Sunday, February 27, 2011

MLU's HAT OF THE WEEK: Lancaster Jethawks

This is a sharp lid. I'm a huge red hat guy, and the Lancaster Jethawks have a winner with this one. I love the shield-like emblem and they've got a great color scheme going on- the subtle light blue trimmings work great with the dark red.

The hawk looks stoic in his pose, and the red and blue splattered logo reminds me of those HOPE Obama posters, which I always thought were pretty sharp looking- yet somewhat misleading.

*The Lancaster Jethawks are a Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

In case you missed it: SMALLS TALK: Minor League Hats are the Way to Go

Previous Hats of the Week
Anaheim Angels
Charlotte Stone Crabs
Superbowl Special (Pittsburgh Pirates & Milwaukee Brewers)
Lehigh Valley Ironpigs
Chattanooga Lookouts
Corpus Christi Hooks
Montgomery Biscuits

Friday, February 25, 2011

SMALLS TALK: Last Day at Work

My last day at the office has finally come. After six months of 6 AM wake-ups, shirts and ties, staff meetings, spreadsheets, phone calls and paper jams, the time has come for me to leave this place and head to greener pastures- it's time to start my other 'job.'

My last day here will be just another day at the office- no party, not one balloon, not even a card. My colleagues offered to get me a cake but I politely declined- who needs those empty calories?

I'm actually relieved that nothing big is going on today- it will give me time to complete all the work I've been putting off for the past six months. Projects to finish, emails to follow up on, phone calls to put in- I've got a long day ahead of me.

But at the end of the day, I'll move on, and baseball will once again be my main focus.

The truth is, I liked my job here at the office, and I was lucky to have it. Finding a full-time job for half a year with zero work experience is not the easiest thing to do, but somehow I got it. I worked with some great people, finally got a non-baseball item for my resumé, and got a chance to make some actual money: an ideal off-season gig, really.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

MOVIE RANT: Rookie of the Year

I have no problem with outlandish story lines and far-fetched plots. It's Hollywood, and movies are best appreciated when the audience suspends their disbelief and accepts whatever's on the screen as a possible scenario. Films offer us a chance to use our imagination- stretch our concepts of what's real and tangible, and be taken away by a story.

I get that, I'm all for it. But what I can't stand are mistakes stemming from lack of attention to detail, especially in sports movies.

So while watching Rookie of the Year the other night, I was less concerned with the fact that a 12-year old was the focal point of the Cubs' bullpen than I was with the idea of Henry Rowengartner wearing blue jeans in his Little League game at the beginning of the movie.

You're kidding me- jeans? What self-respecting Little Leaguer shows up to his game rockin dungarees? Not one who expects to play, or walk away from the field without a wedgie, I assure you. "Man, I wonder why no one takes me seriously at baseball. I get no respect- I show up to games with my jersey untucked and wearing denim pants, what could be the problem?"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Energy, enthusiasm, a little showmanship, and an adequate grasp on lyrics- that's all we ask. Put all of these together, and you've got yourself a memorable Greyhound Lounge performance. The crowd goes crazy, you're bombarded with atta-boy's and high-5's, and you proudly strut your way back to your seat, relieved and ready to enjoy the rest of the show.

Fail to put forth your best effort? You won't like where you're headed.

During my four years of college ball, Greyhound Lounge was annually one of our most anticipated team traditions. As the event drew nearer, we'd analyze which freshmen we thought would shine, and, of course, which ones would tank- which ones would think they were better than they actually were, and which guy would use his time behind the mic to finally bust out of his shell.

It was hazing in its most innocent form- and every year the stage was set for a new crop of singers to have their moment.

The day of the event is usually arranged for the first long bus ride of the season. The team loads onto the bus- the upperclassmen loose and excited, the freshman and newcomers looking more like they're walking into a final exam- and then, it begins.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MiLB LIFE: The Dip Police

I've never seen the Dip Police. I've never witnessed one of their raids, never felt their wrath.

I spent the majority of my Rookie season doubting such a tobacco task force even existed. I assumed the whole mythical concept had been dreamed up by the league offices as a way to deter the use of chewing tobacco and dip among minor leaguers. Scare tactics, I thought.

Not to mention: guys going around the country, popping into MiLB stadiums every night to inspect the players on the field- determining whether or not they had anything underneath their lip, or tucked between their cheek and gums? Seemed pretty far-fetched to me.

Nope. They're out there. And they're watching your every move.

I've heard legend of epic Dip Police invasions and searches- most of which I'm assuming are fabricated, or at least grossly exaggerated.

There's the kid who got bagged for merely having little dip crumbs on the floor around his stall; the player whose tin was found in a heap of garbage after thorough inspection of the clubhouse trash can; the guy who got nabbed for having BreathSavers in his back pocket during a game- a circular container that simply looked like a can of spitting tobacco; and perhaps my personal favorite, the kid who got fined for having boxers with a Skoal logo on them hanging from a hook in his locker. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Presidents' Day from MLU!

The Harwich Mariners bullpen channels its inner George Washington as they Cross the Delaware searching for runs during the 14th inning of a CCBL game.

Happy Presidents' Day! I'm not even sure what Presidents' Day is- is it Washington's birthday? Lincoln's birthday? A random day chosen to appreciate and celebrate the past leaders of this great country of ours? Who knows? Either way, I'll take it.

One thing I'm sure of is that it's the cherry on the long weekend sundae. Not setting my alarm clock when I go to bed on Sunday night literally makes me giddy. It's a free day: a bonus. Twenty-four hours to do whatever it is you want to do. Sleep, workout, eat, watch a movie- I plan on doing all of these, with perhaps a nap or two thrown into the mix.

So take a minute during this fine, yet oft misunderstood holiday and pay tribute to the boys of oval offices past- Happy Birthday Mr. President, thank you for lumping my usual vote for "worst day of the week" into the weekly miracle known as "the weekend."

To my surprise, I actually enjoy this day more as a working stiff than I did as a student. 

*My apologies to those of you reading this post at your office- it appalls me that some companies still refuse to acknowledge the importance of those little faces on our currency.

What is Presidents' Day?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

MLU's HAT OF THE WEEK: Anaheim Angels

The Angels have had a lot of hats. While experimenting with ten different logos, they've messed with Capital A's, lower case A's, halos, wings, three color schemes and multiple cities. Out of them all, I can confidently state that this Anaheim Angels lid is my favorite.

Sandwiched between the styles of the California Angels in the Outfield and the new-age identity crisis between Anaheim and Los Angeles, this logo shined during the first few years of Disney ownership from 1997-2001- or the "Mo Vaughn Era" as I like to call it.

Admittedly I wish the logo was a tiny bit smaller, but all in all this is a great hat. I really like the implementation of their periwinkle baby blue, and I think the winged 'A' is both a stylish and smart play on the name Angels. 

My love for this hat also stems from the fact that it was used for such a short amount of time. While some may forget this logo ever existed, I can picture the likes of Darin Erstad and Jim Edmonds sporting it proudly.

Although the Angels have had plenty of great looks over the years, the original Anaheim Angels cap sticks out in my mind as the best of the bunch.

Previous Hats of the Week
Charlotte Stone Crabs
Superbowl Special (Pittsburgh Pirates & Milwaukee Brewers)
Lehigh Valley Ironpigs
Chattanooga Lookouts
Corpus Christi Hooks
Montgomery Biscuits

Friday, February 18, 2011

SMALLS TALK: My Bat of Choice

Every player wants to trust the bat in his hand. He wants it to feel comfortable and familiar, and when he swings it, he's looking for consistency and pop.

These desires are universal - but when it comes to the dimensions of that bat in their hands, most players vary in preference.

Aside from the obvious weight and length, there are different aspects to every model. There are big barrels, medium barrels, and long barrels. Handles can be thick, skinny, even tapered. Do you like a lighter feel, or perhaps the momentum of a top-heavy bat? Do you want it finished with that glossy look - maybe even double-dipped? Or perhaps you prefer the grainy feel of raw, unfinished wood?

What about the end of the bat - do you want it cupped or rounded? And what color would you like?

Decisions, decisions.

That's the fun of wood bats, though. Unlike metal, there's no exact mold or specifications that need to be followed directly - your bat can be custom built for you, and there are countless models to pick from. The trouble isn't in deciding what kind of bat you like, however - that comes to you as time passes and you gain more experience with wood. Nope, the trouble is deciding which of the countless bat companies to turn to when it comes time to order that perfect bat.

For me, it's Zorian Bat Company.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

COLLEGE to PRO: Team Dynamic

Minor League Baseball is not about championships. It's not about making friends, or winning baseball games- it's about player development. Every player begins his season looking to get better, achieve personal success, and finish up the year at a higher level- and if the team wins, well that's great, too- I guess.

It's a concept that has taken a while for me to fully grasp- winning is secondary? I'm not pulling for my teammates?

I spent four years in college putting the team first, and I wasn't alone- that was our mentality. Nothing was more important to me than my teammates and our collective success. The team was a unit- we were best friends on a mission to win baseball games and finish our season in Omaha. We were a family, really. All that time spent together, how could we not be? We shared a common goal and rallied around it- there was nothing any of us wouldn't do for one of our teammates.

Now I'm not saying that people don't want to win in pro ball- it's just not a main focus. And when you take winning out of the equation, you're really no longer a team- you are now 25 individuals trying to achieve individual success. And in our sport, sometimes that works- after all, baseball is an individual game with merely a team concept. Guys hit back to back home runs: it's good for both of their stats, and it's good for the team- regardless of whether or not helping the team was a part of their motive.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MiLB LIFE: Do You Have an Agent?

Believe it or not, I get this question a lot. And hey, why shouldn't I? I'm a professional athlete- I get paid to play baseball. Shouldn't I have someone watching my back, promoting my worth, and negotiating major endorsements on my behalf? I'd have to be crazy to not have some form of representation to at least serve as a mediator between myself and the organization- right?

The truth is, I can't help but smile when people ask me about an agent. Me? An agent?

For that split second, I feel like a big deal. Just being asked the question- being associated with the term "agent"- intitiates a mental montage of Ari Gold, Scott Boras, Drew Rosenhaus, and Jerry Maguire's greatest hits.

I think to myself, "Why the hell would I need an agent? I was a senior who signed for almost nothing and I make a uniform monthly salary- what's there to negotiate?" I sit there, almost embarrassed as I realize this person thinks I'm a bigger star than I actually am.

To be honest, I could have an agent. Hell, I even spoke to a few before the draft about a possible relationship- but in the end, it just didn't make enough sense to me.

As a late-round senior, my signing bonus was essentially pre-determined- not much negotiating to be done there. And once you start pro-ball, every player of the same draft class makes the same amount regardless of draft round, organization, or potential as a prospect. You see slight pay increases throughout the levels, but it's years before you actually get to the point of negotiating a contract. I receive a standard MiLB monthly salary- what would an agent do for me?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MiLB LIFE: Housing

"What's up, MTV- I'm a minor leaguer, and this is my crib."

Three nights- that's all you get. Whether you've been moved up, sent down, or are starting your career, when you first arrive to a new team, the organization puts you up in a hotel for your first three nights- after that, you're on your own.

There you are- plopped down in the middle of a city you've never even heard of, facing a 72-hour deadline to find yourself a place to live. It's even more fun when you don't have a car- that's when it gets really interesting.

My first three nights in Rookie Ball were spent in a Howard Johnson's motel. In addition to being rundown and disgustingly dirty, it was located in the middle of a neighborhood that made you wish there were more than just five variations of locks on the door- the type of place where you fell asleep every night to the soothing lullaby of police sirens. Even at the all expenses paid price of free, this place was a ripoff.

But as terrible as it was, the HoJo was conveniently located about a mile from our ballpark- a blessing really, considering I had not yet met a kid with a car at his disposal.

After walking to the stadium that first day, everyone in my draft class convened and bonded over our frustration regarding the living situation- not to mention, the town in general. As we complained and commiserated, older players who had come from Extended Spring Training and already had a year under their belt were entertained by our innocence and the utter shock we displayed. Welcome to Pro-Ball.

Monday, February 14, 2011

MiLB LIFE: How Long Until You're in the Bigs?

Brian Mazone, the oldest active minor leaguer with no MLB experience, turned 34 last season.

Professional baseball is extremely complicated. Unlike other major sports, even the highest MLB Draft choices are not expected to make an impact on their organization for at least a few seasons. While some football, hockey, and basketball draftees are being named all-stars in their first year as a pro, baseball players often spend years in the minors developing their skills and waiting for their opportunity. And while some wait years, others wait a lifetime.

The majority of professional baseball players will never play a major league inning. There are no guarantees when you sign that contract- you are simply being offered an opportunity to earn a chance at your dream. And, quite frankly, the odds are not good.

When you take a look at any organization, there are more than 150 minor leaguers all vying for a handful of open Major League roster spots- not in the organization, but in the entire league.

Baseball is a sport that regularly sees guys take their playing days into their late 30's, even their 40's. While such older players may be a rarity in other sports, longevity has certainly proven more attainable on the diamond. These long careers result in a minuscule turnover rate, producing a very small number of opportunities every season.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

MLU's HAT OF THE WEEK: Charlotte Stone Crabs

This is a great hat. Not too flashy- simplicity and subtlety at its finest. The Charlotte Stone Crabs have a great color scheme, and they let the powder blue and navy combo do the talkin'. Add a plain 'C' and an accompanying crab claw and you've got yourself a classic looking lid.

Now if only the Rays would take a peek at the style being displayed in their farm system, they'd have their hands on a pretty respectable alternate cap.

*The Charlotte Stone Crabs are a single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Previous Hats of the Week
Superbowl Special (Pittsburgh Pirates & Milwaukee Brewers)
Lehigh Valley Ironpigs
Chattanooga Lookouts
Corpus Christi Hooks
Montgomery Biscuits

Friday, February 11, 2011


It's Friday, the world's most celebrated day of the week. It marks the end of a strenuous string of work days and offers hope and an escape from the harshness of reality. People are just happier on Fridays- whether you're looking forward to a fun-filled weekend or anticipating a relaxing night of unwinding on the couch, it's a day that has people everywhere thinking "T.G.I.F."

During the winter months in my college team's clubhouse, Friday meant another thing: Bod-Off.

The Bod-Off became a sacred institution at my school- a weekly team event that took place in the locker room immediately following our Friday lifts.

The Bod-Off tradition began as a result of some good-natured ribbing about which player had the worst body on the team. When the two most popular choices each refused to believe it was them, the debate was on. Naturally, there was only one way to settle the argument: the two must battle it out in a head-to-head flex-off.

Ahh, such humble beginnings.

What started off as an impromptu comparison of physiques eventually evolved into a full out extravaganza. Challenges, music, props, themes, specialty matches- our clubhouse turned into the setting of a WWF main event every Friday morning, before the rest of campus had even gotten out of bed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SMALLS TALK: The Superstitions and Quirks of a Ballplayer

Every ballplayer has a routine. Following a repetitive daily schedule for seven months, it's only natural for guys to figure out what works for them, and stick with it. It's a comfort thing- you want to make sure everything is prepared and taken care of off the field, in order for outside factors to be minimized and success to be achieved on the field. Whether it's a type of sandwich, a song, a prayer, or a particular way to get dressed- a player finds what works for them, and that becomes their daily routine.

But when does a routine turn into a superstition? And where do you draw the line between superstitious and obsessive-compulsive?

A routine offers consistency and comfort because of its familiarity- it's reliable, and it takes out all variables. Around the 7th inning of every game, I eat a protein bar in the dugout- it's become a routine of mine simply because I find myself needing energy around two hours into a game. It doesn't magically grant me any extra home runs, but it leaves me feeling nourished and prepared to finish the game strong.

Superstitions add the element of karma into a routine- these actions are thought to help your performance, but offer no real reason. Touching a sign on the way out to the field, performing a certain handshake with a teammate, kissing your bat- these are all unrelated to how prepared or ready a player is for a game; they are done with the hope that good karma and luck will follow.

My in-game actions blow superstitions out of the water, however. I've always had some obsessive compulsive habits, but on the baseball field, where so much attention is geared toward luck and karma, I drive myself crazy. I'm always doing something, and everything I do has a reason. While superstitions are done to promote good luck, my obsessive compulsive actions are done to fight off bad luck. Yes, I've got some issues.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

COLLEGE to PRO: Slumping

After years of trying to fight it, I've recently given in to the idea that slumps are simply a part of baseball. There's no avoiding them and they hit you when you least expect them- no one is immune.

I've seen guys follow career days with 0 for 20 stretches. It's amazing- and it happens overnight. How can you go from being so relaxed and confident, to literally feeling helpless in the batter's box? Yesterday you couldn't miss the barrel, every ball was hit hard- today, you'll take a foul tip to reassure you that your bat doesn't have a hole in it.

But that's baseball- it's a game of failure, and even Hall of Famers made an out more than half the time. It's a player's mental toughness- his ability to bounce back from failure- that will dictate how his career goes. And in the minors, the mentally weak do not last long.

In college, when the occasional slump reared its ugly head, I always had enough on my plate to distract me from whatever lack of success I was experiencing at the moment. Go to any college in the country and you'll find your fair share of distractions- most of these can hurt your game, but sometimes in baseball, a distraction is just what you need.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MiLB LIFE: Being a Senior Sign

Getting drafted is a day you never forget. It's the moment when your childhood dream seems most tangible - it marks the beginning of your professional career and welcomes you into the company of baseball's elite. I remember thinking back on all the memorable games I had played over almost twenty years on the diamond - all the uniforms I'd worn, the friends I'd made. Baseball had been the mainstay of my Springs and Summers for as long as I could remember, and luckily the upcoming Summer would be no different.

That day changed my life in a lot of ways - but not financially. Afterall, I was a senior.

The experience of getting selected in the MLB Draft is drastically different for seniors than it is for juniors - or even High School seniors, for that matter. The reason? Leverage.

If you're listening to a discussion on a certain prospect's draft stock or potential signing bonus, you will hear the word Leverage at least 47 times per square hour (*calculations estimated).

Leverage is a junior draftee's best friend - it's the money maker. When negotiating a signing bonus, the organization must throw enough money at a junior to make it worth his while to leave school - forgoing his senior season, not to mention a college degree - and sign a professional contract.

The negotiation process can take weeks, even months if either side is stubborn, but rarely do you see a top junior prospect go unsigned. Leverage can only go so far - as insulted as he may be by the team's offer, he knows it's likely far more than he'll get the following year as a senior.

Monday, February 7, 2011

MiLB LIFE: Universal Big League Dreams

Every day, minor leaguers of all levels come to the park with the goal of making the Big Leagues in the back of their mind. It's a daily motivator, the ultimate goal, and, hopefully, the big payoff after years spent in Pittsville towns and rundown motels.

But it's not just the players on the field that are dreaming big. Take a look around any Minor League Stadium and you'll see people who work in all aspects of the game doing the same thing- paying their MiLB dues with the hope of someday fulfilling their Major League dreams.

I remember one game late last season, I sat in the dugout having one of those profound moments that could only happen during a baseball game. Our team was up at bat and I had made the last out of the previous inning, so I grabbed a spot on the top dugout step nearest the bullpen and just zoned out.

I looked around at all the fans and stadium employees, peeked up in the booth at the PA announcer and the play-by-play commentator, even checked down the line for the concession stands and the fan shop- I remember thinking, 'this is some production!' But it wasn't any special night, it was simply a Minor League baseball game, just like the other 139 I would play that year.

I thought of how many baseball games were likely going on at that exact moment- hundreds, I thought. Thousands. Ehh, thousands? Maybe.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

MLU'S HAT OF THE WEEK: Superbowl Special

In honor of the most viewed program in television history, MLU opted to throw a little Superbowl spin on this Sunday's Hat of the Week.

Now before you  yell "Objection" to the fact that neither of these hats is of the Minor League ranks, keep in mind that the feature is called "Hat of the Week" - not "Minor League Hat of the Week"- so all hats from any baseball level are fair play. 

Sure, MiLB lids happen to be my favorite, but, there are a lot of great caps out there- NCAA, MLB, World Baseball Classic, Independent Leagues, college summer leagues, etc.- and MLU will do its best to bring them all to you.

Now, on to our featured items:

Our first hat screams Steel City. The yellow Pirates hat is a classic look, one that I wish the modern-day Bucs would adopt as a consistent throwback cap. Simple in its colors and style, the Pirates represent a unique city whose triumvirate of sports team all wear the same colors. Whether you're cheering on the Penguins, Steelers, or Pirates, Pittsburgh bleeds Black and Yellow.

Hat #2 could be one of my favorite hats of all time. Even when I thought it was simply a glove on the front, I liked this Brewers throwback because of the colors and the simplicity. But then I discovered that I had overlooked one of the greatest logos of all-time- how could I have missed that? That's not merely a glove, that is an M and a B! I was amazed. This is one of the most cleverly constructed logos in sports, and I'm glad to see the Brew-Crew has come to their senses and started wearing this old hat and colors again- why they strayed from it in the first place? The world may never know.

*Yes, I'm well aware the Brewers are from Milwaukee, not Green Bay- but I'm playing the odds that all Wisconsin natives are Cheese Heads.

I hope everyone enjoys their Superbowl Sunday- win or lose, remember: it's all about the food.

Previous Hats of the Week
Lehigh Valley Ironpigs
Chattanooga Lookouts
Corpus Christi Hooks
Montgomery Biscuits

Friday, February 4, 2011

MiLB LIFE: Explaining My Profession to Non-Baseball Minds

DJ wasn't always the money-making, actress-dating, ring-winning machine he is today.

I love talking baseball with people who know the game. It's a topic that never gets old for me, and, if prompted, I always enjoy sharing my own insight and experiences on a life-long passion that I'm now lucky enough to call my job.

"What position do you play? When do you report to spring training? What level will you start at this year?" These are some of the questions I face regularly, and I'm always appreciative of the person's curiosity. I realize I'm lucky to do what I do - to be a part of the decimal point percentage of young baseball players who get a shot at their dream - and I'm proud to share my story with anyone interested.

But as cool as I feel while talking baseball with those in the know, I feel ten times less accomplished - less worldly, less established, less intelligent - when discussing my career with those without a baseball mind.

"You play baseball? For a living? Ohh, so you know A-Rod! Oh, how cool! When do you play on ESPN?"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MiLB LIFE: Bus Rides

Minor League Baseball and bus rides go hand in hand. Bus rides are an inevitability of Pro-ball, resulting in some people even referring to MiLB leagues as Bus Leagues. You board the bus, you pick a seat, and you drive to your next game- it's up to you how you want to spend those next two, five, eight, fourteen hours. Just hope you're not next to the fat kid. Or the smelly kid. Or the loud kid. This is gonna be a long ride.

Regardless of length, I start every bus ride the same way. I board the bus about fifteen minutes before our departure time- early enough to have a wide variety of seat locations to pick from. I usually walk about two-thirds of the way down the aisle toward the back, selecting a seat to my right (the left side of the bus if facing the windshield). I aim for a seat exactly two rows behind a TV monitor, a distance I've found to be perfect for optimum viewing pleasure. I make sure no one has already laid claim to that seat, and then I unload all my goodies.

A bus ride is only as enjoyable as the things you bring with you. For instance, my bus ride survival kit looks something like this: latest issue of Men's Health, copy of Mind Gym (or whatever book I'm reading at the moment), iPod and headphones, Subway footlong or peanut butter sandwich, protein bar, pack of Stride gum, G2 Gatorade, water, family size bag of pretzels, sweatshirt, and, perhaps most importantly, a pillow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

COLLEGE to PRO: Competition

The jump from college to pro baseball is ridiculous. Pitchers throw harder, guys hit the ball further, and no one, I mean no one, makes an error. I felt so overwhelmed when I stepped on a professional diamond for the first time- these guys were baseball machines!

Ok, ok- absolutely none of that is true. That may be the conception of most players walking into a professional clubhouse for the first time, but it only takes a few minutes of that first Rookie Ball practice- perhaps when the guy you're throwing with air mails you by 10 feet, or when the pitcher fielding grounders watches the ball go through his legs for the third straight time- for you to realize that the guys around you are all human.

Your new teammates are just like you- they were the best players on their college team, and there's something about them- a tool, a quality, a mindset- that enables them to play at the next level- but they're not perfect.

Every first year player makes mistakes- hell, every Big Leaguer makes mistakes. Baseball is a game made up of errors and miscues, but it's the best players and best teams that are able to minimize those miscues. Consistency is what every player strives for in this imperfect game- it's what separates the best from the rest.

Consistency is also what separates pro-ball from college baseball.