Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
If I were a Tigers' minor leaguer, I'd have two main focuses in the offseason; completing everything expected out of me by the Tigers as far as workouts and training regimen, and beyond that, staying away from the game as much as possible. The workouts and training are fairly self-explanatory; there are at any given time 150 or more players in the Tigers' farm system, and if you don't work your tail off, there are plenty more guys on the street or playing independent ball that would jump at the chance to take my spot. But beyond that, I'd want to get away from the game - vacation, spend time with those close to me, and mostly just clear my mind. While it's important to focus on what you're doing when you're doing it, it's also important to be able to leave those things behind. Keeping my mind off baseball for a couple months during the offseason will give me a mental calmness that will help when I return to Tigertown in the spring and have to get back in the swing of baseball, all day, every day, for six or seven months.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
Well, assuming I'm not one of the lucky few to receive a six-figure signing bonus, and given my collegiate talent level, I believe it is safe to assume that would be the case; the off-season would probably be quite busy with a variety of activities. First and foremost, my focus would be completely on diligently completing the prescribed workout routine by the Tigers, ensuring I was in the best shape of my life come the opening of spring training. Beyond that, I'd be sure to split my time between some work (probably a necessity to have some off-season money) and spending plenty of time with the family and friends that would largely be absent from my daily life during the season. Baseball requires balance, and I'm not speaking of the ability to stay balanced while stretching for a wide throw at first base, or stay balanced while at the top of your pitching delivery. So much of the game is mental, and that mental stability requires a support network unlike any other; a support network that each and every player can count on during the season. While I cannot speak from personal experience as a pro player, I believe that fostering those important relationships -- family, friends, significant others -- and in turn that life balance, during the off-season, is a necessity to making sure that in-season support network is as strong as possible; allowing each and every one of these players to play their best baseball all summer long.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
If I wasn't playing in a winter league, I would be spending time working out, and honing on what the organization wanted me to focus on (pitching or swing mechanics, and so on). If I were a player that had finished full-season ball at one of the Tigers' mechanics and participated in instructs, I would make sure to get some rest while working on things. The baseball season doesn't allow for much time off, and it's easy to have a lot of nagging aches and pains, so I would want to make sure I was ready as not to aggravate an old injury. This is especially important if I was playing winter baseball.
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