Christmas and 2017

Separation anxiety from Christmas has settled in, however, when my favorite holiday passes it’s usually a pristine time for me to sit back and reflect on the year as it nears the end. But with the end of 2016 comes the beginning of a new year, a fresh start.
2017.

I truly think I had the best Christmas I’ve ever had in my life. And that credit goes to my fiance, friends, and family. There aren’t enough words to describe how special those said people are to me and as individuals. They’re truly unbelievable and God-given.

Morgan knows me better than anyone and she proved that in 2016. I think I did quite well as a man haha. But I’ll let her tell y’all that. Morgan, I love you more than anyone and anything ever and I’m pumped for 2017 and what’s to come for us.

Reflection. This past year has been a crazy one. I know when it comes to Hollywood it’s been horrid. On this end, it was tremendous. I got engaged, met and fell in love with her family, found Crossfit, witnessed my hero get inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame, had a lot of firsts, and had a great summer with baseball.

There were a couple down moments as well. Relationship struggles, heat with family and friends, and stopping a podcast I’ve had for a few years. I would love to do the podcast thing again at some point as I know I’m better than most of what is out there. I just don’t feel like spending the money for all of the resources. I’d rather donate that to my church family or save for a home and children. You know, priorities.

2016 also brought forth REVO Youth Ministry. Kingsway Church in Cherry Hill are my family. They have brought me closer to God more than anyone. I was baptized last summer and it was awesome. It was an eye opening event for me and I haven’t looked back. I’m excited for 2017 and what God has in store for Kingsway and I’m very blessed and honored to be part of the staff there.

Now, looking ahead to 2017. I’m not one for resolutions because they’re gimmicks. Be strong and just ‘do things.’ Don’t rely on an overused slogan to better yourself. 

Set goals. I have goals for myself. Let’s roll them off. 

1- Be a better man of faith. I want to be better for God. I want to prove myself to not only Christ but my Fiancé that I can and will be the Pastor, Provider, and Protector of our home. Big changes need to be made and they will be. That goes for everything. 

2- Crossfit needs to become a huge priority in my life. Not that it isn’t already but I need to excel to higher heights and dedicated myself to that lifestyle. When it comes to competition I have an addictive personality, good or bad it’s who I am. Some may say it’s being a sore loser, I don’t care what you call it that’s your prerogative. I love Crossfit. I absolutely love it. It’s pushed me further than I thought I could go and I need more. There’s a lot I want to accomplish and I’m praying heavy that God allows me to continue to push myself mentally and physically. And I’m grateful Morgan is fully supporting this passion of mine. 

3- To be a better friend/son/brother/nephew/etc. I need to be a better example for everyone I come in contact with. Whether that person is far from Christ or not, I need to be more evolved. I need the gospel of Jesus Christ to permeate from my spirit to others. And that starts with family and friends. 

4- To be a better teammate. Whether I like it or not guys on my baseball team look up to me and I need to be that leader. I enjoy that role, to a point. I don’t have it all together myself but I’d rather be there for my teammates then worry about my batting average. 

5- To be a better employee. No matter where life may take me in 2017 I need to be a better employee. It’s vital for character to work hard and be successful. I get paid to do a job and it do it right and that’s my focus when I clock in until I leave for the day. 

6- Embrace failure. Love failure. Learn from failure. Relish in failure. Urge myself to fail as many times as possible. 

7- To be the best Chris DiFrancesco I can possibly be. I need to be content with the blessing God has given me. I have love myself and not worry about about anyone’s opinion of me. The only opinion I need is what’s representative on the Cross. That is the only opinion I need. The Great I Am loves me. And that’s an understatement. 

As of now that’s all I got. I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Years Holiday. I’ll talk to you all very soon. 

Prayer for the Day

Father, forgive me for my shortcomings and continous sin. Father, I was lost and I want to be found. I pray that I maintain a strong faith in the midst of both troubles and need triumphs. Father, I pray that when I get knocked down you are always there to pick me up with Grace and mercy. 

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Eagles, Testing Week

Beginning Monday, December 19th, testing week at Crossfit Mt. Laurel commences. And as far as I’m concerned, expectations are huge on my end. I’ve been hitting rather large PR’s as of late on the deadlift, snatch, and back squat.

This eight week cycle has been an absolute bear on my body both mentally and physically. Nonetheless, I’ve learned so much about the lifts, movements, and even myself. I’ve pushed my body to some serious limits these last two months.

In reality, I could use a solid break but that’s virtually impossible. I wish I could do these workouts seven days a week. That’s unreasonable because my temple would be destroyed. Nonetheless, I’m excited for test week. In my six+ months of being in Crossfit my gains have been tremendous. I’m not looking forward to the day when my PR’s become tougher and tougher to attain. We will see.

It’s been a rough year if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, like myself. I can’t stand the NFL as a whole because I think they’re greedy barbarians who do not care about the well being of human beings. That can also be said for a lot of the players that play every Monday, Thursday, sometimes Saturday, and Sunday’s. But I love the Eagles, I do. Because they only play 16 games I get more excited to watch them then any other team in Philadelphia.

However, if there’s been one positive about the Eagles this season I’d have point in the direction of Carson Wentz. I respect and love this kid. Regardless of his last 6-7 games I still believe he will be one of the best QB’s in the National Football League for a very long time. Give him Dak Prescott’s offensive line, running back, and wide receivers and we’d have a much different record than what we all see now.

What impresses me most about Wentz is how he is off the football field. He pronounces his faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ any chance he gets and isn’t scared of it. He also doesn’t shove it down our throats. Something I try not to do either. He’s an incredible role model for all youth athletes and adults as well. He’s easily my favorite Philadelphia athlete and might be the most respected player in this town since Brian Dawkins.

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Photo: Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz will be just fine. I believe this because I’ve watched a lot of football over the years and haven’t missed maybe five Eagles games in over 20 years. Wentz will win this football team a Super Bowl. I firmly believe that. The North Dakota native reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers just not as egotistical.

Is #11 struggling right now? Absolutely. But please don’t read into the hate you hear in the media or from your friends. Figure out your own thoughts and opinions on what you see from the man on and off the field. He’s Peyton Manning in the sense that he will endlessly study this game and tirelessly study how to correct his weaknesses. He’s a student of the game. I’m not acting as if I know for a fact through my crystal ball that everything will be okay but I know that Wentz believes in himself and believe in God enough that hard work will get him through whatever needs to be done to be successful at this highest level.

He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” – Romans 4:21 NLT

It’s been very hard for me to listen to sports talk radio the last few years because of the vitriol commentary that’s spewed by men who ‘think’ they have a right to judge, destroy, and tear people down and hope the masses join in on the hate. That’s sickening actually. It’s even worse when fans and good people decide to join in on the ‘fun.’

Why can’t we just sit back and enjoy that we are able to watch our favorite team and be happy when they win and upset for a few hours when they lose? Why does it have to turn into a bitter-fest for six days after? What do we gain or get out of it? Direct that energy to something positive. Not towards a freaking game. A game that we didn’t play or have any control over.

I digress.

Look, if you’re an Eagles fan be proud of that. We are a passionate group who show up no matter what their record is. And be patient with this regime. They have a lot to repair from the previous leaders. And we have Wentz, whom I believe in 100% to win a Super Bowl in Eagles green.

I mean how can you not love this guy after seeing things like this:

Prayer of the Day:

“Today I pray that I not fear change so much, but rather stay open minded for the new direction and welcome the surprises change brings.”

Bryce Harper vs. Mike Trout Argument

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Photo: MLB Images

It’s maddening to me the storylines I read on a daily basis re: Bryce Harper vs. Mike Trout: Who would be a better fit for the Philadelphia Phillies.

I understand the affection the baseball world has with Harper, I do. Nice hair, is a loud mouth (apparently a devout Christian but doesn’t show it through actions), Under Armour player, an awesome MVP season (one season), and ESPN loves him. That’s always a plus, right?

However, what I don’t get is how media and fans can actually sitback in their lounge chairs and tells the masses Harper would be a better fit for any team over Trout.

Trout is undoubtedly the best baseball player on God’s green/blue Earth and it’s not even close. He may go down as one the best 5-10 players the league has ever seen. MAY. His second MVP winning season in 2016 basically broke huge records. Just read about them. Here’s the scary part, he’s only going to get better barring any health issues.

I put significant stock into WAR (Wins Above Replacement) because I believe it is the closest tool to tells us who really is most valuable to their team.

Through six years in MLB Trout has a career WAR of 47.7 career WAR, while Harper sports a 22.2.

That tells me what I originally thought, Trout is more than double the player Harper is. From an all-around standpoint it’s even truer. Just watch them both play. Trout adapts, Harper doesn’t. Harper, I believe, thinks as if talent alone will push him through and history shows it never works that way.

Let me put this right real quick: I think Harper is ultra talented. He could be a hall of fame talent. He can. But I don’t think he works hard enough. Entering his age-25 season Trout expects to get his 1,000th hit, 200th home run, 500 walks, over 700 runs, and a third MVP. He’s still 24.

Imagine if Trout had any talent around him in the Angels batting order?

I’ve never seen a player have an MVP season slash line of .330/.460/.649/1.109 and follow that up with a .243/.373/.441/.814. That tells me two things: 1- Lazy preparation. 2- He’s a ‘between those numbers’ player. So, in my reality Harper is a slash line of .286/.416/.545/.961. And that’s me being kind because his career slashes don’t resemble that. They’re much lower.

I can’t stand argument from Harper fans that ‘he was playing hurt’ last year. Stop it. If it was that bad he wouldn’t have played 147 games. He just did not prepare for the follow up to an MVP season like  an elite player should have.

After Trout’s 2014 MVP win he went out in 2015 and had a better season than 2014. A significantly better season. He knew his weaknesses and he fixed them.

In terms of contracts: Trout may actually be a cheaper option. He’s not represented by Scott Boras and he’s not as brash as Boras clients typically are. News broke this week that Boras and Harper are seeking a 10-year deal worth upwards of $400 million.

That’s just gosh darn ludicrous. It’s disgusting that MLB (or any pro sport) has reached this point where a pro athlete who works 7-9 months out of the year can earn more than any teacher, cop, or military personnel. Fans accept it because we are sheep. Sorry, but we are. Doesn’t make it an less ridiculous. These teams do not care about you or me. Just a fact. Start believing it. But if you enjoying cheering and buying blindly to these franchises then that’s your right. I enjoy going to the ballpark and watching baseball games, so I go. But I’ll complain when I want and when they deserve it.

But $400 million for a baseball player? Just stop with the greed. What do these men do with all these riches? Most of them rarely give back. And if they do it’s mandated behind the scenes for great PR.

Trout will most likely garner that same dollar attention but I don’t believe he’d reach the $400 million level. Trout wants to win. He cares about winning and that’s the sense I get from people around him. Would he turn down $400 million? Doubtful. But if he were offered $350-360 from the right team with a winning foundation built then I see him being fine with that.

There’s so much here that can still be discussed. However, a few things are clear. Trout is a much better player and there should be no denying that. If you’re tired of Trout I urge you to stop watching ESPN. Because they’ll kill everything and beat every dead horse. Harper isn’t the player he was in 2015, and may never be again.

Anything can happen and time will most certainly tell. For now, if you’re a fan of both guys then enjoy watching them because they are generational talents. They’re good for baseball for multiple reasons good or bad.

Prayer of the Day:

“Today I pray that I keep my feet on the ground but keep my eyes focused on the prize, to remain humble but reach for the stars.”