Yes, I understand I shouldn’t need anything to make it easy for me to go to the field considering what I get to do each day, but if you knew him or played for him you would understand.
Renty had a way about him that when you were getting’ your butt chewed it wasn’t personal, and if it was, then you really knew that it was well deserved – then all over with a smile. Play the game right and the right things will happen.
For the short period of time I was in Lake Elsinore, he helped me to re-love, not that I already didn’t love it enough, but he helped me realize how much this game means to me and how much fun it really is when you play it the way its supposed to be played and smile.
And now he is the Portland manger and I will see him once again.
Now on to Gary Jones, Mike Harkey, and Mike Davis.
Mobile, let’s face it, for me was a struggle with the weather and basically the league at times.
But it is Double-A and really no more nonsense.
Gary Jones was the perfect match for the role of the general for Double-A. Seriously though, there were some who may not have liked the way he did things, but I’ll be the first to tell you that he did what was needed when it was needed and he put me in the position each and every time out to decide the game for myself.
We had our meetings, and we had our early work, but we also had the preparation and guidance for what was ahead if we were planning on making it to the next level. Here, we were definitely treated like men and all the responsibility was on us.
I always knew he had our back as well cuz, trust me, when he went out there to the umpires when there were differences in opinions – when the bill of his hat was pushed down like a military hat and his head movin back and forth real fast – you felt very confident and I’m not gonna lie, I often found myself whispering, thinking to myself, even shouting out, ‘go get em Jonesy.’
He has helped me learn how to be a leader. He has helped me realize that I can be a leader and there is always someone watching and that first impression could be the only impression that some of the most important people may see.
Now on to Mike Harkey.
Hark was a character in himself and he made it fun as well. He had his way of letting you do your thing until it was wrong and then he let you know that its easier just to do it this way; why not do it that way?
It was clear to me that if I wanted to learn how to really pitch in the big leagues, I needed to listen to this guy who had been there and done well.
Mike Davis was silly and I loved watching his interviews on the bus with those gigantic glasses that he used to wear when he played. He was such an upbeat guy and since I was going to have to hit every five days, he gave me a few tidbits here and there.
I also had Arnie Beyler and Glenn Abbott the following season in Mobile.
Arnie was a character as well and he was actually a guy who kinda looked after me as well; kinda gave me those little pep talks when they were needed and the behind the scenes chats and he was just a good friend and coach.
Glenn Abbott helped me a great deal. In fact, he was able to finally help me realize and actually do what I have been trying to do since I started pitching. He helped me to believe in my stuff. One step at a time he helped me finally feel confident in being able to throw my fastball where I want to.
He also helped me finally realize that no matter how much anger and animosity that I am feeling, people should be able to look at me and not know whether I just gave up a homerun or struck a guy out.
Now everyone has been telling me that ever since forever, but I just knew that it was time and he was there to see it. At the start of this year, I was a little worried to be honest, and you all saw how I did at the beginning. He sat me down and helped me understand that sometimes all I can do is take little steps and make big strides. He was a huge help, as all the others have been.
You all will see how far I go and now you know to an extent who helped me get here, as for my coaches. So, that’s all for now....until next week........Merry Christmas.