Taylor is trying to do the little things.
In this week's edition of Taylor's Tales, Michael Taylor touches on the challenges of playing a day game in a season schedule built around night games. He also answers fan questions and more inside...
Well we are definitely in the swing of things as each player starts to creep up on his first 100 at-bats. Now is a great time to see where you are and make some early season adjustments if need be.
As a team we are playing just under .500, at 12 and 14, but things are looking up as the past two games we have swung the bats better and our defense, although still shaky, is improving. We have all been working really hard to proverbially “right” the ship and we are moving in the right direction all the while keeping a firm grasp on the idea that we are only 26 games into a season that lasts for 144. Personally, it’s been a bit of a struggle early on but while I struggle I am trying to stay focused on being productive in any way I can. Move a guy over, RBI groundout, make a good play on defense, really anything that helps us win and keeps my mind focused on positives.
I wanted to talk a little about the dreaded day game as it’s fresh on my mind. One of the toughest parts about baseball is the 11:35 A.M. start or earlier. Talk about a routine killer, and I know most people in the everyday working world would like to say, “yeah we know” but what makes those morning starts so difficult is that they are randomly tossed into our schedule sometimes without rhyme or reason. Also, to play this game everyday it is crucial that you get into a routine.
Typically our day starts at noon and doesn’t end until 1 or 2 in the morning. If you take into consideration a 7:05 P.M. start, three-hour plus game and then post-game treatment, stretching, sometimes workouts, food and then ultimately the unwind, you rarely fall asleep before 1 am. So that next morning, an 8 am wake up call with the expectation of squaring up a round ball with a round bat that’s moving, sliding and sinking can be tough.
Nonetheless it is important that you do not just give those at-bats away, so every guy has his own method of getting himself going. I actually like to lift some light weights to get myself going. I credit that idea to Miguel Cairo, who last year would run into the weight room, ride the bike, do some lunges, some curls and a few push-ups to get his body energized. But every guy is a little different.
Now I will answer a few questions:
1) What's one of the biggest misconceptions the general public has about major league prospects like yourself? David C. (Dallas, TX)
Well I do not know all of the conceptions out there, but I would say a misconception about most minor league players is that the lifestyle is easy. It involves a ton of travel, we make very little to speak of in the way of salary and there is a business side to this game that every player has to learn to deal with and play within. All things aren’t necessarily apparent to the general public at first glance.
2) I remember when the A's played their opening regular season series at Cashman Field back in the '90s when they were building Mt. Davis. Do you think big league baseball would work in Las Vegas? Kyle P. San Francisco
Honestly, Kyle, no, I do not think baseball could work in Vegas. First off, there probably wouldn’t be a very consistent fan base there. Second, without tradition, it is difficult to overcome all of the other extra curricular activities in Vegas. Lastly, and most importantly, the diehard baseball fans in Vegas already support a large market team, the Dodgers, and Major League baseball would only expand if the market is not only profitable to that location but also that club can not take any substantive share from an already thriving existing market.
Have questions for Michael? E-mail them, along with your name and last initial, to firstname.lastname@example.org