Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Yesterday we took a drive to Scottsdale, Arizona for a meeting with my doctor who performed my hand surgery two months ago. Below is a video sharing some of the things we talked about and how far along he believes I am in the healing process. Overall, I would say there was some good news in there, so that is good. On the other hand I have to just hope it keeps getting better and better each day and I don't have any more setbacks. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Hi guys. I hope everyone had a good weekend. It has been really, really hot out here as usual in Arizona, but I am now at the point where 100 degrees feels like a nice comfortable day. This weekend has pretty much felt similar to the last fifteen or so weekends out here. Baseball, hot weather, no clouds, icing my hand, some more baseball, more ice, more heat, more ice, and sun. I did take a trip to the airport last night to mix things up a little bit and pick up my girlfriend who just flew in from Mass, so that was good.

As far as my hand goes, yesterday I did my normal routine of twenty swings off of the tee and twenty swings in soft toss. That is the schedule they've had me on for the last seven or so days of practice. In reality, forty swings is less than a warm-up if I wasn't coming back from injury, but being hurt it feels more like one hundred swings. Although I am able to swing the bat around 75% this is the way my hand feels for my swings: The first three swings hurt for some reason. The next thirty swings feel a little bit better as each one passes. Once I get over thirty it starts to get a little more sore after each swing. It is kind of like a science project trying to determine how many swings is enough, and how many is too many. I'm not smart enough to figure it all out, so I just follow the instructions of our rehab coordinator. He is much smarter.

The good news about yesterday was that I was allowed to hit batting practice for the first time since the end of the March. The bad news was that my hand didn't feel as good as I was hoping. I made it through the first round of BP pretty well, and was actually surprised at how well I was hitting the ball even though I was only trying to swing around 50-60%. My timing felt pretty good and the ball was coming off of my bat better than expected. After my first round of eight swings I stepped out of the cage to allow the next few guys to hit. For some reason when I stepped back in a few minutes later to take my second round, my hand was in a lot more pain than the first time around. I took my swings pretty cautiously and ended the day after round 2. I think my hand just wasn't used to hitting a ball that was being thrown to me at that speed, since the last three months have only consisted of hitting of a tee, hitting balls that were flipped to me at 3 mph, and playing patty cake. I'm hoping that after resting it both today, and our off day tomorrow, that it will feel ready to give it another try on Tuesday.

Tomorrow I am heading to the doctors for a scheduled check up. The doctor that did my surgery has been seeing me every two weeks or so to make sure that my recovery is going as planned and nothing unexpected has popped up along the way. We will see if the pain I was experiencing yesterday was normal and expected at this point, or if he has any good ideas about what to do to help it out. I will throw a video up tomorrow explaining what he said after our meeting. Maybe if he is the cool dude I think he is he will let me turn the camera on during his talk. We will see.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Hey guys. Life continues as normal in Peoria, Arizona for me. Today will be practice number seven since returning from surgery. I believe I will be allowed to take batting practice tomorrow for the first time since March, which is definitely pretty exciting. I am just interested to see how it is going to feel to hit a pitch thrown to me over ten MPH for the first time in such a long while. I just hit the nine week mark since my surgery and it is really getting close to that time when I should be back out there playing in games again. I can't believe it has been nine weeks and I am still trying to build up the strength in my hand and work through some of the pain. Injuries definitely suck, but I have a greater appreciation now for all the people that come back from them to play. This was considered a "minor" surgery so I can only imagine what "major" surgery must be like. I'm hoping I never have to find out.

Yesterday I did an interview over the phone for The Pulse Network where they are focusing on the change in media over the past few years through social media. It was a pretty cool interview and interesting to see how social media, with Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and so many other programs are really changing the way people consume news and are able to interact with many people that would have been nearly impossible to interact with only a few years ago. Although I am still relatively new to all this and only been using them for about six months or so, it has definitely been fun interacting with so many new people each day. I wanted to thank everyone that reads and writes in and adds to what I do on here. I really appreciate it.

Anyways, I made a video this morning before I ran out to do some errands on a few more things that "grind my gears." I hope you all enjoy it, and let me know if your gears get grinded by any of the these things also.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


How are we doing today? I wanted to take a day and answer some of the email questions I have been receiving lately, so I threw together a video with five or six questions in it. If you don't have time to watch the video I will give a quick breakdown of the some of the things that appear in the video, kind of like cliff notes.

First off, my hand is starting to feel better each day. I have practiced for five days in a row, and I know that may not seem like a very lot to many people, but when you go more than three months without practicing once, five days feels like an awful lot. I have made it through each practice so far without any interruptions from the hand, which is definitely a good sign. I have not started hitting batting practice yet, but I believe that will start this Saturday. Once that begins I will have a much better idea on how long it will be until I get into a real game.

Next I took some time to answer a few questions. Some of the questions I answered include: How would I feel about changing positions? What type of music do I listen to on my IPOD while working out? What advice do I have for younger kids trying to make it as a baseball player? Why is my baseball glove so small? What drills do I do on a daily basis to keep my skills sharp?

If you guys check out the video it is about fourteen minutes long. I try to do my best at keeping them on the shorter side for you guys, but sometimes my mind likes to wonder. I split the video up into two videos because Youtube can only handle videos up to ten minutes long. I hope you enjoy them and I really appreciate all of the questions. Keep them coming. You can send in your questions to mattantonelli9@gmail.com, on my Formspring page at http://formspring.me/mattantonelli9, or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mattantonelli9. I like answering questions as you can tell, and I am a social media connoisseur. Thanks again guys!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Hey guys, how are we today? I hope all the dads out there had a nice Father's Day yesterday. I was wondering, do dads really get pumped when Father's Day rolls around? I know my mom probably has a countdown on her calendar at work for Mother's Day starting at 365 and marking off until 0, but I am not so sure my dad even knows the date of Father's Day. I'm sure he is super excited, he just keeps it inside. He can't fool me.

Anyways, I've been back on the field practicing for the last four days and I'm starting to feel like a baseball player again. It's been really nice to get out there and meet a lot of the new players that have shown up over the past week or so, and also practice with a lot of younger players that I've gotten to know over the last year or two. We have a good group of guys down here, or I should say kids, and most of them remind me quite often that I'm 25 and they are 18. It definitely is different being so much older than a lot of the players. In 2008, my first year in Triple-A, I was the youngest player on the team. My roommate at one point was Shawn Wooten, a 36 year old veteran, while I was 23. The one good thing about being a little bit older than a lot of the new guys in town is that I get to help out and teach some things that some of the guys haven't learned yet, and I really like teaching. The bad thing is it reminds me I need to hurry up and get my ass into gear before my cane and wheelchair give me the boot out of the game.

My hand is feeling better each day and I am able to do a little bit more without pain as each practice comes and goes. If I had to guess I will be hitting in batting practice by Thursday. Over the past two days I have hit front toss, which is a coach standing behind a screen about fifteen feet in front of you, flipping you baseballs underhand. When I did this for the first time two days ago the first few baseballs felt like I was hitting large rocks. It felt much better doing so yesterday though, and I am sure today will feel even better than that.

Well now that I got that stuff out of the way, I have some random things I need to take care off. I have a few new things that really "grind my gears", but I am going to save that video for tomorrow or Wednesday. The first thing is that my aunt was asking me how with all the great cooks in my family I can't cook anything worth eating. My family owned a restaurant for probably somewhere around 15 years, and my grandfather, grandmother, dad, and uncle can all cook some pretty legit food, especially Italian. My answer to her was, "why should I learn to cook when I have so many people who want to cook for me." I think that is just being smart personally.

The second thing I wanted to talk about quickly was regarding all the emails and Twitter messages I have received lately. Ever since I've been talking about all the carts that have revolted and are trying to take over the Walmart parking lot, people have been sending me tons of messages telling me to stop going to Walmart and go to Stop and Shop, or Shop and Save, or Save and Stop and Shop and Save Again. Listen, I totally agree with you guys. I always say, "stop complaining and do something about it!" But here is the thing. Sometimes you've got to take the good with the bad and vice versa. It is kind of like watching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. One of the greatest places to watch a sporting event in the country. You are basically on the field in many of the seats, and the atmosphere is just awesome. But then you get there, and notice that the size of the seats wouldn't be comfortable for your little six year old sister. You try to squeeze in and notice there's only enough room for like 1/3 of your ass cheek, so you let the guy sitting to your left hold the other 2/3 'til the 7th. Then there's a giant green poll in front of you, so the lucky guy on the right of you that thought he escaped without babysitting any part of your backside now has to let you use his shoulder as a headrest. But you know what? No matter how sore your ass is after the game, and no matter how long that pain in your neck takes to go away, next time a buddy says to you, "Hey big guy I gut two paihs a Sox ticks fouh ya fouh da ballgame tonight." Guess what? You are going! This is how I feel about Walmart now. Where else can you get Frosted Flakes for $2.34, pick up a new pair of shorts and matching tank top, grab a bundle pack of shampoo and conditioner, and buy a Big Mac with fries, all in one place! You can't do it. So I'll deal with the carts and you'll enjoy the ball game tonight. Don't forget to wear your padded underwear.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Hi guys! How is everyone doing today? Pumped up for the weekend I am sure. Is anybody doing something really exciting and cool this weekend? I don't mean like, "I'm going to visit the relatives on Saturday and then taking the dog to the dog park on Sunday." I mean like, is anyone doing something really cool? Something really creative and way out of the ordinary? If you are, let me know. I am looking for some exciting things to do on my off day coming up in a few days and I would love some new ideas.

Anywho, I made a video below talking about how things have been going with baseball and life in general. I tried to keep the yelling to a minimum, but sometimes it's just hard not to be passionate about some things. I talk a little bit about my newest trip to Walmart, movies, funny voices, and a bunch of other random things. Here are some pictures to help describe what happened while grocery shopping today.

The view after pulling into my parking space.

The carts I once again put nicely into their home.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoy watching the video. Also thanks for answering some of my questions!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hi guys. So over the past few days thing have been rather bland around my neck of the woods. As far as practice has been going I have spent the last few days icing my hand and resting. We have been icing about four times a day and will continue to do that today before letting me get back on the field tomorrow to hit for the first time in about a week. I think the cortisone shot that i received two days ago really did help my hand a lot. The doctor told me that the strength and mobility of my hand was great, but for some reason there is this small area that was inflamed and painful an inch or so above where the actual surgery took place. My hand is a weird one I guess.

Yesterday I was talking with one of our pitchers who is coming off of Tommy John surgery and scheduled to throw his first bullpen in more than a year and a half. We were discussing surgery and how for someone that has never experienced it before it can be rather confusing. This was the first surgery I have ever had in my life, and I was honestly thinking that even though the doctors told me it would be about eight to possibly ten weeks before I would be back playing that I was going to take my cast off after two weeks and be ready to hit the next day. I guess anytime they cut open your body to fix something it is more serious than you think.

Anyways, I heard there was an earthquake towards the end of the game at Petco Park two days ago. Was anyone at the game when it happened? I feel like there has been a lot of earthquakes in southern California over the past few months. Is it usually like this? Being from the east coast I don't really have to worry about natural disasters very much, except for maybe being buried alive by three feet of snow.

I wanted to take a quick minute to answer an email I received about signing cards. This seems to be a popular question so I wanted to share:

I had a question about the process of signing autographs for a company such as Topps/Upper Deck. Do they just send you a big box full of the cards and you mail them back or do you meet with a rep? and how does it feel signing thousandths of autographs at one time?

Different card companies use different methods when it comes to signing baseball cards. A company like Tri-Star will usually send you a package of a few thousand stickers. You will usually be given a designated amount of time, usually around two weeks, to sign all of the stickers and mail the package back to them. Topps works a little bit differently than Tri-Star or some other companies. They will send a representative that brings the actual cards and will meet you wherever you are to sign them. I have signed cards with people from Topps all over the country. They have come out and met me at hotels, my parents old house, my house, the zoo. They actually never came to the zoo, but I'm sure they would if I was there and asked.

Usually they will bring about 5000 cards with them and the signing will take around five to six hours to complete. If my hand had a mind of its own it would definitely kick my ass every time I make it sit through one of these things. Don't get me wrong, I love having the opportunity to sign cards. As a young kid who collected thousands of baseball cards I would have never thought I would actually ever be on one, never mind get a chance to sign them for people. Probably the most interesting part of the whole process is sitting with a complete stranger for that long as you sign the cards. I have met all types of different people and personalities. I've sat with some guys that talk with me the whole time and make the time fly by. I have also had some guys that just sit and stare at me, not talking at all, and only reply to my questions with a, "Yup." You never really know what your going to get when you sit down to do a signing, except for maybe carpal tunnel.

Thanks for the question and keep them coming. I will do my best to answer them as soon as possible. Hopefully after today I will be able to get back on the field tomorrow. Our first game in the Arizona Rookie League starts on Monday. I don't think I will be allowed to play in that game, but hopefully not too long after that I will be back out there playing again! Take care everyone.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Hey everyone, hope you are all doing well today, even though it is a Monday. The only jobs I've really had other than playing baseball was at a grocery store back in college and washing dishes at my family's catering business when I was in high school. I am not an expert in the nine to five, Monday through Friday work schedule, but I can remember how listening to a little old lady yell at me for bagging her lasagna next to the butternut squash was a lot tougher to listen to on a Monday than it was on a Friday, when I knew I was only a few hours away from escaping that 7th circle of hell.

I just got back from the doctors and received yet another cortisone shot in my hand. These things really make it tough on the typing for a few days, so I decided to make another video to save my hand some aggravation. Safety first!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Hi guys! I know everyone is excited now that the weekend is here, so I hope everyone enjoys there time off for the next few days. I got a request to make another video blog to let everyone know what I have been up to lately. Below is a video I shot this morning about how things have been going for me lately. I hope you enjoy. Also, let me know if you like the videos or if you would rather not look at me and just read instead of watch. I'm down for either one. Thanks again.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


So yesterday was my first time back at practice with an actual team, and not just in the corner all by myself. It felt weird to take part in a team stretch where there were five or six lines of four people in each. It kind of felt like I was a baseball player again. Well, almost. I took part in stretch and then was able to play catch for the first time in a very long time. My hand felt surprisingly pretty good, and my arm felt strong as ever. Today, not so much. I think I got a little overly excited and threw a few balls a little harder than I should of being my first day back. I'll be fine though. As far as the catching goes, I didn't feel too much pain with many of my movements. Every now and then I would turn my hand in a position that it didn't agree with, but overall I'd say I passed the test.

After throwing for about fifteen minutes I was able to hit a baseball for the first time in two months. Over the past week or so I was allowed to swing a bat, just not hit anything with it. Yesterday I was allowed to take ten swings off the tee. I know ten doesn't sound like many at all, but we are taking baby steps here. Plus, a Major League baseball weighs five ounces. After coming back from hamate surgery and hitting a ball for the first time, it feels more like five pounds. It was pretty crazy how weird it felt to make contact. After my ten swings were done, I had the privilege of playing "ball boy" for all the fully healthy players for about thirty minutes before taking it in to rehab and get a lift in. Overall the day went well, and I hope to keep making progress over the next few days as we increase the workload.

Before I rap things up I need to make a quick comment about Stephen Strasburg, since the entire baseball world was watching his every move last night. On a usual day, our training room is filled with five or six guys doing our usual rehab work. Last night we put on the Nationals game to watch Strasburg's Debut, and before you knew it, the room was packed with thirty or so guys cramming in a few minutes before practice started to catch a quick glimpse. I must say it was a pretty impressive showing, not only because he is a rookie, but it was his first time stepping onto a big league field. It was funny how every time he would throw a curve ball, or a change-up at 91, or a high heater at 99 the room would fill with, "Ohhhhh," or "Ahhhhh" or a bunch of laughs. There was an awful lot of pressure on the guy and he still did unbelievably well. So, good for him.

As I said a last week, I have been slacking a little bit when it comes to answering my email questions. Below is a video of me answering some questions so I can start to catch up and get back on track with my email. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I finally got off the plane last night around 9PM after flying across the country back to Phoenix, Arizona. I got lucky and almost didn't make it out of Boston because of a tornado watch and severe thunderstorm warning, but we managed to squeeze out after only a little more than an hour delay. When I jumped off the plane and walked outside, the temperature read 104 and it had been dark for more than two hours. I am definitely scared to find out what it will feel like today at practice, when at 3PM it is suppose to be 110 degrees out. Hopefully I survive.

When I got home a few days ago I opened the mail and found this picture inside.

Apparently I was speeding at some point three weeks ago and received a ticket from the camera radar equipment they have in the Phoenix area. I am not sure, but it feels like Phoenix is the only city that I really have seen these things. I am sure they are in some other cities, but none are coming to mind right now. Either way, I think they are cheating. If you want to give someone a speeding ticket I think an actual police officer should have to give it to you. When I get these things in the mail I just rip them up and throw them away anyways. Hopefully I don't get arrested because of it. So far, so good.

I got to give a quick shout out to the Boston Celtics for the way they played last night. I was pretty pissed when I found out I would be flying during the game. I haven't missed a playoff game this post season, so it was pretty shitty I saved the one day for a big finals game. I woke up early this morning and found a replay of the game on the computer and was definitely impressed with the energy and heart the C's played with. Rondo again was unbelievable, and Ray Allen shot the lights out as usual. I don't really get why everyone was making such a big deal about the Celtics losing game one. All the critics came out of the woodwork with the same old excuses, "They are too old, too slow, blah, blah, blah. People put so much on just one game. You can't play perfect every single game. Like Forest Gump said, "Shit happens...Sometimes." I don't get why some people haven't figured this one out yet. Anyways, I can't wait for game three tomorrow. My practice ends right around game time, so I am going to have to find a way to get back to my apartment as fast as possible so I don't miss any action. Go C's!

Today I believe will be my first day taking part in a team practice in almost two months. I am not 100% sure what is going to happen today, but I am pretty sure they said I would be allowed to hit baseballs and field some ground balls. I guess I will find out in a few hours when I head over to the facility. My hand is definitely feeling a lot better over the last few days. I am interested to see how it holds up once I start putting some real stress on it. We will see how it goes. I hope everyone has a good day, even though it is a Monday and everyone is pissed to be back at work.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This Spring Training I received hundreds of e-mails asking what I do with my spare time when I am not around the field. My roommate (who will remain anonymous, but you should be able to tell who he is by his athletic prominence displayed on the film) and I decided to film ourselves during one of our daily practice sessions at our apartment. If anyone thinks they can hang with us on our 8 x 8 mini basketball court, bring it on.

(Recorded 3-7-2010)

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Thanks to everyone that sent in their questions. I had my parents answer about ten of them. Apparently my mom has grown out of her soap opera days. She decided to answer via text and not video. Still works, here you go:

Dear Matt's mom,
As a child, did Matt have a favorite stuffed animal,blanket, or action figure that he used to carry around with him? If so, what was it named and does he still travel with it today? Also, what is the most embarrassing thing Matt has done that he doesn't want his teammates to find out about.

As a kid, Matt never had anything that he would really carry around with him. As far as toys, he loved his Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe's. He would spend hours at a time in his room with his friends playing with those things. The one thing that he always would do as a kid was suck his thumb. We finally got him to stop that around six years old, thank God.

I wish I had some questions but I can't think of anything good, so I just suggest, in order to give Matt a hard time, just show some kiddie pictures while on camera, the ones you are most proud of and the ones that Matt wishes never would see the light of day!

Haha. Here are some pictures of Matt from a young age.

Matt and Mom

Matt and Reggie Jackson after his Dad threatened Reggie to take a picture with him or else. I don't think Mr. Jackson cared very much for the picture.

Matt and his sister. The start of his comb over.

Matt and his sister. Nice smile.

Was Matt a well behaved youngster, or did he get into trouble?

Matt was an extremely well behaved kid. All he wanted to do was play sports, which really kept him busy throughout most of his childhood and out of any trouble.

How much money did you invest in baseball for Matt over his years growing up? (travel ball, equipment, etc.)

We did spend a lot of money on baseball and hockey growing up. Matt played on travel teams for both hockey and baseball for most of his childhood. Although it did cost a lot of money, Matt really loved playing for those teams and got more than any of us could have ever imagined out of it.

What was your proudest moment of him as a child?

This is a tough question. There were many moments of his childhood that we were very proud of him. One moment that comes to mind is when he graduated pre-school. I am not sure why this stands out in my mind. He was just so cute in his little white hat.

Was Matt interested in baseball on his own, or did you encourage him to play?

Well, Matt loved all sports as a kid and still does today. He played everything from baseball, to hockey, football, basketball, tennis, soccer, and probably a few more I can't even think of. His dad was definitely a huge baseball fan so I am sure that rubbed off a little bit.

What was the strangest thing Matt ever wanted to be for Halloween?

When Matt was around eight years old he dressed up as a vampire, but he fainted from the smell of the face paint. I guess he doesn't take well to paint. Halloween ended without any candy that year.

What was the most unusual present Matt ever gave you?

Matt bought me a new car after he was drafted. That was definitely a big surprise.

What was the strangest thing Matt ever asked for as a gift?

The strangest thing was probably when we asked him what he wanted for Christmas and he said, "nothing, I don't need any presents." You usually don't hear that from kids very much.

Thanks for every one's questions!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I came up with an idea today because of all the questions I have received lately from parents of younger kids, especially kids that play baseball, about what types of things I did growing up. This doesn't really have anything to do with apples so I'm not sure why I put that up there as the title of the blog. I was thinking of Good Will Hunting for some reason. Very good movie by the way. Anyways, back to my idea. I'm going to let everyone send in any questions that you would like to know about things I did growing up, and I will have my parents answer them for you. They know more about what I did as a kid than I can even remember. Plus my mom always secretly wanted to be a soap opera star, so I may make her answer on my flip video just to see how bad she is in front of a camera. I guess it doesn't have to just be about things I did when I was a kid. You can really ask about anything you want. Although if you ask her to talk about the times I wet the bed, I'm not letting her answer. I'm just playing, I was never a bed wetter. I was afraid of the dark though. Anyways, I'm going to take 5-10 questions that I receive and I will ask either one of my parents to answer. I'm going to probably put up their responses on Saturday, so you have a day or two to throw up your questions. Anything goes, have fun, good luck.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


With the Extended Spring Training season coming to an end this past Saturday, players were given a week off before reporting back to our Spring Training complex on June 7th for mini camp. I decided given the time off, and also that our facility would be closing down for the week making it impossible to get in and do my rehab, that I would fly home to continue to get better while being able to see my family for the first time in three and a half months. It is always good to be home, but it does feel pretty strange that I am here in June. Being away from home the last five summers, it does feel weird seeing sun and warm weather in Boston, as I've become accustomed over the years to the October through February frozen tundra.

As far as my plane ride went, things could have gone better, but I'll try not to complain too much. There were a few things I noticed during my five hour flight that were pretty interesting. First was the fact that cheese and crackers were $7.oo. I threw up a little in my mouth when I heard that. That's a markup of about 8,000%. Tough to believe the airlines can't avoid bankruptcy selling cheese and crackers alone. Then again I can't believe many people in their right mind are purchasing many snacks on airlines nowadays. The second thing I found pretty funny was found while reading a magazine in my seat pocket. You know those magazines that are on all airlines selling Star Trek looking gizmos and gadgets. This thing is mostly filled with crap that I doubt anyone is buying, but every now and then a toy pops up tempting me to pull out my credit card. Kind of like this one:

This, according to the magazine, is the world's largest map. It stands over ten feet tall and over thirteen feet wide. I'm not really sure why any kid, other than maybe Steve Urkel, would want this anyway. I'd much rather have a giant Power Ranger, Pokemon, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle any day of the week. Hell, I'd take Dora The Explorer over a map. I was wondering what this father was telling his little girl in the picture anyways. "Look sweetie, this is Argentina. It's one of the three countries you will be able to study for the next six years since your only four years old and less than two feet tall. Just think, by the time you reach high school, you'll learn that the capital of Venezuela is Caracas . As for North America, Europe, and Asia, tough shit.

Back to real life. Over the next week or so I will continue to get treatment and exercise for my hand, while starting to strength train a little more aggressively now that my hand is starting to feel much stronger. I will also start some baseball activity for the first time in almost two months. My high school has a beautiful baseball field that I will be able to work on taking some ground balls and also start throwing once again. There has been a lot of attention paid to the fact that I haven't been able to hit in a long time, but the injury has also put a damper on my defensive game. I am just starting to be able to have the strength, and more importantly not be in a pain, when I open and close my glove to catch. We will see how things go today.