The Season Is Here

Hey everyone,

 

Today was the last day of spring training.  It has been a pretty long month and a half. This spring training is the first time that I experienced the loss of friends. It was different, and tough, nobody likes to see friends go.

 

Anyways, tomorrow I leave for Altoona, where I will be one of the 5 in the starting rotation.  I am very excited, and can’t wait for the season to start.

 

I also had my last outing of the spring today. The line was 4 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 4 K.  I think that it was a very productive spring, today I kept the ball down well, and my change up was really effective.  Most of the damage came in the first inning again, where I lacked rhythm and command.

 

Well everyone, this is my last spring training post, I hope everyone is looking forward to the spring as much as I am.  Next post will be from Altoona.

 

Until later,

 

Moskie

Hump Day

Hey everyone,

 

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. Games have started, so we are at the field for a while longer. Also, we have been having meetings almost everynight.  So I have been exhausted and coming home and going to sleep really early.

 

The name of this post is from a comment from one of my fellow teammates today.  He said to me that today was “hump day.”  Having no clue what he was talking about, I asked him what he meant.  He explained simply that today was the day that you have to get over the hump. Where you have finally hit a little bit of a wall, and there are only a couple weeks left of camp. So get past today and its all downhill til camp breaks.  I really liked his point and his reasoning, so I decided to share it with you.

 

As for spring training, we are into our second week of games.  I have thrown once, 3 innings against the Blue Jays. I throw again tomorrow, this time it should be 4 innings, and it is against the Blue Jays again.  One of the big things that I can say about camp this year is that there is definitely an aura of competition in the air. Everything is upbeat, and there are alot of things being accomplished everyday. I am really excited about the productivity so far this year. I think its going to be a surprising year. Only my opinion though. It is absolutely a different atmosphere this year.

 

Thats it for now, but if you guys have any questions about spring training feel free to ask.

 

Until later,

 

Moskie 

IM BACK!!!

Welcome back everyone,

 

I am sorry for the layoff, but now I am back.  I had a greast week with my girlfriend and I am sorry that there wasn’t much posting while she was here.  For this post’s agenda we will talk about spring training, the WBC, and of course March Madness.

 

Ok so spring training has just about hit it’s full stride. We start games on the 19th, which is very exciting, we get to see a team in a different uniform.  Since I last posted, the pitchers have thrown live batting practice sessions, and even simulation games.  Yesterday I threw about 2 innings, or around 40 pitches.  It was really good to finally face some live hitters.  They have also broken us up into our 5 day rotations, and separated the starters from the relievers. That way the starters can start to extend some innings and get into the in-season workout routine.  The relievers will be able to monitor their work loads and get ready to pitch in games. 

 

The World Baseball Classic has been very exciting thus far. With the Netherlands upsetting the Dominican, the Aussies beating Mexico, and Korea playing good baseball. Japan has emerged as a powerhouse, and I am hoping that the Americans can pull out some victories to come out of the loser’s bracket. Puerto Rico is also playing very good baseball, it will be a very good game tonight between them and Venezuela.  I will definitely be watching.  I would like to see Snell pitch well tonight.

 

Now on to my favorite topic, March Madness.  I would like to first point out that Clemson got shafted, they deserve to be a better seed than a 7.  I also thought that Memphis should have been a 1 seed, and that Missouri did not deserve to be a 3 seed.  I don’t think that the big 10 deserved to have 7 teams, adn the pac 10 should not have had 6 teams.  But I guess that’s why I am a baseball player, and not a NCAA Basketball analyst.  So here are some things that I am throwing out there. Who was the biggest snub out of this year’s tourney?  Who will be in the final 4? Who will be the national champion?  Who is going to be this year’s cindarella story? If you have any other questions feel free to ask them.

 

Some of my opinions to these questions are that Virginia Tech is a pretty big snub. I think they are a better team than a Minnesota or a Wisconsin. My final 4 has Memphis, UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest.  You can call me an ACC homer if you want to.  I think that Wake matches up well with all the teams in its possible path. I still think that UNC is probably the most talented team in the country, and thats who I will probably pick as my National Champion.  I think VCU has a chance to be a cindarella, they are pretty darn good.

 

Final point, to all the Irish out there, have a happy St. Patty’s day. Have fun, and of course be safe.

 

Until later,

 Moskie

 

Miscellaneous

Hello Everyone,

 

Well to start things off, my girlfriend comes into town tomorrow night, so I don’t know how much time I will be able to spend on the computer for the next week or so. Lucky for you guys groundhog day officially began today. So there shouldn’t be too much info I can give you.

 

Secondly, March madness is just about a week away. Oh boy am I excited, I love this time of year.  I can’t wait for selection day, after that I get to make my bracket.

 

So today we had a bunch of people show up, its really starting to feel like spring trainng. I think there are about 120 or so people here now.  Something overwhelming is the amount of new faces, there are so many new people. It is gonna take some time to get to meet/know all of them.  Today I threw another bullpen. Right around 55 pitches this time, starting to really build up the stamina.  I have to admit, I was pretty worn out towards the end of the bullpen.  Now I have 2 days off, then I throw a live bullpen session, to real hitters, pretty exciting stuff.

 

In less fortunate news, Jarek Cunningham tweaked his knee, and might have to miss some serious time.  Its very unfortunate for him and the organization if he has to miss an extended period of time. He’s a really good ball player.

 

Next, what does everyone think about the Terrel Owens deal? Was it the right decision? Where will he end up next? Input and opinions are appreceiated.

 

Lastly, if anyone has seen a good movie lately, feel free to pass on some information. I will probably try to see a movie with the old lady while she is here. Looking for all the feedback I can get.

Also, I almost forgot. The United States kicks off their classic with a heated battle against Canada. This should be a very good game and I am very excited to watch it.  I think it will be a good test for the Americans, we should get a good indicator of what to expect from them with this game.

 

Until Later,

 

Moskie 

Q & A

Hey everyone,

 

It is the eve of spring training.  I have my physical tommorow, and then we have our first workout after.  Before I get to my post I have a few things on my mind.

 

Today was a bad day for Clemson Tiger fans.  The basketball team continued their slide, and looked pretty bad in doing so.  The baseball team lost to our heated rival, the Gamecocks of South Carolina.  They got 2 hit, ugh. On a lighter note, the Buccos pulled out another win in a close game today, and improve to 3-1. I know these games are supposed to be somewhat meaningless, but hey I’m happy about it and I think Pirates fans should be too.

 

Now on to the post topic. I realized recently that people probably don’t know that much about me. So this post is going to be all about that.  Ask me questions, anything you want to know, and I of course will answer them. Just about anything goes.  It should be fun, so let’s get this started.

 

Until later.

 

Moskie

Interview With The Burgh Blues

Tomorrow at http://theburghblues.mlblogs.com/ there will be an interview with myself. Everyone should stop by and check it out.

Did Steroids Save Baseball?

First of all this is in no way shape or form a post that is in support of steroids. I do not endorse them, I do not take them, I simply am trying to stir up some conversation.

 

Ok, hey everyone, apparently not everyone is as interested in the Presidency and the shape of the economy as I am. No problem, baseball fans should take interest to this next topic.

I will start with an update on life. I have yet another bullpen tomorrow, and more and more players continue to show up at Pirate City. The feel of spring training is in the air.  My parents are coming into town for the weekend, and I am pretty excited about that.  I think I am going to take the pops out for a round of golf on Saturday, and then spring training officially starts for me on Sunday.

 

Now onto the topic of steroids.  They are by far the most controversial subject in all of baseball.

Ok I have to interrupt the post to talk about the bunker shot thatTiger just hit. On verge of going down 4 holes, he holes his bunker shot to win the hole. Unreal!!!!!

 

Back to steroids.  I will start back in 1994, the year of the strike and the cancellation of the world series.  This caused baseball fans everywhere to experience negative energy towards the game of baseball. So much so that in 1995 the TV ratings were lower than those of the year of the strike, and around all-time lows.  For the next few years the baseball enterprise struggled mightily as fans had completely lost interest in the game.  Then in 1998, something miraculous happened. Many know it as McGwire versus Sosa.  Both players ended up breaking Roger Maris’ homerun record that had stood since 1961.  Mac wound up hitting 70 and Sosa 65.  Both players have later been associated with the steroid asterik. Yet what their home run race did for the game of baseball will be difficult to discount.  TV ratings were back up, people had a new found interest in the game. So much so that in 1998 they brought in 2 new expansion teams, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ans the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Then 3 years later, fans were treated to the newest lead act, Barry Bonds.  Fans didn’t have the pleasure of a home run race this time around, but they did get to see a prolific home run hitter knock 73 home runs out of parks around the United States.  In doing so he also destroyed other offensive records such as walks per season and slugging percentage.

 

The assumption that steroids helped in the recovery of baseball takes on certain assumptions of its own.  You have to assume that fans enjoy seeing the spike in offensive categories.  The time known as the Steroid Era is also known as the  Power Age, due to the increase in all power numbers, and essentially all offensive categories.  A few of the explanations have been: new, smaller ballparks; juiced baseballs; watered down pitching due to there being too many teams; and perhaps juiced players.

 

Now some numbers that show the what I am attempting to explain.

In the year 2000 there were 5693 major league home runs hit. In 2001 there were 5458, and in 2004 another 5451.  Yet in the years 2007 and 2008 there were 4957 and 4878 home runs hit.

In the 1997 season 2 players had 50 or more home runs, 12 players had 40 or more, and 31 had 30 or more.  In 1998 2 players had 60 or more, 4 had 50 or more, 13 had 40 or more, and 37 had 29 or more.  Finally in 1999 2 players had 60 or more, 13 had 40 or more, and an astonishing 45 players hit 30 or more home runs that year.

In the 2007 season 2 players had 50 or more home runs, only 5 had 40 or more, and a measely 25 had 30 or more. Again the numbers were down in 2008 as nobody hit 50, only 2 had 40 or more, and 25 had 30 or more.  Big differences in home run production.

 

Now there is definitely no doubt about the fact that steroids are harmful to the baseball players themselves; however, I think that a shadow can be cast as to whether they are harmful on the game of baseball itself.

 

Just a little extra sidenote. Just because I make a new post, that does not mean that commenting on the old posts has to stop. If you have an opinion or a question on an older topic, feel free to post it. I get an email everytime I recieve a comment, and it also tells me what post it is in reply to.

 

Until later,

Moskie

 

 

Where Haven’t We Gone Yet?

Hello Everyone,

 

Since my last post a few things have happened. First of all the Pirates took down the defending champs today 8-2. A nice start to the spring. Also tomorrow my roommate Jimmy Barthmaier makes his grapefruit league debut. Good luck to him.  I threw a pretty good bullpen on Tuesday, and as more people begin to show up at Pirate City, the itch to start playing continues to get stronger.

 

I can’t bring myself to write an entire new post with out mentioning Tiger Woods. The man has to be an inspiration to athletes everywhere. He is simply unbelievable. He looked like he never missed a day, much less 8 months. Just blew my mind today.  Right now Clemson is in the middle of a really good game against Virginia Tech, a real nail biter so far.  I also just finished watching this weeks episode of 24, goodness this show is amazing.

 

Ok enough rambling, on to the real topic of my post. I spent some time thinking about what my next post should be, and then it hit me.  Not too long ago we had one of the most prolific things happen to our country. We elected a black president, something that is unreal and groundbreaking.  Something that speaks volumes about how far our country has come.

 

Now I myslef did not vote for President Obama, but I have to say that I am an avid supporter now, and I hope that he does great things for our country.  Recently he has proposed a stimulus package.  This is something that is a very controversial topic amongst politicians, and is a very volatile situation for our economy. There is alot of uncertainty in our society today, and no doubt are we in a recession.  However, where do people see our eceonomy going in the future? Is Barack Obama the answer to our problems? Will the stimulus package do what it is supposed to and bail us out?  Is everyone pleased with Obama’s performance thus far?

 

As always give your input, we have had some great interaction so far, lets keep it up.

 

Until Later

WBC continued…

“For any inning beginning with the 13th inning, the Team at bat shall begin the inning with runners on first and second base. The batter who would lead off the inning shall continue to be the batter. The runner on first base shall be the player (or substitute) who immediately precedes the batter who leads off the inning and the player on second base shall be the player (or substitute) who immediately precedes the player on first base. Any player removed for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game.”

 

Listed above is the the international tiebreaker rule for baseball games.  Is this something that everyone thinks is a good idea or a bad one.  It seems like it should make extra inning games more interesting, Almost like overtime in a college football game.  I almost think that we shouldn’t wait until the 13th inning to use the tiebreaker rule.

 

Everybody let me know your opinions. Also, on Friday the Burgh Blues is posting an interview, be sure to head over to their website and check it out.

 

Until Later

World Baseball Classic

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is Monday night, I just watched a pretty good episode of Heroes, and it is about past my bedtime.  So I figure its the perfect time for a post.  First of all today the pitchers had their first trial run at our running test. It is a mile and a half run in under 11 minutes. Now most of you probably say thats pretty easy, but for some reason it just isn’t. I struggle mightily with running long distances at a quick pace. However, I didnt disappoint, finishing in 10:40. So yay for me. Rinku can really run, he finished in 9:45, made it look easy.  I have another bullpen tomorrow, and I am really getting the itch to face some live competition.  One more point and then I will knock off the rambling.  How did Clemson not move up in the polls today? Instead they got jumped by an Arizona State team that plays in one of the weaker conferences, and that has maybe 1 or 2 quality wins. We beat a team by 30 points that just knocked off UNC, can we get a little respect.  Oh well, onto the main topic.

 

The WBC or World Baseball Classic.  I love the idea of the event, a great way to put baseball on the public stage, especially if they are going to remove it as a sport from the Olympics.  I have actually been to the field that hosts pool play in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It is a magnificent stadium, and I was very surprised when I saw it.  Now coming into today, the odds on favorite to win the classic were none other than Team USA, followed closely by the Dominican Republic.  I found this to be a bit surprising, even though I like our chances as much as anybody elses.  We really underachieved in the last WBC, not even advancing from pool play. However, we do post a super-star cast on our roster, despite a few players turning down the opportunity.

 

A few fun facts. In first round action Japan is favored to beat China by 11 runs. Yikes.  Also Cuba is favored to beat South Africa by 10.5 runs. Thats a whole lot of runs for a World Baseball Classic game.  Also, I actually know personally a few players that are going to participate in the Classic. That is very exciting to me, getting to represent your country. I wish all of them the best of luck.  However, I still hope that Team USA can put together a Ryder Cup like performance and bring home the championship.

 

My questions to those out there are these:  Will USA come through and take home the championship? Will we disappoint? Will Japan repeat? Will there be a surprise team this year like South Korea last year?

 

As always input is much appreciated, and please feel free to post any of your opinions.