialist Coach Jim Saret and our country's Top Olympic and Asian Games Athletes will teach you how to be extremely Fast, Quick and Agile -- the foundation of every superior athlete! Launching on April 5 at ADMU. Open to kids 7-18, varsity and pro athletes! This special camp is powered by MILO and A.P.E.X. (Athletic Performance Enhancement Training) Sports Training! Call 0906-387-5058 (Cookie) or 0920-952-1979 (Coach Jen) for details!

World-class trainer and former tennis pro (not to mention good buddy) Jim Saret will be conducting the program for elite, pro and national athletes. It's also offered to the public so anyone who wants to get better can experience the same program. It's guaranteed to help improve every athlete!

Saret will be assisted by the best and the fastest National Athletes we have such as Asia's sprint king and queen Isidro Del Prado and Elma Muros; Olympian Henry Dagmil; and other Asian and SEA Games Champions!

Its the best program conducted by the best coaches in the country! :)
M.S. Athletic Training / Sports Medicine
Brigham Young University, USA

Performance Enhancement Specialist / Speed and Conditioning Coach, RP SMART Gilas; Sports Training Consultant, POC;
Sports and Fitness Columnist; Men's Health Fitness Advisory Board Member; FIT Radio Co-Host, 99.5RT; Regular Fitness Guest, Salamat Dok, Umagang Kay Ganda, DZMM, etc.