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Random Thoughts

Gregg Downing(ex Raven)

This is my first blog so I admit that it will be all over the place as I put my deep thoughts to print. I should start this entry off by introducing myself, I’m Ryan Thompson, a junior right handed pitcher at Franklin Pierce University. For those of you who don’t know Franklin Pierce is a small school in Rindge, New Hampshire that I can proudly say is mostly recognized by people as a powerhouse baseball program in the Northeast with 21 draft picks in the last 10 years.

Dan "Salty" Poirier



We are currently in pre-season and six out of the seven days in a week our teams schedule is filled with baseball practice. Whether it’s the multiple hours of practice that we put in or the extra time my teammates and I spend in the gym doing our best to look like ex-Raven and current LA Dodger Gregg Downing, our days are busy. Yes, I did forget to mention school, but here at Pierce school is a priority and we all make the effort to attend every class possible. Once our season starts we can’t afford to miss any classes besides the ones we have to for games, college baseball after all has the most hectic schedule of all sports in college.

Now I’ll return to one of my favorite topics, weight lifting. This has become a kind of passion for me and something I had to address from last year, was not to be so damn skinny. I weighed in at 185 pounds in May, and many people including teammate Ross Lincoln who compares me to Dakota Fanning made it clear I needed to gain some weight.  After a summer of living next to a gym and a Whole Foods I managed to put on 20 pounds that Arnold would be proud of(huge shout out to Cressey Performance and the awesome staff there).

I am not the only one who takes pride in lifting weights, our entire team does. To wrap up our fall we have a lift off consisting of bench pressing, squatting, pull-ups, and a flex off. Yes, you heard me right, we all took our shirts off and flexed until we got red in our faces and Wojichowski passed out. Just kidding, but he did scare us all. If you are a baseball player I know you’re thinking to yourself what a meat.

So moving on from lifting, for now, I would like to talk a little bit more about my position and the role it puts me in on the team. I am a starting pitcher and the amount of flack I receive from position player teammates daily is immense. Anything from “hey why don’t you just show up once a week,” to “no seriously what do you do during practice?’ is not uncommon but I’ve learned to shake it off. Pitchers really do a lot of work between being the best athletes on the team, strongest men in the gym and crushing sprints and bursts during practice like Usain Bolt. Who has the strongest rotator cuffs and labrums on the team?….pitchers obviously.

Asides from that we simply can’t run and externally rotate our million dollar arms at 90 degrees for three hours a day, so today while we stood in the outfield shagging fly balls the staff had some time to think. A common favorite among pitchers is to play the” would you rather game.” This is no rocket scientist kind of game, but we think it compares to Intro to Philosophy. The game operates based off the name contrasting different scenarios, like would you rather lose an arm or a leg. Trust me, it gets much more in-depth than that.

I hope y’all enjoyed this first entry. I’m not sure the direction of my next post but I’m sure it will have something to do with our fast approaching trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and will be filled with much more coherent thoughts. I’ll leave you with a quote from a great old man I know, Jim Roche (our graduate student centerfielder), and a quote he said today “the team that wins a championship is the team that deals with the grind the best.”