SEATTLE -- Rangers RHP Darren O'Day is back with his diary. He talks about his new teammates and planning for a wedding to rival the one Chelsea Clinton just had. O'Day now has his own facebook page at www.facebook.com/darrenoday56.
The dust has finally settled after the non-waiver trade deadline, and I love where our team stands at the moment. Our front office has gotten creative, due to our ownership situation, and landed some great players to help us through the stretch run. They have done their part, now it's up to us, the players, to do ours.
We first went out and picked up Bengie Molina who, as a pitcher, I cannot say enough good things about. He's very easy to throw to, blocks everything, and calls a great game. It's easy to have confidence in a guy who has been around for so long and seen so many things. Having a catcher like that really accelerates the learning of young pitchers like me. He sees things that the rest of us wouldn't.
Cliff Lee's work since he's been with us speaks for itself. I've never seen a guy pound the zone so relentlessly. He challenges hitters, and his aggressive approach throws hitters off. If they come up there waiting to get a fat pitch to drive, they might find themselves walking back to the dugout before they know it. He just doesn't make mistakes. He's so efficient with his pitches, that I joke with our strength coach I can do my upper body lift before every fifth game, and not have to worry about being sore, because I'll never see the mound! He eats innings and saves the bullpen every time out.
I couldn't be happier to have Jorge Cantu on our team. I never liked facing him. He's a great RBI guy and always had good at bats. If fact, he had a great one in early 2009 when he had a game winning hit off me when I was playing for the Mets. He hit a good outside slider from me right over the shortstop's head, and the Marlins walked off with a victory. When I first met him in the locker room a few days ago, I made him agree to never do that do me again. I thought we were done adding to the team, but they went out and found the perfect complement for our needs with Kins on the DL and some infield depth. I haven't gotten to see Cristian Guzman play too much, but his defense has impressed already. For a 10 and 5 guy to approve a trade from a city where his family is comfortable, it shows how much he wants to win. I think that sometimes people say that pro atheletes are all about the money. I think this is a great example of a guy showing what we really play the game for.
Quick sidenote: I think it's cool what Lebron, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade did in Miami. Although Lebron's press conference was tired, for all three to take less money to win championships is nice to see.
We recently had our annual All-Star break. For those of us who didn't make the trip to Anaheim, it's a nice three day respite in the middle of a long season. I actually hadn't been home to Atlanta to see our new house since we bought it during spring training. There isn't much time for vacations or traditional summer activities, i.e. boating, beach, or whatever it may be. So When we do have a break, a lot of guys try to fit some of that stuff in.
This year it wasn't in the cards for me. You see, I am engaged to my longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Prann, and we are getting married in November. She is busier than I am with her job as the southeast correspondent for Fox News. Therefore, we took full advantage of those three days off to knock out wedding plans and yardwork. The first two days involved food tasting, meeting the officiant, finding a rehearsal dinner venue, and finalizing the guest list. Growing up my dad liked to call yard work days "family fun day." The last day of the break, Liz and I had some family fun pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and fertilizing dying grass. Somehow, we also managed to fit in some truly fun stuff in between.
The hardest part about playing this game is being away from loved ones. We are truly blessed to play the game we love for a living, but everyone in our life makes immeasurable sacrifices. We miss weddings, kids' ball games, school plays, and countless birthdays. I think the folks waiting at home deserve a lot of credit for putting up with us throughout the year. I know I wouldn't be able to do it without the endless support of my family and friends.
Until next time that is all. The plan for Monday was for a few of us are going salmon fishing in Seattle, so hopefully I will have some pictures and material for my next blog. Shoutout to Dustin Nippert for setting it up, even though he had to stay home to recover from post-concussion symptoms. We'll rip some lips for ya bud.