All the guests are gone, the turkey is now exclusively sandwich meat and the Thanksgiving holiday has past. But baseball's "hot stove" is heating up.
The question of where are Crawford, Lee and Jeter calling home next year is up in the air. I don't have those answers -- but I wouldn't mind playing with Crawford again or picking Lee's great pitching brain or looking to Jeter for leadership, on my future team.
So with the busy holiday now gone, I found the time to answer some of the questions I've received since I started this blog. (It's cool to see what the people want to know about. It's also easier!)
First things first, though. I thought Kanye West was the most self-indulged delusional person on the planet but I was wrong. Wide-out Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills who blamed God for his dropped pass that would have won that game last Sunday takes the cake. Even though he has just let God off the hook via Twitter, to tweet your frustration in that matter is a jaw-dropper, to say the least.
Now, on to the answers!
Stacey, from Madison, asked four great questions:
"Who has been the most influential coach of your career?"
Ken Perry, my 15 and under basketball coach, would have to be the most influential coach of my life. He was able to push me to a much higher level of play than I ever thought I could achieve. Our team that year (The Charlotte Royals AAU) finished 10th in the nation and we had not one player above 6 foot 4 inches tall.
"Are you still doing P90X?"
No, it's a great workout but I am trying to do more baseball specific training.
"What sort of workouts/training do you do to get ready for spring training?"
I stand in my front yard and shift my weight from left to right like we do all day long while we have to shag balls during BP. Kidding; that's something pitchers say they need to add to their pre-season routine. Oddly, most pitchers get very stiff shagging balls during spring training, that is where I feel a lot of the soreness comes from. Back to your question, though, there is a lot of throwing and shoulder strengthening and cardio to get yourself ready to go. Of course a little more abdominal work wouldn't hurt.
"How do you pick roommates when traveling on the road?"
In the Major Leagues, you don't have roommates. My roommates are typically my better half, Stephanie and our 15-month-old Madison.
Jim from Waukesha asks, "What specifically goes into making a comeback into baseball? Or any other sport, for that matter. How do you deal with rust? How do you get in front of the right people?"
Your agent has a lot to do with that. You have to have an agent you trust to get your name out there to the correct people. Then, if necessary, you may have to throw in front of some scouts to show that your arm is ready to perform. The rust is best dealt with by throwing to live hitters as much as possible and staying on top of your workouts.
Allison from Milwaukee asks, "How is coaching girls basketball different than coaching boys basketball?"
A lot. Coaching girls and boys is as different as talking to boys and girls. Boys typically handle the physical demands better as for girls tend to listen better. Ether way I try to teach basketball and not treat them differently. The game itself is the same no matter who plays it: young, old, boy or girl.
Aaron from Whitefish Bay asks, "Did you watch the second season of 'Eastbound and Down?' Can you relate to Kenny Powers on any level?"
Wow, Kenny Powers, umm, I guess we all could relate a bit with Kenny Powers. I mean would I like to ride a donkey to the mound and then flip off the other team? Yes! Who wouldn't? But then again, we can't act that way. His life is a metaphor for all the things you can do wrong as someone who has talent and has thrown it away all the while blaming everyone else for his failures.
Mike from Racine asks, "You have a connection with new Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron, right?"
Yeah, I have known Jerry for a while now. He is a great guy and I would love to play on a team that he was a part of.
Kelly from Milwaukee asks, "Would you ever consider pitching in Japan?"
Yeah, I would consider it. Baseball is a game but it is also my job and how I provide for my family. If I can't get a good shot at playing in the Majors again I would have to think more about that option. I have got a lot of interest from overseas.
Mark from Wauwatosa asks, "What, if anything, do you miss about Milwaukee?"
I miss a lot about Milwaukee. The bond that we all had in the clubhouse in 2008 would have to be what I miss most. The fans were always great but the way the team stuck together in 2008 was something that doesn't happen everyday. Clubhouse chemistry is something that is so important that once it's disrupted its hard to get back.
Justin from Milwaukee asks, "Do you keep in touch with any of your former Brewers teammates? Are you excited about the new coaching staff?"
I keep in touch with a few of them, Corey Hart is in my wedding. I don't talk too much baseball with them, though. The season is so hard and long a lot of the time guys hate talking about it. I, for one, am excited about the new staff.
Bill from Madison asks, "What's your prized baseball possession?"
I have a signed Prince Fielder personalized bat right next to a signed Albert Pujols jersey. I got the jersey on Sept. 25, 2007, and the bat I got Sept. 27, 2007. I keep them together. Those are important to me, but the 2008 book that I got with pictures from that season would have to be up there, as well.
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