Let’s start with this: No one will replace Derek Jeter. If that’s what the New York Yankees, and their fans, expect of Didi Gregorius, the discussion is dead on arrival.

A recent story in the New York Daily News the Yankees shortstop is believed to be having a difficult time playing in New York. From the day he was dealt to the Yankees, Gregorius has been questioned. “… (Gregorius) can be mentally fragile when things aren’t going his way … ” “Didi, thinks too much … He always seems to have a lot on his mind … ”  Gregorius “is a nervous type, not sure he can handle New York … ”

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On paper, Tom Seaver’s professional baseball career is remarkable. The man known in New York as “The Franchise” won the 1967 Rookie of the Year, compiled 311 career wins, recorded 20 or more wins in a single season four times, 200+ strikeouts 10 times (including nine straight seasons between 1968-1976), led the National League in strikeouts five times, won three Cy Young Awards, tossed a no-hitter and was voted to the All-Star team 12 times. Seaver’s career was cemented in 1992 with his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, recording a record 98.8% of the vote.

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Along the back wall in small wooden booth sat Gary Smith. Dressed in a modest blue golf shirt and khaki shorts, Smith looked out of place amidst the buzz and clutter of caffeinated college students. Anyone over the age of 23 would appear misplaced at Kudu Coffee House, the oft-frequented college coffee shop.

He occasionally sipped from a cup of water and a cup of coffee, as we discussed writing, sports, the media and his space in the fast-paced world of sports media.

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New York Mets president Al Harazin was less than two years removed from watching a ball roll through Bill Buckner’s legs; he didn’t need to be reminded just how fragile a post-season lead is. The Mets trailed by two runs and were reduced to a skinny strike on that fateful October night at Shea Stadium in 1986. No reminiscing necessary. The celebration of that World Series title season of 1986, lingered for days, weeks, months and years after.

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