Catching up. ( Let me know what u would like to hear from a minor leaguer and what go’s on in our day)
Well it has been awile since my last post, and alot has happend since… I ended my season with the Great Lakes Loons by making my first apperence in an all star game in Clinton Iowa, I was promotted promtly after the all star break to our new AA affiliet the Chattanooga Lookouts and am now here with the team and trying to find the same success that i had earlier this year.
Before leaving midland our team cought fire there winning the last 10-11 games, That team is built to win and that indeed is starting to come around. I dont know if we just hadent believed earlyr this year but it seemed like things just started to click and our team started to really take stride. More inpressively it seemed like everyone on the pitching staff was having a friendly competition for who was going to throw best, making our guys come out and really strive to shut down the oppsition. Not to mention our bats coming around like they had been, just more frequently in big situations, as a matter afact the last game we lost before the break i think fans thought it was over before they knew… we were down 9-2 in the 8th inning, when it seemed we would fold like before, things got interesting having us come back and score 6 leaving the tying run on 2nd base in the 9th. We didnt score but i think that game will set the pace for our second half due to now we believe we can play with anyone at anytime.
We didnt clinch a playoff spot in the first half i think due to the fact that we were to many games behind them when we cought our stride. There should be no reason that we cant continue our seccess in the second half and really make things hard for the league when were in town after the all star game break.
making the all star game this year was really cool. I have never made a minor league all atar game so it was really awesome to get the chance to go out and show my stuff against the best bats in the league. There were to many pitchers at the game and they wanted to get everyone in so i had the chance to throw to 2 batters and stuck out the first guy and got the second one to roll over into a ground out to short. Over all the event was a great time and we all got a chance to meet new guys from new teams and see what some of the others guys around the league were like. I look forward to my new challange in AA and look to keep you guys posted.
JG’s Daily Notes:
Shout-Out to a Fallen Comrade - Shouting out to my main casino buddy Joe Jones. Joe … i cant even come close to describing in one paragraph. He was a great teammate no other way of describing it, a man who would do anything in the world for you, whether it be an early ride to the field, a pregame game of big duece or a delicious late night snack, Joe was the man. He is missed in the Dodger’s clubhouse, but i know he will do just fine with whatever life throws his way.
Congrats - To my new roomate but not so new teamate. Matt Sartor, Sart piece was chosen to his first pro all star game as well. Hes a great bullpen guy with great stuff. Congrats and well earned roomie.
Did you know - Farm Town on facebook is probably the coolest pass the time game created. look me up and become my neighbor. WARNING – its addicting
Movie of the Month- (I know its alittle old now but….) The Hangover, its rated R but if ur in the mood for a good ADULT Comedy, its definitly worth your time. Check it out … let me know what u think.
So far so good with our team and how things are going, it looks like we’re coming together. Our record might not be the best in the league (15-13 in third place in our division) but our team chemistry is starting to really come together which is something that is needed to win championships, not to mention our offense is the league leader in just about every category you can imagine.
A lot has happened in past week or so that I haven’t seen in really happen in baseball except in a movie. I guess I was just naive and thought it could actually happen. For instance we played The timber Rattlers the minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks were they had a soft line drive hit to right field with Rattlers runners on first and second, it just so happens they were stealing on the play and saw it down (the soft line drive) so the third base coach waived them home. Kyle Russell in right field by now comes up throwing home with a good solid throw and our catcher comes up with it to his surprise there are two runners coming at him like on major league the movie. One dives one way outside to his left and tony tags him and the other goes inside and we tag him as well. Double play, asking around the dugout if anyone had ever seen it in person not even our pitching coach Danny Darwin who pitched 21 years in the big leagues could say he’d ever seen it happen. On the same road trip on our next stop I found my scoreless streak end as well. We were playing Beloit WI the Minor league affiliet of the Twins and with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th inning I threw a first pitch fastball and left it up and the big lefty hit a homerun. All streaks are ment to end and now I’m looking to get another one going after all it’s a long year.
After we got home now we have a weeklong home stretch so I’m happy to sleep in my own bed and not have to ride out on those 10 hour bus trips! Lol. Even though our house is quite small with a creepy basement out of a horror movie its still were we lay our heads at night and call home so will enjoy getting a couple more nights here then usual.
And as for the Manny talk I don’t know what to make of the allegations, I mean I know that he did fail for something that was banned on the list (which is endless, I mean you can actually fail for red bull if you take it before your drug test) but I don’t know exactly what to think because I don’t know what the affects are of the so called female fertility drug HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. So he’s guilty, but not for using steroids….. It’s all a big mess with these tests but unfortunately it’s a part of our game now days and just leaves you to wonder whose next and if Jose Conseco did save the sport…..
Well it finally came… it was opening day yesterday and wow, we we couldnt have had a better game as a team. We opened up the season with a bang by beating the Dayton Dragons (Reds Affiliate) 14-3. Offensively we coudlnt have asked for more. There were 3 homeruns and 17 hits sprayed all over the field. On the other end our pitching was key with our starter Jon Michael Redding going 5 2/3 solid innings.
Arriving, I didnt know what to expect because when we landed it was a cool 30 degrees with scatters of snow as our flight was hitting the runway. As we proceeded to get everything settled in at our park located in Midland Mishigan ( The Great lake Loons ) we were warned that the weather was not getting much better. Infact, they knew that the weathers so cold that they provided us with leggings, cold gear longsleeves and beenies. Once we had our pictures taken for the programs and made sure everything fit, we hit the field for batting practice ….. or so we thought. Well thuth is we had to wait a bit because of a small snow storm, but for someone who hasnt seen snow in about 5yrs (me), I thought it was a blizzard. Once we hit the field it was time to get going and we stretched and tried to get aquainted with the cold. The hitters took batting practice and the pitchers threw some sides to get ready for opening day.
With everything else aside it looks like we have a great team assembled for our fans in Midland. We seem to have a balance of powerful hitters that also hit for avg, and a strong, experienced pitching staff. In my years as a minor leaguer, I’ve never won a league championship. I’m not much of a prophet, but this team appears to have been assembled for one thing, and one thing only; winning. There are many players who have played at higher levels and many others who surely will quickly. Most of the team understands that if we control what we control, and play hard each game, good things will happen.
I’ll Keep you posted on my debut this year as our closer. After a stong spring I was expecting to be sent somewhere else. However I was sent down to play with the Loons, and I’m looking foward to making the best of the situation. I’m looking to grow from the experience and learn how to be a closer. I’ll see what that takes, day in and day out. Go Loons.
Sorry ive been late with the entrys everyone … just had alot on my plate the last couple of days. Between the hotel’s internet being slow and kicking people off every 5 min (due to 200 minor league baseball players logging on every minite of the day to kill time on the World Wide Web to stay in contact with friends, family and significant others) ive had the pleasure of welcoming my Older sisters new healthy twin children ( boy and Girl – Mark and Riahnna). I also saw my hotel get evacuated with a fire scare that caused two floors of players to have to be moved to another hotel due to flooding from the small fire started in a random room on our 4th floor.
My time missing in action has not just limited me to the computer unfortunatly. I have also missed alittle time on the field due to a torn finger nail. I know of all things you prepair for its the little things that end up having me miss time. This was coused by the way i hold my fastball, i like to really hold the ball nice and tight with my index finger but my middle finger is the one who takes alot of the torque witch really puts alot of stress on my nails. And if u are like me and if your nails are soft and brittle they can eventually break and or tear. With that being said you can amagin how often this can happen concidering we work on fastballs 90% of the time in spring, Fixing the solution is quite easy and funny. Its Simple… get your nails done! You have to apply a soft film that act like a fake nail They simply cut out the appropreate size and apply a nail hardner. This takes 10 seconds and ur fixed just as long as you dont have a blister under the nail., i threw my first bullpin today with no problems and look forward to get into games starting this weekend.
JG’s Daily Notes:
Shout-Out to a Fallen Comrade - Tony Harper ,not only was harp known for as a big strong lefty power hitting catcher but harp was also the only guy i know of and have been told that could deal with and or compeate with my snoring haha. Harp you the man hope all is well and stay up
Congrats- as you can imagine, to the dodgers for signing Manny. In 53 games with the Dodgers last season, Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs
Movie of the week - I love you man. While here bored in spring training the big league PR staff set up a private screaning of the movie for us and its a no stop laugh for anyone who loved ”Forgetting sarah marshal” and the “40 yr old vergin”
For the last four years of my professional baseball career, I have had the pleasure to train in Vero Beach, Florida at Dodgertown. The Dodgers have traveled there for spring traing the last sixty years, but last year was their final trip to Dodgertown. We now make our home at the beautiful complex of Camelback Ranch, in Glendale, Arizona.
Spring training at Dodgertown was a one of a kind experience. We slept four to a room, woke up and walked fifty steps on Jackie Robinson drive to the clubhouse, and ate three meals a day in the dinning hall for the next month and a half, with our new temporary extended family. Anyone who has walked the halls through the countless pictures of Dodger legends could never deny the history that surrounds Dodgertown. It’s a feeling that is hard to describe. Hall of Famers like Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Tommy Lasorda played on the same fields that I got the opportunity to train on everyday. For that I will always be grateful, and will always think fondly of my time spent in good old Dodgertown.
For the last two weeks I have been in Glendale breaking in the brand new Camelback Ranch. The facilities the Dodgers now call home are truly first class. No expense has been spared. Every minor league field is perfect, the clubhouse is big-league quality, and all the equipment is shiny and brand new. We no longer have to share a small pink-walled, one bathroom motel room with four messy teamates. I feel sorry for all the Dodger minor leaguers who have ever had to listen to my loud snoring for over a month and a half. It was not uncommon for me to wake up to find my bed coverd with magazines, spare change and pillows from unhappy teamates praying for 20 minutes of sleep. We now stay in a modern first class hotel, with one roomate and a flatscreen.
Alright, enough of that, let’s get to the real reason you are reading this blog. You want to know what a day in the life of Javy is like. I am 6′ 1″ right-handed pitcher from Denton, Texas. I was drafted out of high school by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2004 amature draft. I feature a hard four-seam fastball, an improving change-up and a sharp slider. I spent last season coverting from a starter into a relief pitcher in San Bernardino, California for the Inland Empire Sixty-Sixers. After the season, the Dodgers gave me the opportunity to sharpen my skills at winter league. Luckily for me and a few teamates, the league happened to be in Hawaii. I spent two months playing for the Waikiki Beachboys, spending just as much time in the sand as I did on the field. I felt I pitched well, and my team won the league championship. It was an unforgetable experience. In fact, on my last off-day I did something I never thought I would do. I went sky diving with my good budy Jordan Pratt. It will always be not only one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, but definitely the dumbest.
I look forward to the upcoming 2009 season, where I hope to have a breakout year. I am hoping to start the year in Chattanooga, Tennesse with our new double A affiliate the Chattanooga Lookouts. I’ll try to keep you posted throughout the season on whatever is going on in the life and times of Javy. Feel free to leave comments and questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in the blog.
JG’s Daily Notes:
Shout-Out to a Fallen Comrade - Chad Bailey aka Beatle Bailey. We spent many summer games having fun in the bulpen coming up with new hand shakes and wearing out Willow. Beatle, I miss ya. I hope all is going well. -JG
Congrats – Congratulations to Tommy Lasorda on sixty years in the Dodgers organization.
Little know fact – I hold the Dodger minor league record for hightest single fine: $500 last spring for missing curfew before a day off.