Unsung Hero

Coach Phil Clabaugh here at Eastern New Mexico University has been kind enough to let me join his team, and even go out of his way to give me presidence to his pitchers (which is definitely not due) at his teams workouts.
Coach Clay, as he is referred to around the athletic department, is the baseball coach, and has been for quite some time. His bio is incomplete on the schools slacking website (they still don't have Shorty as an assistant coach), so I can't get into his career coaching stats, but while walking through their clubhouse I found some old pictures up on the wall from the early 90's, (maybe even late 80's, my memory is weak with all this dry air) and he was at the helm then. He and the team has been quite welcoming to me, a non-alum, and let me mix in for bullpens, throw inter-squad to their hitters, and utilize their clubhouse whenever needed.
In return I have been happy to work with some of his pitchers. He has about 17 or so on his staff, some with some real projectability (baseball term for could be a big leaguer some day). After doing pitching lessons all winter I know more what to look for, and have already helped with a couple guys, hopefully giving them an extra few K's, an extra couple mph's, or even drop the team era by 0.15, I'll take it, as long as they're getting better.
I'm about to head out and meet up with the team again, and get my 20-30 pitches in off the mound to their hitters, working on my delivery, throwing strikes, and deceiving hitters. Honestly, I don't care if they hit me, as long as I'm hitting my spots and getting stronger and stronger right now.
Time to get'er going.



Well, I'm not sure what to write about. If I had been writing regularly over the past while, I would have lots to write about though, because there wouldn't be 100 little things to try and stuff into one blog. Life's been busy, my job right now is to get as ready as I can for spring training, so basically, working out, eating right, mechanics work, and last but not least enjoy the time I have with my wife.

Right now I am in the beautiful small town of Portales, New Mexico. It's best known for having the biggest organic peanut plant in the US, woohoo. To be honest, other than the small Division 2 university, I'm not sure why the city is here. But that is just my 'grown up in a big city' view. I have been using everything the school has to offer, working out in their gym, running stairs and doing plyometrics in their basketball arena, and throwing with and to the baseball team.

I've lost over 25 pounds this off season. This is something I knew I needed to accomplish to be able to obtain my ideal physique to throw to my maximum potential this spring. I'm not sure if it's just me, or my mindset, but I truly believe I throw looser, harder and more accurately the less excess weight I carry. That has me pretty skinny, but quick and strong. I can't take any chances, and have been working out several different ways and hours a day to get my body in as good a shape as I can before I report to camp March 6.

The Blue Jays have been signing pitchers left and right, hoping that one or more can fill the void left by the Roy Halladay trade. They have 30 healthy pitchers vying for 12 spots in the big league camp right now. Realistically, a couple will be cut, but the rest will be shuffled down into the minor leagues. I've known since the end of last season (actually the middle) that I need to shine in spring training, so I'm setting myself up to do the best I can do at that time. Like my dad always says "you don't want to look back and say to yourself - did I really do all that I could have?". What a smart man.

I have about 10 more days of ass-busting here before I fly to Dunedin, Florida, and that's when the ass-busting really gets going. Up at 5:30, several hours of baseball, then back around 2-4 pm. Until then I'm very glad to be in my spring training training period and spending very valuable time with my wife. Shorty is very supportive, and even a driving force behind me to get better, work harder and be as good a pitcher as I can be.

I'll see if I can think of a actual title for my next post.