Sunday, June 21, 2009

Game 69: Your Dad Did

Happy Father's Day. Perhaps more than any other sport, baseball is a game passed down from fathers to sons and shared by them thereafter. Today, the Yankees will post a lineup that features two second generation big leaguers: Robinson Cano, son of Jose Cano, and Nick Swisher, son of Steve Swisher. Jorge Posada is the son a Big League scout, and in the dugout, bench coach Tony Pena, is the father of Big Leaguer Tony Pena Jr. But whether they have a Major League pedigree or not, virtually every man in uniform today owes at least some part of their baseball career to their father's guidance.

I imagine that most of you, like me, learned the game from your father, became interested in the game thanks to your father, and had your father bring you to your first game. I'm very grateful that my dad did these things and more for me. I'm also very lucky that I still have the opportunity to go to a game with my dad, to watch a game with him, or to just talk baseball with him. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have those luxuries. So to my dad, your dad, and dads everywhere, thanks for all you've done for us and Happy Father's Day to you all.

Big Daddy Sabathia will take the mound today, and I'm sure the Yanks are glad to have their ace on the hill as they try to avoid dropping a second straight series to an inferior team. He'll face another 6'7" hurler, Chris Volstad. Volstad has been knocked around in each of his last two starts; the Yanks hope to make it three in row for him today. A-Rod will return to the lineup today after not starting the first two games of the series.

As they do every year, Major League Baseball will partner with the Prostate Cancer Foundation today in an effort to raise awareness about the disease. As I've mentioned in the past, the company that employs me is dedicated to cancer care, particularly the treatment of prostate cancer. One in six men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime. It's the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst American males, with close to 200,000 new cases per year, and it's the second leading cause of cancer deaths amongst American males. The good news is that it's a highly treatable disease, particularly if caught early. So dads, make sure you get screened anually. The test isn't the most pleasant thing in the world, but it beats the alternative. We want to have you around for many more years of talking baseball.

The older I get, the more people tell me how much I look like my dad, how much I sound like my dad, how I have the same mannerisms as my dad. If I end up turning into my father, I think I'd be doing alright for myself; he's set a great example for me. I'd be proud to do as my dad did. Once again, Happy Father's Day.

Acting like a kid,
Just like your dad did
And you're a chip off the old block
Why does it come as such a shock
That every road up which you rock
Your dad already did

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