Friday, December 31, 2010

CHRISTMAS CAMP

Hey guys! The past few days I have been pretty busy with a Christmas hitting camp that we do every year for many of the local Little League and AAU players in my neck of the woods. It is always fun to teach the little ones some of the things that I've learned over the past few years of playing professional baseball. It is also fun to listen to the stuff that comes out of some of the kids mouths. We always have a question and answer segment at the end of camp where I get to answer questions from the kids. One five year old all-star asked me approximately fifteen times if I liked to eat chicken for dinner. Not only do you get quality baseball advice, but we care about helping our countries youth with their eating habits. You can see why we are one of the best camps in the country!

Anyways, on a serious note, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year! Below is some highlights of our camp.




P.S. Anyone that is driving outside tonight, watch out for the snow. The roads around here are wicked slippery. See!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BO KNOWS

Hey guys! Today's blog post is for the kids. Listen, there are a lot of baseball people out there that give great advice for how to be a better hitter. They teach you how to take a stride. How to transfer your weight. How to drive the ball for power. And how to look pretty while doing it all. But what happens when things aren't going your way? Baseball is a game of failure you know. If you fail 70% of the time in the Major Leagues, chances are you're going to the Hall of Fame. But what do we do when we are failing 80% of the time? Some coaches will tell you to stay positive. Focus on the good things that are happening. It's all rainbows and butterflies and compromise. I think that's a Maroon 5 lyric, but you get my point. Some will say your last resort is a good ole' slump buster. Actually I take that back, I forgot, this is for the kids. Well, I say all that stuff is for the birds. Sometimes you have no choice but to resort to plan B. Here is a friend of mine demonstrating the proper action to take when you've gone 0-4, can't even sniff a fastball, and your bat has a hole in it. Good luck kids!

video

Monday, December 27, 2010

TRIVIA WINNER

Thanks to everyone that participated in the trivia contest. The correct answers were #9 for the Storm and #23 for the Missions. There were a lot of people that answered correctly, and also a lot of people that answered one but not both correctly. The first two people to answer correctly were Alexander T. and Shelley from New Mexico. Congratulations to you both! If you won please send me an email with where you would like me to send the shirt and if you would like me to sign it or not. Thanks again for playing and good luck to everyone next time we play again!

WIN A PADRES SHIRT

Here is how the game is played. The first two people to answer this question correctly will receive a Padres shirt that many of us wear under our uniforms during the season (seen below). You can send your answer to mattantonelli9@gmail.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, in the comment section below, or any other way you can think of. If you think a carrier pigeon will get it to me the fastest you can try that. Like I said before, if you would like me to sign the shirt I will, but by no means must you get it signed. Maybe you live in the San Diego area and would like one of my other buddies on the Padres to sign it for you. That would be just fine. Good luck to everyone and let's do this!



In 2007 I played for both the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League and the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. The question is, what number did I wear as a member of the Storm, and what number did I wear as a member of the Missions? You must get both numbers right to win the shirt. Remember, it is the first two people to answer correctly, so hurry up!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

What's up guys? I hope everyone had a great holiday season and really enjoyed Christmas Day! I spent Christmas Eve eating dinner and exchanging presents at both Laura's family's house and at my relatives. Nothing like trying to get your holiday travel plans in order to make sure you can get to every one's house before the night is over. The good news was we ate chinese food at both places. Jackpot!

Santa was pretty good to me come Christmas morning. Even though I'd been trying to cut back on my video game time over the past few months, it didn't stop me from receiving Call of Duty and NBA 2k11. I figure everyone has to make a little time for video games every now and then no matter how old we get. One thing I have been really interested in lately is learning a new language, so my girlfriend bought me Rosetta Stone Italian. My generation is the only generation of my family that doesn't have a member that can speak Italian, so I figure I'll just have to start the trend and be the first. If anyone out there can speak it fluently I expect you to stay on my case and make sure I'm putting in the time to learn. Maybe we can have a pop quiz at some point in the future.

Today I am enjoying my time in the house watching the Patriots beat up on the Buffalo Bills. It is 34-3 right now so I think I can start to relax. It also just started snowing outside and we are going to get hit with a blizzard of up to two feet of snow. I'll probably be spending most of my night by a candle once we lose power playing Clue or Monopoly. Nothing like the good ole' days.

Before I sign off, I want to remind everyone that tomorrow I will have a trivia question and the first two people to answer correctly will receive a signed San Diego Padres shirt. They will be the dri-fit shirts that we wear under our jerseys. Send your answers to mattantonelli9@gmail.com or in the comment section below. Good luck to everyone tomorrow and have a great remainder of the day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a great week and happy holidays to all. I haven't been writing as much on the blog the last few days because of everything that's going on this week. I've been trying to do some last minute shopping for a few people, which always takes up more time than you anticipate. I actually still have no idea what I am going to buy for my girlfriend. It's OK though, since she doesn't know what she is going to get me yet either. I still have another two days to figure it all out.

Over the last few weeks I have been hitting like usual, and things seem to be going well. The swing feels good and the wrist is feeling even better. I'll throw a video below of a few swings I took today.





I wanted to let everyone know that I will be having a holiday giveaway this coming Monday. Since I am no longer with the Padres I thought I could sign a few of my shirts and mail them to the winners of a trivia contest. If you don't really like me, but really like the Padres, I don't have to sign it. It is totally up to you guys. I will give everybody a heads up what time the question will be posted on Monday. The first two people to answer it correctly will win a shirt. Just to clarify, it isn't an actual jersey. It will be the shirt we wear under our jerseys with the SD logo on it. I would love to give a jersey away but I only have one of those.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a great holiday and I will speak with everyone after Santa gives me some wicked cool stuff.

Monday, December 20, 2010

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS

Yesterday, I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a new book, The 4-Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss. I usually would never go shopping anywhere close to Christmas, but the book had just come out and I was looking forward to reading it. I realized pretty quickly that I had made a huge mistake. I'm not sure what people eat or drink before they decide to leave their house to do their holiday shopping, but it reminds me a little of that movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith, where when the sun goes down those scary looking things come out and try to eat your head off. People walk around and shop 10x faster during the Holidays. Even little old ladies on motorized carts turn into Ricky Bobby and want nothing more than to go fast. People are so afraid to miss something or let someone else buy something before they do. I'm not sure if they realized this, but Barnes and Noble has about 10 million books, and I'd bet they have more than one copy of their favorite literature.

I felt like a squirrel trying to cross a busy highway to get to all my buddies on the other side. Every time I took three steps I would have to stop and quickly look around before someone ran me over. At least in that case, most drivers would do whatever it takes to swerve quickly out of the way of our furry little friends. People shopping don't give a crap during the holiday season. I personally think they are looking for contact. If someone were to bump into you during a random day in July they would stop, apologize, and then walk slowly on their way. What ever happened to the Christmas spirit. People bump into you a week before Christmas, mumble to get the @&*% out of their way, lower their shoulder to get the all important Yards After Contact, and stumble their way into the end zone. Oh look, they have 48 copies of Harry Potter's volume 14 The Magic Wizard Stick, Touchdown!!!!

Outside there was an accident, about every fifteen minutes. Not only do people walk faster inside the mall, but they have no regard for any speed limit signs or any human life form in the parking lot. Yield to pedestrians on the cross walk? Yeah right. No passing over the double yellow line? Bite me. It's every man for himself out there, and if you get in some one's way you will pay the consequences. Pain! The damn parking lot is huge, but god forbid you would ever have to park and actually walk outside to your car. If holiday parking lot etiquette has anything to say about us, well, it says we're a bunch of assholes. The shitty part of this whole thing. I still haven't done my Christmas shopping yet. Shit.

This was actually one accident I saw when leaving the mall. I video taped it for you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

THE DECISION...

Hey guys! The weeks seem to be flying by the last few months. I really can't believe Christmas is only a week away. I still haven't gone shopping yet, but that isn't anything new. When it comes to holiday shopping I rank towards the top of the list of procrastinators. I figure I will let everyone else battle it out for shopping mall parking spots and I'll sneak in the night before Christmas Eve.

I know I've been MIA the last few days when it comes to my blog. I have had a lot of different things on my plate this past week. I'm working out everyday during the week, started hitting and fielding more, and been weighing my options when it comes to free agency.

Over the past week my agent has spoken with a bunch of different clubs about the possibility of me joining their team come February. It really is an interesting experience when you are a free agent and have to weigh different options and ultimately decide where you are going to play. After looking through the potential destinations last night I decided this morning that my best opportunity was to sign with the Washington Nationals. I am really excited for Spring Training to get back to playing again and being a part of their team. It has been a while since I've had the chance to be out on a baseball field and I know it will feel great when I'm able to do it again, especially this time being fully healthy. I've received a lot of emails and messages from Padres fan letting me know they will continue to follow me and cheer for me even though I'm no longer with their organization. I really appreciate that and thank you to everyone that has read my blog or shared a chat or two over the past few years.

Anyways, thanks again to everyone for the good luck wishes. I've got a date at the batting cage in a few minutes so I will talk with everyone soon. Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FANTASY FOOTBALLS FOR GIRLS ANYWAY

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a good weekend. I thought my weekend was going great, with the Patriots beating the Bears and my fantasy team up by 26 going into the Monday night game, until I woke up this morning. I found out that Andre Johnson scored 26 points exactly, meaning we tied 84-84. Our league never ruled on what the tie breaker would be, so apparently it was determined today that because I had lost to my opponent in the regular season he would advance to the playoffs. As you can see I am still pretty upset about the decision, but one day I will get over it and move on. Just not today.

Some interesting things happened over the weekend that I thought I would talk about today. I woke up today to a bunch of messages from Phillies fans letting me know that Cliff Lee signed with their team. Not really sure why people were writing to tell me this, considering I'm not really a Philadelphia fan, but I guess they just couldn't contain their excitement and had to let everyone know. I won't lie, that is one bad ass pitching rotation. I wouldn't want to see them in a playoff series that's for sure. I found it crazy that for the past few weeks it had been nothing but Yankees and Rangers talk, and then all of a sudden you wake up and hear the Phillies were the team. In today's world where Cliff probably can't even pick a booger without Buster Olney reporting on it, I'm surprised nobody really was reporting that the Phillies were in on the running. Good for them though, that's a great signing.

If anyone watched the Eagles vs. Cowboys game on Sunday night you know that after the game Tashard Choice ran over the Mike Vick and asked him to sign his gloves. I know that Tashard has since said he wanted the autographed gloves for his nephew, and I really don't care who they were for. What I don't understand is why I had to watch them talk about this for the last day and a half on SportsCenter, ESPN 2, and every other sports channel. It was a stupid autograph. Players do that stuff all the time. At the end of soccer games players take their jerseys off on the field and trade with each other. Baseball players send the clubby over to the opposing team's clubhouse before the game to grab some of their favorite player's autographs. It happens in every sport. I agree, from the time the game starts until it ends players need to forget about their friendships and do whatever it takes to win the ballgame. But after they have laid it all on the line for 60 minutes, I don't care if they all want to hug each other and sing kumbaya together.

The last thing is with regards to me being a free agent. I can't count the number of emails I have received from people asking where I will be playing next year, and if I have heard anything new about my situation. Over the last few weeks we have talked to a bunch of different teams, including the Padres, and are about to make a decision in the next few days. People have asked me to explain what will be the determining factor when it comes to deciding on a team. The main thing for me is opportunity. I want to pick a team that gives me the best opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. Everything else is pretty much secondary. Right now there are some opportunities that are better than others, so it will be my job over the next few days to decide which opportunity looks the best for me. I should know more about what's going on in the next 72 hours or so and I will keep everyone posted. Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon.

P.S. This bird has better rhythm than the majority of people I've seen out at night.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

YOOOO ADRIAN!!!!



Ever since last week when it was announced that the Padres and Red Sox had come to an agreement to trade all-star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for four minor league prospects, I've been asked countless times by fellow Bostonians for my Peter Gammons like analysis of the trade. As many of you know, I live a few miles outside Boston, and even though the weather outside is around 20 degrees and there is snow on the ground, Red Sox fever is as alive as ever. The thing I've found surprising is that even though people around here know so much about baseball, many don't know as much about Adrian as they probably should. I guess it makes sense being that Padres games don't start until after 10 PM east coast time, and many people have retired to bed by that time, preparing to beat the early morning traffic. Living on the west coast for the past five years, you forget how big a part the time difference actually plays when it comes to watching west coast sports. I figured since I've been asked a couple million times to talk about the deal I would take a day and go through it here.

The biggest question I've been asked by Red Sox fans since the trade is, "Do you think Gonzalez is worth the $150 million." My reply has always been, "if any hitter in the league is worth that much dinero, he definitely is." I don't know if I can think of anything Adrian doesn't bring to the table with regards to both his baseball ability and intangibles. He is a gold glove defender, maybe the best defensive first baseman in the league. He hits, hits for power, hits for average, drives in runs, hits doubles, hits home runs, gets on base, walks a ton, and does it all while playing in one of the toughest ballparks for a hitter in the league. He is a great clubhouse guy. He is a team player, wants to win, is humble, a leader, and great in the community. I don't know if there is a single thing the guy doesn't do. I guess he doesn't steal bases, but if you need that just go out and grab a guy like Carl Crawford...oo wait, never mind.

Although I have only been able to play with him for three Spring Trainings and a small sample of Major League games, I have still been able to learn a lot from him. Without acting like that Kevin Bacon super fan on the Google TV commercial, I've tried to listen and learn from him as much as I could. Two things stick out in my mind when I think about what I've learned over the past few years.

The first thing is his approach to practice and his pursuit to be one of the games best players. Being infielders, we would spend a lot of time in the batting cages at the same time during Spring Training. Everyone knows that Gonzo is one of the best in the game at using the entire field. He has an unbelievable ability to take an outside pitch, and even a pitch that is off the plate, and drive it to left field for a double or home run. Many people may think this just comes naturally, but I know from watching him that he works tirelessly on this skill. From the first swing in the batting cage he puts a ball on a tee low and outside and hits ball after ball to left field. The crazy part is he rarely doesn't hit the ball exactly where he wants. It is pretty impressive to watch.

He takes this approach from tee work, to soft toss, to batting practice. If he wanted to he could come to the plate during BP and hit home run after home run 450 feet into the right field bleachers. I know if I had his power and ability I would. I'd also stare at the ball until it hit the stands, take a small walk around the batting cage to make sure everyone knew it was me that hit it, maybe take a slight bow or two, and then return to repeat the process. But that's besides the point. Instead, he works on hitting line drives to left field, over and over and over again. He isn't worried about what he looks like doing it. He doesn't need to show everyone the light tower power that he possesses. He is doing what he thinks is going to make him a great ballplayer, and what is ultimately going to help him be successful once game time rolls around. Pretty impressive.

The second thing I've learned is why he makes the hard plays look so easy. The biggest thing I've realized is he is not afraid to make a mistake, or mess up in practice, or even look stupid while doing it. We were on the practice field one day working on taking ground balls and short pop flies. During the pop fly drills he would start on the infield grass and chase pop flies down the right field line. These plays were hard, and he made them even harder by starting way in on the grass and having to run as hard as he could down the line while attempting to make an over the shoulder catch up against the practice fence. When it was my turn to go I stood in my normal position towards the outfield grass. As the pop up shot up in the air I was in good position to take a few steps backwards and make the easy catch as the ball practically landed exactly where I started.

After I made the catch he looked over and told me to move in on the grass so the drill wasn't so easy. Anybody could catch an easy pop up right at them, but the great players can make the tough over the head play into short right field. Where as I was just trying to make sure I made the easy catch, he was challenging himself to make the drill as tough as possible, not afraid if he didn't make the catch, or dropped a tough play. He wasn't afraid to mess up, and I was working on something so easy that I wouldn't screw it up. Although it's a little different when one is a seven year veteran who's job is already locked up, and the other is a minor league scrub just trying to make as little mistakes as possible in chance of making the team, but his statement really made a ton of sense and I'm glad he brought it up. It really made me adjustment the way I was practicing. Just a small example of how he makes his teammates better.

Anyways, there are a lot of other things I could talk about, but the blog post would go on forever and most people would flip over to Facebook to see some one's status update yelling at a former boyfriend that they don't need them anymore and their life is wonderful now that they are gone, all while crying into their pillow. I hope everyone has a great weekend and I'll talk to you later.


P.S. This is for all my Jets fans. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

GREAT STORY, COMPELLING, AND RICH

Hey guys! A few weeks ago I did an interview that covered a bunch of topics around social media, baseball, and life in general. I thought I would through it up here for everyone to see. I hope you enjoy.

What attracted you to twitter?

I really liked the idea of Twitter for a few reasons. Number one, I think it is really cool how fast information is passed and also how many people you can reach in only one quick click of a button. I am able to follow a bunch of really interesting people and hear what they have to say and what they are doing. That is pretty cool. For me personally, it allows me to talk with people all over the world and fans of baseball so easily, it is awesome.

If you had the talent to do ANYTHING except baseball what would you do?

You will probably laugh, but I would want to play in the NFL or NBA. You can probably tell already that I have a weird fascination with sports, but I think it would be awesome to be able to play any professional sport. If I had to pick something other than sports, it would have something to do with business. I would like to run my own company, or work on Wall Street. Not one of the little guys, I'm talking Warren Buffett style lol.

Please choose only one of the following. Neither is not an option.

A) Win the World Series once, entire team free of injuries and trades. However before and after that you're on a team at the bottom of the division.
Or.

B) You win the League Championship Series every year but end up losing the World Series in game 7.

I'm going with A. The main reason for playing is to win the World Series. I'd rather win it one time than never win it at all.

What is your favorite baseball moment?

I have a lot of favorite moments in my baseball career so far, and hopefully a lot more to come. Being drafted and given the opportunity to play professional baseball would have to be one of them. Making my Major League debut would definitely be another, along with my first hit and home run of my career.

Since you can name your twitter followers. What will you call them.

Haha, I've never thought of this one before. I'll tweet that out today and see what people think I should do and then I'll get back to you lol.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EXCUSES ARE LIKE POEMS

Hey guys. What a great Tuesday it is. Last night my New England Patriots laid the smack down on the New York Jets to take control of the AFC East and get the inside track to a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Then my fantasy team, which at one time qualified for the "shittiest fantasy football team imaginable" award, snuck in the back door to the fantasy playoffs. I will probably be bounced in the first round, but my motto has always been "just get to the dance and anything can happen." I am pretty excited for next Sunday to see what happens.

I have received a lot of emails over the weekend asking if I have had heard anything from teams or if I had a better idea about where I might be playing come next season. As of right now I am not really sure what is going to happen. I know my agent has talked with teams and he is down at the winter meetings in Orland, Florida as we speak. I should know a lot more once that is over and we have some time to sit down and talk. I will be sure to let everyone know what is going on once I have a better idea.

A lot of people are always asking me for baseball tips. One of my favorite things to do is teach baseball to younger players and offer any advice and wisdom that I have been lucky enough to acquire over the years of playing baseball. Below are some great baseball tips from one of my favorite coaches of all time. Check it out. I know it will make you a better ballplayer, and even if your not, you will get something valuable out of it. Enjoy!


Friday, December 3, 2010

FREE AGENCY

Hello everybody! Hope you are all doing well today. I know a lot of people have already seen this online and have wished me luck on Twitter and through emails today, but I thought I would take a few minutes to let everyone know exactly what happened yesterday. Turns out I was non-tendered by the Padres, which basically means I am now a free agent and can choose to play for any team in the league. A lot of people have asked me to explain what "non-tendered" means, but I really don't know exactly how it works. I just know that if you are non-tendered, it basically means your contract was not picked up by the team and you are no longer with them. Over the next few days I will be talking to teams around the league and will have to decide where I want to spend next year playing. This is the first time in my career that I haven't belonged to a team, so it does feel kind of weird, but I know I will catch on with someone and do well this coming year. I am really looking forward to it. Thanks again to everyone that has wished me well and cheered for me over the past few years, I really appreciate that.

On my last blog post I said that I was given a drug test a few days ago, and I would make a video explaining exactly how it works since I was asked by so many people. Here you go! I hope I did an OK job of answering every one's questions. Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WE TALKIN' BOUT PRACTICE!

Hello everybody. How is everyone doing today? I can't believe it is already December. I feel like it was summer about three weeks ago. I know I will probably jinx myself with this one, but I am surprised I still haven't seen a single snow flake since returning home about a month ago. Hopefully we can keep it that way for at least a few more weeks.

Yesterday morning I had to wake up at 830AM for a MLB drug test. It was the first time I've had a drug test during the off-season, which is a little surprising after five years. The good news is, that although I haven't been seen in a real game in so long they still know that I am alive. Always a positive thing. I got a lot of questions on Twitter asking how the test works and all, so I made a video about it that I'll throw on here in a few days. If I had to give a one word description of the event, I'd probably go with...uncomfortable. At least now I should be good for the rest of the winter.

Anyways, I'm always receiving questions, especially from young ballplayers around the country, asking what type of stuff I do during the off-season to get ready for baseball in the spring. It is tough to go through absolutely everything, but I figured I would tape some of my workout that I got in last night. I still have about three months until Spring Training, so most of my stuff is very controlled in a batting cage. Once we start to get closer to the season I will start taking more ground balls out on the turf field and also start hitting more live pitching. Hope this helps you guys out that were asking.

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday.


Monday, November 29, 2010

THE OFF-SEASON

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a really nice and relaxing post Thanksgiving weekend. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post for Jeff Bercume, a player in the Oakland Athletics organization. You guys can check out his blog at www.108stitchez.com where he does a great job of writing about all types of various topics.

In the post I wrote a little bit about what a typical off-season is like for me. I tried to go through the things I've learned throughout the past four years, and how my off-season preparation has changed since I was drafted. I hope you guys enjoy!


Over the past few years I've been asked a lot of different questions regarding the off-season of a professional baseball player. For eight months out of the year, fans of baseball get to watch their favorite players lay it on the line 162 times during the summer. Then all of a sudden one fall day, they disappear. I don't know about you, but for the die hard baseball fan, life without baseball just isn't the same. Yeah, we've got Dancing With the Stars and Two and a Half Men to watch at night, but it just doesn't compare to watching Pujols take one deep or Ichiro climbing the right field wall and rob a home run. If you're like me and live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, it feels like an eternity before we emerge from our igloos for the start of Spring Training and a new season. As a kid I always wondered where players go, and what they do when they aren't playing. Well, now that I've played professionally for the past five years, I'm one of the guys that's doing the disappearing. Everyone has a little different way of spending those months from November until February, but I'll do my best to explain what the off-season is like for me in my home of Boston, Massachusetts.

The first day during the off-season is always the oddest. It's the first time in more than eight months that you wake up, and really don't have anywhere to go. It's the first time you probably won't be jumping on a plane, or even worse a bus, and heading to another city for that week's series. It may be the first time you'll actually sit down and have a home cooked meal. Actually I take that back. I can't cook to save my life, so I'll be eating out, just not at my favorite "in-season" restaurant, McDonald's. For a lot of players it's the first time you get to see your entire family since February, lay in a comfortable bed, and go to sleep before 2 AM.

Don't get me wrong, playing baseball for a living is great, and it's what I've wanted to do since I was a little kid. But there are a lot of things you miss out on while away from home, and it feels great to have them all back again. Me personally, I'll usually spend a week or so enjoying all of these goodies while resting my body up for a long season of repeatedly beating the crap out of myself. People may make fun of baseball player's for not being tough or for playing a "non contact" sport, but the season absolutely takes a huge toll on your body. OK, stop laughing, I'm serious. We all need a little time to step back and relax for a while before next season's preparation begins.

I remember watching a video clip a few years ago of Alex Rodriguez having a conversation with Willie Mays, arguably two of the greatest baseball players of all-time. Alex Rodriguez, known for his outstanding work ethic, especially during the off-season, was asking Willie about his off-season workout and conditioning program. He asked how many swings he would take, how many miles he would run, and how many push-ups and sit-ups he would perform. The answer to all three questions was, none.

I, like Alex, was amazed at how drastically things have changed over the years. Baseball has become a year round job, a far cry from the 1950's when almost every Major League player would work a full-time job during the off-season to help support their families. To compete with the millions of baseball players around the globe in today's game, training for baseball has become a year round job. Baseball has truly become a national game, and if you think you can play at the Major League level and not put the work in during the months of October, November, December, and January, it isn't going to happen. There really is no "off-season" anymore.

After being drafted in 2006 by the San Diego Padres, I was thrown into professional baseball without any real knowledge of how it worked. As far as learning what it takes to get yourself ready for the upcoming season, I pretty much learned on the fly as most of the guys do when they arrive to start their careers. After playing my first season in Eugene, Oregon, running from the middle of June until the beginning of September, and then attending fall Instructional League until the end of October, I was given the next four months to myself back in my home town of Peabody, Massachusetts. This was literally the first time in my life where I was on my own to do whatever I pleased. It was my job to figure out what I thought would benefit me the most as a baseball player and go at it. The team gives you a workout schedule that they prefer you do, but nobody is there to hold your hand and make sure you get your workouts in everyday. Some guys take a few months off once the season ends, and some guys get right back at it the day they get home. Some prefer to hit throughout the off-season, and some don't pick a bat up until Spring Training is about to roll around. As nice as it sounds to sleep all day and eat nothing but In N Out "Double-Doubles", it probably wouldn't be the best thing for my career. I'll usually take a week off to rest and then start lifting weights and working on my speed and agility at a local sports and conditioning facility near my home town. I'll begin my baseball work by taking ground balls and batting practice in an indoor baseball facility around the beginning of November.

My off-season routine has changed a lot from my first off-season in 2006. I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. During my first off-season I had one thing in mind, to get BIG and STRONG. Thinking I could improve my power numbers I went from my normal 205 pound frame to around 225 pounds, and my home runs went from 21 to 7. Not exactly what I had in mind. My next off-season I learned from my mistakes and worked on my body composition and adding strength, all while keeping my body fat down. That off-season I worked so hard on my body, I forgot to make sure my swing was ready to go for Spring Training. It was another season of disappointing offensive numbers.

It wasn't until last season that I put everything together. I entered that season in the best shape of my life. I hit three times a week during November and December and five times a week in January. In February I hit everyday leading up to Spring Training. I had my best Spring Training of my life and was ready to continue with the best regular season of my young career. Unfortunately, I broke my hand a week before the season started and spent almost the entire year on the disabled list. Now that a new off-season is here once again, I know exactly what needs to be done to put myself in the best position to have a great season, and I can't wait to get everything going.

Well, I hope I did an OK job at helping everyone understand a little bit of what my life is like during the winter. I guess to wrap things up, Rogers Hornsby said it best when it came to baseball off-seasons. "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving today. Thinking back to when I was a little guy fighting epic battles in Mike Tyson's Punch Out and cooking gourmet meals with my sister's Easy Bake Oven, Christmas was definitely my favorite holiday. Now that I'm older and my boy Saint Nick doesn't bring me those wicked cool gifts anymore, Thanksgiving has taken over the top spot on my favorite holiday list. Any day that revolves around football and food is just fine in my book. I spent the morning waking up at 6 AM and driving an hour to watch my high school football team play in their annual Thanksgiving Day game. It's a pretty cool tradition that we have in Massachusetts where you play your rival school every year. We ended up winning, and by doing so qualified for the playoffs. Woopidiedoo!

When I got back from the game I got to watch my New England Patriots beat up on the Detroit Lions while I ate a big ole' turkey over my families house. My Thanksgiving Day meal is pretty much the same as every other meal I eat since I'm so picky, but I still love it. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, some cranberry sauce, topped off with a slice of apple pie and vanilla ice cream. That's what I'm talking about! All in all it was a great day. Now it's around 6 PM and I'm just about to hit the sofa for some nap/pass out time.

Before I do, I wanted to throw some videos up. The first one is of me hitting a few days ago. I am glad I put it up here because I can see some things I need to work on a little bit with my swing. I am still pretty happy at how I feel considering I haven't been able to hit very much in a long time. A few more weeks and "look out!"





The second video is me answering some questions I received on Twitter. You can write to me at www.twitter.com/mattantonelli9. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and answer them while I drove to my workout. I survived without receiving any tickets or hitting any innocent bystanders, so that's a positive. Anyways, once again I hope everyone had a great day and enjoy the long weekend.


Monday, November 22, 2010

THE GAME OF BASEBALL

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I spent Saturday morning talking with and teaching fielding to a group of local Little League players. I learned that even at 9 AM on a weekend, little kids have A LOT of energy. They also ask some pretty funny questions. Some wanted to know what it's like to hit a home run, but most wanted to know what my favorite action figure is, what it feels like to have a beard, and if I've ever eaten Play-Doh.

Yesterday I spent my day like usual, watching the NFL from 1PM until 11:30PM. Laura wants to know how I can constantly watch different men carry a piece of leather around and run into each other all day long. I never really thought of it like that before, but I still like it regardless. The Pats had a big win against their arch nemesis Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. After a big time comeback by the Colts, and the loss of pretty much all my fingernails, the Patriots intercepted a ball with only a few seconds left to seal a victory. Praise the Lord.

I wanted to finish things up by posting this video below that I saw on E:60. It is a really inspirational story about one super tough kid. I know you will all enjoy it. I hope everyone has a great day.


Friday, November 19, 2010

PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC WHITE BOY

Last night my girlfriend and I headed into Boston to the Hard Rock Cafe for a small concert to see Josh Kelley and Sunny Sweeney. Both singers were really good and we had a lot of fun. The only not so great part of the concert was there were no seats, so you had to stand the entire time. We got there around 7PM and it ended a little after 10PM. I may only be 25 years old, but my back wasn't made to stand that long. Before Sunny and Josh came out on stage everyone decided to take a seat on the floor to relax before the singing started. Here was my view while sitting down. Not too shabby.



After getting comfortable for a few minutes I started to think we may get lucky and everyone would stay seated for the concert. I would have a great view and be comfortable at the same time. Unfortunately that only lasted for about ten minutes, because this was my view after a few people decided to walk around me to get front row seats.



Needless to say, I stood for the remainder of the evening.

After the show I got to be a super fan and meet Josh. As you can see I wasn't very photogenic, but it was still cool to take a picture with him and be able to say hello. He seems like a really nice guy.



Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A NEW GRIND MY GEARS

Hey guys! I received a few emails over the past week or so asking when I was doing another Grind My Gears video. I decided to wake up early this morning and put one together for everyone. I had to delete the first few seconds of the video because it wouldn't fit on Youtube, so I'm sorry about that. I hope you enjoy it, and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

HITTING AGAIN

Hey guys what's going on? A lot of people have been asking me how my hitting went yesterday, so I wanted to throw up a quick video of some swings I took. I appreciate everyone checking in on me and asking how things went. Good news is I felt pretty good, and hit without any pain. I didn't go too crazy for my first time out, only taking about 75 swings. Hopefully I won't wake up sore tomorrow and I'll start to build the swings up each time I head to the cages. As far as my swing, I was surprised how good it felt since I haven't touched a bat in more than three months, and really only a hand full of times since late March. It would be nice if things kept heading in the right direction. Here is a short clip of some swings from last night. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

TWITTER TIME

I saw this photo on Twitter a few days ago posted by Blue Jays pitcher Dirk Hayhurst. If you guys don't know Dirk you should check out his stuff online at www.dirkhayhurst.com and check out his book The Bullpen Gospels. It was a great book, and most importantly there is one sentence about me in there! OK, all kidding aside, here is the picture of the two of us while playing together for the Portland Beavers in 2008. It was mullet night at the stadium, so most of the players wore wigs during warmups to have some fun. As you can see, Dirk's wig was thinning a bit, but my natural hair resembled a young and handsome Uncle Jesse Katsopolis. Man, do I need some Full House in my life.


Also, a few days ago I said that if my hand doesn't get better I may try my luck in soccer. Well I was looking through some home footage and found a game of mine a few years back. Many people do not know this, but I was one of the best U-12 goaltenders in all the land. Check it out.





I'm just kidding that's not me. But it is pretty funny though. Have a great Sunday, and go Pats!


RANDOM STUFF

What's going on everybody? I hope you all had a great week and enjoy the upcoming weekend.

Remarkably, this coming Monday I get to swing a baseball bat for the first time in more than three months. I know, I know, shocking right. I'm more curious if I will remember how to do it more than anything else. I am really hoping everything goes well and I don't have any problems or setbacks. If I do, I may move to Italy and become a professional soccer player, or swimsuit model.

I was talking to some people on Twitter yesterday and we got on the topic of our favorite toys as kids? Someone mentioned about playing with toys while taking a bath and it got me thinking. Why was it so fun to bring your toys into the bathtub as a kid. I could do that shit for hours on end and have the time of my life. Rubber ducks, G.I. Joes, rocks from the backyard. It didn't really matter what it was, only that it was allowed in there, or I could find a way to sneak it in. When your young, the simplest things could keep you occupied forever. For some reason, sitting in a sandbox could keep you occupied for hours, but as adults its tough to find things that can keep your attention for more than five minutes. I miss my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Anyways, I saw a few funny things over the past few days so I thought I would throw a few of them up here. I hope you enjoy!

I feel bad for this lady, but it does make me laugh. "Who wants to be a millionaire?!?!?" Not her apparently.







This last one didn't make me laugh, but I was impressed at the brute strength of these two professional bodybuilders. Actually, it's my girlfriend and I getting after it yesterday at Catz Sports Performance. You know what they say, "a couple that pushes tractor tires around together, stays together."


Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

MAIL BAG

I received a lot of good questions in my email a few days ago, so I wanted to take a few minutes and answer some of them for you guys. Hope you enjoy, and I appreciate you sending them.

Who are the active baseball players you look up to, model yourself after?
I look up to a lot of baseball players currently playing in the Major Leagues. I can't really name them all, but one guy I really like to watch how he does things is David Eckstein. He has won two World Series in his career, been a World Series MVP, and has had an unbelievable career. Plus he is a great teammate. I've been lucky enough to play with David for parts of the past two years and I've learned a lot of things just by watching him go about his business.

What players did you grow up idolizing?
I grew up playing short stop, so I was a fan of the game's top short stops at the time. My favorites were Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Miguel Tejada. Being from Boston I watched Nomar the most, but I would try and learn as much as a could from watching all of these great infielders.

Do you have any siblings?
I have a sister that is two years younger than me.

When you travel with your team, do you guys have time to tour around the cities before heading to the ballpark to play?
I usually don't do too much touring before games because we don't really have much time. Usually by the time the game ends and I finish dinner I don't get to bed until around 2 AM. By the time I get up and eat breakfast it is almost time to head to the field around 1 PM. The times that I can tour around cities is if we get into town and have an off-day while we are there. A few years ago we had an off-day on our first day in Washington D.C. It was awesome to spend a full day traveling around the area and visiting so many of the great sights there.

What was your favorite subject in school?
When I was younger my favorite subject was probably history. If I were to go back to school now, I would really be interested in business classes.

What was your major in college?
I joke with people and say my major in college was baseball. Actually, I'm kind of serious, but technically I was a communications major. Probably explains why I am such a great communicator. Haha, just kidding.

Thanks for the questions!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BATHROOM ETIQUETTE

Hey what's up guys? I've been running around a lot lately so I wanted to make a video with a few questions that have been bothering me. If you could help me out a little bit that would be great! Unfortunately I've got to run again, but I hope everyone has an awesome day.


Friday, November 5, 2010

ONE CLAP

Good day people. How are we all doing? The rain has finally stopped and the sun is shining for the first time in a few days, so things are starting to look nice for the weekend. Tomorrow I'll be heading to the IMAX theatre to see "Megamind" in 3D. I have been a big fan of mostly all the 3D movies that have come out over the past year or so, and I think this one should be pretty funny with Will Farrell staring in it. I'm looking forward to it.

Last night we went out for some dinner to a small Italian restaurant in East Boston. I had never been there before, but the word around town is that it's a very tiny place but the food is great. We drove there and finally found a parking spot on a side street after circling around the block a few times. That really is the worst part about going into the city. There are no parking spots, and I'm pretty bad at parallel parking when we finally do find one (I have been practicing and am getting better). I was excited to try this place out, but after we went inside to grab a table we found there was a wait of two hours and forty-five minutes! I have been to a lot of restaurants in my life and I don't think I've ever heard of a wait that long. The crazy part was the woman at the front desk was actually wondering if we were going to stay and wait. Needless to say we ended up leaving and heading to the North End for another Italian restaurant. I think next time I'll make a reservation.

In extremely important news, this week is do or die for my fantasy football team. I am 3-5 and need a victory to stay in the hunt. This has been by far my worst fantasy season of my life. I've made it to the championship game the last two years, and this year I'm in serious danger of missing the playoffs all together. If I lose this Sunday I will not be able to watch football, other than the Patriots of course, for the rest of the season. Do me a favor and cheer for Tom Brady to throw five TD's this week!

I'll be putting together a new Grind My Gears video for next week. I've had a lot of things that have really gotten on my nerves lately, so I figured I could vent to my Flip camera on Monday to make myself feel better.

To rap things up, I've searched long and hard for my walk up song next year and I think I've found it. Check it out and let me know what you think?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


And in case you were interested you can check out the Marlin Motel. I'm pretty sure not too many people were lining up to reserve rooms at this place.



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

TEACH ME HOW TO DOUGIE

Hey guys, what's up? I'm back in Massachusetts and have enjoyed being able to start lifting weights and training for the upcoming season. I couldn't believe when I woke up this morning to head to a workout and saw frost on the grass outside. Three days ago I was wearing shorts and a tee shirt in 97 degree weather with super dry air in Arizona. Now I'm wearing a winter hat with a sweatshirt, jeans, and three pairs of socks. Even so, it's still good to be home.

I spent most of today hoping that everyone in the NFL would pass up the opportunity to sign Randy Moss and he would end up right back with the Patriots for the playoff run. I know he must be acting like a complete idiot for the Patriots to deal him away in the middle of the season, and then for the Vikings to cut ties with him after less than a month, but I still love watching him play every Sunday (even if he does jog on 80% of his routes). I just heard he was picked up by the Titans. Seems to make sense for a playoff team trying to make a run that needs to open up some running room for Chris Johnson. Good luck to teams having to deal with CJ, Young, Moss, and Britt. That's a lot of freak athletes.

The next few weeks should be pretty low key around here. I get to hit on November 15 for the first time in more than three months. Pretty amazing when I think about it. Things are feeling pretty good in my wrist, so I'm excited to prove I can hit with no pain for the first time in about two years. If it doesn't work I plan on cutting the hand off and trying out that sweet arm that Arnold uses in The Terminator.

In other news, last night my girlfriend and I, two people extremely lacking in the cooking department, attempted to cook a meal of shrimp, scallops, and vegetables for dinner. I've been working on a diet since eating nothing but take out and fast foot the last three weeks in Arizona. I was actually surprised at how well everything came out. I was sure I'd be up all night throwing up from eating raw seafood. I know it shouldn't be very hard to peel shrimp and place it on the grill, but I'm a beginner so BACK OFF!

Finally, on a more serious note, I've found my new dance for opening day introductions next year. I think if I break this down on my way out to the first base foul line I'm good for at least a three for three day with a jack and five RBI. What do you think?

Friday, October 29, 2010

TOP FIVE BASEBALL MOVIES OF ALL-TIME

After posting my list of favorite comedy movies of all-time last week I received a lot of emails asking me what are my top five favorite baseball movies of all-time. My list is a little different than most people, and I know I'm going to get yelled at for not included a couple of the most popular baseball movies of all-time, but it's still OK. So once again, here we go!

1) Major League & Major League 2
I've decided to put both of these movies together on the list because I really can't decipher between the two. I actually wanted to put it on my top comedy movies of all-time, but apparently I've taken one too many fastballs to the dome and forgot. There are so many quotable lines in this thing I could go through a whole season and not have to use the same line twice. What an awesome pair of movies.

2) A League of Their Own
I almost wanted to put this movie at #1, but decided to put it just below. Jimmie Dugan is my favorite and funniest sports character of all-time, and hey, I'm no sexist, but who would have thought they could make a baseball movie with women players this damn good. I know I didn't! But it happened, and I'm glad it did.

3) Bull Durham
You can see that I am biased towards comedies. Bull Durham is not only funny as hell, but I think they hit the baseball part of the equation right on the head. I've played with Crash Davis types, I've been teammates with characters like Nuke LaLoosh, and you don't have to search very hard to find your Annie Savoys of minor league baseball. They just do a great job of making a really funny, yet serious baseball movie.

4) Rookie of the Year
Listen, Little League was one of my favorite baseball experiences of my life, and the Major Leagues isn't too bad either. Take both of them and combine them into one movie and I'm going to watch it and like it. I'm not going to lie, I usually wouldn't like a baseball movie that so unrealistically has a twelve year old as a big league pitcher, but this movie is so damn funny I'll make an exception.

5) The Sandlot
I know, I know. How could I not put The Natural or Field of Dreams in here. I agree, they are both awesome movies, and definitely some of the best baseball movies ever. But for some reason I would watch The Sandlot over both of them if I were bored and had all three DVDs to choose from. I guess I just can't get over my crush of comedies. The sandlot just reminds me of playing pick-up baseball as a kid, and it's funny as hell. I had to put it in my top five or I'd be lying.

Just missed the top five

The Natural, Field of Dreams, Angels in the Outfield, Little Big League, For Love of the Game, The Rookie

Leave your top five baseball movies of all-time in the comment section below. Thanks!


LEAVING ARIZONA

Hello everybody. Today is a good day. I have officially finished all of my rehab work in Arizona and will be jumping on a plane tomorrow back to the great state of Massachusetts, right in time for the below freezing temperatures that are probably right around the corner. It's a good thing I didn't waste any of my days sitting by the pool getting a tan out here, because I'll be wearing a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and a pullover in a few weeks. (Actually, no its a cardigan but thanks for noticing! Yeah, killer boots man!)

Since I've been getting a lot of emails lately asking me how things were going and why I hadn't made a video in a while, I thought I would make one last night letting everyone know what I had been up to the last few weeks. So here you go! I hope everyone enjoys the weekend and I'll talk to you all from the east coast.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

QUESTIONS ABOUT GETTING STRONGER

I've been receiving a lot of different emails lately from high schools players all over the country asking me advice on strength training, so I thought I'd take a few minutes today to answer a few of them. Here is a list of the some of the questions I've read over the past month or so, and they all have the same concept in mind. "What is the best exercise for gaining power?" "What supplements should I take to get stronger?" "How can I gain power to hit more home runs?" "What are the best strength exercises the Padres have you do for hitting more home runs?"

I have already answered all of these questions personally, but I wanted to give my thoughts on the idea of gaining power in the weight room, and what I've learned over the past few years of working out, because I know from the emails a lot of kids are looking to add power to their game. Also, let me preface this with saying, I am not a strength and conditioning specialist or anything like that, I'm just giving you my opinion on what I've done personally over the years.

The first thing to understand is, there is no one exercise, or best exercises, or super exercise, that will single-handedly increase your power and home runs. Do I think dead lifts should be a major part of an athlete's workout and are great for developing power? Absolutely! How about squats? For sure! Medicine ball training? Without a doubt! But, I don't think there is one exercise that will magically make you hit 30 home runs and 50 doubles a year.

When it comes to weight training, there are two things that I believe are most important when it comes to adding strength. Hard work and consistency. There are thousands of different workouts out there. Millions of different trainers. I get asked over and over again, what the special exercise is? What does the Padres workout plan look like? How can I add power for next months tournament? Honestly, if you want to get stronger, take your main exercises, put an amount of weight on the bar that is challenging but not impossible, and lift it. If you bust your butt, continue to lift heavier weight, and consistently stick with your program, you will get stronger, especially if your a young kid in high school and haven't really been involved in a regimented training schedule before. It will take time, and a lot of dedication, but if you stick with it you will see your strength, power, and baseball game improve.

I know everyone claims to have the magic formula, the special workout plan, the secret ingredient to get you so strong and powerful colleges and professional scouts will be banging down your door. Everyone wants the special supplement to make you look like the Incredible Hulk. Don't get me wrong, there are some absolutely great strength coaches out there with great routines that will definitely take your game to the next level. And if you have the opportunity to take advantage of one I say go for it. I have seen big improvements in my game since joining Catz Sports Performance. But not everyone has the luxury of being able to train with a strength and conditioning coach. That doesn't mean you can't get stronger. When I was in high school I worked out with a buddy of mine at a local gym in our town. We did some research online and put together a program of the core exercises and went at it. We loaded the bar and did Squats, Dead lifts, RDLs, Chin-ups, Rows, Dumbbell Chest Press, etc. Each time we went to the gym we tried to do better than the time before. Before I knew it I went from 180 pound senior in high school with zero career home runs to 215 pounds two years later and almost twenty (nothing to brag about, but better than zero!) Of course, it isn't all about getting big and strong. Make sure you continue to stretch, foam roll, and do some speed and agility training. But, if you are on your own I'm telling you, the biggest thing is to bust your butt and stick with it and you will get stronger.

Monday, October 25, 2010

TOP FIVE COMEDIES OF ALL-TIME

I got asked a few days ago, "what's your favorite comedy of all-time?" Man, that's a really tough question. With the thousands of movies that I've watched, it is really tough to come up with pick as #1. I sat down and thought of it for a few minutes and decided to come up with a top 5 instead of a #1. These could probably be mixed around into any order, but this is what my top 5 favorite comedy movies list looks like with a brief reason why:

1) Dumb and Dumber
Probably my favorite movie of all-time. If you put a gun to my head and demanded I give you my top comedy of all-time I'd say, "Get that damn gun away from my head!" and then I'd say, "Dumb and Dumber." I can vividly remember the first time I ever saw this movie, and the 500 times since, and I still laugh just as hard as the first time I watched it. Just a classic, and one of the greatest movies ever made.

2) Billy Madison
I am a huge Adam Sandler fan. He is probably my favorite actor of all time, and I've seen just about every one of his films. Although his new stuff isn't as great as his old stuff, I don't really think it's possible. He probably had the best run of funniest movies ever created, and most of them are on my list.

3) Tommy Boy
If Adam Sandler is my favorite actor of all-time, Chris Farley is # 1B. I can just look at this dude and start laughing. It's a shame he passed away at such a young age, but even though his career ended way to soon I still think he's one of the best of all-time.

4) The Wedding Singer
Here we go again! Another classic, and one of the funniest movies of all-time. I know people are going to say I've got way to many Adam Sandler movies on here but I can't help myself. I still think this movie deserves to be up here.

5) Happy Gilmore
I think its about now that you realize how big of an Adam Sandler fan I am.
One of the most epic movies of all time. You can drop any line from this movie to just about anyone and they know exactly what your talking about. Just an awesome movie and I got to put it in my top 5.

Just missed the top 5
There's Something About Mary, Wedding Crashers, Meet the Parents, Big Daddy, Ace Ventura Pet Detective

Let me know your top five comedy movies of all-time in the comment section below!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SIGN OF THE WEEK

"Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this..."




Thursday, October 21, 2010

THEY GOT GUNS AND SHIT

Hey guys what's going on today? I just finished spending about four hours or so over at the field working on my wrist. I've received a bunch of emails lately asking what I've been doing to help my wrist heal and get back to playing again. Each day I basically do the same thing while over there.

They first use an ultrasound machine on me every morning for about ten minutes. You really can't feel anything happening to you while its on, but apparently its breaking up scar tissue around the incision. I then get a message on my scar. This is used to do the same thing as the ultrasound, break up scar tissue and help me with gaining mobility back in my wrist that I lost from the surgery and being immobilized for two weeks in a cast. After this, we go through some joint mobility exercises, where they move my wrist around in all different directions to get some more flexibility, followed by stretching exercises. It is amazing how much better I am moving my wrist around after about seven days of working on it. I am back to about 100% mobility right now. After a few more minutes of this, I'll throw an ice bag on for about twenty minutes, before being able to start stretching, running, and lifting with my lower body. That whole process will take about another two hours or so. And that's it. This has pretty much been my schedule for the last two weeks. I think I have another few days of this before I'm able to move on to some other stuff.

Now onto some other news. If you guys saw my video I made a few days ago, you know that I was talking about UFOs and people calling into the police to report what they saw. If you didn't see the video, here it is so you have an idea what I'm talking about.





If you really don't feel like watching it that's OK, I was pretty much just wondering why people call in and report UFO sightings so frequently. Well, the funny thing is, right after I put up that video my roommate told me that there was a UFO sighting in Richmond, Virginia where his family lives. He had no idea that I had just made a video about my feelings on UFOs, so I thought it was kind of ironic. He said that hundreds of people saw the mysterious flying object, and that many of them called in to report it. A lot of them also filmed the event. We decided to search the internet and see if we could find anything on it. There are actually a good amount of videos of that night on there. Here is one of the videos we found on Youtube.




Now I still don't believe that this is a UFO, but I must say, it does look pretty interesting, and I can see why people would be curious about it. With this being said, I still wouldn't grab my video camera at 2 AM and go video tape it. I still want to know who is up at 2 AM looking up in the sky to see this thing in the first place. Let me know what you guys think of the video, and if we are all doomed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

INTERNET TOUGH GUYS

One of my favorite new hobbies, since I live in a hotel with no car to leave, is to go on Youtube and read the comments to the millions of videos posted daily. I'll find an amazing video of some kid with talent I could never even imagine possessing in a million years, and watch someone write in the comment section, "not impressive, was able to do that when I was four years old." I'll watch a video of Aroldis Chapman of the Cincinnati Reds throwing a 104 MPH fastball and read, "I'm 11 and throw 98." I'll watch Usain Bolt run a 9.69 second 100 yard dash and see, "I ran that in high school, but broke my legs and had to retire." I'll watch a clip of a rainbow colored unicorn that can fly and see, "really not that cool, I have a polka dotted dog that can talk." Now I'm sure there are some very talented people out there that can throw things really hard, run extremely fast, and possess animals with super talents. But on the Internet, and especially Youtube, everyone seems to be wicked awesome. So this, my Youtube friends, is for you.


Other than being amazed by these comments, life is pretty simple these days. I have continued to head over to the complex and get my rehab work done every morning. My wrist is definitely getting better with each passing day, and I'm hoping I can start lifting some weights and maybe even start swinging a bat in the next week or two. In the mean time I'll keep watching Youtube clips, making my own videos to display the true amount of boredom I experience each day, and continue to make sure I don't do anything stupid to slow down the healing of my hand.

Also, I just had a contest on Twitter where I gave the winner a pair of my Nike batting gloves, so if you want in on the next one, follow me at http://www.twitter.com/mattantonelli9

Sunday, October 17, 2010

THINGS THAT DRIVE ME NUTS

Since arriving in Arizona, there have been a few things that are driving me crazy lately. Maybe I'm just a little cranky from flying all the way across the country while making three stops along the way, or maybe these things really are annoying as all hell. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

MAIL BAG

Matt from California asks:

I've always wondered what a day is like during the off-season for a professional baseball player. Could you go through your normal day from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. Thanks and good luck with your recovery!

Thanks for your question Matt. This is a really interesting questions because a lot of people assume that when I'm not playing baseball during the off-season that I spend all day laying around on the sofa doing nothing. Now I won't lie, the off-season is definitely a lot more relaxing than during the season, and I do have a good amount of time to sit around the house, but I still stay pretty busy throughout the day. I'll give you a typical Monday, lets say in November. I am a creature of habit, so a lot of the things I do on Monday, I will do on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, including eating a lot of the same exact foods. Here we go.

I usually will wake up around 9 AM and head downstairs to eat some breakfast. I will eat two bags of oatmeal, Apple Spice and Cinnamon Swirl. While I eat I will watch some television, almost always SportsCenter and CNBC. When I'm done eating I'll take a quick shower and then throw a bagel into the toaster to eat on my drive to working out. I seriously eat the same thing every Monday through Friday for breakfast, all off-season long. At 10:15 AM I jump in my car with my bagel and a bottle of water and eat while I drive 30 minutes to Needham, Massachusetts for my workout. I will arrive around 10:45, stretching out and using the foam roller for 15 minutes until my workout starts at 11 AM and runs to around 12:30. I'll usually stretch and foam roll again for 15 minutes and then drive home around 1 PM after talking for a few minutes. I always will eat a protein bar or protein shake, depending on how I'm feeling on the drive home.

I'll get home around 1:30 and drink a glass of chocolate milk before I jump in the shower. At 2 PM I'll eat my lunch, usually a turkey sandwich with some Doritos. Every now and then, depending on what I had for dinner the night before, I'll heat up the leftovers and have that for lunch. It is usually always chicken or steak. I'd say I eat the turkey sandwich and Doritos 90% of my lunches. I'll eat while I watch television, again usually SportsCenter and CNBC. At 3PM I'll drive about 10 minutes to an indoor baseball facility where I will hit, throw, and field for about an hour. Usually around 4 PM I'll give a baseball lesson or two until about 6 PM. I'll jump back in my car and head home where I will sit down for dinner, again usually chicken or steak. After dinner I'll head back in the shower and finally take a seat on my sofa around 7 PM.

It's around this time that I will get on my computer and check my email and answer some Twitter replies and Facebook messages. Every other day I'll write a new blog post, or maybe make a video if I'm in the mood. Depending on the night of the week, the Celtics will just be about to start, and I rarely miss a game during the season. After another victory by the C's, I'll grab a snack. I always finish the night with a bowl of cereal, Special K with berries. I'll then probably read a book before I head up to bed around 12 AM. I'll watch some television again while I start to fall asleep. The TV will go off around 1 AM so I can get my eight hours, before I'm back up at 9 AM to get my day going again.

This is almost exactly how my day goes from Monday to Thursday. Obviously there are small things throughout the day that I will do differently, but I'm serious when I say that besides a few very tiny changes, this is how every one of those days goes. The difference with Fridays is that I will usually go out to eat at night, followed by a movie or something else to get me out of the house and enjoy the coming weekend. Saturdays and Sundays are what I consider my off days. I don't really workout, except for the occasional Saturday morning, when I'll run to the gym quickly to do an arms and abs workout. Big Arms, Big Paychecks is still the motto I like to live life by. I suggest you try it out. Sundays are of course dedicated to football.

And that's it. I know you probably think it looks pretty boring, but I use the week to get everything done that will help me improve my baseball skills and the weekends to sit back and relax or go out and enjoy myself. I like keeping a pretty set schedule so I know what I'll be doing or eating in advance. That probably makes me a little weird, but it works for me. I hope this helps you out and answers your question, and thanks again for writing in!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'M BACKKKKKKK

Well, I'm back. Back in good ole' Peoria, Arizona. It feels like I was just here only a few days ago, but it has actually been almost two months since I was rehabbing from my first surgery and attempting to get back on the field to finish the season.

I flew in last night, arriving around 10PM. It wasn't the easiest travel day of my life, but I eventually made it. I left Logan International Airport in Boston at 7AM and took the five and a half hour plane trip to Phoenix, Arizona. I quickly switched planes and continued for another hour to San Diego, where I jumped into a taxi and headed over to see our hand doctor. After a quick meeting with him I jumped back in a taxi and back to the airport, where after a two hour delay jumped back on a plane back to Phoenix. In all, the total trip took about fifteen hours, and finally getting into bed last night felt a lot like Christmas used to when I was 24 and would wait anxiously for Santa Claus to come down the chimney and eat my reindeer shaped sugar cookies I baked for him. Needless to say I was pretty excited.

This morning I woke up and quickly jumped back into my normal routine of heading over to our Spring Training complex for rehab work. As of right now, the game plan is to work on gaining back some mobility in my wrist, and also work on loosening up the scar tissue that has developed. Doesn't sound like the most exciting stuff in the world, and it isn't, but it is definitely the first step to getting me back to doing my normal stuff baseball wise. Right now the plan is continue this process for the next four weeks or so, but I'm hoping that my hand will start to recovery quickly and I can be back to lifting weights and doing baseball stuff a little sooner. Time will tell.

Being integrated back to "hotel life" isn't the easiest adjustment, but if I made it through the first few times without developing any new mental disorders or eating any of my limbs off out of boredom, I guess I can do it again. That is honestly the toughest part of the whole process. I am at the field from about 9 AM to 1 PM, so I have to find things to keep me occupied for the other 10+ hours. It gets tough to do without a car, kitchen, or XBOX. I brought a few books out, and will be watching the MLB playoffs and of course the NFL on Sundays and Mondays. I wish there was a way to recapture my five year old mentality when GI Joe's and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figurines could keep me occupied for days on end. Maybe I'll walk over to Toys R Us tomorrow.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a great week and if you have any ideas of exciting things to do to keep me alive let me know, I will gladly take your advice. I shall talk to you all later. Goodnight!