Monday, May 30, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener in AA

I know that it's been a while since I posted last. I also know that I said I would try to be better keeping it up. 0 for 2.

Daytona: Jackie Robinson Ballpark

Anyway, It's been a roller coaster to say the least. This last week especially. Ashley left to go home to Atlanta as we left to go on an 8 day road trip to Tampa and Daytona. We had already lost our last 2 heading into the road trip, so we decided to keep that train rolling and lose 7 of our next 8. Losing sucks, but that's not the half of it. I can stand losing if we play well (more specifically, if I pitch well), but that's not the story of that road trip. We played pretty bad. Pitched inefficiently, hit anemically, made errors...it was rough. So we came home from the road trip ready to see our own beds, play in our own (non wind-aided) ballpark, and get back to playing well. And that's just what happened. We played the first 2 games against Dunedin like the team we are supposed to be. It was good to get back on track. But I digress...

As for me personally, it was a long long road trip. I got the start against Tampa in game 2 of the series. I threw 4 innings, 98 pitches. For any of you doing the math...that's not good. I gave up a few runs and we lost the game. It was my 3rd or 4th consecutive outing where I just didn't perform that well. I felt good. I was striking guys out. I felt "inspired" out there. But I just couldn't get the job done all the way. The first day of the Daytona series our pitching coach Phil Regan came to me and let me know that I would be moving to the bullpen for a while. "A while" in minor league terms ranges from "until tomorrow" to "you're never starting again". So that was not exactly comforting news. I threw in the bullpen that night. 3 innings, 3 runs...ugh To top it all off, Ashley was back in Atlanta for another 3 weeks and I was needing my best friend now more than ever. We talked on the phone, but I was ready to see her again. We had decided that she was gonna come down a couple days ago, a little bit early from her trip home...we needed it! I was excited about it and so was she. We got done with our second game back home and I sat down to eat just like I do every night. After winning the game the atmosphere was light in the clubhouse and our victory song was playing. Then I heard it...

"Is Mac gone yet?"
"No, he's right here."
"Mac, come see me in my office." Pedro said.

My heart dropped. The only thing that I could deserve at this point was a plane ticket to Savannah and a pity pat on the back. I walked in to see our pitching coordinator, pitching coach, and Pedro our manager sitting in the office. I knocked sheepishly, hoping that maybe no one would hear me and I could just slip out like this never happened. They heard. Pedro motioned me over, put his arm around my shoulder and said "You're going to be heading up to Binghamton."

WHAT!!??

They told me that I was pitching the second game of a double header on tuesday up there and then staying to help out in the bullpen for "a while". They told me that since I could pitch out of the pen and start, I would be an asset to the team up there. This was unexpected to say the least. My goal for the year was to end up in AA. It's May 30 and I'm already here. The grass isn't literally greener, in fact it's not as nice as PSL. But it is nice to see progress in a job where progress isn't always linear. Did I deserve it? Probably not. But you can be damn sure that I plan on taking full advantage of the opportunity. God works in strange ways. Well, strange ways to us. I'm sure they're perfectly normal ways to Him.

My new (old) house in Binghamton, NY

So here I am in Binghamton, NY. AA ball for the NY Mets. It's kinda surreal. Tomorrow it gets very real. More to come on this...much more.

4 comments:

  1. Jami and I are really excited for you man!

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  3. Hey Collin. Great to hear about your call up to Bham. Your dad and I went to see your buddy Mark when Buffalo played G Braves and we took Mark to dinner after game. He is a good guy and it was nice to meet him. I went back next day and watched him pitch too. He throws really well and he shared some pretty neat insights with us about pitching. Keep working hard and good luck!

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