PUEBLA, MEXICO – The playoffs are different here.
The top five teams in each division get in. Currently, we’re in second place with two games to play. We are assured a spot in the playoffs but with just one win in two games we stay out of the 4/5 spot. Those two play in a winner take all one-game playoff.
I have been on a few teams that went to the playoffs but I have only participated in two. The 2004 Durham Bulls and the 2008 Milwaukee Brewers, both of which were first round exits. This year, I hope to play a little longer, be a little more sore and win the last game we play.
With today's game a need-to-win, we will be playing it like a playoff. They have pitched me a lot and it seems I am warming up just about every day. I am throwing the ball very well, which is great – it keeps me pitching but doesn't allow for much rest.
I love being counted on. Pitching important innings is much different than being a long guy or an innings eater. Every out is stressful and exciting at the same time.
The high fives in the dugout are harder. The managers eyes while saying "good job" have so much more appreciation than when you go one two three in a mop up situation.
Of course, the opposite is true: when you mess up in mop up duties and you just eat the innings and give up a few runs, at least you’re saving the pen. You mess up in high leverage situations and you kill the pen, you kill your teams chance to win. All things good in this game come with a dark side if you don't succeed. You have to be able to have a strong willed mind and heart to pitch out of the pen! Or be completely stupid and talented. Both works.
One thing that is different here in Mexico is the clubhouse commerce. Every place we play, people are in the clubhouse selling you things. Kids and adults run around taking orders all hustling to make a few pesos off the ball players. At any given time there can be 10 people in the clubhouse who have absolutely nothing to do with the team.
Around the ballpark it's almost like a flea market. Baseball here drives so much of the small business. Also, in the stadiums – or at least in Puebla – the food stands are rented out and the families sell their own food. The team has no control of the product, just the rent.
Feeding the monster
In the Major Leagues I would say about 25-30 balls get given away each game. You get asked constantly, and honestly it's one of the most annoying things about being a ball player. If 500 people ask you for a ball and you give one away, you’re an a-hole to 499 people.
We call this feeding the monster: give them one and they just want more. It's almost at times not worth it to give the one ball away. I say this to show the contrast of here in Mexico. The teams’ budgets are tight, and baseballs are expensive. Half the time we hit BP with non-league balls.
The kids here ask constantly for a ball – I mean it's constant – but we don't have many extra baseballs to give away so now you’re just pretty much an a-hole to everyone. Me, I get to use the old "yo no comprendia" but I know what they want. I just can't give it to them.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Seth McClung
Published July 27, 2013
The Pericos of Puebla Mexico offered Seth McClung a contract to finish out the season in Mexico. Unlike Taiwan they were asking him to pitch out of the bullpen. This excited him because he has have been dominant in the Mexican League this year out of the pen. This team was in first place and they want McClung to come in and help shore up the back end of their bullpen.
Published July 25, 2013
Since I was let go from the Uni-Lions in the Taiwan C.P.B.L I am not quite sure what the next step is for me in my professional career. I want to continue to keep playing. I know the stat heads and some fans will laugh but I feel if I am right and if I am given an opportunity I can contribute in the Major Leagues again.
Published July 10, 2013
What a whirlwind ride the last few weeks have been. Last time we spoke I mentioned how the Uni-lions of the Taiwan League, a.k.a C.P.B.L., brought in former Brewers pitcher Nelson Figueroa and it was a numbers game to who went home. Well, it was me.
Published June 20, 2013
News is spreading around the league that Rhinos slugger Manny Ramirez is heading to Japan to finish the season over in that league. Manny had such a huge impact on this league. His presence fueled a league that has been rocked recently by some scandals. At the same time, former Brewer Nelson Figueroa has arrived on McClung's team.
Published June 6, 2013
Today's game has been rained out. I have noticed that it rains almost every six hours here. It's crazy the amount of rain. I have been told that it is normal, so I have been going with the flow. Since I got here, I have watched two games, two off days and three rain outs.
Published June 3, 2013
My first day in Taiwan was a long one. My 7 p.m. flight from Tampa to L.A.( five-hour flight with a three-hour layover) to Taipei, Taiwan (14 hours) to Kaohsiung, Taiwan (1 hour) then the 50-minute drive to Tainan ... this seemed to take forever.
Published May 22, 2013
Hello again, OnMilwaukee.com readers! Well, I am back posting a little insight to my personal baseball journey. It's been a very long one, from being drafted by the Devil Rays (yes they were the Devil Rays back then) in 1999 to stops in Milwaukee, Miami, Texas back to Milwaukee and even a stop in the Cubs organization.
Published Oct. 16, 2011
It was a great run this season. However, in the post-season, the pitching just did not show up. All year, winning all those games came down to a lack of big games from the Brewers' starting pitchers. You can not blame it on the hitting; the defense was not great, but it came down to pitching.
Published Oct. 14, 2011
After a hearbreaking loss in Game 3, former Brewers reliever Seth McClung returns for a look at the Brewers' 4-2 victory in Game 4 of the NLCS.
Published Oct. 10, 2011
It was not a great night for the Brew Crew. Not much more you can say. The Brewers must be saving up for Carpenter on Wednesday. No aspect other than Ryan Braun still hitting along with Rickie and Prince hitting a home runs were positive for the Crew.