Thank you for an amazing 2013

12/31/2013 12:59 PM - Devo

DEVONTEEPLEINDYPERSPECTIVE.jpgWith 2014 only hours away, I would like to thank everyone who has made this an unforgettable year.

An unprecedented year in sports directly relates to a plethora of stories that range from MLB to the constantly evolving, yet underappreciated Independent Leagues. Those stories aren't possible on this site without making some great friends and colleagues along the way. Some I have been working with closely since 2006, others I've just recently met.

I apologize if I miss anyone along the way.

(In no specific order)

Maury Brown, The Biz of Baseball, Gary Armida, FullCountPitch, Bob Elliot, The Canadian Baseball Network, Lynn and Liz Lashbrook, SMWW, MLB, Sportsnet, Implants, Cyber Tracks, El Hefe, Mrs. Hefe, Chris Dalley, Ken Conte, Chris Del Rio, Jim Blowers, Rob Ramos, Mark Healey, Tony Davis, Matthew Coller, Alexis Brudnicki, Josh Booty, Scott Radinsky, Peter Kirk, Ryan LaPensee, Donald Brandt, Miles Wolff, Andrew Schmidt, Tim Ferguson, Brian Essery, The Pecos League, The Atlantic League, FOX Sports, Chris Colwell, Gilberto Herrera, MVP National Sports, Kevin Glew, Cooperstowners in Canada, Ivan Cruz, Joey Hawkins, York College, Nick Harlan, Brian Walth, Lisa Menke, Northeastern University, USC Marshall School of Business, University of Richmond, Nick Kappel, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chris Herren, The Herren Project, Go Project Purple, Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, Barb Berezowski, Stu Kirsch, Scott Crawford, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Gregg Zaun, The Zaun Foundation, Infinity Pro Sports, Elle Andra-Warner, Ross Macpherson, Career Quest, Matt Mc Dermott, John Dittrich, Monty McNair, Alan Schwartz, Crowd Hitter, Nicole Bradley, 8NINE Agency, Ari Kaplan, Nello Gamberdino, Pieter Good, Patrick Salvi, Michael Silva, Mike Silva Media, Daniel Stern, Chris Luther, James King, Larry Richards, Road to the Show Productions, Peter Bean, Bob Wirz, American Association, Can-Am League, Frontier League, Orsi Public Relations, Tommy Bahama

All the best in 2014!

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective, December 29, 2013

12/29/2013 1:10 PM - Devo

DEVONTEEPLEINDYPERSPECTIVE.jpgWelcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

  • It's unfortunate, but another independent team has ceased operations. The Loudon Hounds of the Atlantic League announced that they would forgo operations for the 2014 season. Interim Chairman and CEO Mark Stavish commented on the situation.

    “The Hounds are a tremendous brand and have a bright future. Unfortunately with delays in construction on the stadium and not wanting to begin in a temporary facility, we are unable to field a team for next season.

    We continue to make significant progress and The Hounds will keep our fans appraised of all developments.

    Our top goals are to build a stadium and have a plan to develop an organization that is strong financially for the long-haul. Ultimately, we want a team on the field that is highly competitive and one that all of Loudoun and our community can be proud to support.”

    Time will tell if this becomes a reality.
  • Brett Tomko is a 14-year MLB vet. He's won 100 games and has appeared in over 1,800 innings. Since last appearing for the Texas Rangers in 2011, Tomko has been a part of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds minor league teams. Upon being released by the Reds, Tomko joined the York Revolution of the Atlantic League with the hopes of getting back to the Bigs. In his first full season with the Revolution, Tomko went 4-8 with a 4.98 ERA with 90 strikeouts in 124 2/3 innings. At 41 a MLB comeback is unlikely, but Tomko signing a minor league deal with the purpose of assisting up and comers is a possibility. Bypass a comeback, and I could see a future in coaching. If will be his decision to make that choice.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Interview with Missouri State Bears infielder Joey Hawkins

12/27/2013 8:37 AM - Devo

Joey Hawkins.jpegEvery athlete, no matter the skill or ability, has goals and is determined to make those dreams become a reality. Joey Hawkins is one of those people who created his own path, and is determined to make the most of his opportunities.

Hawkins, who is from Whitby, Ontario, has already accomplished more than some ever do. And that is a testament to his hard work and determination.

I had the please of speaking with Joey, and during our conversation, we bridged the gap between two generations of Canadian athletes. While we may be thousands of miles apart, and separated by countries, the universal baseball language allowed us to discuss his past, present, and future goals, which I am certain he will fulfill.

The GMs Perspective: Originally from Whitby Ontario, you were drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2011. You didn’t you sign with the Royals, but decided to accept a scholarship to Missouri State, a Division 1 NCAA School. Why?

Joey Hawkins: My senior year in high school I started playing on Team Canada, and travelling with the Ontario Blue Jays quite a bit. I had always been a pretty good player growing up, but I was undersized and not the greatest hitter. They looked at me, more or less, as a defensive guy. I ended up having a decent spring and ran well for the scouts, and played good defense, ultimately I was rewarded by being drafted by the Royals.

I knew I wasn’t ready for professional baseball both physically and mentally. I chose to get my education paid for and started a new chapter in my life.

GMs: Talking to other pros, the part about not being ready physically or mentally is true is most cases.

JH: Getting a little taste of it playing on team Canada really opens your eyes. Playing in the instructional league and extended spring going up against some pro teams, you realize it’s a grind, and you really have to be ready for it. Being realistic is the main thing.

GMs: What are you currently taking in school and what are your plans once your college career is over?

JH: I’m majoring in sports administration with a minor in business. Whenever I’m done playing I’d like to stay in the game, whether it’s in scouting, or coaching. I’d much rather stay in the business side of sports. I’m really intrigued by player trades, free agency, and follow minor league baseball a lot.

GMs: What is your current role on the team and how do you see your junior and senior seasons shaping up

JH: I came in as a freshman. Our team was very talented made it to the Miami Regionals. Even though I didn’t play too much, it was an eye-opener. Last year I played third base as a sophomore. Despite having an up and down year, we were in the Top 25 for a little bit, unfortunately we weren’t able to hold on.

Coming into this year I really want to have a successful year as a team, I think we have a lot of good pieces in place. I’ve been nominated as team captain, and moved back to shortstop as well.

My goal is to lead by example.

GMs: What is the biggest difference you find from baseball in Canada to baseball in the US

JH: The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how competitive it is. Everyone at this level (Division 1) is really good. You’ve gotta come to play everyday. Some days back home you wouldn’t have the best competition, but here, whether it’s at practice when your competing against your teammates, everyone is very capable at any given time.

GMs: How were you, as a Canadian, accepted when you stepped on campus for the first time?

JH: I got along well with all my teammates and other athletes on campus. They looked at me and saw someone who works hard. Playing for the Ontario Blue Jays you’re taught to work hard and have a good attitude.

I didn’t have the best abilities when I got here, and wasn’t the best player or recruit, but I came to work everyday and I know everyone appreciated it.

GMs: Were they familiar with the caliber of baseball with Baseball Canada or Team Ontario?

JH: We play the Blue Jays every fall, so I got a chance to play against Missouri State three times when I was on the Blue Jays. The Jays are very well known, so is Baseball Canada’s reputation. They have produced great players, and my teammates are familiar with them also.

GMs: I understand you played your summer collegiate ball up in my neck of the woods; Thunder Bay. How was that experience?

JH: The Canadians are not too familiar with it. You have to take it the right way. You’re going to be playing in hot weather everyday, in front of a few hundred people at best. Some of the stadiums aren’t the best either.

In my two summers I’ve met some really great people and made friends that I still talk to from all over of the country.

If I was going to give advice to a young Canadian who’s going to play summer collegiate ball, it would be to have fun and cherish each and every opportunity you have to step on that field. You never know when it could be your last.

I played 60 games up in Thunder Bay for the Border Cats. I really enjoyed it and felt like I became a better ballplayer when all is said and done.

GMs: Any suggestions to other aspiring Canadian baseball players looking to take that next step.

JH: I always looked up to other guys in high school. It’s always good to pay attention and have an open-mind. It’s a whole new chapter in your life, it’s not Canada, your mom and dad isn't there anymore, and you can’t go home for the regular holidays.

Guys on my team will be my lifelong friends. I’ve also created some great networking opportunities when it comes to looking for a job in the future.

At the same time, I’m playing the game I love. Whether you hit. 220 or .400, you have to remember that you don’t have many games left.

Have fun doing it, because could it be over at any time.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective, December 24, 2013

12/24/2013 3:03 AM - Devo

DEVONTEEPLEINDYPERSPECTIVE.jpg

Welcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

  • Two-time Winnipeg Goldeyes' MVP Josh Mazzola has been signed for a third season. Manager Rick Forney loves what he brings to the team. “He’s been super productive for us for the two seasons that we’ve had him and I absolutely love his versatility, both offensively and defensively,” Forney said. “I am not sure there are many players in this league that could play every position on the field, with the exception of catcher.” Mazzola, who is known for his versatility, is a solid player who has never hit below .259 in six seasons. He's spent time with the San Francisco Giants organization before joining the Goldeyes in 2012. Last year lead the team with his .293 batting average to go along with 16 home runs and 64 RBI.
  • Former Camden Riversharks pitcher Ryan Kulik has signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies, which includes an invitation to Spring Training. According to the Courier Post, he's reported to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Kulik was drafted in the eighth round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft from Rowan University by the St. Louis Cardinals. Since 2008 he's appeared in 113 games, including 82 starts. He missed most of 2011 and 2012 due to elbow surgery, so when you look at his 2-11 record and 5.83 ERA with the Riversharks, it's very deceiving.
  • Quebec Capitales starting pitcher Karl Gelinas has had his contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies organization, according to the Can-Am League. Gelinas, who is originally from Laval, Quebec, was the Can-Am League leader in wins with 10, fifth in strikeouts with 80, and third with a 2.98 ERA. These numbers are not uncommon for Gelinas. Since being drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 47th round of the 2002 MLB June Amateur Draft from Cegep Edouard Monpetit HS, he's had plenty of experience to back-up this signing by the Phillies. Having made it all the way to Triple-A, Gelinas has proven he's belonged in the game plenty of times. With over 900 innings, and over 160 games (primarily as a starter), he's picked up 59 wins, 41 of them coming with the independent Capitales. His consistency is demonstrated in the numbers. His ERA hasn't been higher than 3.49 in the last four years, and his control is impeccable. Gelinas hasn't walked more than 19 batters in a year since 2011.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

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