If you watched ESPN from the mid-90s to the late oughts, you certainly know who Tom Emanski is. At least you know the name, which was applied to his line of youth baseball instructional videos. The ones which boasted of Emanski coaching “back-to-back-to-back AAU Champion.” The ones which featured extremely satisfying shots of ballplayers fielding outfield grounders and firing them into garbage cans placed at home plate. The ones in which Fred McGriff gave his “full endorsement.”
Why were those commercials so ubiquitous on ESPN back then? Why did they suddenly stop? What the heck ever happened to Tom Emanski and, come to think about it, who the hell was Tom Emanski anyway?
Erik Malinowski of Fox has a big story about those videos and the man behind them. If you’ve ever seen and wondered about those commercials and those videos, you should go check it out.
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.