Catcher's Corner: Blog #8

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

April 19, 2013

Army senior catcher Andrew Johnson will author a blog entitled "Catcher's Corner" throughout the 2013 season. Johnson, a two-year letter winner, is serving as one of the Black Knights' co-captains this spring. Check back weekly to follow along with the inside happenings of the Army baseball team.

First of all, I apologize. I let down my loyal following by missing last week's blog. I experienced my first case of writer's block. I always was a math and science guy, never was any good with this writing stuff. I peaked too early with my walk-up song blog, and used all my good stuff too early. But the show must go on so I'm back. I could give you a big Tim Tebow speech to Army nation and say I'm sorry and that I didn't want to miss a single blog, and promise that a lot of good will come from this, and that you will never see any player in the entire country blog as hard as I will blog the rest of the season and you will never see someone push the rest of the team to help me with my blogs as I will the rest of the season. But I'm not going to do that. Instead I bring you the do and don'ts of baseball style. Look good, feel good, play good.

I will start with the pants. Pants up or pants down? I'm a long pants guy. It's easier for catchers who have to wear shin guards. I have no problem with pants up; it's a classic baseball style that has stuck around. I was a pant up guy back in my younger years when I anchored down the middle infield positions. I was a big Nomar Garciaparra fan growing up so I wore the eye black and had the flip-up shades. When players roll the pants up them have two options with socks: stirrups or soccer socks. Stirrups have evolved over the years. You can go traditional mid-calf height, low ankle height or crazy stretched out near knee cap height. The high ones just over do it and that's a don't. And the ankle biters just aren't cool. Don't. If you go stirrups I say go mid-calf height. The worst thing you can do with your pants is the half-calf length and look as non athletic as you can or keep the elastic on and wear them down so you're stuck with the tweeners flood pants. This is a direct call-out of Michael Sands for his flood pants. Figure it out. Don't forget to turn your blinkers off and tuck in your pockets before heading up to the plate, Alex Jensen.

Next, I'll talk about sunglasses. What types to wear, wear to put them when you aren't wearing them and so on. Oakley's are the best of the best. They do it right. I personally don't wear sunglasses because I have been blessed with a strong Roman nose with an extremely high bridge. Plus I'm a catcher which leads me to my first point, catchers don't wear sunglasses. Ever. We have two offenders of the following no-no, shiny reflective yellow orange and red fire lenses, Jon Crucitti and Jacob Page. I'm a fan of the normal black lenses. I don't get the Rickey Henderson glamour shades. And when you aren't wearing your sunglasses, the best place to put them is upside down resting on the bill of your hat. Not too flashy and it's convenient. Obvious don'ts with sunglass style is white frames, rec specs, backwards like Adam Scott at the Masters, half way up your head (Chris Rowley) and wearing a strap on the back of them.

Now, I'll get into accessories and personalized style. I've dabbled with eye black before, and even tried it out earlier this year, but it's not my thing anymore. It spread all over my catcher's mask and got everywhere. But for the position players that don't like sunglasses, there are a few ways to wear it. The traditional single line under the eye does the trick. Or you can get little thicker with three or four lines like Ryan Levenhagen; I'm okay with that too. But there's one thing I won't do, and that is war paint. You'll see this on the lacrosse field or sometimes with football players. Daniel Cortes is famous for this look in the locker room and the fact it takes him about 30 minutes to get it off in the shower is enough for me to stay away from it. My finger painting days ended a long time ago and, if I remember correctly, I got yelled at for painting on my face, so that's double don't.

This is the easiest one yet, batting gloves. Black batting gloves, don't. White batting gloves, absolutely do. We have a mix of this on our team. I'm not sure why. The only thing worse than black batting gloves is wearing just one, Michael Sands. This isn't little league, and I never quite understood it. And the fact they sold one batting glove at a time is the biggest scam ever. Mom and dad's everywhere just getting totally fooled.

I'm a big wrist tape fan. Serves for physical purposes and also adds to your style points. I use white but see a lot of black tape as well. Both are accepted but black wrist tape is connected to the Black Cobras in our locker-room. They used to have wrist bands until one was cut up and hung as "snake skin" from the locker room ceiling. Touché Diablos, touché.

That should give you a good start with your baseball style and give you an idea by just watching a game who the true baseball players are on the field. We head to Bucknell this weekend for four games that should have a big impact on the playoff seeding. The mindset right now in the locker room is that the playoffs start today, and every game is important. The third game of the weekend could end up being the game that puts us in first when it's all said and done. Or the second game, or fourth or even the first. You never know which game it'll be. We've got to take it one game at a time.

Be Big Time

AJ

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