Holiday Greetings everyone.
My guess is, like us, you are busy trying to balance the remaining time and the "must get done list."
As the Christmas decorations went up around the house, it dawned on me that the baseball offseason is more than half over, and before we know it we'll be getting excited for the first spring training in Sarasota.
I've been keeping busy since the season ended. I've had the pleasure of taking part in several events for different charities around Baltimore, including a luncheon to raise money for breast cancer awareness through the University Of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer center.
The luncheon included a fashion show and my wife Bonnie signed me up as the "Man of the Hour," which as I found out meant escorting the ladies who were modeling the clothing. It was a chance to get dressed up and help a cause that is all too familiar in my family. My mother Connie has twice survived breast cancer and Bonnie's cousin Lynn is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Dr. Nadar Hanna, the head of surgical oncology at the hospital, gave an inspired talk about early detection and overall awareness. There were several cancer survivors at the event; and they were recognized and received a loud ovation.
Speaking of Mom, she just went back to New Jersey after a three week visit to Maryland. I took advantage of her extended stay to learn how to make lasagna. I can now add lasagna to baked ziti, eggplant parm and spaghetti to the Italian dishes she has taught me to make. Mom's lasagna is incredible and it didn't last long on the table.
I have been following the Orioles moves through the club and through the outstanding work of Roch Kubatko and Steve Melewski here on MASNsports.com. Andy MacPhail is patiently making his player moves to continue to upgrade the roster, and I know the debate will continue into training camp about the moves he makes and the deliberate style takes. From my perspective, he is doing exactly what the organization needs: carefully planning with a continued focus on building a team that will compete and contend for years and not just for the present. There is still plenty of time to make moves and get players into the organization before training camp.
I also had a nice visit this past week with several players at the Orioles Christmas party for city kids at the ESPN Zone. Chris Ray was there and handled his pending trade to Texas with professionalism and class. The players I spoke with were excited about Kevin Millwood joining the O's to anchor the rotation. It's a terrific pickup for the front end of the pitching staff.
I also enjoyed the Pam Shriver Tennis Challenge for Baltimore charities last week. It was incredible to watch John McEnroe play tennis in person and show the younger stars that he can still get it done at age 50. And speaking of getting it done, Jeremy Guthrie was very impressive in the Orioles challenge match against Brad Bergesen. Guthrie dominated the match and now has bragging points over his teammate.
So with the holidays upon us, warm regards to you and your family for a joyous and peaceful celebration from the Hunter family; Jim, Bonnie, Jimmy, Jeff, Allie, Kayla and the 3 dogs, Bobby, Sadie and Monty. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
And in the meantime, let's catch up on the radio with the return of the Hot Stove show on 105.7 on Friday December 18.