Costanzo: This Season's For Dominic

The off-season is a time when players get to renew friendships and relax for just a little. That relaxation was shattered when Mike Costanzo was dealt a tragic loss.

Well, there's been pretty much going on, but not all of it is good. Unfortunately, since my last article, I lost my best friend in a motorcycle accident. Dominic was just 22 years old and we knew each other almost all our lives, going to school together. The news really hit my heart pretty hard and made me think about everything. It all gives you a different perspective when stuff like this happens to someone you know and care so much about.

If anything, losing Dominic has made me more motivated to succeed. The motivation comes from the memories that I have of my friend and all of the good times that we shared. I'm dedicating this season to him and I know he'll be a part of my life forever.

You know, it really is one thing to hear about things like Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident or Cory Lidle's tragic plane crash, but for some reason, those things don't seem anywhere near real compared to this. It's hard to explain how stuff like this hits you and changes how you look at things.

Outside of that, things have been going as planned. I'm working with a personal trainer and doing all baseball related workouts. It's pretty intense and involves a lot of leg strength work. In the near future, I hope to spend some time running the steps at Citizens Bank Park, but I haven't gotten out there yet.

I got a few e-mails from readers, so I'll try to answer some of the questions.

You guys obviously noticed my slow starts. As I said in my first article, it's all a matter of keeping the same approach and not trying to do too much. I've been a little guilty of trying to do everything perfectly as a pro and wanting to show too much too soon. I really do believe that I've got that under control though and that it won't happen in 2007. Speaking of the upcoming season, there was a question about the difference in AA from Class-A ball. I'm really not worried about it, even though I don't know what to expect. I can tell you that I'm excited and I think it's going to be a good experience for me to start the season at Reading.

There was also a question about how much attention I pay to the rumors about the Phillies shopping for a third baseman. The truth is that I pay absolutely no attention to any of that. I can't control it and if I worry about it, it's just going to turn into a distraction for me and put me at a disadvantage. I think it's a lot like when you hit a ball hard, but it's right at somebody. You did all you could, but it just didn't fall in for you. As long as I keep doing what I have to do to prove myself, it will all come together for me somehow.

I've also spent part of my off-season going to Eagles games. I absolutely love the Eagles and I still believe that they'll get into the playoffs, even though they have a tough second-half schedule. I was at the game in Tampa Bay and also made it to the game against Jacksonville in Philadelphia. I had a great time, but it would have been much better to get a win in at least one of those games.

That's about it for now. Hope all goes well for you guys and feel free to drop me an e-mail and maybe I'll be answering your question in the next article.

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