Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

Former pitcher wins former cheerleader's heart

TAMPA — Visible, measurable, sustainable are three benchmarks of success Geoff Goetz teaches business clients. Was he subconsciously applying the principles to a relationship with Erica Permane?

"Ironically, I was," he said. "Certainly visible . . . blond and beautiful. Her family values measure up to mine and make our marriage sustainable."

Geoff, 33, has used the performance matrix since the Jesuit High pitcher was a first-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft, the sixth overall in 1997, and was signed by the New York Mets.

The lefty went on to play for the Mets, Marlins and Yankees organizations, but a shoulder injury made it a tough go as he battled through nine seasons in the minors.

To adjust to his new situation, Geoff signed on as an Achieve Institute client. Six years later, they hired him to coach executives in the productivity program.

Reverse psychology was in play the night the couple met, five days before Christmas 2008, through mutual friends at the Blue Martini bar in Tampa.

"He bought me a drink, then completely ignored me," said Erica, 27.

His indifference worked like a charm.

"I was way more interested than if he had been all over me,'' said the former Tampa Bay Bucs cheerleader, now a medical device sales rep. It took hours, after the group moved on to another bar, for Geoff to share any personal stats with her.

Eventually she learned how he struck out of professional baseball.

"He was going through a difficult transition from the world of sports, which I understood," Erica said.

The evening ended better than it began, with Geoff inviting her to a Bucs game the next day.

They were tailgating by noon. The guy he originally planned to take? Well, he had to scrounge up his own ticket.

Meeting Geoff's friends — who liked her immediately — Erica heard about his career highs and lows.

"Baseball was his whole life," she said, "He had a prosperous future had he not been hurt."

Geoff liked that his friends liked Erica. "There was an immediate closeness to my inner circle," he said. The friendship moved fast. So fast that his buddies wanted her to join them in Puerto Rico for New Year's Eve.

Instead, "my Achieve training kicked in," Geoff said. "I asked myself, having known her two weeks, what is the 'best actual' decision here?"

"I think he didn't want to screw it up that quick," Erica teased. "Then he spent his entire trip calling me."

She was waiting at the airport when he landed and hasn't flown solo since. A year later, they were sharing his condo on Harbour Island.

She thought he might propose in California on the wine-tasting tour they took in 2010. But he waited a few months, until they were with friends at Siesta Key on Memorial Day 2011. With a perfect view of the gulf, Geoff got down on one knee and presented a diamond that had belonged to Erica's grandmother.

They spread the news on their way to dinner that night. "Wish you were here," she said, calling her best friend. She assumed her future maid of honor, who had introduced them initially, was in Palm Beach.

But there she was when they arrived at the restaurant 10 minutes later. "That's how caring he is," Erica said.

Mr. and Mrs. Goetz married Oct. 27 at the Powel Crosley Estate in Sarasota. An hour or two before they said "I do," Superstorm Sandy threw a curveball. Uninvited winds kicked the band and ceremony indoors.

The couple took it all in stride.

"Baseball was a dream," he said. "I chose reality and life with Erica."

Amy Scherzer can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3332.

Comments
No rain in sight: Fire fears force land closures in Arizona

No rain in sight: Fire fears force land closures in Arizona

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Dry pine needles and dead wood snapped under fire prevention officer Matt Engbring’s boots as he hiked a half-mile into the woods in search of a makeshift campsite that had served as one man’s home until this week when the area was...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Updated: 1 hour ago
More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

WASHINGTON — A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Colorado baker who would not create a wedding cake for a s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Published: 05/26/18
Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Is the Lightning’s Jeff Vinik the best owner in professional sports?

Hope of another Stanley Cup has dissolved, and soon the ice will follow. Yet even if sorrow is the price of devotion, the true hockey fans will still buy in when the next season comes around.That concept may not be unique to Tampa Bay, but it does se...
Published: 05/26/18
Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

I may have cracked the code. Found a way to sell doing the right thing. Discovered a method of persuasion in certain matters of fairness, conscience and the greater good.Like giving our fellow Americans a second chance.When morality-based arguments d...
Published: 05/26/18
Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

TAMPA — As city workers set up signs Friday establishing a lower speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, neighborhood residents and transportation activists urged more steps to improve safety for pedestrians all across the city.The move is a good beginnin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

Rays trade closer Alex Colome, outfielder Denard Span to Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG – In January, sure.In July, absolutely.But, now?And, once again, for someone who they hope helps in the future.The Rays made a shocking trade at a surprising time of year Friday, dealing All-Star closer Alex Colome and Tampa...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

Rays journal: Rays shut out by Orioles in opener

By Joey JohnstonTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — Rays LHP Ryan Yarbrough deserved better Friday. But the offense didn't offer much, allowing the Orioles to escape with a 2-0 victory before an announced crowd of 11,354 at Tropicana Field."It ...
Published: 05/25/18