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Inside the Clubhouse with Matt Schweitzer

02/10/2008 9:16 PM -

Do you think players in independent ball should be tested for performance enhancing drugs.  Also, I have some friends who play baseball but their workout is the "beach workout" which consists of heavy curls and bench press.  What kind of workout do you recommend as a pitcher?
Tony – Ohio

That is a very good question.  I believe any professional player at any level should be tested for performance enhancing drugs.  The problem in independent baseball is that the tests are very expensive and there are teams that can't afford to administer them.  Another thing is that if there are players taking them, they are going to get tested if they get picked up by a Major League organization.  It isn't worth the risk to be taking them in independent leagues to have you achieve a high level of performance because you are going to be subject to testing and will end up getting caught and then costing you what you have worked so hard for.  Even with that being said, there should be testing because there are so many out there that don't understand the health effects they can have on ones body, kids or professional athletes. 
      Your second question as far as what kind of workout you should be on.  There are different programs for when you are in season as to your off season.  Your workout should never be one that only consists of chest and biceps, that will only hurt you as a pitcher.  You should have a workout that hits every part of your body and especially your core, that is the most important for any pitcher.  I recommend during the season you do lighter weight and more reps to maintain strength and flexibility.  In the off season is when you can train harder and lift heavier weight to put on size, strength, and weight.  Remember everyone's body is different and just because it is good for some, it is not good for all.  You have to see what works best for you.  The biggest tip that I can give you is to not have your elbows go past your shoulders when doing benching because that tends to put too much stress on your shoulder, and on bicep curls to get full extension.  Always stretch out your muscles to maintain flexibility, that is what we need the most as pitchers.  It's not about how much weight, but how good our form is.

When we were at the CAB last summer, we watched you run the stairs around the Stadium for some time, so our question is what is your work-out for days that you are pitching and days you know you are off!
Chris, Ryan & Tyler Connelly - Palatine, IL

Unfortunately with being a relief pitcher or closer I never know what days I have off.  My workouts never change up much to when I am throwing that day or not.  I keep them consistent just for the simple fact that I never know if I might throw that night or not.  I want to try to keep my body ready for every night.  My workout includes either running stairs, running some sprints or riding the bike.  I don't really have a set schedule of when I do any of them, it is just whatever I feel like doing that particular day.  I will do these every 2 out of 3 days (2 days on, 1 day off).  Thanks for the pictures!

First of all, thank you for being a part of the T Bones Team.  We have enjoyed your dedication and hard work.
Do you feel that being a left handed pitcher gives you an advantage?  Would you prefer working solely with left handed batters?
Do you miss being in the Chicago area in the summer?  You've really been hit by snow in Illinois this year.  Do you think that shoveling all that snow helps build upper strength?
Donna and Bill

I would say that being left-handed definitly has its advantages. For one, if i wasn't left-handed I don't believe that I would still be playing right now.  Being left-handed has extended my playing career.  Teaching left-handers does have its advantages and they might grasp things quicker because we can relate to one another alot quicker, but as for preferring to only work with left-handers, I don't have a preference.  I like to work with anyone that has the desire to learn.  I like teaching kids of any ages whether right or left.  It is such a great feeling to see the joy and excitement on a kids face when they finally succeed. 
I do miss being back in Chicago because that is where I grew up and where my family and friends are at.  I don't get to see them all that much, but that is the nature of the job.  I have been in many different places over the years and it gets a little easier being away.  I wish that I could spend more time up there with my friends, but I know that one day this ride will be over and I will have plenty of time to do that.  I have gotten to do things and see things that many people haven't.  I just have to enjoy the time that I have.
They have gotten a lot of snow this year up there in Chicago.  Fortunatly I didn't stay there this year.  I am actually here in Kansas City.  I do think shoveling all that snow helps with your upper body strength and cardivascular, especially when it is that wet heavy snow.  It provides a great workout, but i do have to say that I haven't missed it that much this year!  HaHa!

Have you ever played winterball?  If so, how competitive is it?  Is it taken as seriously as the regular season?
Steve – Kansas City, KS

This was the first year that I played winter ball.  I was down in Mexico playing in a league in Veracruz.  This particular league wasn't as good competitive wise as the Northern League, but it still was a lot of fun and I enjoyed my time down there.  This particular league has a lot of young Mexican players and seemed to be more of a developmental league.  Now there are some really good winter leagues, such as the Mexican Pacific League and the Venezuelan League.  As far as taken seriously, the league I was in I would have to say no.  I think it was taken more serious for the Mexican players because it they were competing for a job during the summer.  Now I also think it varies from player to player, but for me it was a time to keep playing and enjoy seeing a different part of the world.

What was the biggest out you’ve ever recorded and why?
Brandon – Olathe, KS

I think I have had two outs that I have recorded in my career.  In 2001 and 2002 I recorded each of the final outs in our Championship games to win the Frontier League Championship.  In 2001 I ended up with the save and in 2002 I ended up with the win.  The most memorable of the two would have to be the 2002 Championship because it was on our home field, my dad was there and I struck the last guy out to win it.  I will never forget those times.

What is your favorite brand of baseball you’ve pitched with?
Trevor – Lenexa, KS

My favorite brand of baseball to pitch with would have to be Rawlings.  That is what we use and have used for so many years, so I am comfortable most with those.  Unless you want to take college into account.  Then I would have to say Diamond baseballs because they have such big seams and makes it alot easier to throw your curveballs, gives it a sharper break.

What is the best place to eat at when you’re on the road?
Sarah – Kansas City, MO

The best place to eat at when we are on the road is pretty much anywhere that isn't fast food.  It is rather difficult because we get finished so late and there really isn't anything open at that time of night, especially when it is during the week.  If you want a specific place I would have to say Joey Tomato's up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Submit your questions now to Tommy Thrall at tthrall@tbonesbaseball.com for pitcher Kenny Durost.