Blue Jays Ryan Shopshire talks drills, first start and Japan

Hello Readers,

Spring training is finally in full swing. The coaches have been drilling us on a daily basics about the bunt plays, situational defense, and pick-off plays that need to done correctly. There are many things that a pitcher needs to remember other than worrying about throwing strikes downhill. If you don’t practice all these plays, you will not be ready when it comes up during a game. The hard work in the spring will set a good foundation for you during the season. After a long week of drills, early morning wake ups and baseball 101 meetings it finally came, game time.


These two famous words are said before each baseball game no matter what level you currently play in. All the months of training in the off-season, the repetitious work in the bullpen and the practice of situational defense prepares you for this given day. The day that you get to compete against a person wearing a different jersey. It does not matter how long that I have been playing baseball I still get those butterflies in my stomach before the first game of the season. I get excited and nervous at the same time. This is a game I have been playing for a long time but I still feel like a kid again in the first game. I know that it is just a spring training game but tensions still run high.

I was warming up in the bullpen getting focused for the game. Staying with my routine I have created for myself over the years keeps me on track. I know that keeping a good routine in whatever you do will get you physically and mentally prepared for whatever comes your way. I went into the game and competed against the Pirates. I did really well and happy that all my hard work and dedication in the off-season prepared me for this given day. Not every game will be glamorous. I have realized this over my years playing baseball. All you can do is keep working hard and eventually success will come. When you do achieve success remember to always count your blessings because you never know how long it will last.

This last week there was a very dramatic event that occurred in Japan. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan was devastating to the people of this country. An event like that impacts everyone in this world. The friends and family that was affected from this incident my prayers go out to you all. I remember that morning walking into the clubhouse and being informed of the devastation that had occurred. There were many homes and lives lost and the dramatizing photos are very scary. I was informed that there was going to be a tsunami that would hit Hawaii and the west coast within the hour. Seeing the face of my Hawaiian buddies in the organization was overwhelming. The fear that was in their face is something that I will not forget. Just remember that you never know how many days that you have on this earth or what will happen next. So be grateful for what you have and keep friends and family close to your heart.

I will continue to work hard every day. I will inform you readers in the next week or so how this spring is coming along. Until then everyone stay safe and remember to keep in contact to the ones you love.


Ryan Shopshire
Romans 12: 9-19

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