Baseclogging With Jeremy Barfield: Blinders

Working for a Mitchell-like breakthrough in '12.

This offseason hasn't been particularly encouraging for Oakland A's prospects who make their home in the outfield, as the team has acquired numerous outfielders via trades and free agent signings. Jeremy Barfield writes about how he is preparing for the season knowing that the A's outfield situation is suddenly quite crowded.

In horse racing trainers put leather or plastic cups called blinders on the outside of the horse's eyes. The trainers do this to keep the horse focused on the race ahead instead of being distracted by the crowd.

This is the perfect analogy for the situation I have found myself in. With all the recent trades and free agent acquisitions the team has made this offseason the outfield is now very crowded. I could easily be distracted by this, but I have to keep my blinders on. Regardless of the personnel change I have to stay focused on my ultimate goal of playing Major League Baseball. That goal won't change until I reach it, no matter what.

This offseason has really been an eye opener for me. I saw my good friend and teammate Jermaine Mitchell's hard work finally pay off with his addition to the 40-man roster. After playing with him the last two seasons I saw him stay positive throughout trying times and he turned himself into one of the most exciting baseball players I've ever seen.

The saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. Very true but at some point Rome was completed and it became the most powerful civilization in the world. I'm heading into this season with high expectations. I feel like I have underachieved up to this point. So much in fact that many people have just come to expect that type of mediocrity from me on the field. I would much rather be an underdog than overrated and never live up to the hype. It's time to put myself on the map.

What it all boils down to is that when it comes to this game of baseball we all love, it's all about production. Numbers don't lie. No matter how much the landscape changes around me, all I can control is my attitude, work ethic, and how I perform. If I keep all of these on a high level and stay positive, who knows, I may just see it all pay off like Jermaine.

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