March 2011

Final Countdown

Hello again
Redbird fans. With opening day roughly a week away, the finishing touches are
being put on 2011 spring training. I hope you are all ready for an exciting
year of baseball.


Last week was an interesting week in terms of scheduling. I spent a lot of time
riding the bus as we had 4 road trips that were two hours or more. Being a
young player means that if there is a roadtrip that day you are going to be in
it. I’m not complaining but the bus does get old. I was in Viera (Nationals),
Kissimmee (Astros), and Fort Myers (Red Sox) on 3 consecutive days.


After those three trips, we had our one and only off day of the Spring. Having
that day off allows us to rest and recharge for the last week of camp. I got to
sleep in a little (could barely make it to 8 am since I’m so used to being up
early). The weather was great that day so naturally I headed to the beach. It
was my first trip to the beach this spring and it will be my last for a while
with the season fast approaching.

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After the off day it was back to work. The excitement is building and everyone
is getting ready to head north for opening day. We have 6 games left on the
Grapefruit League schedule and then it’s off to St. Louis!

Update

Sorry for the long wait everybody, things have been a lot busier
down here since games started but I’ve finally got another entry for you guys. I’ve
got a little time to kill right now on our three hour drive back from Lakeland
where we just defeated the Tigers.

Things have been going well since the games started. We have been
playing some good baseball and have been winning quite a few games. There were a
couple of injury scares with two of our key pitchers but both have since
returned to action.

We have also seen the clubhouse numbers dwindle over the past
couple of weeks as there have been two rounds of cuts made. Luckily, I was not part
of the cuts and I’m still hanging around. Once the regulars begin to take on
more of a workload (whether it’s on the mound or getting at bats) there is less
playing time to go around and guys are sent down.

One of those players was short stop Pete Kozma. Even though he was
sent down, he was nice enough to do a little interview with me so that you guys
might get to know him a little better. Pete and I were both drafted in the same
year (2007) so we have sort of climbed the ranks together. He was the first
round selection by the Cardinals that year. Pete and I have gotten to know each
other by playing together in Batavia, Palm Beach, and Springfield where we have
turned countless double plays as the SS/2B combo.

 

Daniel Descalso: Pete, tell all the fans out there a little about
yourself…where are you from? How old are you?

Pete Kozma: Well, I’m from Owasso, OK which is a little ways
outside of Tulsa. Neither one of my parents are from Oklahoma. My dad is from
Detroit and my mom is from New York. I am 22 but will turn 23 during the
season.

DD: This being your second big league camp, how would you compare
it to last year’s?

PK: I was definitely a lot more comfortable this year coming in
and knowing how Tony and his staff run spring training. It was also nice that I
got some more playing time this year and had some success.

DD: What did you work on this off-season to get ready for spring
training and the upcoming season?

PK: I worked out a little with my trainer in Tulsa getting in
shape for the long season. I also focused a lot on my hitting and trying to get
my swing feeling good going into camp.

DD: Who has been your biggest influence on your baseball career?

PK: Definitely my family. They have always been there to support
me throughout my baseball playing. Without them I would not be where I am
today.

DD: If you were not playing baseball what would you be doing?

PK: I would probably be a baseball coach. I had a lot of good
coaching when I was growing up and it would be great to have that kind of
influence on kids too.

DD: What do you like to do on your off days to get away from
baseball?

PK: My favorite off day activity is to just relax and hang out by
the pool. The season is long and demanding that I just like to take it easy and
rest on my days off.

DD: What is your proudest accomplishment of your baseball career
so far?

PK: It would have to be hitting the game winning home run in our
high school baseball state championship game. That’s something that I will
never forget.

DD: So I know this about you, but I’m sure the fans don’t know how
big of a classic rock fan you are. How did that come about?

PK: Well my parents would always listen to it when I was younger
so I grew up listening to their music and still do now. I like to quiz my
teammates when classic rock songs come in during batting practice.

DD: Yeah, I know. You have stumped me a few times. I’ve got a
couple more quick questions, just give me the first answer that you think of.
Favorite food?

PK: Seafood

DD: Favorite TV show?

PK: That 70’s Show

DD: Favorite Band?

PK: Led Zeppelin

DD: And finally what everyone is dying to know…boxers or briefs?

PK: Haha, definitely boxers.


Pete Kozma everyone. Remember the name.