Monday, December 30, 2013

Luckiest Blogger on the Face of this Earth

What true baseball fan doesn't know about Lou Gehrig's brave famous Speech

Sorry for another sad blog guys, but yesterday I gave my own speech at my father's New York mass service.These services are for the living, to remember, to grieve, to recover. I just wanted to share the video with you, as well as list the speech below. I will blog about other things tomorrow as my enthusiasm for the game has never been stronger. Today I consider myself the luckiest blogger on the face of this earth. Thank you Readers (sorry for the 2 videos Caley cried and inteupted my camera woman)

Written version of my speech

The days are cold livin’ without you
The nights are long, I’m growing older
I miss the days of old, thinking’ about you
You may be gone, but you’re never over”

Quote “You’re Never Over” Song from Eminem Recovery Album

And it is Never over, as my father may have died but he still lives in me and my brothers and I’m here today not to mourn his death, but rather celebrate his life.  

The best way to do that is to find a way to channel all this energy inside me and fight through this grieving process, as trying to process the significance of this loss just makes me nauseous, but something inside me Is determined not to let this depression take me hostage,  and freedom  for me is ask all of you to excuse me as I bypass a traditional eulogy and instead go with my corny affinity with writing Top Ten. And remember him that way. so without further ado Pop, this Top Ten is dedicated to you

Top Ten Things I wanted to remember about Samuel Ronda

10. New York – I’m glad this ceremony took place in NY as he called NY “UNFORGETTABLE”. He loved this city. The people. The diversity. The Action. He was a true neighborhood above 96th street guy

9. Kind & Generous - He was very popular in the neighborhood and kids especially loved him as always bugged out with them, gave out candy, and lent money. He got along with people from all different races and domination's. He even tried to learn their languages like Russian and Hebrew. He sounded funny but didn’t care.
8. Old School – He was true old school as he hated almost all new shows and movies except maybe the Sopranos. He didn’t know who Wolverine, Obi Won Kenobi, or Captain Kirk was; instead his heroes were John Wayne, Tarzan, and the Lone Ranger. As for technology I will never forget him justifying that he didn’t want to learn how to use a remote control b/c it was lazy and getting up and changing the TV was good exercise. Anytime I see a transistor radio I think of him as that’s how he listened to baseball games that weren’t on TV,

7. Football My Father never touched or played football in his life except he fancied himself an expert and felt that every play regardless of the situation should be a passing playing. Running was a waste of time to him. All he wanted was PASS PASS PASS. Dan Marino and his receivers back in the 80s were his favorites.  That drove me crazy as I hasn’t a Miami fan.

6. Entrepreneur and Salesman – My brother Sam said our father was the best natural salesman he ever met; he could sell ice to an Eskimo in the winter if he had to. He had numerous grocery stores – some went well others didn’t. Regardless he always found a way to earn and get me through 13 years of Catholic school plus college.

5/4. Softball & Baseball– 1st time I ever remember anything about softball was when he and my uncles used to play. My dad always found a way to make the games interesting on the side, but he loved playing pick up on Sundays with his family. My uncles Efrain, Louie and Raul were my favorite players back then. Those were the good old days. As for baseball, he named his 1st son Wilhelm, after HOF Hoyt Wilhelm and he loved to blame managers. My favorite baseball memory with him was in 1986 when the Mets won we actually hugged, that was a rare event.

3, Mistakes – He made his. I made mine. Sometimes these father-son scars don’t heal, but as life goes on you have to realize he had his reasons and it’s unfair to completely judge as I wasn’t in his shoes. What you can do is learn from them (mistakes). I will not waste any time with my family. Astrid Alexandra and Caley I’m here for you always, and I will learn from the mistakes we made. It won't be easy, but I will connect with them. I don't want to feel this regret again. It's empty. I hate empty.

2. Hustler – he loved action, wagering, blackjack, shiesty hustles was his thing, and he sandbagged a lot “hacer el bobo”. He was a classic character. To him a night stay at the state hotel was just an inconvenience, but despite his hustles he was good. As mentioned above generous, friendly, not a mean or evil bone in his body

And the #1 Thing I wanted to remember about Samuel Ronda

1, Warrior - Ironically, I respected him more in the last seven years as with the help of my mother, who unselfishly did everything for him and kept him, alive

He fought cancer, a heart attack and numerous systems failures to truly enjoyed life, he was not afraid, and until recently had a very good quality of life. He often joked he was a cat as he had 9 lives and 3 days before he died he looked me in the eye and said “I WILL BOUNCE BACK “He was a warrior.

I was finally Proud of him. Proud to be your son.

It’s Never Over

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ronda's Grocery... This is My Legacy

The picture below is my favorite softball memento
My Father Samuel Ronda is the last person standing in top row
When I used to live at my old apartment in New York I had this picture of my father and uncles Old School softball team, Ronda's Grocery,  hung up on the wall and used to have visitor play "Pick my father out" as the joke was all Hispanics look alike.... Lol

For the Record, Astrid, my wife, picked my father on the 1st try - destiny
Sam Ronda - far right

I guess this picture is my softball beginning.

My legacy.
I guess this picture is my Softball Legacy. My beginning.

Love it.

I've been looking at it a lot lately as after a brave 7 year battle with a rare form of gall bladder cancer my Father, Samuel Ronda, passed away last Wednesday
Samuel Ronda September 2013 with his Granddaughters

Sorry for another obituary blog everyone, in fact this isn't an obituary it's just the Truth. I wish I could do a top ten, a voice over, a rant, but all I have is the Truth and I just gotta get this off my chest.

My father was a good guy, loved by his family, popular in the neighborhood, a hustler and he made his mistakes. Plenty of them, but he did the best he could as he was able to provide me with a home and an education. Yet despite living with and knowing him my whole life we had issues. We weren't close, but we were also not far. Sometimes father and sons just can't , I don't know , just can't... connect/bond.

We both wasted a lot of years.
Some of it was his fault.
Some of it was mine.

Ironically, I respected him more in the last seven years as he truly enjoyed life, was not afraid, and until recently had a very good quality of life. He was a warrior.

I saw this coming and I was ready, regardless those father-son scars stay with you and so does the regret. All I can do going forward is take the good he gave me and learn from the mistakes we both made. I won't waste years or time with Alexandra and Caley

It won't be easy, but I will connect with them. I don't want to feel this regret again. It's empty. I hate empty.

Our time together may be over but their still can be good done both personally and for others. Cancer is relentless and does not discriminate. I have already begun plans to form a Charity cancer tournament next year because we all know it's more than just game. Details will come in 2014 as I know all my softball warriors out there will go to battle against this dreadful disease.

Don't worry Pops, Ronda's Grocery will play again
and someday we will play together again
This is my legacy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sad Insider reports R.I.P MR..

Our friend Marc Rosenthal passed away yesterday

Very sad

Marc's love & loyalty to the game was apparent. He was so blog worthy and I'm glad he and I became friends over the years. He will be missed.

A Sad Insider will remain shut down until Monday in respect of our lost friend. As all we are is dust in the wind

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Power of Wu.... Undeniable & Almost Invincible... Fits You Like Glove

If you grew up in the 90's and were fan of Rap Music, then you loved Wu Tang Clan

The Power of the Wu was undeniable. They had many members, yet fit together like a glove as they successfully combined :
  • intelligent thought
  • ghetto experiences/attitudes
  • fearless topics
  • chaotic styles
into a cohesive lyrical force. They were awesome and probably the #1 greatest hip hop group of all time.

Speaking of the Wu, avid Softball player Eric Wu

may have not been a part of the Rap group Wu Tang Clan, but he is a fine ball player  

great guy, and has taken the game he loves and combined it with the American entrepreneurial spirit to put out a brand of his own gloves.

The Power of the Wu is undeniable. 


His gloves are excellent and you'll be pleasantly surprised with the quality and the value...... much less you would expect to pay for a pro glove using fine leather. "Fits you Like a Glove"

Please call Eric at 917-885-7811 or email him at

Insider Note:

In researching the Wu Tang Clan I discovered a resemblance between softball legend Charlie Bailey and the deceased original Wu Tang Clam Member Old Diry Bastard

and now it has been verified ODB lives


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Softball's Ebony and Ivory

The Insider recently had the pleasure of interviewing Softball's version of Ebony and Ivory

Marc Rosenthal and Charlie Bailey

..legends never die.... great interview

Ricardo Ronda 2

Today, November 5th . 2013, my favorite artist, Eminem, is releasing his newest album Marshall Mather’s LP 2. About the album he said 

"Calling it The Marshall Mathers LP 2, obviously I knew that there might be certain expectations. I wouldn't want to call it that just for the sake of calling it that. I had to make sure that I had the right songs – and just when you think you got it, you listen and you're like, 'Fuck, man. I feel like it needs this or that,' to paint the whole picture. "

In that statement Em eludes to the difficulties and challenges of consistently meeting expectations.  I hate the word expectations, but it is what it is. I've always felt in life and especially baseball/softball , the hardest thing to do is consistently meet expectations 

Consistency. What a disciplined cold terrifying word:
  • It's not sexy. 
  • It's not dramatic, 
  • It's not exciting. 
  • It's well. 
  • That means boring. 
  • That means under the radar. 
  • That means not flashy. 
  • That means fighting that day in day out mental grind. 
  • That means dependable

Easier said than done.

I contend

That Consistency  is baseball/softball single hardest and maddening characteristic/skill. As we all know baseball/Softball is a game of failure and only the best players consistently:
  • Repeat their delivery/release point
  • Execute their pitches
  • Run the bases properly from both an advancement and technique perspective
  • Simultaneously properly judge, field, catch, and make decisions with a ball
  • Apply proper timing, mechanics, pitch selection, quickness, grace, and power to hitting a ball
Consistently trying to repeat and execute the skill-set mentioned above is really quite maddening when you consider the difficulty of each task, the length of the season, weather, your health, your confidence, umpires, your teammates, the field, and the biggest X factor of all – Luck.

All these moving variables make Consistency a skill in and of itself. Anyone can run into a fastball, anyone can stick their glove out, anyone can win a championship once, but true excellence is consistency being able to do it again and again. Again easier said than done, 

"but the hard is what makes this game special if it were easy anyone could do it" .. Tom Hanks League of Their Own

It’s easy to overlook and appreciate consistency as:
  • Many players are just so naturally talented; some guys can roll out of bed in January and hit a line drive. Others have to work hard and smart,
  • The game definitely looks easier than it is to play. The Routine is not a given, it must be done over and over again with continued execution. Nothing is guaranteed. 
  • Sometimes you just take certain things for granted
Perhaps the most maddening part of the game is when you know what you’re doing wrong and you adjust and then something else goes wrong. You know you don’t suck, but somehow somewhere you can’t harness the concentration to consistently perform where you want to be. It's like seeing a car accident happen in front of you and having no power to stop it. Ughhhh .. something is blocking that Consistency, it alludes you. You fade in and out of the zone.

It's a humbling game. 

It's been a frustrating, yet exciting, last two months of the season, and much like Marshall Mathers 2 LP, meeting expectations from both within and external is a daunting, but a possible task as The Cream Rises to the Top. Consistently

Ricardo Ronda 2

Friday, October 11, 2013

TRUE Masters of Evil... Part II .. " United States of Embarrassment" ..

Editor's Note:  To all my Republican readers. I challenge you to read this whole blog. I love this country, but your party's personal agenda for power, control, and money had divided our Nation. It hurts

Evert day when I was a kid in school we all faced the flag and recited the Pledge of Allegiance and in it we said :
                    "I pledge Allegiance to the flag
                     of the United States of America
                     and to the Republic for which it stands,
                     one nation under God, indivisible,
                     with Liberty and Justice for all."

Indivisible.. so much for that. Unfortunately, we are now a nation divided now between the struggle for power between the true Masters of Evil
the majority Republican Congress
 and our President. By now you all now the issue but let's briefly re-cap:
  • Republican led congress shut-down 800,000 federal jobs and refused to raise the debt-ceiling as they want the the elimination - or at least the delay -- of Obamacare. Which would  hinder government efforts to provide health insurance to 15% of the U.S. population that doesn't have coverage. 
Softball Insider Analysis : This is flat out bully extortion. So divisive, hurting everyone and helping no one. Is this America? Why are they trying to fold our League?
  • To our President's credit he has not backed down to these weak bully tactics by saying "I'm not going to negotiate with you until you reopen the government, but go to your members, find out what you need to do to get that part done and let's try to make some progress.'" 
Softball Insider Analysis :  I mean c'mon, its obvious this is a personal attack against Barrack. Why? Is it because he is black? Is it because he is trying to help? Is Social change/betterment so wrong? Republicans hatred for him is costing 800,000 jobs and looming future economic turmoil. Pathetic. The face of America has changed accept it. Deal with it. All of this reminds me of the classic Eminem song "White America"

Yeah I put my favorite rapper in this political blog. Why? To re-enforce that the Face of America has changed. We are Republic. Share the ball. Your embarrassing the Nation. STOP
  • The shutdown could cost the still-struggling U.S. economy about $1 billion a week in pay lost by furloughed federal workers. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.  The total economic impact is likely to be at least 10 times greater than the simple calculation of lost wages of federal workers, said Brian Kessler, economist with Moody's Analytics. His firm estimates that a three- to four-week shutdown would cost the economy about $55 billion. 
Softball Insider Analysis :   That's ridiculous. We just barely crawled out of a recession, barely, and now this? Live Together. Die Alone
  • To make matters more hypocritical and divisive, pay checks have been coming to the 533 current members of Congress while most of the federal workforce goes without pay. 
Softball Insider Analysis :  This insults every American. Completely Disgraceful. 
These assholes simply do not fucking care about America. They are acting like spoiled children and are still getting paid. They live in a static bubble. Face some live pitching buddy.
  • Yesterday, the Republicans caved in, opened talks, "After initially demanding changes to or the elimination of Obama's signature health care reform plan, Republicans have more recently focused on extending the debt ceiling for up to six weeks while negotiating on spending and other issues during a continued government shutdown.
Softball Insider Analysis :  ... duhhhh. Play ball bitch. What took you so long.
  • But as is their way, Republicans spun the story  "This is a republic, not a dictatorship, negotiations are a requirement, not an option."All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a conversation,"John Boehner speaker of the house of representatives, He went on further to say "There’s no reason to make it more difficult to bring people to the table. There’s no boundaries here. There’s nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table. I’m trying to do everything I can to bring people together and have a conversation. It's up to the President now"... .
Softball Insider Analysis : Spin. Spin Spin. Double Talk and lies
  • Before I go let me hit you with one more Eminem quote from the song White America
    "How many people are proud to be
    Citizens of this beautiful country of ours?
    The stripes and the stars for the rights of men
    Who have died for the protect?
    The women and men who have broke their necks
    For the freedom of speech The United States Government has sworn to uphold, Or so we're told"

    C'mon Masters of Evil somewhere there is still good inside of you. Help the Nation. You are supposed to.... "Or so we're told"