My first David Wright Foundation Golf Classic was a blast. There was an unbelievable turnout. The sponsors and golfers came out in full force. It?s nice to drive up to your own tournament and see the type of atmosphere we had at Leewood Golf Club, which is a really nice course in Eastchester, N.Y. There was a lot of great golf played. Some ugly golf, too, but everyone seemed to have a great time. Importantly, it raised a lot of money. It was a huge success. We sold the thing out very quickly and the auction went extremely well. I?m a rookie when it comes to running a charity golf tournament, so I was ecstatic to see how well everything turned out.
Steve Trachsel played well and so did Michael Strahan of the Giants. Strahan’s group won the tournament. I didn?t get to watch each group but I bet Michael helped his group a little bit. There were some ringers on the course, though. I saw some nice swings and impressive scores. Actually, I was surprised I didn?t see Jeff Wilpon among the long drive contest winners. He?s beaten me up on the course a few times. He can hit it.
I only played about seven or eight holes because I had obligations as the host, but I surprised myself a little. I had a new set of Wilson clubs that I was using for the first time. I played with my agent, Keith Miller, and an executive from MLB. I struck the ball a little better than I expected but I?d say all facets of my game need improvement, starting with my short game. Chipping isn?t a strong point.
Miller, a former player, has become real close to me the last five years. His wife, Stephanie, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, so I want to focus on that cause for the first couple years of the tournament. We?ll gradually branch out with more charities. I?d like to get involved with children?s hospitals, both here and in Virginia and eventually figure out how to help some local police and fire departments.
No gray hairs
We were rained out last night, but we had another great win on Wednesday night, winning 1-0 in 13 innings against the Diamondbacks. Pedro Martinez and Brandon Webb both pitched great, which you expect from those two. But getting another late win was satisfying and pretty typical of our club lately. If I don?t watch it, I?m going to start getting like Paul LoDuca and Cliff Floyd with all of those gray hairs.
We just find ways to win. The amazing thing is that we get new heroes each day, too. We get great starting pitching, the bullpen will come in for a few key innings, we?ll get picked up by our bench. Contributions are coming from all over the place. It?s fun to be part of our team right now. We?re all on the same page, playing to win and having a great time together as friends when we?re off the field.
About Lastings Milledge
Lastings Milledge will help us until Xavier Nady returns. He?s a talented young player. It was only a couple of years ago that I was in that position. He?s young, he?s got all of the tools. He needs to go out and play and not let all of the hype get to him. He?s fortunate, like I was, to have been put into a lineup where there isn?t any pressure on him. He just needs to relax and let his skills take over.
He?s accomplished a short-term goal by getting to the big leagues. It?s a great accomplishment but he has to realize now that it?s just a start. Now he has to establish himself and help our team win a championship. Getting to the big leagues is fine but the goal is contributing to a championship.
When I first came up, the veterans made me feel comfortable and things are pretty much the same now. Players on our team realize how important that is to success. If you feel comfortable in the clubhouse and feel like one of the guys, that allows you to relax when you play.
Barry’s in town
Finally, Barry Bonds is here in New York for the first time this season. It?s special for me to play against someone of his caliber. He?s not just one of the best hitters of all time but one of the best
players of all time. I?ve enjoy watching him for a long time and someday I?ll be able to tell my grandchildren that I played against him.
For Barry to hit as many homers as he has is something special. As another player, I understand how hard it is to accomplish. So I plan to congratulate him. You?re not going to see many other hitters like him in a lifetime.