So, Wednesday was my first game, my first big league spring training
appearance, and my mood and my nerves were surprisingly mellow. I thought
that maybe I just hadn't gotten close enough to the mound, or the hitter hadn't
stepped in yet. First of all, I was in the pen throwing way before I
should have. I warmed up too long, though I thought that my reasoning was
headed in the right direction.
Everyone had been talking about the 'first time,' and how much their
adrenaline was flowing, so since I tend to get worked up anyway, and my
adrenaline starts to flow pretty easily, I thought that if I threw a little more
than usual, it would even out that rush when it hit. I got out on the
mound, and truthfully, I was very comfortable. No nerves, no butterflies, and
the back side of my pants were not brown, they were white, ALL WHITE.
Anyway, I got the first two guys on fly outs, or should I say the second guy
flied out, the first guy hit a scorcher down the left field line, and EY made a
nice grab. Yeah, that's right, Eric Young, made an awesome defensive play...for
me...while I was on the mound...in a San Diego Padres uniform...do sump la junta
No, but then here comes the best part. So, yeah, I walked the next guy
on four straight. It was really a learning experience for me ya know, I
mean I guess baseball really isn't any different in the big leagues, apparently
you still have to throw strikes when you have two outs. So he is on first,
and I knew he was going to steal but hey, I wanted him to have a better
view of what my catcher was signing to me, plus I wanted him to have a
shorter run to home plate ya know. I mean come on, figure it out Thomps,
ya know? He is on second, the next guy smoked one into the gap for a
double, and the run scored. From there, I proceeded to walk the next two.
In my defense, in all honesty, I just wanted all my friends that were there,
and the fans too, to see me talking to Bochy all cool and stuff. He came
out, gave me a few words of wisdom, and sent me on my way into a dugout full of
blank faces and even a few faint sorrowful faces that were all pointed in my
It was quite an experience, I guess you could say I got my feet wet, though
really, I almost drowned out there. I'm telling you though , it was
awesome. The one thing that I will say is that I should have stayed with
what had worked. I got two big league hitters out, and instead of doing
what worked, I tried to go harder, snap that curveball sharper, pull the string
on that change better. I shouldn't have tried to better what I had already
done, I should have just repeated it.
I'm not going to lie though, the rest of that day, and that night, it kind of
hit me a little harder. Yes, I know it was my first outing, but you know,
this could be my only opportunity. Now I don't plan on going anywhere, but
who knows what could happen. I have heard that some people only get that
chance once, and that you do everything you can with the chance you receive.
I just felt like I had let myself, my family, and everyone that had ever pushed
for me, down. I was really disappointed in myself. I got tears a few
times, I don't care if you all know it, I'm human just like the next guy, maybe
I have a little more sissy in me, but just the same.
It was hard, for me, I have been doing this my whole life, and what, because
I know a few of the guy's names, or they make tons more money, or it's a big
stadium with tons of fans, what, I'm supposed to completely forget how to do
what I have been doing my whole life? It just seemed for a short while
there that I was taking up someone else's shot to make it all the way.
Ok, now, after I sucked it up, and stopped, I guess you could say, feeling
sorry for myself, I pitched again yesterday. Same feeling as always, no
nerves, just waiting, real intense, but with a patient mind, and an aggressive
but subtle approach with every movement and breath I was taking. This time
though, I was not trying out for the "Playing Catch In the Bullpen" Olympics.
I did my normal routine that I would normally take, and then I headed to the
mound. First three hitters in my first inning--gone within ten pitches.
Second inning, one hit, (my fault though, I threw a soft changeup, it stayed up...I
mean even the cooks in our lunchroom would have gotten a hit) it was weak
though, and then I got the other three to fly out. So, in my near death
experience two or three days prior, it was looking pretty grim, but on day
two I managed to do what my job description had said to do. It was good
for me, I made pitches, definitely could have done things a little differently,
but no runs scored, and after the hit I gave up, now the cooks want BP.
All in all, it was a good day, until I went down to our strength guy, and he
gave me my conditioning. Yeah, not so sure I like talking to a person that
inflicts pain and strain on body parts I didn't even know I had, but I'm alive.
Anywho, that's it for me for now but, oh wait, ok. I have to do a kareoke
in front of the entire big league side, don't worry all the first time invites
do, and I need suggestions fast. You all have until at least tomorrow to
give them to me so I can get on it. Until then.
Email your song suggestions or comments to Sean via his editor at Renwick@SanDiegoSports.net