Thursday, May 14, 2009

Spring is in the air

Sorry for the long delay in postings. I've been really lazy. My bad. Anyways, as always, a lot has happened in the past month that I haven't posted anything. Actually, a lot of the same has happened. I've just been working and doing my thing and getting ready for spring training with the Long Beach Armada. Wait, spring training has already started. I'll give you a quick rundown of what we've done.

Last Saturday, May 9th, we had a team meeting and physicals at Blair Field in Long Beach, which is where we'll be playing our home games. Since the Cal State Long Beach won't let us use the field for spring training, we had to find somewhere close that wouldn't charge us an arm and a leg to use their field. Thus, we ended up at Cal State Dominguez Hills located at the wonderful Home Depot Center. We started Sunday morning, Mother's Day, at 9am and started with the usual stretching and warmups to get our bodies loose. After we played catch we took what we baseball players call an "innie outtie"; otherwise known as an Infield/Outfield to you non-baseball players. After our innie outtie we went into batting practice. Now batting practice with 3 groups can be long if you're a pitcher (and believe me I know how long it can be), but we had 5 groups to get through since there were about 50 guys in camp. After batting practice we took a lunch break before heading into a 12 inning intersquad game. They made two teams with 10 hitters each and halfway through the game switched in guys who hadn't started. I played the first half of the game in right field. I went 1 for 4 in my spring training debut with a single and two strikeouts. Of course, who else would I face in my first at-bat but salted Major League veteran Jose Lima and of course I struck out.

Although my spring may have started on a sour note on Sunday I turned it around on Monday going 3 for 4 with a single, double, and home run. Tuesday I went 0 for 3 with 2 K and yesterday I turned it on again going 2 for 3 with a single, double, and walk with 3 RBIs. I've made the first round of cuts for position players, which is quite exciting. I think I'm gaining the respect of my fellow players because of the way I've been hitting the ball. I think a lot of guys who knew I used to pitch thought that I wouldn't be able to hit the ball as well as I have been, but I've definitely suprised them. It makes me feel good to know that all the hard work I've put in for the past year is paying off in dividens. The manager, Gary Templeton, told me today that I've been doing a hell of a job so far. That means a lot to me and makes me want to work harder to earn a spot on the team.

It's always fun to have guys with Major League experience out on the field because not only do they know how to have a good time, but they give valuable advice to us young'uns to help make us better ball players. Lima is no exception. He's a fun loving guy who loves to be out on the field. He's always telling a story or making the team laugh, which is a vital thing to have in the clubhouse. There's one on every team and Lima is our guy.

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