The minor league spring training schedule has been posted here. If you are in the Lakeland or surrounding areas we play against the Phillies, Braves, Houston, and the Nationals during our short stint here. All games are open to the public.
Best food places on the road are always Bar Louie or Chipotle in Columbus. Frickers or Grumpys in Toledo. Palominos or St Elmos in Indianapolis. Podestos sandwiches and In-n-Out in Stockton, California.
Favorite baseball movie is For Love of the Game. But in a close second is Mr Baseball or Major League.
The Hens will sure miss Larry Parrish this upcoming season. He was a great field general and was always fun to pick his brain. He had a ton of stories from his playing days. It was also fun to play golf with him on the road. I wish LP the best, and I’m very excited to play for Phil Nevin hopefully. I have only heard rave reviews of his style of play and the way he manages. All the guys in Erie loved his passion for the game.
I can’t really remember the oldest guys I’ve played with, but we have Timo Perez in camp with us this season if that gives you any hint of the age some of these guys are here.
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Camp has been going well. We had live BP with pitchers the past two days. Hitters are starting to get their timing back. There has been a good feeling around camp with the new regime. We are getting a lot of work done and going about it the right way. Very excited for 2011.
So the first day of spring training is in the books. We had physicals a couple days ago which sometimes can be a drag, but this year they went pretty smoothly. Detroit does an amazing job with physicals. They cover ever part of our bodies including dental which is very nice to know that we are completely healthy prior to taking the field.
Today opened up with a 9:30am meeting outside with the entire minor league staff and front office. Mike Rojas and Kevin Bradshaw are leading the way for this years spring training. Pitchers and catchers are broken up into 4-5 groups. We covered bullpens, pick offs, bunt defense, and ground balls. Tomorrow is the dreaded running test. I say dreaded because no one enjoys being timed to do a 300 yard shuttle 3 times at 8am.
I’m very excited for the new regime here in Detroit. There are a ton of new faces for players as well as coaches. Wish me luck. As always thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions or leave comments.
Be sure to follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/utbaseball30
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Spring training 2011 is upon us and I’m sure everyone is just as excited for another amazing baseball season as I am. This off season was not much of an off season because I was playing winterball all over Latin America. Although I think it did physically and mentally prepare me for this upcoming season. I have done all the work I needed in the gym and on the field and I’m ready to throw the pill.
I will be headed up to Lakeland, Florida by the end of this week to join the pitchers and catchers for the start of minor league camp. We have physicals Sunday morning and are full swing into bullpens and PFP on Monday.
Thanks for all the continued support and welcome all new twitter followers. Please use this blog to ask me questions and make comments. I plan to keep a blog once a week while at camp. I love the feedback and want to give back to the fans.
Almost 2 weeks in Mexico and I have already have eaten more tacos than I could ever imagine, but better than that is that I have thrown 9 times as many innings as I did in the Dominican Republic. Also within my time in Mexico the Tigers and I have come to agreements for next season. Detroit thank you for another opportunity.
I have started two games down here to help the Augilas make a playoff push. Both outings started extremely well going for the first 3-4 innings. In both games I seemed to hit a wall in my last inning giving up a couple runs. I think it could be a mix of rustiness and stamina. No excuses though. I need to finish each inning strong as it could always be my last.
This was my first road trip with the team. We had the option of taking a bus 13 hours to Navojoa, Sonora Mexico or flying. To the norm you would think to take the flight, but the flight left at 1am and had two layovers. The guys who flew ended up arriving at the hotel at the same time as the bus. The hotel was a best western type outside motel. Nothing too glamorous, but it did its job for the handful of hours we are in the room. Rule #14 in the hotel handbook was not to drink the water. I figured a hotel with Wi-Fi would have safe drinking water from the faucet. Guessed wrong.
Unlike the US, over here we head over to the field fairly late. The bus rolls out of the hotel around 5:15 for a 7:30 “juego”. We get dressed in our hotel room and head over to the field in uniform like a high school team. The field in Navojoa had an overall good to fair stadium feel. The field was maintained well as were the grandstands. There were only about a couple hundred fans at each game. It was in the 50’s at night while we were there to give them a little slack. The stadium can hold about 6000-9000. The food in the stadium consists of tacos and nachos, of course. There was no “real” locker room. Although the bathroom looked very upgraded by having tile. Not sure who was the genius to put tile in a baseball locker room. Knock, knock baseball players where metal cleats. That’s a liability suit waiting to happen. Everyone kept their bags in the dugout, which made for a tricky way to make it to the field. There was a land-mine of bags everywhere. We took two out of three in the series against them. They are currently in last place and it would have been nice to have swept them.
There has been a wealth of knowledge around the ballpark. Fernando Valenzuela is a character. Picking his brain in my small time here has been priceless. Although I haven’t been taught the screwball yet. Our other pitching coach is Ruben Niebla. He was in the big leagues coaching with the Cleveland Indians last year. His knowledge and energy for the game is amazing. I have been trying to get any competitive advantage I can get by learning from these minds of the game.
We are currently on the bus headed to Hermosillo. They are in first place and this is a very important series for us going forward. We have a day off today (Xmas eve) and play a three game series with a double-header on Sunday. Happy Holidays to all! Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas.
Special thank you to Jason Beck for writing a great article. You can see it here http://tinyurl.com/28udjye
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Thanks for reading. Please rate, comment, and ask questions. I love getting any feedback.
I have been in Mexico now for 5 days and have been a part of some very interesting situations. In my third game here we were playing Obregon and got into a heated argument with a player who stole a base late in the game up by 6 runs. There is an unwritten rule in baseball where that is frowned upon in many places. Our players did not take well to them doing this and an all out brawl took place on the field. Here are two different links from the footage.
Luckily I don’t believe anyone was seriously hurt, but for a moment it got extremely ugly. Fans were throwing beer and bottles onto the field. I was even surprised we were able to finish the game without any other issues.
Last night while I was sleeping I experienced my first earthquake. Reggie Abercrombie called my room around 3am and asked if I had heard something in the middle of the night. Being dead asleep I had no idea what he was talking about. But as I went to hang up the phone I heard the coffee pot come crashing down to the floor. The room was rumbling as the walls were too.
The culture down here is very pleasant. The players are very soft spoken and their spanish is much easier to understand than VZ or DR players. The food inside the stadium is amazing. After BP I always find myself roaming the grandstands to try something new from the vendors. Fernando Valenzuela is one of our coaches, which is an amazing honor to be in the same dugout as him. I hope to pick his brain about anything with my time down here.
In the Mexican league they play two halves that split up the season. The playoffs also work off a point system dependent on how you finish each half. We are in the hunt to make the playoffs, but just need to win as many as we can down the stretch. Hopefully we can put ourselves in a seat to make a push and play into January.
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Please comment, rate, ask questions…thanks for the support My internet is suspect down here but I hope to get more pictures and videos up here or through my twitter account
tomorrow Im scheduled to leave for Mexico to join the Aguilas de Mexicali….Hopefully get some innings under my belt, help my cause for a jobby job, and help the team make a push for the playoffs…I will keep you updated once I arrive
Tomorrow I will be headed up North to Orlando to attend the Winter Meetings. This will be the 4th I have attended in the past 5 years. I had to skip out on Indy last year, due to the fact I was playing winter ball and that it was in Indianapolis (too cold). I’m excited to get to see club personnel and scouts I have made friends with. Also maybe I can get my free agent deal done. I mean whats all this talk about Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee. What am I chop liver? Just kidding.
I’ll be tweeting, taking photos, and videos to give you all an all access as to what goes on over there.