One thing I have learned over the years is that baseball is full of ups and downs. As a pitcher, I go out on the field multiple times a week. Life would be great if every single outing was perfect, but that is just not how baseball works. I try to not dwell on any outings, whether they are good or bad. This week I earned my 2nd save on Monday and celebrated a much-needed win. That was definitely one of those “up” days. Like many of the guys, I am coming off of a full season and some days I feel how late it is in the year. I am working hard to stay on a strong workout plan and rest as much as possible to keep my stamina up.
Today, however, I was faced with a difficult outing. I was able to get ahead of the hitters, but made some mistakes and left the ball up at times. It is those little mistakes that resulted in guys getting on base. Things were just not going in my favor, but I am not a guy who checks out and gives up. I fought every batter I faced, and I was able to strike out the last hitter to preserve a win for the Dogs. This was what I consider one of my “down” days. But I feel good to have finished this one out and am ready to get back on the mound again.
I have become a better baseball player because of the “downs” I have experienced early in my career. I mentioned in my first post that my introduction to minor league baseball came in the form of the 2009 Arizona Fall League. Most guys are assigned to a minor league team immediately after they sign, however after I was drafted in 2009 I was unable to play due to contract negotiations. I was given the great honor of being asked to play in the Fall League along with some of the Reds top prospects in the organization. I knew that I would be facing some very tough competition, but I was unaware of how different the transition to professional baseball would be. I learned so much during those few months. I learned that I needed to change the way I worked out and how I treated my conditioning program. I also learned that I had a lot of work to do if I was going to compete with these aggressive hitters. I took the struggles I had in the AFL that year and have used them to make me a better pitcher even today. I feel lucky to have been challenged early on and given the chance to fail.
Now, in the 2011 AFL, I am prepared and confident that I know how to deal with these ups and downs in the baseball world. And I have learned to always have a good time, regardless of the outcome.
~Brad Boxberger #35