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Monday, March 03, 2014

Mike Piazza back in Mets uniform

as Murray Chass is waiting for him to be out of uniform.

Mike Piazza is back home this week.

The 45-year-old Piazza, the all-time leader in homers by a catcher, is serving as a guest instructor this week at New York Mets camp. It marks his first time back in uniform with the organization since his playing days.

Piazza said chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon invited him to spring training last September, when he was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame at Citi Field. Piazza also serves as a part-time coach with the Italian baseball federation, including training that country’s players in Vero Beach, Fla., last week.

“For me it’s very rewarding to coach and to try to help a little bit,” Piazza said. “So I’m excited to be here.”

Still, Piazza is not currently looking for full-time work in coaching.

“I’ve got a 7-month-old kid. I just left him last night,” Piazza said. “He’s a lot of fun. But this is fun for me. And I’m blessed to have these opportunities to do it on a part-time basis. I don’t know what the future holds. I’m just enjoying the day.

“It’s fun to get back in the uniform and be around the clubhouse. And I feel like I have a lot to teach. Obviously I feel like I got a lot out of my ability when I played. If I could just talk to some young guys and maybe help them advance their careers, it’s very rewarding.”

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 02:29 PM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4665514)
Maybe this has always been the case, but it seems to me that the past few years or so, special instructors has been come a lot more common. I like it. I mean the Cardinals have TLR, Ozzie Smith, Jim Edmonds, Willie McGee, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, Bruce Sutter and Cal Eldred, all participating this year. (and they actually do some real coaching, not just autograph opportunities)
   2. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4665543)
Cal Eldred: "Learn from my experience. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Try to find a way to pitch that doesn't involve your elbow or shoulder."
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4665558)
I think Cal has a pretty good reputation at holding runners, hopefully that is what he is trying to help out with.
   4. boteman Posted: March 03, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4665576)
So all these guys were just kidding about retiring???
   5. VCar Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4665583)
The 45-year-old Piazza, the all-time leader in homers by a catcher, is serving as a guest instructor this week at New York Mets camp. It marks his first time back in uniform with the organization since his playing days.

....

“I’ve got a 7-month-old kid. I just left him last night,”


How do 45 y.o. guys deal with toddlers? I'm a few years older than Mike and haven't thought about having any kids in many years. I've got friends just starting at that age, and each time they tell me the blessed news, I first congratulate them and them remind them they'll be almost 70 when the kid finishes college.
   6. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4665587)
My baby sister was born when my dad was 46. He dealt with it by working a lot. My brother had his first kid at 47. He seems to be dealing with it by working even harder than my dad did.
   7. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4665591)
My brother just turned 46, and will be having his first child in about 45 days.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4665596)
How do 45 y.o. guys deal with toddlers? I'm a few years older than Mike and haven't thought about having any kids in many years. I've got friends just starting at that age, and each time they tell me the blessed news, I first congratulate them and them remind them they'll be almost 70 when the kid finishes college.


I'm 43, and we aren't planning on having my first kid until about 2 years from now. I've seen too many people have kids and didn't have the financial needs to take care of the kid and spend enough time to raise them, I don't want to be that guy.
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4665601)
I'm 43, and we aren't planning on having my first kid until about 2 years from now. I've seen too many people have kids and didn't have the financial needs to take care of the kid and spend enough time to raise them, I don't want to be that guy.


True, but there are some aspects of the job that call for a younger man. So my piece of advice to you and the other late fathers: stay in shape.
   10. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4665604)
How do 45 y.o. guys deal with toddlers? I'm a few years older than Mike and haven't thought about having any kids in many years. I've got friends just starting at that age, and each time they tell me the blessed news, I first congratulate them and them remind them they'll be almost 70 when the kid finishes college.

I'm 42, and our only child will be 4 in May. It's challenging in every aspect. I'm tired.
   11. JE (Jason) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4665613)
as Murray Chass is waiting for him to be out of uniform.

Hey, Repoz, what makes you think Piazza would drive over to see Murray in his mother's basement?
   12. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4665617)
I first congratulate them and them remind them they'll be almost 70 when the kid finishes college


Do you believe they hadn't yet realized that? Where does the conversation go from there? 'oh nos, I now regret this development in my life'?
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4665637)
I'm 43, and we aren't planning on having my first kid until about 2 years from now. I've seen too many people have kids and didn't have the financial needs to take care of the kid and spend enough time to raise them, I don't want to be that guy.


I'm turning 43 in June, just after my daughter turns one.
It's taken this long because:

1) I was 31 years old when I got married.
2) We wanted to enjoy some time as a couple before becoming a family. That included two trips to Europe, two Caribbean cruises, trips to California, British Columbia, and Las Vegas (4 times by me).
3) Like SoSH, we wanted to establish a strong financial base before we started trying.
4) It took us 6 years of trying (and surgery for my wife) to actually have a baby (3 early miscarriages along the way).

I'm naturally worried about feeling "old" when she wants to run around at 100km/h, but it is incentive to keep active just to keep up.
(I'm in good health, other than some achy back moments and knees that go snap-crackle-pop when I stand up sometimes.)
   14. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 03, 2014 at 04:54 PM (#4665646)
there are some aspects of the job that call for a younger man


Parenting is a lot like baseball... by the time you really understand it, you are no longer physically able to do it.
   15. john_halfz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4665684)
[3] In reference to your second point, that's cool. I'll be 49 when the 2nd one graduates from HS.

I'm the selfish prick who thought he'd rather enjoy Europe when his kids were gone. If piano lessons become a bridge too far in the interim, those kids will just have to wish they had a dad with your foresight.

I hope to celebrate my 50th at the Hotel Negresco in Nice. I will not be fielding any other than congratulatory telephone calls from my kids on that day. They will not be invited to Nice, either, I might add.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4665761)
A friend of mine fathered a kid at 52 so he's going to be 70 (hopefully) when the kid starts college. But he got to retire early so I'm guessing he's not too stressed about it.

My dad was 46 and my mother 42 when I came along -- probably not what they were planning on. Dad died a couple of years later (coincidence? :-) and my mom didn't retire until forced to at 70, long after I'd graduated and headed off to grad school ... and she just kept right on volunteering.

I'm not sure being a father is particularly more challenging at those ages than any other -- not that I'm the one to ask. Many men start winding down their careers starting around 55 -- maybe that has to be delayed or maybe that gives them more time/energy to devote to the kid. If I were my friend, I might freak out about how I'm gonna afford college for my kid when I'm not working but his wife's an academic at a private uni that has one of those nice "work for us long enough and the kid goes free" sort of programs (or did, maybe they don't do that sort of thing anymore). I assume they've got their long-term financials sorted.
   17. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:40 PM (#4665783)

I'm 42, and our only child will be 4 in May. It's challenging in every aspect. I'm tired.


That is because 3 1/2 year olds are the worst people in the world. I'm right there with you.
   18. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4665835)
I'm 43, and we aren't planning on having my first kid until about 2 years from now. I've seen too many people have kids and didn't have the financial needs to take care of the kid and spend enough time to raise them, I don't want to be that guy.
The single greatest regret in my life is not having kids in my late 20s. My wife and I waited, for jobs, for money, for stability for private time... What a ####### waste of time. We were no more ready for kids at 43 than we were at 33. You'll never have enough money or stability or anything else to make you feel ready, but what you have when you're younger are time and energy. You figure it out. We have one child, and she's a miracle. We're not able to have more, a cruel punishment for dawdling. I tell all my younger friends who want to wait: DO NOT WAIT.
   19. billyshears Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4665839)
I'm 37 and I have a 3 year old. In retrospect, I feel like the timing was about right. But if I/we had waited until we felt we were ready, we would still be waiting. I think I was finally ready to be a parent when my daughter was 6 months old.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:42 AM (#4665845)
My dad was 43 and my mom was 39 when I was born, and I have an AARP card. My mom always said that having kids at that age kept her feeling younger as we grew up. My dad only made it til age 92 and always lived independently, so clearly we dragged down his good times!

My mother's father was born 5 years after the Lincoln assassination and my wife's mom was born after WW II ended, and as spouses we are not that far apart in age.


   21. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:39 AM (#4665881)
I'm lucky with health: my daughter is going on 11, my son is 8, I'm 53, and have no issues keeping up. Table tennis, frisbee, soccer training, fitness activities, hikes, backyard baseball games, viking battles, long off the ground hugs; I'm blessed. Career wise I've acted on the possibility to create balance, making good money but also making my kids lunches in the morning, being the primary cook for dinner, and a bedtime storyteller. I love parenting, love the creative challenge, had no issues changing diapers at 46/47 (but only for my kids, mind you :)), middle-of-the night coughs and crying, or working through the rites of passage of reading and math. And the way it hits your relationship - powerful and life affirming, if you embrace the challenges head on and employ patience .. and listening .. and self-reflection. Basically it's a choice as to whether you're on the bus or not. There's an end to the line, so don't close your eyes for too long at any point in the ride.

It took us 7 years to have a pregnancy that stuck, so timing was not planned. And, fwiw, in my small town and in my children's classes we've already missed 2 parents to an early death, and the divorces keep piling up.. If you love, you can parent. Parental privilige - it's beautiful, and I write sincerely that I find parenting my children to be an open door to creativity and issue solving that has been fascinating at each step. Your skill set requirements keeps evolving and changing, just as their needs (and need or NO need for YOU) keeps changing, and you have the opportunity to re-think your take on the world and the values at your core - the truest lesson for your children is how you act and not what you say. That old 'walk the walk' thang.

And I'm at peace with the fact that no matter how well we might think we do it, they'll still blame us for their flaws later in life : ) .. Bring it on, I say : ) And then let's talk about it ...


   22. boteman Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:25 AM (#4665882)
Wow. After reading these remarks let me just say that you should be glad that I never unleashed my spawn on this world.

That might explain a lot of things, actually.
   23. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4665932)
Yeah, and my post probably over estimated the capacity of the audience... : )
   24. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4665950)
You'll never have enough money or stability or anything else to make you feel ready, but what you have when you're younger are time and energy. You figure it out. We have one child, and she's a miracle. We're not able to have more, a cruel punishment for dawdling. I tell all my younger friends who want to wait: DO NOT WAIT.


Thank you. I'm 42. My kids are 14 and 11. I'm still broke, just not anywhere near as broke as I was when they were born. THEY never knew we were broke, though.

By the way, that deal I made with my daughter years ago that she gets a new pair of chuck taylors every time she scores a goal in soccer is starting to look like the Alfonso Soriano contract. Who knew that the girl would be the elite athlete? After my son was obviously the Little League equivalent of David Eckstein, I figured it was a safe bet.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4665963)

By the way, that deal I made with my daughter years ago that she gets a new pair of chuck taylors every time she scores a goal in soccer is starting to look like the Alfonso Soriano contract.

Well it sounds like she's earning her salary, so maybe it's more like the first A-Rod contract :)

My wife and I got married at 31 and are 34 now, no kids yet but the various perspectives here are interesting to read. Thanks.
   26. GregD Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4666002)
Other than fertility issues--which don't always correlate to female's age but obviously can be related--I don't know that there's any perfect time. It's a nuclear bomb into your life--only the buildings are still standing.

I've seen people who planned kids fall apart. And I've seen people who were totally surprised and didn't think they were ready for kids just end up loving every second of it. The only lesson I would take is that it's fine to ask yourself whether you're ready or it's the right time, but I wouldn't put too much stock in one's answers.

Kids are the best! They can also be the worst! Even when they are the best they take a lot of time. And they need more time than money. When you enjoy what they like to do or--even more--when they age into liking things you liked, it's amazing. When they are grouchy and pissy, it's terrible!

We had ours in the classic over-educated window of 34 and 35. We were lucky in that we only started trying a year before that and had only one miscarriage. My heart goes out to you all on here who have had more difficulty and more miscarriages. That's terrible.

I don't think it's generally a great idea to have kids before 21 or 23 or something, and it's obviously an awful idea to have kids to "save the relationship." Beyond that, it's a crapshoot. You only really learn if you and your partner can take the strain once you are in it.

I will say that our parent group at school is mostly people who had kids at our age or a little older, and it has been amazing to me to see how few divorces there have been. Some strained marriages, oh yes. But not divorces. If there's one benefit to age, it may be the realization that your problems and unhappiness will follow you out of a marriage as easily as they will follow you in it.
   27. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4666035)
Wow. After reading these remarks let me just say that you should be glad that I never unleashed my spawn on this world.


As opposed to keeping them down there in your mother's basement with you, presumably.
   28. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:39 PM (#4666139)
I'm 37 and I have a 3 year old. In retrospect, I feel like the timing was about right. But if I/we had waited until we felt we were ready, we would still be waiting. I think I was finally ready to be a parent when my daughter was 6 months old.


The year we got married, I was 31 and my wife was almost 29. We had decided before we got married that since we wanted kids, that getting started right away at our age wasn't a terrible idea, especially if things went haywire. We were married in August and we found out in October that our 1st was on the way. Shortly after the oldest turned 1, we found out that #2 was on the way. It happened a little earlier than planned (wife is a teacher, 1st won was born in June, perfect timing, #2 was born in March) but whatever.

Our 3rd was born last February. It took a little longer for her to join us (a miscarriage, funky ovulation, and she was really a surprise) than her brothers, but we got our girl.

I couldn't imagine being 47 and having 3 young kids. I'm already tired all the time (and last night, all 3 kids miraculously slept through the night.. no baby crying, no boys having to go pee at 3am, nothing). It's bad enough to do it when you are 37. I am already going to be 52 when my baby graduates.
   29. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4666164)
Y'all are young parents compared to President John Tyler. Had his last child at 70. Of course, he died at 72, rather than dealing with another 3.5 year old. :-)

edit: Tyler's son actually took after old dad and had his last child at age 75...
   30. GregD Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:34 PM (#4666518)
As you all probably know, two of Tyler's grandsons were still alive as of a couple of years ago. Maybe they still are?
   31. Publius Publicola Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:23 PM (#4666552)
As you all probably know, two of Tyler's grandsons were still alive as of a couple of years ago. Maybe they still are?


Doing the math, the grandson was born in 1935.

Still, that boggles the mind, that the grandson of a person who personally knew Thomas Jefferson is still alive.
   32. Greg K Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4666561)
Stephen Fry describes something similar in an episode of QI.
Stephen once met the broadcaster Alistair Cook. Cook told Stephen to shake his hand, which he did, and Cook said: "You're shaking the hand of someone who shook the hand of Bertrand Russell, the philosopher." Stephen said it was amazing, but Cook replied: "Oh, no, no, that's no strange. What's strange is that Bertrand Russell's aunt danced with Napoleon." So Stephen had shaken hands with someone, who shook hands with someone, who shook hands with Napoleon.
**

As a less thrilling add-on, Bertrand Russell's son Conrad Russell was one of the great 20th century historians, and revolutionized the way we look at 1620s politics (thrilling, I know!) I was once digging through the archives of Somerset county and found someone had made thirty or forty corrections in pencil to the ring-binder catalogue they give you to let you know where everything is in one of the manuscript boxes. Stuff like, "this letter is dated as April 3, 1618, but it couldn't possibly have been written before June", or "This letter is recorded as being sent to Sir James Bagg, when it is far more likely that it was written to Sir John Bagg". At the end of the booklet there was a little note saying something along the lines of: "I think you'll find some inconsistencies in the catalogue which I've corrected, Conrad Russell, student at Merton College, Oxford".

It was pretty amazing that
A) He'd bothered to write in the corrections, since I think most historians would record the errors in their own notes and not worry so much about the next guy
and
B) If there's a historian memorabilia market out there*, this binder would be priceless!

*Which I'm not entirely sure there is.

**Though this in itself is kind of weird...I'm not sure if I've ever shaken hands with any of my aunts.
   33. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:22 AM (#4666563)
What do academic historians think of Will and Ariel Durant? I'm not much of a non-fiction reader, but those books were amazing.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:33 AM (#4666564)
I'm 32, I have a 2 year old. Our friends are all waiting, apparently ...

I'm 43, and we aren't planning on having my first kid until about 2 years from now. I've seen too many people have kids and didn't have the financial needs to take care of the kid and spend enough time to raise them, I don't want to be that guy.

The single greatest regret in my life is not having kids in my late 20s. My wife and I waited, for jobs, for money, for stability for private time... What a ####### waste of time. We were no more ready for kids at 43 than we were at 33. You'll never have enough money or stability or anything else to make you feel ready, but what you have when you're younger are time and energy. You figure it out. We have one child, and she's a miracle. We're not able to have more, a cruel punishment for dawdling. I tell all my younger friends who want to wait: DO NOT WAIT.


I agree with Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim here. Waiting until you have all your ducks lined up often means waiting forever. At some point you just need to take the leap. (That is assuming that you have the right partner and you guys are likely to provide a stable loving environment, etc)

I also don't know how much money you need for kids. I mean, sure, they're expensive, they drain your paycheck. If you need to work 80 hours a week to stay afloat, no, that's not a good thing. But I reject the idea that you need to attain some level of bourgeois comfort before you think about kids. So you can't afford piano lessons. So you can't afford Harvard. That's not the important thing.
   35. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:41 AM (#4666566)
I'm 53, my mom was 39 when I was born. My dad was older. Quite a bit older.

The year he was born, no one had yet gotten 3000 hits in a career, nor 500 doubles. Cy Young had not yet won 100 games, and Willie Keeler had 17 career hits.

The year he died, Ty Cobb and Pete Rose both had over 4000 hits, Jim Palmer retired and on the day he died, Matt Cain was 6 days old.
   36. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 05, 2014 at 12:48 AM (#4666568)
I'm 53, my mom was 39 when I was born. My dad was older. Quite a bit older.

The year he was born, no one had yet gotten 3000 hits in a career, nor 500 doubles. Cy Young had not yet won 100 games, and Willie Keeler had 17 career hits.

The year he died, Ty Cobb and Pete Rose both had over 4000 hits, Jim Palmer retired and on the day he died, Matt Cain was 6 days old.


(Willie Keeler had 17 hits after 1892, his first year in the league)
   37. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 09:06 AM (#4666605)
Of course there's no one-size fits all solution to this, and I don't have any kids of my own. But my youngest brother graduated high school when my dad was 61; he had young children well into his 50s. I'm quite a bit older than my brother, and just from watching my dad -- and watching my childhood best friend's dad, who will be 65 when his youngest daughter graduates next year -- it seems to me that having had children later in life didn't exhaust my father, but kept him younger than a lot of men of similar age. He'll be 70 in a few weeks, and he's still an energetic, fit man, and seems much younger than his old work friends of similar age do.
   38. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4666638)
I'm in my mid-30s and have hit a wall in my career while a lot of my peers are starting to make it. I've got two kids, 2 and 5, and the wife works full-time. I don't regret any choices, and my career stalling might've happened anyways. But trying to have it all hasn't worked out great for me, professionally.
   39. Hysterical & Useless Posted: March 05, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4667028)
My wife and I had kids in our 30s, the 1st when she was 35, the 2nd when she was almost 38 (she's 4 years older than me). I was a stay at home father, so we were essentially a 1 income family for most of their childhood (I did start working part time once they were both in school). Since my wife was in education, we were far from wealthy. But we were very lucky: we were healthy, we had (still have) an inexpensive apartment, we don't need lots of stuff, don't do recreational shopping, and really always enjoyed doing things as a family (a family membership to the Brooklyn Museum is a fabulous investment for any even semi-artsy family in NYC). Our everyday frugality enabled us to save enough to buy a summer home back in the early 90s, so our kids got to grow up both in the city and the country. I didn't get my first career-type job until I was in my 50s, my wife was able to retire at 64 (a great move for both of us) and with a little luck I'll be able to retire by the end of next year. Since I tend to agree with Beckett's Murphy about the relation of being & doing, the fact that I never achieved a brilliant career troubles me not at all. The fact that our adult children actually enjoy doing things with us is worth far more to us than any amount of "success," money, recognition.

Family is the most important thing. Or breakfast.

   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:14 PM (#4667030)
Don't worry about the "perfect" time to have children, but I'd strongly suggest you get married first and be fairly sure you want to do that. I took a bit of time doing that, so I was a little older when the kids came, and perhaps we had them a bit closer together than would otherwise have been the case, although my wife is 6 years younger. I was more settled in my career and better off financially than if I had kids in my 20's or early 30's, but either way works. One kid isn't that tiring, since the parents have him/her outnumbered, but when you add the second the tables are turned! Worth doing under any circumstance, IMHO.

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