Time to start warming up: Baseball with the Carcich twins, Pitchers and Catchers report, Essex softball and Margate summer

Enough of this, already.

Snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures.

Snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures.

Snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures.

Notice a pattern?

I’m sick of it, and I’m sure most of my loyal readers are, too.

So here’s a little baseball talk, starting with kids playing and having fun. My pal, Rob Carcich and his wife, Lauren, have twin sons, Robbie and Michael, and both kids are crazy sports fans. They live and die watching their dad coach the Passaic Valley High School boys basketball team. When they’re not rooting for the Hornets, the youngsters are involved with multiple sports in their home town in Upper Bergen County, NJ.

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get-attachment.aspx 2wGreat seeing the little guys having fun playing ball…

Seeing the looks on their faces while playing baseball in warm weather (yes, there is such a thing as warm weather in Northern New Jersey), should give us all hope that in a few months (maybe less), we’ll see a lot of youngsters like Robbie and Mike on a baseball diamond, playing the game we all love.

I can’t wait for opening day in Major League Baseball. I’m told it’s just six weeks, or so, away, but I can’t believe these glaciers that dominate most of the landscape where I live will be melted in time to play ball. But, I’m guessing it will happen. Nature has a way of taking care of that stuff, right?

With that said, Go Cardinals and Go Rays !

On to high school, I’ve been a big fan of Essex County softball for many years. April 1 is the traditional opening day and I can’t wait for the drama that is Essex softball. There will be the intense games featuring schools like Mount St. Dominic, Nutley, West Essex, Caldwell and, of course, the Big Green Machine in Livingston.

I’ll have my usual race horse analogy for those ‘studs’ like Kylie McLaughlin of Livingston (Seattle Slew) and Nutley’s Carly Anderson (Spectacular Bid). While Secretariat is retired from the high school circuit but is now playing at Hofstra University, there will be plenty of good players to watch this spring.  (Sadly, no more popcorn analogies, but then again, you never know).

secretariat-at-belmont-1-by-sue1Secretariat may be retired from Essex softball, but her fastballs are alive and well at Hofstra.

jasonLivingston coach Jason Daily hopes to get doused with another championship in a few months.

AndersC2_042613_NS_tif_Carly Anderson of Nutley, a stud pitcher for the Raiders.

km 4The returning stud outfielder and leadoff hitter at Livingston, Kylie McLaughlin.

I still think Livingston is the team to beat, but you have to like The Mount, with some talented pitchers returning, Nutley, with Spectacular Bid in the circle, Caldwell, with hopefully their wonderful young pitcher healthy and ready to go, and West Essex, who I think may be the surprise team in the Super Essex Conference. Andrea Mondadori’s team is always in the mix, but I think this team could be her best since the 2010 squad won a sectional title. We shall see.

11037346-largeWest Essex players hope to be eating plenty of popcorn following big wins in 2014.

Softball also means a few months of comedic relief from Immaculate Heart Academy coach Anthony LaRezza. Whether we’re talking about old time umpires or classic Soprano lines, there’s never a dull moment with IHA’s leader.

chylaknestorbioFormer MLB umpire Nestor Chylak is a legendary figure at IHA.

larLaRezza ‘relaxing’ during a recent Bergen County Tournament game.

And finally, it’s less than 15 weeks until Memorial Day weekend. I don’t care if it’s snowing that weekend (heaven forbid), I’ll be in Margate, NJ, that Saturday, May 24, with my beach pass and chair, in tow.

I’m ready. End of story there.

1655987_10202161082202343_1881556353_nCan’t wait to plop that beach chair at my favorite location on the Jersey Shore.

Think warm thoughts and hopefully, it will come true soon.

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By mike051893

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