Saturday, December 29, 2012

PLUNGE 4 PETE

I want to thank everyone once again for their donations to help Strike Out ALS at the 1st annual "Plunge 4 Pete." With all of your help we were able to add an additional $1,375 to the fund. To show my gratitude and thanks to all of you that donated I busted out my Hooters outfit to take the plunge. Below is the video of the event and my outfit. Thanks again!





Wednesday, December 26, 2012

HELP STRIKE OUT ALS!

Hey guys! On this Saturday we will be taking a "Plunge 4 Pete" into Good Harbor Beach to raise money for my friend Pete Frates who was diagnosed with ALS over a year ago. I will be auctioning off my Rawlings baseball glove and giving the proceeds to Pete and his fund. Find out how you can bid for the glove in the video below!


    


You can place your bid starting now until midnight tomorrow, Thursday, December 27. You can place your bid at any of the following places.

My personal email account - Mattantonelli9@gmail.com

My Twitter account - https://twitter.com/MattAntonelli9

Here are the rules again!

1) Minimum bid is set at $200

2) Highest bid wins!

3) You are only allowed to bid one time and only the highest bid will be announced

4) Send your name, bid amount, and email address to contact you if you win.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

BOSTON.COM

Here's a recent article in the paper about how crazy this past season was and about a lot of the work I've been doing with young baseball players in my area. Enjoy!



Matt Antonelli shoots video of a batter’s swing at Route 1 SportsPlex in Danvers.


Peabody’s Antonelli passing on what he learned as a pro


By Maureen Mullen

Globe Correspondent /  December 12, 2012


For now, Matt Antonelli has hopped off the roller-coaster ride that was the 2012 season and settled on familiar ground: the Route 1 baseball complex in Danvers where he worked out as a kid himself.
Antonelli, who turns 28 in April, struggled with injuries and illness while playing in the Orioles and Yankees systems. He appeared in just 44 games, and in July he was released by New York.
The Peabody native and St. John’s Prep star who was the Padres’ first pick (17th overall) out of Wake Forest University in 2006 will answer the call if a team chooses to sign him for next season. He tells of his marketing hook with the humor that typifies his blog at www.mattantonelli.com: His last three organizations (he was with the Nationals in 2011) all went to the postseason in 2012.
“I don’t know if I’m good luck or it’s good luck when a team has me and then gets rid of me,” he said with a laugh.
For now, he’s working out, giving lessons, and coaching at Route 1 SportsPlex,known as Strike One when Antonelli was a kid. He’d like to go into coaching — preferably at the college level — if his playing days are over.
“I’ve worked with different teams in the past,” Antonelli said. “My dad [Jack, an assistant baseball coach at St. John’s] has coached a lot and usually I’ll help out his team during the offseason. But this is the first time where I’m actually working with all the teams, ages 9 through 15 . . . so this is good practice for me, I guess.”
Antonelli was an outstanding three-sport athlete at St. John’s. He was named the 2003 Massachusetts Player of the Year in both football and hockey, and was the runner-up in baseball to another Peabody native, Jeff Allison.
He made his major league debut with the Padres in 2008, appearing in 21 games, and recording his first hit in his first at-bat, off future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. After that, he was sidetracked by injuries, but he rebounded and was named an International League All-Star when he hit .297 in 2011 with Washington’s Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.
After signing a free-agent contract with the Orioles in November 2011, he played for Triple-A Norfolk. But when the O’s needed room on their roster in May, he was waived and claimed by the Yankees.
Living in various hotels — and out of his car — because the Yankees’ Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre affiliate was without a home while PNC Field in Moosic, Pa., was being rebuilt, he appeared in just 15 games before he was released. While he was hoping to catch on with another team, Antonelli developed an ailment that caused dizziness, fatigue, ringing in his ears, and nausea, causing him to lose about 10 pounds in three weeks. While most of the symptoms have subsided, he still has ringing in his ears.
“I guess I kind of try to learn something and take something out of it, even if it’s a really bad season,” Antonelli said. “But the thing I actually liked about last season was that moving from one organization to the other, you kind of get to learn some things. Sometimes when you’re in the same organization you kind of hear the same philosophy over and over again.
“In Baltimore I was around a lot of really good coaches, and then I went to the Yankees and learned a lot more stuff with those guys. So that’s the one good thing I think I took out of it, just meeting new players and new coaches and learning new stuff and making new friends.”
He got married recently and has a new home in Georgetown. While some athletes are reluctant to talk about a post-playing-days plan, he is not.
“I guess if it was something different, maybe if I was going into something like finance or something like that, maybe I wouldn’t think about it while I’m playing,” he said. “But really I guess while I’m coaching I’m still basically in the same area. . . .
“But, it’s good. I enjoy it. I enjoy being around all the kids and being around baseball.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

MARRIED LIFE

Hey what's going on everyone? It's time to get back on track and start pumping out some blog posts again. As many of you know, the last two months have been two of the busiest months of my life. Last month I got married in Boston to my girlfriend of six years. It was a great night with our family and friends, and it was awesome to see so many former teammates from all over the country that I hadn't seen in quite some time.




After the wedding, we spent almost ten days in Italy for our honeymoon. It was our first time in Italy and since both of our families are from there we have always wanted to visit. We spent just about a week on the Amalfi Coast, which is a beautiful stretch of coastline in Southern Italy. I had actually never even heard of the Amalfi Coast before, but thanks to Laura and her love / obsession of Pinterest, she knows what every island, peninsula, mountain, and valley in the world looks like. Once I saw the pictures I knew I would love it, and I did. It really was the prettiest place I've ever been to. Here is a shot of Positano, one of the small towns we stayed in.




Everything about Italy was great. The people were super nice, even though I couldn't understand a damn word any of them said. The food was amazing! I ate pizza and pasta at just about every single meal. And I ate enough gelato to kill a small horse. I'm serious. This is what it looked like after every single meal. 



When I told the guy I wanted the biggest cone in Italy he looked at me like I was an idiot, but after searching the place for a few minutes he found me this monster. It turned out being the best six scoops of dessert I've ever had.

Anyways, enough about the food. We were also able to spend some time in Pompeii where we got to see Mount Vesuvius. We took a boat to the island of Capri, another very cool spot in Southern Italy. And we spent a few days in Rome where we were able to check out great historical sites like the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, and much more. I also had to make sure I checked out a Roman McDonald's, just to make sure they didn't have any awesome kind of burger or chicken nuggets that I had no idea about.




Overall the trip was great, but it was good to get home and finally speak some English and eat some American food again. Since being home, it's been back to baseball and getting ready for next season. I recently signed with a new team but I don't want to say who it was just yet because I haven't actually physically signed anything. Hopefully I receive the contract soon and this isn't just a big joke on me. 

My fantasy football playoffs started last night and I have to give a shout out to my followers on Twitter. I wasn't sure who to start as my RB2 between Steven Ridley, Bryce Brown, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis. After taking a quick poll I went with BJGE and was rewarded with 17 points. I appreciate the help!

I also cut down a Christmas tree for the first time in my life, which is surprising because I may be the worst handyman of all-time. I have no clue how to use a saw, drill, wrench, and even struggle with a tape measure at times. Last year I actually bought a drill to do some work around the house. After attempting to hang up a bookcase and putting six more holes in the wall than was probably necessary, Laura banned me from using any type of power tool in the house or near small children.




I know what you're thinking. That's the smallest tree you've ever seen and your eight year old sister could have cut it down faster than I did. Well it was my first time so back off!!!

Well, I hope everyone is having a great end to their fall and has a great holiday season. I promise now that a lot of the craziness is done I will be back to writing again, and I will let everyone know where I will be playing next season once I sign my contract. Take care!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'M KICKING MY ASS...

So, I wanted to title this blog M.I.A again, but that would be about the fourth M.I.A titled blog post in a row, and I don't think that's allowed. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get on here and speak with you guys, but don't you worry. I've decided to punish myself the only way I felt appropriate. By kicking my ass!  Here's a video of me early this morning.



Hopefully this makes up for my absence. Anyways, the last month or so has been pretty hectic. As many of you know I will be getting married in less than a month. I can't believe it is already here. I hear the real craziness begins about a week or so before the wedding. I can't wait! To make the next month a little crazier we will be traveling to Aruba to be in one of my good friends weddings. I wish I could say it will be a great time for me to get a little pre-wedding tan, but this is what happened a few weeks ago when I decided to go outside without a shirt on for more than ten minutes.


My friends always like to remind me that, "the sun is free!" and tell me to go outside and get a tan. Well, this is what happens when you listen to them. The sun may be free, but the damn aloe ended up costing me $20.00!

On to baseball! How about this season?! I've been up in Boston for the last month and I'm surprised Fenway Park is still in one piece. I'm just glad it's almost the end of the year so I don't have to listen to people yelling about them every two minutes. I honestly couldn't escape it. The doctor's office, the grocery store, Forever 21. Everywhere I went there was someone talking about the Red Sox. I actually heard one guy saying that the Red Sox should try to convince Bill Belichick to become manager. And he was dead serious because the conversation went on for about twenty minutes.

Also, how about the Orioles, Yankees, and Nationals? I'm telling you, there is something about my old organizations. I'm not sure if I'm a good luck charm, or I'm a good luck charm once I'm traded away or released, but the last three organizations I've played with are all going to the playoffs. One of them hasn't been there in fifteen years and the other hasn't been there in over twenty! Congrats to those guys! And if your the Kansas City Royals, it's been 27 years, and I'm a free agent. I'm just sayin'!

Well, other than that it's about that time I start getting busy with baseball lessons, and before you know it I'll be starting to hit regularly preparing for next season. As of right now I am a free agent and can't sign with a team until at least November. A lot of people keep asking me what's going to happen, and I honestly have no idea. We will just have to wait and see, but I will keep everyone updated with how things are going. Until then, I hope everyone has a great week and I will speak with you all later!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

M.I.A

Hey, what's going on everyone? This is officially the longest amount of time I've gone without writing on here. I've received so many emails and Twitter messages asking me where the hell I've gone, I finally decided to open the blinds, come out of my basement, and write a post.

The last month or so has been one of the craziest of my career, and that's saying something considering I've had more crazy shit happen to me than happens during an episode of Real Housewives. And that's a lot of crazy shit!

*Crazy shit about to happen* 

Let's start back about a month ago. I was taken off the disabled list for the first time in almost two months. After coming off the DL, I made four starts at first base over a stretch of about two weeks. Considering I had never played first base in my life, and our roster was really full of players at my positions, I was beginning to get the feeling that things may not work out in Scranton. On July 28th, I believe it was, I was called into the manager's office and told I had been released for the first time in my career. I know a lot of people have felt bad for me and asked if I was alright. Honestly, I had a pretty good idea that a move was coming, considering my playing time was extremely sporadic and there just wasn't any room for me there.

Since being released, I was set to sign with a new team to finish the year, but randomly came down with the oddest sickness of my life. I had a terrible case of ringing in my ears, so bad that I couldn't sleep more than two hours a night. If you can't imagine what it would be like to hear such a sound, this will give you a good idea.


Other than constantly hearing Lloyd Christmas scream into my inner ear, I was constantly dizzy, had no desire to eat anything, and really didn't feel like I could even get off the couch. I lost about ten pounds over the three weeks and am just now starting to eat again and get back to working out. My ears are still a little messed up, but overall I feel about 100 times better than I did a few weeks ago. It will only be a matter of time before I get all my strength back and start feeling like myself again, and hopefully more like this kid.


Anyways, you put all this together and that's why I haven't been online in quite some time. I've been asked a lot what my next move is going to be and if any teams are going to pick me up. I actually have no idea what the future holds for me. Right now I am preparing for next season the way I usually do. This has been such a crazy year that I am going to try to learn from it and then try to move on and bury it about 3000 miles below ground never to be seen or heard from again. I would love to stay and chat but I have a fantasy draft to prepare for and Madden 2013 came out today, which is always a great day. I hope you all enjoy your day and have a great Labor Day weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2012

IT'S BEEN A WHILE

Wow, it's been some time since I've been on here. I guess when your injured and can't play and also get designated for assignment you can lose track of the days, or even sometimes months. It's been a crazy forty six days for me since I went on the disabled list with a sprained hand. Since then I have been rehabbing everyday in an attempt to get back and try to finish off this season on a strong note.

Things haven't gone exactly as I anticipated after being placed on the DL, but being on the disabled list for the forth time in my career, this isn't my first rodeo, and I've learned to expect the unexpected. Confusing things a bit more, a day before I was set to come off the disabled list I was designated for assignment. Yes, like Yogi said, it's deja vu all over again! It was the second time this season that I have been DFA'd and once again had to pass through waivers. Things were a little different this time around as I had to be released before being placed on waivers because I was on the disabled list. Doing so would make me a free agent if I did pass through waivers unclaimed, which ultimately happened. Luckily for me, the Yankees intended on signed me back, so I wouldn't have to switch teams for a third time this year and was able to rejoin my team in Syracuse a few days ago.

Since returning to the team I have continued rehabbing since I was away from the team for ten days. I've been receiving a lot of messages each day asking when I'm coming back. I'm hopeful that after putting in a few more days of good practice I will be placed back on the twenty five man roster and ready to jump into some games.

In life away from baseball, it was nice to be able to return home during the All-Star Break for the first time since February. The crazy part is the house looks the exact same way it did six months ago when I left it. We still have more empty rooms in our house than full rooms. I guess I just assumed out of empathy for our inability to decide on furniture, Ethan Allan would drop off some new stuff for us while I was away playing. Apparently you actually have to purchase the furniture before they deliver it to your home. Interesting concept.

I also found a way to destroy the tail light on my car again, something that cost me a few hundred dollars to replace last fall. Does anyone else have this problem? I'm not sure if the height of my garage is too low or if my trunk opens too high, but if I open the trunk of my car in the garage it smashes off the top of the garage and breaks my light. I know I'm going to get a bunch of responses that say, "well then don't open your trunk while in the garage!" Well, as I like to say, no shit Sherlock! But in a state of rushing I sometimes forget about our tiny garage / oversized trunk situation and open it anyways. Stupid me I guess.

Anyways, I wish I had more to talk about, but I can't seem to remember this past month at all. I wanted to make sure to jump on here and explain why I've been MIA so often since I've received a lot of emails and Twitter messages asking. I hope you guys have a good day and hopefully I'll be back to playing baseball soon. Take care!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BACK TO SYRACUSE

Hey what's going on everyone? So we've been traveling a lot lately, but I guess that's what happens when you don't have a home field. Right now we are in Louisville, Kentucky, playing the Louisville Bats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. We just finished a series up a few days ago in Syracuse, New York, my old stomping grounds where we played the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. As many of you know, I spent last season with Syracuse, so it was great to be back and visit with many of my former teammates and coaches. It was also great to see some friends that I was able to meet while playing with Washington. It is always a little strange to play against the team that you spent an entire season with, but I guess I'm starting to get used to it considering this is now my fourth professional team. (Is it bad I actually had to take a few seconds to think back and count on my fingers to make sure I got the number of teams correct?) Anyways, while spending the four days in Syracuse I had some time to do a quick interview with Jason Benetti, the best radio and TV voice in the business. (I say that in hopes that I can score some free tickets when Jason is working in the NFL) All jokes aside, Jason does a pretty damn good job. Hope you enjoy and I will talk to you later!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NYC

I think I'm going to start hanging out at airports more. Although it sucks having to fly from city to city every few days, the entertainment I receive while waiting for my flights may be worth it. Every single time I fly somewhere I witness something I've never seen before. As many of you know I have been placed on the DL for the past two weeks with a sprained joint in my hand. The team flew me to New York City last week to meet with our hand doctor to see exactly what the problem may be. On my way there I had the privilege of watching a man scream at the top of his lungs while picking up his ticket at automatic check-in. "65 dollars for a seat!?!?! How the hell is my seat 65 dollars!?!?! For a $#%@ing seat!?!?! 65 dollars?!?!" This went on for a good five minutes. He yelled at every person that walked by, yet I still have no idea what the hell he is talking about. What does that even mean? He already had purchased his ticket if he is checking in. I guess 65 dollars for a seat upgrade? I have no clue, but it was still fun to watch everyone's reaction to him. Next I waited in line for security, a place where you know something strange is going to happen. A guy walks up to the entrance and asks the employee that checks your boarding pass and I.D. if this is the line for American. He responds that this is the security line for American, but the check-in line for American is down the hall. "So this is the line for American?" he asks again. The employee once again says its the security line, but he needs to have a boarding pass to pass through security. "So, American is through here?" HELLO, I'M EARTH HAVE WE MET? I DON'T THINK SO!

Anyways, I flew to NYC and had my hand checked. Turns out I have a sprained joint in my hand and needed a cortisone shot. I haven't been allowed to swing a bat for the last two weeks, and will attempt to do so for the first time this weekend. Hopefully everything feels good. If I have no pain I think I should be back in the lineup rather quickly. Just another pain in the ass issue with my hands, but at least this one doesn't seem to be that serious. *Knock on wood* 

Well, I wish I had more to say, but I need to go some laundry. It's been far too long, and I don't even know if my hotel has laundry machines in it. You guys take care! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

ALL AROUND THE WORLD

Hey what's going on everyone? Once again, it has been a long time since I've been able to find some free time to sit down and write about what's transpired over the past few weeks. I really cannot believe it has almost been three weeks since I left Norfolk and joined Scranton. Let me give you a quick update on what has happened since I've arrived.

I ended up driving twelve hours from Norfolk, Virginia, to Rochester, New York, about three weeks ago to join my new team, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The drive was supposedly only suppose to take about ten hours, but my GPS is the absolute worst and decided to continually take me off the highway and place me on a one lane road through town. I'm still not sure why I kept listening to it, but I figured the stupid machine that was built to guide you from one place to another should know more about the travel plans than I would. I guess I was wrong. Here is a video I sent Laura after driving over two hours from small town to small town somewhere in the middle of Maryland. I am actually surprised how calm I sound because inside I wanted to punch someone.

video

Anyways, there have only been a few things that stick in my head as I think back over the past few weeks. We just had a Pacific Coast League like travel day four days ago. We had a 4 AM wake up call and 6 AM flight out of Buffalo, New York, to Baltimore, Maryland. We then had a four hour layover until flying from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia. After arriving around 2 PM we quickly checked into our hotel and headed to the ballpark to play my former team in a double-header. I'm still not sure who's bright idea it was to schedule a double-header after a ten hour travel day, but it wasn't very bright in my opinion.

To makes things even better, during the four day trip to Norfolk we ended up playing a total of 52 innings. Today's game ended in the 13th inning when both teams had to use position players to pitch the last two innings of the game after both teams had gone through every bullpen pitcher available. The high and low pitch speeds of the inning were officially recorded at 77 and 51 MPH, which is not only awesome but extremely impressive. And, just when you thought things couldn't possible get any worse, I was placed on the seven day disabled list with a hand issue. It is not the same hand that caused me problems the last time, but I have had discomfort in this hand over the past few weeks and am scheduled to receive an MRI tomorrow. I'm starting to realize that with the durability of my hands and wrists and the amount of vowels in my last name I should have been a soccer player.  Hopefully everything is OK and these seven days off will be what I need to get back to feeling OK. We will see.

Lastly, if you are reading this I guess you already figured this out, but I ended up having to change my site to mattantonelli.com. After waking up one morning in Buffalo I realized I never renewed my old address of matthewantonelli.com and someone had already jumped on it and taken it from me. To my surprise I was able to grab mattantonelli.com which was not available to me a few years ago when I was first putting together my blog. I guess everything happens for a reason.

Well, we are about to pull into our hotel in Durham and I am craving a Cookout burger, so I will talk to everyone later. Take care!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

THE CRAZY WEEK THAT WAS

What's going on everybody? This past week has been a crazy one. We were on the road for a ten game road trip with two games in Durham, NC, four games in Louisville, KY, and four games in Indianapolis, IN. First, on our way from North Carolina to Louisville we stopped in at a 24 hour McDonald's around 2 AM where I witnessed something I've never seen before. There was a group of six 25 year old guys playing a giant game of Magic at a booth in MD's. I haven't seen anyone play a game of Magic before, but the combination of seeing it being played at 2 AM in a McDonald's is what really blew my mind. I snuck in a candid shot of the epic battle below.




I immediately rushed outside to our bus, grabbed my Pogs collection, and proceeded to beat the shit out of all six of them. Not literally of course, but my Slammer collection is pretty bad ass. Seriously, I won this shirt back in third grade!  



While in Louisville we also had the chance to take a tour of the Louisville Slugger building. I can't believe how many bats they are making in that place. The biggest surprise to me was how most of the construction is done by hand. I thought for sure that 99% of the bats were handled by machines. The best part of the trip was being allowed to pick out four bats apiece from a collection of bats that had been returned by players around the league. We all spent about twenty minutes wrestling over these bats looking for ones we liked.




Things really got interesting once we arrived in Indianapolis. It felt as if half of our team was either called up or Designated for Assignment during our first two days in Indiana. About thirty minutes before our game on Sunday I was called into our manager's office and told he had just received a call informing him that I had been DFA'd. Here is what I read on the computer about five minutes after he gave me the news.


Orioles Designate Matt Antonelli For Assignment

The Orioles have designated infielder Matt Antonelli for assignment, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).   The move made room on the 40-man roster for the O's to promote Xavier Avery from Triple-A Norfolk.
Antonelli, 27, hooked on with the O's in November and was hitting .204/.351/.280 in Norfolk.  Antonelli was taken with the 17th overall in the 2006 draft by the Padres and was thought to be in line for significant playing time at third base for Baltimore this year.


I've been asked by about 6,000 people in the last few days what it means to be DFA'd. I honestly still do not understand all the rules, but basically it means I was taken off the 40 man roster by the Orioles and would have to pass through waivers. If no teams claimed me during the three day waiver process I would return to Norfolk. If a team claimed me I would be placed on that teams 40 man roster. Well, I received a call today from the Orioles informing me that I was claimed by the New York Yankees.


Yankees Claim Matt Antonelli

The Yankees have claimed infielder Matt Antonelli off of waivers from the Orioles, Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger tweets. Antonelli, who was designated for assignment four days ago, will report to Triple-A.
Antonelli, 27, signed a Major League deal with the Orioles this offseason. He posted a .204/.351/.280 battling line for Baltimore's top affiliate before the O's removed him from the 40-man roster over the weekend. The Padres selected Antonelli 17th overall in the 2006 draft.


Right now I am packing up my apartment, jumping in my car, and heading up to New York to join my new team in Rochester, NY. It is crazy how quickly everything has happened in the last few days and I still can't believe I am on a new team. This is the first time in my baseball career when I have switched organizations in the middle of the season, and I think because it happened so early in the season it still has not sunk in. Having to go to our stadium a few hours ago and say goodbye to all of my teammates wasn't a very fun experience, but I am excited to join my new team and see what is in store for me in the future.

I probably should keep packing and get out of Norfolk before it gets too late. I appreciate all of the support and good luck wishes from both Orioles and Tides fans. Good luck to your teams and maybe we will see each other in the future.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

TRIVIA CONTEST

Hey what's going on everyone? As most of you know I have a baseball YouTube page where I post advice about all different aspects of baseball. I decided to give away a pair of Under Armor batting gloves  to the first person who answers a trivia question correctly. You can watch the video below for details. Good luck!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

ROAD TRIP

How is everyone doing tonight? We just finished up a quick two game series in Durham, North Carolina against the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and are on our way to Louisville, Kentucky. The travel time is scheduled for nine hours, but we usually make a pit stop at Burger King or McDonald's around midnight, so I'm guessing we pull into our hotel around 8 in the morning. I've been MIA the last few weeks so I figured this would be a good time to get back to writing a little bit since I've got spare time.

I've had a few interesting things happen to me in the past few days. Last week we played a series in Batavia, New York, which is always fun this time of year. Out of the four scheduled games one was cancelled because of rain and one because of a snow storm. Here's a look at the field about two hours into the storm.


When we got back home to Norfolk, Laura flew down for the weekend and decided to take me out for a belated birthday dinner at Ruth's Chris. In the middle of eating my filet I realized a giant portion of my 11oz steak was lodged in my throat/chest. For some reason in a moment of panic I thought the best idea was to throw up my entire dinner in the corner of the booth we were seated in. I know it sounds gross, but it saved my life. And I'm sorry Ruth's Chris.

A few days after embarrassing myself in front of a full restaurant I decided to foul a ball off of my left foot during my first at-bat of our game. I've missed the last two games in an attempt to regain the feeling I lost. I'm hoping I will be able to play in the game tomorrow. I actually thought I broke my foot the day after, but it was feeling much better today so that's a good sign I think.

At yesterday's game in Durham our game was delayed three hours because of heavy thunderstorms. Our 5 PM game finally began at 8PM even though there was still a light rain falling on the field. Around 8:30 the rain finally quit for five minutes, during which time every sprinkler on the field turned on and began soaking the field. I'm still convinced it was someone on our teams last ditch effort to get the game cancelled and allow us to watch the Mayweather vs. Cotto fight. Anyways, once the grounds crew figured out how to shut off the water it began to pour again and the game was officially postponed until the following day.

Well, that's all I've got for today. I've successfully cut down my travel time from nine hours to eight hours and forty minutes. Last night I feel asleep while watching Contraband with my main man Marky Mark. I think its time to finish that up. I hope you all enjoy your night!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TRAVEL DAY FROM HELL

The worst thing about a Minor League season is without a doubt the travel schedule. After finishing a game, packing, and eating, you get into bed around 1 AM and have to be up in three hours to catch a bus to the airport. Two connecting flights and a few delays for mechanical issues later and it's time to head to the field. The good news is, in four days you will be doing it all over again. That is the Pacific Coast League in a nutshell. Lucky for me, I now play in the International League where we prefer 8 hour bus rides over plane flights. Some guys don't like the idea of long bus trips, but I will take those over 6 AM plane flights any day of the week.

Yesterday we were heading to Gwinett, Georgia for a four game series with the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. It was one of those rare times in the IL when we were actually flying instead of busing. I walked into the parking garage of my apartment complex at around 5:45 AM to take the quick ride over to our stadium where the team bus was waiting to take us to the Norfolk airport. The only problem was, my car was no longer in my parking garage. Apparently, it had been towed that morning because I was "illegally" parked in a YMCA parking spot. I still can't get over the fact that I was parked in my apartments parking garage, that I pay for, but because I was in one of the 100 empty spots designated for the YMCA across the street my car gets towed.

Anyways, I was going on the road for an eight game road trip, and the storage fees over at the tow yard meant if I left the car there until I got back I would essentially be playing for free this week. I've been working non-stop (Laura's been working non-stop) the past 24 hours trying to get someone to head over and pick up my car in an attempt to save me the $750 dollars it would cost to pick it up when I return from New York. Luckily, I have someone going over today to pick it up for me.

The funny thing is, that wasn't my only problem. I had left my dress shoes in the car and was planning on changing into them when I arrived at the bus. Now I was stuck having to wear a pinstriped suit with my super stylish gray Puma sneakers, one of the worst looking things I've ever seen. I know you're probably thinking it's not that big of a deal, but having to answer the question of "Why the @#$% are you wearing sneakers with a suit?!?!" from 30 teammates over and over and over again for the next three hours was the shitty part. I still think some guys don't believe the "car towing" story and just think after I realized I possessed the worst dressing habits in the league I decided to come up with an excuse to make myself look like less of an idiot. Check out this sweet style.


A few guys actually took some candid full body shots of me, so hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of them and make it my Facebook profile picture. Anyways, here's to hoping my car is returned safely in the next few hours and I find a nice shoe store somewhere here in Georgia. Until then, I shall talk with you all later.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NORFOLK

I have finally arrived in Norfolk, Virginia for the start of the 2012 season. This Spring Training was by far the fastest spring I have ever experienced in my six year career. I still feel like I just arrived in Sarasota a few days ago and it has already been seven weeks. Anyways, we open the regular season up tomorrow night in Charlotte, North Carolina against the Chicago White Sox Triple-A team. As I type this, we are on a bus making the five and a half hour trip down south. This is my first time ever traveling on a sleeper bus, which may just be the coolest thing I have ever experienced. We have a beautiful big screen television, outlets for our electronics, wifi that is actually going fast enough for me to browse the Internet, and beds that are more comfortable than the one I slept in last night at my apartment.

Speaking of apartments, I moved into my new place a few days ago. The first few years of my professional career I would chose low price over comfort when it came to my living arrangements for the summer. After realizing that when it comes to apartment living you definitely get what you pay for, I've changed my strategy over the last few years and now go with something that I will enjoy living in for the five month season, even if it costs me a little more money. Anyways, after walking into my new apartment I knew right away it was going to be a good summer. Comfortable sofa, nice size television, working appliances, and good water pressure. I was pretty damn excited, that is until I decided to go to sleep. I found out rather quickly that we have a light rail transit system that I swear passes directly through my bedroom. Starting at around six AM and repeating every five minutes until I wave the white flag and get out of bed, I listen to a mini train pass directly outside my bedroom window. I can't describe how torturous the sound is, but this should give you a good idea.



When we return to Norfolk on Sunday night I'm going to first try a sound machine app on my IPhone. If that doesn't work, I may go with a heavy duty fan or maybe some earplugs, although I don't know how comfortable that will be. If you have any good ideas please let me know!

For some positive news, there is a Chipotle about one minute from my apartment. I know it is quite sad, but the first thing I did when looking at apartments was to check how far the nearest Chipotle was located. If only they had some type of reward system similar to frequent flyer miles. I swear, if I ever become a Major League player good enough to be on a commercial, I will sign the first exclusive deal with Chipotle in return for a lifetime supply of burritos.

Well, I think I may take a little nap before we arrive in North Carolina so I will talk to you all later on. Take care!

Monday, March 19, 2012

SPRING TRAINING UPDATE 3-19

Hey what's going on everyone? I've been M.I.A. over the last month or so for good reason. Out of the sixteen hours I have available during my day, I've spent about 90% of it either at the field or eating food. I actually haven't gone on my computer in almost a week, which is very strange considering I spend so much of my day during my off-season on this thing. Today is my first and only day off during the Spring, giving me some free time finally to get on here and say hello.

I've now been down in Sarasota, Florida for over four weeks now. So far this spring we've played seventeen official games and three scrimmages. I've had the chance to start in five of the games at second base and come off the bench in the other twelve at second, short stop, and third. It feels great to be back out on the field again after such a long off-season. I've had a great time so far adjusting to a new team and meeting everyone associated with the club. I actually feel like I've been a part of this team for years, and not only a month. We have a great bunch of guys here, from the players, to the staff, and everyone else associated with the team. I can already tell I am really going to enjoy myself this summer. I will try my best to keep everyone up to date with how things continue to progress over these last few weeks of the Spring, and if you want the CliffsNotes version you can follow me on Twitter right here ---> Mattantonelli9
It has been a lot easier to find the time to interact on Twitter lately, so that is probably the best place to catch me.

I wish I had more to talk about, but I've honestly spent about 12 hours a day at the field ever since I've arrived in Sarasota a month ago. I hope everyone has a great day and I will be talking to everyone later!

Friday, February 24, 2012

DAY ONE OF SPRING TRAINING

I witnessed something yesterday for the first time in my baseball career, so I figured it's only right that I share. I was standing in the outfield grass shagging baseballs during our batting practice session when a home run ball was hit over our left field fence. If you've ever been to our Spring Training complex here in Sarasota you know that beyond the left field fence of one of our practice fields is a main stretch of road where traffic flows about forty MPH in four lanes, two heading north and two heading south. As the ball landed squarely on the road and came to a stop, an oncoming driver thought it was a good idea to slam on their breaks, jump out of their car, and rush through oncoming traffic to retrieve the ball. The guy came about two feet from getting killed by a van that was barely able to swerve out of his way. Standing about one hundred feet away in centerfield I could actually hear the driver of the van scream, "Look out!!!!" out of his open window. I know retrieving home run balls can be exciting and I've seen chaos ensue after home run balls like Barry Bonds' 756th and Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, but risking your life for a $10 ball you can pick up on EBay probably isn't the best idea.

Anyways, after being down here in Sarasota for about a week, we officially had our first team practice of the spring. After going through our yearly physicals we took the field around noon for some bunt defense, fielding, and hitting. Although it felt like it was 100 degrees with 100% humidity after becoming accustomed to the 30 and 40 degree days in the northeast, I survived the day and enjoyed myself. We have about a week or so of practices before our first game on March 5th, so I will start to go a little more in depth over the next few days about some of the things happening on the field. Since it's still only day one of waking up at 6 AM and my body has not yet adapted, it's time for me to hit the hay. I will talk to you later.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

SARASOTA

We have finally arrived in Sarasota, Florida after driving 26 hours from our home in Massachusetts. Our trip originally consisted of splitting the drive into three days, but after encountering a few unexpected twists, it was completed in only two. The first day we drove about nine hours and stopped just outside of Washington D.C. We planned on driving eight hours the next day and stopping in Savannah, Georgia for the night, but after arriving there around 9 PM we decided we might as well continue driving in hopes of arriving ahead of schedule.

We pulled into Jacksonville, Florida around midnight to find a hotel and get a good nights sleep. After walking into a Holiday Inn Express we were told that every hotel in the Jacksonville area was sold out because of a go-cart event and something to do with an aquarium. We were forced to jump back on the road and drive out of town in search of another hotel. The drive from Jacksonville to Sarasota was still four hours away and I really didn't feel I had the energy to go all the way through after already driving over twelve hours that day.

For the next three hours we called every single hotel in Florida in search of a vacant room and successfully found zero. You probably think I'm joking around when I say this, but we seriously did not find one single hotel that had an open room. Here is the call log I started after leaving Jacksonville around midnight. This is only eight of the sixteen calls I placed, and Laura was simultaneously doing the same thing on her phone. I have never seen an entire state be out of hotels before, but somehow it happened the one night we needed one. Needless to say we drove the four hours and arrived in Sarasota a little after 4 AM.


As fun as it was searching for a hotel for three straight hours, that was not the only excitement I was privileged to along our trip. If any of you have been following my blog for a few years you will remember our first road trip to Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona in 2010. If you don't remember, here is a quick video of what that trip looked like. This is part II of the trip, so if you want to see part I you can find it on YouTube.



Anyways, as you can see, Laura somehow found a way to get us off the main highway and onto a one lane service road in the middle of the state of Texas after I allowed her to drive for three and a half minutes. This time around, while driving through Virginia, I thought it would be a good idea to let her drive once again. As you will see, some things never change.

video

She somehow managed to get us off the highway and onto a one lane road with a 25 MPH speed limit. I'm all for sight seeing, but when you've already been on the road for ten hours and have more than fifteen remaining the last thing I want to do is check out some good farm land. This is exactly why when divvying up the drive time between the two of us, it goes like this. Four hours for me, ten minutes for Laura, four more hours for me, five minutes for Laura. Have a great day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

SPRING TRAINING DRIVE

I officially set out for the 24 hour drive from my hometown to Sarasota, Florida for the start of the 2012 baseball season. Last night after Laura got out of work, we left Boston around 5:30 PM and drove about eight hours until we reach Washington D.C. The trip actually went fairly smoothy until we reached Baltimore and got stuck behind what seemed to be a car accident that left drivers walking around the highway for around forth-five minutes waiting for traffic to begin moving again. We stopped for dinner in New Haven, Connecticut to grab pizza at Frank Pepe's. Have any of you ever grabbed a pizza from there before? From what everyone says it serves legendary pizza. I thought it was a good pizza for sure, but I didn't think it was the greatest pizza I've ever had. Just wondering what you guys thought.

Anyways, I did happen to see something last night that I've never witnessed before in my lifetime. As I approached a toll both entering Baltimore, I rolled down my window to give the woman my $4.00 and realized she really didn't have any intentions of grabbing it. She had fallen asleep while sitting in her chair, snoring and totally out cold. I tried to get her attention but she wasn't budging. It was about 1:00 AM, but I've traveled around the country a lot through the night and have never witnessed a toll both attendant sleeping on the job. I hope she isn't an Orioles fan and ends up reading this calling her out, but it was pretty funny. I really wasn't sure what the hell I was suppose to do. I couldn't drive through without paying because I would have gotten a ticket, and she had no intentions of waking up. Laura told me to take a picture of her but I couldn't find my phone, and would have felt awkward waking her mid-flash. Instead, Laura stuck her head out the window and screamed, "Hello!!!!!" The best part was the women jumps out of her seat, tells me $17.00 is my change, and goes right back into work mode like she had been awake the entire time. Some people just weren't cut out for life on the road.

Well, we are about to head out for the second day of our trip in a few minutes. I'm thinking we will drive and stop in either Savannah, Georgia or Jacksonville, Florida, depending on how tired I am later tonight and how far I feel like driving. I'm sure by the time I get into my hotel tonight I'll have something else that I will have witnessed for the first time. It's time to jump on the road so I'll talk to you all later!

Monday, February 13, 2012

HARRY! YOUR HANDS ARE FREEZING

Hey what's going on everyone? I just got home from my weekend trip to Minnesota and realized I haven't been writing very much over the past few weeks. The cause is mostly because of the deep depression the New York Giants have once again caused me, but also partly because I leave for Spring Training this week and the last few weeks before I leave are always hectic. I traveled to Minnesota for the weekend to work with Shawn Wooten, a friend and former teammate of mine who owns a baseball facility outside of Minneapolis. Shawn is the best coach I have ever met and probably knows more about the baseball swing than anyone in the world. He really helped me with my swing a few years ago when I was struggling in Triple-A and is the main reason I was able to find my swing again. We spent the last few days fine tuning things for the start of the 2012 season, so if for some reason I start the year slow you can all blame him.

In all seriousness, if you live in the Minneapolis area I highly suggest you get in there. You'll thank me later. Here is a link for their website. Hit Dawg Academy

I still can't believe it is already the middle of February and time to leave for Spring Training. I have been home for almost six months since the end of the season and it felt like I was here for only a few weeks. I will be driving down to Florida with Laura this Thursday after she gets out of work. I know from all the emails and Twitter messages that everyone is pretty excited to get down to Florida and take in some Spring Training action. I believe our first game is March 5th and I hope to see many of you there.

Before I take off, I had something on my mind that I wanted to get cleared up. Is there anyone reading this that has never been on an airplane before? Being that I'm on the road for much of the year I see my fair share of weird shit, but for some reason something always happens at the airport that leaves me scratching my head and repeating the words WTF over and over again. Today on my flight home from Minnesota I had been waiting in line to pass through security for about ten minutes when a fifty year old woman standing behind me tapped me on the shoulder. "Do I need to show this man my license to pass through this thing?" she asked. I told her that she would indeed need to show her license and the guy standing in front of me added that she would also need to show her boarding pass. I didn't find the need to let her know she needed to have her boarding pass because who the hell doesn't know you need to show your boarding pass to get through security.

Anyways, the lady gave both of us a look of complete confusion and once again shocked me by responding with, "A boarding pass? How do I get a boarding pass?" I was tempted to respond with my way to frequently used comeback of "Hello, I'm earth, have we met? I don't think so!" As hard as it was, I refrained and instead explained that she needed to get in the big line with the giant sign that read Boarding Passes.

Literally two minutes later, another guy walked over to where I was standing and asked a guy a few people ahead of me if our security line was for Delta flights? The man replied that this security line was for all gates. With another blank stare the guy asked again, "so Delta planes are through this security area?" What the hell is wrong with people? Luckily I'm done with airports for another few months since I'll be driving to Spring Training. See you in sunny Florida in a few days!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Hey what's up everyone? I hope you all enjoyed your January. I can't believe it is already February and it's almost time for baseball. Our catchers and pitchers report to Florida in less than three weeks and our first positional players practice is twenty-four days away. I'll be starting the twenty hour drive down to Florida two weeks from tomorrow to get the 2012 season underway.

During the off-season I have the chance to work with a large amount of younger baseball players around my hometown. I frequently get asked by players and parents about my background as a hockey player in high school. I'm not really sure what it is about hockey, but people are curious to talk about it when they find out I played. I was flipping through some videos today and found one that actually reminded me a little of my high school hockey career. Growing up as a kid I always wanted to play in either the NHL or the MLB. I always thought I would go to the University of New Hampshire and play both college hockey and college baseball. In the end, I decided to put down the hockey skates and concentrate on making it in baseball. I guess this video shows why I chose the route I did.





Ok, I'm just playing. I wasn't really that bad. This is little more realistic of what my hockey career looked like.




I guess I made the right decision. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

BASEBALL TIP OF THE WEEK

Hey what's up guys? I've gotten away from my weekly baseball tip of the week, but since I've received a lot of requests about it lately I figured I would start throwing some back up here again. The ready position is really important for all you young players out there. I think it is one thing that can really be improved on because of how it is taught at the younger levels of baseball. When I was drafted and made the adjustment to using this as my ready position it really helped me with my fielding ability. Give it a shot and good luck!

Also, if you want more baseball videos you can go over to my YouTube page:



Monday, January 23, 2012

ORIOLES FAN FEST

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I just got back from Baltimore yesterday afternoon after spending a little less than a week there practicing and participating in Orioles Fan Fest. It was really a great week and I was able to get a lot accomplished. After arriving last Tuesday I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday practicing with a dozen or so guys. It was a great time to meet a lot of new teammates that I hadn't had the chance to meet throughout my career. The hardest part about joining a new organization is meeting so many new people. After spending five years with San Diego and building many friendships, it is really a different feeling walking into a clubhouse and not knowing a single person. After being thrown into that situation for the first time last year in Washington, it didn't seem as big of a deal doing it again this time around, but it always takes a few days to really get comfortable. That is probably the biggest benefit of having a week like this during the winter. Now when Spring Training rolls around, we are all familiar with each other and a lot more comfortable that first day of practice.

After meeting many new faces, we were able to use this time to speak with our coaching staff on the upcoming season. We were also able to get a lot of work in hitting, throwing, and strength and conditioning. On Friday night we attended an event, meeting many of the local sponsors of the Orioles, and spent a few hours taking pictures and talking with them. On Saturday the team spent about eight hours or so engaging in Fan Fest, which turned out to be a definite success. I couldn't believe the amount of people that showed up for the event. I could tell after only a few minutes of speaking with fans that Baltimore definitely loves its baseball. The overall event consisted of a bunch of different activities. I was able to sign autographs for two hours, give some young players a few hitting tips in the batting cage, beat up on some youngsters in XBOX 360, and socialize with many Orioles fanatics. I couldn't believe how many people came through the autograph line and talked to me about my blog. I thank everyone again for reading and coming out to support the team. The entire event was a huge success and it really got me excited for the upcoming season. I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, January 13, 2012

FAN FEST

Hey what's going on guys? I hope everyone is enjoying their three day weekend so far. Mine started off on the right foot last night when my New England Patriots handed a beat down to the Denver Broncos for the second time this season. My agent is a huge Broncos fan and he loves to talk crap 24-7, which is probably the reason I'm even a little more excited than usual. It also puts a slight end to the constant chatter by our local sports radio hosts who love to talk ad nauseam about how the Patriots franchise can't win a playoff game and they should fire Belichick, trade Brady, and turn Gillette Stadium into a parking lot. Also, as much as I like Tim Tebow, I'm glad we can now put "Tebow Time" to rest, at least for a few months.

As happy as I am about the win, I am still nervous about the probable upcoming game next Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens scare the shit out of me from my living room sofa whenever I see them play, so I can only imagine what it's like to take the field against them. Since joining the Orioles a few months ago I've had the chance to connect with many Baltimore fans on Twitter and Facebook. Many of you have tried to swing my allegiance to your Ravens, but just as San Diego and then Washington D.C. fans discovered, my love for the Pats will not be easily swayed. For proof of my completely unhealthy addiction with the New England Patriots, and at one time Randy Moss, you can watch the video below that I created last year when I woke up and discovered my favorite player had been traded to the Minnesota Vikings. And yes I know, I've completely lost my mind.





Moving on. This Tuesday I will be heading down to Baltimore for a three day Mini Camp followed by Fan Fest this Friday and Saturday. I'm sure it will be a great time and I know from Twitter that I will get a chance to meet many of you when I arrive there. Until then, good luck to the Ravens during this afternoon's game. As much as I would rather see the Texans coming to town next Sunday, I feel I should at least make the Ravens my second favorite team in the NFL. Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, January 6, 2012

WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS 2012

Hey what's going on everyone? I hope you all had a great 2011 and have an even better 2012. I can't believe it is already January and the baseball season is just about a month away. This has by far been the fastest off-season for me since I was drafted in 2006. It has also been my busiest off-season of my career. As many of you know, in the last three months I have moved into a new house, got engaged, and signed with a new team. Now that 2012 is upon us, I am looking forward to warm weather and baseball. But before that, let me tell you a few things that have really been grinding my gears. If you agree, let me know in the comments below. If you think I'm over-reacting, keep your comments to yourself...Just kidding!

The first thing that has been driving me nuts (and the main reason for writing this blog post) are mass emails promoting your company but acting like we are best friends. I know you don't really give a shit about me. How could I tell? When you send me an email every week that looks like this:

Hello Friend,

Hope you had a great holiday season. My company is doing great! We sell this, and this, and this, and this, and you should really buy all of them. Have a great 2012!

Your Friend,
Who Givesashit

I literally get at least twenty of these a week through email, Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter. I'm by no means a great businessman, but I'm pretty sure receiving emails like this make me want to never buy your company's product. If you run a company out there I'm telling you, it is not a good marketing tactic.  

The second thing on my list happened to me last night after picking up a to-go order at PF Chang's. I was walking out the door with my food in my hand and noticed someone about fifteen feet behind me about to leave as well. I made sure to wait a few seconds and hold the door open for the guy. He proceeded to walk through the door without taking it from me and didn't say a damn thing. For now on, if you don't say thank you, it's an automatic kick in the nuts. I like that rule.

The last thing on my list is Facebook anytime of the year, but especially right after New Year's Eve. Status updates may be the worst thing ever invented. They are so bad that you almost have to look at them. I don't know why I waste precious minutes of my life reading some of the stupid crap that is on there. The worst is right after New Year's Eve. This is everyone's opportunity to let the world know that they have friends, are wicked cool because they drink alcohol, and are so hungover they just can't get out of bed for a week and a half. I just find it strange that 28 year olds are still trying to be the cool kid on Facebook. I guess I'm just still upset that I went through my school years receiving atomic wedgies and swirlies from these kids fifteen years ago.

Anyways, I'm sure I could go on forever about things that really grind my gears, but these are just a few of the things that I've noticed over the past few days. Give me a list of things that grind your gears in the comment section below and have a great day!