From one Holliday to another

Happy Holidays to not only Nats fans, but to all sport’s fans. I have so much to be thankful for this year, and topping the list is the health of my 11-year-old grandson Jack Rolle.

Jack is one of our 10 grandchildren. He’s number three of the four sons of my daughter Tracie and her husband Chris. Nick, Chris, and Liam are the other members of the Rolle clan.

In Bel Air, Maryland, my daughter, Dr. Kellie Smaldore, and her better half, Dr. Steven Smaldore are constantly driving their boy’s Devin and Anthony to games. Son number one is a sophomore at Hood College in Frederick.

In Kensington Maryland, The McCarthy family holds court, where daughter Moira and husband Bob have their hands full with three daughters, Maggie, Clare and Bridie, all under the age of three and a half. That in inself is reason to celebrate - great kids with great kids of their own.

Back to Jack for just a moment. He has been given a clean bill of health! NO Cancer cells remain after six grueling months of chemothearpy and radiation. You Nats fans were so supportive during the course of his treatments with prayers, cards, letters, gifts, Rosaries, Mass cards, all in the spirit of keeping Jack’s spirits up.

Well it worked. I can never thank you enough. The amazing Jacko - as I like to call him - keeps reminding me he wants tickets for Opening Day at Nationals Park. I told him I would put him in touch with my ticket man...Ray Knight! Jack is back in school, his hair is growing back, and he can still beat the daylights out of me on the golf course.

On the football side, it was a tough season for Ralph Friedgen and his Maryland Terrapins team. Better things lie ahead for next year and I for one am glad Ralph will return to right the ship in 2010.

The basketball season is off and running with Gary Williams’ Terrapins looking to return once again to the big dance at seasons end. I for one think you will see the Terps penciled in during selection Sunday.

At Loyola of Maryland you can never count out Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds. His teams are always fun to watch and it’s always fun for Kevin Grevey and I to do one of Jimmy’s games on MASN. They don’t come any better than Jimmy Patsos.

The Nationals are moving in the right direction during the offseason. How bout the addition of All-Star catcher Pudge Rodriguez to help the Nats’ young pitching staff. At age 38, Pudge still has a lot to bring to a ballclub, namely experience and a great feel for the game.

If I’m not mistaken, Stan Kasten, Mike Rizzo, Mark Lerner and Jim Riggleman have said all along, ‘we have a plan. It may not happen overnight, but be patient, we will get there.’

From where I sit, they are headed in the right direction. Now if I could only track down Nyjer on his cell phone. Oh well, Happy Holidays to you and yours!