Family and Friends

My family and friends play a huge role in what I do for a living. Their love and support keeps me going, through the tough times and the good times. Nothing beats when a friend or family members make a trip all the way from the west coast to see me on the far east.

My first visit was from my lovely fiancé Priscilla. Her being out here is so important and special for me because of her support. She took time off from her full time job to spend a week with me, living out of a suitcase and going from hotel to hotel just to follow the team and I. All she wants to do is watch me play everyday. Having her personality here with me keeps me loose and relaxed, she’s funny and just fun to have around. That was a great week.

Recently my sister made a trip out here for one week with a good friend of ours. That’s an extremely special visit because I don’t get to see her very often. Ever since I started playing professional baseball it’s been difficult for her to watch me play. It has been a blast having her out here. She enjoys seeing the lives we live as minor leaguers and seeing what we do everyday.

Next month my number one fan will be here, Momma! She is so excited to make the trip and so am I. She loves to watch me play and has been at every game I’ve ever played since little league. But because she is a single parent who has to raise two kids on her own, she must work hard to support us financially. So that limits the amount of times she can come all the way out and see me. All though they might be limited, I enjoy every minute she is here. My mom and I have a great relationship and we have a great time together.                                     

These visits from family and friends are so important because it keeps your mind at ease. They keep you from being home sick and allow you to concentrate on playing baseball. At the same time they can help in taking your mind off baseball. Because as we all know if you think too hard in this game it can become a bad thing. I love it when anyone comes to visit but these people are the most important ones!

Catch you later!!!

Game On or Off

I think all baseball players would agree that rain delays are the worst thing in the game. We just got home from our first road trip which lasted seven days. It was during those seven days that we were held to question whether we were going to get the games in or not because of a constant mist of rain.

I feel like mist is the worst kind of rain during baseball season for us players because it doesn’t really tell you what’s going to happen. If it’s doing that all day your mind tells you that there is no way you are going to play, but you have to keep in mind that there still may be a chance way in the back of your head. The worst thing you can do as a player is shut yourself down for the day by telling yourself that there is no game and preparing to go back to the hotel. Because most likely the general manager of the home club will do everything in his power to get that game started. And if you shut it down in your mind it is extremely hard to get yourself mentally prepared to go out there and perform in cold conditions late at night.

Luckily we were only rained out of one game in Altoona, which means we will have to play a double header sometime in May. I just wanted to give you a little taste of what we went through this past week and let you know how that can effect us as ballplayers. CATCH YOU LATER!

Opening Night

Opening night for the Reading Phillies came and went quite quickly. There were a great number of people in attendance and the field played great. It was a little chilly but not as cold as we players expected.

The nerves are out and we’re ready to go. Everyone is usually uneasy because we all want to get off to a great start. No one wants to be the guy with the really bad start, trying to fight back later on in the season. A great start can make the entire season a little bit easier on you as a player. We had a couple of players who did well opening night; catcher Tuffy Gosewisch had 3 hits along with first basemen Brian Stavisky. They came right out the gate swinging.

We ended up loosing opening night but it’s a long season as you know and we know that we have a great team. So now that we got that out the way, let’s play some baseball!

We All Fear the Man Waiting!

The time has come for the finalizations of the rosters and the last minute cuts. Walking to the field in the morning now is the hardest thing for all us players. Early in the morning, while walking to the complex, you know it’s going to be a sad day because there is a Man Waiting for you. Sitting outside the complex he picks out the player who must come in and sign off their release papers. It’s the hardest day for all minor league players, as well as the staff, because no one wants to tell you that you have to go home. I can only imagine that there is no worse feeling than when you are selected by the Man Waiting on your way in to the complex. Players keep their heads down hoping that the Man Waiting will look right through us to give us one more day to live our dream.

Not being picked out by the Man Waiting gives you a sense of relief but that doesn’t last long, because soon you realize that your friends or those you’ve grown close to weren’t so fortunate. You watch them pack their things with a plane ticket already purchased for them. You try and say whatever you can to try to make them feel better when in reality there is nothing at all you can say to make a difference.

This is our dream. For most it’s been a dream since we were little kids running around our house trying to impersonate the pro baseball player we admired the most and desired to be. And it’s on the day of the Waiting Man that all of that is lost… Some can bounce back. But for most of us it’s lost… forever!

10 Guys To a Locker

Spring training is up and running. The clubhouse is packed and full of anxiousness. Guys are ready to show what they’ve been working on and getting better at during the off season. Minor League Spring Training is always hard to deal with because there are always so many players with limited spaces (playing positions, as well as room to sit down). The locker aisles are full with no room to move. Men sit on stools back to back early in the morning trying to get dressed before the sun is even up. Just trying to prove that they are there to work and make a team.

New guys to spring training are getting there even earlier, lifting weights and going out for extra hitting. Just trying to make a good impression and get a jump start. While the older vets are a little more knowledgeable on how things work and understand that it’s a long season, so they take their time getting into the swing of things. They show up a little later and relax a little before getting started.  After a week or two you start to see the new guys slow down with their morning routines, because the long and hard days of spring training start to make it difficult for them to maintain it.
Philadelphia Spring Training is definitely one of the hardest spring trainings in all of Minor League Baseball. The amount of drills and conditioning are unlike any other organization. And this has been proven by multiple players who have signed with us from others. The first 10 are strictly conditioning and a little fundamental, the next 10 are fundamental and games, and the last 10 are teams being set and playing games, getting ready to break for the season.
We’re two weeks down with two more to go here in spring training. Games have started and camp is still full. The inevitable is still at hand… some players must go in order to make room on rosters. That means cuts have to be made. So having a good nights sleep is hard for most of us. So all we can do is show up tomorrow with everything on the table. Putting everything we have out on that field. 
We’ll wait and see what happens!
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