Monday, May 19, 2008

the final cut is the deepest.....

So unfortunately I won't be playing baseball for the Worcester Tornadoes this summer unless they would contact me later on to pick me up. I was the final pitcher cut, which is an extra burn because they had one veteran come out of retirement and another pitcher that they traded for 2 days ago. If they don't trade for that guy, or if one of the older guys decides to hang it up I'm pretty sure that I make the squad.

FWIW I don't think I had an outstanding training camp, but then again I didn't really have much of a chance to throw to live hitters. The one time I did I got really solid results, so I can hang my hat on that. I honestly think that with a week and a half for them to make this decision they have to put a lot of weight in the players that have a proven track record with the team. Its a business so I can understand their decision, and I definitely appreciate the opportunity that they gave me.

The coaches did say that if other teams (or the Tornadoes) were looking for guys later in the season they would certainly give me a call or pass along my name. At this point I'm kind of divided as to what I want to do about playing baseball this summer. I can always just go back and play summer ball in the park league, which was certainly a good way to spend a summer last year. I could also get in touch with a few people and find out if they know of other teams looking to pick guys up this summer. The problem with that is of course that I could end up trying out for some team hundreds of miles away, and potentially end up spending my summer traveling around po-dunk towns in the midwest. And while I love baseball, there is a big difference between doing that when you are playing for a team that is affiliated with a Major League organization (and have the potential for a very large and rewarding future with the team) and doing it with an independent minor league team. Of course getting cut kind of hurts my confidence a little as well, which may be making me gun shy.

Plus there is something to be said for summer in boston, and all of the free time I would have to enjoy since I'll be playing poker this summer. I'm certainly making good money, and I'm really enjoying myself, so being here for the summer would definitely not be bad. Plus it might give me time to travel and see some friends.

Katy is on call tonight so I'll be hanging out in the apartment by myself for most of the night. I'm thinking about doing some cleaning and reorganizing because I always feel like I can think more clearly and get better insight into important decisions when my surroundings are neat and orderly. I guess its a feng shui thing.

Poker is going well. After my devastating run of cards to begin the month things are certainly looking better. For one I think I am playing leagues better than I was a few weeks ago. I've gained a ton more experience at 6max NL, I've gained more experience against the regs, and I think I've definitely avoided some spewey tilt that hurt me at the beginning of the month.

I'm on pace to have my best month ever, which is good because I have another hefty chunk of taxes to pay next month.



Saturday, May 17, 2008

first cut of spring training, and first exhibition game/rain out

The staff made the first cuts yesterday. Three pitchers, an infielder, and a catcher all were released. I'm still here, so I'm one step closer to making the opening day roster. My best guess is that there are about 7 pitchers competing for 3 open spots on the roster. I think that 1 spot will definitely go to a lefty, so I'm probably fighting with 4-5 other pitchers for the final 2 roster spots.

I was scheduled to pitch the 8th and 9th tonight in an exhibition game against Brockton, but the rain started early this afternoon and we never got out of the visitor locker room. So I grabbed a sandwich and checked out the NBA games back here at the hotel room. I also logged in about 1.5k hands of poker and booked a small win despite playing pretty horribly (got all-in preflop with TT and JJ twice when I didn't need to and also tried an awful river bluff that cost me $300). I really feel like I played lousy tonight and I definitely think I tilted at one point after having AA and KK cracked in really lousy ways.

I finally used my long saved full tilt points to order something from the FTP store. I should have a 42inch plasma TV shipped to me in 6-8 weeks. So I'm pumped to have a huge hi-def TV in my living room to watch movies and sporting events.

I've gotta hit the sack because I've gotta be up in about 6 hours for practice tomorrow morning. I'm guessing I'll be throwing live indoors since our field is a lake right now. If the rain ever dries up we are supposed to play an exhibition game on sunday. Hopefully I'll still be around by then.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good outing today

all the pitchers threw one live inning today. My line was 2Ks, 0BBs, 0Rs, 1 infield hit. I threw pretty much all two seam fastballs, and threw 2 splitters. The splitter was still a mixed bag today (in warmups as well as on the mound), but my fastball was solid and I was really hitting spots.

We have quite a few guys here trying out, so it is going to be interesting to see who they cut, who they sign, and who ends up making the opening day roster. I feel better about my chances after throwing well today, but obviously its going to matter what areas the coaches feel we need most as a pitching staff, as well as where they see me possibly helping the team.

Going to play a poker session in a few minutes. If I have any interesting hands I'll try to remember them and post them on here.

thanks for reading.


First day of spring training and a quick poker update...

So I'm at the hilton in Worcester where the team has put up the 30 or so players that are here for spring training. There are about 17 pitchers and I'm guessing that about 13-14 will sign with the team and 11 will probably make the opening day roster.

Today was a miserable day weather-wise, so practice wasn't too fun. We arrived at the stadium at around 7:30am and spent an hour and a half getting equipment squared away and waiting for the rest of the guys to arrive. Then we took some PFP (pitchers fielding position) which went well considering it was the first time I had done it in over 2 years (no mistakes from my part and I made a few nice plays in the process).

After that they had some live hitting with pitchers throwing and full squad in the field. Most of the returning starters pitched two 25 pitch innings and then wrapped it up. Originally the other 10 guys or so (myself included) were going to throw and inning, but the coaches decided that after standing in 40 degree weather with 40 mph winds (yeah it was freaking cold) that we wouldn't look to solid on the mound. So instead we threw pens on the side. To be honest I thought I threw lousy in my pen. My fastball was mediocre, and my splitty would not get down. I left it up probably 90% of the time. But the coach was only about half watching, and afterwards he told me he honestly didn't care how we threw today just how we performed when facing batters tomorrow. So tomorrow is another day and hopefully I'll get stuff straightened out.

Between the number and quality of other players here I feel like I probably have a 33% chance or so of making the squad. And I think a lot of it is going to depend on how my stuff is. One thing that frustrates me a little is that I definitely feel like I throw a lot better after getting really hot in the bullpen and really working hard on my stuff. I know sometimes during pens it will take me 20-30 pitches just to get in a groove. I'm hoping I don't end up in a situation where I have little time to warm up and end up going in the game without my best stuff. But I'll do what I have to do to get ready to go. I think they are probably going to make the first cut on friday, so if I get cut I guess I'll head back to Boston and see if there are any other teams in the league looking to pick guys up.

As for poker, I had my best month ever at the tables last month after spending about 95% of my hands +8 tabling NL400. I finally had my first 5 figure month from the tables alone, so when I combined my rakeback I really had a nice haul for the month. It certainly made the tax checks a little easier to swallow (ugh just thinking about those checks still sucks). Unfortunately towards the end of the month through this weekend I went on a pretty bad losing streak that then became a long break-even stretch after I started to grind my way out of it. I was running about $4k under expectation during the time period, and I also made some really bad and tilty plays. Overall I was not happy with my play, but I also had a lot of AK all-in pf against AK losing to a 4-flush type stuff. So there were definitely some sessions that had me wanting to puke afterwards.

Finally in the past 4 days or so I've really started to turn things around, and I'm back solidly in the black for this month. Combined with the healthy rakeback and bonuses I've earned so far and my month really hasn't been too bad. I've pretty much made 6max NL 400 my full time game since my hourly is so much better, but I'll probably mix in some limit later this month just to have fun.

One thing that isn't going well is Full Tilt's ability to get my cash to me. I requested bank transfers that should have hit my account about two weeks ago. Twice since then Full Tilt has assured me that there was a problem and the money is on its way, but I really need the cash (hello bills) and I think its absurd that I've been waiting almost a month for it. The most frustrating thing is that people who requested checks (at a later date than I requested my bank transfer) have already gotten their checks. If I had just gone with my standard method of requesting checks I would already have my cash and be financially comfortable right now. But after my tax day and to a small part my trip to costa rica, I needed those cash outs and I'm a little strapped for cash at the moment (which is hilarious because I have more money than ever online I just can't get to it).

Thats all for now. Hope everyone is running well and having a good spring. I'll be updating fairly regularly this week from spring training. Tomorrow I'll try and find some interesting hands to post if I have time.