Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Even the word 'cancer' brings back the nausea and pain, the fear I felt, and the heartbreak I saw in my parents' faces. The smells that fill hospitals and the constant tired feeling that comes with treatment are also permanently stuck in my memory.
There's only certain things you can control. I know how hard I work, I know how I take care of myself, and those are the two things I can control. As far as injuries and wear and tear and stuff like that, it's going to happen.
Once you make the majors, it's never a great feeling to go back to the minors - no matter what the circumstances.
As I travel the country for away games, I meet kids fighting cancer in almost every city. They visit the ballpark, and I invite them onto the field so we can chat and then watch the game.
I hate losing. I hate getting beat. I'm not used to it.
No matter what you do in the offseason, you can't simulate putting spikes on and standing in the grass and being around your teammates. When you're around your teammates, you step it up a notch. It's just kind of instinctive you do that.
One thing I know in baseball is you should never be comfortable where you are. It doesn't matter who you are. It's a business. If I got traded tomorrow, no hard feelings; it's a business.
The two biggest things that translate from the pitching mound to hunting and fishing are patience and perseverance. When you're on the mound, you have to take the game one pitch at a time, regardless of the score, and that approach helps when I'm in the woods or on the water as well.
You still have to pitch the same game, execute your pitches as best you can. If the shadows end up helping you out, then great, but you can't really worry about that stuff.
Growing up, it was mainly just players I followed more than teams, with the exception of the Mariners. I never really had time to follow a team throughout a season.
I'm a competitor.
I'm not a follower.
I'm pretty fair-skinned, so I need to get in the sun for a little while.
It might be hard to believe, but as difficult as cancer was, in some ways it was good for me.
Just as I'm fortunate to pitch in the big leagues, I'm also fortunate for the time I get to spend outdoors.
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