Getting to know the Phoenix Desert Dogs
Hello Sports Fans and greetings from Phoenix AZ, the home of the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. I would first like to introduce myself to you and give you a brief background of my career thus far. My name is Andrew Bailey and I am one of seven players in the Oakland Athletics organization that received the honor to play in the AFL. I am a right handed pitcher from New Jersey and was a sixth round selection in the 2006 draft. I played my college ball at Wagner College in Staten Island New York and received a degree in Finance.
Since the draft in 2006, I have been able to play in several cities across the country and even found time to visit our neighbors to the north. These cities include Vancouver BC, Kane County IL, Stockton CA, and this past season playing in Midland TX as well as numerous bus rides to the opposition’s home field cities. Now I land in Phoenix AZ, with the anticipation of learning and gaining more baseball knowledge and also furthering my career in the game of baseball. I will be a part of the Phoenix Desert Dogs as a relief pitcher which will be somewhat of a new role for me. Throughout my career I have always been a starting pitcher until this year when it seemed as if I hit a bump in the road and started to really struggle for the first time. Halfway through this past season I was asked by the Oakland A’s to try a role in the bullpen, which I took as an opportunity to show how versatile I could be. I learned a lot about the game of baseball and also found out a lot about myself as a player in general. In the AFL for the next seven weeks I hope to obtain more information and truly discover myself as a reliever against premier players in the game of baseball.
When we arrived to Arizona about a week ago, we entered the clubhouse on the first day of practice to find ourselves introducing one another to our new teammates from four other organizations, which include the Twins, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Blue Jays. It was nice to finally meet and interact with the players you have been competing against for the past three seasons. Our manager Stan Cliburn (Twins) let the players meet and greet one another before introducing himself and the rest of the coaching staff. After a week of practices and getting to know our teammates and coaches better we will be starting games on Tuesday October 7th.
For the down time when we are not on the field playing games here in Arizona I am looking forward to watching my hometown Phillies in the MLB playoffs and enjoying the NFL season while closely following my beloved Eagles.
Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions as I will be happy to answer.
Se you at the Ballpark,