From Tempe, AZ
March 21st, 2008 - By Brok Butcher
It's getting to the point where everyday is becoming like the next. This is also known as groundhog day; stretching in the morning, then running, onto PFP's (pitchers fielding practice) and finally the dreaded batting practice followed by a game. We have an extremely motivated and in your face field coordinator who has acknowledged this lack of spirit and reminds us that we are playing baseball for a living and to take a step back and think about all the things for which we are grateful. It definitely made us appreciate the little things in life that we take for granted such as family, friends, health and lifestyle and put our "hardships" into perspective.
In my first spring outing I threw two innings for double A at Tempe Diablo Stadium and was grateful that it was only a spring game because they were hitting "scud missiles" into 40 mph winds blowing directly out to left. So not only did they "drop head" (solid contact), but it was in a jet stream which made the balls absolutely fly off the bat. One of the balls almost took off my shortstop's head but thankfully my left-fielder caught it before it had a chance to get clearance from the air traffic controller. Thus realizing my change up worked best under these windy conditions and ended up making it out alive only giving up one run and four hits in two innings.
My next outing was much better, I pitched after John Garland for triple A and gave up one hit, no runs in three innings of work. There's not another time in my life where I experience so many emotions at one time as I do on the mound. Such as anxiety, to a sense of calm, to a rush of adrenaline, to a closure. That's what makes my "work" (shagging for batting practice, time in the gym, running, mental preparation, PFP's) worthwhile. It's like waiting in line for a roller coaster, you spend two hours in the hot sun for thirty seconds of excitement, the preparation is worth the reward.
I'm looking forward to the beginning of the season, I really get along with my coaches and have already planned my living conditions and who I'm going to live with. My arm and body feels great and am ready for the year.
For Brok Butcher's first installment of his Spring Camp Journal from Tempe, AZ, it can be read here: http://angelswinblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/brok-butchers-spring-camp-journal.html