Tagged: pitching

On the road again

I’m not real big on talking about myself and what happens on
the field when I’m pitching, and it’s starting to get a little old talking
about what a surprise we’ve been as a team this year. I understand why people
ask about it, but we’ve always thought we were gonna be a pretty good team, and
it’s kinda funny that now we have to explain why everywhere we go.


So I wanted to come up with something new, and this is the
first time I’ve done a blog from the road (unless you count the trip to Japan),
so I figured I’d start by sharing with y’all some of my favorite places in the
American League.

One of my favorite places to go has always been Seattle, and
there’s lots of reasons why. For one thing, I just like playing there. It’s a
great field to play at, and the clubhouse there is as good, if not better, than
any clubhouse in the league. Top-notch.

The city’s usually nice, too — we always seem to get good
weather when we go up there. And they have a lot of nice restaurants, and
there’s a really good sushi place there that a lot of our
guys go to.

I don’t know if I have a least-favorite place to go. They’re
all big league cities. Some of the clubhouse aren’t that great, like Boston,
which has the smallest and worst clubhouse in the league. But I love playing
there, just because of the atmosphere. You have the Green Monster and all that.

It’s just a great place to watch a baseball game or play in
a baseball game, and Boston’s a great city, too.

Bottom line, I know I’m pretty lucky to be doing this, so
I’m not going to complain about much.

Oh, and this is pretty random, but I wanted to add this,
too: Someone asked me yesterday who my favorite player would be if I was a
little kid and I was an A’s fan, and I have to say Frank Thomas. Big Frank was
my favorite player when I was a little kid, anyway, so why would it be any
different now?

Pretty cool that I get to play with him now, that’s for

Thanks for reading, everyone. Next time I do one of these,
I’m gonna answer some of the questions y’all been leaving for me.

Fun not lost in translation

I’m knocking this out before our second game of the Red Sox because I won’t have any time later. We have to hustle to the airport right
after the game, but since I didn’t give you anything after last night’s game,
I’ll just kind of wrap the trip up for you from my perspective right now.I felt like I threw pretty well last night. My control
wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be; it’s not that I was throwing a lot of
balls, but some of my strikes weren’t the kind of quality pitches I’m looking

Once I got to the park, there was a little jitters, but not
too bad. It was like consciously, I was fine, but subconsciously, I had a lot of
nerves — if that makes any sense. I had a lot of energy warming up and had a lot
of adrenaline when I first took the mound, but the biggest thing for me was
that first pitch of the game. Once I threw that, got a strike, I was just
locked in like I am for any other game. That first one was big, though.After our workout on the day before the game, me and
LeeAndra went to this big electronics district. It was probably three blocks,
and every building on both sides of the street was six floors of nothing but
gadgets and every kind of electronics you can think of. It was pretty cool to
check out, but I didn’t buy anything. I think I got overwhelmed by it all. Before that, we went to the concierge at hotel and told them
we wanted to go to a really good, authentic sushi place, so that’s where we
went after the electronics place, to get some dinner. It was about as authentic as you can get. I mean, it smelled like fish in that place, so you knew everything was
as fresh as you can get it. They just started bringing out stuff and we went to
work on it, but there were a couple of things that I couldn’t bring myself to
try. I’m a huge sushi and sashimi fan, and I consider myself pretty brave when
it comes to trying things, but I just wasn’t comfortable with a couple things
they brought out. One of them was a big piece of raw eel on rice, and the other
one was this giant clam-type thing. I just couldn’t do it. The restaurant was in this little neighborhood right near
the hotel, so after dinner we just walked around a little bit, down this one
street that was all lit up, checking everything out. It was a good night —
exactly what we were looking for.Now I’m looking forward to the ceremony before tonight’s
game. Rumor is that it’s going to be a samurai kind of deal, and I really want to
check that out and get some pictures to make up for missing most of the
ceremony last night. I’m pretty pumped about it, because I’ll actually get to
kick back and enjoy it. Before the trip over here, I knew it was going to be
important to balance all the cultural experiences we were going to get with this
also being a business trip for us, with games that count, and I think I did a
pretty decent job. When we first got here, I just got a lot of R&R so my
body could get used to the time zone, but these past few days, we’ve gotten out
and seen all the things you want to see when you travel. Blanton_2
LeeAndra’s had a good time, too. She likes to travel just
like I do, and I think the highlight of her trip — and mine, too — was that
dinner I told you about at the teppanyaki grill with Huston Street and his
wife. We had an awesome time that night.As a team, being over here and opening earlier than everyone
else, I think we got a jump on coming together. During Spring Training, a lot
of times, you’ve got a lot more than 25, 30 guys, and a lot of them are guys who
aren’t going to be on the team, and you’re never going to see them again that
year. But here, this is pretty much the core group that’s going to be here all
year.At Spring Training, you show up to the park and the hitters
and pitchers kind of split up into their own groups, and when the team goes on
the road, not everyone will travel. So you actually spend a lot of time
separated from your teammates. But here, we were all together all the time, we
were all in the same hotel, and I think we just got a chance to see each other
more, and that’s good for a team. A lot of guys have gotten to experience a lot of different
things here, and I’m pretty sure everyone’s had as good a time as I’ve had. I do miss home, though, and probably the thing I’m most
looking forward to getting back to is the simplicity of communication. The
whole language thing is part of the experience here, but when you can’t really
express exactly what you want or where you want to go, it does get a little
frustrating sometimes. It’ll be nice to get back home, and I’m already looking
forward to pitching again when we play our first regular-season game in the U.S. on April
1. Thanks for checking this out, and I’ll talk to y’all in a week or so.