Welcome to my MLBlog

Well, here it is. I’ve been on the Disabled List for 31 days so I have decided to start my own MLBlog. I figure that in this age of the Internet, 24-hour-a-day news channels and all of the other media outlets, people love their information.

So much of sports coverage is either just scores or big scandalous stories, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to give fans a look at the game from a player’s perspective.

Obviously we are going to talk a lot about baseball and things that happen in the game, but we’re also going to talk about some of the things that happen off the field. I’m hoping to give fans some insight into what our lives are like. Even my family, the things they envision my life to be — that’s not it. It’s funny that even the people close to you don’t understand what it is like to be a Major League Baseball player — all the good things, all the bad things and even the interesting things. Hopefully we’ll shed some light on subjects like that.

Nice to be throwing again
First of all, as you probably already know, I’ve been on the Disabled List since May 9 with inflammation in my left elbow. That has made it a tough year so far. Hopefully I’ll get back soon and perform well with the team. Obviously my struggles from last season were well-documented. It was just a bad year. It happens from time to time. If not for a pretty good turnaround in the second half, it would have been one of the all-time worst.

After last year I was looking forward to putting that season to rest — not only to help my teammates win games, but for the Brian1_1 fans, who had to sit through that debacle of a season.

Then, to have such a good Spring Training and be on the right path with all of the changes that Guy Hansen and I worked on, and then to come up with this injury (I say "come up with" loosely, because I had the injury the entire second half of last year), is a disappointment to say the least. Coming into Spring Training, it was just a matter of how long this elbow was going to hold up.

Fortunately we got an MRI done on it and obviously our team doctor Dr. Joyce, (athletic trainers) Nick Swartz and Frank Kyte, then Dr. Yocum, looked at it. Structurally it’s very sound, but it just shows the wear and tear of a 33-year old pitcher who has thrown a lot of innings. There was quite a bit of inflammation in there, so it’s taken longer than I would like. But at the same time, I know that that it was prohibitive going out there during my first 5 or 6 starts. I just couldn’t keep doing that. I’ve been throwing at little over a week now, which makes you feel like you’re working towards getting back and being competitive again.

On to more exciting things…
We just finished our first winning road trip since September of 2003, going 4-2 after winning series at San Francisco and Arizona. This has been a trip I’ve been looking forward to all year, for the simple fact of going back to Arizona.

At this point, half of my career has been spent in the desert (insert your own joke here), so I was looking forward to getting back there and hopefully getting a chance to pitch. At the same time, the first half of the trip was going back to San Francisco, which was one of my favorite cities to travel to because of the great rivalry we had with the Giants. So that trip has been circled on the calendar for a long time.

Unfortunately, being on the DL I wasn’t able to pitch at either place. At least I got to make the trip since I’m starting to throw again. It was huge to go out there and see a lot of friends, former teammates and a people I spent a lot of time with during my career in Arizona.

But the best part of the trip was the way we played. We really took it San Francisco after winning the first night and then came back and won game three to win the series. We were able to bounce back from a rough first night at Arizona against a team that is expected to contend and possibly win that division. Even though we lost, that was one of the best comebacks that I’ve ever been privy to actually sit through and watch. To be down, 11-2, that’s an easy game to kind of put on cruise control. You just don’t come back from nine runs down when you’re past the midway point of a game in the Major Leagues.

But we took it to them the next couple of games. Boy, Sunday was a barnburner. We scored one and they tied it. We scored another run. They tied it again. And finally, we’re like, "Fine, we’ll score six and put it clearly out of reach." To come out of the game with a win was huge. That just doesn’t happen. Anytime you have a getaway day that lasts that long — 12 innings, one of the longest games we’ve played in a long time — you want to win that. It makes the flight home a lot easier.

Back with Buddy
To see us scrap like we did on that West Coast trip shows a lot of what Buddy Bell has brought to this team since taking over recently as our manager. He’s such a great fit for this team. I’ve said that all along, just because of the past I’ve had with him. It’s not like he’s come in here and changed anything. It’s not like he’s come in here and said, "Here’s how things are going to be" and set a bunch of rules. It’s just that his reputation has preceded him.

The biggest thing is the fact that he’s made everybody on this team aware that the veterans have their power back.

There’s actually going to be somebody that’s going back us and restore that power. Combine all that with the fact it’s a new manager that not a lot of our guys know a lot about, especially our young players, and Buddybell we can play the kind of baseball we’ve played.

So everybody’s concentration level is up, everybody is trying to impress the new boss. You saw that in that Friday comeback — that "never say die" attitude. I know we fell short and it hurt, but we came back out the next night like it was no big deal.

The great thing about having Buddy as a manager is my ability to help the club even though I’m on the D.L. I know that I was brought here obviously to pitch and win. That’s number one why you bring a player in. But at the same time, I know they expect a lot more of me off the field with the younger players and pitchers. I need to be a good example and try to impart some wisdom on them and talk about things because I’ve been fortunate to play this game a long time and see a lot of different things, experience a lot of different things.

I’ve experienced the most excruciating things, personally and professionally. I’ve been on the expansion team with Arizona and what I went through personally last year. But I’ve also had really good years, like the year I was traded here in 2003 and being on a team that went to the World Series and won a championship and being on a team that lost the World Series.

There’s been a lot I’ve been able to see and I try to help out wherever I can. I’m not the kind of guy that’s going to beat your door down. That’s not my style. But my door is always open and if things come up, we talk and bounce things off each other. We’ve got a great group of young kids that want to be led, you can see that from the way they’ve responded to Buddy. They want structure. They want to know what they can and can’t get away with.

To be able to help out in that arena, I’ve taken a lot of pride in that the last month. Because that’s the only thing I’ve been able to contribute to the team, outside of going out and power shagging, which I love to do because it keeps you in shape and makes you feel like you’re still a regular player (except I can’t hit).

I’m really looking forward to getting back on the field. First of all, it’s what I do, it’s what I love. Second of all, this, Man, this team I tell you has really turned the corner in terms of our approach. We know the wins and losses will still be hard to come by at this level, because no games are easy. But our approach is easy and that’s what is making it fun to come to the park every day.

Make sure you check back in a few days. We’ve got a lot of great topics coming your way like power shagging and how to kill an off-day on the road.

31 Comments

Great stuff Brian. I am a Diehard Red Sox fan, but I am a diehard “baseball fan” as well. I believe the hiring of Buddy Bell will help turn things around for the Royals…with time. That is what Bell has always needed in his previous stops in Colorado and Detroit. Build around the youngsters you have while letting the veterans provide the leadership.

Welcome to the “blogosphere,” Brian. I enjoyed reading what you had to say about Buddy Bell. I couldn’t be happier with him as manager either.

Best of luck to you, and may you have a speedy recovery to get back onto the mound where you belong.

Enjoyed your blog, Brian. I am a lifelong Missouri native, and as a youngster, grew up a hardcore Royals fan. There was a lot to be a fan of back then with George Brett, Frank White and the rest playing the game the right way. Since the early 80s I’ve jumped ship and definitely been a Cardinal fan, but still pay close attention to the Royals. Your words give me heart that a change is on the way in KC. It’s a good baseball city yearning for a resurrection. Hurry up and get back out there on the slab.

Welcome to the blogging world, Brian. Nice first post, interesting read. I look forward to more. Best of luck on getting back to the mound soon.

Hey Brian! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the baseball fans!

Being a Diamondback and a Royal fan, I am glad to have a classy guy like yourself on my teams. Keep up the hard work, and get better! It will be nice to see you back in the rotation again, the Royals need you.

Can’t wait for your next entry!

~Brooke~

Surprise, AZ

Great to see another player doing a blog. You can bet I’ll keeping up with yours and many others. I know it’s the middle of the season, but it would be nice to have more active players on here like you blogging once in a while to go along with the great players of the past.

Looking forward to your next post.

bobby

http://marlins.mlblogs.com

great input, D.A. Its great having you in KC. It has seemed, through these past couple of tougher seasons for the Royals that some of the players haven’t maintained the pride that us fans expect from our franchise. But, you have always seemed happy to be a Royal and quick to stick up for your team and your manager. Even when you were stinkin’ up the joint last season, you were an asset to the team. Keep up the good work.

JRip

Anybody who can hold his own as a pitcher in the majors for more than ten years has my respect as a player. However, there are only a handful of guys who I respect as individuals, and you’re one of ’em, BA. Thanks for being accountable, responsible, and most of all, a straight shooter.

Have you considered going into broadcasting once your playing days are over?

Hey BA, enjoyed the read! I hope you have a speedy recovery and can help lead these guys on the field as well. I have gained a lot of respect for you just because of how open you have been to us fans.

Hey Brian, just read your log and love it! I just wanted to say what a thrill it is having you as a Royal. I sit out in right field by the pen and look forward to you running out there everyday! You are my favorite player not just because you are an awesome pitcher but what you bring to this team. Charisma, wonderful attitude and just the fact that you are the coolest guy on the team. You are so good for this team and they are so lucky to have you! I really appreciate you!!!!! God bless you and your family !!! Hurry up and get healthy!! Miss ya on the mound!
YOU ARE THE BEST!!!

Hi Bri! Thanks for the chuckle before work. I was excited to see your new site. I wanted to let your “fans” know what a good kid you are, with such a kind heart (deep down!) and that your family is very proud of you. Tell Buddy I have been a fan of his since the 70’s and that my scrap book is filled with him and his “Qua Buick” commercials! I wish you the best in your rehab and can’t wait to see you pitch again, soon. Love ya bunches, your favorite Aunt.

hey brian, good story. im a diehard royals fan. i miss watching u play. i like what u said about bell, and i wish u a speedy recovery. good luck.

Hey Brian,

Good to hear that you’re still in good spirits. I know the last year and a half have been hard, and that sometimes us fans in KC can get a little nasty (not Philly nasty, we’re still heartland, but we can show our disappointment), but you’ve done some good things for the team, on and off the field. Words can’t describe how excited I am about the Royals right now. At the beginning of the season, I knew it was gonna be rough with all the young talent, but I’ve stuck by them through the pretty horrific opening months, and it’s finally starting to pay off. We’ve got some great young players who it seems are finally coming to understand what it’s like to be an everyday player in the Show. Teahen, Gotay, and Emil Brown (what a game he had last night against the Doyers), were all supposed to start the season in Omaha, but injuries forced them up early, and I think they’re just now getting used to being Major League Players. But the kids are playing great, and the veterans are leading like they’re supposed to. T. Graff, Stairs, Long and Sweeney are providing pop at the plate, and our corps of young arms (Greinke, Carrasco, Runelvys, Wood, Burgos, Sisco, Affeldt and MacDougal) are finally starting to get guys out. So, just wanted to let you know that not all of KC has abandoned our boys in blue. It was easy to be a fan in 2003, but if you kids keep playing good ball, it’ll be even sweeter to be a fan in the near future.Hope you can get back on the hill soon and show these young guns how the veterans play ball.

PS: If it’s any consolation, you went 21-5 in my MVP Baseball 2005 season last year, and you’re starting off the 2006 campaign 5-1 (the White Sox beat you up for a nasty loss but you bounced back).

Brian:
It was great to read your first post see your sense of hope. My wife and I are season ticket holders and get out to almost all the games. Growing up in Cincinnati and watching Buddy play 3rd when I was younger makes his coming to KC even sweeter. I highly respect what I have seen from him so far.

PS: I LOVED hearing you on 810 the few times I had the opportunity. Best wishes…

Jonathan

BA! It’s awesome to see the first blog come from a Royal! The club is really coming around, and hopefully you’ll be back soon to experience the joy of winning. I have been a fan of yours since last September, when you threw that incredible two-hitter against the Sox. That was a game to remember- it’s probably the greatest Royals game I’ve been too, aside from game three against the Yankees this year. Anyway, keep up the good work. I like the fact that you took responsibility for your struggles last year. That’s very admirable. Hopefully once your elbow stops acting up, you can be lights out, like you were in spring training.

Go Royals!!!

BA-
Your blog is without a doubt the best move since, well, the Buddy Bell era! We’re all excited about your return from the DL and hope to see you pitching again out at “The K” soon. You were also stellar on the semi “play-by-play” on RSTN. You might want to think about that sometime later on down the road! Keep up the good work and attitude, and this team can go a long way. Get healthy soon!

DJ

You did a great job last night. Good luck on your rehab and I will look forward to seeing you back on the mound.

Great site also.

kc

Hi Brian!
I just wanted to thank you for spending some time with my friends and me when you were here on June 12. We appreciate you given us the time of day — and talking to us… and giving us hugs and taking pictures. You definately made our day.

Great blog! Hope to hear more from you soon. Get WELL! Hope to see you back on the field real soon. Take care!

We miss you here in Arizona.

Your fan,

~Nicole

GO ROYALS! GO D’BACKS!

Hi Brian, I just want to thank you for taking the time to talk to my friends and I that day in Arizona. It was sooo good to talk to you. I can’t wait to see you go back on that mound soon. We miss seeing you pitch. I was the one that told you that I am friends with Albie Lopez.

Well, good luck with your rehab and I hope it goes well.

Take care and hope to hear from you soon

Anya in Arizona

Hello Brain
Thanks for the blog and also for the fathers day message. Being a father is special. I hope you guys know how proud we dads are of our sons who have turned into not only great people but models for young people to look up to. I know John has benefited from being with such a fine group of freinds and teammates.

Keep the blog going we all like it !!!!

peace

gary

Hey Brian,
Hope things are looking up for you. I have been reading how every day has been getting better for you, hope you can pitch in the rotation soon. Have you ever experimented with a knuckleball as an off speed pitch? Being a lefty myself, I have found the pitch is easy on the arm and can be quite effective when thrown properly. Not too many of us out there. Keep up the good work, hope to see you at the ball park soon!

Stephen

Hi Brian – thanks for blogging! It’s great reading your thoughts and also very interesting, from a fan’s viewpoint, to read about the behind-the-scenes stuff. Can’t wait for your next entry!

Hope your elbow gets better soon – I’m a diehard fan and we miss you sorely (no pun intended) on the mound!

~Leslie

Great stuff Brian I have been a diehard Royals fan forever. I loved reading your blog and will be back for more. Keep it up and hurry back to the lineup.

This is great!! Also,you did a great job on that game broadcast. I was at the Astros game on the 18th of June and got your autograph in the parking lot afterwards. Thanks for that special moment. Get well soon, we need you out there.

Very proud of you!

Brian,
I got this e-mail address from your dad this weekend and wanted to send you a test e-mail to have you respond back. He said you started this column writing about life in the Majors and I told him I would send a sarcastic note saying “What do you know, you are from little Ole Geneva”. I’ve read it and impressed. Started an e-mail to send you but would rather we do it on another site. Please send another address back if you like. Keep up the hard work, this article is a great idea. Awfully proud of the person you continue to be (and always was). Ron Clutter

Great stuff Brian……..I read your blog and am impressed….Good Luck with coming back and best of luck to the Royals the rest of the way

Hi Brian. I am a lifelong Indians fan so I know what the Royals are going through right now, with the ups and downs. You were by far my favorite pitcher on the indians staff so I was disappointed to see you go. Great work on the blog. Its really interesting to see what its like to be an MLB star. Keep it up, and good luck with rehab

Hey BA,
Nice to see you again a couple weeks ago at the gym. Remember, the “circus” on Saturday morning?

Love the blog and hope re-hab is going well back in Cleveland.

All of us here hope you will be a Royal again next season.

Remeber, punch Nagy right in the grill next time you see him!

All the best,

Your Bro from 24 Hour,

Brent

BA,

You are missed in Phoenix and everyone wants to know how the rehab work is going. Saw you with Dellucci on a spring training game before he went to Philadelphia. Hope to see you back on the mound this season.

I’ve followed you throughout your career and have admired your personallity and insights on STO. Wish you were back there but last I heard youve become a coach… Is that true? PS you know you were awesome in the World series!!!

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