College

Sunday, Mar 23 2014 11:38 PM

MICHAEL McCARTHY: Lessons to be learned from baseball's best

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    By Brita Meng Outzen

    Michael McCarthy

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By MICHAEL McCARTHY, Contributing writer

We have officially surpassed the one month mark at Spring Training. While we have had workouts every day, it doesn't feel like we have been at it for more than 30 straight days.

Spring Training this year has been phenomenal. We have had nearly perfect weather everyday (high 70s). It has really been an amazing month to train down here before we head north and into the colder weather.

Over the last month I have been fortunate to play with the Major League team for select games. Both at home and on the road, it has given me the opportunity to learn what it is like to play at the Major League level. From throwing a bullpen, to interact with fans, it has given me experience that I will use for the rest of my career.

The biggest lesson I have learned to this point is to "stay focused, work hard and have (responsible) fun." There is no question that each year players get distracted in Spring Training and don't perform to their potential. That can mean the difference between moving up a level and staying down.

As I watch the Major League players I see their commitment to detail. Each of them has a very specific regimen they go through in detail on a daily and weekly basis. Some players have a specific way they get in the box like Johnny Gomes while some have detailed workouts from one start to the next like Jon Lester.

Over the last month I've been able to observe and at times pick the brains of the Major League players around me. Watching Jon Lester warm up in the bullpen then go out and pitch three scoreless is easy. The hard part is how to learn from it.

Each time I was able to play with the Major League team, I would really focus on simply being observant of the game. Watch the guys around you and be curious to the details of the game. I really focus on not letting the game ever get too far from my mind, especially while at the Spring Training facility.

The player I am most intrigued by is Chris Capuano. He signed a one year contract after playing the last two seasons with the Dodgers. He is a brilliant guy and we've had fun "talking shop" about a wide range of subjects. His knowledge of the world around him and his fascination with a wide range of topics is impressive to say the least. While time is limited due to conflicting schedules, "Cap" has always taken a moment to talk and see how I am doing.

As I watch guys like Chris Capuano and Jon Lester make me realize how important the attention to detail really is to achieve at the highest level. These guys don't miss a thing on or off the field and I look forward to using their careers as examples for what mine can look like. Attention to detail, hard work and determination will take you a long way, just as these two guys have demonstrated over their brilliant careers.

Michael McCarthy is a Red Sox farmhand and a former pitcher at CSUB. He can be reached on Twitter at @mmccarthy35.

 

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