Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year 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 podcast with paul Guerrino. Everyone in anyone athletes celebs and much more. Today's episode is brought to you by B usr dot com. You know everyone always asks me where they should bet and now I got a solution for them. The U. S. R. Dot com slash paul. You deposit $100 they'll match your $100 and free bets so you basically get $200. Go check it out be USr dot com slash paul top. Everybody. I'm back for another episode of the Average Savage podcast. Our special guest today is josh said to 2020 slash 2021 Olympian I guess you'd say. I know it's weird year since the pandemic. I know even the branding like when I'm watching it like the olympics I'm like Just kind of weird to keep them just saying 2020 even though we're in 2021. Uh but yeah just tell me like just tell me what it was like how was it? I know it was crazy over there with like obviously still like with all the pandemic rules and things like that and like what was it like just just go into it So you know a 34 year old four year retired former major league baseball player and I got an opportunity play in the olympics which is pretty pretty ridiculous that happened in the first place. But yeah getting to go over to Japan and play for the 2020. Tokyo olympics in 2021 was pretty wild. All the gear that I have and everything that I brought home is like Tokyo 2020 and it's like oh but I'm a 2021 Olympian doesn't really make any sense but I'll take it, it's still an Olympian. Um It was cool. Obviously covid restrictions were like ridiculously tight while we were over there. So the, the atmosphere, the environment, everything was a little bit different. No fans, you know, we all had to, I mean if you saw anything on instagram, every cafeterias seat had plastic partitions, everyone was wearing masks everywhere. Um there was no common rooms to hang out in. Uh playing for the Israeli delegation. We had lots of security with us because of the world around us. A lot of things that are happening the last couple of years that you know, we had to be extra cautious with but you know being able to sit in the cafeteria right next to Novak Djokovic on one side and Luca dance, which on the other side walking past the USa gymnastics teams, you know, in the cafeteria, the dining hall was pretty ridiculous. I mean everything that you could hope for. Uh the olympic village 21 dorms, 11,000 athletes. It was crazy. Absolutely yeah. Yeah, that sounds awesome. Alright. You gotta, you gotta tell me so we're the we're the beds made out of Cardboard. The beds were absolutely 1,000,000% made out of cardboard. Uh they actually they actually were comfortable. The only issue was they gave everybody one pillow and I don't know about you. But I am a big time, like four pillow guy. I I need to hold pillows. I need to I need lots of like head rest for my just to to sleep on. So, but I mean everything was fine. The mattresses, it wasn't a king bed, it wasn't a memory foam mattress, but you know, it wasn't...

...long enough. Maybe not. But again, I couldn't imagine being like six ft 11 and having to lay in those beds are way more than 2 40. But yeah, I was okay. I didn't of all the things I could have complained 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 you retired originally in 2018? Like what made you get back up and start pitching again? Yeah, the olympics like what gave you like motivation to? Just like certainly it was hard. Um So yeah, so I retired not because I wanted to because I didn't really have any offers left. You know, I thought I still had a little 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 another opportunity and I've been a part of team Israel since 2012, And you know the olympics had always been kind of on our radar but basically an olympic sports so by the time it actually became an olympic sport with four years retired and they called and I was like hey I'll coach like whatever we can to be to be a part of this team and they're like if you can still throw a baseball we'd love to have you. And I was like interesting. So I started training and you know I was I went it was a whole year and a half worth of pandemic training. So I was training in my backyard with my two little kids watching me throw baseballs every day. They watched me go to the gym, they watched me work out in the house and I don't know if you could see me I've got some of the gym equipped behind me now you know I've you know they just kind of they routed me along as I trained and and you know some days it was harder than others but you know it was all worth it when I I posted it on twitter when my kids watched me pitch in the olympics on tv and they went up to the T. V. And they were pointing like that's my daddy they woke up at three o'clock in the morning to watch the game and it was just they actually actually pitch in three games so they got to see me pitch a lot over the course of those five games. But um yeah doing it all for my kids, my family all the supporting. But yeah, you know it's easy to want to say I'll be an Olympian for sure. I'll come back, I'll work as hard as I can to be able to say that. Yeah. Yeah definitely. And then what do you think was the difference between playing in the olympics and playing in the world Baseball Classic. It's hard to say, especially with the environment of the pandemic with no fans but the World Baseball Classic was definitely a more tense tournament. We played in Korea against south Korea. We played in Japan against Japan in front of sellout crowds. So the environment were definitely more swayed to like you know, anxiety nerves in in the world baseball classic. You know, we had players on our team who had never played in front of more than 1000 fans. And we had the we also on our team, we also had sam fold and I. Davis who...

...played in front of 45,000 in the playoffs. You know, so we had that that good mix of players on that team. But The cool thing about the Olympics was there were no fans. So it was an even playing field whether you had 20 years in the big leagues like Ian Kinsler or I think he's 14 years in the big leagues like Ian Kinsler did or you know are right fielder who has you know, who was a college coach a couple years ago, who played, who's played minor league baseball for a long time and he actually made the all olympic baseball team mitch class or like you know those guys, it was an even playing, there was no nerves, no anxiety because of the loud fans, no booing, no cheering for the home team. It was, you know, and that whether or not they made 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. But like as a pitcher you think it's easier to pitch in front of no fans. No, I need I need fans, I need adrenaline. But I am actually also glad, I'm actually also glad that we didn't have any fans this go around because I don't know how I worked, I trained really hard to come back and pitch in this event and pitch for the olympics. But if there were 40,000 fans screaming and I was adrenaline junkie, I am an adrenaline junkie. And if I was, if I was listening to the fans screaming and cheering and rooting and booing against us like I would have tried harder and harder and harder and I don't know if I would have been able to bounce back as well or I don't know if I would have been able to hold up my end of the bargain as well as I did because with no fans and adrenaline, I was able to actually go out there and pitch and you know, be relatively successful and come back the next day and pitch again and come back the next day and pitch again. So it kind of worked out for me, it kind 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, I don'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 was back in 2004. Um, obviously there was no social media wasn't as big of an influencer 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 I played for in new york and long island in florida and Georgia and you know, we had to get out because, you know, people weren't flying up to Connecticut as often as they are now or the Northeast as often as they are now or they'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, my junior year getting to go to, you know, showcases all over the country and you know, performing and throwing hard and you know, I think my parents still have a been in the house that has all the first round of college recruitment letters that I got. I still remember getting, you know, letters from Vanderbilt, University of Miami and L.

S. U. And thinking of the coolest things in the world when they're personalized messages and um, but yeah, it was fun. It was cool. You know, I got a lot of major league baseball teams came into my house and ran uh testing with me and you know, we talked about the draft and talked about pro baseball and you know, I'm glad I went to college. I met my wife, my freshman year of college. I'm glad I went through the ups and downs of the four years of college. But You know, I don't know how pro ball would have gone as an 18 year old from Connecticut for me, but it was crazy 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 best schools in the country. So I, I got very lucky. Yeah, so like going to Vanderbilt like what, what made you pick Vanderbilt and like, what were your 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 mean academically it had always been one of the schools in the country. But up until a few years, like maybe a year or two before we I went there, it hadn't been a baseball powerhouse. Um you know, they brought in tim Corbyn who was one of 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 much like a piggy back to Hamden hall. So you know, it's a private school, you know, education came first, sports was just equally as important though. And yeah, 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 north Carolina, University of florida. All schools that were on the top, the top like echelon other schools that I wanted to go to. Yeah, for sure. Were you there when David Price was there? I was, he was a sophomore when I was a freshman and then obviously I was a sophomore when he got drafted as after his 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 completely underperformed for my, my scholarship. I was spinning my tires. I was trying to get better and things are getting worse. I was working too hard in school or not and then I was ending up backing off of my work in school to try to get better in baseball and nothing just worked and yeah, I didn't necessarily want to transfer, but I wasn't going to have another opportunity to play baseball at Vanderbilt so that the coaching staff, you know, we talked through and they help me transfer out. It wasn't my decision. They kind of, it was a community decision and I'm thankful that they allowed me that opportunity and they spoke highly of me throughout the recruiting process. It wasn't me leaving because I was not playing enough. It was, I was leaving because they didn't think that I was getting better there and they wanted me to start over and I'm very appreciative of that was fantastic. And I still talk to the coaching staff to this day, which doesn't usually happen. So I feel very lucky. Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome that...

...they helped you like get to a new school. 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 like 10th, 10th round. Uh, like was that like good for you? Or like what were your thoughts To throw 96 as a senior in high school. I threw hard, I was one of the top prospects in the country still getting drafted high was an expectation for me. Didn't end up happening. I went to Vanderbilt, which I was very lucky for, and by the time I reached my senior year at college and it was no longer a top prospect and it was no longer someone who had um a pedigree anymore, I was just a guy who kind of failed in college, so, you know, to get drafted, actually felt pretty 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 of underperformed, 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 the time I was disappointed that I didn't get drafted higher uh kind of retrospectively 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 big leagues four years later, which doesn't usually happen for a guy who had such big highs and lows throughout my, my collegiate career, but even finally career, I guess, but, you know, it was, you know, I felt I was blessed and thankful that I got drafted obviously to the Philly, so yeah, for sure. Um yeah, and then just tell me like what the I know the minor league experience is rough, just tell me like what it was like and then just like grinding and then the bus rides and all that four years into a ultimately ultimately make it to the majors. Yeah, my minor leagues is a grind, you know, I think, you know, when we, when I was coming up through college and high 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, to have a life that, you know, you can live off of in the minor leagues, like you'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 minor leagues, you're either going to succeed or not, right? You're gonna work your way up through the, you know? So when we had bus rides where the air conditioning on the bus broke and everyone was shirtless, we laughed about it, you know, like we laughed about, right? When we had buses when we stayed in hotels and you know, Jamestown new york and guys had sweatshirts and shirts and stuff stolen out of their hotel room, like we kind of laughed it off, like this is, you know, the things that, you know, you hear about, these are the things that happened, you know we yeah, we complained a lot, but like we also knew that some guys were only gonna play one year, right? So you guys are gonna play four years and five years and if you wanted to play to you guys the big leagues, you had to endure some of those, you know issues and do I understand that those aren't okay, right, having getting paid nothing, you know, having stuff stolen out of your...

...you know, cheap hotel room, having a bus 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 play minor league baseball, my goal is to play major league baseball, you know of course, and you know, I was but but but but but I was very fortunate to have a supportive family, right? My parents helped me, you know, if I needed 20 bucks for rent or I needed 30 bucks to help feed me for a week, like my parents would send it to me, no questions asked, you know, I know a lot of kids, I don't have that luxury. I didn't get, I didn't get signed for a lot, I didn't get drafted, I don't get paid a whole bunch of money, I think I got paid six Grand, which is which is great, right? Six grand is rent for a year, right? Like that's it even 15 years ago that still rent, that's rent for half a year and you know I had a very supportive family, still do have a very supportive family, so I knew I got lucky in a lot of my teammates didn't have that support system so you know they were grinding even harder than I was, but you know, it is a grind, right? It's a grind. Sometimes you don't have cleats to wear, sometimes your glove is left in a different city, sometimes you know, they're sometimes you get to the hotel 10 o'clock in the morning and your room is not ready for six hours, you got to sit in the hotel lobby for six hours. It happens like for sure what is it like just playing with like minor leaguers get that do get drafted high and they're like millionaires already. 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 professional career, like in the lower levels, it's weird because like they just became millionaires 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 you have some who don't buy anything right because maybe they're not holding any of their money, but you know, I think as you know, I played one year in rookie ball, I played one or I played half year rookie ball and I played one year and able then I was a doubling tripling for the rest of my career. I think when you're in the upper levels, it doesn't really matter what around you were drafted in, you know, first rounders have a better chance of just getting to the big leagues just because I mean obviously they're better talents, they have higher expectations. The organizations need them to get the big leagues because they paid him a whole bunch of money, but In in Tripoli you have big leaders who have made $10 million, $15 million. So like there's also, you know, being a first rounder who made a whole bunch of money doesn't really matter at that point, you know when you're in the lower levels rookie ball low a you've got someone who signed for 1000 bucks who's getting 50 bucks a meal money a week and then you also have the guy in the same locker who made a million bucks who's getting $50 a week, you know, they're living differently, you know, one guy gets the king bedroom in the apartment and then the other guy gets maybe the mattress in the living room because he can't afford to pay the same amount of rent, right? So it's...

...definitely a different animal, but you know, once you're on the field, you know, some guys who don't get drafted as I have more motivation, you know, it's a fact, right? The guys who don't get the big paychecks. You know, they got to earn that money and they want to get, 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're talking about it and all all you guys are pros and it's just such a different dynamic. Just like strange. It's like, what do you do? Oh, you know, I was gonna say, but I tell my kids all the time, my, my, my two Children, but also tell 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 stinks and 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 you accept, right? So no, you might not be fair, but you can't say, hey, it's not fair. 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 rookie leagues and like, I think shorter. Um, you think that's gonna maybe get the other players like paid more, Oh, I have to, I have to be careful here because 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 what that looks like. I don't know how much more makes it fair or not fair. I don't know if then I don't know if paying the players more makes sense or giving them housing makes more sense or giving them all their meals like I don't know what that looks like because if you pay the players more than they're going to be asked to actually pay for their apartments, right? If you pay if you don't pay players more and give them their apartments, do you give them less food? Like you know there's there's so many things that you know go into it and yes, it is a billion dollar industry but you know, I mean I honestly don't I don't know enough about the business side of it. But yes it stinks. I I would have been devastated if I was in college and I found out the next season there was only gonna be five rounds of the draft or 20 rounds of the draft where there had been 60 and then 50 and then 42 right? Like the numbers are like the game is just getting smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and just less players gonna have an opportunity to play and then you know, who knows? Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean going down to sixth round was pretty nuts from like 50. Um But yeah, going back to your career. Uh you get traded to the Astros and the Hunter pence deal. Uh What was that? Was that cool to be like traded for like an all star? Yeah, it was shocking. So in 2011 I had hurt my shoulder and elbow not like significantly, but I have been I have been pretty banged up that whole year. I was in double a and I went on the disabled list, I was on the disabled list for about 30 days, I was a starter uh when I was the opening day starter double at that season, I came off the disabled this with like a month...

...and a half or two months ago in the season and they put me back in the bullpen because they were like, we're not gonna build you back up to five or six innings, you know, seasons, you know, whatever came back and I was like throwing like, like actually throwing hard and like I was doing I think 90 to 90 92 93 but in the early parts of the season, 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're like breathing, like whatever, you're doing whatever. Um came back and I was still in like 94, which is which in 2011 was Hard right now. Every now everybody's doing it every like everybody can help maybe throw 95. Like it's crazy. It's amazing how good the athletes are getting. Um don't I do it again? Or going 90? It's like the first time and I, I knew I was doing well, obviously think my numbers were getting better, everything was getting better and the trade deadline comes up and I, there was rumblings that we were going to make a big trade. The Phillies wanted to bring in, you know, probably not big time major league players because you know, at the time it was Roy Halladay and Shane, Victorino and Carlos reason running hardwood and like the team was awesome. So like everyone's like, I wonder who they're going to trade and people are thinking like, because my team at the time had some really good prospects and everyone was like naming off names and then we found out we were in Manchester, New Hampshire found out that we made a trade for Hunter pence and like a bunch of top, a bunch of top prospects and everyone's like, oh that's cool. Like I wonder who it is. And then like an hour later we're at Applebee's getting food at the bar and I got a phone call from Ruben tomorrow and 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 of the screen I walked back inside its trades for like three top prospects and a player to be named later and my name is on the screen and I'm like what the heck just happened and everyone on the team was like you got traded, come on man like they were so upset that I got traded and uh no it was really cool. It I felt like there's a lot of pressure put on me when I got there, you know that a lot of expectations um and I wasn't used to that obviously with my college group being a disappointment for the most part and you know it was great I felt honored to be traded but like it was a lot of pressure really quickly 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 yeah in 2013 you're the you're the closer for the triple a team and then uh just tell me like what it was like and how did how did you get called up? Uh So obviously the Astros at the times weren't weren't weren't doing very well but they were they were doing really poorly at the time, you know later in the summer and I had just taken over as the closure of the Triple A team a couple weeks prior to that um the closure of the timberland season had...

...gotten hurt and I um yeah we had a day off I'm staying in my my hotel, my apartment at the time the and on ESPN watching the T. V. And all of a sudden Obama screen I see you know Astros closer gets traded to someone and then right after that it was the Astros setup man got designated for assignment and I called my wife immediately. Well she was my yeah my Stephanie called immediately and I was like I said to her I was like I don't know what's happening, no one's told me a thing but the Astros just traded, they're closer and designated their setup man. I I feel like like I'm like I haven't gotten a call you but like if I don't get the call in the next 20 minutes I'm gonna lose my mind. Like I was like everything was just kind of like falling into place at that moment and because it was a day off we were just all all separate was the only one in my apartment. Everyone else was out, I'll messing 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 never happens, go enjoy Baltimore on your day off. And I was like what? Uh huh. I felt and I was like is this even though like I had expected the phone call I was like is this a joke like you know like it just didn't seem real. I started laughing on the phone like usually people cry or they cheer, they don't know what it was. I just started laughing because that's like the way that I handled it. So now that was the chills, the first chills moment in my life. It was awesome. And you know, got to pitch in Baltimore, got to face some pretty 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 at the 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 just yet you know you get a day off going to go there and you're you're in the big leagues actually. I got my I got my first like legit haircut beard line up like I felt like it was the hotel had TVs like in the bathroom like in the mirror. It was I mean the first meal that we had was lobster mac and cheese with filet Mignon on one side of the cafeteria on the other side was like pizza and like cheeseburgers like they had food for everybody, you know like they had like the boujee food and then the more like comfortable food and it was 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're already kind of talked about, are you retiring and stuff like that now. Um you're currently working for the cubs, correct? Yeah, I work for the cubs and the rehab pitching coordinator. I also, you know, backfill as a pitching coach and a pitching analysts. I've got kind of three gigs that I do over there. Uh That'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 performance company, pitching performance brands. I pitching in performance, I did it for about a year and a half. Almost two...

...years were right immediately after I retired. 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, after a 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 I gotta, I gotta random phone call one day from the Chicago cubs, bullpen, the pitching coach and he's like, you know, we'd love to bring in for an interview for a job. We've got a couple ideas before and I was like, absolutely, I was 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 always wanted to see what the player development side of probation, since I've been in it for so long, I, you know, I've been designated, I've been traded, I've been called to the big leagues, I had been taken off the 40 man, I've been picking up by another team, I've been released in spring training. I did a lot of things that throughout my career, like I didn't really understand, I don't know why they happened. You know, it was like to get it and I've been hurt a bunch, I foot surgeries and elbow injuries and shoulder 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 interviews and you know, just kind of, they kind of just kind of, you know, found a niche 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 every single 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 to work 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 of retirement. Mhm Yeah, it's funny when you know, as I was ramping up to go to the olympics, I was throwing like 87 to 91 which was fantastic, which is, which is good velocity for a guy who's recently who's been retired for so long, who had any surgery eight months prior, Like I was happy with it, got to the olympics, I got up to 94 miles an hour, like I was throwing 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 still got it right and nobody calls right. Like I didn't make any phone calls, I didn't like actively seek out a contract or a or a team, but like I have made it pretty clear that like I would play right, like kept posting on social media my videos and comments here and they're kind of, you know, some subtle hints at like maybe being able to play again, you know, nobody called, nobody asked and then I realized that family again, you know, I didn't like traveling as we were trying to 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 at the age where they're playing basketball and they're growing up and I don't want to miss their practices anymore. So you know, do I, can I, can I come back and can I play? Yeah, absolutely. I'm training for a triathlon half Ironman right now. So can I do things that can I do things that 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? Which is nice. I'm able to say that, like, I think I still have it, but I can walk away 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 in the olympics and I did pretty damn well. So, you know, now you're Olympian forever. Now I'm an Olympian forever and they can't take away from, I guess I'm not an Olympian until I get it tattooed like right here. But I wonder uh 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 tattoo parlor. She heard me talk about it. That's pretty fantastic. So advice that I give to, someone younger that's coming up through the, through the ranks or even prior to being going through those right, be stubborn. That I think that's the one of the biggest things that like helped me through it. Be stubborn, you know, be proud of who you are, be proud of what you're able to do, but be stubborn, 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 I did after a lot of the bumps in the road that I have had. It might have sounded like a pretty uh easy ride to get to where I did, but you know, I got told no a lot, a lot of things taken away from me, I I got hurt a lot. Um be stubborn, don't let you know that that bump in the road be too big to be prideful, but just, you know, just like it's easy to say work hard because like I said before life isn't fair, right? So, you know, we have to accept that, you know, some things just might be hard and some things 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 comes first and whether that's about yourself, about your parents, your sister, your wife, your girlfriend doesn't really matter what that means is, you know, I just care about the things that are that are most important. Care for the things 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? I thought those were all the fun questions. Yes, yeah. Who who's like someone you you didn't get the face...

...that you wanted to face? Someone that I didn'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 current guys that I would, I would like to think in, you're like, that was in your era. Oh, that that played when I was playing, I would have loved to have faced like Derek Jeter, I thought that would have been really cool. I didn't get 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 I played, I didn't pitch in many games, but I I pitched against David Ortiz, I pitched against Robinson Cano and Adrian Beltre I faced a lot of the really good guys and you know, I loved every second, but I loved, I loved facing the superstars, I love facing the guys that I knew were trying to take me yard, you know, I thought the moments that I really thrived at and you know, as the guys who were up there trying to just like hit 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 years of course, just gotta, you just gotta make sure, you know, sometimes people just 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 all the time, that was kind of our spot because it wasn't as busy as like puppies and sally's and uh, you know, so we went to Modern a lot. I like to bar pizza actually, the restaurant bar university that wasn't open early in my time in Connecticut, it was open more like my high school years, that was my favorite because the live was kind of newer but Modern was definitely like a family favorite of ours. All right, that was, that was a curve ball right there, last one. What do you like to do in your free time free time, What's that? Like I like I like I said a couple moments ago, I, when we got back from the olympics, I had to find a competitive void to fill. So I'm now literally trained. I just bought a brand new bike. Like I'm training for a half Ironman in 16 weeks. I mean Ryan lavarnway, they catch it for team Israel, one of my best friends for like the last five years, we're now training for 2013 mile run, 56 mile bike in a one mile swim were, that's what we're doing in our free time. No, but so that's kind of what I do in the early mornings and late at night. But in my free time I literally, we spent all over time with our kids, you know, like I went to, I was at basketball practice with my six year old last night for an hour and a half. It was a blast. You know, it's funny when people talk to us about what you guys do. We live for our kids, you know, like that's what we like to do 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. I know some families are not as fortunate...

...as, or people aren't as fortunate to have kids, but you know, I'm blessed that we have them to keep us busy, you know, 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, you know, on our intelligence and that's my hobbies, my hobbies there, My passion there 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 play baseball? Kind of, do I want to be there coach? Absolutely not. And I'm afraid that as long as they play baseball, I'm going to be asked to help out coach them and I want them to play because they want to play baseball. But my kids right now, they play basketball, they play soccer and they swim and they love it. They, my 6.5 year old on a swim team loves it. He plays basketball every season of the year loves it. And soccer just for hand eye corn just for like foot and running coordination. Um, My other one is still too young to be competitive, but they want to play baseball. I'll let them play when they're ready. You know, I'm not going to push them. You know, I'm not going to 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 dad was in the middle, You gotta get them? Yeah. Yesterday at the basketball practice, you know, the 10 year old team came in and you know, I recognized one of the dads and team, he played 14 years in the big leagues and I saw him just sitting quietly on the sidelines like not helping with the basketball practice. And I'm like I want that role. Like I just stepped back but everyone so far has asked me to help coach and I love it, I want to do and I'm very outgoing and I'm very, you know, I'd like to be, you know, out there, but I might have to start like sitting back and letting everyone else do. But I don't want to, I don't know if I can do that. Yeah, I feel you. Well I appreciate you coming on and uh could do what the listeners know where they can follow you on social media. Yeah. So I'm on Twitter at Josh side 14 or at Josh _ 14 at josh underscore reside 14 or instagram at josh side 28. I do not have 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 anything from today, don't give up, have some fun, right? You know, and just ride the wave. Yeah, for sure how to get you on from being from Connecticut. Yeah, well thanks 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 r dot com slash paul. Mhm.

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