Minor League Journal with Chris Dennis

Right-handed pitcher Chris Dennis posted a 1.97 ERA in 39 relief appearances with Single-A Clinton last season. Dennis will share his experiences with Rangers fans during the 2009 season in his to-be-named minor league journal. In this installment, Dennis introduces himself to fans and discusses the upcoming minor league spring training.

Hello everyone. My name is Chris Dennis and I am a relief pitcher in the Texas Rangers Farm System. This will be my third year in the organization, and last year I spent about two weeks in Bakersfield, and the rest of the season in Clinton.

About a month ago, Jason Cole asked me if I'd like to do a player journal for the fans and readers of this website. So, for the next six months or so I will be writing these little journals for the website to give everyone a little insight on the crazy and not so glamorous life of a minor league baseball player.

Everything from the games, to trying to find meals at midnight after road games, to the clubhouse and bus antics. There will be highs and lows just like any season, and I'll try to do my best to keep everyone informed as well as entertained.

There could be some off the wall topics, too. I was thinking off an All-Best Hair Team during Spring Training (fingers crossed for a mullet) and maybe an All-Tools That Aren't Really Tools Team. I'm a reliever, so I'm sure we can brainstorm some good stuff during the games.

During this little journey I will talk about and with many of my teammates, and hopefully we can put together some interesting reading material for everyone. So, without further ado, here is the first installation of the Minor League Notebook. 2/21: The off-season is about over, and I could not be happier. I've had a great and very productive off-season. I got married on December 20, and my wife, Karmen, and I are having a great time with married life so far. She will be with me this year, and it will be our first time on the road together, so we are looking forward to traveling and living together for this season.

We met at Auburn, where we went to college together. She was a gymnast, and she knows the stress and toll that comes with being an athlete, and having her in my life and is a huge help during "The Grind." (That is what I'll be calling the season a good bit this year.)

Since I'm not on the big club, I need to work a little during the off-season (Anti-Grind, not sure, just trying it out.) So my life everyday right now consists of substitute teaching during the day, and scrambling to throw, run, and lift with my workout partners during my planning period, or often after school.

We have made our home in Auburn, Alabama this off-season, where we both went to school, and I'm lucky enough that other former Auburn players live here too. It takes a big headache out of my life to have someone to workout with. While the teaching and working out is ok, it just isn't my thing. I'd much rather be playing ball every day and living the good life in the minors. (In a month or two, some of you might think I'm nuts over this last "good life" statement.)

This Friday, we will be packing up six months worth of stuff, (I can get my stuff into a medium-sized bag, a small bag, and a golf bag. Pretty impressive, I think) and we'll be making the beautiful 27 hour drive to Surprise, Arizona. I'm going to get to Spring Training about a week early, so I can get my physical and conditioning tests done before everyone shows up and so I can squeeze a few workouts in where everyone is not there and the coaches can get a little more one-on-one. They do a pretty good job during spring, but since every single player in the organization is working out together, it is just easier sometimes to work when there is a better coach to player ratio.

Karmen and I have a nice condo rented near the complex that we are sharing with Matt Lawson. Lawson is a second baseman that also spent last year in Clinton, and he and his wife Mallory are great friends of ours. We are looking forward to seeing him and seeing her when she comes out.

My next journal entry is going to be when I get to Spring Training, and it will start to entail the everyday life that we live. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, post them on the premium message board and I will try to answer them as well as I can. Thank you and see you in the Spring!

-Chris Dennis

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