As a team, we struggled through most of the year and appeared to be heading
for another sub .500 season. During the season, we had made several pushes to get to the .500 mark, but each time we would
cool off and come up short. Suddenly, in August, we reasserted ourselves and began playing with an enthusiasm and consistency
that we had been lacking all season. Not only did we finally surpass the .500 mark but we continued to win and suddenly found
ourselves in contention for the playoffs.
I don't think anyone can pin point the sudden turn around of a team, we
did however benefit from earlier trades made in New York. The trade that sent Robin Ventura from the Yankees to the Dodgers
brought us the league leading hitter from the Pacific Coast League (Triple A) and two quality pitchers. The addition of those
two pitchers gave us good balance in our bullpen, which became the strength of our team. The team hitting, which was among
the bottom in the league, climbed up the ranks led by league leading hitter, Fernando Seguinol.
Seguinol had one of the most impressive seasons that I have ever witnessed
at the minor league level. He led the league in average (.341), homeruns (28), and fell only two RBI short (87) of winning
the International League's Triple Crown. What is even more impressive, is that he accomplished all of this having missed six
weeks of the season due to an injury. Recognized for his absolute dominance, Fernando was named the league's MVP following
Unfortunately, we came up short in our bid to make the playoffs after losing
a couple of must-win games at the end of the season to the first place Louisville Riverbats. It was a disappointing end to
a strong finish that produced excitement for both the players and loyal Clippers fans. A select few players were called up
to New York for the remainder of their season. Among those were Drew Henson, Erick Almonte, Michele Hernandez and Fernando
Seguinol (who Clipper teammates were particularly happy for).
Once again, this was not the season I had personally hoped for. Although
I was highly effective behind the plate, I couldn't get anything going with the bat and continued to struggle for most of
the season. Like the team, I made a late season surge that gave me hope that I might salvage the season after all. But limited
at bats and playing time at the end of the year made it even more difficult. There was simply too much ground to make up in
too little time.
Which leads me to this year. A brand new year and a fresh start can make
all the difference. As the season ends and the off season begins, you start to find the positives from the past year and try
to build on that. From there, you commit to a workout program that prepares you physically for the demands of a rigorous season.
Then, you begin to visualize what it is you want to achieve, which then motivates your workouts. The drive to either get better
or maintain a certain standard is the driving force behind all of the hard work.
With each working day, you realize just how fortunate you are to play this
game. Along with a well rested body and relaxed mind, comes a fresh new attitude which has you looking forward to the first
day of spring. This leads you to believe that the upcoming year will be better than the last.