Results tagged ‘ NL ’
Barrett Kleinknecht was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 12th round of the 2010 MLB draft. Since the initial draft took place Kleinknecht has been working hard, and in return has been able to move his way up through the lower ranks of the minor leagues.
Kleinknecht spent the first 30 games of his 2011 season with Single-A Rome, before finishing out the season with High-A Lynchburg. In that time, Kleinknecht recorded 88 hits in 113 games played. Of those 88 hits, 19 found the gap for doubles and 11 flew over the wall for home runs. Not bad for just his second professional season.
Barrett Kleinknecht–prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Who was your biggest baseball influence?
Since I can remember I have loved baseball. My dad has been coaching high school baseball for 36 years and I had the privilage of playing for him, so he’s probably my biggest influence.
2.) Who was your favorite baseball player growing up? Why?
Scott Rolen because he played the game hard but stayed out of the spotlight while winning numerous gold gloves and playing in numerous all star games.
3.) You signed with the Braves after being drafted in the 12th round of 2010. What was the process like for you? Where were you when you found out? Initial thoughts?
Pretty much a cut and dry process with being drafted. I was actually hitting with a summer league team when I got the call. It didn’t kick in untill I finished hitting and had around 80 missed calls, and close to 70 text messages.
4.) This past season was your second year of professional ball. What do you feel went well? What do you feel you need to work on for 2012?
I play every position on the field besides pitcher, so being able to compete at the pro level at all of those positions takes a bunch of work and dedication. I didn’t have many errors at all, so defensively I was set. Offensively I need to work on being more patient and hit to the situation.
5.) When’s the first time you were asked for your autograph? Oddest thing you’ve ever signed?
Haha, in college I was on the front of my town’s phonebook, so my sophmore year in college. Probably a cell phone or a flip flop.
6.) Favorite thing to do on an off day during the season?
Fish or shoot guns.
7.) Favorite food?
My grandmas cooking, or just a good southern meal.
8.) Favorite baseball movie? Why?
The Rookie, because it shows that if you love something you should never give it up.
9.) You’re very active on twitter. What do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of being a ballplayer on twitter?
Biggest advantage is interaction with fans and friends to show them that pro athletes are real people just like everyone else. We (pro athletes) dont understand why people ask for our autographs, but from a fans standpoint autographs make us feel like we are apart of the game.
10.) What advice would you give to kids who are just starting out, that dream of playing professional ball one day?
If you love it, persue it; but dont think it will be an easy road. You lose a lot of friends, but you make new ones and you have to make a ton of sacrifices if you want to be good at it. Don’t let anyone outwork you but when it all comes down to it you have to have fun. After all, baseball is a game.
Big thanks to Barrett Kleinknecht for answering my questions.
You can follow him on twitter: @bkleinknecht
When it was reported back in December of last year that Ryan Braun had tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) the baseball world was stunned. Now that Braun has successfully appealed the accusation that he had taken PED’s (the first player in MLB history to do so) the baseball world is stunned yet again.
First of all, before I get into my thoughts and opinions, I want to take a moment to say that this should never of been leaked in the first place. Whether Braun had taken PED’s or not, the person who leaked the results had no business doing so. It’s likely that it will never be found out who spilled the beans, but if it is ever found out that person should be fired for all of the problems they caused. But I digress.
Braun has been adamant since the initial report was made that he has never taken any PED’s. He continued with the confidence during today’s press conference in which he made it clear that he won his appeal because the truth was on his side.
In all realitly, it was never determined whether or not he took PED’s. All that was determined was that proper protocol wasn’t followed in testing the sample from Braun. According to Braun, the sample was taken on October 1st, however wasn’t delivered to FedEx until October 3rd. Proper protocol states that test samples are to be delivered to FedEx the day that they are taken. Braun won his appeal due to the uncertainty of what could’ve been done to the test sample from the time it was taken to the time it was dropped off at FedEx. In Braun’s own words the testing process is “fatally flawed”, and I couldn’t agree more.
Braun having his 50-game suspension lifted is one of the reasons I haven’t posted my blog entry in which I’m going to announce my predictions on how I think each team will do in the upcoming MLB season. Had Braun of been suspended, the Brewers would have had no chance whatsoever to win the NL Central. Now, with Braun back in the line up for the full season, I think they’re going to be real contenders in their division.
At first glance you’d find yourself thinking that the loss of Fielder would hinder the Brewers enough to keep them from defending their title of NL Central winners from 2011. You’d also find yourself thinking that the 2011 World Champion Cardinals would overtake that spot, but with the loss of Albert Pujols, I’d say both teams are about even.
Pujols and Fielder are similar in the fact that they both make major impacts each and every night. They’re both power sluggers and are the best in the business at driving in runs. Combine the loss of Fielder with the loss of Braun for 50 games, and I could easily see the Brew Crew finishing 3rd or worst in the NL Central division. With Braun however, I think they have a good chance of winning the division for the second straight season. That’s how important Braun is to his team.
In conclusion, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, what’s done is done. You’ll just have to put up with watching Ryan Braun do his thing for an extra 50 games than everyone thought he’d being appearing in at this time on Thursday.
Ever since Bryce Harper appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2009, he’s been all people could talk about. From the good, of being the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, to the bad, of blowing a kiss to the opposing pitcher, Bryce Harper has been in the news for quite a while now.
When it comes down to it, love him or hate him, the kid is good; extremely good in fact. But I’m guessing you already knew that, and I don’t want to waste my time, and yours, by writing about the same information that’s been circulated over and over again by the media. So instead of rattling off a bunch of stats, and including a bunch of quotes from Harper himself, I’m just going to write about what’s on my mind, giving you my own opinion of baseball’s ‘The Chosen One’.
If you follow me on twitter then you know I’m not the biggest Harper fan in the world. But not liking Harper has NO influence whatsoever on my opinion of whether or not I feel he’s ready for the majors. Even if I was the biggest Harper fan in the world, and had a tatoo of his face on my arm, my opinion that he’s not quite ready for MLB would be the same. My problem with bringing Harper up for Opening Day is that I feel that the Nationals are rushing him. Harper says he’s ready, but I mean come on; that doesn’t tell you anything. If I was in Harper’s position I’d tell everyone I was ready too. Just to let you know, when I say “ready” I’m not just talking about whether or not his skills are good enough, I’m talking about whether he’s mature enough. After all, he’s just 19 years old, and has only played in 109 professional games, between A and AA ball. If it was up to me I’d start Harper out in AAA and then possibly call him up in June or so depending on how he was doing. No need to rush the guy. Let him get in some more at bats, and mature a little more, before bringing him up to hopefully dominate in the NL East.
According to reports, the fate of Harper rests on how he performs in Spring Training. Apparently if he does well he’ll more than likely be on the Opening Day roster for the Nationals. Obviously having Harper AND Strasburg on your roster is sure to attract attention, which in turn will increase attendance levels. But if the Nat’s are just bringing Harper up to draw more attention to the team I think they’re making a mistake. Harper seems to have this ‘I can’t fail’ mentality, when in fact he’s human, and thus can, and will, fail at some point down the road.
Harper said in an interview with Harold Reynolds that he doesn’t want to get the call up and get sent back down to AAA a month later, and then repeat the process a few more times before becoming a permanent fixture in the nation’s capital. Harper says he wants to get to the majors and stay there, with his ultimate goal being to win the NL Rookie of the Year award. In my opinion he stands a much better chance of doing that if he’s called up a few months down the road. Patience is a virtue.
Billy Bullock was drafted out of high school by the Los Angeles Dogers, however elected not to sign. He went onto have a successful college career with the Florida Gators, and was subsequently drafted his Junior year by the Minnesota Twins in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft. After a couple of successful years in the Twins organization–in which he moved from Single-A to Double-A in a matter of a year–Bullock was traded to the Atlanta Braves organization. Since the trade Bullock has made quick progress, working his way up through the ranks, as after starting the 2011 season with Double-A Mississippi, he ended the year with Tiple-A Gwinnett.
The 6′ 6″, 225 pound, power throwing righty tops the gun in the upper nineties. The ability to throw the heater past batters as well as his ability to get outs when he needs them, is what I feel will enable Bullock to hit the big leagues fairly quickly. The Braves can always use another elite relief pitcher, and I think Billy Bullock could be exactly that if he can keep up the hard work ethic and determination.
Billy Bullock–relief pitcher in the Atlanta Braves organization–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball?
I started playing at three, in tee ball, and haven’t stopped since.
2.) Did you always want to be a pitcher?
No, at first I wanted to be a position player but quickly realized I couldn’t hit. So that made that change a no brainer.
3.) What made you go to college over starting your career after high school?
I wanted to go to college from the beginning but it made it easier when I didn’t get drafted where I wanted to out of high school.
4.) What does it feel like to be having such success this early in your career?
It’s a really good feeling knowing that so many people have confidence in my ability to push me and promote me thru the system, although no real success is had until the day I get to the big leagues. Then I can look back on my minor league career and access success. Until then, it is just part of the process.
5.) Do you collect anything? If so, what? And why?
I don’t really collect anything other than sneakers. I’ve been known to be called a sneakerhead before.
6.) If you weren’t playing baseball, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be working to overtake day to day operations of my grandfathers farm and nursery operation.
7.) Favorite TV show?
8.) Favorite car?
’70 Chevelle SS.
9.) Favorite player growing up? Why?
Ozzie Smith for the passion and the love. He played the game with each and every day.
10.) Favorite moment of your baseball career thus far?
Sending Miami home two straight years in the NCAA tournament. Nothing like in state rivalries.
Big thanks to Billy Bullock for answering my questions.
You can follow him on twitter: @BillyBullock
Mycal Jones (or Myke, as he goes by) was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 4th round of the 2009 draft. Since then, Myke has been working hard to move up through the ranks, as he spent the 2011 season playing for Double-A Mississippi. Myke Jones took the time recently to answer my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Did you always want to be a shortstop?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved baseball, although I didn’t start playing until I was 4. I started off in T-ball as a catcher so that tells you right there that I really don’t care where I play, just as long as I’m on the field.
2.) Who was your favorite player growing up? Why?
I would have to say Ozzie Smith, although I also loved Deion Sanders but that had more to do with football. I’ve played mostly shortstop all my life so I looked up to Ozzie and wanted to make all the great plays he made.
3.) Did you play any other sports besides baseball growing up? If so, why did you decide to go with baseball?
My parents finally let me venture out into football and basketball in 7th grade, and love playing both to this day. I decided to give up both in 11th grade when I was only 5’8″, 145 pounds and realized there aren’t too many guys that size in the NBA and NFL.
4.) You were drafted by the Braves in the 2009 draft. Where were you when you found out? Initial thoughts?
I was actually working a baseball camp at my old school, UNF, and went into the coaches office to listen to the draft during lunch. To be honest, I don’t remember what my initial thoughts were because it didn’t really hit me until I met with the scout to sign my contract.
5.) What do you think went well this season? What do you feel you need to work on for 2012?
I believe my biggest improvement this past season was my ability to get on base even with my batting average being so low. This upcoming season I look to improve on my base stealing and small ball game (bunting and situational hitting).
6.) You ended 2011 playing winter ball in Panama. What was the major difference of playing in Panama, than in America? What was the overall experience like? And would you consider playing Panamanian Winter baseball again?
The biggest difference in Panama was the amount of off-speed pitches they throw. For the first time in my life, I was thrown a curveball on the first pitch of the game. I had a blast down there playing and wouldn’t mind going back, but would rather go somewhere else just to say I did it.
7.) Favorite TV show?
Right now my favorite TV show would have to be Hawaii 5-0. It’s really the only one I follow on a weekly basis.
8.) Favorite food?
My mom is a beast in the kitchen, so anything she cooks is my fave. Other than that I would go with sushi.
9.) What’s the most memorable moment of your baseball career thus far?
It would definitely have to be hitting leadoff in a Spring Training game last year, in front of guys like Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, and Alex Gonzalez. Chipper was one of my faves growing up because he played on my favorite team and was also from Jacksonville, FL. It was definitely memorable to hit in front of a future Hall of Famer.
10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out, that dream of playing professional baseball one day?
To hustle on and of the field at all times, practice hard and play hard, but most importantly it is just a game so make sure you have fun.
Big thanks to Myke Jones for taking the time to answer my questions.
You can follow him on twitter: @MykeJones21
As the title implies, this entry is meant to give you a general idea of what to expect over the next month or so of the blog. First of all, I’m going to do my best to start blogging at least once every few days. No more week long droughts between entries. Of those blog entries, every Saturday’s entry will be a Q and A entry, unless something big happens in the baseball world. As far as the day to day blogging goes, it all depends on the latest baseball news, however, I do have a general idea of some of my blog entries to come:
- Tomorrow, I’m going to post the Q and A I did with Myke Jones, of the Atlanta Braves organization.
- Coming up sometime next week, I’m going to do an entry on the players that I’m planning to send out autograph requests to, during Spring Training.
- Then, sometime during March (before S.T. is over) I’m going to do publish my 2012 MLB Predictions blog entry. I was planning on doing it sometime this month, but I decided to wait until closer to the regular season.
- Also, on April 4th, I’m going to post an entry on the Cleveland Indians exhibition game against my local Minor League team.
So there you have it. I hope you continue to read. Without you, the readers, I’d have no reason to blog at all. So, thanks.
I sit here still dumbfounded by the deal the Tigers made with Prince Fielder. I mean come on; 214 million over 9 years? That’s a bit much for me, as I would of offered no more than a 5-year deal. There’s too much uncertainty as to whether or not he’ll be the same caliber player he is now, several years down the road. In the short term, I feel the signing of Fielder is great for the Tigers. Add him in with their Ace Justin Verlander, and I feel the Tigers could be a 100 game winning team this year. But that’s this year. The further down the road you go, the older Verlander gets, and the older Fielder gets, and subsequently, the less games the Tigers win. Now you might be saying, “But he’s only 27 years old”; yes, that’s true. Fielder is in the prime of his career, and his contract runs out when he’s only 37 years old, but you can’t tell me that he’ll hit 38 home runs, and drive in 120 like he did last season, for everyone of those years. As you get older, you start to slow down. It’s the way your body works. 9 years is outragious to me.
I bring this up only because I was looking at players salaries for the 2012 season, and wondering if any of them were actually making what they’re worth to their team. Let me use Alex Rodriguez as an example. (This ties back into too long of a deal for Prince Fielder). The Yankees signed A-rod to a 10-year, 275 million dollar deal when he was 32 years old. Now that he’s 36, he’s starting to slow down. (Or at least it appeared that way last season, as he was injured a lot.) Now, supposedly, Rodriguez has been taking those “miracle” treatements like Kobe Bryant took during the offseason. Watching Bryant, and comparing him to last season, he appears to be healthier (injury wise) than he’s been the past couple seasons. If the treatements work for A-rod, like they worked for Kobe, he could shock us all, and hit 30 home runs, and drive in 100, in the 2012 season, but I just don’t see that happening. Although Fielder was a lot younger than Rodriguez when he inked his massive deal, I still feel that the Tigers are making a mistake in the long run.
In the end, it’s not really the amount of money that gets me. What gets me is the length of the deals. It’s one thing to bring a young 22 year old guy up from the minor leagues and sign him to a 10-year deal, but signing a 27 year old to a nine year deal just doesn’t make sense to me. The only upside for the Tigers is that Prince plays in 99% of the season’s games. But that’s likely to change as he gets older.
Yes, that’s right. The famous “rally squirrel” that first appeared in Game 4 of the NLDS last October, is pretty much getting a baseball card all to itself. Card number 93 of the 2012 Topps Series 1 set, is technically the card of Cardinals’ second basemen Skip Schumaker, but for the first time in the history of the Topps’ card company, the card doesn’t feature the face of the player on the card. As a matter of fact, Schumaker is barely visible–with only the lower part of his leg being shown:
If I was Skip Schumaker, I’d be very upset at the Topp’s card company. It’d be one thing if they made a card for the rally squirrel–they’ve done cards for mascots in the past–but to actually have it be the card of Schumaker? I mean come on. I would think the Topps’ company would be a little more professional than this. (Although to their credit, the card is being made a short-print.)
On a brighter side, the 2012 Topps Series 1 baseball set is also going to include the first cards of Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols in their new uniforms–given they are photoshoped. These cards (like the Schumaker card) are due to be short-prints, thus making them must have cards for collectors.
Want one of the Skip Schumaker short-print cards? Well, you have a two options:
Option 1: Go to your local card shop and buy pack after pack, until you hopefully get lucky and pull one of the cards.
Option 2: Buy the card off eBay. One of the first sold on eBay for $600!
I think I’ll go with option 1.
I’m currently working on MY 2012 MLB predictions blog entry, which I’m planning to post sometime in the first half of February. Before I let all of you know how I think the MLB season is going to pan out, I want to see what you, the readers, are thinking. Please take the time to vote in EACH of the polls below. I’ve had cases in the past where the first poll has 10 or so more votes than the rest. Please vote in all of the polls:
WINNER OF AL EAST
WINNER OF AL CENTRAL
WINNER OF AL WEST
WINNER OF NL EAST
WINNER OF NL CENTRAL
WINNER OF NL WEST
I’m not going to make you guess which team will win the ALCS, NLCS, etc., although when I do my 2012 MLB Predictions, I’m going to predict all the way down to the winner of the World Series. With each decision I’m also going to give the reasons for why I made the choices I did. So I hope you’ll check back for that in the first half of February.
After electing not to sign with the Chicago Cubs when drafted in the 20th round of 2005, Leonardo Ware (L.V., as he prefers) went on to sign with the Atlanta Braves, after they drafted him in the 43rd round of 2006. Since being drafted, Ware has played for teams as high as Double-A (Mississippi Braves) in the 4 seasons of his baseball career, but most recently spent the season with Class-A Lynchburg, in the Carolina League. If L.V. can keep up the hard work ethic, and determination, I can see him getting the call up to the big leagues in the near future. L.V. is definitely talented enough, and is a guy to keep a close eye on in the upcoming season, and beyond. L.V. Ware–outfielder in the Atlanta Braves organazation–took the time recently to answer some of my questions:
1.) At what age did you first become interested in baseball? Did you always want to be an outfielder?
I honestly can’t say when I became interested in baseball, but my first year playing was back in 1990, at the age of 3. My father played in the military and I was handed down with no decision but to play. It became a regular activity in my household as I grew older. I remember days where my father use to take flour, make lines in our backyard to outline a field, and I use to hit off a tee. Those are my earliest memories of beginning my baseball career. I never played the outfield until high school. My high school coach told me if I wanted to make the varsity team as a freshman I needed to learn how to play right field because that was my only shot of making the team. I took that statement and ran with it. Now here I am chasing my dream as an outfielder. I was a shortstop and second baseman throughout my amateur baseball career, but looking back now, outfield was a great decision for me in the long run.
2.) Who was your favorite player growing up? Why?
It’s tough ’cause growing up in Atlanta, being an Atlanta Braves fan, Chipper Jones was my earliest favorite baseball player. As I got older I started to watch more baseball teams, then I fell in love watching Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr. Those two guys played the game the way it was supposed to be played, treated the game with respect, and there was always positive things about them being said. Being older now looking back, it’s like, if I was to have a son those are two of the players I would want my son to look up to and remember. In their prime there was nothing either one of those guys could not do! Ken Griffey Jr. was part of the reason I became interested in collecting baseball cards as a kid. He was on so many different cards that it was impossible to keep up with him. Haha. Those were good days, and now that I look back on them I wouldn’t have picked any other two guys to model myself after.
3.) You were drafted by the Cubs in the 2005 draft, but didn’t sign. You were later drafted by the Braves in the 2006 draft. What was the draft process like for you? What made you not sign with the Cubs?
My draft process was quite interesting actually. I was from an inner city school in Atlanta, but yet my high school was by far the best in the inner city district. I’m not going to say that it didn’t help my exposure, but at the same time I’m not going to say it did. I was originally drafted by the Cubs in the 20th round of the 2005 draft by Anthony Grissom (Marquis Grissom’s younger brother) and he made an offer to me that I felt like I should attend college. I had a full scholarship to Okaloosa-Walton Community College, where I had enrolled in, and was very excited about going. Back then the draft and follow process still existed so I still had a whole year to sign with the Cubs. I had a good spring that year, and got an offer that I felt I was better worth. I turned down the offer and proceed to go back in the draft. I was then drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 43rd round by Braves former scout Al Geotz. In the beginning there was no negotiations cause they wanted me to go back to school and become better; which I totally agreed on. I end up signing with University of South Carolina that fall, then tore my rotator cuff later in the fall. I was suppose to miss the spring season, but came back early to DH, and play a little bit of left field. I felt great, but little did I know I really wasn’t healthy. Had a subpar season to what I wanted to achieve, but still received a great offer I couldn’t turn down after having a major surgery. My time to become a professional baseball player had finally come. Playing for my hometown team and living a dream couldn’t be any better. I called Al Geotz and told him I wanted to sign right away after the season, and the rest is history in the making now.
4.) What do you feel went well for you this season? What do you feel you need to work on for 2012?
This past season was a great one for me in ways besides just baseball on the field. I had the privilege to play for Luis Salazar, who is a champion at heart in my eyes. To overcome a obstacle of being struck by a foul ball, losing a eye, and still have the determination to coach, say’s nothing more than a winner at heart! I came into this season wanting to help my team in anyway possible, wether it was off the bench or playing everyday. I just wanted to be a leader and win! I had my chance to become a everyday player in the end of April against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Organization) and I took advantage of my opportunity! It was by far my best series of the year, and a table setter for what I was looking to accomplish on the year. Me being a outfielder that plays all 3 positions also became a valuable asset to having playing time as well. I was the guy to give guys days off while I would maintain my role in the everyday line-up. That’s where I got away from the program I needed to stick by, which is being a pesky out, staying on base causing havoc, and playing small ball. The numbers where there. Then I started picturing bigger things that I needed not to be focused on and that took me out of my element. Baseball is a game of 75% mental skill I strongly believe. Only the mentally strong survive this sport because of the grind we endure for 145 games a year. My defense is by far my strong asset in baseball. If I can stay consistent and keep the ball out of the air and get on base, theres no limitation as to where I could take my game to. It’s just the facts of life, but making it happen is the challenge that I embark on every morning I wake up. For 2012 I really need to work on staying consistent with the bat. That will take care of the defense and the rest cause you’re relaxed and satisfied when your consistent and in a groove. My top hand is going to be my focal point for the year. It’s my bread and butter to make or break my career as a baseball player. I’ve been doing a lot of one handed drill with my mini bat provided by DS Wood bats. Its a special bat they made for me to ensure that I work on the important things I need to become a better baseball player. Allan Donato and Richard Schwartz have become my brothers and family over the past year. They make great quality baseball bats and have even broken in the Major Leagues with guys like Adam Jones, Robinson Cano, Mark Texeria, and Nick Markakis swinging their lumber. I have no doubt that with their bats in my hands I will comfortable with my bat and confident in my swing with a bat fixed to my liking.
5.) What’s the most memorable moment of your baseball career thus far?
My number one memorable moment in my career is representing my country on the Team USA Junior National Team in 2005. By far the greatest moment ever for me. To wear a jersey with the letters USA on my chest was a chilling feeling as a 18 year-old young man. Being selected out of 164 kids to travel to Mexico to participate in the PanAm games was a true blessing. A great experience with some great players, and overall the best baseball I’ve ever played as well. We went 7-0 in pool play to reach the championship game against Team Cuba only to fall 2-1 in the championship game. Overall though there isn’t one thing I would change about the summer of 2005. Winning an Appalachian League Championship is right up there as well, but Team USA can not be outdone in my eyes.
6.) When was the first time someone asked for your autograph?
Funny you ask that. My uncle asked me for my autograph when I was 6 years old. I wrote it on a piece of tablet paper. If your up near my age you can remember tablet paper was khaki looking with baby blue and red lines. Doesn’t feel like notebook paper these days, but was a softer fabric. But I proceed to sign my name, and that was my first autograph. ’Til this day he keeps it in the front of his bible and I hear about that story every time we talk. My first encounter for an autograph in professional sports came in Spring Training of 2008 when I was asked to sign my Team USA card that I thought no one would ever purchase. Little did I know how serious card collecting was until I became a professional baseball player. It’s a legit hobby, and takes up a ton of time. Hats off to the people that take time to travel and get autographs of players that they have cards for.
7.) Favorite food?
My favorite food would have to be a nice porterhouse steak. I love to eat steak and potatoes. I know it’s not healthy to always have, but when I need a great meal to turn to, a steak is always my decision. For dessert, it would have to be banana pudding.
8.) Favorite TV show?
This is a tough decision right here because I’m a sucker for old school TV shows. The Cosby Show, Seinfield, Sanford & Son, The Jeffersons, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saved By The Bell, just to name a few. My favorite of all though is Martin. By far the best TV sitcom ever, haha. I could sit here and say word for word of every episode, but yet when I watch today I laugh like I’ve never seen it before. If you’ve never seen an episode please watch, haha. You might think it’s not funny but I can assure you that you will get a few laughs in. Probably not like me though, haha.
9.) Favorite thing to do on an off day during the baseball season?
Sleep, sleep, and more sleep! When living on a bus traveling in and out of hotels, and coming home from the ballpark from 10pm – 11:30pm–depending on when the game ends and leaving the ballpark–I can assure you that a high percentage of baseball players will tell you all we want to do on off day is rest. Lay in bed watching movies, playing video games, or just browsing on the internet. One thing for sure is that I want to let my body rest from the days of playing consecutively. Normally there is one day off for every 21 games played. Some days are shorter or longer, depending on the schedule, but it’s typical to have 1 day off every 21 games. Your body is in desperate need of rest after playing day in and day out. Being at the field from 2:45 till 10:45, maybe weights at 10:00am, kills your energy. That’s where that day off comes in handy, where you don’t move a thing, and just catch up on rest.
10.) Lastly, what advice would you give to kids who are just starting out, who dream of playing professional baseball one day?
Advice I give kids now is a lot, but it all comes back to the basics. Hustle on and off the field, and run every pop fly or ground ball out. There is always someone watching you, whether you know it or not. Someone always has tabs of what you are doing. Go about your business as if it was your job. Even when it is your job, remember to have fun, but it’s a business. You represent you and your organization at all times. No one wants to deal with a hard-headed young man. Someone who isn’t coachable or willing to apply to change. There is always someone out there working hard like you, if not harder. Remember that a million people want the same job you are after, but the question is what are you going to do to separate yourself from the rest? I just want to see kids push themselves and reach their max potential. The generation today is totally different from when I was a kid. I didn’t have people to tell me how to go about my business in baseball, so I try to give as much advice as possible when I see talent with lack of direction. It’s all about giving back to build for my future! It starts from within, and goes as far as you take it. Long as I’m living I will do my best to always help guide someone who shares the same dream as me. Hopefully one day I can get into coaching and share what I’ve learned throughout my career.
Big thanks to LV Ware for taking the time to answer some questions for my blog.
You can follow LV on twitter: @LV_Ware