Wednesday, December 30, 2009

CHRISTMAS BASEBALL CAMP

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SWINGS II

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Monday, December 28, 2009

CAMP WEEK

This morning was the first day of our Christmas Vacation Baseball Camp. Needless to say, it was a very, very long day. We had 35 kids ages 7-12 for three hours. I think even more tired than my body is my throat. Seven and eight year old kids ask more questions than I would have ever imagined, and most of the questions have absolutely nothing to do with baseball. It's kind of like watching that old TV show, Kids Say the Darndest Things. Why are you wearing black shoes? Do you have any brothers? What color is your car? What's your dog's name? Questions aside it was a really great time.

On the plus side we only had one casualty, with a seven year old taking a thrown ball of the chest. Anytime you have young kids involved with moving objects you know somebody is going to get hit by something. There are still two days left so I'm sure this is just the beginning.

After camp was over I had to get my own swings in and give a few more hitting lessons. Overall it made for a really long day, but as long as there is baseball involved it makes things go by pretty fast. I've got some of my swings from today's workout below.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

OLD SCHOOL

This video was taped back in 2005 when I was a Sophomore at Wake Forest. I wanted to be the closer for us, but I was afraid I might hurt my arm or do something stupid and get injured. If my career as a hitter doesn't pan out atleast I have a back-up plan...just kidding. The coaching in the video is done by Hall of Fame Manager and National Cross Checker / General Manager Jack Antonelli.

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Working on the catching skills. You never know when you'll have to bust them out.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

MAIL BAG

Quinn from Massachusetts asks:

Matt, I saw you were drafted out of high school. Why did you decide to go to college instead of turning pro?

Thanks for the question Quinn. I did get drafted out of high school to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Believe me, when I got drafted the first thing I thought was that I wanted to take the offer and play professional baseball. Playing pro ball was something I was working hard towards for a few years, so when I had an opportunity to go play it was really exciting. Before I could make a decision though, I needed to make sure I looked at all the facts and made the right choice.

Although I had always wanted to play professional baseball, I had always seen myself going to college and getting my degree. I had a scholarship to go play baseball at Wake Forest University, a very good academic and athletic school so I had a tough decision to make. I spoke with my agent and told him what I was thinking in regards to my decision. I told him that if the Dodgers would offer me $250,000 I would really have to think hard about my decision. It turned out that they would not offer me the amount I was asking for, so I decided to go to college.

Looking back, I am not sure I would have signed if the Dodgers had made the offer I was looking for. Turning down a college scholarship to play in the ACC, something I had always wanted to do, would have been extremely tough. The way I looked at it, I could go to college, get my degree, play college baseball, and get drafted again in a few years, hopefully even higher than I had been out of high school. I am glad I made the decision I made. I was able to play some exciting baseball and become friends with a lot of great people down at Wake Forest.

I think playing college baseball helped prepare me for professional baseball. I had the opportunity to play in the Cape Cod League during my summers, another really great experience. And after it was all said and done, I was drafted 18 rounds higher after my three years of college. I haven't had a chance to receive my college degree yet because I left school after my Junior year. At some point I would like to return to school and get it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SANTAAAA

Merry Christmas everyone! Just wanted to give a heads up to anyone wanting to attend our Christmas Break Hitting Camp this coming Monday. We have seven spots still available so if you would like to come please e-mail me at mattantonelli9@gmail.com to reserve a spot. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Christmas week has been really busy for me with working out, hitting, doing some lessons, and buying some last minute presents. I always wait until the last second to buy everything I need. It's 5:00 p.m. right now and I am planning on going to buy a few things tonight. I have a feeling it is going to be a really bad move.

I don't know why, but it doesn't feel like Christmas time to me. Time is really flying by. I feel like it was Halloween just last week. I think the older you get the faster time goes. When I was ten it felt like Christmas took forever to come around. Before I know it, I will be flying out to Arizona for the start of the baseball season.

My fantasy football team lost in the semi-finals this Sunday. I haven't come out of my room in three days because of it. I hate losing, especially when it has to do with football. My man Tom Brady didn't really bring the A game for me this week. I guess I'll find a way to get over it. I just don't want to listen to whoever wins the league yapping about it all Spring Training.

I hope everyone has a nice Christmas. I've got a quick workout tomorrow morning before I eat for the rest of the day. It should be a nice day of relaxation. My family lives next door to me so I only have to travel a few feet for the day. Enjoy the next few days off of work and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

GOTTA GET IT RIGHT

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

MAIL BAG

Bob from New York asks:

How do players keep a positive attitude when they find themselves in a slump?
Hi Bob. Thanks for writing the question, even though I don't like thinking too much about slumps. Hitting slumps are really weird. Baseball seems like the only sports where you can feel like the greatest hitter in the world one second, and have no idea what your doing the next. Slumps can be absolutely the most frustrating things in the world, but the thing you usually have to remember is that they are a part of the game. You can't go 4-4 every game (That is unless your Albert Pujols). You are bound to have no hit games, and sometimes your going to have a couple of them bunched together. You will also have three or four games in a row of multi-hit games. Baseball usually has a funny way of evening things out.
The times that it is tough to keep a positive attitude is when your slump lasts and lasts and lasts and you don't know what to do to get out of it. Over the last few years I have been in some really long slumps at times. It was something that I had never experienced in my life, so believe me it was really, really frustrating. I have gone through times when I had anything but a positive attitude. I guess the one thing you have to do is always believe in your ability and know that if you keep putting in the time and working hard things will turn around for you. The thing about baseball is once you hit the ball the game is out of your control. You can feel great and not get any hits, and you can feel horrible and go 4 for 4. The most important thing is to keep an even keel and keeping working hard whether you are doing great or not.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CHRISTMAS VACATION CLINIC

School vacation is a great time to start getting seriously prepared for your outdoor baseball season. I will be running a Christmas Vacation Clinic Monday - Wednesday (Dec. 28th,29th and 30th) morning from 9:00 a.m. til 12:00 p.m. We will provide top level instruction with a staff that includes college coaches and college and professional players on the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, and throwing. The Clinic will take place at the newly renovated Strike One Complex in Danvers, MA. The camp will include a low student to instructor ratio. (6 to 1) We will have drill stations stressing baseball fundamentals with players grouped by age, along with competitions. There will be motivational talks on baseball and life skills. Every player will also receive a clinic T-shirt. The clinic will fill up fast so please e-mail me at mattantonelli9@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

Date: December 28th - 30th, 2009 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Ages: 7-12 (If you are 6 or 13 let me know your birthday we may be able to accommodate you)

Cost: $130

Last year we held three winter camps for all different ages. Below is a quick shot of one of last years clinic.

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SOME MORE HITTING

There hasn't been a whole lot of new things going on the last week or so. I have been working out a lot and starting to work a little bit more on my swing. I've got a few things I want to work on so it's time to start putting in more work.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

TAKING SOME SWINGS

I went and took some swings today for the first time in a week or so since I was out West for the weekend. Just figured I'd throw it up here.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

MAIL BAG

Craig from Illinois asks:

What are the living arrangement like when you are playing in the minor leagues?


Hey Craig thanks for the question. Depending on what team you play for and what league you are playing in, the living arrangements can be very different. My first year in the minor leagues I played in the Northwest League in Eugene, Oregon. I lived in a hotel that was about five minutes from our field. It was a very tiny hotel room and I even had a roommate. There were two beds in the room and a tiny TV and that is about it. I bought a bike to ride to the field since we didn't have any cars to get around.

I got moved up after two months and was sent to the Midwest League in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There I lived in an apartment that was located on a golf course. The apartment wasn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but after living in a hotel for two straight months I thought I had a penthouse apartment at the Ritz. I had two roommates in a two bedroom apartment, so one of my roommates slept in the living room on the sofa. The guy was 6'6'' and almost 300 pounds. Why he wanted to sleep on the sofa, I don't know, but he enjoyed it and I had my own room so I wasn't going to complain.

The next season I was sent to the California League in Lake Elsinore, California. There I stayed with a host family. Out of all the places I have stayed to date, this was by far the best. I stayed with a great family less than ten minutes away from the field. I couldn't have asked for better host parents, as they turned out being my home away from home. I still see them every Spring Training and stay in touch throughout the off-season. After three months I was moved to San Antonio, Texas where I once again moved into an apartment, this time I only had one roommate. The place was really nice, but it was almost thirty minutes from the field. That turns out being a pretty big pain when you are driving that far back and forth every single day of the week.

The next year I played in Portland, Oregon, where I again had a roommate in an apartment. When I got called up to San Diego I lived in a hotel downtown. It was really nice to have my place be so close to the stadium and also have so many restaurants within walking distance. This past year I lived in an apartment again, but instead stayed by myself since I missed almost two months at the beginning of the season. The apartment was kind of old and not the greatest, but it was literally a stone throw away from the park which turned out great.

As you an see, I have lived pretty much every way possible. One thing about playing baseball is you learn how to adapt to your surroundings, which are always changing and find a way to make the best of it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

WE'RE THEREEEE

It is nice to be back home again after spending the weekend out West. I flew out to Arizona on Friday for a wedding. The weather was great out there as usual, especially after dealing with the cold and snow we had the last few weeks. It is crazy how much of the day is spent flying when you travel from one coast to the other. We had stops in Chicago both times, so by the time you switch planes and finally arrive you've lost almost ten hours of your day. Mix in a delay because you don't have any pilots and you might as well chalk the whole day up to a loss. Luckily, the wedding was awesome and a real lot of fun. I was able to catch up with a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while.

We flew out there on Southwest, which from my experience is much better than any of the other airlines, with the exception of maybe Jet Blue. The only bad part about Southwest is picking your own seats. I like the option, but if you are given a C ticket or something like B40 you are destined for a middle seat, and that's the last thing you want on a cross country trip. Anyone with an A ticket or a high B number guard the thing like its their first born child. A lady almost ripped my head off when she had B5 and noticed I was holding a B9 and was standing next to her. "I'm a B5!" she screamed at me from six inches away. "Congratulations!" I went and stood two people behind her. Like Lloyd Christmas says, some people just aren't cut out for life on the road.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

SOUNDWAVES

Last Sunday I did an interview with a friend of mine Tyler Pyburn from Bay State Game Day. I was in my car driving home from watching the Pats game so I might seem a little upset. If you live in the Massachusetts area check out their website baystategameday.com to keep up with Massachusetts sports.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

HOW YA DOIN?

I am really tired. I might actually fall asleep while I'm writing this. I just got back from a workout at Catz and it really kicked my butt. I usually work out every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, using Wednesday as a much needed day of rest and relaxation. This Friday I am flying out to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend a teammates wedding, so my workout schedule got changed to Monday through Thursday. I still have one more day to go tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it. I guess it will feel really nice when tomorrow is over and I know I have the whole weekend to relax in the sun of Arizona.

Anyways, I am still upset about Sunday's Pats loss to the Dolphins. I made so many bets with everyone I possibly could during the baseball season that the Pats would be unbelievable just like they were in 2007. I was wrong I'll admit it. Spring Training is definitely not going to be fun with all the money I'll have to dish out to free dinners because of it. I bet as many people as I could that the Patriots would have a better record at the end of the year than the Chargers. Most of the guys in our organization are obviously Chargers fans, so I thought my bet would be money. I think I owe like 7 people free dinners when I get there. I told them when I made the bet, "Don't forget McDonald's is not a restaurant!" I wish I could take that back now.

I went hitting yesterday and made it through a whole session without my hands bleeding like the first time around. My swing feels really good for it being only my second time hitting. I am pretty excited. This Saturday I went into Boston to buy a shirt and tie for this wedding I am going to. It was a crappy day out with some snow so I figured I would be the only person in the city shopping. I was definitely wrong. The place was packed. I took my dad's truck in because my car can't drive in the snow and it ended up backfiring. I am a horrible parallel parker as it is, but with his truck there was no chance I could fit into some of the small parking spots. I ended up circling the city like five times before I decided to find a parking garage and pay the outrageous cost. I ended up buying a black shirt and a black tie to go with my black suit. My favorite color for clothes as you can probably tell is black, but I am not sure if maybe I went a little overboard.

The one bad part about not being home this weekend is that I'm going to have to go look for a bar to watch the Pats game. I usually watch at a place called The Moon, which is right across the street from our Spring Training facility. I'm thinking I'll be watching it over there again. I have a big day on Sunday. Not only are the Pats now playing for their playoff lives, but my fantasy football playoffs start. I need to win this thing so I at least have some bragging rights when I get back to Spring Training. Well, I got to go start packing for this trip. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

WINNER

OK, so the correct answer for what jersey number I wore in high school football is #18. Pretty much everyone either guessed 18 or 6, so you guys are good. It is funny how many people said it was a trick question and the answer is 6. I guess I was interviewed last year and said I wore 6 in every sport, but I guess I was lying that day. Congrats to the winner Zachary Wolfe from Rancho Santa Fe, California. I'm going to start asking a new question every few weeks because of how many people sent answers to my e-mail today. You guys can write me an e-mail or leave a comment under the blog post letting me know what types of prizes would be cool to win. It has to be something that is easy for me to mail. Thanks again to everyone who e-mailed in and good luck next week.

TRIVIA QUESTION

Here's the question for this weeks trivia. The first person to send the correct answer to mattantonelli9@gmail.com will win a pair of new Nike batting gloves.

During my high school career I played football, hockey, and baseball. I wore #6 in both hockey and baseball. What number did I wear in football? This might seem like a tough question if you didn't see me play, but the answer is located in one of the posts throughout the blog. Good luck and if you know the answer don't wait. First person with the correct answer wins.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Q & A

I did an interview on a blog dedicated to the San Diego Padres called Gaslamp Ball a few days ago. They asked me some questions about a variety of different topics. Check it out below or go to gaslampball.com

When the Padres found out recently that you were blogging did they try to shut you down? Give you ground rules? Lecture you? Has it even been brought up?

I'm not really sure if the Padres know that I have a blog or not, but they have not said anything about it. I am not sure if they will or not in the future, but I don't think they have to worry about me saying anything they wouldn't want me to. I pretty much stick to only writing about myself. I decided to write my blog for fun and to let fans, friends, and family know what's going on in my life when I'm 3000 miles away from home.

What are two secrets about Matt Antonelli that we should know?

Haha I don't really have any secrets, but if I did I don't think it'd reveal them on the Internet.

With all the young guys in the clubhouse these days, who do you see as the team leaders both with the big league club and at Portland?

The big league club is definitely a young team, but there are also a lot of great veteran leaders on the team. If I had to pick a few quickly it would probably be a guy like David Eckstein or Adrian Gonzalez. I obviously haven't been around the team as much as some of the other guys, but during Spring Training and my short time up in 08' I saw that these guys have a lot knowledge that they offer the other players. I feel really fortunate to have David Eckstein play the same position as myself and be able to learn from him. As far as Portland goes, it is tough to say because I won't even know who is on the team until right around the end of March. I am sure we will pick up a player or two that is an older guy and can bring a lot of wisdom and experience to the triple-A level.

Terry Kennedy is the new AAA coach. Though you obviously intend to make the big league club does the change affect what you'll be doing in the offseason or during spring training?

I had a chance to be around TK a little bit during the last two spring trainings and I can tell he is a really great guy. I have a lot of friends that have played for him in San Antonio and I haven't heard a single bad thing about the guy. I know I would love playing for him. With that said, I personally won't be doing anything differently because he could possibly be my coach. I just look forward to learning from him during the season.

Do guys in the clubhouse discuss whether to marry a Minor League girlfriend or hold out for a Major League girl?

Haha that's a funny question. Nah, I don't think guys talk too much about what type of girl a certain guy should be with. Most of the guys that I am playing with are already married anyways, or they are engaged. I'm starting to feel old.

With the Padres promoting so many young players, it must have been frustrating to have been hit with injury. How do you like your chances to stick with the club this season?

It is never fun to be injured. I had gone pretty much my whole life without ever being injured and missing time because of it. It is no fun sitting on the bench or in the trainer's room and seeing your friends and teammates out there playing without you. As far as my chances on sticking with the team goes, I never look at who I think is ahead of me or behind me in the organization. I try to focus on myself, and what I can do to improve my game in order to make the club and play for a long time. If I play the way I feel I am capable of playing I know I will have a chance to play.

You talk a lot about your swing on your blog. There is so much jargon in swinging a baseball bat. What cliches do you actually find useful and try to implement in your swing? For example, does "keep your eye on the ball" or "quick hands" actually translate to something for you to do?

My swing has definitely been a major topic of discussion, especially after the last 2 seasons. I'd always just gone up to the plate and hit, but after I got into a few bad habits somehow I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I have looked at my swing over and over again, torn it down and built it back up. I am always searching for something easy to think or say to myself that will help me stay locked-in at the plate. I think everyone has something unique and a little different from someone else that they use to keep their swing intact. I have used a bunch of different techniques throughout my life and right now I feel I have the ones that will help me this season.

What are those giant faces outside the gates at PGE Park?

I have no idea what the hell those things are.

Is there any chance we could get you to renounce all Boston sports teams?

I think it is really funny how mad some people have got at me because I like Boston sports teams. Since being drafted I have actually lost my love of the Red Sox. Once you get picked by another team your loyalty changes. My job is to make myself the best player I can to help the Padres win. I really haven't followed the Sox since 2006. As far as it goes for the Patriots and Celtics, I don't think there is anyway you could change that. I still live in Boston and have lived here for 24 years. I am not one of those fans that shoves it in other people's face when my team wins, and I don't cry or lock myself in my house when they lose, but I still love them. If I end up playing in San Diego for a long time I am sure I will go to plenty of Chargers games and cheer for them, but if they play the Pats in the AFC Championship I'm sorry, but I'm rooting for the Pats.

Thanks for all the questions guys it was fun.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, good luck this season! High fives all around!

Friday, December 4, 2009

TRIVIA

OK, so on Wednesday, December 9th, I'm going to ask a trivia type question on here. Whoever is the first person to answer the question correctly will receive a pair of my Nike batting gloves. I haven't decided what type of question I will ask, but I don't think it should be too hard. You can send your answers to mattantonelli9@gmail.com. If you are a high school or college baseball player the gloves are an XL so you can where them if they fit. If you don't intend on using them I can personalize them to you along with my autograph. It really is up to you what you want me to do with them. If you don't play baseball, and really don't care for a signed pair of gloves by me then I don't know, maybe you can use them for gardening or something. I will send an e-mail later that night to the winner and send the gloves out the next day. Below is a photo of the gloves. Good luck.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

HITTING

Yesterday, I went to the batting cage to get some swings in for the first time since I returned from fall ball at the end of October. Every year, once the season is over I like to take a few weeks off from hitting to let my body recuperate from the long season of swings. I don't know exactly how many swings I take during a season, but swinging everyday from February until October can't be that great for your back. I felt pretty good considering it I haven't done it in a while. I am sure in a few days after I get back into a rhythm I will feel like I never stopped hitting since last season. I am glad I took some video yesterday because what you feel and what you see are sometimes very different. I want to make sure not to over analyze every single swing because if you look hard enough at anything you can find something a little wrong, but watching my swings reminded me of a few things I need to remember when I'm hitting. I've been home for more than a month and I can still hear my hitting coach in my head reminding me of stuff when I take a swing I'm not very happy about. I guess that's a good thing. Anyways, here are a few swings from yesterday and a picture of my hand when I was done. I got to toughen those things up a little. Sorry about only having a few swings on here, but my camera battery died about one minute into hitting.


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MAIL BAG

Chris from Albuquerque, New Mexico asks:

I thought I remember something about you being a hockey player in high school? If that's true, doing a piece on hockey would be sweet. I've always felt hockey and baseball are the two most difficult sports, skills-wise.


Thanks for writing Chris. I did play hockey for four years during high school and it was probably my favorite sport growing up as a young kid. Right up until I entered high school I was playing hockey pretty much all year round. When I was young I always wanted to play hockey and baseball at the University of New Hampshire. My dad and I knew the UNH assistant hockey and head baseball coach growing up so we were always attending their hockey and baseball games. I can remember traveling down to Florida when I was little and allowed to be the teams bat boy, or being able to go in their hockey locker room and take some of the players sticks home to play with. It was sad when UNH had to drop its baseball program right before I was set to enter high school. That changed my plans as far as where I wanted to go to college, and what sports I wanted to play when I got there. I played four years of varsity in high school, but I started to dedicate more time towards baseball and less towards hockey as the years went on. I started only skating and practicing hockey during the four months of the hockey season so I could see my skills in baseball increasing while my hockey skills weren't improving like they were when I was younger. I still had a great time playing hockey and I still wish I could play a few more games on the ice. My senior year of high school our hockey team made it to the semi-finals of the state tournament but lost a game played at the new Boston Garden by one goal. That was the last hockey game I played in that actually counts. I have been skating one time since that day when a bunch of my former teammates had a pick up game at a local rink. Needless to say I was a little rusty. I'll always have a lot of great memories from all of the hockey I played and all the great people I was able to make friends with at the rink.

Below are a few videos from my last regular season game of my senior year in high school. I wish I had more videos, but the only game I have recorded from my high school career is this game. I am playing Center and am #6. Luckily, I scored a goal and had a pretty good hit this game.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

OUCH!!!

Who will win Monday Night Football's Patriots vs. Saints game?

New England Patriots
8 (66%)
New Orleans Saints
4 (33%)

Votes so far: 12 Poll closed

Ouch! I definitely didn't see this one coming. I figured it would be a close game and the Pats would come away with the hard earned win. Boy was I wrong. The Saints are good. The Saints are really good. The Pats didn't look good at all, but I think it was more of how well the Saints played and not so much about how bad the Pats did. Everyone knows that Drew Brees is a great quarterback and the Saints have more weapons than just about every team in the league, but I thought the Pats could at least find a way to slow them down a little bit. Everything came so easy to them. Guys were running all over the field wide open, and when they decided to run the ball their backs ran really hard. Somehow their defense figured out a way to take Moss and Welker totally out of the game. I've seen teams take Moss away and let Welker catch 15 balls, or take Wes away and let Randy go for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, but I've never seen them both get shut down on the same night. They not only covered well but they got pressure on Brady all night. Anyways, congrats to the Saints. I've seen both the Vikings and the Saints play now and I have to go with the Saints. I think they are coming out of the NFC and I'm hoping the Pats can get it all straightened out before playoff time.