A Special Bond

The other day while taking batting practice, I was shagging in the outfield and was discussing with one of our catchers about the importance of the pitcher/catcher relationship.  We talked about how “under the radar” and how little it is talked about in baseball, but at the same time, how this under-appreciated relationship can pretty much determine how well, or vice versa, a pitcher will throw.  Personally, I am a firm believer that a pitcher is, for the most part, only as good as their catcher.  The ability for a pitcher to trust in what pitch their catcher want them (the pitcher) to throw, is one of the most interesting as well as underrated aspects of all of baseball.  While the pitcher ultimately controls what pitch will be thrown, the catcher plays an enormously important part.  It plays out almost like if a pitcher were driving the car, but the catcher was in the passenger seat giving directions.  Both work hand in hand to reach the ultimate goal.  So while talking with my catcher, I asked him if he would like to be a guest blogger on “Kopper’s Kaos”.  So without futher adu, our catcher from the Palm Beach Cardinals, Nick Derba. 


Hello readers. Let me begin by commending Kopper on the excellent job he has done with this blog. I have been a pretty avid follower of it myself and I look forward to reading his entries. The relationship between pitchers and catchers is probably the closest working relationship in all of sports. There aren’t any other positions in all of sports that depend on each other more than that of the sacred battery. Without a strong performance from a pitcher a catcher is nothing. As a defensive catcher I take pride in great pitching perfomances because it is my job to help these guys get through games with their worst stuff. I say worst stuff because when a pitchers is on he will beat hitters the vast majority of the time. Our work together goes way beyond the game. My practice is his practice. Catchers are the guys taking their (pitchers)bullpens day in and day out.That is where I get to know the individual pitcher. Not only do we as catchers deal help out with the mechanics of the staff but we act as the on-field pitching staff psychologist. I am learning with the help of our pitching coach and legend, Dennis Martinez, how to push pitchers buttons in order to make them work better. All in all, a team is only as good as their pitching staff. There is a reason why the best hitters in baseball fail 7 out of 10 times. Thanks for your time. I hope to get another invitation to blog. If anybody has any questions for me I would be more than happy to come back on and respond. Happy reading.


Looking forward to hearing comments and I will be posting again soon.  Thanks. Kopper


Something Interesting…

Wanted to let everyone know that the season has been going well so far, and the Palm Beach Cardinals are off to a 5-1 start.  Hopefully we can keep it rollin’.  Tomorrow we will be playing our third and final series game against the Sarasota Reds.  The other day in the clubhouse we happened to catch an interesting story on ESPN’s Outside The Lines about the best baseball stances in professional baseball.  They also did a side story on a guy who imitates pro baseball stances and swings.  I don’t know how people have heard of this guy, but he is amazing, and funny too.  One day his buddies started filming him in his backyard imitating baseball stances and posted it on you tube.  In the next couple of days, the videos received major hits and people were asking to see more.  Meet Gar Ryness,,better known as the “batting stance guy”.  I’ve posted his video of the 2008 all star lineup.  This guy is unbelievable…check out his other videos too.  – Kopper


Opening Day

Obviously today is an exciting day.   Today, April 9th, 2009 is a special day for all baseball players and fans around the world.  It is Opening Day for the Minor Leagues.  Hopefully everyone gets a chance to maybe eat some cracker jacks, drink a cold one, and sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” during a minor league game today. Today is a chance for fans to bring their friends and family to the ball park, and also a chance for the players to begin a new season with a fresh start.  Since we share facilities with Marlins, we open with a three game series against their affliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads.  Winning this ball game on opening day will definitely a good way to kick off the season.  Although I am not pitching today, it still is exciting to know that baseball season is officially started, and I hope everyone gets a chance to watch a Cardinal Game today.  Thanks. Have a great day!! -Kopper

One of those days…

First of all, I would like to apologize for not posting in a few weeks.  For some reason, the wireless internet in the hotel recently decided it wanted to end its relationship with my room.  And for the first time, I’ve gotten a chance to hop on the computer in the lobby because a lot of people seem to be having the same problem as me.  I would like to thank everyone who posted comments last blog.  And I would also like to thank those who have been patiently waiting for my next post. 

Well let me just tell you that spring training is in full swing and games have already started.  Everyday we get our routine work done in the mornings, and play games around 1 o clock.  The one thing that I’ve realized about this year in Spring Training is the amount of young talented players in the our organization.  It is amazing to see that the Cardinals have come along way over the past years in developing a talented farm system.  Everyday minor league players are given the opportunity to play in the big league games.  I myself got the opportunity to be a back-up pitcher in a big league game last week.  Although I did not get in, it’s good to see that the Cardinals are pushing the younger players to one day play at that level.

On the other hand, today was my second time that I have pitched in a game coming off of surgery last year, and it sure did feel like it.  Granted I did not pitch as well as I could have, I felt like it was just one of those days where every ball had eyes.  Those days when you throw that 0-2 slider at the batters shoelaces and it seems to just calmly fall out of reach from the second baseman.  Truthfully, I’ve been away from the game for such a long period of time, I totally forgot what it was like to have a team hand it to me like the Marlins did today.  But on the bright side, at least I can say I got my work in on backing up bases..lol.  But the thing that I’ve realized over my pitching career is that when today is over, there is always tomorrow.  And I know everyone can relate to these type of days.

Anyways, I don’t know if anyone had a chance to watch the World Baseball Classic, but I was just in awe of how good Japan was.  Some of the pitchers, actually all of the pitchers on that team, are just brutally filthy.  And it will be interesting to see how many players from that team come to play in the US.

By the way, I don’t know how many people have filled out NCAA basketball brackets, but I’m sorry if you had Clemson going past the first round.  They disappointed me as well.  Personally, I think Pitt is going to win it all.  If not, hopefully the Tar Heels will pull it off.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to read my post.  I know it may not be the best of blogs, but I’ll keep trying to get better.  Thanks again. -Kopper  



A New Beginning

 The start of every baseball season presents a chance for a new beginning.  Today, March 10th 2009, was the start of the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Spring Training, and the chance for every player to begin the season with a fresh start.  This is officially my first ever blog.  I was asked to do this blog a couple weeks ago and agreed because I’m always up to try new things.  So for those of you who are expert bloggers, bare with me, and for those just starting as well, good luck.  Unlike a diary, writing a blog is a little more difficult for me because it will be viewed by the public.  So I please ask that everyone respect my ideas and thoughts, as I will do with yours.

So here I am, sitting in the hotel, along with the other 150 pitchers that reported today, probably watching the same thing, ESPN.  I decided I would write a few thoughts about today.

  Obviously by now, everyone knows what the first day of camp brings.  Physicals.  So besides being pricked with 3 needles (because the lady missed twice…only me) everything went as planned.  And I am happy to say that my new beginning to the season kicks off with a heathly start.  So after all physicals are over, our Minor League Coordinator does the duty of reading the “Rules and Regulations.”  Now let me tell you…out of all the “Rules and Regulations” that are stated every year….there is only one rule that bothers me.  That one simple rule that all minor leaguers MUST wear their pant legs up.  I know that it is policy and no disrespect to the Cardinals, but I wish we could find a way to tweak that rule a little bit.  So after all of us soaked in the policy rules we then split up in groups and went our separate ways.  And after a hard and long days work, we all meet up again in the long-awaited lunch room.  This is officially the end of the first day of camp.

I just want to thank everyone for spending your time to read my blog.  I will be writing again soon with different topics and ideas, and hope to get some feedback.  Thanks again.