The cancer was winning. It was no longer a matter of if, but when. The tumors that invaded Jim Valvano’s body were growing and they were beginning to rob him of the things that defined him. The kinetic energy and enthusiasm were fading fast with each chemotherapy treatment.
“Our work has to represent our passion, our desire to contribute to our culture, especially to the development of others. By passion I mean the talents we have to share with others, the talents that shape our destiny and allow us to be of real service to others in our community.” – Phil Jackson
Passion is a powerful force that reveals the extremely fine line between good and evil; friend and foe; master and slave. Passion turned Walter While, your average high school science teacher into Heisenberg, a maniacal drug-dealing assassin in khakis and a pork pie hat. Passion is Walter Wayne Backman’s worst enemy and slim hope.
Backman’s 14-year major league career ended two decades ago, but his passion for the game of baseball has not died, In fact, it’s living in Las Vegas. The former New York Mets second baseman has been kicking and screaming – literally – as a minor league manager since 1997. Backman has served eight years between the Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks organizations and another seven years in Independent League baseball.
It took Alex Rodriguez 216 words to utter three meaningful words: I am sorry.
Last week Rodriguez passed on a press conference, passed on hiring a public relations crisis management firm, passed on social media and passed on a network television interview. Instead he used the old school pen and paper format to apologize to baseball fans. That was enough for Yankees manager Joe Girardi who said: