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 avage podcastwith Bau Garino everyone and anyone athletes, so etsand much more so IP everybody welcome back to anotherepisode of the average savage podcast or special guests. Today, nd l bePitcher, Dom Leon Don how's it going good man. How are you good? How are you not bad yeaw surviving the survivingthe quarantine yeah for sure yeah. Take me through you ere, just at spring training andlike what happened, how Di all go down like think you guys? Well, I don't knowif you specifically but know MLB was playing like I don't know the day aftereverything shut down yeah it was, it was pretty crazy.Obviously, you know this happened with all thirty teams, but we basicallyshowed up with the facility have a team meeting, and you know the message thatwe got was that you know things are getting pretty serious on a globalscale and we should really consider going home being with their families,which you know a kind of ride. This thing out and obviously, as things areprogressed you can see you know the the statewidequarantines and stuff like that. It was kind of a no brainer for guys to gohome, Yeah Yeah for sure definitely Gott, say safe and going back into timea little bit. How did you get started playing baseball Dan? I mean if you want to go all the way back tothe beginning. You know I played t ball as a kid and played literally go. You know all theway up through high school and my sophomore year was kind of when Istarted to realize that baseball was something Iwas as actually pretty good at, and so I just started to focus on that alittle bit more than everything else. You know I played basketball and stufftoo, but realized. You know. Five ten white guy was probably Goin NA, have ahard time make it in college and further on so Idecided to focus on baseball and that's kind of when it took off. O E was wasprobably that Sofphomare yere high school yeah, while you were in highschool, were you only a pitcher? Did you play the field? Noi should play positions more than Itiched obviously was a starter in high school, so I pitched every you knowfifth day or whatever, but then I played center field that played thirdbase. I caught for a while, so I I kind of did everything: Alright, that's NOE,okay! So then what was hour recuiting process like out of Norwich FreeAcademy? It's pretty crazy! You know. Luckily,we had a lot of good athletes come out of the northeast. You know th. That wasthe time when you know Mat Harvey Jesse Han were a Fitch actually NFA. We hadaaric Campbell, Antre Carr again like some some pretty good baseball playerscoming out of there. So I would say I benefited from that. There were a lotof people lost scouts. A lot of you know crosscheckers that were startingto take notice, and so you know, obviously I played well inhigh school and and got gotseen by the right people, and I ended up going tolike two national showcases, which really kind of expanded the recruitingprocess to places outside of the northeast. Youknow, without those it was basically Yukon, Boston College. You KnowUniversity of Hartford, like those schools were you know the Oll, theoptions I had and then I went to those show cases and it turned into you know:Clemson Louisville, North Carolina, like schools, stuff like that. Wherewere the showcases that one was in Minnesota sowas in Theo Metrodomewhich,which that was cool? That was the first time I got to like pitch and play on abiglyge field which was unreal and then the other one was down in LakelandFlorida. It was at the Tiger's old spring training facility. There's likea big national show case. That was pretty sweet too.

That's NOP. How did you ultimately pickclumbsin sowase Payin, the recruiting process you get talked to by all theseschools and then you? You know you set up official visits and it just sohappened that Clepston was my first official visit and I went down thereand like it was immediate. My thought process on while like this is this iscrazy and I just fell in love with the campus. The people down there werereally nice. I really like the you know. The Freshman Class owes thereat the time which- and you know they were great- The guys that host you.They were awesome, a lot of northest kids, so I kind of felt right at home andultimately like they. Just they told me, theyw're Goingno, give me anopportunity to play and I bought into that and ended up actually ended up canceling, all myother official visits and and shows coson right on this spot, pretty muchwow. So wow, that's crazy! Did you commit like right? When you were there,you just went home and then you just reallyke go. That's where I want to goyeah. I ended up Dong back. You know my parents and I way flew back toConnecticut and I just thought about it for a couple days and was like I meanthis is just too good to pass up. You know I had phone calls and stuff withthe other programs I was looking into and you know they werethey were gettingready for me to come down and give my official visit, but I ultimately justtold them. I was like sorry guys, it's just I guess unlucky Pi, but CLEPomeone first and it's going to be the last two and yeah. You grew up a Yukon fan,though right I did yeah. I grew up a huge hucon chanp yeah at s yeah. Iremember seeing you like postet all the time. So was there any like thought ofgoing there on no yeah? Definitely they were right up there in the mix.Unfortunately, like it was one of those deals where I don't think like oncebigger school started, calling, I don't think they planned on mestaying home and there's a big whole. You knowscholarship money. You know thing where they were like yeah. We don't have anyscholarship left and then I said: Oh okay, well, that kind of makes mydecision a little bit easier. Yeah, you know, but I it was definitelydefinitely in the mix they. Actually. That was when they had a really goodprogram, guys like Springer and Mat parms was there. I mean they had a tonof good talent. Were you guys matched up here versus one year, yeah so mysophomore years, so that would have been two thousand and Leven atcolleption we hosted a regional and Ukon came down for the regonal. Theyended up beating us at Clemson and they went to the superation Il play SouthCarolina. Oh that's crazy! Where any of your friends on the seam, like I yo, noanybody I knew like I said I knew you knowspringer and barns, and a couple other guys. John Andrew Oli was on that team. Butyeah I mean it was it kind of stunks like that? Was the one team I didn'tget the playgast rigting pitch against. I was like the starts like didn'tmatchup, so I never ended up fishing against them, but en pretty cool whatwas, your overall experience like aclemsin. It was great. I love it to this day, I'm still a diehard. You Know Alumni, I guess you could say, but I had a blast man thatthe recruiting class that I was in a lot of great guys, awesome friends, I mean friends forlife facilities were fantastic, the school is actually pretty good. Youknow coming from the northeast, you don't really know. I it didn't knowwhat the Heck Clemsson specialized in. I thought it was football you know like, but they actually have a really goodacademic program and it's it was. It was such a funexperience for me to to kind of get out of my comfort done and go to himselfand start to. You know kind of find new experiences that way EAH and what wasit like? Just you went to College Roald series every year right,...

...we yeah we, I was gonna, say we, so wemade it to Amaha my freshman year. That was by far the best year that we hadlike. I said that we hosted a regional in two thousand and eleven and then twothousand and twelve. We I think we made the tournament and we went. We went tothe South Carolia regional, so yeah wewere in the NA teurnmentevery year, but my freshman year was the only time and actually, the lasttime Tet clemsons been to Omaa. That's crazy, all right so yeah going going to yourjunior year at the end of the season. What was your decision to enter thedraft and then you ultimately left? So that was definitely tough, because Idid like clemster a lot and obviously I wanted to finish my degree,and you know all that good stuff, but you know I started to see kind of the writing on the wall where,like this, could be my best opportunity to get into professional baseball, andthat was the ultimate goal and I had a decent junior season. I wasgetting looked at BIE and you know: teams and what's crazy about the whole like draftprocess is like H. Scouts will just hll, basically tell you whatever you want tohear. You know we're in a Drafyo high we're going to take you here. You know,you'll get a big signing bonus and all this stuff- and you know that's allgood and well, but then you know when you're sitting down DRAFTA and it alldoesn't come to fruition. That's where you get, you know kind of butther, butit was tough and actually I was really close to staying. It's actually a funny story. When I gotdrafted because the season it ended- and I was still down in Censon and abunch of us were all in the same boat. You know we were waiting to see ifwe're going to get drafted- and you know my college roommate got picked onthe first round, so we were all talked about that our catcher got picked inthe fifth round. So like we started to see guys go and then you know I kept waiting for my namewaits my name. They one! Nothing tey to nothing, and that was the first yearthat they expanded the draft. So I'm, like, Oh man, ly go. I don't think I'mGongto get picked like I'm just going to stay at Clemson I'll finish mysenior year and you know try to get next year. Well, I ended up going outplaying golf and before I teat up on the first Ta, I got a phone call fromthe mariners, the mariners area scout and he called me and he said, Hey don,like we're taking you first pick of the third day. You know like sixteenthround. You know congratsyore Seattle Marriman. I was like. Oh my God, Noi noway, that's crazy! He's like yeah O cus. You still want to do this and I waslike yeah. Of course he goes. Okay Great. I got you on a plane fromprovidence to Everett Washington in two days. Youknow we'll seesee you soon so when they say that life comes out.You fast. It's that's totally true! So then! So what was that like that yougo to you? Go there then what they were like pitching you to try to get to youto sign yeah. So, basically, once you know, once I got off the phoneI had to make thes decision of whether or not I was goingside, and I told themright then I said yeah like I want to do it like. I'm gonna go so they got meon a plane. I flew out to Everett. That was where our short season team wasricky ball and yeah. I got there side of my contract and boom. Like StartYour minorlyge career right, there yeah yeah, that's wild yeah and was e. Otherfactor like I know, usually going for your senior year. It's like, I feel,like some teams are frowned upon draft and seniors to, and you have like lessleverage, I guess yeah. Definitely that was for sure factor you know, like Isaid I felt like after my junior years,...

...where you have your most leverage now.I know the TRAF process has changed since then, but back then like a lot ofseniors were it was frowned upon, but those guys were just unlikely to getdrafted and trafted high. You know basically back then I say back thenlike it's the old days, but you know like when you looked at thedraft and when you looked at where guys got picked. One thing I learned wasthat you know opportunity seemed to comemore in professional baseball for the guys that were higheround picks, whichmakes sense. I mean the team invested of sizable amount of money and a higerdraft picking you like they're, going to give you every chance they can. Sothat's where I was like well sixteenth round, like that's still pretty goodlike I might get an opportunity and you know who knows what happens you comeback to your senior year. You Cet hurt you don't ever get trafted. I mean it'sjust ter too many variables that that wait on me and that's why I justdecided to go yeah. So I mean I guess, your wookie minor leag season. Youkilled it and Yeah Ia. Good I had a good year you and you're like younger than yourclass. I guess say because you ha the late birthday, so you're only twenty atthe time, Yeah Yep. So that's probably why they liked you to because youwereyounger yeah, I was goingto say I mean I couldn'teven have a a legal beer, Olt introball so sit. They were likeyeah, this kid's going to be straight narrow. An this is good, then yeah. What was your first minorleague game like honestly? It was. It was less excitingthan like some of the College Games. Hav Been In. Obviously you kind ofdownscale from a big time, Major D, One university, where you're playing infront of you know six seven thousand people, and then you go to EverettWashington, where there's fifty people and it's freezing- and you know like totally differentvibe mean it was exciting. I mean you know that like now. This is a job. Thisis your career. It definitely brought a different aspect to baseball and thenhow was it for you transchange, listening from starter to reliever? That was actually pretty easy. I'vealways kind of had a reliever mindset, and you know like that that mindset whereyou go. Okay, I'm taking the ball, I'm literally goingt throw this thing ashard as I can for one itting and and call it a day. So it was easy. Theyput me in the Pan actually just by chance. Since I had started that year, it was like I had like eighty five or ninetyinnings and they were like. We don't want to. You know overtax. You so putyou in the Boltpad and I like Si, ended up Havng, really good year, Ipisalithink another thirty seme bittings in rookie ball and that offseason theycalled me and they were like yeah like prepared to be a starter and springtraining. I said: Okay, you know whatever I did my throne program alloff season and then they I got to camp and they were like no we're going tokeep yon the ball there. That's like all right cool. I want Efer Yeh, youdidn't Care Whith, you were either started rearliever! No! I just I wantedthe opportunity yeas that that was really it take me through. He what minorly lifeis like? It's tough, it's tough! It's not all Glitzang lamb,like you, know, people here, professional baseball. They think youknow the guys that make millions and they drive sports cars and HAVD hugehouses, and there is some of that when you get to the top level, but I mean the grind that you have to put in inthe minor leagues is unbelievable and that doesn't get enough recognitionfrom the general public. I think I think that gets lost in then a realm ofprofessional baseball. I mean it's,...

...it's tough tode! I remember my first.My first paycheck was like two hundred bucks. Maybe for a two weekpaycheck I mean it's unbelievable. You know in you're you got to think aboutit like this half of the minarly guys are either high school kids or you know,kids from different countries, Vaesuel Dominican. Whatever you know they don't I mean those are young likesixteen seventeen year old kids, you know like imagine, putting them out inthe real world saying here you go. Here's you know two hundred ar two weekpaycheck, you know you've got ta feed yourself, you got ta feed, you know,Syou got a family at that time, like you know, because some of the some ofthose Latin kids head had families. You knowthey start families early and it's like you got to support. You know you gussupport people on basically less than minimum wage. Itwas it's ridiculous yeah for sure- and I remember there's a a court case about that. But I don'tknow I don't know whatever happened to that like because it was like themiallyplayers are basically not even making minimum wage yeah. I do. I do rememberthat, and I don't know what exactly came out of that, but I do know ther were like. I remember. The proposesettlement was like less than a thousand dollars a player like aminorly PLA. If they had won, and so I mean I guess everything everythingyou can get helps, but it wasn't really going to be a humogous change, yeah andthen going through the minor leagues. Again you pretty much killed in just shot up really fast. Imean you made the majors in pretty much two years, two seasons. What was that? What was that like? Itwas crazy, it was a whirl end and and- and let me let me backtrack because you know for all the negative things hijust said about the minor leagues. I did have a lot of fun. I mean likethere are definitely times to challenging times, but there aredefinitely times where it's a blast and I think that's what helped me you knowget up to the big leagues as fast as I did just because I gi a good grouparound me. I Hade a lot of opportunity, which was nice and we just had a lot offun an I mean. I remember that first year, let's see tthe first full season was two thousand and thirteen, and I remember I got sentto Loa in Clinton Iowa and it was the absolute worst place on earth. I'msorry if anyone's from Clinton, Iowa is listening to your podcast, but it was.It was brutal and I could not wait to get out of there and the only way youget out is you pitch well. So I think my first three games I've titchedreally. Well. I had a big velocity jub that first full season in the Bultanlike I I went from from like low s to like mid the upper s, and so I didreally well in Loa. They sent me out after ten days and then I went to hia for probably about three months that was inhigh desert. California, literally just I mean it's like a sanbox like there'sno tree, it's like no trees, no, nothing! It's JUST STRAIGHT UP DESERT!I was there for a while again pitch. Well, it's a really hard league topitch on just because, like all the stadiums are smaller and the ball justjumps out there, a lot of wind I fish. Well there then I get sent upagain to DOUBLEA. So my third team change, it's a lot of movea lot ofmoving that year. But honestly, just I kept the moment,I'm going. I've got to Dula ended up...

...pitching really well. There and you know at the end of that season,they were going to send me to winterball and basically, what happensis if they want you to stay sharp and theywant you to. You know, continue, throwing they'll, send you either tolike instructs where they bring you to th the spring training facility and yougo through like a little Minni camp or they'll sin o a winter ball or theysend like their top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, and so Ifinished up in Oula and I had a really good year and they call me they're like hey, we want to send you to winterball inthe Dominican, you know, do you want to go, and I was like no not really like.I just told Hir I was like no, I don't really want to go. I just want to gohome, you know, relax, hang out and then they were like. Well, there's also thefall league. You know we weren't going to send you but like if you made afally groster, would that you know make you want to go, and I ended up thinkingabout it, and I said yeah sure I mean seems like there's some goodcompetition out there and you know, and at the time it was like a really bigthing for like certa prospects, ND and people to go, watch and see, and so Iended up doing that. So basically that year ran like from February till I think folly, got done end of November of just constant baseball and it wasjust a crazy rollercoaster ride. Yeah Hat's, it's a long year, yeah and likewhen they rank the prospects. Did you notice you got like rank hyre afterthat season that a yeah that was the first time I actually saw my name on aprospect list used to be like to the top thirty prospects for everyorganization and of the time like I first of all, there was no chance. Iwas getting on that prospect list and then I had the that season that firstwhole season, and that was the first time I think I was like still like up in the is or somethingbut at least I made it, and I was like all right cool. I I I' at least gettingsome recognition. This is kind of sweet and going into the minors. Did you havelike a goal of when you want to make the majors? No, I mean definitely not a timeline.Obviously I just I wanted to make it that's the goal, and you know whether it took one year or ten years. You know I just wanted to make itwhenever the time was right and if I earn it, I heard it yeah. Sothen, going into the two thousand and fourteen season did you made the briglygroster out of Spring Training Yeah pretty much? I got invited so after that fall league,and in two thousand and thirteen I got invited a bigly camp, my first Biglucamp in two thousand and fourteen, and that was nuts. You know talking aboutbeing star struck and you know you're in a lock room with. You know all biglyguys now and I just turned twenty two. You know and I'm like there's no way abelong here and I remember my locker was like in the very corner of Lockerim,just kind of separated from everybody else, and I remember I used to sit inmy locker like not even on the chair. I would tha would push my clothes asideand sit in my locker because I'm like I don't I don't want them to come. Findme until tell me they're going to send me down, but it was nuts man. I I had a blastand I just I went into it going I mean look. I got nothing to lose. You know,I'm just going no come in here pitch my ass off and and see what happens and, like you said it turned out pretty damncool where I was there until very last day. They actually sent me down thevery last day they sent me to TRIPPLA. Tacoma ndit was more because they had aguy on the roster and if they were going to keep me, they had to make aroster 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 season, and I think it was literally three or fourdays and I got a phone call and they were like hey man like you're, gettingcalled up, congrats yeah. It's awesome and yeah. Take me through the firstgame, like they call you from the bullpen and then what happens yeah. Somy first bigthe game was in Oakland. I made my debut April. Sixth, and Iremember they called down they had me get going. I was so nervous because,first of all, I have a huge pet peeve of bullpens being on the field. It's aabsolute maste, it's like that's the dumbest thing in the world, not tomention you've got like ten thsano screaming fans, literallyright hovering over the bullpen jis yelling at you, Bulin you. I was likeall right here. We go like I'm getting thrownto the walvs here, and so I remember jogging in and on myjog I just I focused just on the ground. I was just like just don't trip likejust don't trip del fall. I was just staring at my feet like okay, one afterthe other you knowtel fall over, but it was odd because, as soon as I got onthe mound, everything went back to normal, like Ho just kind of es zone,everything out and and it just becomes baseball again and then, of course you know literally,I remember my first Bat Er. I faced Eric sogard little little. SecondBaseman Hewas, I think he's a switch. Hitter anyways double give up a doubledown down the line and I was like okay. Here we go. Welcome to the big LEASS WHO's. Your first strike out against. Itnow you got to strike out that game to Coco Crisp. All right, that's a goodname! First, I know so growing up growing up a Redsox fhan. I rememberyou know him being in center field for the socks and I'm like sit cool cocoa.Chris, Oh got em. First Punch out, it's do and then yeah. What else was your majorleague experience like your Woorka Year and you did the haze you in anyway? Well, no, I mean Eli, I guess comparedto now you know now you can't do anything but yeah I mean I had the pinkback back. You know I had to fill it up every day, water, some ganerays and youhave to carry it every game. But there's no true way to describe that.First, big Leagu season I mean it was unbelievable. We had such a goodbullpin, the guys down. There were awesome, I'm pretty sure we ended upthat mariners. Two Thousand and fourteen boll pen ended up being, Ithink, one of the best in the league that year and I mean we do- we just hadso much fun. We would be out there just curpanal fieldere's ever every chance.We could like just having a blast telling jokes laughing but then, aslike soon as somebody's name got called, it was like all right here we go goingto war and, and we dominated that year was it was so much fun. I learned somuch so many things that I I still value today as I'm still playing and did like anyone take you undertheir wing and like teach you to show you the ropes yeah. I mean honestly th that wholeended. I was the youngest guy in there by far, but I had guys like Joe Biemall.He was like a crafty thirty eight year old, Lefti who'd been doing it forever.Tom Will Helpson was a Stud Charlie Furbush was just Danny. Farkoar was onthat team. Fornando Roddy was a closer, I mean all those guys we were so close.Like such a tight Dick Group. You know I basically fallowd those guys aroundlike a puppy dog. All season just had...

...to just make sure I didn't screw up oryou know, do something stupid. I was just constantly like in their hitpocketlike okay cool, like they're doing this, I'm Goinna go. Do that and then theFong Youre you get treated. So what happened there? Pretty crazy. That's a whole notheraspect of baseball that you know is kind of goes ondor the radar, but Ididn't start the year well at all. I CISH TAT pitsh like Shitto be quite- and I remember I was up in Seattle and Iwent home to my apartment and I got a phone call from the GM at the time andhe says: Hey, we just traded you to Arizona. You knowthanks for everything you have a flight at seven am and I'm like craft rig. Ihad a pack up. I had O pack up my car, my apartment, you know clean out thebridge like do I to do all that stuff, literally in like five hours, and itwas nuts, I mean it's crazy when you get traded and you know from the otherside, like Arizona called me, they're like yeah, we're so excited to have youyou're going to be a guy for us, and you know it's crazy. I mean it's coollike like there's another organization that really wants you. It's just it's kind of a whirllend ofemotion. You know for me, like I always love Seattle. I still do it was. It wasa great spot that I had A. I had a ton of Fin, like I said, butit's, just it'sso crazy, just being in the business of it. Al Though, and like justunderstanding how good of a year I had tha ye r the year prior and all of asudden, I start off reall kind of slow and next thing you know boom you'regone yeah. I think I think the mostunderrated thing in sports is like the travel yeah that you guys have to do tolike it's just crazy to me. There's no doubt I mean the that's Seattle team.We traveled, I think ten thousand more. You know air miles than any other team,that you're that's hit's, just insane yeah and then yeah just going throughout theyears you played in Arizona, then you came back and did you get? You GotTrade to Toronto? No, so I actually got designated Arizona, basically yeah.They took me off their forty bid roster, but luckily Toronto, clamed, Mak Pickeme up, and that was two thousand and seventeen yeah, so goegot claimed by them, and that was another unreal experience like I Hav aton of fun there again just tha, you know the transaction wire is somethingthat goes us unnoticed. You know like it's just crazy. How many guys you knowget picked up, traded, DFA released. You know all that stuff happens in theblank of an eye, and it's just it's not what other things Tdad you have to dowhen you had to move to Toronto, like obviously a different country, crazy we had to you know like I had toget a Canadian social security card like the whole tax thing is just acomplete joke: it's crazy yeah! It's JUST NOT SOM! Well, I mean it'sliterally you're working in another country, so I had to get a work permit.You know a lot of that stuff. 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 meanlike again ha that's a place. I mean. If people haven't gone toToronto and Experience Toronto, it's unbelievable. You guys have to likepeople have to go. It's such an underrated city, yeah for sure yeah. Imean I see the fans just on TV they're, crazy there, oh God yeah. They I meanthey live and dive by honestly Altarono Sports. I mean it's that the passion upthere s is not,...

...and then again you got traded. What isall this movement like in getting treated the waverd and now you're on,and then you get trade to the cardinals man? I know T's. It was crazy because Iwas gettng ready to go to spring training in Tanev with Toronto, in thattwo thousand and eighteen year it was January when I got traded and like like he said all this movement, I mean it's overwhelming it's hard,especially like when you start factoring in family, and you know like I got married in twothousand and sixteen and like now, I'm taking my wife everywhere and she'sfollowing me around, and so it was all the movement is just nuts. Even still I mean I'm still movingaround O now now, I'm with Cleveland. So it's it is it's crazy. It's definitely anadjustment and a lot of guys struggle with it. To be quite honest, it's areally really difficult thing to deal with, but at the end of the day youjust going to think about you know these teams want to theythey're going to give you an opportunity to play and that's theultimate goal is to keep your career going. Yeah know we had you had a greatseason with Toronto, where you like disappointed dead, they didn't keep youyeah a little bit. I was looking forward to going back again. It waskind of like the same thing. You know the same Seattle situation where it waslike. I had a really good year. I really like the city. I really like thepeople. I really like the staff. The players like it just felt like a reallygood fit and then all of a sudden boom. I have no control over it, but hey yougot to go to a different spot, so that was definitely frustrating, but again Imean. Luckily, I landed in another good spot in St Louis I mean tha all theplayers there. They definitely have somey experienced guys too. I mean thatwas that was a whole another roller coaster ride in my career yeah and thenI know you got released better in this offseason. So then you were free agent,wwas that that was like the first time. You were free, agient, right, yeah,talk about pins and needles, man being a sittin around waiting for a job. Ittalk about stress to that that a was tough. It's exciting, though, when youget like a list of teams that you know call, and they want you that was kind of fun, but I don't know it's again: it's these areonl things that, like people, people realize like you're,literally out of a job and you're sitting around waiting and all of a sudden. You know, I think itwas January, like late January this year, when, likefour or five teams called on all the same day and they're like all righthere. We have this off or take it. I Lik I had nothing for four months andnow, all of a sudden, I've gotto make a snap decision like right now like whatyeah but yeah, it's crazy, and I again I'm really happy. I pick Cleveland. Iwas actually really excited to potentially get an opportunity thereand, of course, thein the whole world had to get shut down. You know so, that's cool. Did you meet Christian Incenneti? Iknowwey's from Connecticut to Yeah Yeah. I met Chris herew's, the one I talked to on thephone quite a bit when I was manking my decision very good guy. Very you knowstraightforward. Just till tells you you know what you need to hear and isvery truthful and very honest, and that was definitely one thing. I liked kindof Drewm me to their organization and then and during the offseason, whatyour pitching workout routine, like it's definitely changed over the yearsbut like for me. I start throwing in December so I'llstart throwling, basically December first and I just build myself up. Youknow when you've been doing this. For you know this is now year eight ofprofessional baseball. You know you start to figure out what you need andwhat you don't. I remember early ont of my career, likemy offseason throwing program was like...

...very intense. I was trying to you know,build up as much on strength as possible. You know now. I know myroutines were I'll, throw a couple days a week, just just get it in get the armmoving again and I could get myself to good spot or you know ebruary. Wheneverspring training comes around and then what advice would you get to ayoung athlete or Young Baseball Player? I think the biggest piece of advice Ican give is just just make sure you're still having fun.You know there were definitely times in my career. You Know Journal that changeand all that movement, and you know the all the ups and downs where I lost kindof that that fun at that that feeling of it's a game. You knowthat I get to play a game for a living. Likethat's unbelievable, I would say you always just make sure, like alwaysdoube sheck on that that you're having fun because there's nothing worse than you know being miserable, and this thisgame is hard and say it goes far to the baseball. You know: Baseball Basketball,football, any sport or anything you're into I mean they failures going to be anaspect of it and you have to keep remindof yourself that you know as long as you're own fine aslong as you're enjoying what you're doing th you know, you'll make it outthe other side. Yeah. Definitely have you faced any of your clums andteammates. I have I faced the one that's popping Ino, my head. Most is bread Miller. He was my shortstop there when we were both aclampto together,we're still good buddie. Still good friends. I remember I faced him. I was in Toronto and he was with TampaBay. Eat's dope be ready for some funquestions or go from average to savage yeah man. Let's do it all right, whatwhat's your favorite Song Right now? Oh Favorite Song! Right Now! That's a good question. Oh Man! I don't know, I don't even know it's definitely some country I've beenjust rocking out to country spotify, all right, Oh yeah! I don't know I'dhave to look at my my spotify playlift here. I'Llgo Backi'll find the name of thesong I gotta think of it all right. What about what was your first bigpurchase? Oh, I bought a jeep. I bought a cheep Grand Cherikee. I remember that was like the big thingI didn't want to get like a super supernice car, but like that was thatwas pretty Douh. I like that, guy. What about WHO's? Your top five favoritepictures of all time? Top Five definitely number one is Pedro number two would have to be cray, kimberal number three would beRoger Clemens four would be Felix. Pernandez and five, I would have to say, is probably Mariato YEA SOLB list yeah who's, your your favorite strike outagainst so favorite punchout yeah, probably probably big copy. Oh, that's!No Hat's! That's a good one to have on your list for sure what about? What'syour favorite ball park to play at Oh man, it's got to be fen way. Justbecause I grew up. I mean I grew up there like I grew up going to gamesthere. I was a big Redsox Fan. I still remember the first time Iwalked out of the dug out there, and I was just like blown away a that. Thatplace is an absolute baseball cathesial.

Well, I got to ask you them did: Didthey hit you up this off season? No, they didn't. I was definitelybombed about, especially because I've always pished.Well, there too, and I was just like H- man, maybe maybe Boxon wor- can call an,but no we never had any serieus talks, ten yeah. What do you like to do in yourfree time? I'm a big golfer I like to go play golf, I'm not very good, but Ilike to do that. I'm trying to think I mean down here inthe south everyone's like a hunter and like I'm just not paid on that. Like I,I wouldn't know what the heck I'm doing. Plus I don't have the patience for ityea I would definitely say iwould. Definitely Golf is the biggest thingthat I do. N My offtime and what's your favorite food spot, ind clumsing, oh there's two spots, there's a there's!The Japanese steakhouse place. It's called ASAKA unreal. I would recommendit and the other place is pot belly deli. It's a like a little breakfastdeli place like if anyone goes to Clemson, you got to check those twoshots out. Oh yeah, I hear I heard a pop bill because my boy went to Clumsin,so I remember about that yeah op belly. I mean it's like one of those placesthat if you don't get there at the right time, you're waiting for like anhour. It's not what about? Oh! What's yourfavorite pizza in Connecticut that'sa, that's a good one! It's got to be peppy, the new haven doblave and it's got to be. Have you hadatthe one sally's in modern? No, you got TA. Have Him Sally's theone that O to it really yeah? No, I haven't had that you Maye Ni,Goti, enywhene you're back up here. Well, have to do a pizza reviewtogether. Yeah, I was Gonta, say pornoi style, yeah thatd be bad ash, all right a last one. Who would youwant to do a Jersey exchange with that y? U, if you haven't done o that youhaven't done Ron with oh o, you guys do that. Actually in the MOBE. No, I haven't seen it. I think it'd be cool, though that'd bebad ass. If I were to do it right now, a GoodJersey swap, I think, would be like trout, yeah that O that would be prettybad ass, like especially like, if I punch him out and then like to end thegame. You know then, like you run over to Hem, Hey man like jersey, swap likeprobably like Screy Bo ohman atd. BE PRETTY TD BE PRETTY BADASO, though yeah for sure? Well, I appreciate you coming on and could youlet the listeners know where they coan follow you at yeah man? You can follow me on Instagram, Deleon,twnty. Six, that's really the only Social Madia I'm on, but please followme. You know I'm not a big poster, but that'd be eby cooly at my follow gameup you don't like social media, I mean I do. I had a twitter a long time agoand I would just get blasted people would blow me up like in a badgame, and I was like he I'm tired of reading this like so so I just fick theinstagram like, like I said, delion, twenty six can be follow all rightagain. I appreciate it and good luck this season. Hopefully there is aseason, Hey Mandy. I know right thanks, Panapfo Shat.

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