Sorry for the delay in keeping up with my blog. We have had a tedious schedule as we wrap up the season. Finally back in Toledo for a 12 day homestand. We haven’t been playing too well, but hopefully we can finish strong. At this point in the year players are trying get their batting averages up, ERA’s down, and try to show the rovers/scouts they can play somewhere next year. Getting a job in this game is getting very hard, so you must do everything you can to perform your best each time you take the field.
This past week I used the social network site Twitter to ask the fans and followers what topics or questions you would like me to cover in this weeks blog. I received many great questions and hope to cover them all.
I kind of covered the rituals and superstitions earlier this season. Following BP we make our way into the clubhouse. We have a locker room, gym, training room, video room, and tv room. Most guys venture to the tv room where the pre game spread is out along with two 42” lcd televisions side by side. Jay Sborz or Casey Fien usually pick out a movie to watch prior to the game. The other tv will just play loops of sportscenter until it annoys another teammate and someone asks to change it. At that point by having the tv’s right next to each other, the person who swiftly tries to change the channel ends up changing both tv’s and all hell breaks loose. Latins are screaming in spanish, the americans are cursing one another, and our clubhouse manager has to come to our rescue like someone is tapping out of a UFC fight.
From there so players move into the locker room to read or play soft toss with sponge balls. Daniel Schlereth was known for throwing the best soft toss in the clubhouse to Jeff Larish and Brent Dlugach. Those guys had some of their best nights at the plate following that work. You must be heads up though walking in and out of that place. You are very likely to get smoked by one of those balls.
When it comes to pranks and gags, Bull Durham and myself lead the group in that category. Bull will light fireworks in the clubhouse and scare you like no other. His voice carries so much that you can probably hear him outside in the stands prior to a game. I always have some gags ready to go for new guys as they join our team initially. I also always have the shaving cream pies ready for our walk off wins.
Handling your ups and downs during the season can be tough. Some guys deal with it quietly and some are very loud and verbal. The key is to minimize your slump. Work with a coach prior to BP, talk with other players, try something new. Your best coach is yourself. We all have gotten to this level for a reason. Normally when we are failing it is something small and can be fixed or adjusted. We just need to realize it and accept what we are doing wrong. But having the staff and supporting cast of our teammates helps making slumps go away sooner.
I have had my great teammates throughout my career. Luke Hochevar was probably one of the hardest working ones. I remember at UT I forgot my wallet in the clubhouse and went back to the field 2 hours after the game, and Hoch’ was practicing dry mechanics in the mirror by himself. He is where he is at for all his hard work and determination. Kurt Suzuki would always cook for me and Jason Windsor so hes one of my favorites. Dallas Braden was one of the funniest teammates ever. The guy is 150 pounds and has jailhouse tattoos all over his body. He was a tough competitor. Don’t look him into the eyes the day he starts. Casey Fien and I get along pretty well. He’s the typical Cali’ laid back guy and I’m the loud Miami (wade, bosch, Lebron kingdom now) guy. Although I can’t pull off wearing a Justin Beiber shirt to the Indy locker room. Sorry Casey had to throw you under the bus. Josh Rainwater is probably the nicest teammate/person ever. I don’t think that guy can ever get mad at a person. We try to test him every now and then, but he won’t budge. He understands the game very well and takes pride in his job. I can go on and on about teammates. I’ve had so many great ones along the way.
Well I hope I covered everything. I hope to keep the blog rolling through the off season and into winterball. Thanks for the continued support. Also I’m trying to get 1000 followers on twitter. If I do I will be shipping out to some followers a Scot Drucker bobble head doll. Please spread the word. http://www.twitter.com/utbaseball30
I try to keep my actual part of the game out of the blogs, but when am I going to get a clean sweep of innings. I have had struggles throughout my career, but none that have lasted this long. I have seemed to try everything. Worked out more, prepared more/prepared less, worn pants up, worn pants down, tried stirrups again, watched video, chewed different pieces of gum, moved to the other side of the mound, and the list can go on and on. I know I just have to keep at it and finish strong, but it is frustrating. Having your ERA rise to almost match your credit score is no fun. For instance you make a good pitch and it gets “blooped” into right field for a guy to score. Totally not cool. I figured I haven’t ranted and raved about my dilemmas on here, so maybe that will change up my luck.
Now back to pop culture and the rest of the world. Im surprised the Brett Favre saga isn’t that media worthy this year. I made the joke earlier this week on twitter that he probably will need a 2 hour special “the decision” to announce whether he is retiring or not. We just had a 4 game series in Gwinnett against the Braves and currently have a day off in Charlotte before a 4 game series with the Knights. Days off on the road are terrible. There is usually nothing around the hotel to do so we usually just stare at the gloomy wall paper in the rooms.
The Toledo Mudhens are a complete different team now. Everyday I see a new face walk through the door and I have to give them the rundown of the do’s and don’ts of AAA. It’s nice to meet new teammates, but I just have to keep up and remember all the names. Congrats to Jeff Frazier for getting the call to the big leagues. The guy worked his tail off and I was very happy to see him get a chance for the first time. Also Wilkin Ramirez and Jeff Larish were both claimed off waivers by the Braves and Athletics.