Saturday, July 27, 2013

Northeast Elite Baseball

Hey guys! I want to let everyone know about some exciting news. As many of you know, one of my passions since being drafted more than seven years ago, is to help local youth baseball players develop their skills and improve their overall baseball game. I've recently decided to start my own youth baseball organization, Northeast Elite Baseball, to help as many players as possible achieve their dreams of playing baseball in high school, college, or professionally. If you are interested in learning more about joining one of our teams, check out our website www.neelitebaseball.com 

Below is our tryout schedule which will be held August 3rd and 10th. I hope to see you there!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

THE NEXT PHASE

Hi guys, I hope you all are doing well. I Wanted to catch everyone up on what has been going on and fill you guys in on a few things. First, I was released from the Indians at the end of April after playing in three games for the Columbus Clippers, Cleveland's Triple-A team. After being released I received a lot of calls from Independent leagues, but didn't speak with any affiliated clubs. After thinking about my situation and being presented with some other career opportunities, I decided to hang up the cleats and move on to the next phase in my life. I know things happened very quickly, but I guess that's the way things work in professional baseball.

I've been spending a lot of my time developing youth baseball and softball players from my home state of Massachusetts and from around the country. If you want to check out some of the stuff we are doing, you can go to our website www.touchemallball.com or check out our YouTube channel where I have posted hundreds of instructional videos Touch 'Em All Baseball 

With how busy I am going to be this summer and into the fall I probably will not be posting much on here, but I will still be answering emails, so if you want to stay in touch with me don't be afraid to email me here ---> Email

I hope everyone has a great summer and I will speak with you later!

Friday, March 15, 2013

HELLO ARIZONA

Greetings from Goodyear, Arizona! How is everyone doing? I've now been out at Spring Training for over a month, so I think it's about time to check in with everyone. So far I have really enjoyed my time with my new team. I honestly don't think I've met anyone within the organization that I haven't liked. The atmosphere around the facility is one of the best I have seen in my eight seasons of professional baseball. When we are on the field we've been working very hard preparing for the upcoming season, but we are able to do so while keeping things loose and fun at the same time. Here is the Major League side of camp giving a quick example of what I'm talking about.




This is by far the best Harlem Shake video I have seen from a professional baseball team. Anyways, one of the best parts of traveling out West for Spring Training every year  is going from 20 degree weather in Boston to the 80 degree weather in Arizona. Below is a picture of the weather both here in Arizona and back home the day I arrived. It is really strange to go from wearing three layers of clothing and sledding to wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sweating as you walk down the street.




I was actually reading in the bookstore one of the first few days I was down here when a man in his 40's walked into the store shivering wearing a sweatshirt, pants, and winter hat. "It's absolutely freezing outside!!!" he yelled. To be fair, it was the coldest day we have had since I've arrived, but this was the weather at the exact moment he walked into the store.




If that was the weather in Boston there would have been people heading to the beach for the day, including this guy!




Enough about the weather. Lets talk about driving for a minute. The way the streets are set up out here in Arizona is absolutely ridiculous.  There is nowhere to turn your car around and go in the opposite direction if you realize your headed in the wrong direction or just feel like going the other way. There are no U-turns allowed anywhere. Seriously, every turn has a no U-turn sign. The problem is, in order to get to the field after I come out of my hotel parking lot I need to turn my car around and head in the opposite direction. Because I have no idea where I am going I usually will take the illegal U-turn at the first turn available to me. At 7 AM there are really no cars on the road anyways, so I figured it was no big deal. Until I did it my first week down here and got pulled over.

I was sentenced to attend Defensive Driving School. The cost was $200 and I had to take a four hour class, three quizzes, and a quick final exam. Seems a bit excessive for making a U-turn, but what do I know.




It's pretty shitty that I actually took notes during class and still only scored an 88%. The good news is that I passed and can now get back to baseball. As far as baseball goes, we have been practicing as a team for a few weeks now. I have gone to about 10 to 12 Major League games, playing both 3rd and 2nd base during my time over there. Our two week Minor League spring training schedule starts tomorrow so I am excited about that. I've received a lot of questions from people asking me where I will end up playing this year, but right now I really can't say. I think a lot of it will be determined by how I continue to play over the next few weeks. Once I find out I will be sure to let everyone know. Well, it's nine o'clock, which is past my bed time, so I will talk to everyone soon and fill you in on how things are looking. Take care! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BASEBALL SEASON IS UPON US

Hey what's going on everyone? This is always the craziest time of year for me. I will be leaving for Spring Training in a few weeks, so I've been really busy getting myself ready to head out to Arizona. With all my time taken up with working out, hitting, fielding, and working with youth players, I've fallen behind on my writing.

As many of you probably already know by now, I recently signed with the Cleveland Indians. I appreciate all the good luck wishes I have received on Facebook and Twitter and through email. I am really looking forward to joining my fifth team as a professional and can't wait to see what this season brings. Our Spring Training facility is located in Goodyear, Arizona, meaning I'll be back out west for the first time in two years. It will be fun to play against some of the teams I was so used to playing during my five years with the Padres. It will also be the first time I will play against San Diego since leaving two years ago. It will be nice catching up with some former teammates and fans that I had during my stay there. If you are in the area make sure to stop by a game or practice and say hello!

Over the last few months I have been working really hard with our youth players from my home state of Massachusetts trying to help them improve their game. I know when I am done playing I will go into coaching, so it has been a great learning experience for me dealing with so many young ballplayers. Here is a video of one of our many clinics we have put together over the last few months.




Besides trying to teach baseball I've obviously been working on my own game as well. This is actually my first off-season in a very long time that I did not have surgery and could work out as much as I've wanted the entire winter. Last off-season after coming off wrist surgery I was really only able to hit a few times before I flew out to Spring Training. I quickly learned how important it is to be able to put in a full workload during the winter after I got off to a very slow start to Spring Training and was never really able to get my swing working. Here are a few clips of me hitting over the last few months. (Please excuse my videographer for falling over at the 25 second mark, as it is very tough to stay in a knelling position for more than 30 seconds without losing your balance and landing on your face)




Although I've had a lot of fun working around baseball this winter, I also have had some tough moments to deal with. For one, having to witness the Patriots get knocked out of the playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens.  The worst part about it is that Laura and I traveled down to watch the game. It was my first time at a Pats game in a few years, and it was Laura's first ever Patriots game. We were lucky enough to receive tickets from a great family that is investing in the agency that represents me. Although it was a tough loss, we both had a great time meeting new people and enjoying the game from some of the best seats in the house. You can see from me being the only one still sitting in their seat fifteen minutes after the game ended that it took a little while for me to get over the loss.




Anyways, it's time for me to get going to my workout. I only have a few weeks to go until I head out for Spring Training so there's not much time to waste. I hope you all have a great weekend and I will talk to you later!