Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year ago

Dominic Leone | Average To Savage EP93

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the ninety-third episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Dominic Leone. Paul Guarino talked with Dominic Leone discussing going to Clemson being from Connecticut, his minor league journey to the majors, and what his experience has been like in the MLB playing for the Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, and now the Cleveland Indians. Follow Dominic Leone https://www.instagram.com/dleone26/ Podcast interview with Dominic Leone originally recorded March 21, 2020

This is the average to savage podcastwith Paul Greno everyone in anyone, athletes, so webs and much more. It'sup everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the average savage podcast.Our special guests today MLB Pitcher Don Leone. Done. How's it going? Goodman, how are you good? Are you not bad? You know, surviving the surviving the quarantine? IAH, for sure. Yet take me through. You were just at spring training and like what happened? How doall go down? Like think you guys? Well, I don't know if youspecifically by no, MLB was playing like, I don't know, theday after everything shut down. Yeah, we saw. It was pretty crazy. Obviously, you know, this happened with all thirty teams, but webasically showed up at the facility have a team meeting and, you know,the message that we got was that, you know, things are getting prettyserious on a global scale and we should really consider going home, being withour families, which you know, and kind of ride this thing out.And obviously, as things have progressed, you can see, you know,the statewide quarantines and stuff like that, it was kind of a no brainerfor guys to go home. Yeah, yeah, for sure, definitely guyssay safe. And going back into time a little bit, how did youget started playing baseball? Man, I mean, if you want to goall the way back to the beginning, you know, I played t ballas a kid and played literally, you know, all the way up throughhigh school, and my sophomore year was kind of when I started to realizethat baseball was something I was actually pretty good at, and so I juststarted to focus on that a little bit more than everything else. You know, I played basketball and stuff too, but realized, you know, fivehundred and ten white guy was probably going to have a hard time make itin college and and further on. So I decided to folks on baseball andthat's kind of when it took off for me. was probably that sophomore yearhigh school. Yeah, while you were in high school, were you onlya picture? Did you play the fields? No, I should played positions morethan I pitched. Obviously was a starter in high school, so Ipitched every you know, fifth day or whatever, but then I played centerfield, I played third base, I caught for a while, so Ikind of did everything all that's nope. Yeah, so then what was yourrecruiting process? Like out of Norwich Freek Ademy. It's pretty crazy. Youknow. Luckily we had a lot of good athletes come out of the northeast. You know that that was the time when, you know, Matt Harveyand Jesse Han, we're at Fitch, actually the NFA. We had EricCampbell Andrew Kerry, again, like some pretty good baseball players coming out ofthere. So I would say I'd benefited from that. There were a lotof people, a lot of scouts, a lot of you know, crosscheckers that were starting to take notice and so, you know, obviously Iplayed well in high school and got got seen by the right people and Iended up going to like two national showcases, which really kind of expanded the recruitingprocess to places outside of the northeast. You know, without those it wasbasically Yukon, Boston College, you know, university at Hartford, likethose schools were, you know, the only options I had. And thenI went to those showcases and it turned into you know, Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina like schools, stuff like that. Where were the showcase?That one was in Minnesota, so it was in the old Metrodome, whichwhich that was cool. That was the first time I got to like pitchand play on a big league field, which was unreal, and then theother one was down in Lakeland, Florida. It was at the Tigers old springtraining facility, but it's like a big national showcase. That was prettysweet too. That's nope. How did...

...you ultimately pick Clemson? So,basically, in the recruiting process you get talked to by all these schools andthen you you know, you set up official visits and it just so happenedthat Clemson was my first official visit and I went down there and, likeit was immediate. My thought process on while like this is, this iscrazy, and I just fell in love at the campus. The people downthere were really nice. I really like the you know, the freshman classthat was there at the time, which and you know, they were great, the guys that host you, they were awesome. A lot of northeastkids, so I kind of felt right at home and ultimately, like theyjust they told me they're going to give me an opportunity to play and Ibought into that and ended up actually ended up canceling all my other official visitsand and chose Clempson right on the spot pretty much well. So, wow, that's crazy. Did you commit like right when you were there? Youjust went home and then you just really that's where I want to go.Yeah, I ended up going back, you know, my parents and Iwe flew back to Connecticut and I just thought about it for a couple daysand was like, I mean this, this is too good to pass up. You know, I had phone calls and stuff with the other programs Iwas looking into and you know, they were they were getting ready for meto come down and and do my official visit, but I ultimately just toldthem I was like sorry, guys, you know, it's just, Iguess, unlucky p but Clepson was first and it's going to be the lasttwo. And Yeah, you grew up a Yukon fan though, right,I did. Yeah, I grew up a huge Yukon Fan. Yeah,yeah, I remember seeing you like posted all time. So was there anylike thought of going there? And Yeah, definitely. They were right up therein the mix. Unfortunately, like it was one of those deals whereI don't think like once bigger school started calling, I don't think they plannedon me staying home and there was a big hole, you know, scholarshipmoney. You know thing where they were like yeah, we don't have ascholarship left and I said, Oh okay, well, that kind of makes mydecision a little bit easier. Yeah, you know, but it was definitely, definitely in the mix. They actually that was when they had areally good program. Guys like springer and that Barnes was there. I meanthey had a ton of good talent. Were you guys match up here versus? One year? Yeah, so my sophomore year, so that would havebeen two thousand and eleven. At clemson we hosted a regional and Yukon camedown to the regional. They ended up beating us at Clemson and they wentto the supersional play South Carolina. It's crazy. We're under your friends onthe team, like you know anybody? I knew, like I said,I knew, you know, Springer and Barnes and a couple other guys.John Andreoli was on that team. But yeah, yeah, I mean itkind of stunted. Like that was the one team I didn't get the playguest writing kitch against. I was like the starts like didn't match up.So I never ended up fishing against him, but the room. Pretty cool.What was your overall experience like a Clemson? I was great. Ilove it to this day. I'm still a die hard, you know,alumni, I guess you could say. But I had a blast. Manthat the recruiting class that I was in a lot of great guys, awesomefriends, I mean friends for life. Facilities for fantastic. The school isactually pretty good. You know, coming from the northeast, you don't reallyknow, like I didn't know what the heck you clemson specialized in. Ithought it was football, you know like, but they actually have a really goodacademic program and it's it was. It was such a fun experience forme to to kind of get out of my comfort zone and go down southand start to, you know, kind of find new experiences that way.And what was it like? Just you went to college row series every year, right? We? Yeah, we,...

I was gonna say we. Sowe made it to Almaha my freshman year. That was by far thebest year that we had. Like I said that, we hosted a regionalin two thousand and eleven and then two thousand and twelve, we I thinkwe made the tournament and we went we went to the South Carolina regional.So yeah, we were in the NSCA tournament every year, but my freshmanyear was the only time and actually the last time the Clemson's been to Omaha. That's crazy, all right. So, yeah, going going to your junioryear. At the end of the season, what was your decision toenter the draft? And then you ultimately left. So that was definitely toughbecause I did like Clemson a lot and obviously I wanted to finish my degreeand you know all that good stuff. But you know, I started tosee kind of the the running in the wall where like this could be mybest opportunity to get into professional baseball and that was the ultimate goal. AndI had a decent junior season. I was getting looked at by some,you know, teams. And what's crazy about the whole like draft processes,like the scouts will just they'll basically tell you whatever you want to hear.You know that we're going to draft you high, we're going to take youhere, you know you'll get a big signing bonus and all this stuff,and you know that's all good and well, but then you know when you're sittingthere on draft a and it all doesn't come to fruition. That's whereyou get, you know, kind of but er. But it was toughand actually I was really close to staying. It's actually a funny story when Igot drafted because the season it ended and I was still down in Clemsonand a bunch of us were all the same boat. You know, wewere waiting to see if we're going to get drafted. And you know,my college roommate got picked on the first round, so we were all talkedabout that. Our catcher got picked in the fifth round. So like westarted to see guys go and then, you know, I can't waiting formy name, waiting for my name day one thing, day to nothing.And that was the first year that they expanded the draft. So I'm like, oh, man, like, I don't think I'm going to get picked, like I'm just going to stay a Clempson. I'll finish my senior yearand, you know, try to get next year. Well, I endedup going out playing golf and before I teat up on the first tea,I got a phone call from the mariners, the Mariners Area Scout, and hecalled me and he said Hey, I'm like, we're taking you firstpick of the third day, you know, like sixteen round, you know,congrats, your Seattle married, and I was like, Oh my God, no, no way, that's crazy. And he's like yeah, you justyou still want to do this, and I was like yeah, ofcourse. He goes, okay, great, I got you on a plane fromprovidence to Everett, Washington in two days. You know, we'll see, we'll see you soon. So, so when they say that life comesat you fast, it's that's totally true. So then, so, what wasthat like? That you go to the you go there, and thenwhat they were like? Pitching you did try to get you to sign.Yeah, so basically, once, you know, once I got off thephone, I'm I had to make the decision of whether or not I wasgoing to signed, and I told them right then. I said Yeah,like I want to do it, like I'm going to go. So theygot me in a plane. I flew out to Everett. That was whereour short season team was. We're people. And Yeah, I got their signedmy contract and boom, like start your minor career right there. Yeah, yeah, that's wild. Yeah, and what was the other factor?Like, I know usually going for your senior year, it's like I feellike some teams are frowned upon draft and seniors to and you have like lessleverage, I guess. Yeah, definitely, that was for sure factor. Youknow, like I said, I...

...felt like after my junior years whereyou have your most leverage. Now, I know the draft process has changedsince then, but back then, like a lot of seniors were, itwas not frowned upon, but it those guys were just unlikely to get drafted, and drafted high, you know. And basically back then, I sayback then like it's the old days, but you know, like when youlooked at the draft and when you looked at where guys got picked, onething I'd learned was that, you know, Opportunity seemed to come more in professionalbaseball for the guys that were higher round picks, which makes sense.I mean the team invested up sizeable amount of money and a higher draft pickand you like, they're gonna give you every chance they can. So that'swhere I was like, well, sixteen round like that's still pretty good,like I might get an opportunity and you know, who knows what happens?You come back to your senior year, you could hurt. You know,ever get drafted. I mean it's just there too many variables that wait onme, and that's why I just started to go. Yeah, so,I mean, I guess you're rookie minor league season. You killed it andgood. I had a good year. You're and your you're like younger thanyour class, I guess say because you have the late birthday, so you'reonly twenty at the time. Yeah, yeah, so that's probably why theylike your too, because you're younger. Yeah, I was going to say. I mean, I couldn't even have a legal beer out and trowball.So said. They were like yeah, this kid's going to be straight andnarrow and this is good. Yeah, what was your First Minor League gamelike? Um, honestly, it was. It was less exciting than like someof the College Games I've been in. Yeah, obviously you kind of downscalefrom a big time major done university where you're playing in front of,you know, six, seven thousand people, and then give go to Everett,Washington, where there's fifty people and it's freezing and you know, liketotally different vibe. But I mean it was exciting. I mean you knowthat like now this is a job, this is your career. It definitelybrought a different aspect to baseball. And then how was it for you transition'slistening, from starter to reliever? That was actually pretty easy. Yeah,I've always kind of had a reliever mindset and you know like that, thatmindset where you go, okay, I'm taking the ball. I'm literally goingto throw this thing as hard as I can for one inning and and callit a day. So it was easy. They put me in the pen actuallyjust by chance, since I had started that year. It was likeI have like eighty five or ninety innings and they were like, we don'twant to, you know, over tax you, so we'll put you inthe bullpen and I, like said, I ended up having a really goodyear. I pitched I think another thirty something inntings in rookie ball and thatoffseason they called me and they were like yeah, like prepared to be astarter and spring training and I said, okay, you know whatever. Idid my thrown program all offseason and then they got to camp and they werelike now we're going to keep you in the bullpen. That's like all right, cool, whatever. See, you didn't care what you were either.Started really no, I just I wanted the opportunity that that was really amatter. It took me through the what minor league wife is like. It'stough. It's tough. It's not all GLITZ and Glam like you know peoplehere professional baseball and they think, you know, the guys that make millionsand they drive sports cars and huge houses, and there is some of that whenyou get to the top level, but I mean the grind that youhave to put in in the minor leagues is unbelievable and that doesn't get enoughrecognition from the general public, I think. I think that gets lost. Andthen a realm of professional baseball.

I mean it's it's tough, dude. I remember my first my first paycheck was like two hundred bucks maybe fora two week paycheck. I mean it's unbelievable, you know, and youryou got to think about it like this. Half of the Minor League guys areeither high school kids or, you know, kids from different countries andas well, Dominic and whatever. You know. They don't. I meanthose are young, like sixteen seventeen year old kids. You know, likeimagine putting them out in the real world saying here you go, here's youknow, two hundred dollar two week paycheck. You know, you've got a feedyourself. You get a feed. You know, if she got afamily at that time, like you know, because some of those some of thoseLatin kids had had families. You know, they start families early andit's like you got to support, you get support people on basically less thanminimum wage. It was. It's ridiculous. Yeah, for sure, and rememberthere's a a court case about that. But I don't know, I don'tknow whoever happened to that, like because it was like the minor playersare basically not even making minimum wage. Yeah, I do. I doremember that and I don't know what exactly came out of that, but Ido know they're like the I remember the proposed settlement was like less than athousand dollars a player, like a minor league play if they had won.And so, I mean, I guess everything, everything you can get helps, but it wasn't really going to be a humungus change. And then goingthrough the minor league again, you you pretty much killed in just shot upreally fast. I mean you made the majors in pretty much two years toseasons. What was that? What was that like it was crazy. Itwas a whirlwind and and and let me let me backtrack, because you know, for all the negative things I just said about the minor leagues, Idid add a lot of fun. I mean, like they're definitely times,challenging times, but there are definitely times where it's a blast, and Ithink that's what helped me, you know, get up to the big leagues asfast as I did. It is just because I did a good grouparound me. I had a lot of opportunity, which is nice, andwe just had a lot of fun, man. I mean I remember thatfirst year, let's see, that first full season was two thousand and thirteen, and I remember I got sent to low a in Clinton, Iowa,and it was the absolute worst place on earth. I'm sorry if anyone fromClinton Iowa is listening to your podcast, but it was. It was brutaland I could not wait to get out of there, and the only wayyou get out is you pitch well. So I think my first three gamesI pitched really well. I had a big velocity jump that first full seasonin the bullpen, like I went from throwing like low s to like midtwo upper S, and so I did really well in low a. Theysent me out after ten days and then I went to hia for probably aboutthree months. That was in High Desert California, literally just I mean it'slike a sandbox, like there's no tree. It's like no trees, no nothing. It's just straight up desert. I was there for a while againpish well. It's a really hard lead to pitch in just because, likeall the stadiums are smaller and the ball just jumps out. There a lotof wind. I pitched well there. Then I guess sent up again todouble a. So my third team change. It's a lot of move a lotof moving that year, but honestly, just I kept them am out going. I've got to double a and up pitching really well there and youknow, at the end of that season...

...they were going to send me towinter ball. And basically what happens is if they want you to stay sharpand they want you to, you know, continue throwing, they'll send you eitherto like instructs, where they bring you to the spring training facility andyou go through like a little minicamp, or they'll send you a winner ball, or they send like their top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, andso I finished up in double a and had a really good year and theycall me and they're like hey, we want to send you to winner ballin the Dominican you know, do you want to go? And I waslike no, not really, like I just told him. I was likeno, I don't really want to go, I just want to go home,you know, relax, hang out. And then they were like, well, there's also the fall league. You know, we weren't going tosend you, but like if you've made a fall league roster with that,you know, make you want to go. And I ended up thinking about itand I said Yeah, sure, I mean seems like there's some goodcompetition out there and you know, at the time it was like a reallybig thing for like Sir prospects and people to go watch and see, andso I ended up doing that. So basically that year ran like from Februarytill I think fully got done end of November, of just constant baseball andit was just a crazy roller coaster ride. Yeah, that's that's a long year. Yeah, and like when they rank the prospects, did you noticeyou got like rank higher after that season? That, yeah, that was thefirst time I actually saw my name on a prospect list. Used tobe like to the top thirty prospects for every organization and of the time,like I first of all there was no chance I was getting on that prospectlist. And then I had that season, that first full season, and thatwas the first time. I think I was like still like up inthe s or something, but at least I made it. I was likeall right, cool, I I can at least getting some recognition. Thisis kind of sweet. And going into the miners, did you have likea goal of when you wanted to make the majors? No, I meandefinitely not a timeline. Obviously. I just I wanted to make it.That's the goal. And you know, whether it took one year or tenyears, you know, I just wanted to make it whenever the time wasright and if I earn it, I earned it. Yeah. So thengoing into the two thousand and fourteen season, did you made the Brig League rosterout of Spring Training? Yeah, pretty much, I got invited.So after that fall league and in two thousand and thirteen I got invited abig Leue camp, my first big Lue Camp in two thousand and fourteen,and that was nuts. You know, talking about being starstruck and you knowyou're in a locker room with, you know, all big lue guys now, and I had just turned twenty two, you know, and I'm like there'sno way I have a long here. And I remember my locker was likein the very corner of locker room, just kind of separated from everybody else, and I remember I used to sit in in my locker, likenot even on the chair. I would star would push my clothes aside andsit in my locker because I'm like I don't I don't want him to comefind me until tell me they're going to send me down. But it wasnuts, man. I had a blast and I just went into it goingI mean, look, I got nothing to lose, you know, I'mjust going to come in here, pitch my ass off and and see whathappens. And, like you said, it turned out pretty damn cool.Where I was there until a very last day. They actually sent me down. The very last day they sent me to play Tacoma and it was morebecause they had a guy on the roster and if they were going to keepme, they had to make a roster move and let somebody else go,and it was a complicated process. But...

I didn't even pitch one game.And Tacoma, like the season started a couple days after the big league seasonand I think it was literally three or four days and I got a phonecall and they were like a man, like you're getting called up, congrats, it's awesome. And then yet take me through the first game, likethey call you from the bullpen and then what happens? Yeah, so myfirst big league game was in Oakland. I made my debut April six andI remember they call down, they had me get going. I was sonervous because, first of all, I have a huge pet peeve of bullpensbeing on the field. It's an absolute mass. Yeah, it's like that'sthe dumbest thing in the world, not to mention you've got like tenzero screamingfans literally right hovering over the bullpen is yelling at your booing you. Iwas like all right, here we go, like I'm getting thrown into the wolveshere, and so I remember jogging in and on my jog I justI focus, just on the ground. I was just like just don't trip, like just don't trip, te'll fall. I was just staring at my feetlike okay, one actually other, you know, tell fall over.But it was odd because as soon as I got on the mound, everythingwent back to normal, like you just kind of use zone everything out andand it just becomes baseball again. And then, of course, you know, literally I remember my first batterer. I faced Eric so guard, littlelittle second baseman. He was, I think it's, a switch hitter.ANYWAYS, double give up, a double down down the line and I waslike, okay, here we go, welcome to the big leagues. WHO'syour first strikeout against? You gotta strike out that game too. Coco Crisp. All right, that's a good name. First I know well, so growingup, growing up a red SOx Fan, I remember, you know, him being in center fields for the socks and I'm like Ah, sick, cool, cocoa crisp, boom, got them first punch out. It'sdope. And then yet what else was your Major League experience? Like yourrookie year and you did the Hayes you in anyway? Well, no,I mean well, I guess compared to now, you know now you can'tdo anything. But yeah, I mean I had the pink back back,you know, I had to fill it up every day waters and gatorades andyou had to carry every game. But there's no true way to describe thatfirst big league season. I mean it was unbelievable. We had such agood bullpen. The guys down there were awesome. I'm pretty sure we endedup that mariners two thousand and fourteen bullpen ended up being, I think,one of the best in the league that year. And I mean we do. We just had so much fun. We would be out there just sureup and out fielder's every every chance we could, like just having a blast, telling jokes, laughing, but then it's like soon as somebody's name gotcalled, it was like all right, here we go of going to warand and we dominated that years. It was so much fun. I learnedso much, so many things that I still value today as I'm still playing. And did like anyone take you under their wing and like teach you,to show you the ropes? Yeah, I mean honestly that that whole pended. I was the youngest guy in there by far, but I had guyslike Joe Buy Him All. He was like the crafty thirty eight year oldlefty who'd been doing it forever. Tom Will Helpson was a stud, CharlieFurbush was a stud. Danny Farkoh I was on that team. Fernando Rodneywas a closer. I mean all those guys, we were so close,like such a tight knit group. You know, I basically followed those guysaround like a puppy dog all season, just had to just make sure Ididn't screw up or, you know,...

...do something stupid. I was justconstantly like in their hip pocket like okay, cool, like they're doing this,I'm gonna go do that, and then the phone your you get treated. So what happened there pretty crazy. That's a whole nother aspect of baseballthat, you know, is kind of goes onto the radar. But Ididn't start to your well at all. I pitched. I pitched like shitto be quite hot, and I remember I was up in Seattle and Iwent home to my apartment and I get a phone call from the GM atthe time and he says, Hey, we just traded you Arizona. Youknow, thanks for everything. You have a flight at seven am and I'mlike, Oh crap, I'd back up I had to pack up my car, my apartment, you know, clean out the fridge, like dude.I had to do all that stuff literally in like five hours and it wasnuts. I mean it's crazy when you get traded and you know from theother side, like Arizona called me and they're like yeah, we're so excitedto have you. You're going to be a guy for us, and youknow, it's great. I mean it's cool, like like there's another organizationthat really wants you. It's just it's kind of a whirlwind of emotion,you know. For me, like I always love Seattle. I still do. It was. It was a great spot that I had a had aton of fun. Like I said, it's just it's so crazy just beingin the business of it all, though, and like just understanding how good ofa year I had the year the year prior, and all of asudden I start off really kind of slow and next thing you know, boomyou're gone. Yeah, I think I think the most underrated thing in sportsjust like the travel, yeah, that you guys out there to like it'sjust crazy to me. There's no doubt. I mean that the that's Seattle team. We traveled I think tenzero more, you know, are miles than anyother team that year. That's it's just insane. And then, yeah, just going throughout the years, you played in Arizona. Then you cameback and did you get? You got traded to Toronto. No, soI actually got designated Arizona. Basically. Yeah, they took me off theirforty men roster, but luckily Toronto claimed me, pick me up, andthat was true thousand and seventeen. Yeah, so that got claimed by them andthat was another unreal experience. Like I had a ton of fun there. Again, just that, you know, the transaction wire is something that goesunnoticed, you know, like it's just crazy how many guys, youknow, get picked up, traded, dfaide, released, you know,all that stuff happens at in the blank of an eye and it's just it'snot what other things that you have to do when you had a move toToronto, like obviously a different country. Crazy. We had to you know, like I had to get a Canadian social security card. Like the wholetax thing is just a complete joke. It's crazy. Yeah, it's justnot some well, I mean it's literally you're working in another country. SoI had to get a work permit, you know, a lot of thatstuff. I mean, every time we flew in and out, you hadto go through customs. So that was a bitch of a process for sure. But I mean, like again, that that's a place. I mean, if people haven't gone to Toronto and experienced Toronto, it's unbelievable. Youguys have to like people have to go. It's such an underrated city, forsure. Yeah, I mean I see the fans just on TV.They're crazy there. Oh God, yeah, I think they. I mean theylive and die by, honestly, all Toronto Sports. I mean it'sthat the passion up there are is nuts. And then again, you got treated. What is all this movement like?...

In getting treated, waivered and nowyou're on and then you get trade to the cardinals. Man, Iknow it's it was crazy because I was getting ready to go to spring trainingin to need and with Toronto in that two thousand and eighteen year it wasJanuary when I got traded and like, like you said, all this movement, I mean it's overwhelming. It's hard, especially like when you start factoring infamily and you know, like I got married in two thousand and sixteen, and now I'm taking my wife everywhere and she's following me around, andso it was all the movement. It's just nuts. Even still, Imean I'm still moving around, you know, now with Cleveland. So it's itis. It's crazy. It's definitely an adjustment and a lot of guysstruggle with it. To be quite honest. It's a really, really difficult thingto deal with. But at the end of the day you just gotto think about you know, these teams want you. They they're going togive you an opportunity to play and that's the ultimate goals to keep your careergoing. Yeah, I know you had you had a great season with Torontowhere you like disappointed dead they didn't keep you. Yeah, a little bit. I was looking forward to going back again. It was kind of likethe same thing, you know, the same Seattle situation, where it waslike I had a really good year, I really like the city, Ireally like the people, I really like the staff, the players like.It just felt like a really good fit and then all of a sudden,boom. I have no control over it, but you got to go to adifferent spot. So that was definitely frustrating, but again. I meanluckily I landed in another good spot in St Louis. I mean that allthe players there, they definitely had some experienced guys to I mean that wasthat was a whole nother roller coaster ride in my career. And then Iknew you got released by in this offseason. So then you were a free agent. Was that? That was like the first time you were a freeagent? Yeah, talk about pins and needles, man, you know,sitting around waiting for a job, and talk about stress. To that Iwas tough. It's exciting, though, when you get like a list ofteams that you know call and they want you. That was kind of fun, but I don't know, it's again, it's these are all things that thepeople, the people, will realize, like you're literally out of a joband you're sitting around waiting and all of a sudden, you know,I think it was January, like late January this year, when like foror five teams called, all all the same day and they're like all,right, here we have this offer. Take it. WHOA, Whoa,whoa. Like I had nothing for four months and now all of a suddenI've got to make a snap decision. Like right now, like what?Yeah, but yeah, it's crazy and I again I'm really happy at pickCleveland. I was actually really excited to potentially get an opportunity there and ofcourse then the whole world had to get shut down, you know. Sothat's cool. Did you meet Chris Internettie? I know he's from Connecticut to yeah, yeah, I met Chris here's the one I talked to on thephone quite a bit when I was making my decision. Very good guy,very, you know, straightforward. Just tell it tells you to you know, what you need to hear and is very truthful and very honest, andthat was definitely one thing I liked. kind of drew me to their organization. And then and during the offseason, what you're pitching workout routine, likeit's definitely changed over the years, but like for me, I start throwingin December, so I'll start throwing basically December first and I just build myselfup. You know, when you've been doing this for you know, thisis now year eight of professional baseball. You know, you start to figureout what you need and what you don't. I remember early on in my career, like my offseason throwing program was...

...like very intense. I was tryingto, you know, build up as much arm strength as possible. Youknow, now I know my routines where I'll throw a couple days a week, get just just get it in, get the R moving again, andI could get myself to a good spot for, you know, February,whenever spring training comes around, and then. What advice would you get to ayoung athlete or Young Baseball Player? Hmm, I think the biggest pieceof advice I can give is just just make sure you're still having fun.You know, there were definitely times in my career, you know, duringall that change and all that movement and you know, all the ups anddowns, where I lost kind of that that fun, that that that feelingof it's a game. You know, that I get to play a gamefor a living like that's unbelievable. I would say always just make sure,like always double shack on that, that you're having fun, because there's nothingworse than, you know, being miserable and this, this game, ishard and I say it goes farther than baseball, you know, baseball,basketball, football, any sport or anything you're into. I mean, failuresgoing to be an aspect of it and you have to keep reminding yourself that. You know, as long as you're having fun, as long as you'reenjoying what you're doing, you know you'll make it out the other side it. Definitely. Have you faced any of your clemson teammates? I have.I faced the one that's popping into my head most is Brad Miller. Hewas my short stop there when we were both a clemson together. We're stillgood buddies, still good friends. I remember I faced him I was inToronto and he was with Tampa Bay. It's dope. Ready for some funquestions. Are you go from average to savage? Yeah, man, let'sdo it all right. What's your favorite Song Right now? Oh, favoritesong right now? That's a good question. Oh, man, I don't know, I don't even know. It's definitely something country. I've been justrocking out two country spotify. All right, only. Yeah, I don't know. I'd have to look up my my spotify playlist. Here we'll go, we'll go back, I'll find the name of the song. I gottathink of it. All right. What about? What was your first bigpurchase? Who? I bought a jeep. I bought a jeep cranch Cherokee.I remember that was like the big thing. I didn't want to getlike a super, Super Nice car, but like that was that was prettydope. I like that. What about who's your top five favorite pictures ofall time? Top Five, definitely. Number one is Pedro. Number twowould have to be Craig Kimberal, number three would be Roger Clements, forwould be Felix Hernandez, and five, I would have to say, isprobably Mariana solid list. Who's your your favorite strikeout against? So who favoritepunch out? Yeah, probably probably big copy. It's no, that's that'sa going to have on your list for sure. About what's your favorite ballparkdplay at Man. It's got to be fenway, just because I grew up, I mean I grew up there, like I grew up going to gamesthere. I was a big Red Sox Fan. I still remember the firsttime I walked out of the dug out there and I was just like blownaway over that. That place is an...

...absolute baseball Cathedral. Well, Igot to ask you then. Did did they hit you up this offseason?No, they did. I was definitely bummed a bus, especially because I'vealways pushed well there too, and I was just like man, maybe maybeBoston will come calling, but now we never had any serious talks to them. And then what do you like to do in your free time? I'ma big golfer. I like to go play golf. I'm not very good, but I like to do that. I'm trying to think. I meandown here in the south everyone's like a hunter and like I'm just not paidon that, like I I wouldn't know what the heck I'm doing. Plusoff the patience for it. Yeah, I would definitely say I would definitelygolf is the biggest thing that I do in my offtime. And your what'syour favorite food spot and Clemson? Oh, there's two spots. There's a there'sa Japanese steakhouse place. It's called Osaka unreal. I would recommend it. And the other place is pop elly Delhi. It's a like a littlebreakfast delly place. Like if anyone goes to Clemson, you gotta check thosetwo shots out. Oh yeah, I heard a pop billy because my boywent to Clemson, so I remember. How about that? Yeah, popelly, I mean it's like one of those places that if you don't getthere at the right time. You're waiting for like an hour. It's not. What about? Oh, what's your favorite pizza in Connecticut? Oh well, that's a that's a good one. Um, it's got to be peppi's, the new haven done leaven. It's got to be. Have you hadthat? The one Sally's in modern? No, you gotta have them.Sally's the one that wanted it really yeah, no, I haven't had that.You know, maybe I got to try you when your back up here. What to do a pizza ro together? Yeah, I was gonna say pornoystyle. Yeah, that'd be Badass. All right. Last one. Whowould you want to do a Jersey exchange with? That you if youhaven't done her, that you haven't done one with. Oh you guys dothat actually, and then I'll be no, I haven't seen it. I thinkit'd be cool, though. That'd be Badass if I were to doit right now. A Good Jersey swap, I think, would be like trout. Yeah, that would be pretty Badass, like, especially like ifI punch him out and then like to end the game, you know,and then like you run over to him. Hey, man, like Jersey swaplike you probably like scream bro. Maybe that'd be a pretty that'd bea pretty badass one, though. Yeah, for sure. Well, I appreciateyou coming on and I could do let the listeners know where they canfollow you at. Yeah, man, you can follow me on Instagram,De Leon Twenty six. That's really the only social media I'm on, butplease follow me. You know, I'm not a big poster, but that'dbe that'd be Cooli a must follow game up. You got like social media? I mean I do. I had a twitter long time ago and Iwould just get blasted. People would blow me up like I find a badgame, and I was like, Dude, I'm tired of reading this like soso I just stick to Instagram, like, like I said, DeLeon Twenty six can be a follow. All right. Again, I appreciateit and good luck the season. Hopefully there is a season. Hey,man, yeah, I know, right. Thanks, man. Appreciate it.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (163)