Monday, September 29, 2014

Derek Jeter's final at bat

There are moments in sports history that we will never forget. Derek Jeter stepped up to the plate for his last time at Fenway park and leaves his legacy behind with a base hit RBI...and I missed it all.

As a die hard Yankees fan and an even more die hard Derek Jeter fan, you would think that I wouldn't miss this game for anything. But I did. I'll tell you why in a minute. I now understand more than ever why it was time for Derek Jeter to retire. He has sacrificed so much and given everything he has to baseball and I can only imagine the things he missed out on. It's time for him to enjoy life and make up for all of those moments that have passed him by. After giving us two decades of excellence and dedication, Derek Jeter will finally get the opportunity to live his life outside of baseball. And I'm sure it will be just as epic as his career with the Yankees. 

The reason I missed the game is because I was working. For those of you who don't know, I'm an actress. I have the starring role in a pilot for a TV series called Alexis Ronan, so it's not like I could have called in sick. The series revolves around my character so I had to be there. It was so hard knowing that I was missing my favorite player's last game, but just like Jeter, I knew I had a job to do and I did it well. It was probably one of the most powerful scenes I have ever shot in my career and I had the director and producer in tears after they watched the edit that the director surprised us with the next day. It was such a great feeling to do your job so well that others take notice and your confidence and ability begins to soar. 

But I took notes from Jeter and I have to remember to stay humble and focused because you don't know how long your career will last and not everything in life is about your job. 

I've been in this business for the same amount of time that Jeter has been with the Yankees so I can relate to the years of commitment he has given and the events he has missed while focusing on his career. I have the starring role in this project and like Jeter, I am the "Captain". My cast and crew depend on me to carry the show and give my best at all times. Missing a day on set is not an option. It's my responsibility to show up every day and give the best performance I can when I'm on set. The hours are long, the days are many, and I have given up everything to be a part of this show. But also like Jeter, I love what I do so the sacrifices are just part of the job.  

I'm not retiring by any means. As a matter of fact my career is just taking off. But I'm happy for The Captain that he gets to enjoy his life now in a different way and experience the things that you and I could only dream of. For as many years that Derek Jeter has put in and given to his fans and his team, he deserves this time to just simply be Derek Jeter. 

I could talk about how Jeter's final time at bat was a base hit RBI at Fenway. The fact that the last game he played was against the Red Sox. Or how much he has given to all of us over the years and to the game of baseball. But you know what, I just wanted to talk about Derek Jeter the man. I wanted to say thank you to him for all he has done not only on the field but off the field. The joy he gave my brother Shane as he was battling cancer giving us quality time together watching him play, taking our mind off our troubles. The smiles that Jeter put on so many faces throughout his career and through his charity organization called the Turn 2 foundation is endless. Derek Jeter is not just a baseball player, he's a man with heart, integrity and passion. And I can't wait to see what he does next! So Farewell Captain, we all love you and will miss you. If I ever run into you in my travels, I'd love to buy you a drink or a meal and just say hi to Derek Jeter. Welcome to your new life my friend. Enjoy it! You've earned it. 

The quote of the day... "Farewell Captain" 

Oh, and yes, I recorded the game so I'll be watching it on my next day off. And thanks to social media, I was able to watch the video of Derek Jeter's last time at bat so thank you to everyone who posted.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The most inspirational story

It's been a while since I have written in my blog and here's why... the most recent feature in my new series Beyond The Offseason. This episode changed my life and I hope it will change yours too. 

When looking for stories to feature on Beyond The Offseason I do my homework and make sure that every athlete I choose has integrity, and is genuine about giving back. The story of friendship between Michael Del Zotto and Liam Traynor is both heartwarming and inspirational and there is no doubt that they are best buddies. 

From the moment when Michael walked in to surprise Liam in the episode, I saw the bond that they shared. It was evident that they genuinely cared about each other and it was uplifting to see their interaction as they were reunited. 

While we were filming a segment for the feature, Michael and Liam had a really funny xbox hockey rematch going on that they picked up from their last visit. The cool thing is that Michael treats Liam like one of the guys. He doesn't see the physical challenges Liam has and Liam plays with the intensity and skills of any 12 year old boy his age. They would banter back and forth at times and Michael didn't go easy on Liam. But Liam was a good sport and reminded Michael that he gets to play with two hands where Liam was only able to use one. I had to laugh at their exchange of words and accusations of cheating and cheap shots that were taken on the xbox ice. Liam ended up scoring a goal which brought a smile to his face and Michael was happy for his friend too. I won't tell you who won the game, all I will say is that it was fun watching these two friends battle it out on the xbox ice and then afterward went outside to play a little street hockey to top off the fun afternoon.
I haven't seen a friendship like this in a while. And although we see Michael as the good guy, he reminds us in my interview with him that it is Liam who has a greater impact on Michael's life. 

You can see the full version of my interview with Liam and Michael after October 1st. 

I am giving the big networks the opportunity right now to jump on board and air the story before anyone else sees the extended version. If that doesn't happen, I will release it to the public on October 1st which happens to be World Cerebral Palsy Day. For those of you who don't know, Liam has cerebral palsy which is why this day is the perfect day to release the full story. 

I am approaching the NHL Network to air the story as well as TSN. So far no response but I am hopeful. I also have a call out to Comcast Sports Network in Philly and I have some interest there too. Michael is currently playing for the Flyers in Philly so I hope they shine some light on one of their local good guys. I'm not opposed to any other networks picking this feature up and airing it either, I just want the world to see this amazing story of friendship, hope and inspiration... Something we desperately need in the sports world after all the negativity that has been surrounding it lately. 

My big picture goal is to have Michael Del Zotto recognized and nominated this year at the NHL Awards for his efforts and dedication. And if that happens, I want Liam beside him on the red carpet. I think these two handsome hockey players would look amazing side by side and Liam would look great in a tuxedo :) 

I will leave you with this...Liam is an incredible 12 year old boy who has touched my heart and inspired me. His smile lights up a room and his laughter warms your heart. You can't help but cheer for him and want the best for him. But I have to mention that his family has been there every step of the way and deserves a lot of credit for never limiting him in anything he does and for loving him so much. They have given him every opportunity to succeed and live a happy, normal life. 

We had a very special gift that was given to Liam in the episode called a Power Plate. It's a fitness modality that will help in Liam's rehabilitation and will hopefully one day help him to walk. Without the generosity and support from the wonderful people at Power Plate this episode of Beyond The Offseason would not be possible. 

And of course to Michael Del Zotto - thank you for being a positive example of what an athlete can do with his success and status. You are making a difference in someone else's life and your love for Liam will touch the world once they see. Because of good guys like you, you give me great stories to tell and make the rest of the world smile for a moment and realize that there are some good things happening in the world of sports and in the world period. The NHL is lucky to have you. 

To the Traynor family and Michael Del Zotto - You have touched my life and I'm honored to have met each and every one of you. I hope this story goes big so the rest of the world can experience what I saw that very special day we filmed Beyond The Offseason. 

Watch the video teaser below from the Beyond the Offseason episode featuring Michael Del Zotto and Liam Traynor. It will touch your heart.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Dugout

It's been a few days since I've written in my blog. That's because I've been busy finishing post production on my recent episode of Beyond The Offseason and also getting ready to star in a TV pilot for a new original series called Alexis Ronan. AND...I was getting romanced by another team! Yep that's what I said. The Chicago White Sox hat was putting the moves on the Yankees hat. Let me explain...

You all know I'm a die hard Yankees fan. But I was recently invited by a friend to go see a White Sox game in Chicago. Not only that, I got to spend time with the players, coaches, trainers and the security team and I have to admit...I was tempted. I was never treated so well and given so much attention and love by a MLB team. They let me come to batting practice, gave me a tour of the stadium, the players, trainers and coaching staff all joked around with me and made me feel special, they even gave me gifts!!! I got an autographed game ball and a practice ball. And...are you ready for this...a White Sox hat! Before you go off on me, you should know I'm smart enough to not get caught wearing it. Especially after my Kate Upton rant. But I have to say, I was flattered and I will cherish it always. I'll be honest...I tried it on. I felt like I was cheating though so I took it off quickly. It was quite a day and I still play the experience back in my head over and over again.
It was tough to not fall in love. There was something about this team that made me feel good. I was treated so kind by the entire White Sox organization, that I found myself thinking about them constantly. I developed a little crush. It was a one night baseball stand that I will never forget. To my beloved Yankees...I will always love you, but you have some competition. Do you know what they let me do...after batting practice I got to sit inside their dugout! On the bench! Right where all the players sit! It was so cool and made me feel like a kid again. I was kind of sad though that my own team, the Yankees, never invited me to do the same thing. 

So here's a little bit of advice to anyone in love or in a relationship (baseball or real life) protect the ones you love. Take care of them. Make them feel special and don't give them a reason to stray. Be faithful. Sweep them off their feet and love and respect them forever. Because if you don't...someone else will. 
Thank you to the Chicago White Sox, the players, my friend, the coaching staff, trainers and the security team for making my day so exciting and for giving me something to remember for years to come. You all know who you are ;) And to that awesome player who scored me the hat and baseballs, thank you. The hat may not go on my head, but it will forever be in my heart. What a beautiful memory to leave me with. 

The quote of the day..."There's a story behind every person. Don't be too quick to judge"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

It's Derek Jeter Day. Farewell Captain.

Today we honor Derek Jeter, who has given us twenty seasons of joy and entertainment watching him play the game. He is one of the most loved and respected athletes to ever play for the New York Yankees and is a class act both on and off the field. To our beloved Captain, I tip my hat to you.

We all respect The Captain for being one of the greatest short stops to ever play in Major League Baseball. We admire him for his kind heart and humble attitude. Paul O'neil said "He never put himself above anyone else" and maybe that's why we love Jeter so much. Because we can relate to him. We can connect with him. He was just a kid who grew up playing baseball and his dream finally came true when he got the chance to play the greatest game on earth for the greatest team on earth. Don't we all have a dream like Derek Jeter did? Can you imagine the hard work, dedication and sacrifices he made to get where he is today? He's an example to everyone to never give up, pursue your dreams, work hard, and once you arrive, don't forget where you came from. 

We've watched him grow up over the last 20 years and it has been an honor. Baseball will never be the same without him. But as Derek Jeter closes this chapter, he has the opportunity to open a new one. I can't wait to see what he does next. 

Since 2003, Jeter has served as the Yankees team captain and has accomplished many things throughout his career including: Five World Series Championships, fourteen All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. He has had quite an impressive career to say the least. But what I find even more impressive is his work off the field. 

Derek Jeter started a charitable organization called the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996 to help children and teens avoid drug and alcohol addiction. He is very hands on with his organization and he truly cares about the kids in the program. The foundation also rewards those who show high academic achievement. You should check out the site and support the cause I admire any athlete who gives back and knows the importance of making a difference. Jeter also serves as an ambassador for Weplay, a website designed to encourage children to get involved in sports. Thank you once again Derek Jeter for taking the time to care. Maybe one day I will get the opportunity to feature Derek Jeter and the Turn 2 Foundation on Beyond The Offseason. I like to dream big too. 

The quote of the day - which was taken from Derek Jeter's farewell speech today ... "In my opinion I've had the greatest job in the world, I got a chance to be the short stop for the New York Yankees, and there's only one of those"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Beyond The Offseason

New York has been amazing. I got to see the Yankees win at home against the Red Sox and the very next day, I experienced one of the most touching production days of my career. I'm still on cloud nine and in awe of how blessed my life is. 

I created a sports show called Beyond The Offseason, it's about athletes, teams and coaches giving back in the off-season and getting involved with charity. I host the show as well as produce it and write it. The concept started 5 years ago when I found out my brother Shane had cancer. Throughout his battle, there were athletes, teams and a very special coach who offered friendship, love and support which truly helped his recovery. They lifted his spirits and gave him the will to keep fighting. I'm happy to say my brother is healthy and cancer free today and we have a lot of people to thank for that. I was so touched by watching these athletes step up and make a difference, that it inspired me to start finding more stories about athletes doing good and telling the rest of the world about it. My passions in life are sports, entertainment and charity and this show has been my dream project. 
I was honored to shoot the most recent episode which took pace in Blauvelt, New York. It's about a little boy with a big heart. His name is Liam Traynor. He's 12 years old and has cerebral palsy. He was born with CP and although he is in a wheel chair, you would never know he was any different from any of the other kids his age because his spirit was so strong and his outlook on life is incredible. It comes from being raised in a loving family and also from having faith in God. I spent the entire day with the Traynor family and got to know Liam very well. He is by far the most amazing 12 year old boy I've ever met and a true inspiration. When you watch the episode it will melt your heart. I admire his family and connected with them because I know how it feels to have a loved one struggle. They reminded me of how important family is and that we have to always be there for each other and have faith. So thank you to the Traynor's for being so amazing. 

There's more to the story though. Liam met a very special #NHL hockey player who at the time was playing for the New York Rangers. His name is Michael Del Zotto. I have never met a more kind and compassionate person and you will see that Michael truly loves and cares about his best buddy Liam. When you watch the two of them interact, it's so heartwarming and is exactly what Beyond The Offseason is all about. Michael is amazing and after you see his bond with Liam you will be a fan for life. 

We begin editing next week so hopefully by the end of the month you will get to see what I experienced with this amazing family and a very special athlete who took the time to care. 

Quote of the day..."The greatest joy is giving, the most satisfying work is helping others, the most powerful force in life is Love and the greatest asset is Faith."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hats off to Derek Jeter and the Yankees

It was an epic night at Yankee stadium. From the weather, to the company, to the seats, to the final score. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect experience. 

I'm writing this blog a little late because I've been filming all day for Beyond The Offseason and just got home. So here's a re-cap of last night and my incredible Yankee Stadium experience...

I got to the stadium early to check everything out since this was my first time at the new Yankee stadium. I didn't want to miss a thing. My friend showed me the ropes so I was in good hands. He's a veteran Yankees fan and knew the lay of the land. From the time the first pitch was thrown, to the very end of the game, there was never a dull moment. 

After a few innings, it was time to check out more of the sights. I wanted to see the museum which ended up to be pretty cool. I even took a little batting practice while I was there. 

I proceeded to check out the collection of World Series rings - all 27 of them! I also saw a Yankees hat collection dating back to 1920! My Yankees Hat was especially excited to see this exhibit. As I took a stroll down memory lane and read about the history of the Yankees, I found myself at Thurman Munson's locker. It was a heartfelt moment. He was my favorite Yankee back in the day. He was quite a Captain and role model...reminds me of another Captain we all know and love. 

It was time to get back out to the game, which at this point, the Yankees were losing. We decided to check out the view from center field and it was pretty awesome. I stood right next to the bleacher creatures...and if you've never heard of the bleacher creatures, they're a group of Yankees fans who sit in section 203 in the right-field bleachers. They are known for their strict allegiance to the team and their merciless attitude to opposing fans. They were the loudest, craziest bunch in the stadium and they were awesome! I felt like I was among my people. So we made friends with the security guard nearby and stood above right center field next to a place called the "Batters Eye". I was happy in our new location. I could see the bull pen warming up, die hard Yankees fans cheering and chanting, and a view like no other. I was standing by myself for a few minutes to take it all in. I happened to be wearing my Bleeding Yankee Blue tank top with my Yankees hat and this random guy came up to me and asked me where I got my shirt. I told him Bleeding Yankee Blue and wouldn't you know it... He knew them too. He gave me instant access to the Audi Club Suite and yet another amazing Yankee experience. So thank you BYB for getting me noticed.

It was like a secret society high above left field. There were luxury seats and five star dining as well as free drinks, schmoozing and celebrity sightings. So I had a nice chat with my new friend, got introduced to a few more new friends, had a great meal and then went back out to the field for the rest of the game.

It was the bottom of the 9th. The Yankees were down by 1. The score was 4-3. Then all of a sudden, Teixeira ties it up with a blast to make it 4-4! The crowd went wild. But it doesn't stop there...Chase Headley comes up to bat and nothing I've ever seen before...a glorious walk off home run to right-center field to win the game! He hit it right next to where we were standing! I've never heard a crowd cheer louder in my life! It was an amazing night and an epic win. Truly a night to remember! The Hat and I will never forget it.

Quote of the day... "There may be people who have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do" - Derek Jeter

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My first time at Yankee Stadium

I'm going to a Yankees game tonight in the Bronx!!! The hat is home! 

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a die hard Yankees fan. I've loved them ever since I was a little girl. It was a tradition passed down from generation to generation in my family to love the Yanks. We all bleed Yankee blue! So you can only imagine my excitement right now. I'm counting down the hours until they yell "play ball"!

I'm in New York right now filming an episode for my new show Beyond The Offseason and a dear friend of mine, who I've known for years, surprised me with tickets to the game! I couldn't belie it. Do you know this will be my first time watching a game in the new Yankee stadium! I've been to the original Yankee stadium many times, but with all my travel the past few years and with my hectic schedule, I haven't been able to make it to a game in their new home, so this is huge for me! Not only do I get to see the new stadium, but we play Boston! And... I get to see my favorite player, Derek Jeter in his last game at home against the Red Sox! I am now part of the Farewell Captain tour. 

I have a big day on set tomorrow and still have lots to get ready. The last thing I should be doing is going to a baseball game and staying out late before a big shoot, but this is the Yankees! I'm going to be really tired tomorrow but that's ok, it'll all be worth it. I love the Yankees and I have so much respect for Derek Jeter. Who could pass up a chance like this!

I can't wait to write about my experience and share it in my blog tomorrow! I'll post lots of pictures and give you all the details. Be sure to check back. Maybe I'll catch a foul ball. Look for me down the third base line behind the Yankees dugout. I'll be the girl wearing the Yankees hat. 

The quote of the day is..."I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee" - Joe DiMaggio 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Jerry Maguire moment

Remember the scene at the very beginning of the movie Jerry Maguire, when Jerry suddenly has a moral epiphany and writes a mission statement that changed his life... Well I'm having one of those moments. Mine is about sports and charity. I have a sports show I host and created called "Beyond The Offseason". It's about athletes, sports teams and coaches who are involved in charity and giving back during their off-season. It's been an amazing ride so far and I'm blown away at how many athletes are making a difference in the world. We find out what they're doing in the off-season and share their inspiring stories that are heartfelt and entertaining. The problem is, no one cares.

I was told that "unless you can make charity sexy" you're going to have a hard time getting it onto a network or getting it attention. I was also told that sex wins over charity every time. This really disappointed me. I didn't want to believe it. So I did a test recently to find out if this was true. In the last few weeks, I've posted some racy photos and articles and as I suspected...they got lots of views, comments and attention. Especially the day the whole celebrity nude photos scandal hit the internet exposing Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Justin Verlander. My views were at an all time high with that post. I know this because there's a way to track the page views you get each day and that particular day was off the charts. You should see what happened when I wore a hockey jersey with just a pair of heels and posted that photo! Again, off the charts. So then I tested the flip side and shared some nice, wholesome photos and articles about sports and charity to see how many people would be interested, and although it brought in some traffic, it didn't even come close to the numbers that the scandals and gossip got. It says a lot about society and made me think about my show. I don't want to compromise my morals and heart for ratings and numbers. But then how will my show ever survive on a network? I guess I'll just have to hope there's still some good people left in the world who want to be inspired and care.

I had to ask myself, what is this world coming to? What's everyone focused on? Has everyone become so self centered that they just don't care anymore? Do they only focus on themselves? Are they more interested in naked photos of celebrities and athletes and jail time rather than what people are doing for humanity? But then I realized that with every person who loves gossip and scandal, there comes a person or group of people who love a feel good story. Those are the people I'm doing this for. 

I've had some amazing athletes on the show so far and I have a long list of players, teams and coaches who are excited and want to be a part of what I'm doing. I believe there is an audience for a show like Beyond The Offseason and I have a mission and a purpose that I won't give up on. My job is to tell positive stories about positive people in the world of sports. So I'm gonna take my goldfish just like Jerry Maguire did and I'm gonna ask the question..."Who's coming with me". Life is about passion and relationships. It's also about love and compassion. I won't let what other people say stop me. I want to keep telling powerful stories that lift peoples spirits and shine a positive light on athletes doing good.

I'm heading to New York this week to shoot a very special episode of Beyond The Offseason. The story is touching and I think you're going to love it. The Yankees hat is coming with me. 

Did you know that today in MLB baseball, they had something called "Strike Out Cancer Day". It was to help raise money and awareness for cancer charities so we can find a cure. This really hits home for me because my brother Shane is a two time cancer survivor. Events like this mean a lot to me and also to my brother. You should look it up. It's amazing how many athletes and teams get involved. There's some really cool stuff going on in the sports world and It's my job to tell you about them. Please spread the word about Beyond The Offseason and support the show when it airs. I'll keep you updated so check back soon. As always, thanks for spending time with me and reading my blog. 

The quote of the day... "You had me at hello" 

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Learn from Kate Upton, Justin Verlander and Jennifer Lawrence

So I'm sure you've all heard by now that quite a few celebrity accounts were hacked and some very risqué and nude photographs were released on the internet. Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton were the two names that stood out the most. These were private photos they took of themselves and had them stored in their phones and iCloud which were stolen and released to the public. First of all, l think this is absolutely horrible. What is wrong with people! I'm sure Kate and Jennifer are embarrassed, shocked, and of course pissed off. Especially because some of the photos were not so flattering I hear. What a violation of privacy. I also heard there is a photo of Justin Verlander and Kate Upton posing naked together in front of a bathroom mirror. I haven't seen it, nor do I want to. leave them alone people! First it's just creepy to look into someone else's private life like that and second, it's just wrong. Social media today is a double edged sword. On one hand it can raise millions of dollars and awareness for diseases like ALS and give life to the ALS ice bucket challenge, and on the flip side it can ruin peoples lives by violating their privacy and leaking intimate information that was not intended for the general public to see. 

If this would have happened to me I would be horrified! I truly feel bad for Kate, Jennifer, Justin and all of the other celebs who were victimized by this disgusting act. I hope they find out who did it and they make them pay dearly. The one lesson I learned from all of this is never to send any scandalous pics to anyone I know or store any scandalous photos on any of my devises that I don't want the rest of the world to see. Sorry to all the guys out there who request a nude photo of ain't gonna happen. Thank you Kate, Justin and Jennifer for teaching me a valuable lesson. I can only imagine the comments Justin will hear in the locker room and in the dugout at his next game. 

I was a little hard on Kate a few days ago for trading her Yankees hat in for a Tigers hat, and turning her back on her team, but now I feel bad for her so Kate... I'm sorry. However, I still stand firm on Yankee pride. To all the stalkers and creepers out there frantically searching the internet to get a sneak peek of the naked celebs who have been exposed...get a life you bunch of losers and leave them all alone. Get your own girlfriend to show you her boobs, but make sure she doesn't take a picture of them and send it to you! 

The quote of the day... "R E S P E C T Find out what it means to me... R E S P E C T Take care, T.C.B."