Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Two days away from opening day!  I know everyone here is ready to get going and start playing some games that actually count.  We'll be opening up with East Georgia College, a team we've never played before and that we know nothing about.  I'm excited to see what they've got and to see our boys out there in the pinstripes against a real opponent.

Practice today should be solid.  We got the tarp on before this last rain cell hit, so we'll be able to get some work done on the infield, and at the very least, we can break out the bats.  The last day or two before you start is sort of like the last day or two before a prize fight.  You want to keep moving, but you're really more about staying healthy, getting your body to feel good, and establishing that mind set. 

Come out Friday at 2 or Saturday at 1 to see this year's Pirates take the field!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Intrasqauds went well this weekend.  Our pitching took a step in the right direction, and we continued to swing the bats effectively.  Another positive sign is that all four of our scrimmages have been decided by very close scores, which indicates to me that our depth is pretty good and that we have multiple guys at many positions capable of getting the job done. 

Our outfield play in particular has progressed quite a bit.  We've got loads of talent out there, and they are really starting to execute well.  All of our throws the last few scrimmages have been right on the money and we are doing a great job of cutting down balls in the gaps and preventing extra bases. 

The infield has been very solid as well, despite a dropped pop up the other day.  we had what guys like to call a "high sky", which pretty much just means there are no clouds to provide a backdrop for the ball once it goes up in the air.  In the outfield, this isn't as big of a difference because the ball is moving as much forward as it is up and down, so your depth perception works a little better.  On the infield, the ball is essentially going straight up and straight down.  Without a few clouds to help you determine the depth and any change of direction the ball might take, it can be much more difficult to judge a high pop up.  This is particularly true on balls hit straight at an infielder, and most guys will tell you that it is actually easier to range a bit left or right to catch a pop up and than it is to catch one hit straight up.  Anyway, the "high sky" does make pop ups tougher, but regardless, they have to be caught.

Our catchers are doing a great job of controlling the running game thus far, as all three guys are really throwing well right now.  If our pitchers get them the ball in a reasonable amount of time, its going to be pretty tough to swipe bags on this group.  On the other hand, we've had "the little man" in our mitts a bit, and we need to get that guy out of there.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with the little man, that's what catchers jokingly blame their misses on..  "Man, that little man keeps knocking the ball out today.", or a teammate might say to him "Hey, get that little man out of mitt."  Silly?  Yes, but we are playing a game, right?

Friday, January 21, 2011


The tarp's been pulled, the sun is out, and we're good to go for our intrasquad today.  It'll be interesting to see what differences we've got from last week's scrimmages now that our pitchers have had another week of preparation under their belts.  Last weekend, we really swung the bats well and put up some runs, but those first outing jitters should be gone now and it should make for some interesting games. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Pray for some sunshine to dry the field out so we can get some real work in.  We're fortunate enough to have a place to practice even when it rains, but the honest truth is that practicing inside just isn't the same as being able to get out onto the field.  Sure, you can take alot of swings in the cage and bullpens are easy to get taken care of, but it's not FUN.  What's fun is getting out on the dirt and watching guys make plays and drive the ball into gaps, and hopefully, we'll have a few more of those days before we get started.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And, We're Back.

Now, I know it has been two months now since I last posted, so I figure I should explain.  When I came up with idea of doing this blog, I envisioned talking about our day-to-day activities and discussing things you would normally not get to see or hear unless you're a part of the ballclub.  What I came to realize very quickly though, is that there is alot more that I can't really say than what I can.  Everytime I would start to write, I'd realize that saying what I wanted would really violate the trust I have with the players and probably do more harm than good.

What I should have done is simple:  This blog should have been anonymous!  If I really wanted to be able to get into the nuts and bolts of a ballclub, to really be able to say what I wanted to say about the relationships, the dealings, and the interactions of the players, it would have to anonymous and the names would have to be changed to protect the innocent.  In the future, I still plan to do this at some point (unannounced, of course), but for now, I've jumped in the water, so I'll just have to swim.  This blog will continue, but I think I'm gonna have to stick with game reports and the like in future posts.

That said, here's where we're at now:

The holidays are over, grades are in the books, we're finished with days filled only with Crossfit, conditioning, and speed work, and opening day is around the corner.  Thank God.  The players seem like they're ready to get going, and I know for certain that I can't wait to start playing some games that matter.  We've added a few new pieces to the puzzle in first baseman Robert Shipman, third baseman Trey Williamon, and right hander Sammy Altman.  We had to say good bye to a player as well, but in this sport, that is just par for the course.

If we can stay dry, we should be able to get plenty of work in over the next few days, and hopefully, we'll hit the start of the season full steam ahead.