By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way back to Toronto after a fantastic week in Florida. While I got away from Toronto’s snow and cold, this was, in no way, a vacation. I’m calling it my baseball “workation” because I’ve been getting up far earlier than I normally would (as an under-employed musician) to interview players, write articles, watch baseball games (for work purposes of course) and other fun stuff.
It’s been a great week and I feel it’s been really productive. Thanks to the Canadian Baseball Network, I was able to get a press credential and I’ve been doing a lot of work for them, particularly with the podcasts which should be coming up soon.
Highlights from this trip included:
- Meeting Carlos Delgado – A total surprise, but I guess when you’re doing interviews at the Jays’ minor league complex at 8am, good things happen.
- Seeing some of the young Blue Jays that I hadn’t been able to last year – It’s great to put some faces to the names that I’ve been reading and writing about since last year and it enabled me to fill in some of the gaps for the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook
- Seeing some of the players that I’ve gotten to know a little bit since my scouting trips last year.
- Meeting Ben Wagner, the voice of the Buffalo Bisons
- Watching prospects with Chris King
- Meeting some of the great people in the Blue Jays’ front office like Mal Romanin and Mike Nielsen
- Chatting with Tomo Ohka – It’s great to talk to a player who’s as old as I am!
- Chatting with Frank Viola III and Yusuf Carter – Keep an eye out for the Canadian Baseball Network podcast with this interview: I think it was one of the most fun ones that I did here
As many of you many know, I was working for several different websites while I was down here. There was the podcast work for the Canadian Baseball Network, the scouting and writing for Blue Jays from Away, mainly focused on the Jays’ minor league teams but I was also checking out players for Grading on the Curve, where I’m a co-editor. The pace was pretty hectic, writing as many as three articles a day, editing audio and going through my copious game notes. It’s really tough to scout both teams playing in a game at the same time, especially when there’s action going on at another diamond that you want to see too. Yes, this was my curse. That, and (mostly) excellent weather and the early sunburn.
I’ll have several wrap-up type articles to talk about different things that I saw while I was down here and I’m also excited to get home because our book is coming out in less than two weeks! We’re just waiting for our distributor, Smashwords, to get the book to the bigger retailers like Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBooks and others and we’ll be able to get you pre-order information. You can also wait until the release date (March 31) and order it directly from Smashwords in whichever format you’d like.
I’ve been busy updating the book to include profiles of Mike McDade, who just recently rejoined the organization after signing a minor league free agent contract this week, and Carlos Pina, a pitcher who I had thought wasn’t playing anymore because he hadn’t played games with a team since 2009. I saw him pitch and the fact that he’s here and throwing means that he gets a profile in the book!
So that’s the news, folks. By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to the airport in Tampa and then, I fly to Buffalo and from there, head back across the border to Toronto. It’s been a great trip but it’s time to come back home.
Don’t forget about The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, available March 31 as an ebook at Smashwords.com, Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers for $7.99. Pre-order information coming soon! You can also preview the book at our Smashwords.com page!
If you’re in Toronto, you can also join us for the Book Launch of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook! Find all the details at our Facebook event page! You can also “like” us on Facebook!