Michael Taylor: Odds and Ends

Michael Taylor finds himself with an unwanted trip to Clearwater to rehab an injured strained oblique. In his latest blog entry, Taylor talks about the injury and being true to yourself. Plus, he answers questions about uniforms, favorite stadiums and gives his thoughts on whether he's the Phillies top prospect.

First, I thought I would throw a quick update pertaining to my playing status. I am currently back at our spring training site rehabbing a strained oblique. As far as a time-line is concerned, it is a bit of a tricky injury because your oblique muscles are quietly involved in so much of day to day living, like laughing, coughing and even breathing, so they are constantly being worked. Hopefully I won't be out for no more than another week or so, but with these types of injuries, the future is hard to predict, so I am taking it day-by-day.

Now, I titled this entry odds and ends for no other reason than I could not decided on what to share. Week three and I am already burdened with writers block on a subject I know fairly well - myself - but I shall press on. What I wanted to talk about felt a little self-indulgent but it had to do with not ever letting people label you as an athlete and always following what you have the most passion towards. That came to me after watching Usain Bolt break a few world records this week.

I ran track when I was younger and being on the taller side of the traditional sprinter I was always told the 100 meter dash would be something I would have to eventually give up. Mr. Bolt is on the taller side of sprinters and to be honest, I do not know his life story, but he is listed at 6'5" and that is just unheard of for 100 meter champions, let alone the fastest man to ever walk on God's green earth. So I got to thinking about all the times someone told me what I should play or what I could not do in the game of baseball or life for that matter and I wondered; How many times, in the beginning, was Usain Bolt told "You should find another race?" or "You are just too tall to run the 100 meter dash?" and I am willing to bet it happened quite a bit.

That's another funny thing about sports. As you progress, it becomes a business and those without foresight tend to want to push a formula. Can you imagine what the world would have missed out on had some "coach" or "scout" told Usain Bolt; "Pick another race son, your just too tall to run the 100 meter" and he obliged.

It is funny to think about now, but I can guarantee you he had to face that statement from an "expert" in track and field at some point in his early career. To me, it is just a reminder and should be encouragement to anyone and everyone who has a passion for something, whether it be as a baseball player or a physician or someone who works in customer service to never let anyone discourage you away from going for what you want. It is always best to blaze your own path and never let anyone else define who you are.

Now, to answer a few questions:

Eric Wise asked me about my impressions of baseball fans from Williamsport, Reading and Allentown.

That's a tough group because they all have quite a good deal of passion (I will throw In Lakewood fans as well). It would be very difficult of me to choose a favorite because all five of my minor league city stops have treated me well, but If I were forced to break down my experiences I would probably have to go with Reading because of the family environment that the fans brought to the stadium everyday..

Mr. Wise also asked me If I have a favorite Double-A and Triple-A stadium and if the players actually liked wearing those Tuxedo jerseys?

My favorite Double-A stadium is Reading because of the aforementioned reason and I would say my favorite Triple-A stadium is Lehigh Valley because they also have great fans, it is new and beautiful and a great atmosphere to play in.

Comfy, but hideous is how Michael Taylor would sum up the infamous Tuxedo jerseys worn by the IronPigs for a home game this season as part of a promotion where a couple were married on the field prior to the game.
(Photo courtesy Lehigh Valley IronPigs)
As for the tuxedo jerseys, what's funny about those promotional jerseys is that they are usually always more comfortable to wear than our regular uniforms but the caveat is that they are usually hideous.

David Beach asked me a trio of preguntas (I am brushing up on my Spanish for winter ball) as well:

First, what player do I compare myself to and for what reasons?

Wow, that's a really difficult question to answer because I am still not sure what kind of player I will end up being. I like to feel like I can make small contributions to a team in a lot of different facets of the game. I never choose just a home run hitter, which is the comparison a lot of people want to hear, and I try not to choose all-stars or Hall of Famers because to me, that's just ridiculous. Until I actually put up some numbers at their level I feel like it is disingenuous. So, to be honest I never think about that stuff and yes I just cleverly skirted your question.

Next, he asked if I consider myself the Phillies number one prospect?

The answer to that is just simply "no". I have gotten the pleasure to watch Domonic and Kyle (Brown and Drabek) in person and they are both a couple of real special talents and as a player I am excited to watch how they progress from 21 to 25. There is a reason why Toronto wanted them for Halladay.

The last question was; do I ever read the scouting publications like Baseball America or Prospect nation?

During the season, honestly Mr. Beach, I do my best to stay out of the press. I have plenty to focus on during the year and I do not need to be wrapped in that side of the game, but I definitely indulge now and again. It is fun to read about guys I have played with or against and as far as their rating systems, I learned a long time ago to be weary of praise, because as fast as it can come in this business it leaves even faster.

Thank You all for reading my thoughts and as always I look forward to your future questions.

If you have a question or comment for Michael Taylor, please send them to MTaylor@PhillyBaseballNews.com and he will do his best to answer them in an upcoming blog entry.

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