I think I identify with CJ’s story because it’s much like my own. He’s encountered plenty of bumps along the way to realizing his dream of playing professional baseball, but he never gives up. When he makes the Majors, his story is going to be book and movie worthy. I, of course, would love to write the book!
A comment from one of you prompted me to ask CJ about his recent release from the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels A). While I’m disappointed that I have to report his release, I really love the response I received from him. I should have expected no less from him:
Baseball is a beautiful game, professional baseball is a cutthroat business that gets ugly more times than not. I was given my release mid road trip, post a game that I pitched 1.1 innings with 3 ks and a pick off. My manager called me in the office, told me how much I mean to the team and how much of a leader I was for the younger players then proceeded to tell me that its just a numbers game and the big league roster had to make a spot so every level got a pitcher bumped down, so when it came down to the bottom the decision lies upon a minor league player development guy that has never played the game and he see’s a 24 year old free agent that is still in A ball, the decision is easy when its put in black and white who to release. But the thing is the situation is never in black and white to us players, coaches, staff, fans etc… It was this same guy a year ago that had the idea to convert me from a catcher to a pitcher, which I believe I did well considering the transition so late in my career. Not even a full year later he releases me with no true explanation but “its just a #s game”. I lost a lot of respect for people in his position. I understood the situation I was in, but on my end I felt like I was set up to fail, and when I didn’t they had to conjure an excuse to make room for a player that was less capable. Its a dirty world that the public eye rarely gets a chance to see better yet understand. The minors is full of rats and snakes, but I wouldn’t change it for the world, I have met some of the most incredible friends in the world threw my ventures in pro ball, plus I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
Currently I am going back to my catching roots, swing the bat on a regular with my buddy Cecil Fielder at his Knockhouse in Marietta Ga. I have a few Independent ball offers, so I’m weighing my options while I’m getting back into catching/hitting and expect to make my decision in the next 2 weeks where I will play. I’m 25 years old, and I know I can still play this game with the best of them. To my fans, you are my motivation, Thank You! – CJ Bressoud
I’m not the kind of girl who cries at sappy movies or at the drop of a hat. However, I’m a sucker for a good sports story. Reading CJ’s words made my eyes sting a little, because he’s just the kind of person you want to see succeed. I just finished reading The Bullpen Gospels (book review coming this week), and I’ve previously read (and encouraged others to read) Minor Players, Major Dreams. If you haven’t read these books and you want to know what being a professional baseball player really entails, go get them today! Both give a great depiction of minor league baseball and the struggle most guys endure to become a professional baseball player. Read these and you’ll understand CJ’s whole story.
While I hate that CJ is having to overcome this most recent bump in the road, I love his outlook on the situation. Not that much time has passed since it happened, yet he’s staying positive, working hard, and giving thought to his next move. While I’m sure it must feel somewhat personal, he’s been around baseball long enough to know that it isn’t. He hasn’t let this setback change his attitude or confidence in himself. We can all learn something from him on this one. How many of us, our family, or our friends have been laid off in the past couple of years for reasons that seemingly had nothing to do with our performance? Everyone should be able to identify with what CJ is going through. I just hope you all have the terrific attitude and work ethic CJ has. It’s because of that I’m confident that CJ will find another home in baseball and continue to pursue his dreams!
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