Baseclogging With Jeremy Barfield: A New Year

Like the rest of his Oakland A's minor league brethren, outfielder Jeremy Barfield is busily preparing for spring training. In his first player journal entry, Barfield fills us in on what he has been up to this off-season, including his most recent employment, and his thoughts on 2012.

With position players reporting in exactly two months, the offseason is past the halfway point. This being my fourth offseason, I am really learning how to manage my time wisely. For the first time in my career I haven't had an injury in the offseason to rehab. My first year it was my elbow and the next two years included knee injuries and staph infection.

This offseason my body decided to switch it up and I came down with mononucleosis. I don't wish that evil upon anybody. I have absolutely no idea how I came down with it either. I ended up losing 35 pounds in six weeks. I was bedridden and on a liquid diet for most of it. I'm so glad that is over.

I have since been able to do my offseason training and now I'm getting to the good stuff. I'm starting to throw and hit again. Today [Wednesday, January 11] I went up to the A's complex in Papago Park and did tee work with Anthony Recker. He's one of my favorite guys in the organization. I couldn't be happier for his success.

With the offseason lasting so long boredom often has a way of taking over. Coupled with the fact that we don't get paid in the offseason, an offseason job is often the solution. It's not much different than high school kids getting summer jobs by lifeguarding a neighborhood pool or something of that sort. As you may already know, last offseason I drove limos. This year I worked for a company that puts up Christmas lights. I worked with fellow A's farmhand (and lefty) Jeff Urlaub.

We had lots of fun doing this. The owner of the company is a former ballplayer and the Chicago Cubs' bullpen catcher so he knows all of the ballplayers around the greater Phoenix area. The guys whose houses we did lights for could be an All-Star team. It was a truly unique experience and the skills I learned are actually pretty handy.

I have really started to interact more on my Twitter account [Twitter handle @Baseclogger] and it's been a rewarding experience. A's fans are extremely enthusiastic and supportive. They have an unconditional love for the franchise that words can't even explain. I have enjoyed interacting with teammates, but more so the opposition. It's refreshing for fans to see how players on different teams are friends. I've always considered baseball to be a fraternity where ballplayers can all relate to each other.

People often ask me where I will begin this 2012 season. It's actually refreshing to know that I have no idea. That uncertainty keeps me motivated and wherever I end up I know that with the right mindset, work ethic and, more importantly, production, I can move up the ladder to my ultimate goal of playing Major League Baseball.

Have questions or comments for Jeremy? Contact him via Twitter (@Baseclogger).

About the Author

Outfielder Jeremy Barfield will be chronicling his 2012 season all year for The A's 2008 eighth-round pick has played for four minor league affiliates during his four professional seasons - the Vancouver Canadians, the Kane County Cougars, the Stockton Ports and the Midland Rockhounds. Barfield is the son of former All-Star Jesse Barfield and the brother of infielder Josh Barfield.

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