And we’re Rafting!!!

I sincerely apologize for the little vacation I went on over the last 25 games, buut here I am, to tell you all about the last 30 days.

On the Baseball frontier, we have far exceeded expectations of I think just about every one of our critics. We may not be the most heavily prospect laden ball club in the league, but every one of our guys, 1-9 hitters any day of the week, gives us a tremendous chance to win the game.

Tablesetters Adam Eaton(D-Backs) and Jay Austin(Astros), hard hitting Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Tim and Ryan Wheeler of the Rockies and D-Backs respectivelly, and Kody Hinze (Astros) have made all of our games, whether we are down and out or tied going into the late innings, never feel like they are out of reach. Jason Castro(Astros, Griff Erickson(Dodgers, and Rob Brantly (Tigers) have been tremendous behind the plate, and at the plate as well.

We may be somewhat juvenile, however, everytime we score, the whole dugout rallies together and goes “rafting.” I’d explain it here, but it is way more fun if you come out to our games and watch us “raft” as a team. We have gone 15-8 because of a cohesiveness that I didnt think was possible only after one month of knowing each other. Going to the field every day has been a real blessing, and I’m thankful for every day we have out here.

And of course I cant Forget the Pitchers! Starting pitchers Joe Gardner (Rockies), Chuck Brewer (D-Backs), Stephen Fife (Dodgers), Dallas Keuchel (Astros), and Andy Oliver (tigers) are going out there every 5-6 days (depending on when our off days lie), and keeping the other teams at bay while our offense has time enough to score some runs. Our bullpen has been really good so far as well. I personally have struggled the most out of everyone in the pen, but fortunately our offense, defense, and other arms in our pen have been able to help me pull through this.

I have made 9 appearances in the first 25 games. In my first and third outings I gave up a total of 5 runs, but I’ve mixed in 7 outings and only given up 2 more runs. Ive gone back to the basics, trying to throw strikes, with all my pitches, and not being afraid of failure: Baseball isnt everything, but it’s what I love to do.

Every hitter we face is unbelievable. But what I didnt rememeber was is that every hitter, even the best of the best, still get out 7 out of every 10 at bats. Those are some pretty good odds for me if I just let them hit the ball. What I got away from early this fall, is that I was fortunate enough to get invited here, so I must be capable enough to have success here.

Hope you are all having a fantastic Halloween Weekend(since when did it become a full week of parties and craziness??)

Make sure to follow me on twitter @JZiggidyZeid

It’s all about the journey!

Attack of The Lobster

In addition to all the baseball games this week, I have been busy getting ready for Halloween. I am not really big into costumes, since I went all out during my college years, but my dog Ralph will be wearing a pretty amazing costume this year.  “The Lobster” that will be greeting Trick-O-Treaters at my house on Monday night.

Along with getting ready for Halloween, my girlfriend and I have been busy entertaining her parents that came in from Mississippi. We had the chance to check out the AZ State fair and eat at some great restaurants around Scottsdale. One of our favorite spots has become Don and Charley’s. This place feels like a Chicago style steakhouse and has some amazing baseball memorabilia. Their prime rib and BBQ is some of the best I have ever had, and I think that any baseball or food lover should definitely go check this place out.

I just finished watching the World Series, and it makes me even more thankful that I get to play this game as my profession.

~Brad Boxberger #35

Revenge of the Nerds

Welcome back everyone to my blog!

I’m sitting in my room watching one of the all time classic movies on Netflix, Revenge of the Nerds. I’ve never seen this movie so I decided I should probably join the rest of the world and view this movie at least one time. So far so good. I like the fact that the “Nerds” take so much ridicule and torment from the “Jocks” but yet are still unfazed by it. I would have snapped awhile ago in this movie. The nerds’ pranks are tremendous. “Liquid Heat” in the jock straps of the football players, awesome!

So Halloween is coming up in 5 days. We have a few great costume ideas in the clubhouse. I won’t disclose any names of players but I will say that we have Chris Angel, G.I. Joe, Starsky and Hutch, and LMFAO’s Sky Blu as potential top costume picks. I’m in the process of going to Goodwill or Salvation Army and picking out a top-notch yet inexpensive costume for Halloween. Last year I was Wolverine and the year before that I was the professional wrestler “Sting.” Let me know if you have any good costume ideas!

This is a photo from sophomore year back at Wayne State. Pretty embarrassing.

Now to baseball… I want to say we played just under .500 baseball last week and are 1-1 to start this week in the AFL. We are playing around .500 baseball right now on the season so if we want to head to the championship we need to pick it up a couple notches. Everyone is continually working at refining their baseball skills. Guys are showing up to the field early for early batting practice in the cage or throwing bullpens. It is a pleasure being apart of a team that strives for excellence. Like I said from my first post I think we have a strong shot at going to the championship. One game at a time.

In case you’re interested, my old school newspaper interviewed me for an article. You can read it here. Thanks South End!

Thank you for stopping by my blog to check up on the most up to date information in the AFL!

As always, you can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook! I’m still planning to do my giveaway of a signed pair of Reebok cleats once I reach 1,000 Twitter followers but I’m adding a new giveaway at 900 followers thanks to Phiten. Take a look!

-Anthony Bass, Pitcher, San Diego Padres

The Ups and Downs

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

World Series time!

I just finished cooking a little chicken spaghetti and now watching the first game of the World Series and typing on here in-between innings. The only thing that annoys me on a night like this is that right beside our TV in our den is another TV strictly for playing video games only, and it turns out that my roommates play Halo from the time they get in from our day game to the time they go to bed. So, they are yelling into the screen as loud as they can because they missed a shot or who knows what. I don’t get it. Therefore, I’m not watching and listening to the game…just watching. Enough talk about my loco roommates aka Dakota Watts and Chris Herrmann. I had a great weekend. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend came to visit for a few days. Sunday on our day off, me and my brother played some golf out at TPC in Scottsdale. It was a pretty tough course with all the desert surrounding the fairways and greens. We were tied going in to the last two holes, and let’s just say after 17 I walked back to the cart with mud in my shoes and stickers still attached to my legs. Yeah…I choked. I finished with a 82 and he shot a 79.

The Solar Sox are doing a little better. We won a few games over the weekend and are starting to turn things around. I believe the weather is starting to change a little as well (I think). Other than that, everything seems to be going good. Halloween is around the corner! I’m in the process of choosing a costume and I need to go buy a pumpkin and do a little carving. Well, I gotta go finish watching (not also listening because…you guessed it…they are still playing. Unreal. Take care!

— Brian Dozier

Sag bombers

Just finished up our game in Peoria. Got win number 10. A little different today our pitching had to really carry us today. Our bats were a little quiet today. The surprise saguaros aka “sag bombers” is going to be a tough team to beat the rest of the season — Wil Myers

That’s what we call a winning streak…

Hello again cyberworld!

I’d like to immediately jump right into this week in baseball if you don’t mind. First off, I grew up a Detroit Tigers fan so to see them lose last night to the Texas Rangers was devastating but there’s more. I understand giving up runs is part of the game but as a pitching staff giving up 15 runs in a 9 inning game is not what the doctor ordered. I don’t know if the Tigers’ arms were just spent or the momentum of the big 3rd inning by Texas deflated the wind from their sails. Regardless, I was disappointed to see the Tigers fall to the Rangers.

On a positive note, I am happy to see former teammate of mine in San Diego, Mike Adams (Texas Rangers setup man) advance to the World Series. If this somehow gets to you Mikey, you deserve everything coming your way. Keep throwing that cutter.

Now let’s talk Arizona Fall League baseball. After going 1-4 in the first week of the AFL season I was happy to see the Javelinas pull it back together and go 5-1 in week 2. Like I said in my last blog, this team has the all the makings of a championship team. We’ll see how this coming week goes and stay in the process and not look too far ahead of ourselves.

Last night was a great night in Downtown Scottsdale. My agency, Beverly Hills Sports Council, threw a nice social gathering at the W off of Camelback Road. There were a lot of Arizona Fall League baseball players in attendance including about half of the Peoria Javelinas roster. I had the privilege to meet other AFL ball players and get to know a little personal background from a few of them. I also got to see players I played against coming up through the minor leagues. It was an absolute pleasure to reunite with some great people. I have come to know it that baseball is like a big fraternity. I know when we think of the word fraternity we start thinking negatively about the concept but in reality the baseball fraternity is unique. On the field we compete and perform to the best of our ability on that given day no matter what the outcome may be. At the end of the day, most of the players have grown up playing with/against one another or maybe just formed a friendship in professional baseball. You’ll see enemies on the playing surface meet up after a ballgame for dinner/lunch. This is one of the many of things I enjoy about playing this wonderful game.

It’s October 16th and we have about 5 weeks left of baseball before we all get to go home to our families and friends. Homemade dinners have never sounded so good. This has to be the longest I have played baseball in my entire life and I love every second of it. Thank you to all the fans out there for continually supporting not only myself but the rest of the baseball players grinding it out each and every day. God Bless!

Don’t forget, you can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook!  I will be giving away a signed pair of Reebok cleats once I reach 1,000 Twitter followers!

–Anthony Bass, Pitcher, San Diego Padres

The Dog Days of Fall…

I know that saying usually applies to summer. But, here in Arizona the heavy heat has made fall feel more like the middle of July. Hopefully the cool weather will return and give us all some relief. Even though it has been hot, my girlfriend and I got out into the yard last week and decorated for Halloween. The decorations aren’t nearly as cool as my Christmas display, but I am adding on every year. One of my favorite things about being a homeowner is celebrating the holidays. My family always went all out and I am having a lot of fun collecting stuff for my own yard now.

The games this week were tough, but I am happy with how my outings have gone so far. My girlfriend brought a few of her co-workers to a few of the games to check out the AFL for the first time. She works at one of our favorite “mom-and-pop” restaurants down the street from our house. The regulars are some of my biggest supporters and it is always great to have people like that come out to games and be a part of the action.

On Friday I threw 2 1/3 innings which was a great challenge for me. That was the most I had thrown in a game in quite some time, and it felt good to be stretched out since I hadn’t thrown in a few days. I made it through with only a little bump in the road, something all pitchers dread…a balk. Many people don’t know exactly what a balk is, but basically it involves any actions on the part of the pitcher, while a runner is on base, that could deceive the runner. A lot of times, balks are pretty unclear and are usually based on the opinion of the umpire. But either way, I was charged with one but ended up striking the batter out so all ended well.

I am looking forward to our night game tonight, and hopefully checking out the AZ State fair some time next week. I think next week is going to bring some great things for the Dogs, and I am ready to get back out there and get some wins.

~Brad Boxberger #35


So this is baseball…

 Hey, Everybody!

             Tyson Gillies with the Phillies here to talk a little bit about life in the AFL! Its neared two years since I’ve felt what it’s like to be a part of a team again. I have spent the last couple seasons battling injuries and just trying to make it back to this game we love.  My hamstring went out in May of 2010 in Reading Pa. It wasn’t till almost a year later when I had found that it wasn’t my hamstring causing the problem at all. The functioning of my hip and groin seemed to be non-existing and was just making my hamstring compensate so much for the both of them. Finally getting all that taken care of and many hour of rehab I was ready to get back on the field better than ever! It was only my second game back when I was beating out an infield single and I stepped right on top of the first basemen’s foot. I spent two weeks playing on the injured foot before finding out I had a very deep bone bruise and ligament damage…Playing through the pain of the foot was fine. It was the foot that was causing my other hamstring to become very sore. I had been putting so much pressure on that leg all the time and it couldn’t hold it anymore. I told myself I would be smart this time and I knew how hard it was to come back from a hamstring injury.

        I am just so relieved and happy to be back on the field again. I truly missed being a part of something special. People who know me know I just love to run around all over the place. There is no worse feeling then feeling restricted of doing the things you love in this world. So I’m back in the habit and going fast again like Ricky Bobby! I am hoping to show some people that I can still play a little bit. The main goal for me here is to let everyone know that I’m healthy and ready to move on with my career.

All and all it has been a great time down here and the guys on the team have been awesome. It’s always good to meet new people and learn from them. We all have so much fun together already. We go by #scorpnation and some may even call me the Scorpion King! hahaa…I have been teaching these guys the way of life….and what it’s like to become men. haha!

This has been a Tyson Gillies Blogging experience…until next time


Colder Weather

I’m listening to Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather” right now wishing that we could get some of that. It’s about 100 degrees today…same as yesterday. I feel like this is really my endless summer. I started the season in Port St. Lucie, FL just as it was getting hot down there. I left St. Lucie and headed to Binghamton, NY just in time to miss the nice spring weather and jump right into their hot summer. As soon as it started to get nice in Bingo the season ended and I headed back home to Atlanta, catching their blazing hot summer’s end. Now I am here in Arizona stretching out my endless summer once again. I love the warm weather as much as the next person, but it’s hot…and it’s been hot for a while now! Oh well, at least there’s no problem getting loose.

Also, not to brag or anything, but our team rocks! On a scale from one to hilarious, the guys in our clubhouse are like a Steve Martin…or at least a Woody Allen. We’ve got a great mix of loud and quiet, but I feel like each guy has something funny to add to every conversation. Usually there is a giant discrepancy between the fun I have in the bullpen and the dugout. One usually trumps the other, depending what team I’m on. Here, however, both are an equally good time. I think I have to chalk it up to the fact that we all just seem to get along so well. Pitchers, Position players, coaches, trainers, clubbies…one giant family. The way it should be!

I’m throwing tonight. All of the other stuff out here is a lot of fun, but tonight is the reason I’m here. The reason we’re all here. Time to have fun doing what I love. Come what may, homeruns or 123 innings, I’m getting to live my dream. It feels good.

Collin McHugh, Pitcher, New York Mets

A Day Older, A Day Wiser