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CBD Journal with Ray Ricker (Feb. 15th)

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone even though it is a day late! Hope you spent it with somebody special in your life. I wanted to start out my blog this week by thanking the special people in my life that put up with my crazy life as a college baseball coach, my parents and my beautiful girlfriend Anna for putting up with the long hours, knowing that a recruiting trip, phone call at dinner from a recruit, or a bad loss can affect how much or how little I sleep. Valentine’s Day is a special time mainly because the D1 official start date is three days away and I can look forward to seeing college baseball on ESPN instead of soccer or basketball.

Good luck to all of my former summer players and fellow coaches who start up this week. Many D2 teams have started up this week and I am very jealous of you who have gotten the opportunity to get out and compete against a different uniform then you have been seeing for the past couple of months. I am looking forward to opening up our season in just over a week down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I really like the way this team has been coming together since we have opened up camp. With seventeen new faces on the roster chemistry, getting used to our style of play, and seeing how each guy compete has been fun to watch. I really am looking forward to opening up with Franklin Pierce on the 24th. This is a tough time because it is our job as coaches to make sure the guys are not just counting down the days and making the days count. Every day of preparation still counts and we can keep getting better every time we take the practice field, the weight room, and in the classroom. I would be lying to say that I wasn’t thinking about that opening pitch. It is the coaching version of Christmas morning we finally get to see the players we have recruited, coached, and prepared to the best of our ability get ready to take the field and put it all on the line for their brothers, our family.

This family is far from normal though we have some very odd family members amongst the group. The offensive bunch are a different bunch, maybe it is because I am around them all the time working in the cages but for some reason I don’t think that is the case. The catchers are the odd balls of this group for sure. It is headlined by Sophomore Jeff St. Pierre who was drafted number one overall by Head Coach AJ McNamara in our coaching staffs annual Van Draft for trips. Jeff is a huge character that keeps the group on their toes with his late night cat texts or some of his other mannerisms I don’t think I can put in print. Jeff has really grown up after his freshman campaign and I am looking for big things from him this season. The newest addition is Alex Beland a junior catcher from Canada. I would like Alex a lot more if I could understand a word that he says. Jeff and I give him a hard time about the English language but after his 4th chest workout of the day we know our limits with our tri-lingual future MMA fighter. The eldest member of our catching crew is Russ Sirko who had the honor of being the shotgun driver in my van last season and looks to be a lock to return to that spot for his ability to never lose toll money, keep the music selection going, and priceless stories.

It has been a busy week in the Post Baseball Office as we look towards the finish line of preseason but a fun one that if you follow me on twitter at @CoachRix8 you would know that I was mentioned in a rap song by an artist that lives in my hometown. I did not know a song with my name existed until my friend told me about it. I was very shocked and humbled to be mentioned it is something I can cross off the bucket list at a ripe age of 30!!! Until next week or if you want to hear the song follow me @CoachRix8. I will be getting to our infield next week and plenty of stories can go around about that bunch as well!

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