Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 2 months ago

Josh Zeid | Average To Savage EP137

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and thirty-seventh episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring 2020 Olympian and former MLB pitcher Josh Zeid. Paul Guarino talked with Josh Butler discussing his road to the MLB, playing the in 2020/2021 summer Olympics for the Isreal baseball team, and his current role the Chicago Cubs.

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This podcast interview with Josh Zeid was originally recorded on September 2, 2021

...this is the average to Savage podcastwith paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes celebs andmuch more. Today's episode is brought to you by Busr dot com. You know everyone always asks me where they should bet and now Igot a solution for them. The U. S. R. Dot com slash paul. You deposit $100they'll match your $100 and free bets so you basically get $200. Go check itout be USr dot com slash paul top. Everybody. I'm back for another episodeof the Average Savage podcast. Our special guest today is josh said to 2020 slash 2021 Olympian I guessyou'd say. I know it's weird year since the pandemic. I know even the brandinglike when I'm watching it like the olympics I'm like Just kind of weird tokeep them just saying 2020 even though we're in 2021. Uh but yeah just tell melike just tell me what it was like how was it? I know it was crazy over therewith like obviously still like with all the pandemic rules and things like thatand like what was it like just just go into it So you know a 34 year old fouryear retired former major league baseball player and I got anopportunity play in the olympics which is pretty pretty ridiculous thathappened in the first place. But yeah getting to go over to Japan and playfor the 2020. Tokyo olympics in 2021 was pretty wild. All the gear that Ihave and everything that I brought home is like Tokyo 2020 and it's like oh butI'm a 2021 Olympian doesn't really make any sense but I'll take it, it's stillan Olympian. Um It was cool. Obviously covid restrictions were likeridiculously tight while we were over there. So the, the atmosphere, theenvironment, everything was a little bit different. No fans, you know, weall had to, I mean if you saw anything on instagram, every cafeterias seat hadplastic partitions, everyone was wearing masks everywhere. Um there wasno common rooms to hang out in. Uh playing for the Israeli delegation. Wehad lots of security with us because of the world around us. A lot of thingsthat are happening the last couple of years that you know, we had to be extracautious with but you know being able to sit in the cafeteria right next toNovak Djokovic on one side and Luca dance, which on the other side walkingpast the USa gymnastics teams, you know, in the cafeteria, the dining hall waspretty ridiculous. I mean everything that you could hope for. Uh the olympicvillage 21 dorms, 11,000 athletes. It was crazy. Absolutely yeah. Yeah, thatsounds awesome. Alright. You gotta, you gotta tell me so we're the we're thebeds made out of Cardboard. The beds were absolutely 1,000,000% made out ofcardboard. Uh they actually they actually were comfortable. The onlyissue was they gave everybody one pillow and I don't know about you. ButI am a big time, like four pillow guy. I I need to hold pillows. I need to Ineed lots of like head rest for my just to to sleep on. So, but I meaneverything was fine. The mattresses, it wasn't a king bed, it wasn't a memoryfoam mattress, but you know, it wasn't...

...long enough. Maybe not. But again, Icouldn't imagine being like six ft 11 and having to lay in those beds are waymore than 2 40. But yeah, I was okay. I didn't of all the things I could havecomplained about. I actually didn't really complain about the beds. Uh Yeah,for sure. Um and then just like getting to that. Like when did I know youretired originally in 2018? Like what made you get back up and start pitchingagain? Yeah, the olympics like what gave you like motivation to? Just likecertainly it was hard. Um So yeah, so I retired not because I wanted to becauseI didn't really have any offers left. You know, I thought I still had alittle bit of that for energy left. I thought I still had some ability left.But you know the game speaks for itself and I just didn't get anotheropportunity and I've been a part of team Israel since 2012, And you knowthe olympics had always been kind of on our radar but basically an olympicsports so by the time it actually became an olympic sport with four yearsretired and they called and I was like hey I'll coach like whatever we can tobe to be a part of this team and they're like if you can still throw abaseball we'd love to have you. And I was like interesting. So I startedtraining and you know I was I went it was a whole year and a half worth ofpandemic training. So I was training in my backyard with my two little kidswatching me throw baseballs every day. They watched me go to the gym, theywatched me work out in the house and I don't know if you could see me I've gotsome of the gym equipped behind me now you know I've you know they just kindof they routed me along as I trained andand you know some days it was harder than others but you know it was allworth it when I I posted it on twitter when my kids watched me pitch in theolympics on tv and they went up to the T. V. And they were pointing likethat's my daddy they woke up at three o'clock in the morning to watch thegame and it was just they actually actually pitch in three games so theygot to see me pitch a lot over the course of those five games. But um yeahdoing it all for my kids, my family all the supporting. But yeah, you know it'seasy to want to say I'll be an Olympian for sure. I'll come back, I'll work ashard as I can to be able to say that. Yeah. Yeah definitely. And then what doyou think was the difference between playing in the olympics and playing inthe world Baseball Classic. It's hard to say, especially with theenvironment of the pandemic with no fans but the World Baseball Classic wasdefinitely a more tense tournament. We played in Korea against south Korea. Weplayed in Japan against Japan in front of sellout crowds. So the environmentwere definitely more swayed to like you know, anxiety nerves in in the worldbaseball classic. You know, we had players on our team who had neverplayed in front of more than 1000 fans. And we had the we also on our team, wealso had sam fold and I. Davis who...

...played in front of 45,000 in theplayoffs. You know, so we had that that good mix of players on that team. ButThe cool thing about the Olympics was there were no fans. So it was an evenplaying field whether you had 20 years in the big leagues like Ian Kinsler orI think he's 14 years in the big leagues like Ian Kinsler did or youknow are right fielder who has you know, who was a college coach a couple yearsago, who played, who's played minor league baseball for a long time and heactually made the all olympic baseball team mitch class or like you know thoseguys, it was an even playing, there was no nerves, no anxiety because of theloud fans, no booing, no cheering for the home team. It was, you know, and that whether or not theymade us play better or worse, like it doesn't really matter. But you know,the environments were just so starkly different. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Butlike as a pitcher you think it's easier to pitch in front of no fans. No, Ineed I need fans, I need adrenaline. But I am actually also glad, I'mactually also glad that we didn't have any fans this go around because I don'tknow how I worked, I trained really hard to come back and pitch in thisevent and pitch for the olympics. But if there were 40,000 fans screaming andI was adrenaline junkie, I am an adrenaline junkie. And if I was, if Iwas listening to the fans screaming and cheering and rooting and booing againstus like I would have tried harder and harder and harder and I don't know if Iwould have been able to bounce back as well or I don't know if I would havebeen able to hold up my end of the bargain as well as I did because withno fans and adrenaline, I was able to actually go out there and pitch and youknow, be relatively successful and come back the next day and pitch again andcome back the next day and pitch again. So it kind of worked out for me, itkind of worked out for me in that sense. Yeah, for sure. All right, I'm going,going back, you grew up in Connecticut, um, you went to Hampton high, um, Idon't want to, I don't want to make my hands hornets angry at me, you know,sorry, handing hi, I'm in Hamden hall, I keep on hand in hall. Uh, and uh,what, what was your recruiting process like out of there? So yeah, so this wasback in 2004. Um, obviously there was no social media wasn't as big of aninfluencer in getting my recruiting videos out. So we actually had to fly,my parents, my parents took me, I had pitching coaches and teams that Iplayed for in new york and long island in florida and Georgia and you know, wehad to get out because, you know, people weren't flying up to Connecticutas often as they are now or the Northeast as often as they are now orthey're not recruiting kids as easily from the Northeast as they can now with,you know social media instagram and twitter and you know, Tiktok, all those,all those things, but um, yeah, I mean, I just remember, you know, my, my, myjunior year getting to go to, you know, showcases all over the country and youknow, performing and throwing hard and you know, I think my parents still havea been in the house that has all the first round of college recruitmentletters that I got. I still remember getting, you know, letters fromVanderbilt, University of Miami and L.

S. U. And thinking of the coolestthings in the world when they're personalized messages and um, but yeah, it was fun. It was cool. Youknow, I got a lot of major league baseball teams came into my house andran uh testing with me and you know, we talked about the draft and talked aboutpro baseball and you know, I'm glad I went to college. Imet my wife, my freshman year of college. I'm glad I went through theups and downs of the four years of college. But You know, I don't know howpro ball would have gone as an 18 year old from Connecticut for me, but it wascrazy at that time, flew by. I wish I had better prepared myself for college.But no, the recruiting process was a blast. I went to two of the bestschools in the country. So I, I got very lucky. Yeah, so like going toVanderbilt like what, what made you pick Vanderbilt and like, what wereyour like final, like three schools that say yeah, so Vanderbilt was easy.Uh It was, it actually wasn't one of the best schools in the, I meanacademically it had always been one of the schools in the country. But upuntil a few years, like maybe a year or two before we I went there, it hadn'tbeen a baseball powerhouse. Um you know, they brought in tim Corbyn who was oneof the best, was one of the best baseball coaches in the country,whether it's college or pro doesn't really matter. The pitching coach.Great Derek johnson. Actually it was an easy pick. It was, it was pretty muchlike a piggy back to Hamden hall. So you know, it's a private school, youknow, education came first, sports was just equally as important though. Andyeah, so that was my number one and I actually got to go to my number one,which doesn't happen very often. So that was fantastic. And then Duke northCarolina, University of florida. All schools that were on the top, the toplike echelon other schools that I wanted to go to. Yeah, for sure. Wereyou there when David Price was there? I was, he was a sophomore when I was afreshman and then obviously I was a sophomore when he got drafted as afterhis junior year. Yeah. He's an awesome human, awesome human being. Yeah,that's awesome. And then what what made you transfer? Yeah, so it happens. I completelyunderperformed for my, my scholarship. I was spinning my tires. I was trying to getbetter and things are getting worse. I was working too hard in school or notand then I was ending up backing off of my work in school to try to get betterin baseball and nothing just worked and yeah, I didn't necessarily want totransfer, but I wasn't going to have another opportunity to play baseball atVanderbilt so that the coaching staff, you know, we talked through and theyhelp me transfer out. It wasn't my decision. They kind of, it was acommunity decision and I'm thankful that they allowed me that opportunityand they spoke highly of me throughout the recruiting process. It wasn't meleaving because I was not playing enough. It was, I was leaving becausethey didn't think that I was getting better there and they wanted me tostart over and I'm very appreciative of that was fantastic. And I still talk tothe coaching staff to this day, which doesn't usually happen. So I feel verylucky. Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome that...

...they helped you like get to a newschool. Um and then it's like coming out to lane like what, What did you,what were your expectations for the draft? And then you got drafted like10th, 10th round. Uh, like was that like good for you? Or like what wereyour thoughts To throw 96 as a senior in high school. I threw hard, I was oneof the top prospects in the country still getting drafted high was anexpectation for me. Didn't end up happening. I went to Vanderbilt, whichI was very lucky for, and by the time I reached my senior year at college andit was no longer a top prospect and it was no longer someone who had um a pedigree anymore, I was just a guywho kind of failed in college, so, you know, to get drafted, actually feltpretty lucky, you know, my senior in college, I started throwing hard again,I was competitive again, having a blast pitching for a team that kind ofunderperformed, but, you know, pitched a lot of good games, competitive games,pitched on some national stages and, You know, I got drafted the 10th round,but you know, all you need is an opportunity, you know, I think at thetime I was disappointed that I didn't get drafted higher uh kind ofretrospectively I should have been happy to have been drafted at all,still, you know, made the most out of it, you know, made it to the bigleagues four years later, which doesn't usually happen for a guy who had suchbig highs and lows throughout my, my collegiate career, but even finallycareer, I guess, but, you know, it was, you know, I felt Iwas blessed and thankful that I got drafted obviously to the Philly, soyeah, for sure. Um yeah, and then just tell me like what the I know the minorleague experience is rough, just tell me like what it was like and then justlike grinding and then the bus rides and all that four years into aultimately ultimately make it to the majors. Yeah, my minor leagues is a grind, youknow, I think, you know, when we, when I was coming up through college andhigh school, like we knew that the minor leagues life wasn't glamorous,you don't play professional baseball to play, to play in the minor leagues, tohave a life that, you know, you can live off of in the minor leagues, likeyou're not going to play 20 years of minor league baseball, be happy with it,right? That's just not the goal, you're going to play a few years in the minorleagues, you're either going to succeed or not, right? You're gonna work yourway up through the, you know? So when we had bus rides where the airconditioning on the bus broke and everyone was shirtless, we laughedabout it, you know, like we laughed about, right? When we had buses when westayed in hotels and you know, Jamestown new york and guys hadsweatshirts and shirts and stuff stolen out of their hotel room, like we kindof laughed it off, like this is, you know, the things that, you know, youhear about, these are the things that happened, you know we yeah, we complained a lot, but like wealso knew that some guys were only gonna play one year, right? So you guysare gonna play four years and five years and if you wanted to play to youguys the big leagues, you had to endure some of those, you know issues and do Iunderstand that those aren't okay, right, having getting paid nothing, youknow, having stuff stolen out of your...

...you know, cheap hotel room, having abus with no air condition, do those things. Absolutely. Is it awful?Absolutely. Right. But you know, if you start, you know my goal wasn't to playminor league baseball, my goal is to play major league baseball, you know ofcourse, and you know, I was but but but but but I was very fortunate to have asupportive family, right? My parents helped me, you know, if I needed 20bucks for rent or I needed 30 bucks to help feed me for a week, like myparents would send it to me, no questions asked, you know, I know a lotof kids, I don't have that luxury. I didn't get, I didn't get signed for alot, I didn't get drafted, I don't get paid a whole bunch of money, I think Igot paid six Grand, which is which is great, right? Six grand is rent for ayear, right? Like that's it even 15 years ago that still rent, that's rentfor half a year and you know I had a very supportive family, still do have avery supportive family, so I knew I got lucky in a lot of my teammates didn'thave that support system so you know they were grinding even harder than Iwas, but you know, it is a grind, right? It's a grind. Sometimes you don't havecleats to wear, sometimes your glove is left in a different city, sometimes youknow, they're sometimes you get to the hotel 10 o'clock in the morning andyour room is not ready for six hours, you got to sit in the hotel lobby forsix hours. It happens like for sure what is it like just playing with likeminor leaguers get that do get drafted high and they're like millionairesalready. Is there? Like is it like a weird like dynamic? Yeah, it could be,yeah, I think it could be, I can't remember real early on in like the professionalcareer, like in the lower levels, it's weird because like they just becamemillionaires right? And they probably weren't beforehand. So it's weird right?You know, you have ones that you know buy dinner for the group and then youhave some who don't buy anything right because maybe they're not holding anyof their money, but you know, I think as you know, I played one year inrookie ball, I played one or I played half year rookie ball and I played oneyear and able then I was a doubling tripling for the rest of my career. Ithink when you're in the upper levels, it doesn't really matter what aroundyou were drafted in, you know, first rounders have a better chance of justgetting to the big leagues just because I mean obviously they're better talents,they have higher expectations. The organizations need them to get the bigleagues because they paid him a whole bunch of money, but In in Tripoli you have big leaders whohave made $10 million, $15 million. So like there's also, you know, being afirst rounder who made a whole bunch of money doesn't really matter at thatpoint, you know when you're in the lower levels rookie ball low a you'vegot someone who signed for 1000 bucks who's getting 50 bucks a meal money aweek and then you also have the guy in the same locker who made a millionbucks who's getting $50 a week, you know, they're living differently, youknow, one guy gets the king bedroom in the apartment and then the other guygets maybe the mattress in the living room because he can't afford to pay thesame amount of rent, right? So it's...

...definitely a different animal, but youknow, once you're on the field, you know, some guys who don't get draftedas I have more motivation, you know, it's a fact, right? The guys who don'tget the big paychecks. You know, they got to earn that money and they want toget, they want to get that. They want to get there faster. They work harder.Right? So not everybody though. That's why it's just crazy. Just like you'retalking about it and all all you guys are pros and it's just such a differentdynamic. Just like strange. It's like, what do you do? Oh, you know, I wasgonna say, but I tell my kids all the time, my, my, my two Children, but alsotell my players that with the cubs that I work with, I say life isn't fair,right? Everyone doesn't have the same, right? Like we all know that it stinksand I get that, but you make your own reality. You make your own future by,by how hard you want to work by what you're willing to endure by what youaccept, right? So no, you might not be fair, but you can't say, hey, it's notfair. Right? We know that. Yeah, definitely. And what do you think about,I know, I think MLB is like cutting some, some of the like rookie rookieleagues and like, I think shorter. Um, you think that's gonna maybe get theother players like paid more, Oh, I have to, I have to be careful herebecause I work for a major league organization. But yeah, I think there,I think there's opportunities to get more pay for players. I don't know whatthat looks like. I don't know how much more makes it fair or not fair. I don'tknow if then I don't know if paying the players more makes sense or giving themhousing makes more sense or giving them all their meals like I don't know whatthat looks like because if you pay the players more than they're going to beasked to actually pay for their apartments, right? If you pay if youdon't pay players more and give them their apartments, do you give them lessfood? Like you know there's there's so many things that you know go into itand yes, it is a billion dollar industry but you know, I mean I honestly don't I don't knowenough about the business side of it. But yes it stinks. I I would have beendevastated if I was in college and I found out the next season there wasonly gonna be five rounds of the draft or 20 rounds of the draft where therehad been 60 and then 50 and then 42 right? Like the numbers are like thegame is just getting smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller andjust less players gonna have an opportunity to play and then you know,who knows? Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean going down to sixth round waspretty nuts from like 50. Um But yeah, going back to your career. Uh you gettraded to the Astros and the Hunter pence deal. Uh What was that? Was thatcool to be like traded for like an all star? Yeah, it was shocking. So in 2011I had hurt my shoulder and elbow not like significantly, but I have been Ihave been pretty banged up that whole year. I was in double a and I went onthe disabled list, I was on the disabled list for about 30 days, I wasa starter uh when I was the opening day starter double at that season, I cameoff the disabled this with like a month...

...and a half or two months ago in theseason and they put me back in the bullpen because they were like, we'renot gonna build you back up to five or six innings, you know, seasons, youknow, whatever came back and I was like throwing like, like actually throwinghard and like I was doing I think 90 to 90 92 93 but in the early parts of theseason, which is great. But I mean there weren't radar guns on every wall,like there's so much technology nowadays that you know how hard you'relike breathing, like whatever, you're doing whatever. Um came back and I wasstill in like 94, which is which in 2011 was Hard right now. Every now everybody'sdoing it every like everybody can help maybe throw 95. Like it's crazy. It'samazing how good the athletes are getting. Um don't I do it again? Orgoing 90? It's like the first time and I, I knew I was doing well, obviouslythink my numbers were getting better, everything was getting better and thetrade deadline comes up and I, there was rumblings that we were going tomake a big trade. The Phillies wanted to bring in, you know, probably not bigtime major league players because you know, at the time it was Roy Halladayand Shane, Victorino and Carlos reason running hardwood and like the team wasawesome. So like everyone's like, I wonder who they're going to trade andpeople are thinking like, because my team at the time had some really goodprospects and everyone was like naming off names and then we found out we werein Manchester, New Hampshire found out that we made a trade for Hunter penceand like a bunch of top, a bunch of top prospects and everyone's like, ohthat's cool. Like I wonder who it is. And then like an hour later we're atApplebee's getting food at the bar and I got a phone call from Ruben tomorrowand I got a phone call from the general manager of the Houston Astros, like,hey, we just traded for you were really excited for you and on the bottom ofthe screen I walked back inside its trades for like three top prospects anda player to be named later and my name is on the screen and I'm like what theheck just happened and everyone on the team was like you got traded, come onman like they were so upset that I got traded and uh no it was really cool. ItI felt like there's a lot of pressure put on me when I got there, you knowthat a lot of expectations um and I wasn't used to that obviously with mycollege group being a disappointment for the most part and you know it wasgreat I felt honored to be traded but like it was a lot of pressure reallyquickly like you got to make them look good for your trading for you,otherwise it's kind of like a dud trade you know. Yeah definitely. So then yeahin 2013 you're the you're the closer for the triple a team and then uh justtell me like what it was like and how did how did you get called up? Uh So obviously the Astros at the timesweren't weren't weren't doing very well but they were they were doing reallypoorly at the time, you know later in the summer and I had just taken over asthe closure of the Triple A team a couple weeks prior to that um theclosure of the timberland season had...

...gotten hurt and I um yeah we had a dayoff I'm staying in my my hotel, my apartment at the time the and on ESPNwatching the T. V. And all of a sudden Obama screen I see you know Astroscloser gets traded to someone and then right after that it was the Astrossetup man got designated for assignment and I called my wife immediately. Wellshe was my yeah my Stephanie called immediately and I was like I said toher I was like I don't know what's happening, no one's told me a thing butthe Astros just traded, they're closer and designated their setup man. I Ifeel like like I'm like I haven't gotten a call you but like if I don'tget the call in the next 20 minutes I'm gonna lose my mind. Like I was likeeverything was just kind of like falling into place at that moment and because it was a day off we were justall all separate was the only one in my apartment. Everyone else was out, I'llmessing around. I got a phone call from the manager that says pack your bags,you're leaving today, you've got a day off in the big leagues that neverhappens, go enjoy Baltimore on your day off. And I was like what? Uh huh. Ifelt and I was like is this even though like I had expected the phone call Iwas like is this a joke like you know like it just didn't seem real. Istarted laughing on the phone like usually people cry or they cheer, theydon't know what it was. I just started laughing because that's like the waythat I handled it. So now that was the chills, the first chills moment in mylife. It was awesome. And you know, got to pitch in Baltimore, got to face somepretty legit guys. My first outing, adam jones, matt Wieters chris Davis,that was my opening day, three batters that I faced. So it's pretty cool atthe time. They were pretty there. Those guys are pretty good back in the day.Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, I mean yeah that's all that's an awesome story justyet you know you get a day off going to go there and you're you're in the bigleagues actually. I got my I got my first like legit haircut beard line uplike I felt like it was the hotel had TVs like in the bathroom like in themirror. It was I mean the first meal that we had was lobster mac and cheesewith filet Mignon on one side of the cafeteria on the other side was likepizza and like cheeseburgers like they had food for everybody, you know likethey had like the boujee food and then the more like comfortable food and itwas I ate all of it, I gained like £20 and the rest of the season over there.Uh huh That's that's hilarious. Yeah. Then just going back. I know we'realready kind of talked about, are you retiring and stuff like that now. Umyou're currently working for the cubs, correct? Yeah, I work for the cubs andthe rehab pitching coordinator. I also, you know, backfill as a pitching coachand a pitching analysts. I've got kind of three gigs that I do over there. UhThat's awesome. How did you, like, how did that, how did that all come about?So once I retired, I became actually started my own pitching performancecompany, pitching performance brands. I pitching in performance, I did it forabout a year and a half. Almost two...

...years were right immediately after Iretired. I built up uh, Clientele evolve over 200 families, 200 athletes,um, and clinics, uh, a lot of fun stuff that we were doing. And you know, aftera while I was getting, it was fatiguing to say the least. There's a lot of work,a lot of hustle and lot of grinding. It was a lot of hustling day today and Igotta, I gotta random phone call one day from the Chicago cubs, bullpen, thepitching coach and he's like, you know, we'd love to bring in for an interviewfor a job. We've got a couple ideas before and I was like, absolutely, Iwas like, I love it. I absolutely love what I'm doing currently with, you know,the pitching program that I was doing, but you know, I've always, I've alwayswanted to see what the player development side of probation, sinceI've been in it for so long, I, you know, I've been designated, I've beentraded, I've been called to the big leagues, I had been taken off the 40man, I've been picking up by another team, I've been released in springtraining. I did a lot of things that throughout my career, like I didn'treally understand, I don't know why they happened. You know, it was like toget it and I've been hurt a bunch, I foot surgeries and elbow injuries andshoulder injuries and just a lot of like, bumps and bruises and I'm like,man, I'd love to see, you know, the other side, you know, the dark side of,of, of pro baseball and so, you know, they brought me in for some interviewsand you know, just kind of, they kind of just kind of, you know, found aniche for me with a few different things that I can do and you know, Yeah,so yeah, so I go to the field 50 weeks a year. I work with players everysingle day from the major leagues all the way down the rookie ball. So yeah,it's kind of cool, you know, get to work on the computer, but I also get towork with players in person. Yeah, yeah, that's awesome. Now. Now I got to ask,since you just played in the olympics, is there any chance of coming out ofretirement. Mhm Yeah, it's funny when you know, as Iwas ramping up to go to the olympics, I was throwing like 87 to 91 which wasfantastic, which is, which is good velocity for a guy who's recently who'sbeen retired for so long, who had any surgery eight months prior, Like I washappy with it, got to the olympics, I got up to 94 miles an hour, like I wasthrowing hard again, I gave up three earned runs in nine innings, not great,but international competition after having not pitched for like a long,long time. Um I got back and I was like, man, I feel good. Like I think I stillgot it right and nobody calls right. Like I didn'tmake any phone calls, I didn't like actively seek out a contract or a or ateam, but like I have made it pretty clear that like Iwould play right, like kept posting on social media my videos and commentshere and they're kind of, you know, some subtle hints at like maybe beingable to play again, you know, nobody called, nobody asked and then Irealized that family again, you know, I didn't like traveling as we were tryingto start our families being being away...

...from my kids for six months at a time,seven months at a time and you know, my wife works full time, my kids are atthe age where they're playing basketball and they're growing up and Idon't want to miss their practices anymore. So you know, do I, can I, canI come back and can I play? Yeah, absolutely. I'm training for atriathlon half Ironman right now. So can I do things that can I do thingsthat might be a little bit crazy, like come back and play? Yeah, can I do,should I Probably not? Should I leave my family? Definitely not, you know? So,um, yeah, I still have it, you know? Whichis nice. I'm able to say that, like, I think I still have it, but I can walkaway now knowing that I still have it as opposed to before when I walked away,I was like, man, I wish I got another chance the first time that I retired,but this time I was like, I did it right, Like I came back, I pitched inthe olympics and I did pretty damn well. So, you know, now you're Olympianforever. Now I'm an Olympian forever and they can't take away from, I guessI'm not an Olympian until I get it tattooed like right here. But I wonderuh sure, what advice would you give to younger players, like coming up either?Like trying to get a scholarship, uh serie was trying to find me a tattooparlor. She heard me talk about it. That's pretty fantastic. So advice thatI give to, someone younger that's coming up through the, through theranks or even prior to being going through those right, be stubborn. That I think that's theone of the biggest things that like helped me through it. Be stubborn, youknow, be proud of who you are, be proud of what you're able to do, but bestubborn, like don't let anybody tell, you know, I was told no a lot, you know,I had a lot of things taken away from me and a lot of things that you know, I shouldn't have made it as far as Idid after a lot of the bumps in the road that I have had. It might havesounded like a pretty uh easy ride to get to where I did, but you know, I gottold no a lot, a lot of things taken away from me, I I got hurt a lot. Um bestubborn, don't let you know that that bump in the road be too big to beprideful, but just, you know, just like it's easyto say work hard because like I said before life isn't fair, right? So, youknow, we have to accept that, you know, some things just might be hard and somethings might not be easy, but if you love it, continue to do it,fight for the things that you care for, for the people you care for. You know,you know, and then round it all up, I have a chain that says family comesfirst and whether that's about yourself, about your parents, your sister, yourwife, your girlfriend doesn't really matter what that means is, you know, Ijust care about the things that are that are most important. Care for thethings that you can control, that that are going to be there for you, you know,when things go badly. Yeah, for sure. Are you ready for some fun questions? Ithought those were all the fun questions. Yes, yeah. Who who's likesomeone you you didn't get the face...

...that you wanted to face? Someone that Ididn't get to face that I wanted to face. Oh man, that's tough, that's a hard one.give me like a couple of them. Well, like if we are we going like currentguys that I would, I would like to think in, you're like, that was in yourera. Oh, that that played when I was playing, I would have loved to havefaced like Derek Jeter, I thought that would have been really cool. I didn'tget to face him. Um you know, play the Yankees a couple times. She's never got,never got him in the batter's box. Um you know, when I got very lucky when Iplayed, I didn't pitch in many games, but I I pitched against David Ortiz, Ipitched against Robinson Cano and Adrian Beltre I faced a lot of thereally good guys and you know, I loved every second, but Iloved, I loved facing the superstars, I love facing the guys that I knew weretrying to take me yard, you know, I thought the moments that I reallythrived at and you know, as the guys who were up there trying to just likehit singles and I start all the way for sure. I know you're from Connecticut,so have you been to like the new haven pizza spots? I live there for 19 yearsof course, just gotta, you just gotta make sure, you know, sometimes peoplejust don't go. So All right, so what's your favorite 1? All right. So, oh man,I mean it's hard to say because growing up, my family went to modern pizza allthe time, that was kind of our spot because it wasn't as busy as likepuppies and sally's and uh, you know, so we went to Modern a lot. I like tobar pizza actually, the restaurant bar university that wasn't open early in mytime in Connecticut, it was open more like my high school years, that was myfavorite because the live was kind of newer but Modern was definitely like afamily favorite of ours. All right, that was, that was a curve ball rightthere, last one. What do you like to do in your free time free time, What's that? Like I like I like I saida couple moments ago, I, when we got back from the olympics, I had to find acompetitive void to fill. So I'm now literally trained. I just bought abrand new bike. Like I'm training for a half Ironman in 16 weeks. I mean Ryanlavarnway, they catch it for team Israel, one of my best friends for likethe last five years, we're now training for 2013 mile run, 56 mile bike in aone mile swim were, that's what we're doing in our free time. No, but sothat's kind of what I do in the early mornings and late at night. But in myfree time I literally, we spent all over time with our kids, you know, likeI went to, I was at basketball practice with my six year old last night for anhour and a half. It was a blast. You know, it's funny when people talk to us aboutwhat you guys do. We live for our kids, you know, like that's what we like todo other stuff. Absolutely. What would we do? I have no idea because you know,I'm, I think pandemic pandemic wise, like we're thrilled to have kids. Iknow some families are not as fortunate...

...as, or people aren't as fortunate tohave kids, but you know, I'm blessed that we have them to keep us busy, youknow, to keep us on our toes. Are they pains in the butt. Yeah, they're pains,the kids are pains, they're awful, but they keep us busy and they keep us, youknow, on our intelligence and that's my hobbies, my hobbies there, My passionthere might there everything. Do you have them playing baseball yet? Yeah.This is a point of contention in my household. Do I want them to playbaseball? Kind of, do I want to be there coach? Absolutely not. And I'mafraid that as long as they play baseball, I'm going to be asked to helpout coach them and I want them to play because they want to play baseball. Butmy kids right now, they play basketball, they play soccer and they swim and theylove it. They, my 6.5 year old on a swim team loves it. He plays basketballevery season of the year loves it. And soccer just for hand eye corn just forlike foot and running coordination. Um, My other one is still too young to becompetitive, but they want to play baseball. I'll let them play whenthey're ready. You know, I'm not going to push them. You know, I'm not goingto force him to play baseball. Do I want to play? Yeah, but I don't know.Yeah, I feel you on once again, the team, they're gonna like, oh, your dadwas in the middle, You gotta get them? Yeah. Yesterday at the basketballpractice, you know, the 10 year old team came in and you know, I recognizedone of the dads and team, he played 14 years in the big leagues and I saw himjust sitting quietly on the sidelines like not helping with the basketballpractice. And I'm like I want that role. Like I just stepped back but everyoneso far has asked me to help coach and I love it, I want to do and I'm veryoutgoing and I'm very, you know, I'd like to be, you know, out there, but Imight have to start like sitting back and letting everyone else do. But Idon't want to, I don't know if I can do that. Yeah, I feel you. Well Iappreciate you coming on and uh could do what the listeners know where theycan follow you on social media. Yeah. So I'm on Twitter at Josh side 14 or atJosh _ 14 at josh underscore reside 14 or instagram at josh side 28. I do nothave checked. Okay. I do not have twitch or anything like that. But no,I'm on twitter instagram. I and you know, just just out here having fun,you know, thanks so much for having me on it. I love doing this kind of stuff.It's it's you know, it's a blast and uh you know, if anybody learns anythingfrom today, don't give up, have some fun, right? You know, and just ride thewave. Yeah, for sure how to get you on from being from Connecticut. Yeah, wellthanks for having me, this episode has been brought to you by B USr dot com.Go check it out to get your free $100 bet when you deposit a $100 at b u s rdot com slash paul. Mhm.

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