I want to start by apologizing to all the readers out there for my blogging drought. I’ve had some issues at my condo with the internet, but hopefully it has all been resolved. Enough about all that mumbo jumbo, let’s get to talking about baseball and what’s been happening the last couple weeks….
As for the Desert Dogs we are currently standing strong at 14-9 with the lead in the AFL National Division. These past couple weeks have been full of excitement as our team has gone from being the Rockies, Athletics, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, and Twins to coming together as the Desert Dogs. The first day of stretch it was obvious who was with what organization, but now it’s a different story because everyone is mixed together. Part of this unity is due to a childish game everyone has caught onto, so if you see one of us randomly on the ground for five seconds… you’ve become a witness to THE GAME! Here’s a glimpse of where EY, Chaz & Nelly got me good in Dowtown Scottsdale:
Another contributor of our strong meshing is due to the fact of our four-to-five designated ‘clowns,’ which were voted upon during a recent bus ride….(in designated order)
3. Chris Nelson
4. Rob Delaney
5. Kyle Ginley
These guys give life to anything they are a part of and I’m really glad to be on their team!
Now to the playing side of it all, our team is full of talented players and this seems to come out more and more with each passing day. The Rockies are represented strong here in the AFL, but when it comes to the Desert Dogs any player could be the unspoken player of the day. I can’t go without giving props out to both the player and pitcher of last week: Eric Young Jr. and Jeff Manship…. BOTH DESERT DOGS! There’s no telling what the next three weeks has in store for us!!
I’ll close out this blog with an answer to a question I received from some great fans in Hawaii:
“how would you compare arizona and hawaii winter baseball….
despite the winter league had alot of japanese pitchers…..”
Without a doubt the biggest difference that has stood out to me is the greater maturity and experience here in the AFL. Also, every team is represented here in Arizona, whereas this wasn’t the case in Hawaii. The atmosphere is similar in that both Honolulu and Phoenix offer that big city feel, but unfortunately the ocean isn’t a walk away this year. (although the Grand Canyon left me in amazement) When it all comes down to it, both Hawaii Winter League and Arizona Fall League are great steps along the minor league journey… there’s a lot to be taken from both leagues!
Thanks for reading and stay tunned later this week for an update!
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transends all understanding, will gaurd your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As most of you probably already know…. Casey Weathers, our stud reliever, in the Colorado Rockies Organization is going to have Tommy John Surgery. I am just writing a short blog to ask everyone to be praying for him to have a safe and full recovery. Not only is he an awesome player, but a great guy to be around as well.
Thank you all for everything, and I will be writing another blog updating you on the progression of the fall league shortly.
Here is a link to the full story on Weathers….
An update for all the Rockies fans out there: Reliever Will Harris had a successful surgery in Denver today. His elbow was scoped to remove bone spurs, and everything looks like it went as planned. I can’t wait to be on the field with him again! Our thoughts and prayers are with you Will.
“Let God be your guide and hang tough. Follow your dreams with determination. And when you find yourself inundated with choices, do not be afraid. Be wise. Choose God’s way-choose excellence.” unknown
Blessed is the man who perserveres through trials, for when he has withstood the test, he will recieve the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
The AFL season is now underway and the Desert Dogs are 1-2. The first game we played was against the Mesa team, and they sure came out swinging. I thought that the pitchers would be way ahead of the hitters, but this wasn’t the case. Our starter Max Scherzer got hit a little during the first, but settled down to give us a quality start. As good as our pitching staff was that day, John Raynor was a one man wrecking crew. He played hard all around the field and hit a go ahead RBI double that ended up winning the game.
As far as the second game goes, it was a little different story. The Desert Dogs began leading the way with a three spot in the first inning. Mesa did not waste anytime to even the mark with a three run homerun by Morrisson (who I am very impressed with, the man can just flat swing it). Our pitching staff held the score for most of the game by only giving up one more run. Our hitting turned the game around as we brought in four runs throughout the remainder of the game. I can’t go without giving props out to J.P. Arencibia for his impressive opposite field homerun! We were up by three going into the last inning when Carigian came in, and it’s safe to say— go ahead and start the bus! He is a true competitor and a guy you want on your team. This ending caped our first AFL victory.
Our third game of the season was on the road against Peoria, a team that can powerfully swing the lumber. This game was a back and forth type of game, but in the end Peoria came out on top. Their hitters were very patient through drawing walks and getting on base, creating runs when ever possible. They have a young shortstop from the Mariners organization that can play the game through and through (a five tool player- easily)! We dropped this game falling to a 1-2 record, but we have plenty of time to step it up and get wins. The biggest down-side to this game was when Casey Weathers left the game with forearm stiffness after a strikeout in the bottom of the eighth. Please keep him in your prayers! He is one talented player, and is a big part of the Rockies future.
Thanks again for your time and feel free to ask me anything! I love the game and can talk baseball all day……
“Let God be your guide and hang tough. Follow your dreams with determination. And when you find yourself inundated with choices, do not be afraid. Be wise. Choose God’s way-choose excellence.”
“Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become, the hours of practice, the coaches who push you, the teammates who believe in you, and the fans who cheer for you, there is the little boy who fell in love with the game and never looked back. Play for him.”
Another season has come and gone, but for those selected to the Arizona Fall League it’s a fresh start. Many of us see it as a gift, another opportunity, a time to develop, a chance to refine skills; and for others, it’s just the next step to a close dream come true.
Speaking of fresh starts…
Here’s a fun un-baseball-related fact I’m excited to share with you:
On September 27th, only 3 days before arriving in Arizona, I married my best friend, Jaclyn. Our four year dating relationship strongly withstood the test of time, long distance, and everything else life threw our way. But afterall, she is my one true Love… and has gotten to visit some pretty sweet places to see me.
Here’s a picture of our first dance! (On A Night Like This/Nothing Fancy- Dave Barnes)
I guess this is where I’m suppose to tell you a little about myself…representing the Colorado Rockies Organization, my name is Michael McKenry. Born and raised with a ball in my hand in the great state of Tennessee, I have been driven to play baseball since the age of nine. With the support of my awesome family I was able to travel with a Knoxville team all around the country, which allowed me to realize early on that this is what I am wired to do. Attending Farragut High School truly put fuel on my fire as I became interested in catching and won a State Championship my senior year. During this time I learned such an important lesson in the fact that baseball may just be a game, but through playing for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I can positively impact others. Afterall, I always try to remember I am only able to live this dream through His amazing grace. From there, I attended Middle Tennessee State University and will be a Blue Raider for life. This is where my longing to catch kicked into high gear. With great guidance and a lot of patience my hard work paid off in 2006 as I was drafted in the 7th round. From there a true adventure began, which has taken me from Pasco, WA to Asheville, NC to Honolulu, HW to Modesto, CA and now here in Pheonix, AZ. I couldn’t be more grateful for this journey, as I remind myself as much as possible of how blessed I am to play with a little boy’s heart day-in and day-out.
As everything has gotten under way, I have felt surrounded by greatness from my first step into the lockeroom. This league is jam-packed with talent this year, and there have been so many memorable ball players that have made their way through the AFL. Each player has a burning desire to be the next ‘it’ man in baseball.
Thank you for this opportunity to share my time during the fall league with each of you. I look forward to seeing how this experience pans out. Each day we become either closer or further from the big leagues.
By His Grace,
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrrow will worry about itself.” -Matthew 6:34