April 2009

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!