Well, I am a professional baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies organization. I started my "job" shortly after I was drafted in the 26th round of the 2009 MLB draft. As I have settled in down here in Clearwater, Florida I have felt the urge to begin to document the intensely strange culture that is minor league baseball. For all of its eccentricities and strange dichotomies, I wouldn't trade this life for the world. After all, it has been my dream to play professional baseball since I first picked up a ball and went to my first Angels game as a child, albeit, I didn't know what I was getting myself into at the time. Regardless of the discrepancies between my idealized dream and the reality of my dream, it is still amazing and there are no complaints on this side.
Anyway, I intend to chronicle the events of my new life, thoughts on things and experiences that for me are monotonous everyday interactions but to the outsider might seem extremely peculiar and humorous.
I hope you enjoy it. If all else fails, this will just act as a notebook for me to save anecdotes that I can one day refer back to if I ever decided to write a book, which is also another dream of mine.
Quote of the day: "I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?" - Yogi Berra
The New Rules of My Life
Upon arrival here in Florida, a huge amount of rules and guidelines were laid out for us to follow, here are a few.
1. Wear a Collared shirt at all times: if you are caught sleeping without a collared shirt on you will be fined...jk. But seriously, protocol is that we are supposed to be adorned in collared shirts anytime we are in public and especially at around seven a.m. when we make the ten minute walk from our hotel to the complex. I have grown very fond of polo shirts and have found that my best performances come on days when I really get dressed up for work and wear a long sleeved button up with rolled up sleeves and jeans and my Sperry's. I guess this gives further truth to the look good, feel good, play good theory.
|That's me and a few of the boys at a Clearwater Threshers game in our sweet collared shirts.|
2. Mustaches rule the world of facial hair in minor league baseball: this might seem a little backwards as the modern day facial hair aficionados have toppled the mustache from its throne at the top of all facial hair styles to lurk in the dungeons. In baseball though, young men who are required to maintain a clean cut image must be clean shaven, I'm not sure why mustaches were the only salvageable facial hair, but I plan on taking full advantage of this rule numerous times throughout my career despite my lack of mustache growing abilities. I will be sure to post pictures when my pride and joy is ready to be revealed to the world
3. If you are late, don't even show up: I guess this is a refreshing change from the college rules of if your late, show up and get verbally crapped on by everyone and serve some kind of punishment. If you, for some reason, can not make it to the field before eight a.m., just don't even come. This early morning stuff may come as a surprise to those who know that most minor leaguers play evening games, but in the GCL we endure the heat and humidity and play at noon everyday. Anyway, I don't ever plan on breaking this rule as I have made a habit of getting to the field entirely too early in the morning in order to get some extra work in the cages in and have a leisurely breakfast. This is a good one though because it's on you if you're late, you just get fined your pay for that day and it's as simple as that. This rule has not been broken since I have been here that I am aware of, pretty effective I think.
4. Curfew is 11 p.m.: simple enough, all of us angels are asleep way before the clock hits 11 anyway ;) but seriously, we are.
5. No Steroids: Now I know this comes as a huge surprise, but I thought I would make a comment about it anyway. Call me naive, but at least on this team, supplements are almost extinct. I for one have never taken steroids or anything of that kind and I don't ever plan on doing so, even if it was legal. First, there aren't many guys on the team that even have the physical appearance that would garner questions about what they are putting into their bodies. Second, of all the supplements floating around the world, the MLB has provided a list of only 14 supplements that we can use that are guaranteed to be safe and not produce a positive test, and guess what, one of them is Gatorade and another is Red Bull and I think water might be on there too, so that cuts it down even further. It's safe to say that the league is going at this issue hard and no one is under the microscope of the old guy that comes to collect your urine more than minor league players because they are much more expendable.
those are a few of the main rules and guidelines that are actually written down, more to come on some of the unwritten rules of pro ball later
Quote of the Day: "We can't rely on anyone but ourselves to define our existence, to shape the image of ourselves." - Spike Lee
If you have questions or comments for Brian, you can send them to him via e-mail at: BGump@PhillyBaseballNews.com. Brian will try to answer at least some of the e-mails in future articles.