Dear Baseball Gods with Dan Blewett
Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development
Dan Blewett – author of, Dear Baseball Gods. YouTuber at Coach Dan Blewett, and Podcaster at Dear Baseball Gods.
On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayer sits down with Dan Blewett
Show Notes: In this conversation, Dan talks about:
- What it is like suffering a partially torn UCL.
- What it was like going through the Tommy John process, not once but twice.
- The mental toll rehabs and chasing the dream has on a guy.
- Being able to accept feedback and learning what clicks with guys.
- How to cope and deal in this world where kids are comparing themselves constantly.
- Standing on the mound and in the batter’s box, what you think and feel matters.
- The transition going from being an athlete to a regular joe.
- and much more.
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Geoff Rottmayer: 00:00:00 On today’s show, we sit down with coach Dan blue it the author, the podcast or a speaker, a YouTuber, a former professional pitcher coat Dan’s had to Tommy jobs. Third dude, which we talk about in other baseball stuff. Welcome to another episode of the baseball and weakening podcast where we dive into the raw unfiltered unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host Jeff rot. Meyer, welcome to the bait ball awakening podcast. I’m Jeff Brown, mine. Today we are speaking with Cote Dan Blewett, Dan and they former professional pitcher who had endured the Tommy John surgery twice, which he had overcome and became the all star after each one. He had very active on YouTube where he puts out great content and thorough check out his YouTube channel code. Dan Blewett. He’s also a former owner of the war bird Academy baseball Academy, which he prided himself and keep the young players, young people. The lesson that he learned along the way. He’s also written two different barks. One called one reason, one called dear baseball guide, which is the great book that I highly recommend. You can find it on Amazon. He also hosts his own podcast. Dear baseball guys, a well rounded guy. Dan, how are you sir?
Dan Blewett: 00:01:34 Hey Jeff, thanks for having me on the show man. I appreciate it. [inaudible]
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:01:37 yeah, you know, listen, Dan, you know, I, I originally reached out to you after I read your, your book called dear baseball gods, a book that highly recommend you combine it on Amazon, but you wrote that and I, and I appreciate the honesty in it and I want to get into some of that today. Um, but let’s just kind of start from the beginning. Let’s start with you. In high school. You, you’re talking about your high school day. What would that like for you, the young ball player and then we can kind of get into some of the emergencies that you went through.
Dan Blewett: 00:02:15 So yeah, in high school, I think a lot of kids go through a lot of stuff. I think it’s probably harder to be a high schooler today than it was back then because of the social media pressures. There’s a million ways you can compare yourself to other players now. You know, it doesn’t matter how good you are, you can find a hundred kids better than you on Instagram or on Twitter or wherever. It’s, I think it’s probably really difficult to be a high schooler today. But you know, back then I was a bright kid. I was really interested in baseball. I was always playing in my backyard. So I brought that with me in the high school and I had a good arm. I was, uh, a freshman who probably threw in a low eighties. Um, but I hurt my elbow and my freshman year, um, or I guess it was my sophomore year and after that I just had arm pain the rest of my high school career. So I think I always had this, this really powerful arm. Um, but it really just didn’t work for the rest of my high school career. So I, if I, if I did throw in the low eighties as a freshman and I was never on the radar gun to corroborate that, but, um, uh, an umpire one day from a prominent high school conference told me that I was one of the hardest going eight graders he’d, he’d seen, um, you know, from that I just, that was like my peak almost. And as a senior in high in high school, I threw 78 to 81. I touched an 82 or an 83. Um, and so for me, high school baseball was fun. I was a, I was a hitter. Um, I played right field and I was, uh, a very average outlet or at best. Um, but I always just knew in my heart that I was a pitcher, but I just had this really nebulous, weird arm pain. It felt like if you take your bites up, uh, in between the bicep and the tricep, if you just like took a hammer and just like wailed on that for about 10 minutes, that’s kind of how my arm felt every time I fished. And so it wasn’t like I was getting sharp pain, why like couldn’t pitch, but my arm was just like shaking and I could really lifted after I was done after like three innings and it really just made my high school, my high school pitching difficult. Um, I still got a chance to play in college and, uh, and that I started to iron things out when I got there. But, um, for me, high school was a weird time because I was, I was a good player and I was a contributor on varsity. I was on varsity as a sophomore, um, hit a home run of my first at bat, which was maybe one of my only varsity home runs as a short porch APO taco. But, you know, just for me, I got that partial UCL tear as a sophomore and back then you didn’t really know what that was. And, uh, like I said, I just had arm pain the rest of the rest of the way. So, you know, I, I can understand the high schoolers, it’s tough for them to plan out the rest of their life when they play multiple sports. Um, they’re not sure what they want to do. They’re not sure what kind of player they are. They’re not sure who they’ll be at the next level. And, um, I think my only guiding light was I knew I was a pitcher at heart.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:05:18 You know, it’s a natural tendency for us to not want to talk or tell our coach and whenever our arms hurt because while we want to play and we don’t want to be that guy that’s always hurting, that always complaining. But there are times when where, you know, maybe we wanted to have these conversation. What’s tough to do? So, so what’s your take on, you know, did you ever have those type of conversation with your coaches? Um, you know, I’ll just tell you had a partial tear in your, in your UCL. Did you ever have those conversation, you know, or how do you coach your guys in these situations?
Dan Blewett: 00:05:59 Well, for me as a high schooler, so a, my high school coach, John swath, and he’s, he’s now retired. Uh, he was a terrific guy. And you would never, never want to quit a guy through pain. I don’t think I ever just even brought it up. I don’t think it ever occurred to me as, I don’t know why, but yeah, obviously, like I, I came out of the game, uh, it was really early in the, in a season where I heard it and it was in a varsity game and so he knew I hurt my elbow that season, you know, high school season, if you get hurt, you know, even for being out for four to six weeks, that’s like your whole season. Right. Um, so he was aware and then I think just based on my recollection of the timeline, it probably just resolve itself in the fact that high school season probably ended. I don’t think I pitched the rest of that sophomore year and the next year it just felt like crap. But, um, I don’t think I ever did have a conversation with them about it. I don’t know why. I don’t know. Just looking back, there was never a time I pulled him aside. I just didn’t pitch well. And that was, I’m sure part of the reason for it. Um, but yeah, I just, I don’t know it did occur, but for the rest of my life I was just a phenomenal actor that, you know, learning what to not do to tip someone off that you’re hurting. And so I get that mentality. So when I work with pitchers and they’re constantly trying to pull the wool over my eyes, like I’m just looking at her body cues and body language and looking for facial expressions and you try to figure out what pitchers normally do. Cause a lot of us, like for me when I pitched, I was constantly moving my shoulder up. Like almost like I’m doing like a one-armed shrug cause I just didn’t like the way my Jersey sleeve fell down my arm too far. I kind of wanted to pull it up a little bit. So after every pitch, if you watched me, I’m kind of like fidgeting my shoulder, getting my short sleeve the way I wanted it. That was just like a tick of mine. Um, and a lot of pictures have that kinda stuff. So you kind of figure out like what does the picture normally do and what’s out of the ordinary and what’s not. Um, but lots of different times I had teammates or coaches say, Hey, like your arm’s hurting isn’t it? It’s on your arms pruning you, isn’t it? And I’m like, yeah, how did you know? Like I could just tell, cause I think at a point when you’re trying not to touch your arm, you start to look weird too. You’re starting to like, you know, you get like a super bad itch and you’re just like, you people can tell, right? You’re not trying to scratch it. So I don’t know it, it’s a battle because, and I’m sure you know it’s, you don’t want players as a coach who are soft. You don’t want kids who are like, Oh, I’m hurting, I can’t play. I don’t feel well. I can’t play. Like there’s a really, it’s a really fine line of finding a balance between, I am going to push through this from my team and this is something I shouldn’t push to push through and I should tell coach. And it’s a really difficult line to find. And even in pro ball it becomes known which guys are talking, which guys are not. There’s guys that you’ve heard, even the phenomenal pitchers who are five and dive guys, they’ll go fish there five innings and like, ah, I don’t know coach. You’re like my arm, I don’t feel great. And you don’t, you lose respect for those guys because they can’t pitch when they’re not feeling perfect. And the, the, the foundation of a great picture is, and this was wisdom that lots of guys had been been told, is that, you know, if you break your start, your starts up, say your start or your outings into every, into for one time, you feel phenomenal. All your stuff is just great. Your fast is just popping or sliders nasty. You’re just gonna do great that day you’re going to dominate no matter what happens. And then also the other one of the four days, your stuff’s just going to suck. Like your slider’s muddy, your fat will comes out like, nah, it’s just like a grenade and you just, your commands not great. Your arm doesn’t feel good, just like nothing’s good and you’re just probably gonna lose those games even if you battle. But the really good pitchers, what happens is the next two games, out of those four, when you just feel okay, like maybe your slider is not great one day when your fast ball is, maybe your arm just doesn’t feel very good. Maybe you’re just like, I don’t know. You’re feeling out of it. Maybe you’re baffled down a ticker. Two, can you still win on those other two games? Can you still grit through it and find a way to be good when you’re not at your best? And so it’s a really tough balance. And that’s not exactly analogous, but finding out, okay, am I [inaudible] am I not hurt? I don’t feel my best. Can I still be good for my team? Can I still dominate when I’m feeling 87% of myself? Some guys can’t. Some guys just like their five and died. Soon as they’re not 100% anymore, they want to get out of the game. Yeah. And then there’s other other people like me who are like, I’m jogging up this game and I’m reasonably sure I might blow my elbow off today. That’s not good either. Um, so, you know, it is hard and I think as a coach it just comes down to trust because there’s that culture of, and especially in pro ball, you don’t want to be the guy who the front office is always worried about like, Oh, blue attorney, you know, he’s, he’s costing us money. He’s on the DL. Again, you know, he’s workers in other workers’ comp claim, um, where you just get called up somewhere, you just get promoted. You don’t want to be like immediately diving on at the DL. Like, well, why did we bring this guy up? You know, were there, they’re doing their strategy meetings and thinking of who, who can help this ball club, let’s pull them up here. And then you get there and like always gotta go Michelle, great, cool. You know, stripped strategy, meeting wasted. So it just, I think it just comes down to trust and it comes down to the flier too. And I, it’s, it’s, there’s an unfortunately this culture of insecurity that is probably never gonna go away because at the end of the day, the injury concerns and you start to put, you start to, you start to raise an eye at someone who’s constantly complaining of pain. Yeah. So whether it’s, whether it’s real or not, you’re like, dude, are you really hurt? Or you just like kind of like did your arm hurt in the way that my arm hurts? Cause you get 10 guys that’ll have the same pain. If you could measure, you know, like they all have this exact same pain, well eight of them, you know, say eight of them still play to them so they can’t play and four of them can play exactly as well as if they’re healthy and form camp, you know, they play a little bit less. Well there’s just, that’s just how human beings are. So it’s a really good question posed by you. And I think it just comes down to trust. I think that’s all I’ve got.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:12:26 Yeah, I get that man. You know, I dealt with shoulder issues whenever I played a, which kind of played a role in my acne of the game along with, you know, maybe not being good enough, but you know, it, it’s stupid tough. Like you said, you just wanna you just want to advance your game and help your team win. So you stand out. And you mentioned earlier that you had that partial UT usually out there, you know, for the people that are listening that maybe don’t know what that means. Can you explain what, what a parenteral UT usuallyL tear is?
Dan Blewett: 00:12:58 Yeah. So if you don’t know me, I have ligaments that are made of paper Mashay essentially. Um, for all the wonderful genes and qualities my parents stowed upon me, uh, I’ve always had elbow problems. So the UCL is the ulnar collateral ligament that is the one associated with Tommy John surgery. So the UCL just prevents your arm from sort of going back into what’s called the valgus position. Um, so provides stability to your elbow, really just in that one specific way. So if you tear your UCL playing baseball, you can, you can not get a repaired if you want and you’ll pretty much be fine in every other aspect of life. Like you can still bench press and you know, climb a wall. You could like do all these random life things. It’s a very specific ligament to kind of just throwing a ball because of the way your arm goes back. So I had a long relationship with elbow pain. Um, I don’t know why. And one of the assumptions that I want parents and coaches and players to get away from is thinking that there’s this idea of perfect mechanics that if I perfect mechanics I won’t get hurt. Well, there’s lots of big leaders that get hurt. There’s lots of big leaders with phenomenal mechanics and lesser mechanics, but they’re all pretty good mechanics concerned. They can throw a ball 90 plus miles per hour. So it’s hard to define what make good mechanics is. But anyway, yeah, I had a partial tear of that ligament as a sophomore in high school. Another partial tear as a sophomore in college, a full tear the following year as a junior in college and then a nother full tear requiring a second surgery as a 30 year pro player. Um, and then I had continual elbow pain most seasons in between, whether it was just like tendinitis, um, whether it was just like, I dunno, whatever. But once you get operated on, um, and this is something that’s I think sometimes often misunderstood for those who go through surgery. And I know I’m probably have some of my clients who’ve been through surgery that I work with listening to this podcast. Your elbows never the same when you come back, like when they go in and they drill holes in it and they scrape stuff off your bones with a knife and they stitch it to your muscles that happens to come back together. You’re just going to have weird pain there at times that you really can’t explain maybe for the next month or year or the rest of your life, you don’t really know. But I was at a baseball injuries conference and they, you know, I talked to one of the guys who, uh, named Stan Kanzi, super bright, well, Bright’s the wrong word. He’s just like a super smart, bright to me. Like you say that kid, he’s a super, super smart, uh, athletic trainers, formerly of the Dodgers. Um, he’s one of the best minds in baseball injury rehab. But stay in the, I was talking to him, I’m like, Hey, so after my second elbow surgery, I got this weird finger cramping injury. I was out for three weeks. I’m like, I was in the middle of the start and suddenly I like my middle finger just started cramping forward, like making it my fist into a claw. I count on my hand to get around the baseball, like, what’s happening? I’m like, do you think that was related? And I have standards. I’m like, do you think that weird finger injury that they never figured out what it was? It just kind of went away. Do you think that was related to my surgery? Uh, because they took out, you know, a small multiple of my muscle and my forearms to the harvest attendant and stitch in there and he said, listen, once they go in there and they drill and they cut and they stitch your arms, just gonna have weird things happen to it. He’s like, there’s going to be pain that no one’s going to be to explain and say this is what happened. You’re just, your body’s different now because of the holes and the, the, the stitches and all that stuff they drilled and put in there and he’s like, your body is just different than it was. So you’ll probably be fine at some point. But he’s like, they’re just going to be weird stuff that happens that you can’t account for. And I thought that was really good wisdom that no one had really told me in explicit terms prior to that. Because as a, as a, you know, an athlete with any kind of injuries, especially one that requires surgery, you kind of feel like, Oh, I do my rehab and then one day I’m healthy and then I’m good. But really it’s just like your body’s not exactly the same and it’s not to say you’ll always be in pain, but you just might have random weird bouts of it that don’t really have a cause that a doctor can’t really explain why and that you yourself can’t be like, well I did everything right and yet my arm hurts today for no reason. Like what’s going on. So I know it was a longer answer than you asked for, but um, but yeah, elbow pain is a weird thing. Shoulder pain is a weird thing. And navigating the whole situation when you have pain as a parent or as a player, as a coach, it can be really difficult because it can be one of those things where, and I got, I’ve been going through this with a couple young players that I work with who are injured with it. They’ve expected the rehab to sort of progress in a linear fashion. Like all right, I’m at month nine, I should be feeling better than I was in month. And, but then in month 10 they feel worse than they did a month six. And then a month 12, like I’m supposed to be cleared here, like months. Well I’m watching major league pitchers back in the game, dicing up guys on TV, but I can’t throw a ball 180 feet and my arm hurts when I sleep and it feels good. Some days I’m terrible. Other days like what’s going on Dan? And I’m like, that’s just unfortunately a part of the problem. Part of the process that goes largely on scene and on talked about, um, you know, the physical therapist, they understand it, that there’s just a lot of like kind of just Pat you Pat your patient on the back and be like, look, it’s just gonna might suck for the next month but we’re going to get through it. Just keep your head up, keep doing your rehab. And in one day it just might miraculously change. And that’s honestly how a lot of the, the rehab has been over all my years of, of doing that.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:18:40 Nice. And I appreciate you sharing that. You know that, that that is a conversation that doesn’t happen a lot, you know, and to be honest with you, I mean, I wasn’t really aware of all that. Now I know I needed, I need to clear jury on my shoulder, but I never had or, or any, any, any sort of dude for that matter. So I can’t really relate. So, so with that, you know, let’s talk about the, the emotional toll, you know, going through rehab and having someone in their corner like you who’d been through a twice and they can relate the thought process, the thought process is that I should be feeling great after I had my third year do my rehab. Um, you know, that’s the thought path that then, you know, maybe that’s not happening. And then there’s this feeling maybe wanting to give up.
Dan Blewett: 00:19:31 Yeah. So, and so I’ve got, I had Tommy John surgery twice, four years apart, and I also had a rehab from partial, the partial tears. Like they’re not a quick fix either. They take, you know, four to six or eight weeks off and then four to six or eight weeks to come back, you know, doing a throwing program and all that stuff. But, uh, with all the surgical rehab, it ends up what really ends up grinding people to a halt and, uh, really derailing them mentally and emotionally is just the, the lack of a reason for what they’re feeling. And, and I had that too, and I had a freak out and my first surgery, and it’s in my book, um, it was like month, like 16 or something. And I was so, I mean that’s month 16 is like you’ve maybe finished the season like you’re way past. What they typically say is a 12 month recovery. Now I’m here to go on record that Tommy John surgery and a lot of these surgeries are not just that, it was 12 months. It’s Walmart. For some people it’s 11 months. For other people at 17 months, for others, 24 months. For others, it just depends on you and your body. It’s, there’s no, they, you know, the median is more like 14 months. Um, so I’m at like 16 months in the winter because I had an August surgery. So I went August to August and then this was like December I think. So like 16 months later, um, I’m just throwing bullpens and my arm just consistently hurts every time out. I’m like, I’m way too far along to be having elbow pain. I’ve been throwing 90 miles per hour again for like eight months now. Like I get eight 90 again. It’s like the eight and a half month Mark. I been throwing 90 for eight months. Why does my elbow hurt? It’s definitely used to it. Like if it was gonna blow out, it would’ve blown out by now. And I just had finally had it and one day I was in this gym at the end of the night and I was like, I’m just going to keep putting weight on this bar and this bar bell and I’m going to keep deadlifting it until my arm just stays on the floor. It’s my arm just pulled out a socket and then I’ll be done with it. So I just kept deadlifting and deadlifting and I was just really pissed and blowing off steam. Didn’t care what happened. Got to like 400 something pounds and then finally just went home. And the next day or week, my arm stopped hurting. And it was, and so you start to look, I’m like, wait, what’s happened here? And it was it that the barbell and the weight pulling my joint maybe like freed up some scar tissue or just had some physical effect on it. Maybe no way of knowing or was it just that I just finally gave up and stopped worrying about it on a daily basis and stop ruminating about it could be that as well. My money’s probably on the second one. Um, but after that I like was pretty much fine. Um, and in the, in the second surgery there was a similar thing where I just, you know, the second one was we knew it was going to be harder because they already had so much surgical trauma in there. They were, you know, drilling a second time, um, putting us, you know, seconds, new ligament in there, they take attendance and they weave it through who these drill holes they put in your elbow. And so we knew it was going to be harder and it was getting, we were planning for it to be a slower pace, longer recovery. And uh, and I just knew that I was going to live with a certain amount of pain or whatever. And after a while it just wears on you. But one day I just, you know, I was just throwing every day with like a small amount of pain from months, like nine to 12 or something. And every day just, I got a little bit of pain. It pisses me off, but I just do my throwing, whatever. And you sort of live with it. And then one day I was, I remember I was just the rolling and then I just was like halfway through my training session I was like, wait, my elbow doesn’t hurt. Was that, did that happen just today? Like when did that happen? And that’s kinda how it is. And I feel like when people are chasing something, whether it’s, you know, they want to be, you know, this a car that is big career goal, like they want to be this, you know, successful writer and they want to be this successful, you know, TV personality, they want to be a successful lawyer or respected, you know, school teacher, whatever it is. There’s never like a, like a banner that you run through like a marathon where I ran through the banner, I’m officially a great teacher, I’m a great, or I’m a whatever. They look great accountants. It’s always just like you kind of slowly get there and then one day you kind of look around and you realize you’re like, wait, I feel like I am that thing I always wanted to be. And it’s kind of the same way with surgical rehab. It’s like, Oh wait, maybe I’m back. Like there was, there wasn’t like a party. Like I didn’t get a hit of Kenyatta and like the new me fell out of it. But it’s just like, wait, I can kind of do all this stuff I used to do and I’m not like in pain anymore. And I’m like, am I here? I feel like maybe I’m here. And that seems to be how it is in life. We look at these celebrities on the web and you know, famous people, we look up to and successful people and you say, wow, I’d love to have what they have and how did they ever get, you know, that level of success and followers and sold so many copies of their books. And it wasn’t overnight for them either. It wasn’t like they just did a thing and suddenly they have a hundred thousand Twitter followers and a hundred thousand books sold and two movie deals. It was still a slow ratcheting up for them to, you know, and then one day they’re like, wait, I have all this stuff going on. This is cool. How did this happen? But you know, you look back at your as a breadcrumbs and it was, Oh yeah, it took me like eight years to do this. So it’s kind of the same. It’s kind of the same thing with rehab I think.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:25:07 Yeah. So actually you had mentioned that you had all the injury despite, you know, all the arm care that you did a, you know, a way, program recovery program, mechanics, you know, whatever it is, you guys still get hurt, you know, so having the perfect mechanics or the perfect arm care doesn’t really equal to not getting hurt, you know, the body, the very tricky thing, you know, knowing, knowing what you know now, do you think you could have, identify certain themes that could have helped you, maybe keep you helping?
Dan Blewett: 00:25:46 Um, well I think you just said there that it has to be introspective and really consider what you’re doing and how it might affect you. So anything that you’re doing, whether it’s, this is my strength training routine, this isn’t my throwing routine, these are my throwing, these are my pitching mechanics. Uh, you know, this is the amount of rest your whole life as an athlete that you plan out it, it needs to have a sound basis. So usually obviously as a young player, you get, you know, your strength routine from a strength coach and a rehab from your therapist and you have all this main guidance that this is what’s worked for other players in your situation with your injury. Uh, so follow this as a template. And from there you start to iterate and say, okay, well this might work a little better for me. Let’s try some of this. This might maybe isn’t working well for me. Let’s do a little less of this. Um, but you have to know your body and you have to have a, you have to be a good scientist about it and try to figure out what variables might be at play. And this is where I think a lot of players go wrong with rehab. And I remember I had one, um, a long time ago kid who just didn’t listen. He was in our facility and um, he was playing catch with his dad and his brace, like throwing a ball across the living room. I heard the latest of the grapevine. Um, and he was prioritizing his weight training at a time when his elbow hurt and he was like pushing really heavy dumbbells and inclined bench presses with him, with his, uh, his community college team and I, and he’s coming to me like, Hey man, my elbow consistently hurts him bro. And I’m like, well, maybe put the 90 pound dumbbells down to like, what’s your priority here? Is it like, is it to get back on the field or is it to be an animal in the weight room? Because if you ask me and I, and you give me all this stuff that you’re doing, here are a couple of red flags that stick out that might be causing some extra elbow pain. It might be these 90 pound dumbbells that you’re pressing on the incline bench press, which might be right for some guys, but it sounds like something is really aggravating your arms. So of all the different things that you’re doing, like you need to be throwing your throwing room, your throwing routine seems fine, your running routine seems fine. Uh, the amount of rest you’re getting seems fine. Most of your workouts seems fine, but here’s a couple red flag exercises that maybe are putting a little extra stress in your elbow at a time when I’m doing a lot, like when you’re throwing again off the mound and throwing hard, your elbow starts to react to more stuff cause there’s more stress put on it. And uh, he didn’t listen to me. He just, he maybe it was like an insecurity where he felt like he had to really push hard in the gym and um, his elbows continued to bother him and he never really got back to what he was. Um, but so it needs to be that mindset of what is your priority? And for me, my, especially my second surgery, the priority was I need to get back on the field and nothing is gonna prevent me from doing that. And I cut out a lot of upper body exercises that I felt were a little more risky for me. And I said, I’m just going to crush it on my lower half and I’m going to give my elbow the best chance to succeed. Here’s my whole training plan and I’m going to continue to revisit this and say, how do I feel like this is working? What could I add without getting a major reaction and what could I subtract that maybe isn’t helping me or maybe is hurting me? So it’s a, it can be a complex process and a lot of stuff is better done with with a team, you know, like a rehab or a a rehab professional and a strength coach. But I was all those people from myself like after awhile and the independent league player, there’s no, you’re not in Arizona rehabbing with your major league game. You know you, you don’t have other people really guiding you through it. So I had to do it all myself. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of obvious questions I asked when I work with new clients or I’m talking with a who’s got pain and it seems like they’ve never asked this question themselves or no one else’s acid for them. And you know, like for example, I had a kid who was doing power cleans with [inaudible] elbow pain and he was only like maybe eight months out of surgery. And I said, well, think about the emotion when you’re doing a power clean. Um, you know, your elbow is getting thrown back into that position with a heavy Barb on your hands. Now our power cleans. The reason you tore your elbow know could help you. Pitchers do power cleans and not have problems. Yeah, sure. But is this potentially a cause of your pain or something that adding stress? We’re now the entire picture and workload is too much. Absolutely. This could be an issue. Let’s back off of this right now and see things improve. And we did and they did improve a little bit. So was that the, the sole reason his all started to get better? No. But it was definitely one variable that was probably adding extra stress. You know, you need to consider your elbow like a glass or any body party. We had like a glass of water and if it gets full with stress, it’s going to spill over and start. You’re going to pain. Well maybe it’s like you can get close to the brim and you’re good, but then the power cleans he was doing was causing the glass to overflow and now he’s got pain. So it’s about just taking it, like I said, being kind of a good scientist and, and really assessing and having someone in your corner, especially if you’re young kid like you know, you know when a lot of it’s over time. So having someone in your corner who can ask those tougher questions and like, look, do you feel like what you’re doing right now? Is this worth the dental risk? What things might be causing you to slow down your rehab? What might be bothering you? Um, and what things could we potentially add that might help outcomes get better faster? So another long answer, but it can be really, they can be really complex. Yeah,
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:31:35 yeah, you’re right. You know that, that the conversation that you have with guys, you know, especially they want to play, you know, the, the, the attention to details matter. But like you said, you’ve got to find a team, people that can help you and can ask the tough questions because you don’t know it all. You don’t, I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know, you know, one coach isn’t going to know it all. So it took finding different people to read you out. Two is going to be the key.
Dan Blewett: 00:32:08 Yeah. And it’s so awesome. And it’s a lot of, uh, like in my book I didn’t, and one thing that was, I would say the board’s fun but kind of fascinating about sharing my story in its entirety was that I got to kind of view my career in baseball from like a, a bird’s eye view. And so I didn’t really realize over time, but there were like eight major mentors like coaches and friends who really made me who I was and all of them contributed different and all of them gave me a different sort of piece of my armor to tackle some of the issues that I faced as a player. Um, some were hard on me, some were easier on me and some were, they’re all just different and they all gave me something different. And one of the books that I’m reading right now, why we say reading, but um, I’m an audio book fanatic. I’m listening to Jim general Jim Madison’s audio book called call sign chaos. And he was our secretary of defense for two years before resigning, I guess earlier this year. Um, and one of the things, number one, he is a very, very smart and accomplished man. You can just tell this from the way his book is written. But the biggest thing he talks about, and this was actually my, I was listening to on my commute this morning, he talks about how he got the a this higher level command position. And he, it was a new skill set for him and he didn’t exactly know what the demands of the job would be. Um, and he again, he had to like adapt his skillset. And so he said, all right, well the army or well, he’s Marine, the Marines don’t settle for failure. Whether it was difficult, well it doesn’t matter what the real excuses like things are going to be difficult, it doesn’t matter. So he said, how can I help myself get this skill set faster? So he is just an avid proponent of reading because he says that other men who’ve lived all these experiences in their lives, right? They’re both men and women. I should correct myself. Um, they’ve written their stories down to share with you the experiences and the failures and successes that they had. So as he was talking about getting this new job and needing a new skillset, he said he identified 22 books that he felt like you should read to help prepare him for that job. And undoubtedly every time I read a book I feel a similar way where I picked up a couple of things from someone just like the way they approach a problem or just something that they said. And I picked up a ton from this book by general Mattis, which has been a really good read. I highly recommend it, but he just continues to fall back when his education reading, you know, civil war generals reading uh, Roman history, um, you know Mark is a really, it’s like all this stuff, like he’s super well read and when you’re super well-read he’s, he’s constantly falling back on things other people did in similar situ situations and with, with advice they gave others from their failures in those situations. So I think being well rounded as a player, it’s going to come from your mentors in person. People are going to give you those experiences in person. But I also, one of my biggest regrets as a player and a person, and I’m correcting this now, which is not reading as much when I was younger. Yeah, he doesn’t read as much anymore. I didn’t read voluntarily when I got out of school. Um, but I read a tremendous amount of mostly through audio books now. Um, and I just find that it’s super valuable just finding a new perspective because a lot of these things you just don’t know what you don’t know until, yeah, a light bulb goes off and whether it’s, you know, I like I’m learning things from general matters that are going to apply to my, my business ventures now and my, my coaching ability now. He talks a ton about leadership. I mean, the book is about leadership. Um, and you think, wow, what if I had thought of that, his perspective on this issue back when I was rehabbing my elbow, maybe I would’ve done this. Maybe I was in that. And it’s just sometimes your light bulb goes off and says, Oh yeah, I should probably sit down with myself and maybe write a list of things that are potentially, you know, bugging me, my elbow, whatever it is. So maybe I should do it this way because this, this person did this when his troops were failing. Um, you just never know what thing is going to spark you to change and to see things a different way. And maybe it’s audit your own life in a way that helps you get better, um, or help someone else get better.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:36:36 Yeah. That, that’s true. Even with, you know, a certain way of saying something, you know, I could stay something in a kid, just not get it, but the guy right next to me could stay these vaccinate thing and only stayed in a dip way in the kid gift that, you know, we got to get the ego out of the way, you know, it’s coaching, you know, so you know, when you’ve been telling a kid something for, for years and now they get it because it’s one guy that did one thing, you know, different things, click with different people. Yeah. I know it was that way when I would try to build my business, you know, actually do now, I had a conversation prior to the did recording and uh, usually let them think that, click with me during our conversations. So, so I get that, you know, having the right team and the people and maybe you got to hear three to four to five different time, different ways to really understand it.
Dan Blewett: 00:37:37 Yeah, absolutely. And you just never know, you know, when you’re ready to hear a person’s message either. True. Um, and you know, I’ll give you one thing I thought was very profound about my college head coach. One thing I didn’t find valuables, one thing he said like he didn’t mess with freshmen too much South tinkering with our mechanics or changing them or teaching them too much, um, about certain, certain aspects of the game as freshmen because he knew they wouldn’t listen until they failed. You know, freshman come in and especially individual in baseball. Um, and I played for small, small one. Um, you know, these guys were the stud, the all stars of their high school teams. So they think they know how to succeed in baseball in the end. Largely they do, but not yet at the new, at the next level. And so it’s a really big jump from high school baseball to D one baseball. And so he could say, Hey, you gotta gotta pitch down the zone more, or you gotta pitch inside more, you gotta use your change up more, whatever it is. Um, it’s not really going to sink in until they go out and say, Oh yeah, what I did in high school is not working. Like they just hit two tanks off me and I just got hit. Like I’ve never been hit in my life. Now coach, what was that you were saying? I just pitch in more. Okay. Got it. And then they do it and they see a difference. Like, okay, that this makes sense. Like now I’m starting to understand what it, what I need to be successful at this level. Um, but there’s a weather thing that my college coach said that I strongly especially now disagree with, which I think is a just objective. The false, he didn’t like us playing college base and he didn’t like us playing summer baseball because he felt like we came back, um, and were maybe contentious to his coaching style that we went off and learned something. It was kind of what he said sometimes. And, uh, to me it was like I learned a ton in summer baseball and I did coming back, I did come back sometimes challenging things that were taught to us cause I said, well, my other coach explains it this way and it makes sense to me and you let me explain it this way and it doesn’t make sense to me. And uh, you know, I feel like he just at times spot the fact that guys would come back, learn from other coaches and want to use some of the stuff they learned on our team and he wasn’t super agreeable amenable to that. So you, for me, my education as a player and as a person was shaped by so many different people and you have to be willing as a coach and I was the head coach of, you know, my Academy teams and as a pitching instructor and kids are going to hear different stuff from different people and it’s all going to be helpful in some way. Now one coach might say something that’s just patently false and that happens a lot unfortunately. But still they need to learn from other people. And so you can as a coach, be a or a parent, be threatened by, you know, your players going off and having a new pitching coach or a new hitting coach or a new head coach and they’re going to learn new stuff and they’re going to hear it in a different way and sometimes that’s going to be a huge benefit to them because something clicks like you said, just because a different person phrases in a different way at a different period of time in their life. Um, and that’s great cause I know that I’ve beaten concepts to death with kids but they just didn’t like wanna do. They just didn’t really believe in it and whatever. But then they go on to someone else. I was like, Oh you fixed that thing. Yeah, he explained it this way. I’m like, Oh, you mean the thing that I’ve been telling you for two years and if not, you know, it’s not like to take offense to it as a coach, we just understand that if I’m going to give you a hundred pieces of advice, maybe 39 of them stick and you buy into them and that’s fine. And the other 61 might be sound pieces of advice, but you’re going to get 12 though. You’re going to do, you’re going to take 12 them from an up, the next coach and then 13 more from the next coach and then maybe you do take all a hundred pieces of advice or they ended up coming from nine different people, not just me. Right. And I think we also understand that as coaches that we just sort of max out, we become a talking head at some point and they just do need to hear it from somebody else.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:41:29 Yeah, no I agree. You know, one of the things that you talk in your book, dear baseball guides is the emotion of when we are playing a game. So you as a pitcher, you know, there are times where you just kind of get into your role, dark, no getting guys out, and then all of a sudden you hit a wall and you’re starting to get rake. No. Can you talk about that a little bit? You know, because we don’t really have the conversation enough on what our thoughts and what our feelings are when we’re standing on that Mount or when we’re standing in the batter box.
Dan Blewett: 00:42:06 Yeah. So, you know, I’m a, I think I’m a good example and, um, because of just how naturally sort of stoic I am, um, you know, people when they would walk into my Academy for the first time, you know, kids would be a little intimidated by me. Um, uh, often be asked if I was like a, you know, former military. I’m not. Um, but I just kind of have like that, I guess a presence where I’m just very, matter of fact, I can be very direct. Um, I liked things done a certain way. Um, I have everyone’s best interest at heart, but like I can be very stern. And, um, at first I’m very, uh, I’m, I’m definitely like an easy going slow to anger, like kind of silly person deep down. But on the surface I’m like a little more of a tough outer shell. Um, but I think, and so I think I’m a good example. And the fact that when you watch all these guys and girls out there on the field, whether it’s baseball, softball, any other sport, especially when they’re in the professional level, you don’t see much emotions. You don’t see many cracks in the armor. You just see this competent person staring in, firing the next pitch off. No matter what happens. Like they get the ball back. You know, when they’re in youth baseball, softball, you see more of, you know, the hands get thrown up, you see the head go down, you see the, the negative emotion. Um, but no matter what happens, I think all too often people forget that they are human beings out there on the mountains and the routes of human beings in a plate in the field. And they’re never turns off. And whether we talk about it or not, it doesn’t turn off. So yeah, I was the same as anyone else. I’d read through pain. I was tough. I was not gonna come out of that game unless I had to be like parted off. Um, I was a kind of fierce pitcher, especially in my last like five years when I really kinda came into my own about who I was. Um, I’d pitch inside. I didn’t care if I hit you like I, I was going to go after people. I wasn’t aggressive, like kind of bulldog. That was my reputation. Um, but it doesn’t change the fact that when I’m out there, there’s, you can get this flood of fear of failure and consequences. You go home and you realize that kind of my era going up, like I’m going to get released and you start to put this snowball of pressure on yourself that everyone feels but no one really wants to talk about.
Dan Blewett: 00:44:26 And it doesn’t necessarily all need to be talked about. But sometimes even when we just need to vent and feel like we have a friend and someone that we can relate to and just kind of get it off her chest, it even feels hard to get it out then. Yeah. And so in my book I was really candid about it because I didn’t want to just glaze over stuff that I think is valuable. And one of the things I’m doing in my post baseball phase two of life is I want to educate parents and athletes and coaches about really what their kids are going through and what [inaudible] guys are going to go through when they leave the game. Um, because we didn’t get, we just still don’t talk about it. And what I mean by that is I gave a speech at saber seminar in August and it was about my worst meltdown as a player. And I appraise it as I’m gonna paraphrase the whole speech in about a minute. But, um, this was a story that I denied myself, why it happens. I mean for me, being a very introspective person, I still did not want to come to terms with what actually happened on the mountain. I was, I was dealing with a lot of shoulder pain. The shorter pain that ended my career and my results were getting worse and worse on the field, but I was still throwing mostly as hard as I was. I was so mostly making good pitches. There wasn’t a clear thing wrong. Um, but I was just not pitching well. And so anyway, so I’m out there on the mound and this talk was called the black Swan. And if you’re not familiar with the term black Swan is negotiation term. Um, but I learned by this, uh, this really good book called never split the, there never split the difference. Highly recommended book, um, by former FBI agent. I can’t think of the name of the moment. Um, but anyway, the black Swan is a piece of unknown information that if known would change everything about him negotiation. So like maybe you’re trying to buy a house and you’re wondering like why is this price like so high or so low or whatever. And then you kind of realize that the family is just father gotten laid off and they really need to sell right away. That that would be like a black Swan. They wouldn’t want you to know because if you found out that they were desperate to sell the house, you could really low ball a lot better price. Um, so as you watched me in this game, I went out there and this is what happened. I went out there and it was like a Tuesday night. There was like a Tuesday afternoon or night game. I’m just a very pedestrian game. I came into pitch in like the fifth, the fourth or fifth with the bases loaded and no one else to be a lot of teammates. And I strike out the three hitter and then I strike out the forehead or like punch out, like boom dams in the game. And then I walk the five hitter walks to the six Tinder. I walked into runs after two, two dominant strikeouts. And then gave a basis clearing double in the gap. So I now only cash all my buddies through Ron, but then two of my own as well. So I come in and you see this guy, boom, boom strikes out he’s complete control and then he completely loses control walking too and clearing the basis. And you say what just happened? How did this guy do that? Why did that just happen? And as a, as a spectator in the stands or as someone in my dug out or the opposing things dug out, you wouldn’t have been to make sense of the situation. You would’ve been able to make sense about why I did that. Yeah. But the black, the black Swan meth situation was that the previous day or the previous weekend? On Saturday I gave up three runs. I came into a situation, the cleaning people, three singles and then the reliever after me gave up a grand slam to give up all my runs. It was not his fault, it was my fault, but that to me was like the end of my time and that seems uniform. So I was like, this is it. I’ve been pitching like frat for awhile now this night, you know, three singles and then they all score. That was just like the punctuation point, punctuation Mark to a bad season. So I figured I was going to get released and I say my era was like seven that might suck. I just, I just been terrible but I didn’t, I didn’t get released the next day. And then we went on a week long road trip. And so this Tuesday game was day two of that road trip. And so basically on Sunday and Monday I was coming to the terms with the fact that I was going to get released, that I was dead with that team and that I wasn’t going to pitch for them anymore. So after that I was like letting go of all the pressure I put on myself to try to like write this shit. And like this was at the very end of my career. This was the culmination of my career when I was pitching my best. That was an all star of the previous season. So that’s even had more riding on it than ever before in my life. All I had to do was keep pitching well like I did in the previous year and I probably would have gotten a chance with a major league club. Um, and so as I felt all that slipping away, things got worse and worse because mentally, you know, like, no, you got to pitch better tomorrow. You gotta pitch better. Um, this is, this is it. This is it. You’re 30 years old, this season is your shot. Don’t let it slip away. And then again, on that night when that grand slam went out, I was like, it’s over. Like just, just move on. We’ll find a new team, we’ll start fresh and we’ll, we’ll do our best. And so, because I was mentally moving on when I pitched that day on Tuesday, going into a bases loaded, no one, no one else situation, I put no pressure on myself. I’m like, I haven’t pitched on like crap. No one expects anything out of me. I’m expecting to get released when we get home, whatever happens, happens. And so boom, boom, strike out, strike out. Cause I was able to pitch free like my old self. And then as soon as that happened, I realized it all about it. Once I was on the mat I’m like, wait, am I back? Is this the, is this the old me? I just struck out their best two hitters and bases loaded, known out situation. Maybe if I strike out this next guy, I can have it all back. I’ll get my life back, I won’t get released. They’ll think I’m turning the corner. Maybe I am. And the old Dan is here. Like here he is, I’m just going to have a string of a couple of good weeks and then my life will be back to normal. And because I immediately thought all of that, all of those thoughts on the mound before the next hit or what came in, I subconsciously didn’t want him to hit the ball. And when that happens, you missed this. You have this miraculous ability to miss the strike zone. It’s miraculous because zone is the thing most most in front of you, you know, and like, and uh, and so I walked him and then I walked the next guy. And then because I was afraid of anything worse happening, I hung a curveball to a guy that couldn’t hit her balls and he just banged into the gaps. And so it was just a culmination of all my worst fears because I was so scared to let everything slip away in that moment. And that’s what happens. And even as you’d watch that, you wouldn’t have seen me, you wouldn’t have seen me have like a physical meltdown. You might’ve seen me like gritting my teeth and you might’ve been like, you can like zoom in on my eyes, wouldn’t seem as they’re like on fire with anger at myself, but you wouldn’t have seen like a tantrum, like a little kid Rose. Like I was exactly, mostly the same. Uh, in that situation, there wasn’t any other situations. And so that was the black Swan was my mentality and all those other contexts, all the things that I stood to lose by not finishing that in and off, um, to see like 30 years of baseball come down to one hour basically. Yeah. And uh, and so I like, I didn’t even that story I didn’t share with anyone. I didn’t put in my book. I did not want to admit that even at my best, I was still a mentally weak human. Like I’m not a weak, I’m not a weak person. I’m not weak because I helped that. I explained that. Right. I want other people to understand that your kids, even in the major leagues one day, your daughter, even in the college world series is still a human who has some weakness and it might rear its head sometimes and you might not understand how they could strike out or let that ball go through their legs in a huge situation. But it just because they’re humans and they’re, and just like, you can’t turn your brain off. The best athletes are better at it. But none of us can completely do it. And, uh, and that’s just, it’s what’s fascinating about the sport and that’s what’s hard about the sport. And I think the more we can find a balance about talking about it because you only have pity parties, right? We don’t either. We all need to be constantly whining and venting and complaining and, and having therapy sessions to each other about how hard baseball and softball. And it’s like, it’s not, that’s not what I want either. Right? But I want people to understand that you’re like, there are a lot of kids that I’m sure have read my book or listened to that story on YouTube, like that whole, uh, presentations on YouTube, um, that have read that and they’re like, yeah, I feel that way too sometimes, or I, that’s happened to me in different terms. If it happened to Dan then and he got as far as he did, then I can be okay. Like I can, I can get through this. I can find a way. And, uh, it’s just, it’s just sharing a shared experience. But right now, athletes don’t want to give these shared experiences of, of failure and vulnerability to, to each other or to the world because they’re afraid of still looking weak or being ostracized because of or whatever. But you know, at a certain point you realize like, I’m not weak. Like I just, I’m just not. And so I’ll tell you where I failed and I’ll tell you where I succeeded and you can sort it out and make something of it if you want. But because I now know that I’m not weak, I’m not afraid to talk about times that I was.
Geoff Rottmayer: 00:53:47 Yeah. You know, you know, as crazy as that is, I see here and I listened to you, you know, it’s crazy. All the things that are coming back to me, you know, for obviously at the moment I wasn’t really aware of what I were thinking, but now that I look back and realize, you know, I can now realize the, the impact that my thought had on my performance at the time, you know, but, but at the moment you’re, you’re not, you’re not there, you, you, you’re not really aware of it. I mean, do you agree with that or were you aware or you know, whether your post plane day then reflecting back kind of a thing?
Dan Blewett: 00:54:29 No, not at that moment, no, but I, but I remember feeling the way I felt like I remember having a moment and, and being introspective and saying I might be back. Like I can have my old life back, what we can do this. Yeah. But then there’s also that other side, it’s like, well what if you don’t? What if you can’t? But what does this guy get? Like you started to visualize stuff that you don’t want to see. Like I, I, I remember that situation almost photographically. So the least, the least capable hit of the inning was the five hitter. And I remembered his stance. I remember what he looks like. He was the least likely to punch a ball out or do whatever. Um, the forehead did, I struck out, I had like 20 something home problems and it was like June. He would say having a crazy season. I think he had 44 months in the Atlantic league this year. He’s still playing. But um, like yet I remember visualizing him spraying a line, driving to the gap. Yeah. I just, I remember it and whether that was a conscious thought, it was just like your brain is constantly working and you have to fight it to not present like a movie. The disaster scenarios in front of you. You have to present the positive scenario and you have to see yourself succeeding. At the very least you have to kind of walk the plank. Cause the hardest situations for me were, were ones like that where you’re afraid of throwing that first pitch and you have to do it anyway. And I remember that time and other times, uh, there was another times physically in long Island where I came with the bases loaded and the, and with a base with loaded situation, the best thing you can possibly do is get a first pitch strike and you have to in most situations, so first pitch fast ball to do that. I wasn’t going to had a good enough good enough from and my all sweet stuff to throw first pitch off speed in too many situations. But there if you go first pitch fastball, the bases loaded, um, you can get ahead and then you can do lots of stuff. But if you go first the golf, so pitch and they take it and now you’re behind. Now you’ve definitely got to go fastball and now you’re one Oh one Oh fast ball. The base load is very, very dangerous. So you kind of take your chances. Again, that’s just one possible scenario. But for me, when I knew I was gonna like all right, first pitch, fast ball, get ahead. It’s scary. You’re like, he’s probably ready to ambush this and I know that I’m just going to compete and let it eat mostly down the middle. Um, so let’s do it. It’s just kinda like you’re in the box you’re in and you’re both going to take one punch and punch each other in the face. Yeah. Scary. I’m gonna hit him harder I think. I think if I hit him harder, he’ll go down. Yeah, you’re going to hit me in the face too. That’s kind of how it always felt to me. And those moments are fight or flight and most of the time like I won. Like I’ve just Ram it in there and get it by any foul offering, take it or I’d throw it by him. Um, and you just, you sort of learn to block out the fact that he might just pump this, monitor the gap. Um, but at that time, in that field on the New York, I couldn’t get past it. And so it was ball one, it was ball two and a, a. I was fighting myself and I lost that battle. So it was just experience. And it takes time and it takes, um, showing up to those battles with yourself and sometimes willing to say, okay, I can win that battle. And then there were times in my career as a pitcher, I specifically remember one where I was a normal, my friend, my rookie season I pitched seven innings and after I finished the seventh I was like 110 pitches, maybe 105 pitches and they’d been throwing me out for 120 a lot. But I was pretty sure like the way the ending went that I was like, that was a good good seventh guy finished it. Like I’m done. And I came in like kind of mentally preparing to be done and I was like physically out of gas and they asked me the question and you know the question, can you give us one more? Yeah. How do you feel? The answer is always yes. The answer is never no to that question. Right. And that’s going back to that line we talked about earlier when the coach says, can you give us one more of the answers? Never know unless you’re hurt. And that’s one of those really hard things that picture, because even for me as a coach who wants kids to tell me when they’re in pain, I want the answer to be yes. But I just don’t ask them that. I don’t ask them that question because I know that I want the answer to be yes. I want them to want the answer to be yes. So I don’t ask them if they have one more. I just tell them if they are coming out or not. And so because they’re always going to lie and they should lie. Right. So that’s why a coach has to make the decision for the kid. Don’t ask the kid to make a decision. But anyway, they um, um, gaps. I don’t believe I can get more out. Like I, I knew at that point I could not get more out. And he said, can you give me one more? I said, yep. And I said, Oh shit. Oh crap. Can I, I got to go like out of the ACE, I’m going to blow this game. I had a thing, I’d probably be like a good like two run game at that point I’m like, Oh well this is going to get become a mess. And I went out there and I had like a one, two, three innings and I was like, wow, that was like that. I was kind of okay, like I did it. I got through that. And you, and you have to have battles like that where you’re afraid and you have to rise up and you do your best and some of the times you’re going to be fine and sometimes you’re not. But that was a really big moment for me that sticks out in my rookie season because I just was mentally and physically done and I knew it and I did not believe I could get another out from my team, but I had to. So I went out there and I competed. And that’s something I think a lot of kids lack these days is that is the ability to compete and be scrappy when they’re, when they’re tired or when they just don’t think they can. Yeah. And little moments like that shaped me for later on when you’re, when you’re really scared and you’re really out of gas and it’s a really big situation and the stakes are higher and the hitters are better, and then you’re like, you draw on that subconsciously, like subconsciously. Like, okay, I’ve had times where I was more tired than I am today. Let’s just keep pitching. Let’s get through it. So, so yeah, baseball sprays, man,
Geoff Rottmayer: 01:00:36 it is. And the more guide, like you and I gotta be honest with you, Dan, you know, you’re kind of inspiring me to maybe open up a little bit more and talk a little bit more about what I felt and what I were thinking at. I do the same dream that we were all going for and coming up short, you know, I mean, as you say, you become more relatable because you can communicate the feeling and the thought that maybe these kid, and maybe they are aware of it, maybe they’re not, but because it does come down to what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling when you’re standing on the Hill and you’re standing in the batter box.
Dan Blewett: 01:01:16 Yeah. And you know, I actually had been to a bunch of major league and Marley games recently cause I go and I get some footage and um, I use it for YouTube and other stuff. But I remember when I was a kid, I’d go to these games. I’m sure every kid builds this way. The ballparks are so big to a kid and the players are so big to a kid. Even when you’re high school, you and your college, the players are so much bigger than you. Right. Um, but today, uh, I go to games and especially major league games and they are, they are the same as I was but not physically different than I was. Most of the guys on the field do similar stuff, but like I threw as hard as some of those guys on the field micromolar better than some of their, those guys in the field now there were better than me just subjectively.
Dan Blewett: 01:02:01 Like they made as a major league, they could do stuff I couldn’t, right. But when I go to games like that now as I see those players walk off and streaming of the dugout, I look at them has up here as that guy like music, that guy has insecurities, that guy might have a girlfriend that he fights with. Sometimes nights will be something like it just like they have a normal life just like I did. Those guys are the same person that I am. They’re not different than me. Whereas when you’re a kid, you look up to someone like max Scherzer and you’re like, that’s, he is a God and he is a God. I mean he’s an incredible picture. But if you own the OMA nationals, over time, you’d realize that like Maccers was a dude just like you, but he’s better at stuff than you are obviously. But he’s still do just like you are. And when you start to figure that out, you’re like, I’d be like, max Scherzer cause next sure is not that much different than me as a human. You know what I mean? Yeah. Like he’s like obviously got next level stuff and co competition to him that separates him from other players. But at the fundamental level, all those guys that sit in the national bullpen or the Yankees bullpen, there’s still 27 or 33 year old men who like music, who liked some foods and not others who fart and make jokes and are immature sometimes much short that other times, like they’re all people just like us. Yeah. And when you, when you hear that, and when you realize that you start to realize that the separator between them and you isn’t as big as you thought it was. You know, there’s rookies on the nationals who wonder if they could ever be as good as max Scherzer. An answer is that max Scherzer was the same lookie that they were one day, you know, back in the day, he was wondering the same thing back in the day. And then he decided and learned and watched and came into his own and figured out who he was and, and continued to get better and learn from competition. But, um, the separator is just like what we talked about earlier, like you’ve become, when did max Scherzer become max Scherzer? He was always kind of max Scherzer, but he wasn’t max Scherzer right? Like he was, he was a reasonably successful pitcher early and got better and better and better until he became this revered Cy young, like incredible pitcher. Um, but it didn’t happen overnight, right? He was the same guy with like a four or five era, just like you can look down the bullpen and see three other guys better than him. And then one day he looked down and there was not one person bigger than him. So, especially the young kid, when you hear one of your heroes or someone you look up to share a story that you can relate to that tells you that they are human in a similar way, that you are like, Oh, Dan, Dan’s had struggled in games with his mentality. Dan’s been out there nervous and blown games because of it. And I could be like, like, and I do that too, but I could be like, Dan, if that happens to him to like, it happens to max Scherzer a times too. It’s just like so subtle and so much smaller because he’s better at minimizing it. You know, he definitely get nervous once in a while and makes a bad pitch because of it. But you just, most of us can’t really tell one that is like when he hung a curve ball because he just was like little bit, I don’t know, the pressure got to him or he wasn’t convicted, convicted enough in throwing that pitch or he was still a little frustrated by something that happened. And so he lost his focus and hung a curve ball. Like that stuff still happens. Sam, you just don’t know it. But it does happen. Right. Having to everyone. And there’s another really good book, if anyone’s still listening to this was this episode we’re getting along, but, um, but I appreciate you having me. Um, if anyone’s still listening, I highly recommend David Cohn’s book, um, full count education of a pitcher. He’s very honest about a lot of this stuff and I thought it was great that he was, he would, he would share some of that stuff because he talks about how many times in the world series when he was a rookie, like all these different times in his career, the spectrum, even at the very end, he still had lots of fear than doubts in himself and nervousness. But if you’d watch him on TV, you wouldn’t have ever known that. Yeah. But he was, he was, he was still a real person. He was scared to death he was going to blow his perfect game. Um, all this stuff, he’s still in jail. They’ve become really showed you that he was a person, not just this robot pitcher. And I thought that was really cool with him. Um, and all the, and all these guys are the same, like David’s films, potential hall of Famer. I mean, he’s, he was incredible. So if he felt that stuff, certainly everyone else’s too, you know? So yeah, I think, I think there’s a lot to learn. I think hopefully the game continues to trend in the right direction with players starting to open up a little more and people accepting that you’re not weak because you share an experience with someone else. It’s not, it’s not always a self fulfilling prophecy when you talk about your struggles with the plate, you know, stuff like that.
Geoff Rottmayer: 01:06:59 Yeah, no, I mean, I, I appreciate that conversation. You know, I’ve got a couple more things I’d like to get to, uh, to finish it off. You know, first let’s talk about comparing, you know, this has always been an issue. Uh, and it always will be, you know, and it may be kind of a bigger issue now because of flushing media. You know, we get a player that comes in working really, really hard, getting better, and then they get on social media and they’re like looking at it. They’re comparing them. So they’re often, they’re worth at least the other guy’s name. Maybe this guy better this God are working me, you know, I mean, how do we, how should we have these conversations with kid that are constantly comparing themselves?
Dan Blewett: 01:07:43 Yeah. Let me go on record saying that. Uh, I wasn’t saying about the length of the conversation. I did talk baseball all day. I’d be happy to. Um, one thing I’m wondering, I’m fascinated by it on the internet. If people’s attention spans, I always wonder as I’m writing stuff, like, especially with articles or my videos. Yeah. I wonder like if I write another 500 words about this, will anyone read it three minutes? Well, I used to. Anyone wants it? Um, but I, I appreciate those of you do. So are, um, anyway, so, yeah, the most important thing that I learned personally is that you have to become the best version of yourself as a player. And that comparing yourself to others can be a very slippery, terrible slope. If you’re saying this guy has stuff that I wish I could do, I’m going to try to be more like him or I need to do this stuff because it makes him successful. Um, because baseball, especially the very specialized sport and you don’t have to fit into a certain mold to be successful in it. Um, if you’re not super big, if you’re, you know, I know Jose all today has 30 old runs this year, so that made this conversation harder for me. But you know, in the past you could be David Eckstein and not hit more than a dozen home runs and you were very valid contributor to your team. And that’s still the case now. And I had teammates at various points in my career who they, they didn’t make it because they refused to be themselves. Basically I seem to do was kinda like Jose [inaudible]. He was small, he was an aerospace Arizona state grad. He was a pretty decent, drastic and he just tried to hit dinners. It’s like, dude, stop dropping your back shoulder and hitting fly balls that never leave the ballpark. Like you’re trying to get the ball out, but you can now be absolutely killer. He’s a strong dude, don’t get me wrong. It’s super fast and explosive and agile and he’s a super athlete, but he didn’t have enough power to hit the ball out consistently so that he could hit one out once in a while. He crushed it. But most of the time what happened was he tried to get, he tried to kinda hit it out and you end up flying out to like deep left center and then he’s out. Rather than like hitting the ball on the ground or hitting line drives or trying to, you know, hit a double and stretch into a triple. And I’m not saying that you haven’t hit ground balls. If you’re, if you’re small, like the games, the games, the games changing like I get it. You can be Jose Alto. They, if you’re capable, the most guys, Jose [inaudible] size or not those, they all today they’ll hit 12 home runs, Jose hits hit 30 that’s him. He’s incredible, right? Most guys his size need to hit line drives over the infield and need to steal bases. They need to, they need to play great defense. Um, they need to be a spark plug for their team. They need to have long a fats and you’ll walk a lot. They need to be on base. That was what a, a small player can do. If you’re a monster and you can be Aaron judge, sure drop your back shoulder, stop hitting line drives, make your lines, your eyes become doubles and home runs, totally get it. But the problem is when people don’t understand which of that person they are or which person they are right now, um, and so they try to emulate someone else or they try to be what they think they should be on social media. They see someone else, um, who’s completely different in their, their, their growth in their development. And they see a kid who’s 16 on social media throwing 91 miles per hour. So they say, I need to go harder like him cause he’s getting signed by a big D one school. So I’m going to focus, all my effort now is on harder. Whereas in reality, maybe that’s not the best solution for them, but that at that time, like they need to continue to pitch well and we all have a sort of a limited bandwidth in my view. So it’s easy to say, Oh, this kid is doing this, this is what’s this got this kid to get a scholarship at Miami or Louisville or USC or whatever. Therefore I should do it that way. Or this kid’s or 90 I only throw 84 a low as me. You know, that’s really, really hard. But the biggest thing, and I’m sure you’ve seen this, is that I start, I stopped viewing palate in baseball and ability as anything more than almost like your personal development and say that a kid. So like on a team, say a 15 you team, you’re gonna have a kid who’s basically the size of a 17 year old, right? You can have a kid who’s six, 290 pounds and he throws 85 and he’s a freshman, right? It’s almost not even true to say that he’s better than another 15 year old. It is true. But to say like they give it back kids six to one 93 85 freshmen, even other freshmen, five 955 throws 77 which kid’s better at baseball now? Today the case was harder and gets more people out. Probably what the kid do. Smaller and flow is still pretty darn hard for his size and has probably has been mechanics because of it or or that’s why you find those that hard when that can become six two and one 90 is he better than the kid who was already 61 90 maybe. So it’s hard to say like you’re better at baseball than another one. Really connected development is just much more advanced than the other kid. Right? You’re five nine you’re one 55 as a freshman you’re a normal size freshmen. Now you’re six to one 90 the freshman year. Not a normal size freshman year, like a 90th percentile freshman. Right. And so sure you can do physical stuff that 17 year old do and 15 year olds can only do stuff that 15 year olds do. So to compare the two players is just going to lead you to sorrow if you’re that smaller kids because you’re never going to be to do that with that kid can do at his size. And so the thing you have to do is stick to your guns, control yourself, your mechanics, work hard, control what you can control today, throwing 77 knowing that when you’re 17 and you hit that growth spurt and you’re six to one 90 you might throw 92 because you had good mechanics because you had a good arm because you really focused on bettering yourself, not just being ahead of everyone else growth-wise everyone else, you know the funnel traffic, everyone gets the the exit point at some, at some time in their life. And usually that’s in college. When you’re like 21 you start to level off. So that kid do was 61 nine he’s a freshmen is six two two 10 as a junior in college. And so is the freshman who was five nine one 55 they’re both now six two, two 10 there’s juniors in college now you really get to figure out who was better, right? Say the smaller kid throws 95 now the bigger kids still just throws nineties or now throws 90 you just never know. It’s the constant jockeying pulling ahead based on how fast you grow. Obviously your genetics, all that stuff. But, and this is what’s really hard for kids to understand because unfortunately they can do six to one 90 the freshmen is going to be a D one baseball player because they can see, they can see that he’s already got the skill, they can see that he’s going to get better because he’s already ahead of his peers. So conceivably if you’re, if you’re ahead of your peers now, you’ll continue to be ahead of your peers later, which is mostly true but not completely true because kids definitely catch up. Sure. So, and I was, and I was a late bloomer and caught up. I threw 80 you know, then, and uh, I threw in the, into the mid nineties later. So, but even then you wouldn’t blame a college scalp or taking a kid who’s six two one nine would, you know? Right. You take the bigger, bigger kid and he’s available. So they, they get into spare because they see these kids go off the board. You know, that could do 61 90 the freshmen are 85 as a sophomore. He’s 61 95 it’s on 88 now he gets signed, he’s a D one baseball commit or is everyone else just waiting? And you see it on social media, it’s in your, it’s in your face constantly. But all you can do is just continue to do you and work hard, try to better yourself and wait for the time that you catch up. So that’s not to say you just try to out work. I mean you do just try to outwork them and the gross words will come at some point. And one of the letters in my book is to a kid who was just like that. He was like five, 950 pounds as a junior in high school. And now he’s six, two, I think he’s six two 200 or something or six to, I don’t know, one 90 get a massive growth for in a senior year. And it sucked because he was a super hard worker, very high baseball IQ, tons of practice in, in his off time. I mean he was just, uh, did everything in his, in his power to be a college baseball player, but no one wanted him cause he was, he was a little, and he was way smaller than average as a junior. And then he was gross for it. And now all those baseball skills just got applied to a much bigger, stronger, more athletic body. And now he’s a heck of a catcher instead of being a heck of a small catcher. Yeah. So and that, and that was really hard on him and you could see it in his face. And that was why he was his, his stories in my book because my message to him in that chapter was that I’ve done a lot of hard work as a, as a ballplayer in college. I never worked harder than I when I was in college, like physically, like I was killing it in the gym. I gave myself like no off days doing all these crazy running workouts and pitching drills in my house at night and just, I was like on baseball like 24, seven. Um, but that stuff was easy because there was, I do this and I see how it benefits me. They’ll really hard stuff is doing all that and then not having any idea if it’s going to pay off because you’re just waiting for mother nature to give you a gross for it. That’s what’s really hard for, for me, coming back from surgery when I did all the work and I’m just wondering if someone’s going to sign me because I can’t control it anyway, I’m going to try out. They say no, I go to a trial. They say, no, I get on a team. I’d be, I get released in spring training. I’m just waiting in the real world. This happened for a couple of weeks. I went to spring training after I’ll get to make my big comeback and my second elbow surgery and I went to spring training I think pretty darn well and I got caught because they just didn’t have a spot for me. Basically they’d chose other guys and they weren’t, they weren’t wrong doing so either. Um, I was just the odd man out and all the hard work, all those running, running workouts and make me want to puke. That’s so easy compared to sitting at a table. Yeah. Chewing your lunch, wondering if that phone call is ever going to ring and you have no control over it. And if it doesn’t ring, your baseball career is over. That’s the hard stuff. Right. And, and that’s what, that’s what wears on kids these days because they see these other kids who are bigger, stronger, faster than them do stuff they can’t do that they, they will be able to do one day when their gross for it hits. If they get a chance to keep climbing, all those different things. Um, and so it just, it’s really mentally challenging to stay the course and just to try to be the best version of yourself, not try to hit home runs when you’re not capable and not overthrow, and then just get killed because you’re not pitching well because you’re just trying to throw as hard as you can. Um, it, that’s, that’s where the, the, the evilness of baseball really comes into play.
Geoff Rottmayer: 01:19:06 Nice. So let’s, let’s end up with one last question. If I could, um, you know, you talked about hanging up the Cleese, and I remember these times too, where when you thought playing a game and going out bird dream your whole life, it tough. And at the emotional, you know, and unfortunately, you know, for most of us, the game kind of became our identity though. Can you kind of share your experience going from an athlete to just the regular Joe?
Dan Blewett: 01:19:42 Yeah. Um, and I’ve even realized I’m still not, I’m still not through it. I’m still in the middle of it right now. Um, I give a talk about it, uh, this through a small rotary club recently, and I share a little bit about transitions and, and shared some of my story, but even leading up to that speech, like I realize I’m not, I’m not through it by any means. Um, I’ve been still, uh, finishing audio book version of my book and that’s been digging up old memories. I go back through them and, uh, I don’t know. So basically what I’ve, what I’ve learned is that a, besides no one’s talking about it, this is a big continuum. You know, some, some players, and this goes to any sport, any athlete so of them are just ready to walk away. Maybe it’s because they mentally prepared themselves, you know, they, they, they played a sport, um, at a school, like, say you’re a college volleyball player and you go to a division two school, you’re like, you know, you’re not going to be on the Olympic team. You know, you’re not going to go play pro volleyball afterwards or just, there’s just not gonna be a way to keep playing at the highest competitive level after college. So you just know that after your four years of D two volleyball, you’re just gonna move on to the real world. Like you know, that. And so they start mentally preparing for that a little bit easier over time. And so maybe those players are a little bit faster to hit the ground running and I know the real world and feel like they’re OK. um, there’s other players who they were sort of scratching and climbing up this mountain their whole life, and I was one of them. And then suddenly they just lose their, their pickaxe just slips and they’re down at the bottom and they don’t know what to do and they can’t go back up and the doors closed and that, that, and they just gotta go do something else. I got to turn in all their gear, their locker to someone else’s locker. And that’s that. And, uh, so those are the kinds of two ends of the continuum. Um, and it’s not long either way. It doesn’t mean you’d love your sport left if you play your final inning or your final game and you’re OK and ready to go. Be an accountants or a nurse or a doctor or a lawyer or whatever. It doesn’t mean you love your sport less, right? Um, and it doesn’t mean you love your sport more and you’re like better because you’re really depressed about it and you’re really upset and you don’t really know who you are. It’s just there’s different circumstances for different people. Um, and so comparing your situation with someone else, there’s also not that useful because your feelings aren’t wrong, however you feel about it, your feelings are valid and it’s a really just about opening up to other people and trying to figure out, not figured out, but just trying to talk about the experience. And so for me, when I retired, what the way it really hit me individually and personally it was that I just bottled up a lot of really hard times, like my surgeries and the incredible disappointment of, of those some really tough times in the clubhouse and getting chewed out by coaches and getting embarrassed by one coach specifically. Um, all the time pitching with your pain. The way my career ended was not on my terms. Um, just lots of Stripe and, and, and emotion went into that climb. And, uh, I worked so hard and I put in all that work for this bigger, greater goal. And uh, like for me, again, I’m a very like, stoic, direct, um, kind of person, but like I’m a human being too. I’m like, I’m emotional inside sometimes and a baseball, it was just a big grieving process. It felt like I lost a loved one. Like I was just kind of depressed and I was sobbing at random times really just because of all of the, a lot of these feelings that I bottled up and things I’ve pushed aside to keep going to keep charging. Um, they had a good dealt with, you know, like there was a lot of sorrow that I felt in my surgeries and felt very alone going through those surgeries and that those feelings didn’t get invented to anyone. They just got pushed aside and I kept, I kept charging like I said. Yeah. And then when you’re done, all of those are in front of you, like a big buffet that you have to then eat. It wasn’t there. That was, that was for me. That’s how it still was for me. I’m still not through at all. Um, because I’m finishing my audio books, I’m going back through it. The book is helping me with closure. Um, but just by reliving a lot of those stories, it puts me right back there. Yeah. And it’s helping me to deal with it. And, uh, it just, it just, it just grief. Like anything else, like you lose a loved one, there’s just a period of grief and it’s not logical. It’s just, it’s just there, you know? And, and that’s just kinda how it is. So, but the problem is that no one talks about it, like literally no one. Right. And, uh, cause again, we don’t want to feel weak. And there’s a big in, a big part of it is this, you don’t want to feel like there’s whiny, privileged person. Right. And that was also a chapter at the very end of my book because, and almost, it’s weird how it worked out. A girl that I trained since she was an eighth grader. She got a full ride to play big D one volleyball and she started having injury problems towards the end of her high school career. And those never stopped. As soon as she hurt her knee, she tore her ACL and a volleyball game just landed on it weird and it tore and it fell inward. Um, from that ACL surgery, she was just like constantly dealing with another knee issue and other shoulder issue. Uh, she just never got healthy after that. So she finished one rehab and start another. And when I was like grieving my career, uh, she, we just got the news that she needed like a third surgery and they basically said that she shouldn’t do it, that she was gonna have so little, um, like her, she’s had so much scar tissue in her knee and was gonna have so little cartilage left or something like that, that she just wasn’t going to get a walk potentially if she kept playing volleyball and getting more surgeries. And so she had to walk away from the game. And so I was grieving at 31 years old. And here’s the girl who works as hard as I ever did at 20 being told she’s done. And it’s like, it just gives you perspective. And so, and but the problem is that’s not a reason to not feel bad about your own situation. Just because I got 10 more years and she did doesn’t mean my feelings aren’t valid. That, um, I still feel grief that my crew’s done that I didn’t make it where I wanted to make it. And not who I am as a ballplayer is just now different. Like I’m just not a ballplayer anymore. And so even though you try to keep perspective and, and that was a good grounding, I think for me, that conversation with her, um, just in this understanding that I got a lot more than I should have and I got a lot more than other people get. It still didn’t make it. It still didn’t make it feel any different, you know? And that’s the problem is that you started to feel like, alright, I’m a successful white professional athletes who smart and mostly healthy. What, what do I have to complain about on planet earth? Right? And so that’s valid, but at the same time, it doesn’t change the way you feel. And it doesn’t make my feelings wrong. It doesn’t mean I have to bottle the up as it. Uh, you’ll heard about it just because I’m so much more privileged than millions of other people, which is 100% true. I’m very lucky for everything I’ve gotten. I haven’t deserved any of it. I don’t deserve to like, I’m the prize of my parents. I’m a smart, you know, white athletic guy born in America in the late 19 hundreds into the two thousands who lives in this crazy era where I’m safe. I have all this technology I can play. Baseball is one a hundred years ago I couldn’t play baseball, you know, like eight, 18, eight. If I was born in 1888, 1885. So the 1985, I’d been working in a field picking cotton or I’d be working on a railroad. I’d be in a coal mine. Who knows what I’d be doing, like the, the circumstances behind me having a life that I had are miraculous. But even even then, it still doesn’t change the fact that it was a legitimate part of who I was. There was a thing I loved since I was a kid and I felt genuine grief letting it go. So it’s just a weird thing. It’s a, it’s a complicated thing and we just need to, I think as athletes recognize that it exists and that many of us really suffer trying to make that transition and just feel normal and figured out like what our purpose is. Cause I remember the first day getting out of bed and I was just like, why not? Not in the sense of like, like I was not depressed to the point of suicide or anything like that. Not at all. But he’s just like every day for 20 plus years, I got out of bed and I had a workout to do. I had this to do. I had these dreams that were the same dreams I had yesterday. I was going to accomplish things today to be this major league ballplayer that I wanted to be. And then one day I woke up and none of that was on the table. It was like, what do I do today? Do I go work out? If I go work out, what am I going to do and why? What’s the point of working out? What do I, you know, all my buddies are all playing. I wonder what they’re doing. I don’t get to go do it. I wonder if they’re having fun. Like, do I get to compete anymore? Like I don’t have anything to compete with anymore. There’s just so many things in your life and your routine that are just completely offended. And even though I’m a bright guy and I had all these people that I still train, I had to have a successful business and I like to write. I’ve learned other things about me slowly during my career that, that I find I’m passionate about. I still felt lost. It doesn’t matter how much other stuff you like, it’s still, it’s still just like losing a loved one. Right. And at least that’s how it was for me. That’s not that same way for everyone, but it’s like that way for many athletes, whether you leave after, you know pro ball, whether you are a whole thing major leaguer or whether you’re a high school kid who just loved the game so much, it could strike you the same way. I’m sure there are high school kids who feel the same way I felt, even though they got 15 years less baseball than I did because they loved it so much and it doesn’t, it just doesn’t matter. And it’s not baseball at softball and volleyball, it’s gymnastics, it’s track and field. It’s all of those sports because you just, for the longest time you are a runner, you’re a pole vaulter, you’re a football player, you’re a basketball player, you’re a tennis star, and then suddenly you’re just, and accountants. Yeah. And it’s like, what do I do now? And even now it’s, it’s fascinating. I’m talking to you here from a, we work location in Washington, D C and I’ve never made a friend in the real world. Yeah. I mean it’s weird as that sounds. I’ve, I had my, my baseball buddies in the dugout, when you show up in college, you’re immediately ushered into a room and you meet all your teammates. And so you have like your cadre of teammates and the other athletes that are like your built in friends. You rarely meet other, other regular students in college because it’s just, you’re so socially stuck in that circle. You hang out with them off the field, you’re around them all the time. You become very close. Like it’s almost like others are just outsiders and they don’t have enough, they don’t have enough time to get to know you very well and you don’t have enough time or the energy to invest in other people. A lot of times, especially if you have a major that’s not very collaborative. Like I majored in philosophy and they were never like group papers. So there’s not like I was working with someone. Um, when you have a collaborative major in college, it’s a little bit better cause you do group stuff and you know, experiments with each other and more group work. But is that person a person? And then you, you know, you go off and play pro ball, you’re in the dugout with these guys every day, like literally all the time. And uh, you, you just have this mindset and it’s, it’s, it’s not the way athletes talk to each other and the way they think. And it’s, it’s a little different than everyone else. And then in the off season you’re still working out, you’re doing all these other things, um, and you’re still prepping for next season. And, uh, you started to encounter other people who are other, you know, people in the real world. But for me, I had my Academy, so all the people that I met there were kind of just like athletes, just like me and parents of athletes, just like, yeah. And it was never like, and so here I am and I’m in like this office building and I do my writing and my, my video stuff and a lot of other business things that I’m working on. Um, and I’m walking around here and there’s all these people who are, I’m a marketing consultant. I’m a media strategist. I am an accountant. I am, I’m a, uh, like they’ve always job titles. And if I were to ask them, I’m like, Oh, so what do you do almost on a media strategy strategists? I think his job title, I don’t know what that is, right? Like what do I follow? What do I follow? Oh, do you like it? Do you like the internet? It’s not, I’m very socially adept now. I’m still a little bit awkward, but this isn’t like me being this little kid. You scared, right? Still don’t know what the real world is like. Yeah. Everyone has to get broken into it slowly. And I’m just now getting broken into it as my point where there’s never been a point where I’ve like sat down and like, Oh, what do you do? Oh, I work in as well. And like I just made a friend in a real world who has no ties to sports, no ties to what I did. And it’s just, it’s the new, a new thing. And everyone finds that challenging. I talked to a buddy who, he’s a, uh, a medical sales rep now and I’m like, how’s it been for you? And he’s like, well, it’s all right. He’s like, it definitely took some time for me to understand like what you can and can’t do. Cause it’s very different than other clubhouse culture. And he’s like, a lot of people aren’t competitive like I am. He’s like, a lot of them don’t, they don’t have the same drive to like be the best or they don’t have, the way they are is just fundamentally different. He couldn’t even explain it super well, but I get what he meant. He’s like, he’s like, I feel like I’m just going to be promoted and be better than some of these people because they just don’t have a mindset to like make it like I did. He’s like the way I was in baseball, it still applies here in the medical sales field and he’s like, I don’t understand that these people don’t have that drive and that, and I kind of understood, but even then he’s like, so some things like some people like say I can relate to and other people I can’t. Whereas in the clubhouse in the dugout, you can pretty much relate to a lot of aspects of a lot of, lot of players and you a lot of shared experiences, you know, like you all grew up the same way. You all played the sport the same way. You’re all very competitive, you’re all very kind of alpha you, very similar off peak, clean off season tastes and you’re all interested in like competitive things and sporty fitness things and they’re just like, it’s so much easier to meet friends in that situation here. It’s like, what do people do? What do you, what’s like an old person’s routine? Like, like again, that’s a little of an exaggeration, but it’s still one of those things that is part of leaving the game that you’re introduced to these new environments and it’s just foreign to you for a little while. So, um, and that’s, I think by far the least big a deal is like a duct adjusting to office life. But just adjusting to the fact that the, the sole reason you got out of bed for a long time and a big part of your identity, it’s just gone. And it’s just a, a long period of finding out what your next passion about and, and, uh, and how you sort of move forward to find a new career and new passions for what’s going to carry you on to retirement, I guess.
Geoff Rottmayer: 01:35:45 Yeah. Yeah. Yup. Dan, I appreciate you coming on and talking. Um, I appreciate what you’re doing. I think I learned today that I may not fully be over with how my career ended and that I need to deal with some of these emotions and as well as, you know, starting to be a little more relatable, uh, to, to my players though. Anyway, man, thanks for coming on.
Dan Blewett: 01:36:11 Yeah, absolutely. Thanks so much for having me, Jeff. Really appreciate what you’re doing as well.