Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Student-Athlete Dilemma

When I was playing baseball in high school, I had the chance to play against multiple college teams. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would talk to the opposing players to see how they felt about college baseball.

The answer was always the same; "It's no longer a game, it's a job". 

I didn't believe this to be true until I finished my first week of fall practices this previous August. My daily schedule consisted of class all morning, practice from 2:00 to 4:00, conditioning on the track at 5:00, Study hall from 6:00 to 8:00, and workouts from 9:00 to 10:00.

Once I was done with all this, I immediately went home to go to bed. Luckily, I was able to get done with most of my work during my study hall hours. However this schedule did not allow for any social time which was hard for me at first.

Thankfully, I have been able to successfully manage my time to juggle school, baseball, and social life all in one day. 

So the first time someone asks me how is college baseball? You know what I'm gonna say?

"It's no longer a game, it's a job" 

Oh, To Be A Braves Fan


Yet again, the Atlanta Braves have let down their fan base and, despite an optimistic regular season, failed to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the play-offs. This has been an annual thing for the past couple years and the Bravos continue to fail to rise to the occasion.

"Well there's always next year!"

This has become the slogan of "Chop Nation". The Braves fans have learned o expect this from their beloved team. This fan, however, is getting tired of it.

The last time the Braves won the world series was in 1995, the year I was born. I have maybe been saying "well maybe next year" for at least the past five years of my life. But I will always stay true to my team so... maybe next year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Braves Falling Apart?

The Atlanta Braves are having a phenomenal season this year. In my opinion they can be a huge contester in the World Series this October. However, are they falling apart as that milestone nears?

With a loss to the Phillies last night, despite what looked to be a comeback in the ninth inning, the Braves fell behind to the Cardinals for the best record in the national league. They now need a win and a loss for the Cardinals in order to clench home field advantage in the World Series. But their play is not the only thing falling off the table right now.


After the loss last night, Chris Johnson threw his helmet in disgust and it just so happened to hit coach Terry Pendleton who did not take the situation lightly. Heated words were exchanged and after some marginal pushing and shoving the situation calmed down. Is this cause for concern?

We all know about the Jose Fernandez incident that led to a dugout clearing brawl, and just recently, the same situation happened again with Carlos Gomez which was even more heated. Incidentally Gomez was blocked from touching home plate, after he "pimped" a home run, by catcher Brian McCann who was not happy with the attitude Gomez showed.

Are these incidents cause for worry? In my opinion, yes they are. The tensions seem to be very high at this point in the Braves Clubhouse. They need to figure out a why to play the game of baseball, emotions aside, in order to pull out a World Series win, the likes of which hasn't been seen since 1995.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Child Care

When I was 6 months old, I was enrolled in a child care center called Savannah Youth University. This daycare is divided into two sections, SYU, for the younger children, and once you turn 5, Camp Pacer. As I grew older, I stayed enrolled in this program, twelve amazing summers full of memories and friends that I will never forget. Once I turned thirteen, the summer going into my ninth grade year, I became a leader in training at Camp Pacer. This is the first phase of the leadership program. You spend two years as a LIT and than two more years as a counselor in training. I completed these four years on a volunteer basis and, last summer, started my first year as a paid counselor. This was a dream came true for me and I am one of few who have made it from infant to counselor without missing a single summer.


During this past summer, It hit me one day driving home; this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. It occurred to me that when I was at camp, I was always invested in what the kids were doing, but when I was away, I was constantly thinking about them. These kids that I've worked with have had such an impact on my life and I've seen and heard things that not many people get to experience. One day last summer, a parent was picking their child up and looked at me and said, "Are you Mr. Jacob? My daughter comes home every night with stories about you and she has had a great summer so I would just like to thank you!" That might have been one of the many highlights of my summer. It was truly a blessed feeling.

My position at Camp Pacer is the P.A. instructor. Project Adventure is a ropes course that starts on the ground, and as the summer progresses, goes up into the trees. It starts out with basic communication, team-building, and trust activities, and evolves into a fifty foot high ropes course. I am lucky enough to work with all the age groups so I get to get to know each child on a personal level. When a child is in a tree, and the only thing keeping them safe is a rope attached to you, that child is at his or her most vulnerable position. They are so scared and so nervous that they are going to fall, but my job is to talk them through it and get them down. It's the most rewarding feeling when a child is stuck in a tree and you are able to talk them down and you see the look on their face; the look of "Wow, I cannot believe I just did that but it was so much fun!" I help them realize their full potential and help boost their self confidence.

Being the P.A. instructor has helped me realize what my line of work is going to be. I have decided to invest my passion for childcare in becoming a child phycologist and helping those kids who need special attention. You never know which child might need it. I've worked with children with split homes, learning disabilities, special needs children, children with anger management, bipolar children. And I have come to realize that when you get to know them, gain their trust, and show them how much you truly care, you can get through to them. I cannot even begin to explain the love I have for these kids. Knowing that what I do every day has an impact on their lives proves to me that this is what I was put on this earth to do.

Braves To Go All The Way?


The Atlanta Braves have been the most steady team in the National League and are a shoe-in to win their division. The Braves have had the most success as a ball club this year than any other team in major league baseball. This has to do with many factors.

The Braves head coach has made many key moves in association with the lineup, for instance moving a slumping Jason Heyward up to the lead-off position who eventually saw a spike in all of his numbers. Another key player who has shot into major league baseball is Evan Gattis, who wowed the coaches in the spring training and has been on this hot streak for the majority of the season. Chris Johnson, the Braves third baseman, is one of the hottest hitters in the National League. He's in line to win a NL batting title and has helped the braves be as successful as they've been. 

Growing up as a child, I remember the Braves team I worshiped, Marcus Giles, Johnny Estrada, Rafael Furcal, and Chipper Jones. This was the team that inspired me and the year I was born was the last time the Braves have won the world series, 1995.

If things keep going the way they have for the Braves, I see no reason for them not to win it all this year. As a die hard Braves fan, I go into every season hoping for the best. Hopefully this is the year they do it! As long as they keep up the level of play that they've been showing, the sky is the limit. The Atlanta Braves are the most deserving team to win the world series this year!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Braves Versus Marlins Brawl

Wednesday, September 11, the Atlanta Braves played the Miami Marlins. The Marlins ended up on top, winning 4 to 1, but in my opinion, showcased a very poor play of the game of baseball.

Rookie pitcher Jose Fernandez showcased his youthful energies Wednesday night as he threw another gem in his wonderful first year as a professional baseball player. But, for me, there was a terrible blight on his performance that night.

Evan Gattis crushed a pitch thrown by Fernandez and for a split second watched the path of the ball. When a hitter "pimps" a home run, it's the equivalent of saying to a pitcher, "yeah, I just made you look terrible!" 

Fernandez did not take lightly to the way Gattis carried himself after this bomb, and when Chris Johnson came up to the plate, and was gotten out by Fernandez, words were exchanged between the two players.

During the next inning, Fernandez came to the batter's box. Unbelievably, Fernandez hit a home run further than Gattis'. However, the rookie pitcher, flung the bat, and stood at home plate for more than five seconds before beginning to trot around the bases. While rounding third base, where Johnson plays, Fernandez bent down and spit on the bag. This immature behavior was not taken lightly by Braves catcher Brian McCann who was waiting for Fernandez at home plate!

Words were exchanged between the two players and Johnson came running towards Fernandez to speak his mind. There was a little pushing and shoving but the umpires handled the situation well warning both teams and no players or coaches were ejected. 

McCann was just explaining to the young Fernandez that his antics were not acceptable at this level of play. Fernandez later apologized but this behavior does not sit well with me and, although he's an exceptional ball player, he does not have my respect as a sportsman.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Alex Rodriguez: A Cheat?

        Alex Rodriguez may be one of the most identifiable baseball players in the past 5 decades. However, recent accusations and evidence coming to light has brought this all-star athlete's career to its knees. A-Rod, as his fans call him, has an impressive six-hundred and fifty one homeruns in his brilliant career. But should this feat be taken away from him merely because he used performance enhancing drugs? I do not think so.

       Alex Rodriguez had to endure fans chanting "you're a cheater", is slightly ridiculous. One, because in reality, most major league baseball players use performance enhancing drugs but it seems only the high dollar athletes get tested the most often. And two, take performance enhancers away from Alex Rodriguez, and put him next to every single fan in that stadium, he could out play any one of them.
        Fans need to understand that they are badmouthing a person who has worked extremely hard to get where he is and to maintain his level of play, made a bad decision and used PED's.