The Way I See Boyz II Men


I was listening to Spotify radio on the subway a couple days ago and Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love To You", came on. It's a song I've heard many times before and one I really enjoy, but when I heard it the other day, I had a different take on it.

For those of you who haven't heard the song, here's a link to the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV8vB1BB2qc. You should definitely give it a listen before you keep reading, it helps if you can kinda "sing" Boyz II Men's lines. 

Also, if you want to take the advanced class, you can have Boyz II Men sing their "lines", and then read the lines of the "Woman" in the corresponding empty spaces. That may be a little hard, and might work better after you've already read it once or twice (or 15 times) on your own. 

Anyway, as I listened to the song I started to imagine Boyz II Men (who is just one person for the sake of this scene) singing this song to a woman they had brought over. 

I think the scene would go a little something like this:

Boyz II Men
Close your eyes, make a wish
And blow out the candlelight...

Woman
This is so romantic.
I'm really happy you invited me over.

B2M
For tonight is just your night
We're gonna celebrate...

Woman
It feels so good to hear you say that. 
We deserve a little bit of a celebration.

B2M
Pour the wine. Light the fire.
Girl, your wish is my command...

Woman
No other men would do this for me. 
They just want sex all the time.

B2M
I submit to your demands
I'll do anything, girl you need only ask...

Woman
I want to go to Paris with you. 
I want to introduce you to my parents.
I want to bring you to my sister's baby shower.

B2M
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to...

Woman
What?

B2M
And I'll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I'll make love to you
When you want me to...

Woman
It's not the timing of it. It's more that
 I didn't wish for that. 

B2M
And I will not let go
'Till you tell me to...

Woman
That's REALLY creepy.

B2M
Girl relax, let's go slow...

Woman
I would love to go slow. If you promise 
to go slow, I promise to try to relax.

B2M
I ain't got no where to go...

Woman
I do! I have work in the morning!

B2M
I'm just gonna concentrate on you
Girl are you ready? It's gonna be a long night...

Woman
What happened to taking it slow?
I kinda want to leave...

B2M
Throw your clothes on the floor
I'm gonna take my clothes off too...

Woman
Your clothes have been off this entire time!
I was gonna say something - it's a bit off-putting.

B2M
I've made plans to be within you...

Woman
Are you fucking hearing yourself?

B2M
Girl whatever you ask me, you know I could do...

Woman
Could you put on pants? Could 
you ask about my day?

B2M
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to...

Woman
Nope.

B2M
And I'll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I'll make love to you 
When you want me to...

Woman
I feel this has taken a turn for the worse.
I actually just gonna go home.

B2M
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to...

Woman
Ok. I'm telling you to. Please let go of me.

B2M
Baby tonight is your night
And I will do you right...

Woman
We've passed that point. I'm not even
wearing panties - I was all about it. Then you 
started singing the creepiest song ever.

B2M
Just make a wish on your night
Anything that you ask 
I will give you the love of you life, your life, your life...

Woman
I think that's the problem. You assume that my wish
is for you to fuck me all night. Who told you that I 
would wish for that? It's ridiculous. 

B2M
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to...

Woman
And I'm leaving. Thank you so much. 
I know where the door is.

B2M
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to
And I'll hold you tight
Baby, all through the night
I'll make love to you
When you want me to...

The Way I See Brushes With Death

Pete and Repeat are in a boat. Pete falls out. Who's left?

.....Pete and Repeat are in a boat....

ALRIGHT! Enough hilarious jokes. This post is serious!

This week, I tell you about my recent brush with death and how I, Cole Cook, was able to escape it's cold clutches to tell the tale.

So the other day I was cutting bagels and cut my thumb.

Before we get any deeper into this epic tale of bravery, I should give you guys a touch of backstory. When I was 10, I closed a swiss army knife on my finger while trying to whittle an incense holder out of a piece of driftwood (that's the hippy-est thing I've ever said). I limped upstairs (I don't know why I was limping), almost passed out, and my brother and uncle laughed at me. When I was in high school, I went with my sister to give blood. I almost passed out again and my little sister laughed at me.

So flash forward to Tuesday night. I'm in my kitchen. I'm not wearing a shirt. I've got one bagel in the toaster and I'm cutting a second one while singing along with Alanis Morissette. Basically - I'm being a badass.

Then, approximately 15 seconds after thinking, "I probably shouldn't be cutting towards my hand." I cut into my left thumb. I throw the knife in the sink, stomp my foot, scream "FUCK!", put my thumb in my mouth, and start jumping around my apartment.

It's the worst cut in the history of the world. I can see the bone. I don't have a thumb anymore. I'm gonna die. I wish I would have visited Machu Picchu. My brother can have my Xbox One. Someone clear my browser history.

Against all odds, and to the surprise of the global medical community, I'm able to make it to the bathroom (hold the applause for the end, please). It's at this point that I start talking to myself.

"Alright Cookie. We're okay. It's okay. It's just a cut. We're gonna be fine. You taste blood, but that's okay. There's no pain in my hand. We're okay. Breathe, baby. Breathe. Gotta take a look at it. We gotta see what's going on, brother."

Reminder: I am talking TO MYSELF. Who the fuck is "we"? Why am I talking to myself as if I'm talking to another person? Why do I use pet names with myself? All of these questions are important and worth asking, and I have an answer to exactly none of them.

I unlock my jaws, and spit out a mouthful of red before looking down. What used to be a perfectly useful thumb is now a faucet of blood. I grab a fistful of Charmin and wrap my thumb up, closing my fingers around it. I don't have band-aids in my apartment, and I suddenly remember being in CVS a couple weeks ago and thinking, "Why would I need bandaids?" Well... in case you cut your fucking thumb open, Cole.

Now my thumb is "bandaged" and I'm okay. I have survived. Then, on the walk from the bathroom to the living room (which is about 7 feet since I live in New York), this happens:

Step 1: I think about how much blood I just saw.
Step 2: My entire body gets hot.
Step 3: My eyes lose focus and start trying to focus on EVERYTHING. It's like when you click on someone's face when you're taking a picture, and your iPhone focuses on four different things before settling on the face. It's like that - but without the settling part.
Step 4: I close my eyes, cause obviously that will help.
Step 5: All sense of balance leaves me. Just gone.
Step 6: Hands on your knees! Hands on your knees! (Like the song. Get it?)
Step 7: I start to breath like I'm in a Lamaze Class.
Step 8: I get through it. I'm okay. I'm not gonna think about my hand.
Step 9: I look down at my thumb. (I don't know why I did this)
Step 10: I'm in the fetal position, on the floor.

For those of you that are just joining the story (which should be no one, just scroll up and read the first couple paragraphs), I am on the floor, I am bleeding, I am half naked, I have Charmin Ultrasoft wrapped around my thumb, and I can't open my eyes.

Anyone wanna date me? No? Alriiiiiiiiight.

There's a certain type of feeling that accompanies being curled up, on the floor, shirtless, bleeding, disoriented and still listening to Alanis Morissette. That feeling is shame. Shame with a nice helping of helplessness and a side of emasculation.

So I just lay on the floor, cradling my thumb. Nothing else to do but wait this out, let the feeling pass.  Slowly, the world stops spinning (actually, the world keeps spinning, my head just stops spinning), and I make it to a seated position. I get my feet under me, finally find a fucking shirt, and start making my way to CVS.

In any other city in the world, a guy cradling his hand wrapped in bloody toilet paper is alarming. In New York, people don't even notice. I walk (I think I was walking, but I was probably stumbling) three city blocks with the world's worst first aid on my hand, and no one even looks at me.

I get to CVS (where STILL no one cares that I have a blood-soaked wad of toilet paper on my hand) and ditch the Charmin for a band aid. By this time, the bleeding has already stopped, and I get my first good look at the cut - it's about a centimeter long and clean, not deep at all - it's gonna heal in about two days. Band aid on, I'm ready to take on the world again.

However, instead of doing that, I buy four quarts of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (American Dream, Red Velvet, Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, for those who are interested) and go home to watch Netflix.

I think you would all agree that I deserve it.





The Way I See Online Dating

Welcome to the second posting of The Way I See It! For those of you that tuned in last week, congrats on making it back, give yourself a gold star. For those of you that weren't here last week - what the fuck was so important that you couldn't read my stupid blog? What? Do you have a job or something?

This week, we're talking about online dating. Online dating is very similar to pooping in the sense that everybody does it, everyone knows that everybody does it, and no one talks about it with members of the opposite sex.

Online dating used to be sites like eHarmony and Match.com. Places where people looked through profiles and tried to find someone they responded to in the hopes that they would be able to build a relationship with that person. It was supposed to be for people that were too busy to date, or too old for the bar scene, or just liked eating ice cream while emailing strangers. These sites (according to their commercials) were for people looking for love.

*Quick Aside: "Looking for Love" is absurd. What do you mean you're looking for it? Is it hiding from you? People don't look for any other feelings. I've never heard anyone say that they're looking for curiosity. Also, it's a bit ironic that the only way to find love is to find someone who's also looking it. Because if you find someone who has already found love, who knows where it is, that person can no longer help you. If you still don't think it's completely ridiculous, ask yourself this question: If you were on a first date, and your date tells you that they're looking for love, how fast do you ask for the check? It's like looking for Jesus - it's fine to be doing it, but PLEASE don't talk to me about it, cause you sound insane.*

Lets get back on track.

That's what online dating used to be (if you're over 50, maybe it still is). But if you have an iPhone, and you like sex or judging people, you probably know about Tinder and it's slightly less sketchy cousin, OKCupid. There are two main difference between these two and Match & eHarmony. 1. They're primarily used as apps on smartphones. 2. They're primarily for young people.

So what does this mean for online dating as a whole? Well, it means it's gone from a place where people can "look for love," to a place where people can "find sex." Do you see the difference? It's slight, and if you want, you can go back and reread this paragraph and join us back here once you understand.

First off- I know this is gonna rub some people the wrong way; they're online and they're not just looking for someone to hook up with. My point is not that the users of these sites only want sex, rather, that these sites promote a forum where sex is all that matters. You didn't match with someone on Tinder cause you guys both like Harry Potter books, or because you both speak French. No, you're matched with someone because you like they way their picture looked. This doesn't mean that after you get matched, you can't find out that you have a lot in common and dance off into the sunset together. I'm simply reminding you that it all started because she wears the shit out of that tank top.

Still, that's not the biggest problem with online dating; women have been dealing with men who only want to sleep with them for hundreds of years, that's not a 21st century problem. The main problem is that the people on these sites think they're better than everyone else on the site. Across the board. Almost every person I've ever talked to about being on OKC or Tinder talks about it as if they're doing everyone else on there a favor. People talk about the fact that they're on Tinder like it's a mistake. As if your phone was stolen and the thief set up a profile and now you just use it every day as a joke. And if you do happen to meet someone promising, you make up anything besides the truth when people ask where you guys met. I'd rather tell people I met a women while the two of us were in jail then say that we met online.

I'll meet a woman online and a small part of me thinks I'm more interesting than her because I don't have to be dating online. I can meet people in the real world. I can go to Starbucks and start a conversation with a pretty girl and ask her to dinner - I'm only online cause it's fun. Well Cole, don't you think it's possible that the same thing applies to the pretty girl you just "met"? No! Of course not! Every other person who's on OKC is a sad sack that needs pity, and if this date doesn't work out, they may just cash it in, move into an old Victorian house, adopt 15 cats and start knitting!

The silly part is that when I meet someone online, I know that they're thinking the same thing about me. I've been on dates and have had women literally say, "You're actually totally normal." As if they accepted the date and went out with me, all the while thinking I was probably some horrible troll creature.

This is what I like to call, "The Great Dating Hypocrisy",  and it started way before online dating. I've been to bars (the old fashioned way of finding a one night stand) and met women who say that they don't like people at bars. .....YOU'RE AT A BAR! You're here, right now, sitting at a bar. How could you possibly not like people who are doing the exact same thing that you're doing? I'd always hear something about how they're only here because their friends are, or that this is the first time they've been out in months, or something else that makes very little sense and could easily apply to any other living person in the building.

That's The Great Dating Hypocrisy: people simply don't hold other people to the same standards to which they hold themselves. And it's even more prominent in online dating. The connotation of "online dating" is that it's for weird people that are somehow broken and can't find dates in the real world. But everyone is online. If you are single, why wouldn't you join a dating site? They're free and all you're doing is giving yourself more of a chance to find someone. You may have to sift through a few profiles before finding someone remotely interesting, and you'll probably have to deal with a lot of people who are terrible (like a lot, a lot), but you could also find one person that makes the whole thing worth it.

That gorgeous chick you saw walking by while you waited for the bus? She may be on Tinder. The guy who helped a little kid after he slipped and fell? He might have a profile on OKC. At this point, if you're not online, I think you're shooting yourself in the dating foot. Is it a place for people to find someone to sleep with? Absolutely. But any one of those matches could also be just the person that you're looking for. Look at it this way - you're both online, so you know you have at least one thing in common.

Online dating is both the wave of the future and still the scariest way to meet anyone, ever. It's full of people who think they shouldn't be there, but also desperately want to meet someone, because the only thing worse than looking for dates online is not finding any. So make sure you have good profile pictures, talk about what you think makes you interesting, and don't take it too seriously - you will definitely end up with some amazing stories about horrible dates, and maybe (just maybe) someone who you actually respond to. I don't know about you, but I'd wade through hundreds of profiles of nonsense to come across one person that was actually worth my time - it only takes about 5 minutes while I'm in line for Chipotle, anyway.




The Way I See It

Welcome to "The Way I See It." I'm only 25 years old and this is already my third blog! Yes, I realize that having three blogs by 25 is about as impressive as having 3 donuts by noon - but that's not gonna dampen my enthusiasm.

"Dugout Chatter" is no more - it has been overhauled and will now be "The Way I See It." Honestly, "TWISI" (I love acronyms) won't be that much different than "DC" (told you).  The main difference is that I am no longer writing as an employee of a company, and as such, I have the freedom to write about whatever I want, and to say whatever I want to about it. To that end - I'm not a huge fan of Samsung phones. How's THAT for taking a stand? In your face, Samsung. #PushingTheEnvelope

Before I continue, a little about the author (me): I retired from professional baseball in January and moved to Manhattan in April (I'll take Quarter Life Crisis for 200, Alex). I now make a living coaching, writing and bartending. There was a plan to go back to school and finish my degree, but I did not get into NYU and apparently that's a prerequisite for every class at the university. So now I'm in NYC trying my hand at writing, stand-up comedy, improv and whatever else seems interesting.

So why should you read what I write? Why come here and spend 10 minutes reading what I have to say? Truth is, I really have no idea. Here's what I HOPE: I hope you come to my page because you think I'm funny. Maybe you think my ideas are interesting, maybe you have too much free time, maybe you like reading but hate books, maybe you were searching for Alicia Keys' brother (also named Cole Cook) and now you're here, and you're still waiting for me to start talking about growing up with Alicia (sorry, I don't know her).

I'll be posting once a week, sharing my views about things like online dating, one-way streets, dogs, strippers, sharing the sidewalk, bad tattoos, good sex, jump rope, and whatever else comes to mind. The main differences I hope to implement in this go-round is to share more of my life. This blog will be a way for people to get a peek inside my head and inside my life.

Will there be cursing? Fuck yes. Will it be gratuitous? I hope not. Will there be posts about baseball? Sure, I have a couple good stories to tell. Will it be offensive? It will never be my intention to offend anyone, but accidents happen and people are touchy. Do I already have an idea for a post about the success of Radio Disney in the early 2000's? No. No, I do not.

So here it is - I'm creating (yet another) platform for my writing. I hope you guys read it (mostly because if no one is reading this, it's weird that I keep addressing the audience in these parentheticals), and moreover - I hope you share it. I hope you write me with comments, or heckles, or a subject you'd like my views on. Thank you for stopping by, and I'll have more for you guys next week.

NEXT WEEK'S TOPIC: ONLINE DATING.



Also - if you're wondering about the second blog I made, please go check out theoverheardblog.wordpress.com. It's a simple, little blog that my Mother (who is a much better writer than I am - liliflanders.com) and I started together. She and I have always been fascinated by what we overhear people saying, so we started a blog to compile some of the best quotes we hear. If you're still curious and you haven't clicked on the link above, stop using the internet. If you aren't curious, go the page anyway and stop being stubborn - it's a good time.


The Four Outcomes of Fantasy Football

Yes, I know, I have a monthly blog now. But just like the New Yorker, writing this good takes time and it can only be released once a month. In other news, I'm lazy and most of the free time I get turns into me watching Game Of Thrones cause I have yet to see a better mix of sex and dwarves in my entire life.

For those of you that follow me on twitter, or stalk me, or are in my league, you know that I had my fantasy draft on Monday.....AND I NAILED IT! It's a 14 person league, so you're not gonna have a team of all studs, and it took a little bit of research to make sure my team turned out the way I wanted - I also phoned a friend a time or two for advice.

But anyway, my awesome drafting skills aren't what this is about. I'm not here to talk about how well I did in the draft on Monday, or how I was able to pick up sleepers in the late rounds, or how I was able to make snap decisions when the player I wanted went the pick right before my own. THAT'S NOT WHY I'M WRITING!!

I'm writing today to illustrate the four possible outcomes of a Fantasy Football season (a reader of the title of the particular post may have already been privy to that information, and for that you get a gold star).

1. "The Quitter"


For all of you playing the home game, this is when you quit Fantasy Football. But it's never as simple as that, there are a lot of factors that go into "The Quitter". Usually a Fantasy Football manager will have more than one team, and just the like the wildebeests of the Serengeti, you leave the sickly child behind. If you have one team that has yet to score 80 points in a week, you may stop checking in on those guys for a month or two at a time. "The Quitter" is the worst outcome though, cause not only does that mean that you're left with a team of losers, and now have to shoulder that kind of failure, but now you're basically giving anyone that plays you a free win - starting injured players, players on a bye week, Tim Tebow - it can really be a vicious cycle.

2. "Devine Intervention"

This one is just like "The Quitter" with a twist - you leave your team to rot and for some unknown reason, you keep winning. Johnny Butterfingers who you autodrafted in the fourth round is going to win the MVP and whenever a better team plays you, no points will be put on the board at all. You wander through life without a care, grinning from ear to ear like a true idiot, while you get angry phone calls every monday from your step brother cause your Hassleback/TO combination scored 97 points. There is no fitting punishment for a "Devine Intervention" team, all you can hope to do is to figure out your buddies password and hack his account - though he still might win, God knows how.

3. "Analysis Failure"

This guy does all the research. He mock drafts every night before going to bed. He researches all the match ups and looks at the best potential for varying off weeks. He looks at his weekly opponents and drafts accordingly. He's the first one in the draft and the last one out. He has set his own player rankings in case of rolling black outs. He is a Fantasy Football master!! ....then week 1, Brady goes down with a blown knee, Calvin Johnson gets cuts for sleeping with the Coach's daughter, and Jimmy Graham decides he wants to go back to playing basketball. All his best laid plans are crumbling some kind of morbid sand sculpture. But don't fret! This man is not a quitter, he hits the waiver wire and tries to pick up some good back ups, maybe to salvage a playoff berth after all - only to have these pickups usurped by "Devine Intervention" man because "I've totally seen that guy at a bar and I thought it would be cool to have him". There is a fate worse than death, dear readers, it's being this man in a Fantasy Football league.

4. "The Winner"
After the other outcomes, this is the only other possibility. Either you crash and burn in a fiery storm of failure, or you come out the victor. There is no, "We'll at least we won our division." No, if you're not holding up the trophy at the end of the day, then it was all for not. The winner of Fantasy Football isn't always the best prepared. Or the one with the most free time to make sure all the match ups are the best they can be. It's the guy who picked the right random combination of players in the right year and had the fewest injuries and one or two late round picks that just happened to roll out of the right side of the bed for 16 games. I've played a lot of Fantasy Football and from my experience, there's not one guarantee winning strategy - you kinda just gotta close your eyes and hold on. It's like having a child, you can do everything you can to give it the best chance in the world for success, but eventually you're gonna have to ship that little guy of the first day of school, and it's gonna be up to the kid to win or lose.

Alright gang, that wraps up today's post, hope you all liked it. I realize some of you may have had no idea what-so-ever as to what I was talking about, but I tried to involve a bit of humor for the metaphorical groundlings of my blog. 

Hope y'all are having a good week, good luck in the coming school year, and as always GO TRIBE!! 




3 Days In The Booth

I know, I know - I've resurrected my blog. Apparently it hadn't walked toward the light, so I was able to nurture it back to life. Thank you to all of the people who tweeted me asking me to bring it back, it feels great to have people want to read my work. The straw that broke the camel's back was my farther calling me up yesterday and offering his condolences. I asked what he was talking about, and he replied that my blog had died, and he was sorry to hear about it. Well, Dad, you tricky little devil, it appears you're not the only one capable of trickery - for Cole Cook's Dugout Chatter may have been down, but I assure you, it's far from out.


For those of you that follow me on Twitter, or are big Carolina Mudcat fans, or have ESP, you will remember that there was a benches clearing incident last week in our series vs the Winston Salem Dash. As a result of this fight, Ronny Rodriguez, Jesus Aguilar, and myself were handed a suspension from the league. During the time that we are suspended we are not allowed to dress out or be on the field, so I took the opportunity to do something I've always kinda wanted to do anyway - announce the game on the radio. 

Our radio guy, Darren Headrick (who I'm sure doesn't like being called a "radio guy") was kind enough to let me come up in the booth with him and provide the color for the game. It was a great experience to see the game from this angle, the height of the booth adds a perspective that you don't get on the playing field and as Darren told me before the game started, you start to see plays unfold before they happen. You can tell if a play will be made in the infield, you can make pretty good guesses as to where a cutoff is going to be thrown, even if a runner is going to be safe or out when stealing. 

The first 5 innings flew by, crisp pitching performances by Jimenez and McCray didn't allow Darren and me much time for banter or story telling. But the game started to slow down, and I was surprised by just how tiring it was to fill up all that air time (a tip of the cap to Darren, who does the games by himself every night). We did start to find a rhythm by the 7th, and filled up the airtime nicely with a combination of his play by play and my color, also a little help from twitter. This is the first time in my life I've ever had a hard time coming up with things to talk about, nothing like being put on the spot I guess.

I had tweeted prior to the game that I would be taking questions from my followers and answering them in the booth, and even though things started slow, questions started to pour in as the game slowed down (that's just how cool my followers, they know when I need some help filling up air time). I had come up with the hashtag #askamudcat, but Darren came up with #tweetthebooth which was way better (and I felt he was kinda showing off by one-upping me like that). That's neither here nor there though, tonight we're gonna open the twitter streams back up and answer questions on air and on twitter that y'all ask during the game. 

I hope some of you listen tonight, tune-in online by following the link (http://64.34.190.77/MiLB/GameAudio/LiveStreamFlash/sou_carolina_mudcats) or if you're in North Carolina check out The Big Dog 98.5, or WRNS AM 960. Please tune in, and tweet us questions (@C_M_Cook and @Darren_Headrick) for us to answer, even after one day on the air I'm starting to realize that taking up an entire radio broadcast is hard work.

That's all for today folks. Sorry there was so much down time between blogs, life has a way of getting in the way from time to time, but I know you guys like reading them so I will try my best to get back on some sort of consistent posting schedule. Until then, tune in tonight, listen to a little bit of Mudcats Baseball and tweet me questions. Have a great week, be happy Monday is already come and gone, and GO TRIBE.


Baseball How To #2

Baseball How To #2: Getting Ejected

As promised, I am continuing my three part "Baseball How To" series. Even though they are published about a week apart, they still count as the same series, think of it like the season finale of "The Office" which apparently is never going to happen, or already has happened and I just didn't notice cause that show has gone downhill faster than a Swiss skier.

Today's topic will cover the various way to (and not to) get yourself removed from a baseball game. These are only the ones that apply to players and managers, so don't come here looking for a way to get yourself evicted from watching a game. I have never been ejected from a game, but I've been around a good amount of it and I can tell you - there are certain do's and don'ts.


1. The "Bull Durham"
For anyone who has seen the movie, you know where I'm going with this one. There are certain things you just can't say to an umpire, and if you do, you're gonna get tossed. The interesting thing about this particular point is that if you don't point the insult directly at the umpire, you actually might be ok. You could say, "That was a c*&$*%ing call." That's okay, you're allowed to show your disapproval if you do it in a way that doesn't go directly after the umpire, but as soon as you turn the insults against them, you're gonna spend the rest of the game watching from the clubhouse TV. 


2. The Point
Don't. Ever. Point. Umpires are prideful creatures, they don't wanna get shown up after they make a call, even if the call is horrible. You can turn to an umpire and tell him that you think he should move to France and become a mime, that he couldn't see a freight train if it was parked in his living room, that he has a better chance of calling Sonny Bono than calling this game. But never point. The crowd can't hear what you're saying to an umpire, but EVERYONE can see when you point. As soon as that finger extends, or that bat reaches out - you're getting tossed like cob salad. 



3. Can't Drop, Won't Drop
This one usually applies to managers, and it happens when they just will not drop a bad call. For those of you that watch baseball habitually, you're are likely to have seen an Umpire eject a manager seemingly randomly, maybe in the middle of an at-bat and usually while they are in the safety of their own dugout. Let me shed some light on this issue for you. What you are not seeing as you watch Sunday Night Baseball is the manager or pitching coach jawing at the umpire for the past 15 minutes, harassing him on every call he makes. The pelting of words can be relentless, and ballplayers are really good at being petty and mean when the situation calls for it. If a manager comes out and argues a call, that's part of the game - he's showing support for his team, and letting the umpire know that he thinks a mistake has been made. But after he returns to his coaching box, or the dugout, that's to be the end of it. When it's not, when the manager, coach or player will just not drop that bone, that's when you're gonna get run.

These three points come in a variation of different shapes and sizes, but more often than not, an ejection comes as a result of one of these three. I hope I was able to shed some light on why, and sometimes why not, people get thrown out of baseball games - there's more to it than just someone's feeling....usually.

Today was a short one, but think of it as a pitcher's duel - lots of ground balls, action early in the count, and you look up 100 minutes later and you're in the bottom of the 9th. Thanks for reading as always, and I hope everyone is having a good start to their summer. Please follow me on twitter (@C_M_Cook) and email me with anything that comes to mind, maybe with the exception of boyfriend problems (colecook.soc@gmail.com). Besides that, be safe out there and GO TRIBE!!





Baseball How To #1

Baseball How To #1: Getting A Ball

Hey guys - I haven't written in a long time, but playing a game every day does put just the slightest damper on my free time; so when I actually get some time for myself I usually just sink into my couch and yell at small children on Xbox Live.

But that is not the case today. I am sitting in the hotel restaurant in Lansing, MI and I have a couple hours before the bus leaves for the field that I plan on filling by entertaining the good people of the internet with what I consider to be humorous writing (I may even teach one or two of you something).

I plan on doing a three part, "Baseball How To" series that will consist of, "How to get a baseball", "How to get ejected" and "How to get free tickets". In my head they will be both informative and funny, but as anyone who has ever envisioned something before can tell you - the idea doesn't always match the reality. But I am in the make-dreams-come-true business, so hopefully I can do a  fair job of putting fingers to keys and cranking these out as close to perfect as I had imagined.

ALRIGHT! WITHOUT FURTHER ADONT - lets do it.

1. "The Old Fashioned"


You guessed it, "the old fashioned" is when you're in the right place at the right time and that magical 6 ounce crystal of leather and red lacing just happens to come close enough to reach out and snag. It's a beautiful moment, and to take advantage you're gonna have to have your eyes open and your hands free. 

If you're half way down either line in the first section of seats, you're in prime foul ball real estate. Wait till a hitter comes up that is facing you (thats a righty for those on the first base line and a lefty for those on the third base line) more often than not, a hitter will hit foul balls the other way into that first section. We call it "spoiling pitches" or "being-really-late-cause-the-pitcher-is-awesome-and-he-owns-you-look-out-for-the-slider-in-the-dirt-you're-out-but-don't-even-know-it-yet". 

Another key to getting a foul ball is paying attention, some of these balls are coming off the bat pretty hot, and if you're tweeting about how good your seats are, you're gonna need to keep that phone out to call the paramedics. 

Finally, watch the bounce, just call a ball lands somewhere else doesn't mean it's next stop isn't in your nachos. When balls hit the roof- they usually come back down. When balls bounce on solid concrete - they're going to travel a long ways. If a ball has more spin than a Russian figure skater - it's gonna hit the ground and redirect like a sidewinder missile. The first bounce doesn't mean the death of a foul ball, usually it means the exact opposite.

2. "Puppy Eyes"


(Yes, the title is puppy eyes and I put a picture of an animated kitten. I see the irony, leave me alone.)

Kids can be super cute, and we're not monsters - if a little kid somehow reminds of a youthful joy that stirred in us when we first set out playing the game, more often than not that kid is getting a baseball. For me, if I see someone being a good dad and holding his kid up to catch a foul ball, I'll take fate out of the equation and make sure that kid goes home happy. If I kid is standing by our bullpen for four innings just watching the game silently and respectfully, that kid is getting a ball from me every time. As a little brother I have a bit of a soft spot for the underdog. 

WARNING - not everyone is cute. Nothing is less interesting than a kid "putting the moves on me" for a ball. Just like bad acting, a kid making fake dough eyes at me is completely uninteresting and unconvincing. I have no patience for an 8 year old trying to outsmart me. I don't care how cute your family thinks you are - that act doesn't play with me, buster, move it along. 

3. "The Magic Word"


PLEASE! Simple manners will get you so far in this world. We are asked for a baseball upwards of 100 times a game and the fact of the matter is we are both not interested, and not capable of giving every person in the park a baseball. I know its your birthday, I know that this is your first game, I know that all your friends have one, I know that you've never seen a baseball before, I know that you're a HUGE Tribe fan (nice Detroit shirt), and I know that you like the "Lake Counties" way better than your home team - I don't care. 

Yelling "Gimme a ball". "Can I get a ball?". "I want a ball." Or my favorite, "BALL BALL BALL BALL!" Is going to piss us off more than anything, then I'll give a ball to the kid right next to you just to make you mad. (Ya, I'm vindictive and petty - so what?)

If a kid comes up to us and asks politely, "Excuse me, may I please have a ball?" 9 times out of 10 he's gonna get one. The balls are free, we can give out a half dozen or so a game, that kid is both respectful and kind - he's a winner. 

P.S. In reference to what I'm assuming is the book cover image I used for this section - unless "The Power of the Magic Word" is about how the little blond kid is getting routinely abused by the rest of his family, they should really rethink the cover art. 


4. "The Shameless"


Yes - groups of attractive women are going to get a ball at a baseball game. Sue us. They will not get one each and can quickly become far more annoying than a horde of screaming children, but cute girls are a guys Achilles Heal. And so, if they can catch, they're going home with a souvenir.

Wish I had more for you on this topic, but it's really quite self explanatory.

5. "Right Place, Right Time"


Sometimes you're gonna catch us on the right day. We're gonna walk past you and see an opportunity to make someones day a little better and take advantage of it. We're human beings, on and off the field, so when we feel a compulsion to brighten the lives of others, we will act on it. Little kids are usually the ones who benefit from these random acts of kindness - I believe it's because we see ourselves or our siblings in them and that makes for a better connection. There isn't a much cooler feeling than putting a baseball in the hands of a toddler, who holds it like a basketball, and watch the rest of the world dissolve away as that pearl becomes his only focus in the universe. 

We are put in a very special situation where we can make people happy simply by extending them the kindness of giving them a piece of the game that we take for granted every day. So every now and again, usually walking off the field after a win, you will get a real prize - a broken bat, a whole bat, a hat, the game ball, who knows? I do know that asking for something will almost surely ruin the chances of you getting anything.

So there you go - a basic outline for getting a ball at a baseball game. In recap, don't lie to us, be polite, use your god given femininity and keep your eye on the ball. 



Other than that - have a safe Memorial Day weekend. It's my little sister's birthday today - she is the lovely age of 19 and is amazing in every way. I will get around to some more of the reader emails I have started getting - Rachel S. was the basis for this series. She asked about ejections a couple of weeks ago, and it got me thinking, and I cooked this up. If you don't already, follow me on Twitter (@C_M_Cook) or email with comments, questions, hate mail, professions of undying love, treasure maps or the numbers for the mega millions at colecook.soc@gmail.com. 

Have a great day and GO TRIBE.






8 Hours In Columbus

For my Twitter followers, you may have heard that I was called up to AAA Columbus Friday to fill out their bullpen as they were light on arms. You also may have figured out that my stay there was just short term call-up and I was heading back to join the Captains that very night.

For you guys today, I'm going to (as the title would suggest) break down my 8 hours in Columbus.

1PM
I was driven from Dayton, where we were playing the Dragons, to Columbus to join up with the team. We pulled in just after one and I found my way down to the clubhouse. When I get into the Clippers Clubhouse, I realize this is a far cry from Low A. There's a pool table on one side of the room, a Golden Tee video game plugged into another wall, and murals of the 2010 and 2011 championships adorning each wall -- and I'm just in the dining room. I set down my stuff, and head into the Manager's office to introduce myself to the staff.

The staff in Columbus was warm and welcoming, greeting me with friendly handshakes even though I was only supposed to be there for a night or so. The pitching coach, Ruben Niebla, shook my hand and added, "You're here to throw strikes. I don't care if you get hit around or not - but if you walk the world you're of no help to us. And trust the catchers - they're pretty good here." The message was clear - I was here to chew on innings to protect the AAA arms. I couldn't have been happier. I wasn't disillusioned about my call up, but any reason to get into a Clippers game was amazing.

2 PM
I go into the clubby's room and get decked out in everything Columbus - hats, jersey's, pants, everything and anything you see on the field, filled my locker. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't exploring the possibilities of "what if". What if I get in the game and throw well and then they take me on the 10 day roadie they have starting tomorrow? Maybe I get in the game a couple more times and they decide to keep me around for good - I'll be one of those crazy minor league stories that flutter around the minor leagues and land on the ears of Low A pitchers like little droplets of hopeful sunshine.

There are players in the clubhouse with me, milling around, playing cards, getting into their pre game routine. Some of them notice I'm new and say hi - others just get ready for the game. I try to keep as low of a profile as I can. I remember the advice my father told me the first day I made varsity as a Freshman in high school, "Be seen and not heard."

Once everything was settled, I did my usual pre stretch routine. A bit of yoga to shake off the rust of an hour in a car, a bit of love from the training staff to get loose before BP, and I was ready to go. I got dressed in the batting practice attire (official issue shorts and a shirt for Columbus) and headed out.

3 PM
I was the first one on the field for a 3:15 stretch. As much as I tried to stay calm and collected, it was hard to keep my heart from beating through my chest - it's not every day you get called up to AAA. Team stretch with Columbus is the same as it is with Lake County (the same as it is the entirety of Spring Training, for that matter) and the continuity gives me a sense of stability in an otherwise tumultuous day. Stretch is hot, the air is heavy, and sweat comes freely from me even though all we're doing is toe touches.

The team is foreign to me, the faces unfamiliar, and without the last names - I'm bad at recognizing which of these future and past big leaguers I already know by reputation. The conversation is about fatigue, and every now and then I'm asked a question. "New guy." (Thats me) "You can give us 5 tonight?" I assure them I can. Today there is no such thing as fatigue for me, my arm has never felt better and I'm not tired from short sleep the night before - I am ready to give everything I have to this game and this team. "New guy - you better pound that strike zone. I don't have the energy to watch you walk your way through this game." I laugh, there's no malice behind the comment (at least I hope not), and I trust in my ability to fill up the strike zone anyway.

4 PM
I take left field for BP, the rest of the team lazily drift into clusters or 2 to 4, I suppose the conversations they are having are no different than the ones I have daily with my teammates in Lake County - girls, last night, call ups, send downs, and maybe an argument over pure opinion, "There's no way you could rob a bank and get away with it bro - you're too tall." I stand by myself, something I actually have no problem with - I was drinking in the stadium. Trying to be present in this moment, wearing Columbus colors and standing in that outfield as part of the team.

After the first group of BP gets done (which is made up of the first 5 hitters in the lineup) Matt LaPorta came out to take some balls in left. I took a couple steps back toward the warning track - the last thing I wanted was to get in the way of this guy while he was tracking a ball. As I was walking back, he asked my name, introducing himself as Matt. Maybe he's just that good of a guy, maybe he likes conversation, maybe he saw me all alone and figured he'd throw me a line. Either way, for the next 30 minutes we talked about family, where we were from, and (if you can believe it) art. The conversation never once turned to baseball, we just got to know each other. Of all the many memories of that day, that one is probably my favorite - it made me feel most like I was actually part of the time, not just there on loan.

5 PM
Coming in from BP, I wait for everyone else to hit the spread before I sneak up to the table - I am trying to avoid crossing a line at all costs. Ruben (the pitching coach) taps me on the shoulder, "We have a tradition here - all the new guys have to stand up and give a brief backstory and then answer some questions. Maybe tell a joke or sing a song. You ready?" I didn't really have a choice did I? Ready or not - I was heading into the main room of the clubhouse and Ruben gathered the team. For those who know me - this isn't exactly my nightmare, standing up in front of a group and entertaining is actually something I would normally look forward to. But it's different when the audience the AAA team.

I gave my backstory, and there were comments from all directions at just about everything I said - it's time like this when I'm happy I'm a little brother and I can hold me ground against some shouting and jeering. For the sake of the keeping this blog PG, and also to keep the sanctity of the clubhouse honor code (what happens in the locker room - stays in the locker room), I will keep most of what was said and done to myself - but I will say that it ended with me in tree and eagle pose, while the whole team watched and laughed. I can't tell you how happy I was that I was able to keep my balance.

After my introduction, I went to my locker to watch some Netflix and almost as soon as I sat down, I came to a realization: this is most likely going to be my only day in this clubhouse (until I make up again that is) and I'm not going to spend it watching stupid TV shows. I grabbed my plate and walked around the clubhouse, trying to take it all in. The three TVs, the surround sound system that just played "Somebody That I Used To Know" on repeat. There are three card games on simultaneously - from the looks of it, the game of choice is Rummy. A couple relievers are playing darts on one side of the room, as a handful of infielders play shuffleboard. The day's starter and catcher are comparing notes on the lineup - how they want to attack certain hitters and so on. There are some people playing Golden Tee, and I see a pool game rapping up. I sit down and watch as the last shots are made. I get handed a cue and I start playing against an intern - who had won the game previously. We split a couple of games, and it's 6:00 - time for me to get mentally prepared for whats about to come.

6 PM
I put on my headphone, play a playlist of ambient nature noises (crashing waves, babbling brook, rainforest, rainfall etc) and sit down to read "Wherever You Go There You Are". It's a book my brother suggested about mindfulness and meditation - I read studiously for 30 minutes, focusing my mind. At 6:30, I get up and find a quiet corner (in this case, the weight room attached to the clubhouse), and do my pre game meditation.

By 6:45 I'm back in the clubhouse and I suit up. No one is really getting ready, and I figure it's just cause these guys are in AAA and they do things their own way. But just to be sure - I ask Hector Ambriz when first pitch is. "Holding pattern," he says. "We got the tarp on - waiting for this rain to pass."

I had no idea there was even rain - I was oblivious to rest of the world for the hour previous to the scheduled first pitch, and didn't hear.

I take off my cleats and jersey, slipping back into sandals as I prepare to wait it out.

7 PM
I grab my iPad and sit down to watch TV, looking at the weather report. I had heard that there might be rain coming, but I hadn't thought about what it meant if rain were to come. The time basically passed itself, and I didn't think we were going to get it in. The doppler had far too much rain in the forecast, and it had been coming down steadily for an hour already.

It may be hard to believe, but I wasn't really that depressed that we weren't going to get a game. I knew that this promotion wasn't supposed to be for more than a day, and I was fine just being part of the team for the time I was invited to be.

8 PM
It's getting more and more obvious that tonight isn't going to happen, and I don't feel any sadness. I was so happy to get the opportunity to be up with that team, and as amazing as it would have been to take the ball and get out on the mound, the experience was in no way a waste of time.

I sit watching TV with the team, checking the weather on my iPad absentmindedly. I look up and the field manager comes into the clubhouse, soaking wet from the outside - he makes a cutthroat motion across his neck and people start applauding, slipping out of their gear and heading for the shower.

I find the manager and ask what they wear on the road, if they require button downs or if just a regular collared golf type shirt it okay. What I want to ask is if I'll be with the team the next day as they take off to Toledo - but I figure if that's what he's going to tell me I'll hear it now.

I do hear, he answers the question, takes about two steps toward his office and turns back, beckoning me to come with him. He tells me with sincere remorse that with the rain out I will no longer be needed and that I'll be catching a ride back to Dayton to meet up with Lake County. I saw the news coming, and I wasn't let down at all. I would be lying if I told you I didn't want to stay, or that the news didn't suck. But I wasn't expecting anything else. It was a glorious 8 hours - and I thanked them for the time I was allowed to spend with the team.

9 PM
I shower and pack my things along with the rest of the team, saying goodbye to the handful of guys I met while I was there. Then head upstairs to get in a car back to Dayton and reality.

In the brilliant words of Ron Shelton (the writer of "Bull Durham"), "Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains."

This time it rained. Next time I'm up there I hope to win.

Conspiracy Theory (#blogonthebus)

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who tweeted "#blogonthebus" y'all are the reason I am writing this post right now, thank you.

For today's post, I'm going to show off a skill I learned I had while I was in high school. My friends were talking about conspiracy theories and which ones were real and how some were just too iron-clad to not be true. I was getting fed up, and took a random number and event and made connections on the spot to show just how ridiculous the whole idea of conspiracy theory is to me. Today, I am going to take today's date - and make it to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

*I PROMISE I AM MAKING THIS UP ON THE SPOT, I DIDN'T COPY IT FROM ANYWHERE*

Today's date is 4/24/2012.

The Cuban Missile Crisis started on 10/22/1962.

When added together individually, the numbers of todays date equal 15 (4+2+4+2+0+1+2=15).

The only number in today's date that is not even is 1, every other number is even.

15 is not an even number - nor is it a prime.

The first even number from zero is 2.

15 PLUS 2 and 15 MINUS 2 equal prime numbers (13 and 17 respectively).

15 when used with 2 becomes 2 prime numbers.

The SECOND month of the year is February.

"February" has 8 letters in it.

8 (the number of letters in February) plus 2 (the number of the month) is 10.

The tenth month is October.


October has 7 letters in it.

7 (the number of letters in October) times 8 (the number of letters in February) is 56.


5 + 6 is 11.

11 is not even.

Multiply 11 by 2 and you get 22.

The two primes we got from 15 were 13 and 17.

When added together we get 30.

30 multiplied by 2 (the only even prime) is 60.

60 plus 2 (the first even from zero) is 62.

Look back, we have come up with OCTOBER - 22 - 62.

Today is going to be the start of another Cuban Missile Crisis.


Thank you for reading my Conspiracy Theory. Also I want to say - I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS, AND I THINK EVERYONE IS PERFECTLY SAFE. I DO NOT BELIEVE TODAY IS THE START OF A CRISIS. 


I just wanted to illustrate how easy it is to mix and match random numbers to make them do whatever you want. Hoped you liked my ramblings, and I hope some of you laughed - I had a good time writing it and it killed an hour on the bus.

As always - GO TRIBE and be safe. Email me with anything about the blog colecook.soc@gmail.com, and follow me on twitter @C_M_Cook. Have a good humpday tomorrow, and finish the week up strong. We're gonna be working on getting a home win for the amazing fans of Lake County.










Time, & How To Pass It


Of all the skills need to succeed in the minors, passing time may be the most important. Good hands, the ability to read the ball, a resilient body - most people would correctly guess these will help one rise to the top of a heap of struggling minor leaguers. But you can have all the talent in the world, but if your brain rots in your skull as a result of sheer boredom, those talents will never hit the field. Thus - a true minor league talent, will also learn to master the talent of killing time. 

On a given "getaway day" (the day we leave a road trip city) the check-out time is 11AM, but the first bus to the field is not until 3. This may seem like an easy thing to do, just pass 4 hours. But much like Chinese Water Torture, even the most mundane of things can drive one throughly insane, and not like Johnny Depp insane where it's kinda cool and you move to France -- like Charlie Sheen insane. 

This brings me to the solution - here is a quick list of things to do to avoid the "Getaway Day Crazies".



1. The Buddy System - 
It's important to have a friend. The man who sits alone and plays on his iPad in the corner is not going to last long. Because on that day when the game just isn't fun anymore or heaven forbid, the battery dies on his computer - he is going to go postal. Having a friend grants you almost infinitely more possibilities. Plus it means you don't have to text "hey" to everyone you texted in the past week - trying to start a conversation. 



2. Eat - 
Eating is awesome. It kills time AND it is fun because (hopefully) you are eating things that taste good. Plus if you failed to listen to me on rule #1, you will be able to talk to your server. In the best case scenario of this situation, you and your buddy will be able to flirt-fight over the waitress that neither of you will never see again. *

*If you are unfamiliar with "flirt-fighting" its when two men, who are friends, are trying to flirt with the same girl and because they both think they are superior than the other, they begin to lay on the charm thicker and thicker until the woman becomes coated like a Cinnabun of compliments. There is no obvious hostility in flirt-fighting, its more a dance of backhanded compliments and not-so-sublte one-ups-manship. It's quite a thing to watch - especially if both parties involved have solid "game".  Side note - this has never worked to pick any woman up, because both men look entirely idiotic. 



3. Adventure - 
This point kinda relies on numbers one & two, because you are usually adventuring with someone in the search of food - but it can be done by yourself if you have a bit of a "I Am Legend" mindset (which I do). Not all towns in the midwest league have the possibility of adventure. Clinton, IA for example has nothing within walking distance besides two restaurants and a farming store. Not to say that these are not worth adventuring, but there are towns where time can easily be passed by treating a small town like a coffee table photography book. Simply by putting one foot in front of the other and keeping your phone in your pocket, you will see things that belong to a life that is strange and new and can be quite interesting to experience. 



4. Know Card Games -
This is a rule for any minor leaguer, waiting for the bus or not. Cards are an important part of our life, and the ability to sit down at a car game and know the rules is important. Furthermore, a card game includes other people, and there is no cure for killing time like good conversation, and believe me - if there's anyone who can conjure good conversation out of thin air - its a group of minor leaguers. 



5. Have a Late Check Out Room - 
Yes - this is a loophole and completely contrary to the whole point of this list - but its REAL. If you're the starting pitcher on getaway day, or just happen to be a lucky duck, you have a late checkout room. This means you can sleep in as long as you want, then lazily watch TV until you wanna eat and hop right on the bus. This is the best possible option, but if this isn't you - you gotta stick to rules 1-4. Trust me, it'll be all the difference in the world. 

Side Note - the above picture is what I think I look like when I have a late check out room. The below picture is far more accurate. 



I hope you liked my list and maybe you can implement some of these rules for passing time the next time you have hours to kill. Hope you are all having a good weekend, and as always - Go Tribe.

I have a few reader questions that I will get to in the next couple postings, I promise. If you have any questions or comments for the blog email me at colecook.soc@gmail.com. And I hope all of you follow me on Twitter @C_M_Cook, and if you're not following me, I have no idea how you got this blog (or why you're still reading at this point). Be safe out there guys. 

This is Cole Cook - urging you never to travel to Iowa. 

The Bad Beat

Today was a tough one for us. Baseball is going to hand you some heartbreak along the way, and you have to learn how to deal with it. We lost today's game 22-12, and everyone feels the sting of a game like that. It doesn't matter if you didn't get in, if you were on the mound when the runs were being scored, or if you went 3-4 with a dinger. When, as a team, you collectively suffer a tough loss, it can have strong repercussions. In an ideal world, a team will come together after the loss - but there are things that need to happen if this is to be the outcome. In a bad beat, or any loss for that matter, there will be always people that had a particularly bad day, or that blame themselves for the loss or feel like they had a worse day than should have or could have. 

I think when you see athletes angry after a bad performance, it's not only because they hate losing, but because they wish they could do it again I feel like all an athlete wants after a bad performance is to suit up and do it again. The competitive drive is so great, they just want to get out again and keep trying, trying to make it better. Especially in a sport like baseball, where the difference between a home run and a strikeout are so minuscule, it is so easy to look back at a pitch and wonder if you had thrown something else maybe that would have gotten the out. Maybe if you had just gotten your hands through a bit quicker that ball would have sneaked down the line. Baseball is a game of inches, and because of that, it's a game of 'what ifs?'.

With this in mind, when coming back into the clubhouse after a beat you have to be aware of who's around you and what a simple thing like a smile or a laugh could do to anger a teammate. It's not like a teammate will explode at you if you laugh after they have a tough go, but you don't want to put anyone in a situation where they're uncomfortable or feel like you're taking the game lightly. When you're in the minor leagues, the game is a job. It will never be anything more than baseball, it's not going to be life and death, but it's important. And when someone has had a bad game and his teammates seem to be taking it lightly, it can really leave bad taste in that player's mouth. I think what it comes down to is, it seems like your teammates don't have your back, and this is the very feeling that will destroy a team. There is a reason that bench CLEARING brawls take place - when one member of the team is assaulted, it may as well be an affront to all of us.

A good team will learn from a bad loss and grow together as a result. In 140 games (thats a minor league season) there are going to be a handful of games you want to forget. But if, as a team, you refuse or cannot learn from these times, you're gonna see more and more of those types of failures. Today was a tough one, but we will grow stronger because of it. Just like a bone heals stronger a break, a team can become better after a tough loss. One great thing about baseball is that usually you can get out there the very next day and all those runs and errors and strikeouts and walks are gone - you have a new slate on which to pursue greatness.

As always, thanks for reading & GO TRIBE!!



First Series Recap

Before I get started on today's post, I would like to thank all of you who read, responded to or shared my last blog. It's an issue that is very close to my heart, and I put a lot into it; so I was very happy to see that y'all responded to it so well.

Moving on from less sad topics, we just got back from our first series of the year, a little three game roadie to Fort Wayne, which is the Padres affiliate in the Midwest League. I'm happy to say that we looked amazing and we were able to take 2 out of 3 from the Tin Caps!

The park is one of the nicest in the league, and the hotel is right beyond the right field wall so we can walk to and from the park which is amazing. Starting out a place like this is really good luck, cause there are some stadiums in the league that are no fun to play at, and that can start the year on the wrong foot. This year though - were are starting off WINNING.

It's always more fun playing on a team that wins, any athlete will be able to back me up on this. A winning team has a winning coaching staff that is in turn more relaxed and that's better for the players. A winning team has players that are doing well, and players that are doing well are about a million times more fun to be around than players who are slumping. Winning is simply the best; as my pitching coach, Jeff Harris would say, "You spell 'fun' W-I-N."

Now that the season has started, I have begun to get back into the familiar rhythm again, a rhythm of bus rides and stretching and eating at hole in the wall places and walking around small midwest towns looking for better places to eat. It's good to get back into the flow though, routines are the life blood of any ballplayer and getting back into that familiar pattern makes baseball so much easier.

At the moment, I'm sitting in my living room listening to Nick learn a bunch of country tunes on the guitar so we can get a huge sing a long on the bus next road trip. It's things like this that keeps things light and therefore keeps us winning. Baseball is a balancing act- you need to find that perfect place between staying mentally razor sharp and staying loose enough so you can survive 142 games without killing yourself or a teammate.

It comes down to little tricks, for Nick its playing guitar. For me its yoga, meditation and zen. For every guy it's different, and the key is to find what it is and be able to carry it out every day. If you can do this, it will probably be easier to win more games, and the more you win -- the more fun you have, and any toddler will tell you, it's all about having fun.

Sorry if this isn't the most exciting post of all time, but I just wanted to post something for y'all to peek at as you're preparing Easter Dinner or eating leftovers tomorrow at work. Hopefully the big club can come out on top tonight as they go back up against the Jays. I think its a really good sign that the Tribe keeps forcing really tough games, and I think that the Jays are a really solid club, and even though we haven't come out victorious yet - its good to see us hanging tough with these top teams. Also remember. it's early in the year, and there are 160 more where those came from.

As always, be safe out there, follow me on Twitter (@C_M_Cook) and shoot me an email with any questions or comments or stuff you wanna see on the blog (colecook.soc@gmail.com). I have a couple in my inbox right now, and I promise I will get to them in the near future. Go Tribe.

The Dark Side Of The Ball

Everyone laughed at the line in "Wedding Crashers" when Luke Wilson jokes about how he lost a lot of good men playing for the Yankees; and they should, its a really funny line. Today's post is not going to be funny, today I'm gonna talk about something that is a serious and frankly. a dark and overlooked aspect of the game.

For most of you, your relationship with baseball is being a fan. And that's perfect - without fans there is no game, y'all are the life blood of baseball. Today I wanted to show you guys a backstage view of the game, and not to cloud your idea of what happens, or take away from the brilliance of the sport in any way, I just think it's worth sharing - and I think that as fans, and friends of players, you will want to read about it.

Today we had our third day in a row of cuts. Three days of watching your friends, your teammates, your family, have their dreams crushed. I'm not going to say that this means the end of the world for them, or that they will never work again, or that they will never be in the big leagues. I will say, that for most of the these guys, this is the end of a very prominent chapter in their lives. Baseball has been present in these guy's lives for 15-20 years and now they'll either have to swallow the fact that its over for them at a professional level, or have to start the uphill to try and get with another team. For players with families, this means a time of uncertainty. For players from other countries, this usually means having to go back home where things usually aren't as good as they are here. For all of them, it means having to pack up their locker, and walk away from a clubhouse into an uncertain future.

It's one thing to see a great like Jorge Posada leave the game after more than a decade in the bigs, knowing that he has money and a pension to fall back on. It's another watching a 22 year old clean out his locker and hold back tears so he doesn't cry in front of his teammates. He gets hugs from his buddies, everyone saying the one of a handful of token phrases. Some players will avoid eye contact, as if by not acknowledging the guy who's leaving, they will escape a similar fate. They walk out the doors, and we stay - putting on the same jersey that just got taken away from them, readying ourselves for another precious day on the diamond.

I know that the fact of the matter is, that he may not have been good enough, or that there are just too many people behind him that need a shot, or that he wasn't healthy enough to do this job at a big league level. But no matter how it happens or why, it's never going to be anything but heartbreaking to see that look of loss in a friends eyes as they walk away from the game for the first time - and not on their own terms. There will no press conference for them. No one will see them tomorrow on ESPN, shedding tears for time passed. They'll be traveling home tomorrow, desperately trying to right the world as it spins faster and faster in front of their eyes.

I'm not trying to say that this shouldn't be a part of the game, or that cuts are absurd, or that the wrong people are getting cut and there has to be something done about it. All I'm trying to do, is honor these fallen soldiers in my own way. They deserve statues. Monuments to their triumph. For years, these men have been perfecting their craft, missing spring break and long weekends to slave under the hot sun at tournaments. They've given up time with friends and family to grind out long nights in cages, working on that perfect swing. They've missed birth days and anniversaries and weddings to long bus trips. Every sacrifice in the hopes of one day stepping onto a big league field. All that work is washed away in one meeting with the head of player development. A handshake, a bidding of good luck and like sand through and open hand - it's gone.

I'm not trying to gain pity for the ballplayer. The opportunity that we are given is unparalleled. Each of us have been given an chance that is unlike any other, I don't mean to bemoan the profession. We get to wake up every day and live not only our dream, but the dream of countless others. We respect that - we honor that. All the sacrifices we made, we made on our own. We know what we were getting ourselves into. Cuts are a part of Spring Training. Some people stay and some people go, and next year the Baseball Reaper will be back again, but no one sees it coming. So when that icy finger taps you on the shoulder, it's like getting that phone call in the middle of the night - it's never good news.

I love my job. And I love my teammates. And I just wanted to do get on my soap box for a bit and give them as close to the 21 gun salute they deserve as I could.

A Couple Things I'd Like To Share

Through twitter and this blog I'd like to think that I get across a fairly good sample of how I am and how I think. But today, I was thinking that maybe I haven't been as good at expressing my particular view on the world as I would have liked. I figure since you're reading this that you actually care how it is I do see things, and what I do think about (and that is very good of you) so I've decided to share a bit.

I never really know where to put my sunglasses when I'm not wearing them. I always try to find the perfect place, but each pair is different and I have yet to find a universal place that works for every pair and every occasion. I think in a perfect world I would have a little butler to carry them around for me while I wasn't in the mood to have them on my face. And by "little" I don't mean a midget or a dwarf, I'd want a very small man - like he'd be 3 feet tall and very good at sneaking and keeps very quite and just holds the sh*^ outta those sunglasses. I wouldn't want him putting back on my sunglasses though, cause no one can do that right - not even magical little men.

I kinda want to see a crime show where the detectives never solve a single case. Just no evidence shows up and the trail goes cold - no matter how many times they go to the suspect's house they can't get anything out of them, and at the end of the show it just goes into the "unsolved" pile (I think I just came up with the prequel to Cold Case). I'd want them to get the murders where the killer is no where to be found or a serial killer doesn't decide to kill 98 people the one week that the Criminal Minds team is in town. I always find that really weird, cause I like Criminal Minds a lot, and without fail, every time they're looking for a killer, 7 people have to die in the same 20 minutes before they can finally nab him and save the person that was totally gonna be murdered if they hadn't gotten there in the nick of time.

The guy who invented the little stopper that goes in your Starbucks cup so coffee doesn't spill out when you're driving is going to be way richer than me no matter what I do. I guess I could dedicate the rest of my life to solving a problem that people had but didn't really realize they had, but I think that's way more hit and miss than even the career I picked. Also, I wanna know who that guy is. Is he some really cool inventor/venture capitalist guy who is cutting edge, and it was just a matter of time before he caught his big break and is currently working on solving some more problems? Chances are he's just some dad from Nebraska who was tired of coffee spilling all over this car on the commute to work. And because of this invention, he now has no commute to work. So ironically, the very problem that drove him to make the invention that is now his job rendered the problem he originally tried to fix irrelevant. *That last sentence is for the higher level thinker*

Why isn't there wireless charging? On one hand, it makes sense cause electricity travels through wires and thats how that works. But at the same time, internet used to travel through wires, and look where we are now. I know that we have that little pad deal where you can put stuff and it'll charge that way, but why don't have wireless charging? I mean, I'm pretty sure there's static electricity all around us - why hasn't someone figured out how to channel that into a wireless charging system? I think one of you should do that and then give me 5% of the company.

If I break into Wells Fargo and steal the exact amount of money I already have in my account is that still stealing? I mean, I know it wasn't exactly "my money", but isn't it close enough that I'd just get popped for a breaking and entering rap? Would I still have a bank account? If so - how much would be in it?

If I could have one super power it would be the ability to speak any language. I know that flying or being invisible or reading minds sounds awesome - but I really don't think anything would be cooler than to meet anyone in the world and be able to talk to them in their native tongue fluently without hesitation or concern. Also, the ability for eavesdropping would be unlimited, and I'm a huge fan of listening to the conversations of strangers.

The first thing I would do as king of the world is take away a dog's ability to bark. I like dogs just fine - but barking is the worst thing ever. I understand the counter argument that dog can scare away robbers and save lives with barking to warn people or alert people; but the ratio of dogs barking to help people and dogs barking cause the UPS truck is going down the street just isn't close enough for me to let them have that. ....the second thing I would do is cure cancer.

I'd like to be a lizard. I think a life of being very fast and finding hot rocks to nap on would be very nice. I know that I would have to eat gross foods, but I wonder if they're gross to a lizard. Maybe if I were a lizard I wouldn't care as much that I was eating flies and that. Also my tail would detach and I don't think I would ever get tired of that. I'm not entirely sure how I would feel about not being the top of the food chain, but part of me also thinks it would be sweet to try to evade a hawk or something. Maybe I could raise a lizard army and use or strength in numbers to kill the hawk and have a hawk feast.

This is what happens in my mind on a daily basis. I can't really stop - never really tried to be honest with you. I rather enjoy having a mind that wanders about on me, though it can get in the way from time to time. I hoped you enjoyed your time inside my brain - feel free to stop by any time via my twitter (@C_M_Cook) or shoot me an email to join in on the fun (colecook.soc@gmail.com). Have a good one, and GO TRIBE. We're so close to opening day it's right out there at the end of my fingertips - can't wait to get my hands on that game ball and toe the rubber for the first time.







First Ever Response to a Reader's Question!!

For the first time ever, I got an email from one of y'all that read my blog, and also for the first time ever, I'm gonna answer that question for today's post. 


The question from Bob H. is as follows, "What [do] you think about on the mound when you pitch?  Are you always thinking of the batter and the pitch you’ll throw or does your mind ever wander…say to the cutie in the 3rd row or what you can draw next with DrawSomething?   Do you ever go all Bill “spaceman” Lee?"


It's a great question and deserves as close to a great answer as I can muster. 


When I'm on the mound in a game, I try to keep my mind as blank as possible. I don't mean to say that I think about nothing, but I try to keep it clear of mental traffic. I don't want to be thinking about the last pitch, or next hitter, or what my ERA will be after this inning. I want to be clear, focused, and present in the moment and for that pitch. This is easier said than done, and yes - I mess it up all the time. But every so often you hear about a pitcher or a player saying that when they are doing best it seems like the body just takes over and they don't even have to think about what is going on. I believe that this feeling comes from a mind that is clear, at rest, and available in the moment (pardon me while I get a little hippy dippy on you - its the Cali Boy in me). 


To more directly answer your question, I do think about the hitter, getting him out is always the main concern. Obviously there are going to be external things that need to be dealt with as well, but it is important to remember that when you have the baseball you are controlling the game, and if things get too sped up - you can always slow the game down by just stepping off and taking a second to collect yourself. The batter in the box is, for me, something that can be used to my advantage. I like to think about attacking the hitter, and forcing him to take action (hopefully on my terms) so he makes a mistake. A perfect game for me is when I keep sending guys back to the dugout talking about how they missed me by "this much". Doesn't matter if you miss it by and inch or a foot, if I make you miss - I did my job. 


As far as the cutie in the 3rd row - might as well be an empty seat. This may sound a little far fetched, but I promise, I don't notice people. I have actually gotten into tiffs with girlfriends over this very thing, I just will not notice people in the stands. Actually - thats a lie. The only person that I notice in the stands and that has the ability to get in my head, is my Dad. I have actually told him that he can't sit behind the plate when I throw because I see him and I start to get nervous and anxious based off his reactions to the game. He has to sit over the first base dugout where he's behind me and I don't have to be distracted by the person who's opinion matters most to me. Beyond that, I don't really see people. I may notice someone as I walk off the mound to the dugout, but as far as "cuties" go - pitching is not the tame to get distracted by cute girls. 


Finally, I don't know what going "all Bill Lee" means. I'm sorry to let you down - I'd love to have a snappy retort to this one, or maybe a sincere answer, but lets not get our hopes up. 


The fact of the matter is, that when I'm on the bump its the only thing that matters in my life. It's part of the reason that I love the game so much. It gives me a respite from the entire rest of the world. I get to forget about any off field troubles or concerns I have. For however long I'm pitching that baseball, I get to be myself, and doing something I love. 


Thanks, Bob, for the question and I hope I was able to answer it in a somewhat satisfactory way. Please keep the questions coming - I really do like having the opportunity to check in with you guys and answer any questions that come to mind (even the silly ones). 


As always, follow me on twitter (@C_M_Cook) I'm trying to make it to 1000 followers before I break camp. And if you have any questions or comments or hate mail or pictures of your cat, email me at colecook.soc@gmail.com.


Only a handful of short days till opening day! Let's make 2012 count! GO TRIBE. 

A Week In Review

Been a while since I've had the time to sit down and write a blog, and I wanna say that I'm sorry to both of you that really like the blog and look forward to it daily.

It's been a big week around camp - we started games on Friday and that means that, in my mind, the race has officially begun. There's a level of excitement, even in ST games, that just isn't present at any other time. When you toe the rubber and you have a hitter 60 and half feet away - you get to another level. I live for that feeling, it's exactly the reason that I do all the work. While I do love my job more than anything, it can be a grind, and I am able to get through that grind because I am addicted to the feeling of pitching in a game. For any athlete out there reading this, you know the feeling I'm talking about. There's something so carnal and invigorating about putting yourself up against another person and testing yourself in that way. It doesn't matter if you come out winning or losing - you're gonna learn something about yourself that you didn't know earlier. And you can feed off that at bat, or shot, or kick, or pass for a good long time before you're lucky enough to get out there and do it all again.

In other news - I miss my beard. Above, you will notice there is a picture of me wearing sunglass while I am inside. This is because I have a beard and when you have a beard this is nothing that you can do that is wrong. It is said that the reason Chuck Norris doesn't need to learn math is because when you have a beard 2+2 can equal a roundhouse to the chin. Given, this entire paragraph is completely without purpose, but I was perusing the photos I have on my phone and saw this one and it made me miss my beard. Plus those shades are dope magope. (Dope Magope is trademarked by Cole Cook Industries and cannot be used with the written consent of Major League Baseball. Any duplication of this broadcast can and will be used against you in a court of law. Luke, I am your father.)

Finally, this. I don't even know what to think about the whole Peyton Manning deal; my friend Brittany Mollis (@BirdsIVue) hit it on the head when she tweeted, "Peyton Manning in another uniform? Now I know how kids of broken families feel when dad starts dating again. #awkward"  Given, this may not be the most sensitive tweet of all time, but I think she got the feeling across pretty well. I didn't really have a dog in this fight, and usually I could care less which team this mega free agents go to (Pujols landing in an Angel uniform was amazing though). But I'm such a fan of Peyton Manning, I think he is one of the best examples of what a Superstar Athlete can and should be, and I think if he had joined the 49ers that would have been awesome. Finally, I just wish he had made a different move, and even though I have nothing against the Broncos, I don't think I'll really be able to cheat for them. Furthermore, ESPN basically ruined this whole process for me. They kept reporting on it day to day (and 7 times a day) and each time the headline on Sports Center would be, "Sources Say Manning Works Out With ______". I'm sorry ESPN, by "sources" do you mean "He's there right now, people can see him"? That's not a source - that's common knowledge. That's like saying "Sources say Sage Steel is on TV right now." Stop reporting this like it's an inside scoop, and stop saying that whatever team he's currently with is the frontrunner. Stop making up news - y'all haven't looked this bad since Lebron did his stupid "The Decision" thing. 

Sorry this entry has been kind of all over the place - I wanted to check in, but full disclosure, I didn't have anything in mind to write about. Next time I'll do better, I promise. Who knows - some of you may have liked this brief respite to read a little something something (it's no Hunger Games, but at least it's reading). I'm gonna go do chores that I've been putting off for far too long - have a good day and Go Tribe. Remember to follow me on twitter (@C_M_Cook) and shoot me an email if you have anything to say (colecook.soc@gmail.com).

Goodnight. And Good Luck.








iPhone Apps - A Written Timeline


This is my (and probably some of y'alls) relationship to every app that has ever taken over our lives.

STEP 1 - You See Someone Play It
Either everyone, or just one cool person, is playing a game you've never seen before and because they're evil they play it like someone just gave them an Xbox after only playing that wheel and stick game people played in the old days. Anyway - their joy while playing is so potent that now you know about the game, but you're not near your phone and you don't download it right away.

STEP 2 - This Game Is Stupid
Either because everyone is telling you to do it, and you hate being told what to do, OR because no one invited you when they started playing it last week, you claim that "that game is stupid". This assertion is based on nothing because you've never played it before, you're just angry - kinda the same reason my brother hates Zooey Deschanel. No reason, and he liked her in "Elf", but he won't watch "New Girl"; whatever, his loss - I'm gonna stop calling him every Tuesday night at 7:56. 

STEP 3 - You Download It
This was bound happen. When you saw people playing it, you knew that the new Facebook wasn't gonna hold you forever and that one level of Angry Birds will never get 3 stars (yes, you know someone who did it - but you're pretty sure they're a horrible cheater). So you download it, usually not telling anyone, or playing someone that isn't part of the crowd you're currently hanging out with, "Oh yea, random person I haven't talked to since 4th grade before I moved to Indianapolis because my dad was the strong man in the circus but the tent burned down and he had to start working at the toothpaste plant which I thought was a huge plant that grew toothpaste, lets share really bad drawings and reconnect." (I like to give my imaginary characters a little background)

STEP 4 - Crack
Someone sign you up for "Strange Addictions". You've cut a million watermelons in fruit ninja, but you don't have every achievement yet, so you won't sleep for a week. The only way your girl or boyfriend is going to be able to talk to you is if they message you in the game of Words With Friends you two have going. Your called one of the interns into your office cause you heard they unlocked the football player in Temple Run, and you hear he slides funny, and you wanna see it. 

STEP 5 - Recruitment/Promotion
You feel like the guys in "Independence Day", just firing everything you got at this indestructible-mothership-app. Facebook status updates, tweets, emails, a bbm, two instragram posts, you got a vanity plate and you even put a message in a bottle and threw it into your own pool. Everyone must know three things 1) You're amazing at this game. 2) You're "totally addicted. lol. :). PLAY ME NOW". 3) *Fill Name In Here* is totally a cheater cause there's no way they guessed 'entanglement' with only one balloon gone.  

STEP 5 - App Hangover
Apparently all your friends have now gotten to Step 4 and it's not classy. Gimme like 5 or 10 seconds before you draw me right back, and PS - how did you possibly draw Lionel Richie that fast? You've been inundated, and just like the great Tony Montana, you have grown too far too fast, and can't keep up with your own app monster. But unlike Tony Montana, you have no little friend, cause you haven't talked to a real human in two weeks.

STEP 6 - Cold Turkey
You eat a lot of cold turkey, it's delicious.

STEP 7 - You Stop Playing The App
You can't take it anymore, you're unscrambling your ceiling when you're trying to go sleep at night, you would totally guess "taco" if someone drew a purple bell and a dog, you blocked your mom for calling you during a game of Temple Run. You don't unistall the app just yet, you just put it in a little box with Doodle Jump and Tetris Lite. But that box is on your 6th screen and that's like the attic - you only go up there if your dad makes you get the Christmas lights. 

STEP 8 - There's A New App
OHMYGOD!! Are you super serious!! You JUST quit that other app! You don't care how much fun it looks, you're totally never gonna download that, it looks totally stupid....wait a minute. 



Basically this is what happens to me every time I see a new app - yes I have a problem, but I've addressed it and that means I only have 11 steps left (I wonder if sarcasm is a step?). I'm sure some of y'all can relate to this, and hopefully one or two got a chuckle from this. 

I'm loving the Arizona warmth, but the dryness is getting to me a little bit (I miss my ocean breezes). Have a good day out there, follow me on Twitter (@C_M_Cook) and tweet at me or email if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for the blog (colecook.soc@gmail.com). Over and out from Goodyear - GO TRIBE. 

Pros and Cons of Writing at Starbucks


Yes, it is pretentious. Yes, it's annoying. Yes, its absurd. But writing is Starbucks is so just damn easy that I find myself doing it all the time. I have no idea why going to a coffee shop to write is more conducive to my writing style than sitting at my desk, but it it, and I'm not gonna fight it. Any writer (like any athlete) will tell you, once you find something that works - don't question it, and just stick with what works. 

Getting more to the point, there are certain pros and cons associated with writing here, and I'll try to break them for you now...


FREE INTERNET

PRO-
This is good if, say, you're writing a blog and you want to, say, post it. This is gonna be integral in that process. And furthermore, if, say, the hotel that you're currently staying at, say, during Spring Training,  doesn't have any internet, this added bonus is top notch. I have a solid amount of patience (my job and LA traffic has helped develop this) but I refuse to wait for more than a minute for google to load. I will become violent and throw the nearest non expensive thing I can find (sorry books, but y'all don't break). 

CON-
YouTube. Facebook. Twitter. FunnyOrDie. Also every other internet site. Writing is the easiest way to get caught in procrastination station (which is not a real place, but a made-up thing I created instead of writing). Anyone who has ever written even a thank-you-email can attest to this. Step one of writing is usually opening your computer, and that's where they get ya. After accomplishing such a titanic feat, you deserve a break will now spend 50 minutes finding that Tosh.0 clip you don't know the name of, and watching every related video.  

PEOPLE WATCHING

PRO-
For a writer this can be exactly what you need, maybe it's a guy that comes in and sits down wearing bedazzled cowboy boots and swim trunks with a sports coat. Maybe it's one side of a phone conversation that you have the privilege of overhearing because the person next to you hasn't heard of inside voices or going outside. People are fantastic for kickstarting your way out of writer's block.

CON-
First and foremost, hot girls are able to kill such a steady train of thought its scary. It's one of their many super powers. Along with the ability to make you answer the phone at weird hours of the night, drive way too far out of the way, and not eat meat cause, "you're totally up for trying to be a vegetarian". Hot girls are very prevalent in Starbucks, though not as prevalent as they are in Panera Bread which I believe to be their mothership. 
Second thing you have to look out for is the Chatty Kathy. These kinds of people always show up when you're in no mood to talk to anyone; they're most commonly seen on airplanes, busses, bars during happy hour, and any time you hate everyone. A Chatty Kathy can absolutely ruin a good writing streak, and unless you're extra snappy, there's just no way to stop them (even head phones don't work, because they're all masters of charade-type sign language). 

JUDGEMENT

PRO-
I can't really think of a clear pro for this one, but it has to be addressed. Im not sure about everywhere else, but in the great city of Los Angeles, Starbucks is the place to go if you want to publicly show people that you're not unemployed, but instead, you're an aspiring writer. It's bad. It's like the guy who keeps tweeting, "Going to the gym", and then tweets "WOW!! I feel like so good after a workout" like 15 minutes later. So ya, writing at Starbucks does have a bit of a stigma attached to it, but I'm telling y'all - it works! It's a great place to study, or read, or do some work, or even write. It's not as stuffy and horribly boring as a library, and it's not your desk (where no one works, they just use it as a kitchen table/storage unit for any paper that you've ever gotten). 

CON-
Read the above thing. It's all con -- are you just skimming this?

Alright, that's all I have for you guys today - hope you liked it, and thanks for checking in. Got my first outting facing hitters tomorrow, pretty excited about it. Follow me on twitter (@C_M_Cook) and tweet at me or email me (colecook.soc@gmail.com) with any questions or comments or suggestions for the blog. Have a good one and Go Tribe!!

The Art Of The Walkout Song




For those of you that are unaware, a "walkout" is the song that plays when a hitter comes up to the plate or when a pitcher warms up for the first time. It's equally as important as if you wear your pants up or down, the number on your jersey, or what color the tape on your wrists is...so SUPER important. Picking a good song is an art from, cause there are a lot of things that are involved in the selection and if you mess one of them up, a walkout can go from really well thought out and memorable to really bad and forgotten. 

My friend and teammate Nick Bartolone had one of the best I've ever heard this past year; he was walking to "Last Friday Night"by Kati Perry. Some of y'all might think this is campy or not enough of a "pump up" song to be a good walkout, but that's exactly what made it so perfect. A walkout needs to be a good representation of who you are, and what kind of player you are, and if you can come up with a song that does this and is out of the ordinary then you've stumbled upon walk out gold. 

When I was at Pepperdine, my first baseman Ryan Heroy, walked out to "King Kong" by Jibbs. This is still the best walkout I've ever heard. Heroy is 6'6" and probably 300 pounds, he would walk to the mound with a 34" bat in his hands that he had made look like a toothpick with "King Kong" bumping in the background. Perfection. He would be walking up the plate and on more than one occasion the opposing pitcher would be bobbing his head with the beat. 

In picking a walkout you want to come up with a song that gets you going and hopefully will get a few heads nodding in the crowd. I try to pick songs that people will remember and therefore associate with me from then on; that is what Nick was able to do with "Last Friday Night". He still gets tweeted at with people saying that they just heard the song and they can't wait for season to start - Nick literally turned that song into a baseball anthem for some fans of Lake County simply by having it play for about 10 seconds while he walked from the on-deck circle to the batter's box. 

My big brother famously (at least at my high school) walked out to "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye. Now that is the kinda thing I wanna come up with for myself, a song that people wouldn't usually think would make for a good walkout song but when it comes on and I start firing balls to the catcher you realize you're bobbing your head and the songs works perfectly. The problem with going in this direction is that it's easy to miss, but what's life without a little bit of danger? 

I haven't been able to pick one out just yet for myself, so far the frontrunners for me are R. Kelly's "Bump N' Grind" or "Ghetto Superstar" by Mya and Wyclef Jean. I'm waiting for that one song where when I hear I'll know instantly - I guess it's like finding love. I'm open to suggestions if y'all have any, feel free to tweet them at me (@C_M_Cook) or email me (colecook.soc@gmail.com). Till then it's a lot of listening the radio and keeping my iPod on shuffle. Thanks for tuning in and Go Tribe.