The Baseball Beat

Feb. 26, 2007

Throughout the 2006-07 school year, select UC student-athletes will share their experiences on and off the field with Bearcat fans through CATSblogs. These student-athletes will take you in to the life of a Bearcat and share their struggles and triumphs. Fans can email their favorite CATSblogger here! Be sure to include your name and hometown.

Ryan Baker is a junior catcher for the UC baseball team. He is in his first year at Cincinnati and is majoring in criminal justice.

John Baird is a junior pitcher for the UC baseball team. He is in his first year at Cincinnati and is majoring in criminal justince.

Neall French is a senior first baseman and catcher for the UC baseball team. He is in his third year at Cincinnati and is majoring in criminal justice.

February 26, 2007
by John
Well I must say I thought that being home for the next few weeks would feel great after battling a seven-hour bus ride back from North Carolina. But my home stay has had a shaky start. Yesterday while throwing a bullpen to my compadre and my catcher Ryan Baker, I hit him in the mouth with a baseball. I was warming up for my fourth inning of work, standing up beginning to bring the heat, not even noticing that my buddy wasn't wearing his catcher's mask. The Plastic Dummy that we use to act as a hitters body was hanging somewhat over that plate, and when I threw a ball towards the right side of the plate it nicked off of the dummies head and hit the other dummy (Ryan Baker with no helmet) in the face.

Ryan immediately collapsed and I could almost feel his tears. I thought I had killed my friend. Nothing hurts more than to watch your friend hurting and asking for your help. Turns out that Ryan split both sides of his lip and needed 16 stitches to ease his pain.

On a good note I am feeling great and will be throwing this weekend and our team is hopeful we will sweep this series. Until next time, "Be safe and RESPECT".

February 26, 2007
by Ryan
Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages the main event is back! Yours truly, Ryan Baker back again to post a special edition injury report blog. Yesterday I received 16 stitches up in my grill after being snipered by a ball. I was catching in the cages with John Baird and we were using the plastic dummy batter. John was warming up before his final bullpen session and hit the dummy in the face and it ricocheted right off my lower lip. I went down for a second but I wasn't really phased, not to boast or brag but I show no weakness. That is the same thing when you are on the baseball field. You must never let the opponent or others know that you are hurt or else they will attack your weakness. The first thing on my mind was if my beautiful teeth were still all there and they were. I knew it was bad and when Coach Cleary and the guys there saw it their reactions were not too reassuring.

I traveled to the hospital with Coach Cleary, who sacrificed his whole day waiting for me there. I was there from 4-8:30 and the best part had to be when they put the Q-tip straight through my lip; through and through baby. The injury is pretty painful but I'll be ready to attack Dartmouth this weekend. There's nothing better than crushing an opponent who is from your region. Over.

February 22, 2007
by Ryan
Whatsuppppppp, hey children, its me bake back for another amazing blog entry. Well first and foremost on my mind is the departure to North Carolina today. I am real excited to try and devastate the team we will play there but not too excited for the 10 hour bus ride we gotta take to get there. On a good note concerning the trip though is I have a large goodie bag that my girlfriend prepared for me for the trip. It includes all sorts of delicious treats. What a sweetheart huh? Anyways, I have blood on my mind for North Carolina A&T when I enter the battlefield against them on Friday. The Bearcats are feeling real froggy and we plan on making a leap this weekend and adding three victories to our record. Until next time, yours truly Ryan Baker

February 17, 2007
by John
Things continue to pile up as the season starts to stretch through each weekend. With school and baseball at the top of my list it makes it harder and harder as the Cincinnati area gets pounded by these winter storms. I knew that transferring from a warmer climate in Birmingham, Alabama to a colder one back up north would be tough, but I don't think I have seen this kind of cold weather in Cincinnati in years. I am truly grateful to be a Bearcat now and am focused and ready to help my team in having a successful season and winning a BIG EAST title.

I am writing this entry from a warm hotel room in Clarksville, Tennessee and as much as I wish I could say it's warm outside this hotel room, I am sad to report that we have once again been postponed due to snow.

Our team had practice today and everyone seems very anxious and excited to play. When we are able to hit the field I know that the energy levels and attitudes will be on the up.

February 17, 2007
by Ryan
What's up kids it's me r.b., back again for another exciting blog. I am writing to you all from the dismal town of Clarksville, Tennessee. It's Saturday night and instead of eating after a battle on the field I am sitting in this cold hotel room. Our game has been cancelled for today and the weather is sub par for sure. But it's almost march and we all know the saying "in like a lion and out like a lamb" so good weather will be here shortly. Other than that it couldn't be better. I enjoyed a healthy meal for lunch today which included deadly hot wings and a teriyaki chicken sandwich. At the end of practice today we played pig in Austin Peay's gym, where I was awarded 4th prize. That was the highlight of my day. I am pretty restless also. I think I indulged in a few too many imitation Mountain Dews at lunch, I'm just ready to attack on the yard once more and put some victories on the charts for the Bearcats. Until next time hang loose and speak easy. Over!

February 14, 2007
by Ryan
Finally the first games of the season have come and gone. I was looking forward to this time since the beginning of last summer. The games didn't finish exactly how I would have liked, but for our first time outside, I think the team played extremely well together. I think this is going to be an exceptional year for the Bearcats' baseball squadron. I am looking forward to our next road trip and expect a solid weekend of competition.

I am from Portland, Maine in the neighborhood of North Deering. I just transferred here from Daytona Beach CC where I studied business and switched to criminal justice here at UC. I like the field and find it interesting. My first quarter went pretty well I thought and I'm looking forward to furthering my education.

In my off time I like to relax. I kick it with the guys on the team and like to watch TV, feed relentlessly and joke around. I live with Bearcat pitcher Michael Hill over off Clifton. When I'm not being a scholar, I like ballin on the field and relaxing with the fellas. My hobbies include baseball, pumping iron, eating, stunting, and wearing sunglasses.

February 9, 2007
by Neall
The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy, but very gratifying. As far as baseball goes, we have been polishing up as a team, and trying to simulate live at bats as much as possible. It's worked out well for both pitchers and hitters; one to see a live arm, and another to have a guy with a bat standing in the box.

I feel confident in the fact that we have some great arms this year, and it's been a good challenge seeing them day in and day out.

As far as the team goes, I think we feel we have been given everything we need to be very successful, now it's up to us to go out and play.

Being a criminal justice major I have been trying to balance an internship at the Cincinnati Police Department, along with baseball and class. At times this has been challenging, but also a great learning experience. It has really helped me to put things in perspective.

As far as down time goes I have been spending most of my time at what most refer to as the "cave." It's referred to this because of the covered windows, and humble interior. This is also where my roommate John Baird and I live. We have over 200 channels, a couch, a recliner, and two bedrooms with a full service kitchen.

John and I were teammates over the summer, and have been close friends since. He likes to play the guitar, play with his Wiji board, and write poetry. I have been building a rock fountain for my room, and trying to learn how to do some wood working.

With the weather in Cincinnati, it is a great feeling to be going to Florida, but we all know what were going there to do. The University and coaching staff has put everything in place for us to have a huge season, and hopefully this is the start of it.