The End Beautiful Friend

Hello again out there in cyberspace.  You will hopefully excuse the extended period since my last post as there has been a lot going on of late.  As many of you may know, my teammates and I with the Akron Aeros capped an impressive romp through the Eastern League with a 10-6 win over the Connecticut Defenders last Saturday to claim the Eastern League Championship.  As a team we were both above .500 and in first place for every single day of the season, won our division, finished with the league’s best record, went 6-1 in the playoffs, won the league championship and nearly swept the league’s individual awards (MVP Carlos Santana, Pitcher of the Year Jeanmar Gomez, Manager of the Year Mike Sarbaugh).  To call it a dominant year from a team perspective would not be an exaggeration.  From a personal perspective I had a good season as well, going on a hot streak after the all-star break to just duck under a 3.00 ERA on the season and picking up my first win of the season in my last appearance.  However, the nature of being a minor league baseball player is such that it is hard to be entirely satisfied with even a season as excellent as this one.  Ultimately the goal of every minor league player is to continue to advance levels and eventually play in the major leagues.  Winning a championship is something that most players never get to experience and I am happy to have experienced it and performed well in contributing to it, but I did not earn a promotion and thus cannot call myself entirely satisfied with the season.  Maybe it isn’t the warm and happy team-oriented sentiment you would expect to hear less than a week after winning my first championship ring, but the fact of the matter is that in a business where players have no control over their contract and no recourse for mitigation of real or perceived grievances with the organizations that hold their contracts there is an inevitable focus on individual performance.  So job well done, handshakes all around, but with the knowledge that there is a larger goal yet to be accomplished.


Now comes the much deserved portion of the season: the offseason.  Since the beginning of my professional career I have not had a full offseason to rest and prepare myself for the upcoming season.  I have done two instructional leagues, the Hawaii Winter League and the Arizona Fall League so I will definitely welcome the opportunity to not play and be able to focus on lifting, running and just being away from baseball to mentally decompress.  The time away from throwing will be the most welcome part of the offseason as I’ve only had about six weeks off of throwing since I started getting ready for the 2007 season in December 2006 and while my arm is none the worse for the wear I feel some much deserved rest is in order.  Thank you to everyone who logged on and followed this blog during the course of the season and one last time I’ll send you off with a poem for your enjoyment.  Take care.


A Beginning & An End

by Dale Clark


Time is an infant

a new beginning, a new end

What came before is relived


We feel with our eyes,

The pristine magic of earth


Flat wooded shores, white oaks

Redwoods are sages,

They whisper of the past


We see the native ones,

as they lived in harmony


The great plains of grass

The desert of painted dunes

A myriad of purple hues


Herds of buffalo roam,

no man can own them


The nomads of the plains

the cliff dwellers of the desert

farm with ancient secrets


We come on great ships

sailing salty seas


White greed captures and owns,

it destroys all and itself as well

Cities covered with darkness


A beginning will be born to end

A civilized world shall remain savage.


  1. TheSmiler

    Congratulations on your victory. I do hope this goes along way to helping you get promoted next year … at least in the karma sense of things. I also hope you will continue to illuminate us with your offseason activities, book recommendations and poetry selections. Yours is the type of blog I’d envision myself keeping if I could throw something better than a crooked 45 mph fastball.

    I hope you don’t mind but I linked Wagner’s Compositions to my favorite blogger link over on my site.

    Enjoy the offseason Neil!

    ~ Will the Smiler

  2. bostonredsoxgirl46

    I really admire your diligent spirit. You are never satiated, and that is exactly the kind of thing that will advance you to the next levels. Congratulations on a stellar year– you won’t go unnoticed. Good luck with everything πŸ™‚

  3. Elizabeth D

    I really admire your diligent spirit. You are never satiated, and that is exactly the kind of thing that will advance you to the next levels. Congratulations on a stellar year– you won’t go unnoticed. Good luck with everything πŸ™‚

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