Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sydney Blue Sox Season Launch

Last year our season launch was held at NSW Parliament House, but I think this year we performed one better by having our launch at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was a pretty awesome experience for most of the Aussie players on the team as we were able to have full use of the change rooms and we were able to spend time in the Members Pavillion. This is pretty exclusive as there is a 20 year waiting list to become a member at the Sydney Cricket Ground so not many people get to experience what we got to yesterday.

Board members of the ABL, ABF, Sydney Blue Sox and Baseball NSW were present as well as the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and Arizona Diamondbacks first basemen Paul Goldschmidt who was undoubtedly the guest of honour. Had to get a photo with him because how often will you meet a guy who wins the Hank Aaron Award, a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award in one season? He may even add the National League MVP to his list of honours this year. I had to take a photo with him to remember the occasion!

We were able to play catch with a few little leaguers before taking a lot of photos on the field. It was a perfect day for the launch as the skies were blue and everything went according to plan. Standing on the Sydney Cricket Ground in a baseball uniform only gets me even more excited for the MLB Opening Series in Sydney next year.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Its just around the corner!

We're five weeks into Spring Training which means its almost time to get our season underway! Next week the Blue Sox fly to Perth to take on the Perth Heat who are undoubtedly the most successful club in the Australian Baseball Leagues short history. But before the regular season gets underway we have some exhibition games to take care of this weekend

On Friday night the Blue Sox will host the Sydney State League All-Stars and a team made up of ABL import players. The Sydney State League is the amateur league that runs in Sydney during the summer. Many players in the league have played professional baseball and college baseball so the standard is very high. Many of these State League players may be called up to the Blue Sox at some point in the year if there are vacancies on the roster due to injuries so this game is a good chance to show the Blue Sox management what they are capable of. For me it will be a bit of fun as I may get the chance to pitch against my Ryde Hawks teammates.

On Saturday and Sunday we will play against all the imports who have flown in to play in the ABL. Imports from all six teams in the league will come together to make the ABL Imports team. This is a great way for the league to showcase the Minor League prospects in front of a local crowd. So far we have six imports at the Blue Sox with one still to arrive. We have Joey DeMichele and Jacob May who are both 3rd round picks from the 2012 and 2013 drafts respectively who are in the Chicago White Sox organisation. Keon Broxton was also a 3rd round pick but for the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2009 who spent last season playing in Double A. After having Tyler Collins and James Robbins from the Detroit Tigers in the last two seasons, the Blue Sox have continued that relationship with the Tigers organisation by including Dean Green on the roster who just spent last season playing with the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Florida State League. Rounding out our imports who have arrived are Connor Whalen who played in an Independent League in 2013 after spending a few years in affiliated baseball with the Brewers. Last but not least is Brendan Pittsley who came to Sydney to play for the Ryde Hawks but was given a chance to try out for the Blue Sox after impressing the coaching staff was offered a spot on the roster.

Even though they are just exhibition games I feel like it is a great tune up before the season gets underway. Many other teams in the league won't get to play games against quality opposition like we get to so it is a great advantage for us to play high intensity games like this right before the season begins. Only one week to go now and you better believe I'm counting down the days!

Friday, 20 September 2013

And here we go again

Welcome to another (hopefully full) season of The Clubhouse Chronicles! I got a little slack with it last season only posting on the first half of the season but this year I'll make sure you get to enjoy the fun ride in the fourth season of the Australian Baseball League!

This week we started spring training with the Sydney Blue Sox. Considering our 2012/13 season ended in early February it has been a long time since I've been able to wear my Blue Sox gear. After what I thought was a very successful season under manager Jason Pospishil where he dramatically changed the culture of the ball club, I'm looking forward to playing under him again. Graham Cassell is also returning as the third base coach which he has manned ever since I was a teenager watching games back in the Claxton Shield days. There are a few new additions to the staff which includes Nathan Wright, Darian Lindsay and Lionel Harris. Nathan Wright, more commonly known as 'Lefty' to everyone in Sydney will be the new first base coach and will workout with the catchers and Darian Lindsay will take over as the clubs pitching coach this season. He will take over the job from Chris Oxspring who after a successful season pitching in Korea is planning on taking time off this summer. Last but certainly not least is Lionel Harris. Lionel is a an Australian Baseball Hall of Famer and his presence around the ball club will be surely something that will be valuable for everyone. He will take over as the executive officer from Terry O'Toole who unfortunately had to step down after spending the first three seasons with the club.

This year about 42 players have been invited to spring training and before the season this will need to be cut down to 35. There are a lot of open spots on the team which is sure to lead to a very competitive few weeks. There has been talk about some imports coming in to help the team but unfortunately it doesn't seem like we will be seeing last years boys returning.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to participate in any Blue Sox spring training workouts so far because I am preparing for the Under 23 National Championships with the New South Wales team. We head off to Adelaide next week to take on some of the best young talent in the country. Being on the Under 23 team is a little different for me. Since I've been a part of the Blue Sox I've been one of the youngest pitchers on the roster, whereas on the under 23's team I am one of the senior pitchers. Its a role I've enjoyed so far trying to help some of the younger pitchers on the team as much as I can.

So hope you look forward to following me this season. I can't wait for it to get started!