The end of the best year of my life

Hey Everyone,

This will be my last blog here in the AFL. We are in the championship game and then its all over. I look back at the year that I had in 2008 and still cant believe how successful it was for me. I never would have imagined that I would have played AA ball for the whole year. It was my goal to just get to AA by the end of the year. On top of that to go to the Future’s game and play at Yankee Stadium before no one could ever do that again is the greatest honor I have ever been given.
I am already starting to get excited for the 2009 season and my new goal is to get the big leagues by the end of the season and finally achieve my life goal. So many people have helped me on the way but I want to thank a few. Firstly my amazing parents who put up with a lot of crap when I was younger but were able to see through that and they believed in me and my dreams. Honestly even though my parents separated when I was young I couldn’t have asked for a better home to grow up in. My brother Aaron, was always around to push me and was my training partner. He is honestly one of the most talented athletes I have ever meet, he just never got a chance. Ray Brown, a coach who I wouldn’t have learnt anything about baseball without him. He taught me the basics of baseball and gave me the opportunity to play here in the US. Clint Myers, my coach at Central Arizona Junior College. He gave me my first chance and took a risk by allowing me to cross the pacific and play. Mark Machtolf and Danny Evans for seeking me out and giving me a chance to be a leader and player Division One baseball. Zag for Life! Lastly my amazing girlfriend Katie. You have opened my eyes to so many things, I love you with all my heart and cant wait to spend the rest of my life with you!
I know I missed many many people but you all know who you are.
I look forward to the new challenges that face me. Bring it on 2009!!!
Till then,
Take er easy

Guest Blogger– J.P. Arencibia

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Hi, my name is J.P. Arencibia, and I am a catcher in the Blue Jays organization.  This year I played my first full season in High A, got moved during the All-Star Break to Double-A, and I finished up the season in Double-A.  I learned a lot this season, especially how long the season is and so did my legs.  My organization sent me here to work on some things in my game.  Obviously all aspects you try to improve, but mostly to see more pitches.  It’s been an honor to play with such talent in the league, but what impresses me the most is the quality of guys in this league, on a personal level.

This is my second time to the AFL.  The first time I came as a fan when I was a junior in college.  Chase Headley and Luke Hochevar were my college teammates and I came here to watch them play. 

We have the best fan in the AFL, and her name is Susan.  She makes my day every time I come out of the dugout.  She has the most positive attitude I have ever been around.  I also get to experience the Arizona Diamondbacks flag lady, who is also one of my favorites.

I’m kinda upset I haven’t been able to play golf yet because I heard the golf courses are great out here.  I did get to attend a Cardinals football game which I enjoyed, and hopefully I will get to see a Suns game and see Shaq–which you guys stole from Miami!  I am staying with Travis Snider, who also plays in the Blue Jays organization.  On Sundays we have BBQs at the house and play Rock Band. 

Thanks for reading my blog, and don’t be scared to say ‘hi’ to me at the ballpark!

Thirdbase

Hello everyone,

We are left with two weeks left in the AFL and my Desert Dogs are in first place, looking at a championship birth. Hopefully this means we can when the whole thing and get that ring. I have never been on a championship team. I came close once with my teammate Tony Barnette on the Central Arizona CollegeVaqueros. We got destroyed to say the least at the Super Regionals on step away from the NJCAA World Series. I have never been that close ever since. Let me tell you if there is one thing I would like to do in baseball, thats win a ring.
My teammates are great we may be the craziest team in baseball history though. We have some clowns on the team but it really helps keep everyone loose and when we are on the field for the most part its the best team I have ever played on.
I have to admit, I am sure ready for the off season. It has been a long year of baseball with some big high moments, it isn’t quite finishing the way I wanted it to. I have been playing third base here in the afl and its been a little harder than I expected. I have certainly made some errors but the biggest thing is every inning I get over the other side of the diamond the closer I am to becoming comfortable. I have really not had any problems fielding the ball (apart from the one I tried using my nose on) but the difference in the throw. It sounds like such a little thing, but when you have thrown from a second base arm slot for now 6 straight years getting my arm back over top has come with a “few” mistakes.
Everything is going great otherwise, it been fun and a new experience. Still, I cant wait to go back to New Zealand for Summer and of course Christmas on the beach!!!
Till next time, keep on keeping on.
Sc

Guest Blogger: Zach Dials

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Hey everyone this is Zach Dials with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Coming here i had no idea what to expect, i didn’t know how all of my teammates would act, how the league works, or where i would live.  So far all of my teammates have been great, after the first couple days, we opened up rather quickly and many of these guys are becoming good friends of mine.  The AFL is by far the most exciting and challenging baseball I’ve ever participated in.  So things ended up turning quite well and i don’t have a complaint in the world .  As for my living conditions I couldn’t be much happier, my house is amazing and I’m rooming with three of my teammates from the Jays(Darryl Harang, Scott Campbell, and Mike MacDonald).  

 
I honestly can’t believe how quickly time goes by when you are playing ball.  It seems like just the other day my teammates and I were all starting spring training and now the regular season is over and the AFL is already half way through.  As I look back at this season and evealuate myself I am proud of what I have accomplished for myself, my family, and all my friends back home.  I realized that I took quite a few large steps as far as my career is concerned.  Making it to Double-A and then being asked by the Blue Jays to represent them in the AFL which is quite an honor and I am appreciative of everything the Jays have done for me.  They are a great organization to play for and I can truly say that they honestly care about you and they will work along side you as hard as you want to work.  That being said I know there is much more i must do to improve my skills so that i can reach the major leagues and help the Jays as much as I possibly can.
 
My season is starting to come to a close and home is just around the corner.  I always hate the end of the season but I am looking forward to seeing my family(Jerry, Dawn, Jake, and Josh).  Another exciting thing about this off season is that I’m making quite a large move going from good ole’ Wabash, Indiana to Houston, Texas where my girlfriend Alison and her family are waiting for me.  I wish I had more time to see all of my family and friends and sometimes it’s hard but dreams are often long hard roads with much sacrifice, but as close as I am now I wouldn’t even consider looking back.
 
I hope everyone who reads this blog enjoyed it and try to give me a break if you could, it was my first one.  Take care and Root for those RAYS!

Guest Blogger: Zach Dials

zach_dials.jpg

Hey everyone this is Zach Dials with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Coming here i had no idea what to expect, i didn’t know how all of my teammates would act, how the league works, or where i would live.  So far all of my teammates have been great, after the first couple days, we opened up rather quickly and many of these guys are becoming good friends of mine.  The AFL is by far the most exciting and challenging baseball I’ve ever participated in.  So things ended up turning quite well and i don’t have a complaint in the world .  As for my living conditions I couldn’t be much happier, my house is amazing and I’m rooming with three of my teammates from the Jays(Darryl Harang, Scott Campbell, and Mike MacDonald).  

 
I honestly can’t believe how quickly time goes by when you are playing ball.  It seems like just the other day my teammates and I were all starting spring training and now the regular season is over and the AFL is already half way through.  As I look back at this season and evealuate myself I am proud of what I have accomplished for myself, my family, and all my friends back home.  I realized that I took quite a few large steps as far as my career is concerned.  Making it to Double-A and then being asked by the Blue Jays to represent them in the AFL which is quite an honor and I am appreciative of everything the Jays have done for me.  They are a great organization to play for and I can truly say that they honestly care about you and they will work along side you as hard as you want to work.  That being said I know there is much more i must do to improve my skills so that i can reach the major leagues and help the Jays as much as I possibly can.
 
My season is starting to come to a close and home is just around the corner.  I always hate the end of the season but I am looking forward to seeing my family(Jerry, Dawn, Jake, and Josh).  Another exciting thing about this off season is that I’m making quite a large move going from good ole’ Wabash, Indiana to Houston, Texas where my girlfriend Alison and her family are waiting for me.  I wish I had more time to see all of my family and friends and sometimes it’s hard but dreams are often long hard roads with much sacrifice, but as close as I am now I wouldn’t even consider looking back.
 
I hope everyone who reads this blog enjoyed it and try to give me a break if you could, it was my first one.  Take care and Root for those RAYS!

Hello Again

What a week. I love it here in this beautiful town, with weather so great all the time. I had a chance to really take it all in this week, and I would really consider moving here.

Baseball is going well. I still feel a little off balance at the plate due to the lack of ab’s, but my swing is still their when I need it. To answer a question someone asked me about baseball in New Zealand, we got around two games a week on TV Sunday night and Wednesday night baseball. With the time change that was lunchtime Monday and Thursday…. lets just say that I missed a little bit of school growing up to watch baseball!!!
My dad dropped by on business so it was nice to see him even though it was only for two nights, but any time spent with him is good due to both of our crazy travel and schedules. I can believe that we have been here 25 days already it has really flown right by. Its less than a one to go now so I better make the most of it all.
I watched the movie “The Incredible Hulk” last night, I thought it was really good. A lot better than the last make. It was nice to see Lou Ferrigno in another cameo role and how awesome is Stan Lee… enough said. I have to admit though my favorite classic movie of all time though is….. Planet Of The Apes. Yes the one with Charlton Heston and Roddy McDoWall. If i remember correctly Roddy was in all but one of the sequels “Escape From Planet Of The Apes” which is really something special.
Thats all I have this week, I could talk about movies forever but I wont.
As I say Take her easy, and catch you next week!
ScPlanet_of_the_Apes_Ship.jpg

Bump in the nose

Hello All,

So I thought I could tell
you about New Zealand. The
population of New Zealand is four million and only about 700 hundred people
play baseball. It is a very tight
community in baseball and everyone knows everyone, almost like a small town
somewhere in the United States. I
hoping to become the first New Zealand born Major Leaguer because I think it
would really promote the game and inspire many to try and play baseball. If you want to know more please feel free to ask.

Back to Arizona I had a pretty good week, until I good
hit in the nose with a groundball in Thursday nights game. Gave me a pretty good bump and a nice
headache but I’ll be all right. Had to sit out on Friday and that happened to be the game Brian Matusz pitched so he got lucky (just kidding).A
few of my teammates and I have been working on a secret project that if completed
will be a great prank, more on that later though. I’ve been working out really hard in the gym trying to get
back to preseason shape for next spring training. I’m really happy to be back in Arizona after not being here
since my freshman year at Central Arizona, I love the weather at this time of
the year, its just perfect for baseball.

Well my girlfriend is in town for the weekend so this one is
going to have to be short. I don’t
get to see her as much as I would like. Till next time, take her easy!

Greetings from the AFL Kiwi

Hey everyone! My name is Scott Campbell. I’m originally from Auckland, New Zealand. I grew up playing baseball in a country where baseball is not popular and here I am now in the Arizona Fall League competing with the best of the best.

This year for me in Double-A was a real eye-opener. I learned a lot about baseball and how to be competitive on a day-to-day basis. I learned about myself as a player and what I need to do mentally and physically to prepare myself.

I’ve had some really cool opportunities as a baseball player, from the Eastern league All-Star Game in New Hampshire to the Futures Game in Yankee Stadium. So far to date, that was the greatest baseball experience of my life.

Now at the Arizona Fall League, I’m trying to enjoy myself and get to know some of top guys in baseball. I’m looking forward to seeing Brian Matusz. He’s a friend of mine through my brother. Hopefully, I’ll get to face him, but we’ll see what happens.

It’s going to be a real learning experience. I’m going to be playing third base and shortstop, positions I’m not so familiar with, along with my usual spot at second base.

I’m not used to this heat, so I’m learning to hydrate myself. My dad always taught me that one beer after a game will hydrate you better than water. We’ll see… 

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