bats

Jose Reyes Gets A Second Chance With The Mets


Kathy Willens/AP Photo

 

-David Strobach-

The New York Mets have signed free agent shortstop, Jose Reyes, to a minor league deal after clearing waivers with the Rockies to reunite the two parties.  Jose Reyes was a star for the  Mets from 2003-2011 and left for a $106 million contract spanning 6 years with the Marlins.  He was then traded to the Blue Jays, then the Rockies acquired him in the Troy Tulowitzki deal.    Reyes was suspended without pay (lost $6.25 million) through May 31 for his domestic violence incident last October where he grabbed his wife by the throat and pushed her into a glass door while in Hawaii.  He was arrested, but after his wife was uncooperative with the prosecution, the charges were later dropped.   Even though he was never formally charged, he still violated the MLB domestic abuse policy which led to his suspension. The Mets GM Sandy Alderson feels Jose has learned from his mistake, served his punishment, and deserves a second chance saying:

 

“I did meet with Jose personally. We talked for about an hour. Obviously, this domestic abuse issue was the focal point of that conversation. I came away feeling that he had taken responsibility for this mistake on his part, that he was remorseful. He obviously has paid a penalty for this, both financially and in terms of his career. He, I believe, is committed to ongoing counseling and support of organizations working against domestic abuse. And obviously, in addition to this personal meeting, we had a lot of internal conversations. [Chief operating officer] Jeff Wilpon was directly involved in this every step of the way. We were aware of the possible controversy this would generate. We’re also fully aware of the responsibility we sort of have to be leaders in this area of fighting domestic abuse.”  Sandy also said, “At the same time, Jose was a member of the Mets organization for 12 years. He was signed at 16 years of age. He was a solid citizen during all of that time. And so, if you think of it in those terms, us as a place where Jose grew up, almost as a surrogate family, we felt that he deserved a second chance, and that second chance was most appropriate with us.”

Also saying:

“We fully understand there will be differences of opinion about this. Some people will feel strongly and differently. I think we accept that. We respect that. All I can say is both Jose and the organization will be held to a standard going forward that recognizes the seriousness of domestic abuse and a commitment to stand against it.”

Reyes expressed regret for his actions and is looking forward to future saying below:

“As I have expressed in the past, I deeply regret the incident that occurred and remain remorseful and apologetic to my family. I have completed the counseling required by MLB, have been in ongoing therapy, and will continue with counseling going forward. I appreciate the Mets organization for believing in me and providing the opportunity to come back home to New York.”

Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger

The Mets are hoping this second chance for their former star helps a line up desperately looking for a boost as well as add depth.  He will spend around a week in the minors to recalibrate his skills before joining the MLB roster.  The Rockies are responsible for the $39 million he’s owed and the Mets only have to pay him the league minimum of $507,50.  This is a great low-risk, high-reward opportunity for New York.  His role will not be as shortstop with the Mets as Asdrubal Cabrera blocks him there.  He will be playing 3rd and even work in the outfield.  Reyes should be slotted into the leadoff spot to boost the Mets order.  He will also bring a much needed speed to a team barren of it.  It is unfair for anyone to expect his 2011 batting title days coming back as Alderson said on his expectations:

“Do we expect him to win the National League battle title this year the way he did in 2011? No. Has he lost a step – maybe? Is he the premier shortstop that he once was? It doesn’t really matter — he’s not going to play shortstop. So we’ve taken all of those things into account. We think he can help us. You know, from a motivational standpoint, I don’t think we would be able to find a player who is more determined, more highly motivated to perform than Jose is today.”

I personally used to be a fan of Reyes, but lost all respect for him after his altercation with his wife.  With the statements from Alderson, it seems that the Mets have and are continuing to handle the situation well.  It is great to see the MLB as a whole handling domestic violence seriously.   I hope Reyes has truly learned from his mistake.  Based on the statements, both parties feel that he has.  It is good to see that his counselling will continue while in New York.  Even though I will never look at him the same like many others and rightfully so, I wish the best for him and his family and hope he grows from this experience.  You can spend your life working hard, building up your reputation, and respect, doing great things – but it only takes one regrettable act to have it all come crashing down.  Any man that hurts his wife is not a man at all. However, I do believe in second chances.

Like me on Facebook!

Follow me on Twitter: @BleacherBoy10

Email me: thebleacherboy@yahoo.com

The Revelation of Jonathan Villar


-David Strobach-

Brewers shortstop, Jonathan Villar, has been nothing short of a revelation.   He was supposed to be just a gap shortstop until top prospect, SS Orlando Arcia, made his way up.  He was acquired this past off-season from the Astros in exchange for minor league RHP Cy Sneed.  Jonathan Villar has been a stud for the Brew Crew this year. Why is no one talking about him?  Let’s see just how good Villar has been.

Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America

Villar, only 25 years old, is slashing .296/.387/.426 with an OPS of .813, 5 home runs, and a league leading 23 stolen bases.  Jonathan has exceptional on-base skills with his .387 OBP.  As soon as he gets on first, it’s almost a sure bet he’ll be swiping second.  Villar has been hitting around .300 all year and it is far enough into the season to say he is no fluke.  He’s challenging pitchers with every aspect of his game.  His most underrated tool is his defense.  Defensively, Villar makes the plays and is always smooth at short.

FanGraphs states in their post on Villar: “Villar is on pace to hit 13 home runs, steal 60 bases, and bat .292. That’s 2014 Jose Altuve, but more power and less batting average.” That’s a pretty darn good way to look at how well he has been performing.  Mentioning Jose Altuve‘s name in the same sentence as Villar’s shows what kind of player he has been.  If you would like a more advanced breakdown on his success, I encourage you to read FanGraphs work.

From a fantasy perspective, ESPN fantasy baseball has him ranked as the seventh player in all!  Pretty amazing for a huy that was only supposed to be “gap player.”

Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

What makes Villar even more valuable is that not only is he playing All-Star caliber baseball, he’s young (25) and controllable (Brewers control through 2020).  David Stearns, Brewers GM, has said time and time again how his main goal is to find young controllable talent and he has found quite a hidden gem in Jonathan.  Villar should be a valuable core in the Brewers rebuild by moving positions (probably 3rd) when Arcia comes to take his spot. Let’s all applaud David Stearns for this fantastic find.

 

Like me on Facebook!

Follow me on Twitter: @BleacherBoy10

Email me: thebleacherboy@yahoo.com

Baseball Mirrors Life


-David Strobach-

There is no sport that truly shows all aspects of life like the game of baseball.

Baseball is one of the only sports without a clock, but always has an end.  There’s no telling how far the end could possibly be for a baseball game.  This can also be said about life.  We know we are living, but never truly know when the game of life will come to a close.  Throughout the game of baseball, you may miss that fastball down the middle,  your golden chance at success.    In life, there are times you may have a great opportunity, but miss it.  “Strike 3,” calls the umpire as you have your walk of shame back to the dugout after failing.  You may sometimes have that bad day in life, but don’t worry, there is always another at-bat, there’s always another day.  In life and baseball, it’s important to embrace our mistakes and failures, learn from them to make us all better for that next opportunity, that next at-bat. Go up to the plate after being 0-3 and take advantage of your next at bat, make contact or better yet, smack a home run. Don’t go down just “looking.” Flunk that test or bomb that job interview?  There will be another. Go prepare, practice, and kill it when the next opportunity presents itself.  Be proactive and don’t go down looking–with opportunities passing you by. Create an opportunity on the baseball field and in your life. You never know when the time will come, but always be ready.   After all, baseball is a game of failure….and so is life with many unpredictable variables—But that’s what makes it exciting!  Life and baseball can be disappointing and hard at times. So, take responsibility and action through practice, pushing yourself and trying new things.  Play every game and live every day to the fullest because you never know when the last game or day of your life will come.

In baseball, a sacrifice bunt or sac fly can be difference makers in a game.  In life, let’s say you have that big test Monday, but want to go to the football game on Friday.  Maybe money will be tight for you and have to chose whether you spend money on those new shoes or save it for your family’s well-being.  There’s always decisions to made about when and how to sacrifice something, in both life and baseball.  You could look like a big shot with those Jordan’s and look like the hero hitting that game winning three run homer.  Saving that money you spent on those J’s may help your family out a little bit, but you feel no pleasure or status since you don’t have those shoes.  Laying down that sac bunt helps the team win games and you may not get any notice or love for it.  You sacrificed a chance and your personal stats to look the hero for the sake of the team. Sacrificed those  J’s that you think would get all the ladies in order to help  your family.  Sacrifices may not be easy, but in the end it’s what will make all the difference allowing many to benefit.

A popular saying is that it takes a village to raise a child.  Well, it takes a team to win a championship.  In baseball and life you can never be successful on your own without anyone helping.  A strong supporting cast is always needed. So when things are going badly, reach out to your teammates, family and friends.

In life, you can never have full control of what’s going on.  There are always roadblocks.  When you go up to bat, you have to go with what pitches are thrown and make the most of it.  In life, you have deal with the cards you’re dealt and make the most of it as well.  Life and baseball can be incredibly frustrating.  Sometimes you can do everything right in both and STILL fail.  Sometimes things look like they’re going well for both, but change drastically in a matter of moments.  From hitting a line drive straight to the CF, missing a home run by inches, having your bat break, or getting a bad call – baseball is unfair.  In life, you may be doing great at your job and still get laid off.  Everything in your family could be going well, and suddenly tragedy hits.  It’s not fair.  It’s how you deal with adversity that makes you who you are and how you will eventually succeed.  So, get up to the plate, take action, and make something happen.

 

Like me on Facebook!

Follow me on Twitter: @BleacherBoy10

Email me: thebleacherboy@yahoo.com

Thanks DeMarini!!


-David S.-

I broke my bat not my back this summer! I sent it back to see if they would honor their warranty and was kindly told that a new one may be coming. It did!  I wanted to say thank you to DeMarini for great customer service, living up to your word and sending me a new, upgraded replacement bat! Batting practice, here I come!!!!

IMG_5479 - Copy - Copy - Copy

IMG_5486

Watching my DINGER fly followed by the Bautista ALDS bat flip…

Are You Coachable?


-David S.-

 
"Be humble enough to be coachable. But be confident enough to dominate your position."

“Be humble enough to be coachable, But be confident enough to dominate your position.”

Above is a philosophy that I strive to apply to myself and challenge others to be open to this concept.  “Be humble enough to be coachable,” means that you are not perfect.  You need to accept your flaws.  Once you understand that you aren’t perfect, you can be open to constructive criticism.  First, you must throw your ego out the door!  Next, let someone help and improve your game.  I don’t care who you are, this applies to players from little league to the pros. Coaches will be able to actually coach you and help you, and ultimately your team.  It will not only help you improve your game, but demonstrates character to your coaches and others.  We all know “that one kid/player!”  Before a practice even starts, you can often tell who the difficult diva, uncoachable kids are, especially when the coach is talking.  They aren’t making eye contact. Usually they roll their eyes, and make some wise crack comment, thinking that none of this coaching/guidance applies to them, because they are so awesome. They drag their feet if they don’t get to play “their” position . They usually never stick around to help clean up after practice and scream “unfair” when not selected for an All Star team – because after all, they are so awesome….. Well this behavior shows lack of good character.  When a coach coaches you, you have to understand that it is not an insult to you personally, as so many take it.  No matter how good you are, there is always some way to improve, whether its your swing, your fielding, your speed, or your IQ – there’s always room for improvement.   I have seen time and time again  teammates of mine with a boatload of natural talent, but they aren’t coachable.  The natural gift  is there, but they will never reach their potential.  They seem to peak by high school and then when they enter a “big pond” of competition, they become a “small fish” and don’t excel. Being coachable takes practice, start early and show your coach respect for their help and knowledge.   If you are not the most talented one on the team, but have good character, practice hard, and listen to coaching, it will show.  Coaches will view you more positively and take you more seriously than the “stud” with poor character.  So check your ego at the door, let your coach help you, and be a good team mate.

“But be confident enough to dominate your position.”  Once you are out in the field, have confidence in your abilities.  It means to be able to tell yourself, “I can and will do this!”  It’s the time when you need to put faith in your training and skills without thinking you are above others.  If you are not confident at your position, it shows, and success may elude you.  Baseball is a mental game.  Being confident, not cocky, can give you a little edge over the competition.  When you think that you are better then everyone and then that error is made, mentally, you come crashing down since you think you are so great and are not supposed to make mistakes.  Or….you blame others.   Coaches and scouts are very aware of, and appreciate the player that recovers after an error rather than crumbles.  That player is humble, confident, and makes corrections.  As I wrote in a previous article, baseball is a game of failure and the mental side is crucial, it applies here as well.  Click HERE to read that article.  Once you believe, you will achieve…Do I get points for that corny cliché? It truly applies.

Remember, lose the ego to have others help you improve, but have confidence in yourself when the opportunities on the field come!

Follow me on Twitter: @BleacherBoy10

Email me: thebleacherboy@yahoo.com

The Twelve Days of a Baseball Christmas Day 12


-David S.-

It’s day twelve of The Twelve Days of a Baseball Christmas! This is the final one! Creds to Baseballism.  Enjoy!

On the twelfth day of Christmas baseball gave to me:

Twelve fastballs humming,

Eleven pitchers pitching,

Ten runners sliding,

Nine fielders creeping,

Eight coaches yelling,

Seven K’s a swinging,

Six bats a breaking,

Five World Series Rings,

Four knuckle curves,

Three bullpens,

2 catcher’s gloves,

and a white pearl on a hitting tee.

Merry Christmas to all!!!!!!!

The Twelve Days of a Baseball Christmas Day 11


-David S.-

It’s day eleven of The Twelve Days of a Baseball Christmas!  Creds to Baseballism.  Enjoy!

On the eleventh day of Christmas baseball gave to me:

Eleven pitchers pitching,

Ten runners sliding,

Nine fielders creeping,

Eight coaches yelling,

Seven K’s a swinging,

Six bats a breaking,

Five World Series Rings,

Four knuckle curves,

Three bullpens,

2 catcher’s gloves,

and a white pearl on a hitting tee.

%d bloggers like this: