Day games...

Today morning we have our 3rd home afternoon game. An afternoon game means we arrive at the field around 8:45 am for a 1pm game, sounds crazy, but it does make sense.I'll give you a little run through on how today is going to go.

8:30 - leave the house for Merchantsauto.com stadium a few minutes down the road.
8:45 - Arrive at the field, check the 'board' for todays batting practice jobs and any other daily news we need to know. Get to our lockers, get out of our manditory collared shirts and take our clean wash off the loops we put into the laundry after yesterdays game.
9:45 - Pitchers stretch first always, we do this so that we can get our throwing and running programs out of the way by the time batting practice starts.
10:15 - Batting practice, today I had fungo's (which I am a pro at by the way). 45 minutes later we head off the field, through the dugout into the clubhouse. As a relief pitcher, I don't need to be back on the field until 12:45, so I have almost 2 hours to workout, have something to eat, shower, watch some sports center, play cards, bullshit with team mates, get a coffee in me, and finally get my uniform on.
12:45 - I could walk under the bleachers, the back way to the bullpen, but I normally go through the dugout instead. I walk through the dugout to enable me to walk down the line, where all the kids and autograph seekers know to sit to get our guys to sign stuff.
1:00 - Anthem time, our bullpen enjoys getting after the national anthem, sometimes in harmony, sometimes it's brutal.
1:05 - Gametime. I wait for the call later on in the game and try to help my team win a ballgame.

The night game preparations are pretty much the same, just later on.

We're 11-5 right now, and will be trying to pick up another win here in a bit.


The big #200

Wow, I didn't even realize it, but my last post was #200 since I started my blog in February 2007 and over about 400 days I've thrown up 200 posts. Since I put up a post for my 100th entry, I figured to give this one some love too.

Let's see, since I started writing about the happenenings in the life of my wife and I put up posts about such things as...

-> Our amazing wedding in Oklahoma in march
-> A beautiful Jamaican honeymoon
-> My seconds year playing in the Dutch Headclass
-> A no-hitter against the Amsterdam Pirates
-> The 2008 pre-olympics and Olympic games in Beijing
-> The honor of being the best man at two of my best friends wedding back in BC
-> Adventures and happenings of living in Holland for 8 months with my wife
-> Living back at home for 3 months in Vancouver
-> Pre-WBC training in Florida
-> The WBC in Puerto rico and Miami
-> Signing and playing with the Blue Jays in their minor league system
-> Many many other blogs about random occurrences, daily happenings, good things, bad things, and anything that I've experienced over the incredible past 14 months. Most of them are accompanied by pictures.

Anyways, I'm going to try and keep up the blogging while I'm here playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and wherever else life may take me and my wife Shorty.


Getting settled in on the road

Well hey there! It's been a while, I know. Sometimes literary lazyness can take over. It helps that I just figured out how to make posts on my cellphone, this will make roadtrips into blogtrips (as long as I can keep car sickness at a distance).

I got my visa figured out finally on thursday, and did make the game by the 5th inn, in time to get my first appearance in the 9th, and lock down a 2-0 win, earning the save. The next night basically the same situation unfolded, and I earned another save in a 2-0 victory.

I'd better get going, we're at the Conecticut Defenders field now.

Time to win some ball games...


It's about that time

I've waited about 8 years to make my professional debut, so whats another day?

Tomorrow I'm flying to Toronto with (knock on wood (yeah I'm fairly superstitious)) all the paperwork I need to be approved and get my visa to be able to officially play minor league ball, finally. The Blue Jays management booked my flight so that I would be able to perhaps be available for relief once I fly home for our 6:35 start.

I'm flying Manchester to Toronto at 11:10 am, getting off that plane, walking straight out and to the Air Canada counter to pick up my return ticket. At that point I proceed directly to US immigration, where I'll need to go to an office or something to get the paperwork out of the way, and wait 4 hours to board my return flight. Upon arrival back in Manchester at 7:05 pm, I will promptly find a cab, and get to the field asap. I'm thinking (barring any delays) I can make it to the bullpen by about the 6th-7th inning, in time to maybe make my debut. I do not know if I will pitch, but I am going to go about it like I expect to, so that I will be ready no matter what.

On another note I've realized we are a hot cold team, as most teams are, streaky. We won our first three and have proceeded to lose our next three, with the latest defeat a 2-0 heartbreaker tonight.

I saw the most dominating start I think I've ever witnessed tonight, and I've seen a lot of baseball in my life. Our starter Rei Gonzalaez from Key West, Florida threw as efficienly as any starter I've ever seen. He gave up 5 hits, okay, struck out 4, okay, walked none, good. But the amazing numbers in the game were not all the zero's he put up over 8 and 2/3 innings of work, no, it's the fact that he only used 71 pitches. He never threw more than 4 pitches to any batter unless he struck them out. That's rediculous! Unfortunately he was pulled for a lefty - lefty matchup with 2 outs in the 9th that didn't pay off despite his low pitch count, so he wasn't able to get a chance for a win, or a complete game. Still, I won't forget this outing. I've been part of 2 no-hitters, and many complete games and they were nowhere near as maserful as what Rei Gonzalez did today for the Fisher Cats.

Time to get some sleep, tomorrow is potentially a very big day.


New News

Fisher Cat season kicked off 2 nights ago, and we have 3 games down, and are 3-0. 3solid pitching performances, a 2nd baseman and 2 hole hitter with 7 RBI's and 4 doubles in 3 games.

My soon to be new room mate (replacing the irreplaceable Martijn Meeuwis with Neptunus and the dutch team) is Marc Rzepczynski. Marc and I go way back, we played summer ball together for the Bellingham Bells in the summer of 2004 when we were both young and not nearly as experienced as we are now. Let me tell you some about him. He's a 23 year old lefty from southern Cali, real nice guy, a talker and a guy who doesn't realize how good he can be, well sometimes he does, but gets quickly chopped down by his team mates when is gets to that. He throws 90-92 with movement, and throws strikes. Dirty.

We are close to moving into our new apartment just off the downtown strip in Manchester, New Hampshire. We just need our furniture on Saturday, and are good to move in.

I am waiting to get my Visa approved and get the paperwork to be able to actually play for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Since I signed to near to the actual seasons start, I need to wait for my visa to be accepted, and then I can play baseball, and get paid. It should be less then a week from now when I am able to play, but you never know, and we will see.

We have 142 games this season, and I am excited to get into games, I think I would have at least 2 outings in by now. From the way I threw in spring training the double A pitching coach wants me to throw almost all submarine, which is fine with me. It's different, but I will take it, and run with it. I've been throwing strikes and despite I, and no other major league guys can throw submarine harder then 84 MPH, I am happy to make the switch, as long as the Blue Jays like it, and I succeed in that role.

Life's aright... just waiting for Shorty to get here, and for life to keep on keeping on.


Last few days

I'm learning a bit about the city here and getting somewhat settled in (but still not really yet). We're about to have our second night in the comfort inn here in Manchester, New Hampshire, and have one more night on the Blue Jays here giving us 3 days to find accommodations.

We (my wife Shorty and I, and left handed pitching room mates Nathan Starner and Marc Rzepczynski) have found a 3 bedroom apartment in downtown Manchester. It's very very nice, but we just have to put up a reasonably high (but worth the nice apartment) price per month to live there. We went out to check out some apartments today and checked out 2 of the few apartment complexes which were able to accompany our needs and give us a 6 month lease or less. Anyways, we will move is there either Wednesday or Thursday and are going to rent furniture for a Fisher Cat special price, which is about 75% cheaper than what is offered by the apartment complex.

We got a quick practice in this morning, 6 pitchers including myself got into a simulated game (pitching against our own batters without fielders) and most guys got a solid gym workout in here at the stadium. By the way, our stadium is awesome, very very nice. I think it fits about 10,000, has a Hilton hotel right behind the left center field fence, and also a Bar and grill directly behind the left field wall. Very cool looking field.

We had a meet and greet with the season ticket holders and all the local fans tonight. We sat in a row, all 24 of us and signed autographs on balls, bats, gloves, banners, hats, paper, signs, and even a water bottle. Overall it was great to meet and chat with a lot of the kids and fans that came through today.

Our first game is Wednesday night, and after that, only 139 more!


Finals Rosters

They told us in an early morning meeting about sending bags, teamwork, and the all important minor league final rosters.

I have been assigned to... Dum dumdum Duuuuum!! Double A, New Hampshire Fisher Cats!!I am very excited to get up there and be able to put together a solid campaign.

I will be a relief pitcher. Not sure which role they'll be giving me, but I hope I get some decent work in, and that I'll be able to do my best. We have 25 players on our roster, this includes 4 outfielders, 2 catchers, 13 pitchers and 6 infielders... a solid roster, with a lot of potential. We'll see how it all pans out.

I'll give you some more posts once I'm back in New Hampshire, and have a place to live!