Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Correspondents: Justin Moriarty

This morning the Cardinal baseball team wrapped up week one of Winter practice. The first week is always tricky because other things need to be taken care of to get ready for the season such as getting equipment and lockers but I feel that we still had a relatively successful week. One thing I have noticed over the past few days working alongside my teammates is how we push each other harder during conditioning and drill work and compete against one another throughout practice. This only benefits the team and the individual when teammates are helping each other in a positive manner to get better.

This next segment is meant for Assistant Coach Jared Bogan: There are only 28 days and 19 practices left to improve until our first scheduled game in St. Louis, Missouri. Coach Bogan would be ecstatic knowing about the precise number of days and practices I have mentioned because that's the type of guy he is. Before we all know it, 5am's will be over with and the season will be in full swing and that's when the fun begins. Goals that we aspire to obtain will not come without hard work and we cannot wait to reap the benefits.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Correspondents: Dan Cladis

When discussing with my old coach about waking up at 4 in the morning every day he simply responded to me with the quote "If people were meant to pop out of bed this early, we would all sleep in toasters." This is a great quote however he went on to say that by proving to yourself and your teammates that you can focus and be mentally tough enough to succeed at 5 in the morning and 10 at night you will be able to do so when it becomes crunch time a month and a half down the road when the season starts to roll around.

This is just day one of many to come. Every day we try hard and give it everything we have we become more successful and excellent as an individual and as a team. I was reading a book by Mike Krzyzewski called Beyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for Success and in the book he describes this by saying that "You have to run your own race individually while we are running our collective race as a team." This means that from the first guy to the last guy you need to bust your butt day in and day out too succeed as an individual which in return will enhance the success of the team as a whole. Let's get the job done this year baby.

The Correspondents

We have a lot of unique individuals on this team who are involved in a lot of interesting things on campus. This will be the basis for a new feature that will debut (actually, it already has) over the next few weeks and throughout the season. The first post was from junior/outfielder Justin Moriarty. There will be thoughts and inputs from players up and down the roster...stay tuned!

Other Notes
Senior/pitcher Chris Toy is, and has been featured on the North Central website for keeping his own blog. Chris is the definition of involved on campus and will be participating in "The Dating Game" during an upcoming home basketball game. Chris recently returned from Taiwan and has been posting since the start of the school year.

I was recently asked a few questions by Summer Ball which posted the interview on Monday. Most of the questions revolved around the Stark County Terriers but North Central received some pub as well. Read the interview.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Correspondents: Justin Moriarty

The sound of the alarm rang at a very early 4am today. Like all the guys I rolled out of bed rubbing my eyes to wake myself up and wishing I had another 4 hours of sleep. However, the first day of baseball practice always has brought me excitement. This early Monday morning was the start to my Junior year of baseball here at North Central. The 14-23 season a year ago is nothing but a distant memory in my head. The beauty of beginning something new is that we have a clean slate to start from. This year we have a core of players who are a year wiser and push each other to work hard everyday.

The time to be a successful club is NOW and that has never been more prevalent than this year. John Wooden defined success as "Coming from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." I truly believe that if all the guys know they did their best to become the best they are capable of becoming then this season will be a memorable one. I can't wait to lace up the spikes with my teammates and get after it.

Camp Opens

It's been an hour and a half since the first workout of the spring season ended so I've had some time to digest everything. It seems a rare occasion when the practice on the floor runs as smooth as it does in your mind...and today was no exception. We always are very ambitious with what we want to accomplish in each practice but it never seems to work out quite right. God bless you if it does! Maybe you can send some wisdom this way.

Despite the fact everything didn't go exactly according to plan, there was a lot to build from after day one. We have a lot of experienced players returning that are always key, especially when you're a new coach in a program. One thing for sure is that it's great to be talking baseball again!

Special thanks to baseball ops intern David Johnson for taking the pics throughout the practice.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winter Camp, Session III

Last night marked the halfway point of our winter camps. We have seen over 50 kids participate in the first three sessions. We couldn't have asked for a better turnout. Despite the success of the camps thus far, you definitely develop a better appreciation for teachers and their daily routine after working with this many kids at once!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Puppy Love

Friday is finally here. I won’t use any clich├ęs but you all know the feeling. It has been a busy week in the Cardinal baseball office starting with the visitation day on Monday, finishing with the third installment of our winter camp tonight and a whole bunch more in between. With that said, we are all ready to go for Monday! Because of an unusual combination of excitement and sheer boredom, I have come up with a dozen or so practice plans for Monday’s first workout.

During the week, my summer team (Stark County Terriers) received some attention on a summer baseball blog fittingly called Summer Ball (Thanks Hoagie!). I had never heard of this sight until this week but it has some good info on college baseball. Since I started “The Cave” last year, I have found there to be a lot more publicity for college baseball. For a list of my top blogs, check out “The Cave Blog List” below.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Time to Countdown

In about 10 hours, it will be only a week until the start of winter practice. It may as well be four weeks because I get the feeling that this will be the longest week of the year. Classes have been back in session for two weeks now and that has felt like an eternity. There are, however, many things that need to be done before we open camp next Monday.

We will move into the locker room at the end of the week which is a small victory in this painful waiting game. It will be enough to keep me occupied for this final week.

Friday, January 9, 2009

San Diego Convention Photo Gallery

It's about that time where we can start thinking about baseball. Major League Baseball launched the MLB Network on New Year's Day, our players have been working out, practice starts in a little over two weeks, and Coach Bogan and I just returned from the annual coaches convention. This year it was in San Diego. It took a few days, but the city was as advertised. It was absolutely gorgeous!

With the exception of some guest speakers, the convention itself was just like the past few that I've attended. But San Diego is a great city! PetCo Park has launched up my scale of top ballparks. Although we obviously didn't get to see a game, I highly recommend seeing a game here...and you just can't beat palm trees at a baseball field! It's only 17 days until the start of spring training!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Winter Camp, Session II

This post was a long time coming but our second session was a bigger success than the first...and we hope this trend continues for the four remaining dates. The highlight of the night, by far, happened during the home run derby contest. Six-year old Ethan Arnold from Naperville, shocked everyone at camp by taking freshman/pitcher Mike McGrath deep on his second pitch. Let's just hope this isn't a regular occurrence for Mike. Check out the video footage of the blast!