Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Released - 5/21/13

Released - 5/21/13

Two weeks ago, I was released from the Blue Jays organization. It's just like getting fired. I lost my job. After coming back from the World Baseball Classic, I was pitching in Spring Training and doing just fine. My first two outings in AA were all right, but then I hit a rough patch. Although I was pitching better than my numbers showed, I was not pitching as if I was better than AA. The goal of anyone in the minor leagues is to play in such a way that you show you are more advanced than the league you are in. I have had many, many great months throughout my baseball career. Last month was not one of them. For now I am working out and throwing at Cressey Performance, which is a dedicated baseball training facility run by Eric Cressey. This is going to keep me in shape as well as improve my pitching. They have indoor throwing cages with a full video analysis setup. It's ideal, especially considering Cressey is a friend of mine. The training has been going great and I’m feeling strong. Sometimes it doesn't take very long to find a team that needs someone. Sometimes it takes awhile. So, we just have to be patient and see where we end up. As long as I am in the baseball world, I am going to work hard and do the things I know I need to do to prepare myself the best way that I can.

Do you ever wonder about your future? Wonder about how things are going to turn out, where your story is going to go? Of all career paths, I think that a professional athlete's life is one of the more unpredictable ones. If anyone's future is uncertain it is a professional athlete's. On ESPN these days, they spend more time talking about each player's performance than they do showing the performance itself. A player can go from superstar, leading the franchise, to the failure that isn’t helping the team in a game or two. But all lives are unpredictable. People all over the world lose their jobs, lose their loved ones, are uncertain if everything is going to turn out okay, are trying to figure out how they are going to get through the situation that they are facing right now. There is a saying, "A person is either in the middle of a storm, just passed through a storm, or is about to enter one." Some people try to say that if I follow Christ, if I love Him and are faithful, that He will make my life good and easy, but when I read the bible I come to a different conclusion. Many of the heroes of the faith had rough lives. Whether it was Joseph, or Elijah, or Job, or Paul, who said of His own life, "Five times I received from the Jews 39 lashes, Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep, I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food, I have been cold and naked." (1 Corinthians 11:25) What is promised is what my wife and I like to remind each other: "Your future is secure". Not that my life is going to be secure or comfortable here on the earth, but that my future with Him is secure.  Nothing, not the loss of a job, or poverty, or the betrayal of a friend, or the alienation of a child, or the loss of a loved one, or a serious illness, can change my future. It is secure with Christ. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:4-6)

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