November 2008

Tough Ending

Although we ended up tied with Mesa at 26-12, they held the tie breaker against us. The fall season came down to the game against Mesa on Wednesday. Basically the winner of that game would clinch the division and go on to play Phoenix in the Fall Championship. Going into the 8th inning we were leading the deciding game. Unfortunately, we didn’t hold onto the lead as Slayden hit a grand slam to put Mesa up for good.

It was a tough way to end the season. It’s not often in professional baseball that you get to play for a championship and when you fall just short, it stings a little. All in all though it was a great experience. It was an privilege to have been invited and I loved every minute of it. Playing for a team that scored so many runs in every game made pitching a lot easier.

Although Mesa went into the championship game as the clear favorites(on paper), they fell to Phoenix 10-4. Phoenix has now won the league 5 years in a row. I’m not sure how that has happened because of all the great talent out here, but somehow that team seems to put it together at the right time.

I also enjoyed writing to all you fans out there and I want to thank you all for your questions and comments. Now it’s time for some time off and rest. There are only a couple months until the next season starts. Until next year, take care all!

Justin Fiske

10 Games Left

It’s crazy to think we have been here for almost a month and a half already, but we are down to the final two weeks of the fall season. With only 10 games left we lead Mesa by 1 game. Everyone who was chosen to play in this league was exciting to be here, but now we want to win this thing. We have been on a roll lately only losing 2 in the last week. Our last loss came to the Scorpions in dramatic fashion when we gave up 7 in the top of the ninth. We were trailing 16-10 in the bottom of the ninth and managed to push across 5 before a deep fly ball to the warning track ended the game.

We have a change of pace this week as we will play in three night games this week. During the World Series there aren’t any night games so that everyone can watch the WS games. Now that it’s over night games have started back up. We played one night game last week which resulted in a loss. I believe our first home night game is coming up this week as well.

The weather here in Arizona is starting to change a bit. I saw rain for the first time today here in Phoenix. The temperature has been dropping rapidly at night as well. Night games get a bit chilly which should be expected in November.

Looking back on the year, this has been a very long season. Although I had a few weeks off in between the regular season and the AFL, I had to keep my body in shape. This is certainly the first time I’ve played baseball all the way into November, but I’m not complaining. But I will enjoy giving my arm a break during the off season. Surprisingly, my arm feels great despite the stiff shoulder at the beginning of the AFL season.

Well that’s it for now. Hopefully by the next post we will still be in contention for the playoffs. Until then, take care everyone. Thanks for reading!

Justin Fiske

Guest Blogger: Brad Furnish

Howdy everyone this is Brad Furnish of the St. Louis Cardinals currently playing for the PeoriaBrad Furnish 4.JPG Saguaros in the AFL. I’ll get started by giving you some background information about myself. I was born in Wichita Falls, Texas and I am currently 23 years old. I graduated from Allen High School in Allen, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. I received a scholarship to the University of Nebraska, after one year I transferred to Texas Christian University and spent two years playing for the Horned Frogs. While in college I was fortunate enough to spend my summers playing for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod Baseball League. I was also fortunate enough to win two conference championships and participate in two regionals while at TCU.

I was drafted as a left handed pitcher by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 draft and I have played at four levels since joining the organization, most recently with the Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League. One of the biggest highlights for me since joining the Cardinals was being able to throw the first pitch in the history of the State College Spikes, which was our short season A affiliate in 2006. That was a great start to my professional career and I am hoping for more great things to come.
I am really excited to have the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League. I had heard great things about this league and it has definitely lived up to the hype and then some. I was told to use this as an opportunity to not only to face some of the best competition in baseball but also use it as a time period to make some adjustments and learn more about the game. With that being said I am currently working on making some mechanical adjustments within my pitching motion. The goal is to make the movements a little more quiet and smooth. I have been able to connect with the coaches out here and their insights are allowing for the transition to come along quickly.
We have been playing for a little over four weeks now and I am really impressed with how our team has come together. We have been playing real well and hopefully we have a chance to play for the championship. It is always exciting to have something to play for, especially when you are playing with players as talented as the ones out here.
Thanks,
Brad Furnish