Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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Well friends as the Grateful Dead put it, what a long strange trip it’s been. We wrapped up the winter season with a tough 5-1 loss in the championship game yesterday. However, not all was lost with the result. The league gave both teams duffle bags as a gift for making it that far, and also real authentic leis. Both of these could not have been better gifts because I needed an extra bag to try and balance out the ten pounds overweight I had on the trip to Hawaii. So now I avoided the ridiculous baggage fees the airline charges and instead am walking around with two carry-ons. And, in the process I am forced to walk awkwardly through the aisle of the plane trying to avoid banging my bags on everyone’s shoulders and/or face but still manage to take a few victims anyway. I was excited to have the lei as well because it just so happens my parents are throwing me a Luau party when I get back so the trouble of finding something to wear is lifted. On a less lighter note, I am bringing home more than bags filled with tacky tourist shirts, the experience I gained from playing in this league is something that will most certainly help me as my career progresses. When I first heard I was going to play winter ball, I was excited and somewhat uncertain of what to expect, but I got a great piece of advice before I left, from my dad of all people. He always tells me before I embark on any journey to, “Walk in like you own the joint.” That’s pretty much all I needed to keep my confidence high and sustain my performance from the end of the regular season into this past one. It is great to finally get to go home and just rest for a while. I don’t think I have played this many baseball games in one year since I was twelve so some time off won’t hurt all that much. I want to thank everyone for all the support this past season and hope that I can progress my career even further, thus giving you all more to read and imagine what life between the lines is all abou
With yesterday’s win, the West Oahu Canefires have clinched a spot in Sunday’s championship game. That’s right, we came in first in the West division out of two teams. So this means that I have now clinched my second playoff spot for the season, and I must say I don’t think many ballplayers can say that. Who we play is yet to be determined, but either way I am excited to try and win a championship and possibly get some kind of gift, which has been rumored to be anything from a MP3 player to a Macbook computer. Who knows, I don’t run the gossip mill, I just listen in and report it. Now, to what I really meant to talk about, looking past our field. And no, this is not some metaphor for life beyond the game, it’s actually a literal meaning in that if you stand on the top bleacher of Hans L’Orange field, you can see Pearl Harbor. I was fortunate enough this past off day to take a tour of this historical site and really was blown away by not only the historical significance of the site itself but by what it must have been like that morning in 1941. I couldn’t even imagine what that must have been like, and to be standing there in the same spot as probably so many were that day was truly and eerie feeling. I’m sure there were people out playing baseball in the same spot we play everyday when the planes came in. I guess you can say that it’s kind of cool that we play in the shadow of Pearl Harbor, but at the same time, when I was there I felt like what I do is far more insignificant than what all the men and women in the services do for us everyday. Oh, and for anyone who may visit Pearl Harbor in the future, I recommend getting the audio tour, it saves a lot of reading you would have to do to understand the same things.
Today marks the christening of my 24th year on earth and it is the first time I have not been home to celebrate it. It feels a little strange I will admit because for the first time I can remember, I really doesn’t feel like a birthday, more like just another day in the life of me. Not to say that time stops on my birthday, and it is just another day, but everyone knows that feeling of empowerment you get on your birthday, and it just wasn’t there. Some may say, “Well this is only a sign that you are growing up.” Really though, us ballplayers age a little behind the rest of the general population. And by the way, no I am not asking for anything from anyone, my hands are still in my pockets. For now. So how did I celebrate my magnificent 24th? Well we stopped by a local watering hole for a few beverages last night, and then today did what we do best out here; go to the beach, play Guitar Hero and grill out. And of course I was sent lots of love from home including the birthday song my mom has had since I was like two, and has been played for me in some form every single year (FYI, my brother has the same tape only with “Kevan” inserted). So I guess I can say that it wasn’t all that bad, after all, I still received cards and gifts from home so that always makes a birthday worthwhile. From here on out, I’ll opt to be with friends and family, and cake.
We recently made a roster move, which I am no stranger to from this season, to acquire another first baseman named Adam Loewen. The only problem is that he is, or should I say was, a pitcher. He spent the last few seasons as the top of the rotation pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles until an injury this year forced him to end his pitching career. Then, a la Rick Ankiel, he decided to pick up a bat and see if he can make it all the way back to the top as a hitter. Now, he was picked up by the Blue Jays and is having his first professional hitting experience out here with us. I must give him credit, that really is not an easy thing to do, because if I was told I could never pitch again that would be it for me in terms of the game of baseball no matter how good a hitter I thought I was in high school. And I will say right now that don’t be surprised if you hear something about him working his way through the system because if batting practice is any indicator, there is some serious potential there. I can usually think of analogies to put along with situations like this but for this one I am drawing a big blank, because I don’t know what to compare this switch to. Basically it would be like leaving a CEO position of a company then coming back and having to work your way up from mailroom detail (for all you 30 Rock fans out there). So I guess I can think of one, but really it doesn’t matter because if he gets back to the big leagues as a hitter I know that I was there to see the first steps of his career.
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