November 2008

Wrapping Things Up

Greetings one final time everyone from the Arizona Fall League. We have endured a long seven weeks of additional baseball, and we’re now faced with just 2 remaining games. It has been a great experience for me to play in this league because of the stiff competition and valuable time to soak up more of this game. Although I think most everyone is somewhat worn down from a combination of the regular season and the fall games, we are grateful to have the opportunity to participate in such a premier venue. Following these last games, I will be headed back home to Texas where I will look forward to spending the Thanksgiving holiday with my family and friends. I am really excited about this because it has been 2-3 months since I have been able to see them. I think one person looking forward to it more than myself would be my mother; so mom, I’ll see you soon!

Anyway, the past week or so, many of us have been trying to find things to do to break up the daily monotony of playing and merely relaxing at home. Chris Valaika and I decided to go to a Jason Mraz concert last Sunday night, and this allowed us to shake things up a little. We had a good time listening to the talented Mr. Mraz, and we even ran into other guys from the fall league! Come to find out, Gordon Beckham of the Saguaros was sitting just a few seats away from us, so we were able to visit during breaks in the show. Since we had not done anything of this nature upon arriving out here, it was nice to experience something new.
I want to take this time to thank Jonathan Mayo of mlb.com for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this fall league blogging. It was my first blog experience, and with the support of all you fans, it has been a really neat thing for me to be a part of. Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to do something similar in the future. As I said, it’s been a pleasure to keep everyone up to date with things happening out here, and I wish all a happy holiday season!
-Drew

Last Full Week

Hello again everyone! Drew here with you again for the last full week of play in the Arizona Fall League. As we slide into the single digits of remaining games, I think everyone out here has the same intentions…finish strong. It’s been a long month and a half for most of us, and this has definitely been the longest year of baseball in my life. Starting up in spring training back in March, I’ve been at it for about 8 months with a few weeks of break scattered in there. Although this league has really been a great experience for me, I can feel that the end is near. Knowing this, I’ll just try to end the fall on a positive note and have a solid last week and a half out on the field.

We were privileged this past week to have a legend among us for a number of days. He was in town working primarily with the Yankee guys on hitting and offering his knowledge of the game. Who was this you might ask? Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson. It was a very neat experience for all of us guys to get to spend time around Reggie because he had so much valuable information to offer us. He has been a part of so many huge moments in this game, and someone like that is always interesting when you pick their brain about things. Although he is employed by the Yankees, Reggie was great because he would talk hitting or whatever else with anyone of us around. It’s not everyday that you get to be amidst someone like him.
Away from the field, most of us Reds guys have slowed down on our activities. As I spoke about earlier, this deep into the fall season means that most guys are starting to wear down a little and therefore just chill out when there is time off. I think most of our moods have changed from “what are we going to do when we get home” to “what aren’t we going to do.” Funny how that works, but it is true nonetheless. Well folks, its been a pleasure writing this blog and filling everyone in on what goes on out here. I think I’ll be back one more time next week before we all head home, so take care until then!

Fall League Rolls into November

Greetings everyone! Drew here again with another installment from the Arizona Fall League. As many Americans had their sights set on electing a new president today, the Javelinas faced yet another game in our season. We squared off with the Scottsdale Scorpions tonight and came up short in the win column as we dropped yet another game in our losing skid. We have now not managed to pull out a game in the past week or so, and let me tell you, its getting frustrating for us. Obviously, no one likes to lose, but when you drop that many games in a row, it really starts to wear on you. We have a bunch of resilient guys though, and I’m sure we will bounce back soon with a good performance. It has been quite a different feeling for us this past week since we now find ourselves a few games out of the divisional lead for the first time. It will take a strong effort for us to regain our momentum, but I feel good about our chance of rebounding and finishing these last couple of weeks on a positive. Sometimes in this game, things just don’t seem to go your way, and I think we are definitely experiencing this at the moment.

On a lighter note, I have thoroughly enjoyed my opportunity to meet a lot of new guys out here from other organizations. The fall league gives you a great chance to mingle with several of your opponents from the regular season and also put faces with names that you hear about throughout the course of things. It’s been fun to get to know guys such as Phil Hughes, who I have watched on television pitching for the Yankees the past year or so. Hearing some of the stories and events associated with playing in the big leagues is both interesting and helpful to someone such as myself who is aspiring to get there in the near future. It’s also been a lot of fun to rehash games from the past season that I played against some of my other teammates. Hearing their views on happenings from the games and comparing them to the way I viewed things is neat because you get more of a total feel for what was going on rather than just a one-sided view.
As this league rolls on into a new month, I think it’s safe to say that most all of the guys start to get the itch to get back into off-season mode. After a long summer season supplemented with a month and a few days of the fall season, everyone is starting to feel the effects of the grind. I think we’ll all continue to relish the competition and camaraderie out here, but you begin to feel the days counting down until the end. I know personally that I am looking forward to spending time with friends and family in the upcoming holiday season, but I’m also aware that the last couple of weeks out here is a great time to end my playing season on a positive note. We will all have fun with the time left we have out here before looking too far ahead in the future.
Well time is getting short for me as we have a quick turn around with a noon game tomorrow, so I will be back next week with a fall league update. Until then, take care and all the best!