GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we talk with two former Florida Gators pitchers about how life without baseball is going during the cornavirus.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre are joined by Detroit Tigers pitcher Logan Shore and Kansas City Royals pitcher Brady Singer as we talk with those guys about their daily routines during this off time from the game.
Andrew and Nick also talk with Shore and Singer about what life as a Gator was like and some of their favorites moments wearing the Orange and Blue.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. We got a special podcast coming, Nick. We’ve done some cool podcasts in our time at Gator Country. We’ve talked to Billy Horschel. We’ve talked to a lot of cool players and former players and all that good stuff. This one might rank up there as one of my favorites. We’re going to bring on two former Florida Gator pitchers. Current Detroit Tiger pitcher in the Minor Leagues, Logan Shore, and then in the Kansas City organization, Brady Singer, are both going to come on and talk all this stuff with us, Nick.
Nick: Yeah. Man, Brady and Logan made my Friday nights easy. When I showed up to the ballpark, if the game was at 7:00, I knew latest I’m getting out of here is 10:00, and my story will be done. They made my night easy. You knew exactly what to expect from these guys every time they stepped on the mound. It’ll be fun. I got to cover each of them for three years and have a little relationship with them, so it’ll be fun to get them both on here at the same time.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s cool. I love my Minor League baseball. I followed these guys throughout and took to them. I’m not even going to lie to you. You guys may have questions, but I got some questions too. I want to know what these guys are doing. How quick do they think they’re getting back on the field and all that good stuff? I’m excited.
Like I said, we’ve had some really, really cool podcasts, and we’re hoping to do this a little bit. We’re talking with some other former Gator pitchers about coming on. If you guys have got any former diamond sports that you would like to bring on, let us know. We’ll see if we can get them on. All we can do is try. We’ll talk to any of them. We’ll go to Brady. We’ll talk to Brady and Logan, get their thoughts on all this, and we’ll come back and wrap it all up. This is going to be about talking to those two studs.
Nick: You heard enough of us already. Let’s get these guys on.
Andrew: Yeah. Let them throw a fastball at you.
Guys, we’re back. We’re joined by Kansas City Royals pitcher, Brady Singer, and then Detroit Tigers, Logan Shore. Two studs. Don’t throw fastballs at Nick and I. We’re just here to talk with you guys.
Nick: I wouldn’t stand a chance. I wouldn’t stand a chance at either fastball. I said it on the intro. I wanted to thank you guys. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started covering college baseball, but you guys on Friday nights made it so easy. I was out. The game started at 7:00. I was out of there, story done, by 10:00 every single Friday. That’s not always the case, so I appreciate how quickly and efficient you guys worked whenever you stepped on the mound.
Logan: Lots of strikes. Lots of fastballs.
Nick: That’s it. Just strikes, strikes. No counts. Let’s get in and out.
Andrew: Guys, we’ll start with you, Logan. I guess, what is daily life like for you right now? I imagine since you probably, what, three or four years old, you’ve been playing baseball at this time of the year. What’s life like for you right now? I mean, honestly do you know what to do with yourself in the middle of April?
Logan: It’s been an interesting few weeks, to say the least. I was talking with my sister about it the other day. I was like, there hasn’t been a time since I can remember that I’ve had this much time off of playing. Obviously, we got a little tease at the beginning of Spring Training, but, obviously, with everything being shut down as fast as it did, it’s just been weird. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to continue working out and throwing and getting all my stuff in. Trying to stay on as close to a routine as possible with what I would be doing if we were playing. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do that and have the resources available to do that, which has been nice.
My wife works in a hospital, Katie. She works in a hospital, and she’s a speech pathologist, so she’s working fulltime right now. Obviously, with the hospital setting, it’s interesting. She’s lucky enough to not have to work directly with anybody with Coronavirus, but there’s still people that need speech therapy and stuff like that. I’m trying to just take care of the duties around the house, cooking and cleaning and all that kind of good stuff. That’s kind of been what I’ve been up to.
Andrew: Nick, he went, Brady too, he went from serving fastballs to serving steaks up for the wife.
Nick: Serving dinner.
Logan: Oh yeah. I made porkchops. I just got a cast iron skillet, so I’ve been messing around with that the past couple weeks making pork chops and steak and trying to get some good meals on the table every night, try to do something different. I enjoy it, so it’s not really a problem. It’s been fun.
Andrew: Chef. We’re adding chef to Logan Shore’s name. Brady, I got kind of the same thing for you. Same thing. You’ve probably been playing since you were three or four. What’s daily routine like? I know you were throwing a bullpen a few minutes ago. What’s the daily routine like for you?
Brady: Kind of the same thing. I’m finding places to work out and throw and throw some bullpens too. Just bouncing around. I mean, there’s not a lot of places open here. They locked us down a couple weeks ago. It’s not easy to find places, but you can figure it out. I’m actually cooking too a little bit. I’m in an apartment, so I don’t really have a grill. It’s a lot of oven, lot of baking for me. Cooking dinner for the girlfriend every night and just kind of experiencing new things. Watching movies, sitting on the couch, not doing much. Rather be playing baseball, but that’s what we’re dealing with right now.
Nick: Look at you guys. Just so domesticated, the both of you.
Andrew: Yeah. Kevin O’Sullivan’s teaching cooking class.
Logan: Hey, you’re not supposed to leave the house, so I’m trying my best.
Nick: You’re doing your part.
Logan: Yeah. At least I’m in 80-degree weather every day and not in Minnesota, where my family’s at, where it’s snowing three feet.
Nick: You’re in Arizona, right?
Logan: Yeah. I’ll take Scottsdale any day.
Andrew: When’s the last time you guys spent Easter at home?
Brady: I think we got Easter, I want to say in 2017. I think we had a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series, and I got home, got to head home for Sunday. I believe.
Andrew: But not very often.
Logan: I think the last Easter I was home was, it had to have been high school. I mean, I wasn’t able to just drive home for a Sunday Easter like Brady was, so it would have been my senior in high school, back in Minnesota at least.
Nick: Eustis a little bit closer to Gainesville than Coon Rapids. Confirmed.
Brady: Maybe by a couple miles.
Nick: Just a couple days in the car. That’s all.
Andrew: Lordy. Let me ask you guys this. There was some news that kind of came out today. The White House is saying now that sports can come back without fans. What are you guys’ take on it? Nick and I, we’re just sports guys, so we’re like if it means playing, let’s do it. From you guys’ take, what do y’all think about that? Are y’all cool with playing without fans just to get back on the diamond?
Brady: Go for it, Shore.
Logan: Yeah. I mean, sports, it’s all about the fans. At the end of the day, you want to be able to watch, and you want to be able to play in front of people. There’s no better feeling than going out and pitching in front of a large crowd and being able to feel that energy and that type of environment. Playing in the SEC, you’re not going to get it anywhere better in the country than playing in the SEC and pitching there on the weekends. But there have been a lot of the Minor Leagues, places in the Minor Leagues, you start on a Wednesday night in whatever town. It might not be too packed. In some cases, you got to learn how to pitch in front of no fans, especially in the Minor Leagues. In my opinion, if we can start back up the season without fans, I’m all for it. I would love to just get back out and get back to playing as soon as possible.
Andrew: I’m going to let Logan Shore go speak for the President, because I’m with Logan. Brady, what’s your thoughts?
Brady: Yeah. I think the same thing. The fans make the game. I mean, like he said, playing the SEC there was no better environment than that, playing in front of all the fans. But, like he said, we want to play too. We’re down to do whatever we can to get back on the field. No matter if it’s a job or not, we grew up playing this game as little ones, playing in front of nobody and just enjoying the game. So, we still enjoy the game, no matter what. It’s going to be different. It’s going to be hard. Like I said, if we can get back to playing, let’s go.
Nick: Be able to hear all the Astros slamming on garbage cans. Talking about fans real quick. This is one, I never traveled to Vanderbilt when you guys would go, so I’d have to listen and watch the TV broadcast. The Vandy whistler. Is that something that when you’re playing you can hear him, because that’s all you can hear when you’re watching it on TV. I’m sure you guys have watched some games since leaving Florida. Do you hear the Vandy guy when you’re on the field?
Logan: Yes. Not pitching. I don’t remember. I remember I threw there my sophomore year, and I remember pitching there, and then on Saturday I remember somebody saying, do you hear that? I’m like, hear what? Then as soon as I heard it, I couldn’t stop hearing it.
Nick: That’s the worst person on the team, the person that lets you know. When you don’t hear it, the person that tells you, do you hear that, and then you can’t stop. That’s all you hear for the rest of the game.
Logan: That’s what I’m saying. Yeah. It was that. That’s exactly what happened. Then from then on, SEC Tournament, any time Vanderbilt’s playing on TV, it’s like that’s all you hear. I didn’t hear it when I was pitching, but I hear it now.
Nick: Do you remember who it was who ruined your life?
Logan: No. I can’t remember. It was probably AJ, honestly.
Andrew: Was AJ that guy? AJ was the jokester on the team for you guys, Logan?
Logan: I mean, you’ll have to ask Brady about that one.
Andrew: All right, Brady.
Brady: He was everything on the team. He was everything on the team. He was the jokester. He was the freshman bully. He was everything in between. If you wanted to get laughs, you can go to AJ. He’s going to mess around. If you wanted to just go complain, you could 100% go to complain to AJ, and he would back you up on it. You could do about anything with him. But if you do catch him on one of the bad days, and you’re a so-called little freshman, you’re going to get picked on. It was good. You got put back in your place. Him and Shore.
Nick: What was that like for you, Brady, coming in as a freshman? That roster, just pitchers with AJ, Dane, Logan, Shaun Anderson.
Nick: Yeah. You had a wealth of experience and some older guys to kind of lean on when you first got in.
Brady: Yeah. So, I was like extremely fortunate to have all those guys, especially Shore and all the guys. They brought me under their wing quick. They didn’t even have to say anything really. You could just watch them. You just watched them work, and you learned so much. I still do things daily in my daily life that they did when I was there at Florida, so they taught me an incredible amount, and I’m very thankful for all of them.
Andrew: Brady, I heard a story, and I told Nick this last year, but I have to ask you about this. With you and Jackson. I have a good friend of mine who watched you guys play in Lexington, and he had you guys sign a Baseball American magazine, and Jackson drew a greater sign between you and him. Have you heard that story?
Brady: Yeah. I’ve seen it multiple, multiple times. It’s really cute, because you go to sign. There’s also a baseball card that me and him are on, so I go to sign. The guy asks me, sign this card, and it’s got Jackson’s ugly signature, and then a big giant alligator mouth, greater sign, covering half my face, because he’s better than me. That’s what he says. That says greater than Brady. Then I signed my little name at the bottom right, and the whole card’s ruined, and he thinks it’s funny.
Nick: The whole card’s ruined.
Andrew: I had a friend tell me that, and I told Nick that. He said, that is Jackson and Brady’s relationship.
Brady: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Huge joke. I see it all the time. The guys always ask me. They’re like, what is this? I’m like, it’s another story for another day.
Nick: They couldn’t be any more different either. Brady is small town guy, likes outdoors, hunting, fishing, and Jackson is like if you were casting a movie for like a frat boy at a college.
Brady: Oh yeah.
Nick: You’d cast Jackson. I’m just like, I don’t know how that works, but it works.
Brady: Absolutely. Big time frat guy, JK.
Nick: Big frat guy.
Andrew: I got a question for you guys, and this is just off the hip. I have an idea of what you guys are going to say. You guys seem very honest, so I want to ask you guys this. Did you guys see Pete being what Pete Alonso is now? I mean, we all knew Pete could hit monster homeruns and was a monster guy, but what he did last year was special.
Logan: Yeah. I mean, like you said, we all knew what he could do. He showed that for three years at Florida. Honestly, I feel like you can never really … What he did last year was, I mean, that was historic. You can’t, it doesn’t matter who you are or how good you are in college, you never can expect that from somebody. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. He just took off. It was so cool and so fun to watch and follow. Proud to call him a friend and a teammate. It’s pretty cool. That’s a season that he’ll be able to look back on, his family will be able to look back on, and just really be in awe of how impressive it was. It was incredible.
Andrew: I’ve never been able to meet Pete, so I’m going to ask both of you guys this. Nick’s told me a lot of stories about Pete. Is he genuinely that laidback?
Logan: Yeah. He’s a character, man. I mean, you talk about one of the, like just a true character. All of his interviews, he kind of gets known now for his interviews and some of his verbiage that he uses and just how genuine. I think in college he would do the same stuff, but he would just get ripped to shreds for it, because it was just funny. It was entertaining. College is all about winning and how the Florida program is run. When I was there, I remember my junior year against Miami we beat them on Friday night, and he said in a postgame interview something about Miami had it coming for them or something. Sully about ripped him to shreds for saying that.
Nick: Are you reading my stories? He said that Friday night, and I looked at John Hines at the time, and I was like, I’m not going to be able to talk to Pete for a little while. I’m like, that’s absolutely going in my story, and Pete’s probably not talking to me for a couple weeks.
Logan: Yeah. Because we get on the bus, or maybe the next day or something, and Sully’s just like, you lit a fire under them and blah, blah, blah. But like now he’s still the same guy, and now he’s just on a lot larger platform and people love him. He’s the face of the Mets, which is pretty incredible with the amount of talent and MVPs and scions that they have on that team. It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun.
Andrew: Was it intimidating at first for you, Brady? You were a younger guy when he was there. What was kind of your first impressions of Big Pete?
Brady: I walked into Florida at 176 pounds. With maybe one thing of facial hair.
Nick: What were you wearing, catcher’s gear?
Brady: Yeah. So, this little kid from Eustis, Florida walks into this Space Jam looking Pete Alonso with forearms the size of my head. I was a little intimated. That was another one on that 2016 team that I had was Pete Alonso. That team was special. To watch him, obviously, just like all the pitchers too, watch him work and see how. Just to watch him. It was awesome to watch him. He was always sweating through everything, because he was working so hard. He was such an awesome guy. Another guy that you could always walk up to and get a laugh from. Very fortunate for him as well.
Andrew: I think the one photo that I can never get out of my head is him with his chest, his hairy chest, and Gatorade being poured all over him when he hit the homerun.
Logan: That’s Pete to a tee. He was always, like Brady said, it didn’t matter if we had like 20 minutes of practice or three hours of practice, he looked like he just got out of a shower.
Logan: It was unbelievable. It’s like he goes out there for early work to take ground balls and comes back in, and he’s soaked. It’s like, dude, did you just run through the sprinklers? What’s going on?
Brady: Managers are like, what the hell did you do?
Andrew: They hated Pete because of all the uniforms he went through. Nick, I know that Brady just touched on what you wanted to ask him about, that 2016 team.
Nick: Yeah. So, I think my first year covering Florida was 2013, so I’ve seen some really, really good baseball players, yourselves included, some good teams. I want you guys to be honest. Brady, you were on both teams. Logan, just one. Which team was better, 2016 or 2017?
Brady: I knew you were going to ask this.
Nick: Listen, I’m just the messenger. The people want to know questions. I have the opportunity to ask the questions for the people. That’s all.
Andrew: There were so many Major Leaguers on that 2016 team.
Nick: That 2016 team is just like All-Stars all over it.
Logan: That’s the difference.
Brady: Yeah. I mean, the 2017 team was better, because we won, but that 2016 team was scary good. If you write that on a piece of paper, and you look at the names, I obviously didn’t play back in whenever, but I don’t know if there’s a better team. That was ridiculous. The pitching rotation that we had, and then the hitters that we had was unbelievable. But 2017 we won it all, and so I guess that kind of answers that. Like I said, that ’16 team was scary.
Andrew: Nick was running through some of the names for me, and I’m just going to run through some of the names with you guys real quick. You guys know it, but just for our listeners. You had yourself, Logan, yourself, Brady, Jackson, Alex Faedo. You had Shaun Anderson, Dane Dunning coming out of the bullpen, and he has a chance to be in the big leagues here soon. You guys had Pete Alonso on the team. You guys had All-Stars after All-Stars, guys that were going to be, all of you guys are going to be in the Major Leagues here soon. That’s just incredible in college baseball these days.
Nick: India, Liput, Guthrie, the Goat himself, Blake Reese.
Andrew: That’s just insane.
Brady: You had Dane Dunning in relief.
Nick: That’s the crazy thing too. Dane’s coming out of the bullpen
Logan: You didn’t even mention Puk.
Andrew: Rookie of the Year candidate.
Logan: Probably one of the best pitchers.
Brady: Kirby Snead.
Nick: Scott Moss. Yeah, Kirby.
Brady: That’s a lot of possible big leagues.
Logan: It’s almost scary the amount of talent that we had. One of the biggest questions that I get from other guys that I’m playing with in pro ball or playing against is like how did you guys not win it in ’16? That’s where you look at it, and you go, ’16-’17, what was the difference? If you look at the depth chart, I would say that ’16 had way more talent, but that doesn’t always win championships. The sole example of that is we didn’t win it. We didn’t even win a game in Omaha in ’16. They went all the way and won it in ’17. That’s why baseball is so fun, and that’s why sports are so fun is that it doesn’t always, just because you have the best talent on a depth chart doesn’t always mean that you’re going to be able to produce championships year in and year out.
Andrew: Have you guys experienced anything like Omaha? I know Minor League parks are a little different. It’s not as big of an atmosphere. I mean, Omaha’s special for you guys. Will you guys ever, you think, experience that until you get to the big league level?
Brady: Probably not.
Logan: I don’t think. No.
Brady: No. ’17 I had I don’t know how many LSU fans that were on top of me.
Nick: The entire stadium. I remember going to a press conference, and me and Kendall Rogers were sitting next to each other, and then there was like 25 writers from Baton Rouge. I just look over. I’m like, it’s just me. They really travel for LSU.
Brady: I don’t know how many Gator fans there was, but there was, like if you did an overhead view, there’s a little orange and blue, and then there was purple and gold wrapped in 17,000 circles. They were all hating the Florida Gators. They were all very loud.
Andrew: That’s LSU for you, right there in general. I say that about Omaha, because I just feel like college sports in general are just so special because of that atmosphere. When you think about baseball growing up, obviously you think about getting to the big leagues, but you think about getting to Omaha too. That’s just so special. It’s like that city shuts down for baseball.
Logan: Yeah. My dad has friends in Omaha, a high school friend in Omaha, and every year, the two years that we went, we would get together with him, and he would make us dinner. That’s all they do. Those two weeks that the World Series is going on, that’s it. That’s the whole city of Omaha is all about the College World Series. I think that’s why you go to college. That’s why you want to go to a major university, and that’s why you want to compete at places like Florida, Vanderbilt, LSU, and all these other schools that are there year in and year out, for that reason, to pitch in the College World Series.
I mean, I remember I was there. My mom took me to the College World Series as a fan when I was in, I think it was my sophomore year of high school. It was the first year at TD Ameritrade, and I watched Sonny Gray pitch against Florida. That’s actually when I bought my first Florida hat was after that game. We sat right behind home plate, and there was nothing like it. That was kind of my first taste of Omaha. Then fast forward four years later, and I’m throwing opening night there against Miami, and it’s just back to that question you had earlier of have you experienced or will you experience anything like Omaha, until you get to the big leagues. There’s no way. Pitching in front of 30,000 people opening night, that’s something that I’ll look back on for the rest of my life, no matter if I’m in the big leagues or whatever else I’m doing. That was a highlight of my baseball career for sure.
Andrew: That’s something you get to tell the kids about.
Logan: Yeah. Without a doubt.
Nick: Might have been my fault, Logan. The first time I ever went to Omaha was 2017, so it’s probably me. I’m the good luck charm. Sorry I didn’t go out there in 2016. Got to talk to my boss about sending me out there a year earlier. I was going to ask what your guys’ favorite memory is. I’m sure it’s both Omaha, so I’ll switch a little bit.
Obviously, Brady, I think, was born with orange and blue running through his veins, but how does a kid from Minnesota even get on Florida’s radar? How were you seen? I know you and AJ kind of probably played against each other a little in travel ball and growing up, but how were you even seen by Florida, and how’d you end up in Gainesville?
Andrew: Hold on, before you do that. The man’s a good baseball player. That’s how he got on Florida’s radar. Come on, Nick. Respect the man a little bit.
Nick: Coon Rapids, Minnesota isn’t really in Florida’s recruiting backyard.
Logan: Yeah. No. I kind of recruited myself, for lack of better words. I think it was my sophomore year, headed into my junior year. No, freshman year going into my sophomore year. I was fortunate enough to play on the area code. I was on the area code team as like an underclassman. I got like a generic letter from Florida, as I did from a bunch of universities, just from going to events or whatever. It wasn’t like personalized to me, by any means. I was like, you know what, I really liked watching Florida in the World Series. I just got a letter from them, so I’m just going to call.
I remember I called. I think I called the baseball offices asking for Sully, like every day for like two weeks. Then finally they put me through to him, and I was talking to him. We kind of started building a relationship just over the phone. Then they ended up flying out to watch me pitch in Long Beach at area code games, and Craig Bell saw me throw a bullpen and one inning, and I think I only threw like nine pitches in the inning. So, they literally only saw me throw like probably 30 pitches total, and then offered me a scholarship.
I honestly don’t know why they offered me a scholarship, because I wasn’t, when you’re talking about area code games and some of the guys that they’ve produced over the years, I wasn’t by any means somebody that jumped off the table. I never really have been from a stuff standpoint. So, I really don’t know why they offered me a scholarship, but I’m happy they did. Gave me a chance to come down there and compete there. That’s kind of how that happened.
Nick: You just wore them down.
Brady: I think it worked out.
Logan: Yeah. At the end of the day, I wanted to pitch in the SEC, and I wanted to pitch out of Minnesota. My senior year, my first start my senior year was like 32 degrees and snowing. I was like, I got to get out of the cold and get into some warmer weather.
Nick: Brady, snow is what happens when it’s really cold, and it rains. Then the rain kind of freezes, and it forms something different, and then it sticks on the ground.
Brady: Yeah. Yeah.
Andrew: My question for both of you guys is this. We just talked about that 2016 team. Baseball, you guys unfortunately always get the raw end of the deal on scholarships, but how in the world does Sully recruit a roster that is that good? Nowadays you want to play early. Everyone’s so focused on how quick they can be that Friday night guy. How in the world did Sully do that? Guys try to explain that to us, just how Sully is able to build that year in and year out, that roster of talented big leaguers from top to bottom.
Logan: Go ahead, Brady.
Brady: Well, he got a lot of good guys to recruit. Obviously, Craig Bell runs around, and Sully runs around, and they do it together. I’m not sure about guys like Anderson and Dunning and all those guys, but, for example, me and Jackson, obviously, weren’t supposed to go to Florida. That’s just two of the numerous guys that were there during that team. Jackson’s obviously going to Clemson at the time, and then he switched over to Florida.
Sully, I remember Sully saying, we got you a roommate. It’s some skinny right-hander that throws like you that was supposed to go to Clemson. I was like, whatever. Then that’s when I showed up to spring’s complex to move back in with a laundry basket full of clothes, a camo sheet, and a lamp. He was kind of confused. He went from Charlotte to where I’m from in a big hurry. I think it all just worked out. There’s a lot of players that were recruited and made it to school. Then, obviously, once we got all together it was super special.
Andrew: What about you, Logan? You were with a talented group as well. AJ, Alex, all you guys were on that roster together as well.
Logan: Yeah. I don’t know how he does it, honestly. I mean, every year, looking back the past years, look at the teams that Florida’s had the past 10 years. Zunino and Paco Rodriguez and Hudson Randall and all those guys. Brian Johnson still pitching in the big leagues. DeSclafani’s still pitching. It’s incredible what he’s been able to do as far as recruiting goes, especially with the guidelines, with the NCAA only granting 11.7 scholarships to fit 30 guys.
Nick: It’s ridiculous.
Logan: It’s crazy. In my class alone, we were supposed to have Tyler Danish, who pitched in the big leagues, and Christian Arroyo, who’s in the big leagues too. On one of my unofficials, Lance McCullers was there and guys like that. It’s just like they recruit the best. They recruit the best players and somehow figure out a way to find players that should be first-round picks and somehow aren’t, and then they end up at school and have really successful careers. I’ve said this before about Sully and about the Florida program. You don’t really have a choice but to be successful, especially if you have goals and plans to play professional baseball and play in the big leagues. It starts in Gainesville. If you look at the track record from a pitching standpoint, it’s incredible.
A lot of it is peer learned. I learned so much from watching my peers and being around teammates and picking each other’s brains and that type of thing. It’s just a great overall atmosphere that’s produced there. A lot of times it starts with upperclassmen. There’s guys like, when I was a freshman, Carson Whitson and Keenan Kish were kind of a the two guys that kind of took me under their wing who were seniors and both been to Omaha and were kind of the leaders of that team when I showed up on campus as a freshman. So, that’s kind of something that I took to heart and really tried to do throughout my career was try to be a leader and try to be a good example to the guys coming in and try to make an impact on their lives, not just on the field, but off the field as well. I hope that tradition of upperclassmen being good influences on the young guys is still going on there, which I’m sure it is. It’s pretty special.
Andrew: You just named a World Series winner in McCullers. A guy in Christian Arroyo who’s playing in the big leagues. That team could have been ridiculous. Good grief.
Nick: I think Preston Tucker’s little brother was supposed to be in Brady’s class, or would have been the same time.
Brady: Yeah. Tuck was in my class. Whitford was in my class. Lot of guys. Unreal.
Andrew: I love watching Minor League baseball. I feel like watching Minor League baseball, I’m a Braves fan, sorry, guys, but you see these guys go through it. I watch it on a daily basis, and I tell Nick, this guy should have been at Florida. He’s like, yeah, I know, tell me about it. It’s just like, good grief. Brady, I have a question for you. Logan, this goes for you as well. In spring training, give us a day to day. What is a day like in spring training for you guys?
Brady: Definitely, are we talking about big league camp?
Nick: Brady, you were just in big league camp this year, right?
Andrew: Yeah. Give it to us.
Brady: Yeah. So, it was definitely different than the Minor Leagues. It was a little bit more relaxed, and guys just knew what to do. The veterans had been doing it for a long time, so they had their routine. It was really nice. You just got in there. You got your work in and noted all the extra work, and then you got out of there. On the Minor League side, you’re there for a lot longer. Just a lot more reps. I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot. Going up to some of the veteran guys that are there that have pitched forever and learning from them is kind of just like it was at Florida. Just learning from the older guys. I feel like you can always do that, just kind of watch what they do and see the little cues that make them better and put those into your repertoire as well. It was really nice. I really enjoyed it, and it sucked that it got cut short. We’re working through that.
Andrew: Who’s the toughest guy you had to face?
Brady: Some guy, Mike Trout.
Andrew: He’s pretty good.
Nick: Who’s that? Is it a rookie?
Andrew: He’s pretty good.
Brady: I think some rook.
Andrew: Logan, what about you? Who’s the toughest guy you’ve had to face so far?
Logan: I faced Trout back in …
Nick: Are we still talking about fishing? What are we talking about, guys?
Logan: Yeah. No. I got a start against the Angels back a couple years ago in spring training when I was with Oakland. I think it was, I was in big league camp in 2018, but the year before that, so it was my first spring training. There was like the last game of spring training, I think they didn’t want, because the A’s always played the Angels the first series of the year, so they didn’t want to start any of their big league guys. I was supposed to pitch, and they were like, Shore, you’re starting with the Angels today. I’m like, cool. They’re like, it’s at their place, and it’s their A lineup, so just be ready. I’m like, sweet. So, I faced Trout and Calhoun and all those guys. It was a pretty cool experience, especially being my first. That was my first spring training. It was definitely an interesting experience, to say the least, especially that early on in my professional career. It was pretty fun.
Andrew: You guys like to have a competition, so give it to me. What’d you guys do against Trout?
Andrew: Did you strike him out, Logan?
Logan: Yeah. I struck him out.
Andrew: What’d you do, Brady?
Brady: Popped up the center.
Andrew: Did it land in the field or over the field?
Brady: It was in the field. It came off the bat hot, and I got real scared.
Andrew: Obviously, you guys are a lot better players than Nick and I ever will be, but was there that …
Nick: Speak for yourself. I have many Little League trophies in my parents’ house.
Andrew: Okay. What was the moment when you were on the rubber, and you looked? I mean, a lot of people consider Mike Trout to be the best player right now in the game. Was there that, okay, I’ve made it kind of moment? I’m here kind of moment.
Brady: I just didn’t look at him.
Logan: Yeah. I tried to not really pay attention to who was in the box, because he’s got his kind of, everyone knows Mike Trout’s stance.
Logan: Especially being a baseball fan. When you see it, when you see him in the box, it’s like it was kind of surreal, because the year before that I’m watching him on TV and watching him do what he does, which is just incredible. Then seeing him in the box it was like this is weird. Then, obviously, to get the result that I got and Brady got, I think at least for me it was like, I can pitch at this level. It was kind of an experience where sometimes you look at guys like that, and it’s like they almost seem like you’re so far away, but then when you get there, and you’re competing, and you’re in the moment, it’s like I don’t think I’m as far away as I think I am. Especially for me being my first spring training, I’m like I’m still thinking the big leagues was lightyears away, but in reality it’s a small gap in separation between talent.
The thing that separates the guys that do it for 10 years and the guys that don’t end up making it is just being consistent. The guys that do it for 10 years are consistent every single day, and they just do it every time. The talent separation is very small between guys that are playing in the big leagues and guys that might be in AA or AAA. It’s an interesting situation, to say the least.
Andrew: I know you guys are both very busy, so I’m going to give you guys one more question, and then I’ll let Nick have it. Minor League park. What’s the coolest place you guys have played?
Brady: Mine was probably Frisco.
Logan: I was about to say. If you didn’t say Frisco, I was going.
Andrew: What is it about Frisco?
Brady: They got a pool in right field.
Logan: Yeah. Lazy river.
Brady: You get done conditioning, and you go hope in the pool.
Andrew: That’s pretty neat.
Brady: The fans are all out there in the pool.
Andrew: Either of y’all give a little bomb to the pool? Either of you give a homerun ball to the pool?
Brady: Oh, no.
Brady: I don’t think I pitched there.
Logan: No. Yeah. I threw there twice when I was in the Texas League. It’s the coolest place ever. It’s always packed. The only problem is it’s a billion degrees there, especially in the middle of July.
Andrew: That’s cool. I haven’t heard of Frisco. I’m a Southern League guy, so our big park is Birmingham. You guys need to ask Dane about Birmingham when you all talk to Dane again, because Birmingham is awesome.
Nick: There’s nothing good in Birmingham.
Brady: I think I’ve watched a game there or something. It is a nice park.
Andrew: It’s always packed. Never not packed. I think they’ve had two straight years of sellouts. For a Minor League park, that’s pretty good.
Logan: Yeah. That’s amazing.
Andrew: Anything else for them, Nick?
Nick: Yeah. One more. I think Logan can answer this. Was Bader probably the guy Sully got on the most? I remember hearing Sully yell at Bader, being able to hear him up in the press box. I’m not even close to the field and hearing him. Is that the guy that got Sully’s ire the most?
Logan: Well, I was with Bader for two years. I think, I mean, that’s a tough question. I think if you asked Pete, he would say Sully got him the most. I think if you asked AJ, AJ would say Sully got on him the most.
Nick: Depends on who you ask. They might say themselves.
Logan: Yeah. I think if you asked Dane, Sully got on him the most. I think if you ask Kirby, Sully got on him the most. I think. Yeah. I mean, Bader did get it pretty bad too. No comment for the rest of us.
Andrew: Brady, you were laughing. You were laughing like there’s more to this story, so I want to hear this.
Brady: I was just a freshman. I didn’t really …
Nick: If I can hear it in the press box, that means you’re getting it. He’s chewing some ass, if I can hear it in the press box, so that’s why I brought Bader up.
Logan: Yeah. I mean, everybody got it. I got it. Brady got it.
Brady: Except Shore. Shore never got it.
Logan: No. I mean, maybe not as bad. I did get, I think it was my sophomore year, I threw against Mississippi State in Starkville. This was right after the arrest scandal, and I won’t name names with that. It was already heightened awareness for people on the team, and I remember I gave up like a three spot in the third or something, and I came in the dugout, and Sully said I lost my Friday night job. Then said I was terrible. Then I ended up throwing a complete game, and then he said he was using it to fuel the fire, put fuel on the fire. So, everybody got it, but some guys got it worse than others. I think it worked in some ways.
Nick: In some ways.
Logan: I think it worked in some cases.
Brady: You definitely didn’t want to be yelled at by Sully.
Andrew: I remember hearing a story about Bader telling Sully one day he would just go home or something like that after batting practice one day. Nick, it might have been you that told me the story, that you heard it in the press box. Sully was getting after Bader, and Bader was like, I’ll just go home.
Nick: He was chirping at him during BP, and Bader walked off. Oh, it was savage. Just walked off and goes, then don’t put me in the lineup. I was like, that’s not happening. Good luck. That’s argument one right there. He hit third and played left field that day, so that’s how that argument ended.
Andrew: Lordy. Brady, Logan, listen, we really appreciate it. You guys don’t know how much fun it was for us. We hope you guys enjoyed it just a little bit. We really appreciate you guys and appreciate you guys bringing a little bit of normalcy to this kind of unprecedented world we’re living in right now.
Logan: Absolutely. We appreciate it. It was a good time.
Andrew: Yeah, guys. Good luck this year, man. I think I speak for Nick and everyone else, we’re rooting for you guys, even though you guys are gone from Florida. Nick and I root for you guys and are pulling for you guys to be in the big leagues. Just don’t beat my Braves, man.
Nick: Beat the brakes off them.
Andrew: My heart’s on my Braves, man. If you guys get to the big leagues, let us win a World Series, please. Please?
Nick: He’s the worst.
Andrew: Lordy. Guys, you guys take care. Be safe in this. Hopefully we’ll get you guys back on here sometime.
Logan: Any time. Appreciate you guys.
Brady: Absolutely. Sounds good.