Now this was the first long season I experienced, the first playoff experience, and the first time I didn't have to stay in Arizona for another long scheduled event of the toasting of my insides and those hundred degree midnights.
Ah yes, Randy Ready, this guy is quite the character. This season was quite the step for me in many ways. Randy, first of all, had so many one-liners and silly self quotes that everyday was an adventure. It was the first full season and it was now Low-A.
Randy took the game and his position very seriously. It seemed as though that it was a more mature, and, how do I say, like getting into the professionalism of a player on and off the field but more detail. Guys were a little older and closer to men then before so he treated us more as men of the game. Not saying the others didn't before, I'm saying that those other seasons, lets face it, we were younger – some just out of high school and it wasn't just them coaching us it was almost, but not really, like babysitting, but not really. More trying to weed out our immaturities and leading us into the proball aspect.
Here, it was basically time for us to act like men and play the game and be more accountable. It was dismissed, or kind of nursed through, the five or six walks and the little tantrums here and there before, now it was more like, ‘lets go man. This isn't how your going to act if you want to win games and move.' Randy's kids were great too. When I was in the stands doing the charts and such, they were always there and they knew basically everything there was to know about each of us players. It was them who helped me see that you know we are now getting to the stages of where we are being heard a little and kids are watching and doing what we do.
This year was the year that really jumped out at me because it was like my manager and coaching staff was talking to a man, an older person who has had his time to grow up and get his feel of pro ball and now its time to really know what it means to do my job.
Steve Webber, haha, Webby was awesome. He was a little quiet at first, and you all know me, I'm anything but subtle and quiet.
The one question that helped me really start to understand was why?
I would not hit my spot in the bullpen on a given pitch and still at the time show anger and disgust in myself.
He would ask why?
Why beat yourself up over a pitch that first of all was in your bullpen – this is where you work on stuff like that.
He really opened my eyes – me kinda being not so much a baby but maybe unrealistic.
Couchee who I will speak about in another day, was with Webby and agreed when they both said, ‘ya know, once you let that ball go on any given pitch, that's all. That's the last control you have over what happens with what that ball does. After each one of those pitches, you have to let it go, get it out of your head and focus on the next pitch.'
I would drive myself crazy over the stuff I can't control. Or that awkward somewhat silly question sometimes when I would come into the dugout after an inning he would ask me, ‘why did you throw this pitch to this guy in this count.' Of course, at the time, I would mostly say what I would think or try to say what he might want to hear.
He helped me think more about pitches and situations of those pitches.
Now onto Torni and he was such a great goofy part of our team. Some guys have different strategies and Torni had his and I watched him turn guys upside down and then the next two days the guys would rake and stop questioning him. He was always fun to be around and had information that guys needed, listened to, and succeeded. Plus he looks so much like Luigie from Mario Brothers that which just added to the fun on our team.
Now to Lake Elsinore with Rick Renteria, Razor, and Torni – tomorrow.