Welcome to EM Speed and Power Training
There is a new athlete on the field, on the court and on the pitch today. That athlete trains harder, smarter and more effectively than at any time before in the history of sports. This new wave of athletes are faster, stronger, more explosive and healthier than any athletes to come before them .. decisions on the field are made at hyper speed and opportunities to make great plays arise because the speed of the game has increased. At EM Speed and Power we are literally making the field, the court and the pitch smaller because our athletes are pushing the envelope of speed, explosiveness, strength, reaction and blowing by opponents that have previously been able to stop them. Welcome to the future of performance training, welcome to EM.
Frat Boyz Elite Football Development Program announced last week it has named EM Speed and Power Training as the Official Training Partners for all Players in the organization. This move completes Frat Boyz as one of the most complete and powerful 7 on 7 and football player development organizations in California.
Founded February 2012 by NFL Veterans Chris Claiborne, Lonnie Ford, Rushawn Moulton. Frat Boyz provides student athletes with skills to become better athletes on and off the field. Some Frat Boyz alumni includes names like Su’a Cravens, Darren Andrews, Darius Allensworth, Darren Carrington, Trevor Hodge, Justin Strong, Charles Gamble, Jerome Smith, Andrew Elffers, Terrell Mosby, KJ Young, Elijah Lopez, Joel Foy, PJ Ward, Treshon Braughton and more.Currently Frat Boyz has 6 teams that span from Riverside to Orange County, from the IE to the San Fernando Valley.All Frat Boyz coaches are collegiate level coaches in terms of experience. They are an elite offseason football development program. FB’s have on the field training and compete in the nations most elite 7 on 7 circuit.Since forming in 2012 Frat Boyz has over 75 student athletes receive collegiate scholarship offers offers.
Scholarships signed in Frat Boyz first year include USC, CAL, UCLA, Oregon St, Iowa St, Oregon, Oklahoma, Navy, Lane College, Azusa Pacific, UC Davis, Fresno St.
Chris Claiborne, who spent his NFL career with the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams and New York Giants stated ‘I just wanted to say that we are excited because now we can add the great training that EM is known for with the great coaching that we provide.’ He goes on to say, ‘It’s the perfect marriage for our student athletes.’ Rod Richard of EM added ‘Frat Boyz players are some of the great athletes of the future and we are proud to add what EM has done for years to bring these student/athletes even farther toward their ultimate goal’.
ONTARIO FURY PARTNERS WITH EM SPEED AND POWER FOR TRAINING SERVICES
The Ontario Fury, Driven by Mark Christopher Chevrolet, will look to improve their fitness in the upcoming Professional Arena Soccer League season by signing EM Speed and Power Training as the team’s official training partner for the 2014-15 season.
EM Speed and Power — which has Inland Empire locations in Rancho Cucamonga, Chino and Corona – has served more than 30,000 athletes since opening its doors. The facility has trained numerous championship athletes at the local, high school and college level. It is also the official training facility of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It is great for us to partner with a group with a proven championship record to help build our team into better overall athletes,” said Bernie Lilavois, the Fury’s president and head coach. “We struggled last season late in games with our strength and conditioning as a team and the trainers at EM will help us improve in that area this year.”
EM Speed and Power is a family based gym that focuses its training on each athletes specific sport. They use tried and true training techniques that include the latest advancements in training techniques to help players become more explosive, quicker, stronger and resistant to injuries.
Besides the latest training techniques, EM Speed and Power works with athletes ages 10 and older to develop a strong nutritional base to help grow into world-class performers. The Rancho Cucamonga location also includes physical therapy programs for those rehabilitating injuries.
The Ontario Fury will kick off its second season in the PASL this fall at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif. Season tickets for the upcoming season – with prices unchanged from the inaugural season — are on sale now through the Fury’s offices at (909) 240-5242.
## PASSION – POWER – FURY ##
The ONTARIO FURY, DRIVEN BY MARK CHRISTOPHER CHEVROLET, are the Inland Empire’s newest professional sports franchise, bringing the fast- paced, high-speed action of indoor soccer to the Citizens Business Bank Arena. The team, which is one of 20 that will compete in the Professional Arena Soccer League, is committed to advancing soccer at every level across Inland Southern California. Visit ontariofury.com for information.
EM Speed and Power Training in Rancho Cucamonga, Anaheim, Chino, Corona and now San Diego specializing in strength training, weight lifting training programs and speed and agility will be announcing new locations in Southern California providing more locations to make it convenient than ever for athletes to get faster, stronger and more explosive.
If you have been around EM Rancho for the last 8 years or so, you have seen Coach Chris Prieto in a cage or out in the field coaching hitting, fielding and pitching. Chris has been part of the EM family since he stopped playing baseball. When we met Chris, he was re-habing an injury and needed training looking for an edge to break into the pro system for the Angels. By that time he had played for some 6 Major League Organizations including the Cardinals, A’s, Astros and Padres. Chris also met his wife at Laryn at EM and they now have 2 daughters and just relocated near spring training grounds in Arizona. During a recent visit to Chris, Laryn and the girls, we are here to report that they look very happy, with nothing but great things ahead of them … here is the official story from the Mariners:
PEORIA, Ariz. — Chris Prieto, who had been slated to manage the Class-A Clinton club in the Mariners Minor League system, instead was promoted to the Major League staff on Friday as a quality control coach.
Manager Lloyd McClendon said Prieto, 41, will serve as the go-between for the Mariners’ advance scouting department and the Major League coaching staff.
“He’ll coordinate with the statistical analysis people and be the liaison between that department and our coaching staff, making sure our scouting reports are right-on and have the things we want and need, and eliminate the things we don’t need,” McClendon said.
“He’ll be in charge of defense and how we position, a little more in-depth scouting on how we position players as we move forward during the season.”
Prieto is in his second year in the organization. He managed the Rookie League Pulaski club to a league-best 41-27 record last year after previously coaching in the Padres’ farm system. Prieto was an outfielder for 13 years in pro ball and played two games with the Angels in 2005.
He’ll travel with the team and throw batting practice and take part in pregame drills, but won’t be in uniform during games due to the limit of coaches allowed in the dugout.
McClendon said the position is one that he and general manager Jack Zduriencik have been talking about for some time.
“As we move forward, I think it’s a good idea, and something most clubs are moving toward, to give us that eye in the sky, so to speak,” McClendon said. “He’ll give a little different perspective, not only the ability to scout other teams, but also scout ourselves. If there’s something we need to do different or a weakness we can shore up, that’s something we need to look into and I think he’ll be a big help for us.”
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, L A Dodger Single A affiliate, has named EM Speed and Power Training as their Official Training Partner for the 2nd year in a row. Some of the names that played through the Quakes system include Hanley Ramirez, Mike Trout, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Brian Wilson and more! For ticket information or to find out more about the Quakes, visit www.rcquakes.com. GO QUAKES!!!
Quakes to Play APU in Exibition Game
Rancho Cucamonga, CA - After a one-year hiatus, a tradition will renew on Tuesday, April 1st, as the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes host the Azusa Pacific University Cougars at LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga.
The Quakes and Cougars will meet for the ninth time in their history and for the seventh time in the last eight years, after the rivalry got last season off due to the Quakes hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers in an Exhibition Game.
“Our relationship with APU has been a great one and we’re excited that we’re able to rekindle our exhibition tradition again this year,” said Director of Public Relations and “Voice of the Quakes” Mike Lindskog. “This game has always been a fun jump-start for the Quakes’ season and I know the players and coaches from APU also really enjoy this experience.”
“We’ve always enjoyed our relationship with the Quakes and we’re thrilled to see it continue,” Cougar head coach Paul Svagdis said. “We’re very excited to have the chance to play professional baseball players in a first class stadium. Our players will always remember this when they look back at their college careers, and we’re thankful for them to have this opportunity.”
The game will be a seven-inning contest and is scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m., with tickets available through the Azusa Pacific baseball office for $10 apiece. For ticket and game information, contact assistant coach Matt Venegas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proceeds from the game will benefit the Cougar baseball program.
The exhibition match-up will also be the first game to be heard on the Quakes new radio home, FOX Sports AM 1350, with Mike Lindskog calling the action. Games will also continue to be heard online at rcquakes.com and via smart phones, by downloading the iHeartRadio app and searching for “Fox Sports Radio 1350″. The broadcast will kick off at 5:50 p.m. with the LoanMart Pregame Report.
Game times and a full promotional schedule will be decided upon in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned to rcquakes.com for the latest promotional news, as the Quakes embark upon their 22nd year in the California League.
Ticket packages for the Quakes’ 2014 season are on sale now, as fans can become a Quakes MVP (Most Valuable Partner) and choose between Full Season Tickets (70 games) or one of our terrific Mini-Season Ticket Packages (10, 20 or 30 games). Become a Quakes MVP and take advantage of all the benefits of being part of the Quakes’ family, by calling (909) 481-5000. We hope to see you at LoanMart Field very soon…Go Quakes!This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
Former Titan Ashley Carter Signs Professional Contract With Rebellion
Washington, Pa. – Former standout outfielder for Cal State Fullerton and EM Athlete Ashley Carter has been inked to a professional softball contract to the Pennsylvania Rebellion the team announced on Tuesday.
The native from Fontana, Calif., made the team after participating in tryouts in February. Carter led the Titans with a team-high 26 runs scored and 13 stolen bases in 2013. Starting all 56 games, she also chipped in 44 hits, two doubles and 13 RBI while notching a .259 batting average.
“Never give up on your dreams because anything is possible. Set out to achieve your goals because if you don’t, then you will never know if you can achieve them or not,” Carter said in being given the opportunity to compete in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League. “I wanted to thank the PA Rebellion for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to start playing ball with them. Never regret any moment and go out and do what you love. That is what I did.”
The center fielder was able to mark 11 multiple-hit games to go along with three multiple-RBI games. The left-handed hitter finished her Titan career ranked fourth all-time in triples (9) and eighth in fielding percentage (.988).
“I’m so excited for her, she deserves this not only from her performance on the field, but she has embraced the desire that she’s wanted it from day one. She wanted to continue her career after her senior year and I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said current Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Kelly Ford who coached Carter in 2013. “Ashley is a true example of what can happen when you dream big while working hard.”
Before landing the contract with the Rebellion, Carter logged experience with the Newport Beach, Calif., based California A’s, a competitive fastpitch softball travel team that was not too far from her collegiate days at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif.
In 2012, Carter was a member of a squad involved in the Women’s Elite Fastpitch Canadian Cup, competing as an outfielder against national teams from the likes of Japan, Australia and Venezuela.
Carter will compete for the first time on her new ball club on Thursday, June 5th at 7:05 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Park when the Rebellion open up the season against the USSSA Pride in Washington, Pa.
The newest EM location is opening Tuesday, February 4th in San Marcos, near San Diego in sunny Southern California! Thanks to our loyal, fast, agile and explosive customers, EM keeps answering the bell and growing into the places that you live and work. We will be doing more ‘scheduling’ in this location so, just call to let us know when your first workout will be. From then, we will talk about the schedule that works for you.
We can’t wait to see you San Diegans! Stay Classy!
To schedule your first workout, call 909-483-9000.
The ABD Spring League (ABDSL) is an Independent High School Spring League based out of Southern California endorsed and supported by Colleges & Universities.As a league, we encourage players to go the traditional route of playing High School baseball first. The ABDSL administration does not recruit high school players to play in the league.The Independent ABDSL is a TRUE ALTERNATIVE venue for High School Teams and individual players who make the choice on their own due to: Being cut, eligibility issues, transfer issues, home schooling, red-shirting…, etc..
There will be many reasons why players and high school teams will participate in The Independent Alternative Wood Bat Spring League in 2014. Just one or two of the features below may be the reason. When you add them all up, the league becomes an outstanding TRUE ALTERNATIVE venue for High School and College Red-Shirt Freshman Baseball players who wish to play and develop in a Competitive Wood Bat Baseball League during the Spring Season.
Student Sports of Southern California announced the Top 100 and Hot 100 Watch List softball players in the Nation yesterday. The list of 2015 players was completed yesterday and the 2014 just before that. Here are names of So Cal Athletes that made the 2015 National list and the schools they will be attending. The number next to their name is their National Ranking. We have only listed the athletes from the Southern California area.
1. AMANDA LORENZ FLORIDA – EM Athlete (pictured)
3. SYDNEY ROMERO OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
4. MARSHAYLEE KNIGHTEN OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
5. TAYLOR MCQUILLIN ARIZONA - EM Athlete
7. BROOKE VINES STANFORD
8. ALYSSA PALOMINO ARIZONA - EM Athlete
10. RACHEL GARCIA UCLA - EM Athlete
13. NATALIE PETERS MICHIGAN - EM Athlete
15. KALEY WINEGARNER STANFORD - EM Athlete
16. FAITH CANFIELD MICHIGAN - EM Athlete
17. BRIANNE TAUTALAFUE UCLA - EM Athlete
18. BRITTNEY FINNEY OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
21. PAIGE HALSTEAD UCLA - EM Athlete
34. MORGANNE FLORES WASHINGTON - EM Athlete
36. PAULINA ANASIS NORTHWESTERN - EM Athlete
40. TAYLOR BECERRA ASU
42.. ALI WESTER NOTRE DAME
46. KENNEDY CLARK SOUTH CAROLINA - EM Athlete
53. KYLIE LUNDBERG OKLAHOMA
55. KOURTNEY SHAW CAL
56. TAYLOR ROWLAND TENNESSEE - EM Athlete
57. ABBY LOCKMAN TENNESSEE - EM Athlete
60. FALE AVIU OKLAHOMA - EM Athlete
61. HAILEY HILBURN UTAH - EM Athlete
66. MELISSA ROCHFORD NOTRE DAME
70. BRIANNE BETSCHEL OHIO STATE - EM Athlete
72. KATYA DUVALL OHIO STATE - EM Athlete
74. ALLY DICKMAN UTAH - EM Athlete
77. HILARY EDIOR ARIZONA
79. BRIANNA CASSIDY NEBRASKA
82. RHIANNA RICH UNCOMMITTED - EM Athlete
89. ZOE CASAS FLORIDA STATE - EM Athlete
94. OLIVIA SANCHEZ BYU - EM Athlete
96. ASHLEY ROSS BOSTON COLLEGE - EM Athlete
99. MCKAYLA MARTIN AUBURN - EM Athlete
To view the entire list visit studentsports.com
If you have trouble viewing the video CLICK HERE
Kevin Millar and Chris Rose of MLB Network’s Intentional Talk interview Matt Davidson about his recent trade, while the guy he was traded for, Addison Reed, video bombs (and guest stars) the segment. Filmed remotely at EM Speed and Power Training in Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
TRAINING SPOTLIGHT: EM SPEED & POWER TRAINING
If you’ve followed softball closely over the past year or two, especially in Southern California, you’ve seen the EM logo somewhere.
And if you were paying attention yesterday you saw that we put up our first of what will be a weekly series of videos tied into EM Speed & Power Training.
So what is “EM” and what does it stand for? More importantly, what does it do?
The group included Ed’s daughter, Paige, a 2015 shortstop headed to UCLA (who we profile below), her Explosion teammate Carly Thomas, a senior outfielder who’s signed with Illinois plus several college standouts: Ashley Carter, an outfielder who just graduated from Cal State Fullerton, senior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle of Arizona State, senior pitcher Jessica Hall from UCLA, junior infielder Emilie Valadez from UNLV and freshman catcherKirsten Mack of Missouri.
That video interview will be coming in the next week or two, but back to the backstory of the seven year old company.
Ed worked in the manufacturing business and retired several years ago. However, as he helped his son, Ryan, currently a senior pitcher at the Univ. of Indiana, and other athletes work out at a park, he drew a following and soon was forced to set up a facility for athletes to work out in.
The company was originally called “Explosive Methods,” a training reference, but Halstead explains that whenever he got a package, the delivery person was hesitant “thinking we were building bombs.”
“I shortened it to EM, which some people think is for my name and my wife Mari’s, but it was just the shortened version of the original name.”
Seven years after it was founded, EM Speed and Power training has worked with close to 35,000 athletes now and includes among its clients noted SoCal teams like the Corona Angels, Firecrackers and the OC Batbusters, which is led by Mike Stith who is tied into the Anaheim EM facility, one of the five located in Southern California. The others are the Rancho Cucamonga headquarters, which surpasses 30,000 square feet, and locations in Pasadena, Chino and Corona.
EM has 30 employees and a strict screen and training process for its trainers, some of whom have worked with major colleges like USC and professional organizations like the New York Mets.
As I spoke to the seven softballers, they mentioned that the key to EM was they felt motivated by the trainers and that it was like being part of a family.
“Here, you drive yourself to be the best you can be,” explained Cheyenne. “I’ve seen players in college who will cut reps—instead of doing eight they’ll only do six. EM gives you the mentality to do your sets and then do one more.”
Ed says a location will be opening soon in San Diego and that he has a 10 year plan to grow the business even further.
“We’re here to help the athlete be the best he or she can be,” he explains. “Our trainers have to be on top of it, if an athlete gets injured or doesn’t get everything out of a workout then we’ve failed, but what’s rewarding is seeing how they drive themselves and each other and tell others about the atmosphere here where they can become the best they can.”
Note: we’re happy to announce we’ll be having regular video content provided by EM Speed and Power Training to help softball players everywhere learn how to improve their game.
- See more at: http://www.studentsports.com/softball/2013/12/19/daily-update-12-19-13/#sthash.YrZCxuxN.dpuf
By Steve Adams [December 16 at 1:04pm CST]
The Diamondbacks announced that they have acquired Addison Reed from the White Sox in exchange for third baseman Matt Davidson. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert first reported that the trade was on the verge of happening (on Twitter).
Reed, 24, has saved 69 games for the White Sox over the past two seasons, posting a 4.20 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 126 1/3 innings in that time. Sabermetric stats such as FIP (3.38) and SIERA (3.33) feel that Reed’s ERA should have been substantially lower in that time. The Diamondbacks will control Reed through the 2017 season and he is not arbitration eligible until next offseason, making him a highly affordable piece to add to the back-end of their bullpen.
Davidson, 23 in March, made his big league debut in 2013, slashing .237/.333/.434 with three homers in 87 plate appearances. The 2009 supplemental-rounder entered the 2013 campaign ranked as Baseball America’s No. 88 overall prospect and MLB.com’s No. 77 overall prospect. Davidson delivered on that praise by slashing .280/.350/.481 with 17 homers in 500 plate appearances prior to his promotion to the big leagues. He is controllable through the 2019 season and can’t reach arbitration eligibility until at least the 2016-17 offseason.
Reed will step into the ninth-inning role for the Diamondbacks, relegating J.J. Putz and Brad Zieglerto setup duties. Arizona GM Kevin Towers has added some youth to his bullpen while shedding the salary of Heath Bell over the past week.
Davidson, meanwhile, can fill a long-term need for the White Sox, ideally solidifying third base for the South Siders for years to come. White Sox third basemen batted .249/.294/.352 last season, so Davidson should eventually displace the projected platoon of Conor Gillaspie andJeff Keppinger. He will join an increasingly young core for the White Sox consisting of Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton and Jose Dariel Abreu.
Arizona’s acquisition of Mark Trumbo last week (a trade on which Towers and White Sox GM Rick Hahn also lined up) pushed Martin Prado back to third base on a full-time basis for the Snakes, likely leading to the belief that Davidson had become expendable (Prado is under contract for three more seasons). The White Sox could look to the free agent market to add any number of closer-types available, or they could elect to stay in-house and use flamethrower Nate Jones in the ninth inning.
NCAA.orgLaboratory tests show that flat-seamed baseballs travel about 20 feet farther than raised-seamed balls.
DI committee changes to flat-seamed baseballs for 2015 championshipGreg Johnson | NCAA.comLast Updated - Nov 5, 2013 17:07 EST
The Division I Baseball Committee will move to the use of a flat-seamed baseball for its championship, starting with the 2015 Division I tournament.
Currently, raised-seamed baseballs are used in the Division I Baseball Championship.
Committee members made the decision to change to a flat-seamed baseball after research conducted this fall by the Washington State University Sport Science Laboratory showed that flat-seamed baseballs launched out of a pitching machine at averages of 95 mph, a 25-degree angle and a 1,400 rpm spin rate traveled around 387 feet compared to raised-seamed baseballs that went 367 feet.
On the NCAA’s behalf, the Washington State University lab evaluates and certifies baseball bats used in NCAA competition for compliance with bat performance standards.
In the flat-, raised-seamed baseball research, the speed and angles used in the testing were chosen because they are the conditions when typical home runs occur in Division I baseball competition.
Due to variables (individual bat speed, wind direction, whether the ball is stuck on the bat’s “sweet spot,” etc.) that can impact the distance a baseball can travel, not every trajectory hit with a flat-seamed ball will travel exactly 20 feet farther than a raised-seamed ball, but a 20-foot average difference is an approximate representation of what can be expected.
The NCAA’s official supplier of championship baseballs, Rawlings, also conducted testing of the flat-seam balls in its own research lab. That research was consistent with the findings in the WSU lab.
“We anticipate that this will moderately increase scoring but not take it back to the days where we were dealing with outrageous scores that looked more like football scores,” said Dennis Farrell, who is the committee chair and the commissioner of the Big West Conference. “We want to get the game back to what is a reasonable amount of scoring and defense.”
While the distance the baseball travels is increased due to less drag on the baseball, the health of and safety of the players will not be compromised. The core of the ball and the bat-exit speed will not change.
“We are always sensitive to student-athlete safety issues,” Farrell said. “According to the data we were presented with, those concerns are alleviated. The rationale behind making this change is hoping it will allow certain balls hit at certain trajectories to carry farther.”
Committee members were spurred to look at the research after becoming concerned with diminishing offensive numbers in the Division I Baseball Championship, particularly at the Men’s College World Series site in Omaha.
In the 2013 MCWS, there were only three home runs hit in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, which opened in 2011. The first year of the new home of the MCWS also marked the year that the bat standards changed to make metal bats perform more like wood bats.
The bat standards were designed to protect pitchers and fielders from increasing bat-exit speeds and to bring balance to the game that was trending heavily toward the offense.
In 2011, there were nine home runs in the MCWS, and in the second year in the park, 10 homers were hit. By contrast in the last year at Rosenblatt Stadium in 2010, 32 homers left the park. Similarly, across all of Division I regular season baseball, offensive performance – batting averages, runs scored and home runs – has been on the decline in recent years.
The difference in the height of the seams between the two baseballs is small. The flatter-seamed ball has a seam height of .048 inches compared to .031 inches for a raised-seam ball. This flatter seam height is consistent with the balls used in minor league baseball, yet still higher than what is used in major league baseball.
The flat-seamed baseball may make it more difficult for pitchers to throw breaking pitches, but college baseball coaches feel their pitchers will be able to adjust over time.
A survey conducted by the American Baseball Coaches Association showed 87 percent of the respondents wanted to change to the flat-seamed baseball. Around 80 percent of the nearly 300 Division I baseball coaches responded to the survey.
The coaches were also asked questions pertaining to game excitement and home runs. Seventy-two percent thought the game needed more excitement and 69 percent believe Division I college baseball needs more home runs.
“The numbers from the survey means the coaches are making a strong statement,” Farrell said. “Even the coaches of programs that have traditionally strong pitching were in favor of going to the flat-seamed baseball.”
Check out these upcoming Baseball and Softball Camps powered by EM CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
The infamous EM Sweatshirts keep you warm and dry for those early morning workouts, or if you are trying to develop some style (you know who you are), this could help. Wearing an EM Sweatshirt is not only a great choice, but as you can see (above), it makes people very happy (like Coach Matt and Ashley). Fleecy on the inside and soft on the outside, this EM Sweatshirt material was made by a microbiologist and enables more aerodynamic and athletic positions promotes a clear complexion and whiter teeth in 5 days …. ok, not really, but it will give you some style and keep you warm.
See EM Athlete Addison Reed get his 40th save of the 2013 season for the Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays All Star Pitcher Steve Delabar, Arizona Diamondbacks Nate Adcock and Miami Marlins Stephen Shackleford came to EM to visit and talk about this last season in baseball with EM Athletes. All these MLB pitchers use the Velocity Plus throwing program to help them reach and maintain the level of arm strength and arm speed needed to excel at the Major League Level. Through the night there were videos from HBO Sports featuring Bryant Gumbel and Q and A sessions with stories about pitching to Robinson Cano, A-Rod, Jeter and more. Altogether a great night of stories, education and opportunities for all EM athletes and Parents. Thanks to friends of EM Steve Delabar, Nate Adcock, Stephen Shackleford and Joe Newton for sharing the stories and helping our baseball and softball players understand more about the demands and training techniques of the Professional level of sports.
OAKLAND — Daric Barton was in the dugout when the A’s won the American League West last year but admits he felt a bit like an outsider crashing a party.
Sunday, however, Barton not only was on the field when Oakland repeated as division champions, he was right in the thick of the victory and at the center of the midfield celebration.
“There’s nothing that tops today,” said Barton, who went 3-for-3 with a homer and a walk in the A’s 11-7 victory. “I feel like I’m more part of the team. I feel like I’ve done something to help the team win. So this is a great time in my life.”
The A’s have a lot of rags-to-riches stories in their clubhouse, but Barton may be “tops” among them.
Acquired in a 2005 trade with St. Louis, Barton has been in the organization longer than any player on the roster. But it appeared he was at the end of the line with the team this season after being designated for assignment twice, once at the end of spring training and again early in May when he hit .143 in a brief stint as an injury replacement.
When he went unclaimed, Barton stuck with the organization and kept plugging away at Triple-A Sacramento, waiting for one more chance. When he was finally recalled on Aug. 26, he returned a different player.
Starting 20 of the last 27 games, Barton has hit .319 (23 for 72), played a flawless first base and has been a major part of their September run to the finish line.
Now, it appears he will be part of the 25-man roster for the first round of the playoffs. Asked directly if Barton would be on the postseason roster, manager Bob Melvin said, “I don’t see how he can’t.”
Barton said he isn’t worrying about it.
“I’m thankful for being here this second, this day,” he said. “I’m going to embrace what we’ve got going on right now, and worry about what happens later, later.”
Said Melvin, “You could ask him, but in June, he’s probably thinking, ‘I’m not going to be part of this thing.’ But now, he’s not only part of it, he’s a big part of it. When he was called upon, he definitely was ready.”
General manager Billy Beane maintained that as long as Barton didn’t go elsewhere after he was outrighted, he was going to have a place in the organization.
“He’s always had the advantage of the G.M. being a big fan of his,” Beane said. “I think he has all the skills that sometimes don’t necessarily show up in the boxscore — he’s a tremendous defender, he’s a good baserunner, he’s got a great eye at the plate. And he’s really grown up a lot. To see him contribute and be part of these last few weeks has been great and satisfying for all of us in the organization.”
So what changed?
“It’s more off the field,”
Beane said. “Daric has really matured. He had a hard time when he was younger handling things when they didn’t go right. He’d get frustrated with himself. Now he’s taking things and accepting that it’s not always going to be perfect.”
Barton confirmed that he has a new mind-set.
“I take it day by day,” he said. “Whatever happened in the past happened in the past. I live for today, and today’s been a great day. I couldn’t ask for a better day, especially with the ending we had here.”
Barton said he’s glad he hung in with Oakland. He said there was never a doubt that he would as long as the door was open to him.
“This is the only place I know,” he said. “This is where I’m comfortable, this is where I want to be. I couldn’t ask for anymore.
“I am proud of myself,” he added. “I realize the player I am now and I have all the confidence in the world in myself. If I just stay with my approach and just be me, I think I’ll be just fine.”