When the holidays, a move, a new job, and baseball workouts run together, the result is a two-month blog sabbatical. Although my offseason entries are not as frequent as those during the season, I at least try to do two or three a month.
During my holiday trip home to New York, I worked a youth catching clinic with a former coach of mine, Norm Hayner, at his Sports Barn facility. Coaching kids is always a beneficial experience for several reasons. In addition to the fulfillment of being able to share knowledge with aspiring players, it helps reinforce the finer details of the craft into my workouts and remind me of the basic skills necessary to play the game consistently.
After returning to California after New Years, Juliet and I packed up our cars and headed east to Arizona. Although early Angels’ workouts did not start until the third week of January, Juliet began her internship at Athletes’ Performance January 4, so we had to get there as soon as possible. Until the Angels complex was opened for the players to use, I worked out with a teammate at Arizona State University. This was just another facility I have used his offseason in what has become a laundry list of locales. I have worked out in four states at seven gyms and four batting cages. While my traveling this offseason has exponentially increased, I have always found the time and locations to get my working out and baseball drill work done.
Optional pre-spring training workouts with the Angels just finished their third week. So far, it has been some light hitting and throwing, with a lot of running. The first things players lose in spring training are legs, followed by arms. Those who can bring conditioned legs and arms into camp are the players who are able to handle the arduous workload of the four-week crash course for the 140-game season. Position specific drill work will start this week as more players continue to arrive.
With the absence of school due to my graduation from The University of Tampa (again) in May, I have not had textbooks and case studies to occupy my free time. Finding a job was the next logical progression, especially considering Juliet was tied up all day with her internship six days a week. I knew the combination of finding a job flexible enough for me to maintain my workout regimen and the sluggish economy would make this a difficult task. However, there two sure things in life: death and taxes. On the suggestion of my brother, I put in for a job at H&R Block, a tax preparation company that makes almost all of its revenue between January and April. This seasonal position is perfect for the baseball player who is only available until spring training begins in March.
While being slightly overqualified for their Client Services Representative position that pays just over minimum wage (which is about twice as much as my hourly baseball salary), I was grateful for the opportunity to earn a little income and be able to put some pseudo-financial industry experience on my resume. One day, I will be ready to pursue a career in finance and put my degrees to use. Until then, I am along for this baseball ride where you never know the final destination.