Sorry about the length, lots to share.

Hey guys, sorry about the delay in between posts but since the guys and I moved into our house in Scottsdale, the internet has been anything but reliable. We would have like a 30 minute window of solid connection to check our Facebooks and as many of you know, 30 minutes isn’t enough time to check your newsfeed let alone write a blog entry. 

But were back on and I’ve got a bunch of things from our first few games to share with you all. 
First off, If you didn’t get out to the ballpark for todays matinee you missed a long one, but well worth the 3 1/2 hours of Arizona sun that you would have marinated in. I had the game off so my big butt was pretty sore from sitting on the bench all day. Anyway, we were playing Surprise and went up by 2 runs early in the game, we ended up giving up a 5 spot in the following inning and the score pretty much stayed that way until the bottom of the 8th. With the help of some timely hitting and an error on a groundball we put up 3 runs and tied the game. The score remained tied until the 11th when Surprised took advantage of a miscue in our infield and took the lead 7-5. What seemed like the end of the game turned out to be far from it, as we loaded the bases with 2 outs and got the AFL’s most dangerous hitter up to the plate, Brandon Wood. It didn’t take long for all of us to go from sitting on the bench to the top step of the dugout to watch Woody hit like we were 5 year olds. I know I was excited and I had a feeling like there is no way this guy doesn’t get this done for us. Low and behold Woody is down to his last strike and Surprise’ pitcher makes a big mistake, throwing Brandon a fastball that got too much of the plate and Woody made him pay. Driving the ball hard over the center fielders head and scoring all three runs to give us the win. We all jumped the dugout fence to mob Woody at second base and celebrate our walkoff win. 
Unfortunately, I had nothing to do with that win, but I did have a solid start to my AFL season in my first games behind the plate. I opened up the season catching against Phoenix and surprising I didn’t make a fool out of myself at the plate. Catching is usually the easy part so I wasn’t too worried about that aspect of my game. I was worried though, that my timing off these flame throwing pitchers would be completely off. Much to my surprise, it only took me 2 at bats to get my first hit, a line drive to center in an 0-2 count. I for sure thought it was going to take me at least 15 ab’s to get myself a batting average, let alone get a hit in an 0-2 count. Later on in the game I definitely felt the wrath of a 4 month layoff as I struck out twice swinging at fastball that was blown by me and a hanging slider that I usually crush, but I’ll just chalk those ab’s up to not seeing this type of pitching in quite a while, ( that excuse helps me sleep at night). 
In my second game, I was catching at Surprise and actually got 3 hits in my first 3 at bats, although one of those hits was a pretty generous decision by the score keeper, but I’ll take as many of those infield hits as I can get! I used my speed and put it in 6th gear down the first base line to beat out a close play. 
In what was another miserably hot day in Arizona, we decided to play ourselves a 4 hour game, but this was mainly our fault as we put up a 9 spot in the 5th inning. Our hitters just wouldn’t miss anything then threw at us, it got to the point where we were like, okay we think we have enough runs to hold onto the win someone hit the ball at somebody, but nobody wanted to get out. 
Hopefully we can use that hitting in bunches one day if were down late in a game, but until then, lets at least save the 9 run innings for night games. We obviously ended up winning the game and are currently sitting with a 3-1 record. The team is really meshing like we’ve been playing together for a while. We’re pulling for one another and even giving each other a hard time like true teammates, its a fun clubhouse. 
But I’ll stop rambling now, I’m sure you all have had enough. Tomorrow I’m back behind the dish in my first game at home, and also my first night game, so pumped. 
I’ll let you know how it goes…

4 Comments

Hey Tony. We saw you in your debut in State College and look forward to saying “we saw he when he just started”. Good luck. Keep up the blog – you are pretty good at it.

I didn’t see your debut with State College, but I did see you later in the year at Hagerstown when you were with the W.Va. Power. I was impressed with your ballplaying skills (2 hits, throwing out a base runner), and just as importantly, I was impressed with the way you carried yourself on the field. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Altoona next year.

hey tony tell the guys to check out http://www.bucsdugout.com. you guys will enjoy it.

Tony – GREAT STUFF!!!! Keep it up!!!! What will be greater is when you are in the ‘burgh, helping us regain respectability & bring home a pennant or at worst a wild card ride. Watched your interviews from 2010 spring training & believe me, YOU ARE a breath of fresh air for the Pirates. We’re building a good nucleus, need some pitching, & I know for sure we have our catcher for the future!!!!!

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