You Can't Help But Root For this Guy

[quote=“kyleb”]Anyone who chases a professional baseball career at 27 years old is a damn fool.

I’m betting Dan knows this and couldn’t care less :wink:

Go get 'em, Dan. Let me know if you want to exchange ideas on post-rehab throwing.[/quote]

I don’t even want to know what you think I am…

Dan,
Excellent web site about you and your enterprise. I think your approach is very good – using your motivation orbiting your desire to get back into pro ball as a foundation for motivating others through your web site and the coaching services that your company provides. Excellent motivators. The testimonials on your web site offer a good reason to enlist your services.

Best wishes with your career and your business.

Coach B.

amazinmets73,
kyleb is one of the most professional “hands on” that I’ve come across in a long time. His posting was neither impulsive nor was laced with mindless remarks. Truth and fact, combined with well wishes in Dan’s gutsy endeavor is all I read in Kleb’s remarks. Pull up some of his posts - insight and depth on things. They’re worth reading.

Web sites have a certain limitation to them, words can sometime come across different, sentences can spur on thought different than intended and so on. No one here really tries to insult or exchange in spiteful banter, although it may not seem that way with first impressions.

Coach B.

This is not my first time speaking to KyleB. I know he didn’t mean anything derogatory in his post to Dan. I was referring a personal dream of mine, which is even more of a long shot.

Sorry about that! I got lost there…

Coach B.

If you have time to listen to Jim Morris…of “The Rookie”… as in oldest Rookie, there’s some good to be taken from it. Here’s a guy who had essentially blown out his elbow and his shoulder, had given up completely on making it to the major leagues and because of a promise, he does finally get there with a 98 mph fastball. Briefly but he made it. It was costly…lost time with his kids…lost his marriage but he made it. Check it out. I suggest you click on the last video - Conversations with Jeff Weeks.

http://jimtherookiemorris.com/videos/

Coach B - I accept your apology.

And yes, I think of Jim Morris, and I think of Steve DelaBar, and I won’t let myself fall below their ranks for lack of effort.

And anyway, a big reason for what I’m doing is my athletes back in Bloomington. I’m going to have over 100 young ballplayers in my programs this year, and they relate to me. I’m not even 6-foot. I threw about 80 as a college freshman. But, I’m strong, I’m in shape, I do things the right way. All of my kids see me, and while they know they’ll never be a Kyle Farnsworth type body, they could do what I do. I throw as hard as most of the guys on TV, even though I’m smallish.

And now their invincible trainer is hurt. If even one of my athletes has an epiphany and steps up his work ethic, seeing that even I can blow out my arm, then it’s worth it. Undoubtedly, by the numbers, some of my kids will be on the operating table during their careers. And when they are, they’ll have seen what it’s like to grind it out, to keep going, and to not give up - they’ll watch my arm heal week to week. Maybe one keeps going simply because he saw that I kept going. And that’d be worth it. If I wasn’t such a late bloomer, maybe I’d have been somewhere by now. But maybe someone else blooms earlier because they watched me come back.

An affiliated contract would be the icing to that cake. Take care guys.

Dan,
What is your target date for entering the pro’s?

Coach B.

I’ll pitch August/Sept of 2013 in the Atlantic League if I’m able, to get a tune-up.

I will reach my goal of throwing Upper-90s by March of 2014 and showcasing myself in Florida with Bob Gildea’s Raiders. From there, we will see.

Dan,

There’s interest on this web site of not only what’s it like in the Affiliates, but the Indy’s
as well. Could you please elaborate for us how, going late into the 2013 season and holding
down a roster spot, with your circumstances, how this would work.

April of 2013 is the normal formation an signing time with the Atlantic League clubs - Bluefish,
Sharks, Lancaster Patriots, Blue Crabs Ducks, Skeeters and revolution. There can be extensions
under certain conditions, but for all practical purposes, April signings s gives each GM and staff an idea of the tools to work with.

Question 1#
If a player is targeted for a roster spot that late in the season, how does he go about that.

Question 2#
How does a GM plan for a roster knowing that a player is “if-ee” , health wise. That is,
a player may or may not be ready for that target date. Being that late in the season,
The “dependable” and stamina guys have a lot on their plate, so, how would these
players feel about a man taking a roster spot that late in the season?

Your insight to Independent Professional ball would be very helpful.

Coach B.

I’m in the clubhouse - game starts in 45 minutes - but I can reply briefly.

Independent baseball is terrifying. It is unlike Affiliated baseball (from what I’ve heard) in almost all ways, the most notable being development of players - there isn’t any.

Yes - players get signed and teams put their rosters together all season, culminating after MLB spring training is over. Guys released from ML camps get put onto Indy teams if they want to keep playing, and they fill out the last spots on the roster, often pushing lesser guys out. But, from there everyone basically has 3 weeks.

Some players who have tremendous track records get 6 weeks to play to their potential and put up good numbers. But, for the most part, it’s 4 weeks for starters and 2 weeks for role guys. By that, I mean if you don’t put up average or above-average numbers, you get released. And upon releasing a player, the team needs to sign a new one to replace him.

I got pushed off the Fargo roster because of three starting pitchers with AA experience. They got released in April and I ended up being the lowest on the totum pole. I got released, got signed the next day by Evansville, and played the season here. 2 of the AA guys who pushed me out got released within the first month by Fargo, one of them after only one start. That guy got picked up by another team and was released 2 weeks later. That’s how the Indy game goes - pitch poorly, and you’re gone. The attitude is: “Since we’re only in it to win, not push you to the Majors, we’ll find someone else and see how they work if you can’t do the job.”

So, Managers and GMs (managers actually do 90% of the roster-building) are constantly checking the transaction wires, taking calls from agents, college coaches, anyone representing players, and checking statistics of guys they hear about, to try to figure out who they should sign to replace a player they released. My manager here in Eville said his manager friends in the Atlantic league hound him every August for pitching, because guys get hurt, haven’t pitched well, get picked up by affiliates, etc. They are always looking for good players, and so networking - having coaches, agents and other players who can vouch for your skills to a manager in need, is how guys catch on. Tryouts are more than futile. It’s all who you’ve impressed, and if those people you’ve impressed have clout with managers.

My managers from all three seasons have loved me - I’m a good clubhouse guy. They’ll call and call until I’m on someone’s roster. And since they’ve coaching in pro ball, those they call will listen.

Other things to think about:

In 2010, I made it from spring training to the end of the season with the same team. It’s actually quite a feat. On the last day, only 7 of us were left from the opening day roster of 24.

Here’s how I got into Indy Ball:

Collegiate Summer Coach, John, played for Fargo for parts of three seasons, and Indy ball for 8. He coached me in '06,'07,'08.

John called Josh, a guy he played with in Lincoln who got the hitting coach job in Normal for 2010. He said I could play. Josh Told Hal Lanier, the manager, that he heard I was good.

I threw a bullpen for Rick Forney in Baltimore, coach of the Winnipeg Goldeyes. I sat 90-92. Rick played under Hal Lanier many years prior. Rick called Hal, told him I could pitch.

Hal called me and offered me a spring training contract based on the two recommendations. I was the only guy in camp they hadn’t seen play; I got only three innings in camp and didn’t give up a hit and sat Low-90s with two pitches for strikes. I earned a #2 starting role.

After 2010, Brooks Carey, Normal’s pitching coach, traded me to his good friend Tim Johnson. Brooks spoke highly of me, Normal needed an outfielder and Tim needed pitching for Lake County. I threw well for Tim.

Lake County Broke up. John, my old summer coach, called Fargo for me, since I now had 1.5 years of experience and good numbers. Fargo was down a starter. They signed me immediately.

I pitched poorly in Fargo, and got released 2 days before spring training, as described in the previous post. Brooks Carey got fired from Normal and took the pitching job at Evansville. Andy, the Evansville manager, is very close friends with the Fargo manager, Doug. Brooks and Andy offered me a spot the day I was released. And here I am.

Networking.

The description that Dan gave here of “life”, if you can call it that, in Independent Professional Baseball is an excellent example of what a man can look forward to.

In fact, Affiliated ball (MLB) isn’t much better – just better accommodations and $$, depending on what level and system you’re in.
Also, pay particular attention to the mindset of Dan’s drive and determination. After all he’s been through, medical issues and all – he still pushes himself.

I’ve witnessed more men than I can count, go close to if not mirror Dan’s situation in Independent Professional Baseball. Their tough minded with grit that has no equal – they have to be. They have to cultivate this grit and determination because it’s what’s been groomed in them at a very early age. Some, perhaps as early as young as fourteen or earlier. This “stand firm” on purpose and direction is a reflex that’ll stay with a man for the rest of his life – in vary degrees for all concerned, but nevertheless a personality that never goes away.

Earlier I addressed concerns to Dan about his medical condition and other relative things like age, the potentials waiting for him with quality of life later on, etc. I itemized what I’ve seen over the years as a result of a course of action, that he’s about to take. Dan took that as insults, even after JD tried to widen the scope of my purpose and my intent. This reaction and interpretation on Dan’s part is natural and understandable. I’ve had men storm out of my presence like this before telling me “I’ll show you,” …” you know nothing about me,”… etc.

And their right, absolutely right. Hence, I apologized to Dan for having the concerns for his well-being based on others that I’ve witnessed going down the same road. I don’t know Dan, at all, personally or otherwise.

Take to heart anyone who dives in with both feet into pro ball, any pro ball. (Semi-pro leagues are a lot different in this regard.) You will soon develop the thick skin, single minded purpose of “ I must do this, regardless.” And you’ll need that single minded purpose to survive, just like Dan is about to do.

To Dan’s credit, he’s up front of his time and purpose. So many come out of pro ball, knowing their making their way back, set up shop with coaching and training youngsters only to leave them in a lurch when their gone. Even worse, some of these men use their pro experience and their “sales pitch of determination” to get back in pro ball like a marque at the movies – what’s playing now, with no real intention of getting back into pro ball. These guys are good at selling an idea, not a purpose.
Like I mention, Dan isn’t doing any of that. When he’s in pro ball he’ll make arrangements based on his honesty that’s up front.

Great response to my question and details of what to expect in Independent Baseball.

Coach B.

Just ask the guys who used to play for the now defunct London Rippers of the Frontier League. Anybody get a paycheck yet? :goteam:

http://m.lfpress.com/sports/baseball/2012/07/24/20023916.html

I haven’t hears much lately but I know 10 of the guys stayed on to be a part of the Road Warriors team and out of the other 15 I think only 5 have caught on somewhere else leaving 10 without work.

Just drives home the point its a business and not a game anymore.