Archives For yankees

Almost a week separated from crossing the finish line and I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that I ran 26.2 miles through my favorite city in the world only to learn that it’s an even better place than I originally thought.

And trust me; I was already head-over-heels in love.

Back in August my friend Kerry presented me with an opportunity I couldn’t refuse: a chance to run in the TCS New York City Marathon without having to qualify, win a lottery or raise any money. I joined #TeamULTRA and represented Michelob Ultra amongst 50,000 other marathoners scampering across the five boroughs.

Despite my love of running and my consistent schedule of hitting the trails, I knew this wouldn’t be easy; when I started training, I never ran more than 7 miles at a time. Furthermore, I have an erratic work/life schedule and I knew that eventually I’d be moving – a task that in itself is a full-time job here.

But running the marathon here was something I’ve always wanted to do. This was too good to pass up and short of a severe injury or traumatic life event, there was nothing that could stop me from pursuing this.

I could go on to document the training schedule I created for myself, the run itself and the aftermath but instead, here are a few frequently asked questions that I’ve fielded since crossing the finish line on Sunday.


“So, how was it?”
Physically and emotionally overwhelming in the best way possible. The experience far exceeded my expectations and is something I’d recommend to anyone.

“What was your favorite part?”
As far as overall, having my family there to cheer me on was special but I sobbed like a child after I finished as a result of the love I felt throughout the five boroughs. People cheering, making noise, offering food and drinks, holding signs… it was incredible. And Sunday wasn’t the nicest day weather-wise; it was colder than expected and the rain really never let-up. You wouldn’t have known that based on the crowd’s spirit.

I have to mention as well that multiple people told me I’d hate the Bronx. If you look at my mile-by-mile breakdown, I ran some of my fastest miles up there. My playlist synced to my run perfectly so that just as I was crossing the Willis Ave. Bridge I heard The Tramps’ “Disco Inferno.” Of course, it was on my playlist because I’m a diehard Yankees fan and those overtures of “Bern, baby bern!” brought back a lot of great memories from Yankee legend Bernie Williams.


“What was the most difficult part?”
Overall the mental game you play as you attempt to overcome physical shortcomings. I cramped and tightened up quite a bit during the run; while it slowed me down once I never stopped and I escaped injury-free.

“How are you feeling?”
Great, thanks! I bought a new pair of running shoes and should be back on a treadmill this weekend. I think not over-training and eating clean helped me to recover quickly.


“Will you do it again?”
Never say never but probably not. It’d be tough to top this experience, one which despite still attempting to fully process I am extremely grateful for.

Just two weeks ago, my new roommate and I were standing in center field for game 3 of the American League Division Series in the Bronx when Greg Bird took former-Yankee Andrew Miller deep. Yankee Stadium went ballistic. The home run broke a zero –zero tie and propelled the Yankees to a victory that night and an eventual series win over the Indians.

The following week, the Bronx Bombers found themselves within one win of the World Series against the Astros. I scored tickets to Game 5 of the Fall Classic, which was to be played at the Stadium this Sunday night. My friends and I were all-set to watch the Yankees battle the Dodgers.

And then, last weekend happened. The Yanks traveled to Houston and didn’t bring the offense along. Game 6 went to the Astros and the momentum swing in to the vaunted game 7 was too much for the Baby Bombers to handle.

It also marked the end of an era: this week the team announced that after 10 seasons at the helm, the contract of manager Joe Girardi would not be renewed. Now, the annual “hot stove” talks center on not if the Yankees will make a free agency splash but who will be the skipper of a team poised for another run at the World Series next season.

If you didn’t know any better, you would have no idea that just last week we were planning on hosting the World Series. Now, I’m looking in to a return trip to Bear Mountain this weekend so I can take-in some of the fall foliage.

In the words of a-many great philosophers that frequent bars in Murray Hill, and that Nationwide commercial, “Life comes at you fast (bro).”

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I can’t believe we’re less than a month away from Pumpkin Spice Lattes and football weekends. I detest humidity and absolutely love fall (not necessarily for the PSLs though; do you know what they put in those things?) but still am taken aback at how quick summer flew by.

Yes, I have no probably saying “flew” as opposed to “flying” because I’m not a beach person and the Yankees are giving me a reason to anticipate competitive September and October baseball. I do love summer weekends up in the Bronx though, and that’s where I spent the majority of my final July weekend. The Yanks won in walk-off fashion on that Saturday; a perfect, cool day to catch a game in Center Field, even if I didn’t score a Yankees camouflage cap (free giveaway to the first 18,000 fans that were age 21 or older). Then Sunday, I drove with a buddy up to Riverdale so I could check out a few apartments. I fell in love with the neighborhood: family-friendly, beautiful Van Cortlandt Park, plenty of bars and restaurants and easy access to Manhattan via Metro North.

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With my lease up on the Upper West Side October 1, that may be perhaps the one reason I definitely don’t want summer to pass much quicker. Short of a miracle, a change in location looks imminent, but I really love this neighborhood. Hopefully I don’t move but if so, it has been a fantastic five-year run on the UWS. Catching Sunday sunsets from the Boat Basin Café is just one of the many reasons why.

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I was joking on the radio Monday that the telltale sign you know I’m without much responsibility is the fact that I attended two different pro sporting events on two different days this weekend.

As I’ve told colleagues and friends before: I’m single with no kids. I don’t anticipate that status sticking around my entire life, so I’m going to work and play hard while I can.

This weekend ended up being a prime example of that; at least from the play hard aspect.

Saturday I went with a few friends to the Yankees game in the Bronx. The Orioles were in town and at the start of the month, I suspected the game would have postseason implications. It did – but not for my Yanks – as the Orioles had yet to clinch a birth. The Bombers were eliminated Thursday night.

We bought $20 seats that included access to some of the clubs in the Stadium and spent the entire game bouncing around from vantage point-to-point – splitting time between the Tommy Bahamas bar, the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, the Batter’s Eye Café and the standing-room section in left field.


It was great to spend one final evening this season in the Bronx, and the Yankees even took home a win; it would end up being their final one of the year.

I did hit up a few local watering holes Saturday evening before retiring to the apartment and grabbing some shuteye. We had an early Sunday morning ahead. After waking up and buying tickets, it was off to East Rutherford to see the Jets host the Seahawks. This was my first Jets home game, third NFL game at MetLife Stadium and fourth football game period at the venue.

My squad and I hopped aboard NJ Transit, got off in Secaucus and Uber-ed to Donald’s tailgate spot. For those who missed it on my Facebook Live, I lost a bet earlier in the season to Donald when his Jets beat my Bills. Despite this, Donald was kind enough to invite me to the tailgate he attends every week with his fellow season ticket holders.

We hung out with his crew until right before kickoff and then made our way inside. Fun fact (and I wish I grabbed a photo): MetLife has an Original Pizza Logs stand. OPLs are made in Niagara Falls, NY!


The Jets lost, which I wasn’t too concerned with as my Bills had shut-out the Patriots in New England, and we made it back to the city very quickly thanks again to NJ Transit.

The timing on our return was great, because I wanted to go out and catch some of the 4 o’clock games. It’s not like I had anything else to do!

On Friday night I was in the middle of my nightly Facebook Live broadcast when my buddy Nick from back home commented – Nick wanted to let me know that he was going to Saturday’s Yankees game.

Nick and I both grew up in Western New York and then in a strange twist, both ended up in Northeastern Pennsylvania around the same time for a few years. In yet another crazy turn, we both moved to the tri-state area too; he’s up in Connecticut with his wife and I’m of course in Manhattan.

We’re also both diehard Yankees fans. Yet despite this, I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw Nick, and neither of us had attended a game in the Bronx together this year.

That was until last weekend of course.

I met Nick at a place we’re both fans of by the ballpark, Stadium Pizza. Why are we fans? Well I enjoy it because it’s a bit out of the way at 157th and River. But what keeps me coming back to the place is their drink special: three domestic bottles for $10. A bucket of 6 for $20. It’s a deal you can’t beat anywhere near the Stadium.


I joined the group mid-buckets. We had a few rounds then made our way in to the game. A great feature of Yankee Stadium is the open concourse and wide array of standing room areas. I think the original plan was to make our way out to center field and the Batter’s Eye Café but we settled on the area behind one of the Main Infield sections.

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The Yankees won, the celebration commenced across the street at Stan’s and then I headed home. The 4 p.m. first pitch worked perfectly because I was home in bed by 11.

The reason I retired so early on a Saturday night is because my Sunday was jam-packed. I ran, showered, changed, went to the radio station to grab an audio recorder and then cabbed it to Port Authority where I hopped on a bus to Atlantic City. I arrived in AC around 5:30, grabbed a quick sushi dinner and then walked to Boardwalk Hall.


For my second straight year, I attended Miss America. This year, I was covering the red carpet for my radio station.

Some of the highlights: interviewing gold medalist Gabby Douglas and Laura Marano at the same time, Mark Cuban telling me after this election season he’ll never talk politics again and ESPN’s Sage Steele revealing that she didn’t check football scores so she could focus on rehearsing her lines for the show. Ciara didn’t stop and talk with any media outlets but did say hello to me, which was very kind of her.


Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, won the crown and after her press conference I headed to the after-party. And then to a blackjack table or three. And then, $75 lighter, back to New York City.

After all, I had my radio show Monday night, and another Facebook Live broadcast to host.

It is no coincidence that lately on the radio show, I’ve talked more about my relationship status. The radio show I’m doing now is different from the radio show I was doing six months ago, and that was different from the prior six months. I’m really, really proud of not ending up in a rut where I do the exact same thing night-in and night-out.

But anyways, certainly you’ve heard me reference the fact that I’m single. So it should come as no surprise that my August vacation was spent traveling solo and was scheduled around a Yankees west coast trip.

The premise was simple: I love the Yankees, I’ve been meaning to get to Los Angeles when I’m not tied to an award show itinerary and I’m always seeking to explore new cities and ballparks.

And thus, the trip was booked. I spent three days in Los Angeles, taking a few meetings while linking up with some old friends (and meeting some new ones on the way). I caught the Bombers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, a venue I had visited twice before.


The following night, I caught my favorite band Coldplay for the third time on the “A Head Full Of Dreams Tour” inside Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, a venue I had never visited. I hung out with two girls who I met on my Uber Pool up there. The three of us almost got stranded in Pasadena, ended up walking two miles to “Old Pasadena” where we ate at Barney’s, before I retired to my hotel room.


After all, I had a 6 am flight to Seattle. I had never been! I love coffee, seafood and nice people. Seattle did not disappoint on any of these fronts.


A few of the highlights: running my first 10K, and then running another 10K the next day, linking up with an old college friend and her boyfriend to take in my first MLS game (and make my first trip to CenturyLink Field), bar-hopping around the stadium area and Pike Place Market and of course, taking in a Yankees/Mariners game at beautiful Safeco Field.


The weather for my entire trip was perfect: low 80’s to mid 70’s with no humidity. I fit in runs every day, including the first day when I landed at LAX with no where to stay. I would eventually book a room by the airport and sneak in a two-mile jog before meeting up with a friend and attending Jordan Fisher’s showcase at The Sayers Club.

By the way, that kid can sing.

There are a million more stories for another time, but the bottom line is that when I returned to New York on the red eye last week I felt the vacation fulfilled everything I hoped it to be.

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And to be honest, I was also beginning to really miss New York. That is something that throughout all my travels, has yet to change, and never will.

The Yankees won the 2009 World Series. I was living in a spacious one bedroom apartment in downtown Wilkes Barre, Penn. and of course the Bronx Bombers had just defeated the other popular team in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Phillies. Things were going well at work. I was about to start dating a girl. Life was good.

I logged on to Steiner Sports’ website and saw that they were holding a special autograph event in Westchester. The date would feature appearances from a number of baseball stars, including Yankees’ Manager Joe Girardi and third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Wait, A-Rod?! He never holds a public signing. Immediately I called my best friend, my cousin Anthony back home in Niagara Falls. We first bonded over collecting sports memorabilia and have been best friends ever since. The event was on a Saturday. So we devised a plan: he would drive from the Falls to me Friday night. We’d wake up Saturday morning, go to the show and come back. Depending on how he felt, he would crash with me Saturday or drive right back to Western New York.

The night before he arrived, I made a trip to Wegmans to stock up on groceries. There were a few new additions in the magazine section, including a special edition Sports Illustrated commemorating the World Series championship.
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I picked up two and continued on with my shopping. When I got home, I called Anth again and the idea dawned on me. I’ve never attempted a “team piece.” I truly lived through this championship, attending the most games in a season at the Stadium in my life including the division clincher and Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Plus I was about to attend an event where both the manager and one of the star players, who rarely makes such appearances, would be signing autographs.

So I set out on a mission: I wanted all 10 lineup starters, the three starting pitchers, the closer and the manager to sign this magazine.

Rodriguez would be the first piece to the puzzle. We left NEPA on a crisp fall Saturday morning in November. There wasn’t a ray of sunshine in sight but it didn’t matter. The drive to Westchester was relatively easy and we immediately parked and made our way inside, picking up our tickets for the autographs and sitting in line for A-Rod. The third baseman was on time and in a jovial mood. The line actually moved slower than normal because Rodriguez took his time with each person. You could tell how much the championship and the love from the fans affected him.

I walked up and handed over my Sports Illustrated. A-Rod had yet to see the issue and instead of signing my piece, picked it up and started thumbing through the magazine! He held up the line for a few minutes (seemed like an eternity standing there in front of him) as he turned to his handlers to show them various photos, including this one.
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My cousin Anth snapped this photo, he signed the piece along with my cousin’s photo (which he also marveled at for a bit) and we went on our way.
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Almost seven years (and 11 magazine signatures) later New Yorkers will now bid adieu to the much maligned star when he plays his final game in pinstripes on Friday. A lot will be written about A-Rod, but I think most Yankees fans will center their memories of him on that ’09 championship. I know I will.

Day drinking, an extra-innings Yankees game and Guns N’ Roses at MetLife Stadium were just a few of the highlights from an action-packed weekend in which I commiserated with friends new and old.

My buddy Danny was in town visiting; he didn’t arrive until almost 2 in the morning. Thankfully it didn’t really matter that much because I work nights anyways and I happen to live in… the city that doesn’t sleep. There are bars and even kitchens open until 4 a.m. (or later in the case of the latter) throughout my neighborhood, so we settled in to one for some late-night grub and libations and ended up calling it a night… well, let’s just say the sun was rising when we finally went to bed.

And that was a common theme throughout the weekend.

After a quick breakfast on Saturday, we hopped in an Uber and headed to NoHo where I visited my friends at John Varvatos’ pop-up shop. They were hosting a Guns N’ Roses pop-up shop for the two shows in East Rutherford. Danny and I grabbed a couple of GNR shirts and made our way over to the 4 train, riding uptown to the Bronx.

The Yankees were hosting the Giants in the second of a three-game series and it was Military Appreciation Day at the Stadium. In addition to the ceremonies, the team gave away camouflage Yankees hat to the first 18,000 fans over the age of 21 (the cap was sponsored by Budweiser).


We snagged a few Bloody Marys and walked over to our seats in the bleachers; section 203 to be exact. The “Bleachers Creatures” section was far from full capacity but we did our best to assist in Roll Call (wherein the Creatures chant each name of the Yankees infield and outfield until they acknowledge the fans).

Then we sat. And sat. And sat. After a disappointing 12 innings, the Yankees were handed a brutal 2-1 loss. But, we made some friends who were visiting the Stadium for the first time via… Australia! So we felt it our obligation to at least bring them to Stan’s for a beer so they could completely their quintessential American baseball outing.

Saturday night was spent back in my neighborhood and let’s just say Sunday was definitely a sleep-in day. But even with waking up in the afternoon, we still got in a run before showering and meeting a few of my friends for drinks at a local watering hole nearby. Then we walked to the 1 and got off at Penn Station. Next stop: NJ Transit to the Meadowlands, via a transfer in scenic Secaucus. Lenny Kravitz took the stage around 8:30. Guns N’ Roses followed around 9:45.

Here’s what I thought of the show:

Believe it or not, but there was a Sunday night cap on our return trip to Penn: a walk to Times Square and a few rounds at the classic Jimmy’s Corner. Jimmy was a “corner guy” in boxing; worked with all of the big names. He’s owned this little gem forever and it is the only reason why anyone should want to go to Times Square.

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Given my weekend, I slept in Monday too. But it was all worth it. Besides, when will I get to see Axl Rose and Slash on stage together again?

Probably not in this lifetime.

So let me tell you about the time I was in the visiting team’s batting cage at Yankee Stadium chatting with Garth Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood.

The story begins on Friday when I approach John Foxx, who in addition to hosting afternoons on 95.5 PLJ is the Program Director of NASH FM 94.7. We usually chop it up about weekend plans and hang out when possible. Obviously he had the two massive Garth shows to cover at Yankee Stadium. While I am not a lifelong country fan, I certainly have an appreciation for both Brooks and the genre; fun fact: I even helped launch NASH FM’s social media pages when the station signed on the air in 2014.

And if you missed the memo, I am a diehard Yankees fan.

I jumped at the opportunity to head to the stadium and possibly meet Garth on Saturday. Foxx and I live close to each other so we agree to share an Uber up to the Bronx that afternoon. Our first stop is the Hard Rock Café inside Yankee Stadium, because NASH FM is broadcasting live from there before the show. The Yankees are in Cleveland for a 4:05 pm first pitch, so I figure it will be a great place to also catch the game.

We walked in to the Hard Rock at Yankee Stadium around 4:15. The game was not on a single TV; three of the TVs at the bar were actually turned on to MLS soccer.

I could not believe it.

After asking the hostesses if I could get the Yankees game on… in the Hard Rock Café… at Yankee Stadium… they obliged.

A few Bloody Mary’s and a nacho platter (Foxx insisted) later, we made our way to will call, grabbed tickets and wrist bands and headed inside the Stadium. Once we were there, a member of Garth’s team grabbed us and brought us in to the Champions Suite, accessible during games to fans with Legends or Champions level tickets.

I’ve never had either so I’m now full out kid-in-a-candy-store mode.

There are snacks and libations waiting for us, as we wait for Garth. If you’re wondering the answer is no, the promoter did not have the TVs on the Yankees game; they were shut off. So I’m literally in Yankee Stadium, using its WiFi to watch the game on my BlackBerry.


A few beers later (alcohol also provides a nice transition), another member of Garth’s team takes us in to the back hall way, past the visiting team’s clubhouse and in to the indoor batting cage. There are a few couches and love seats set-up in the middle of the narrow room along with a step-and-repeat. Shortly after the seven of us sit down, Garth and Trisha walk in. They take a seat and we just chat for 15 minutes.

Seriously, why don’t I do country radio?

We wrapped with a squad photo and individual photos. On our way out we were handed swag bags that included Garth and Trisha’s latest albums, t-shirts and more.

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Of course it should be known by now that for as many trips up to the Bronx as I’ve made over the years, this is surely one I won’t forget any time soon.

I think a number of factors contributed to it: missing Opening Day, the excitement for the new season, the fact that I’m single and my renewed quest at constantly trying new things, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

For the second straight weekend, I attended two baseball games in two days at Yankee Stadium. Last weekend also marked consecutive Saturdays that I decided to jog the 4.3 miles from my apartment to the ballpark in the Bronx. I traveled my now normal route, which takes me up Columbus in to Harlem, over the Macombs Dam Bridge and through to The House That George Built.

Saturday was fun for a couple of reasons. For starters, my ticket was in 203, where the infamous Bleacher Creatures sit. The fans are equal parts intelligent and raucous when it comes to supporting the Yanks. Of course, they also are known for a ritual called “Roll Call.” The section starts with the Center Fielder, then moves left and right before going around the infield, starting with the First Baseman.

In each instance, the section chants the players’ name until he acknowledges the section. The signal from the field can be as subtle as a quick point with the glove hand (Chase Headley) to the more deliberate stop-turn-muscle flex (Brett Gardner).

Speaking of Gardy, his bottom-of-the-ninth walk-off home run certainly sent me home happy. OK, it didn’t send me home. It sent me to Stan’s on River Ave. to meet my friend Kathryn and watch as her Rangers were eliminated in the playoffs by the Penguins.


I walked back over the bridge, snapped a beautiful photo of the Stadium, and hailed a yellow cab home. After a quick shower, I met my buddy Ryan at the nearby Boat Basin Café, marking my first visit to the watering hole and first sunset seen there of the season.


On Sunday I entertained Ryan along with my friend Craig and his better half Ilana at my apartment for a little “pre-game” before we took the subway back uptown. Once there, we headed to the now too-familiar Stan’s to meet a bunch of people (including my man John Foxx) for a few beverages and then back inside Yankee Stadium.


This game went so far south so quickly that I never even made it to my seat. I did discover that Yankee Stadium has a rooftop bar. It was my first and last appearance there.

Sunday wrapped with me, John and his wife grabbing dinner in our hood at a restaurant I’ve been dying to try since I moved here: Vai. I’d say it was worth the wait but I shouldn’t have waited so long in the first place!