I have wonderful news. I’m going to be the opening day pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. I can see the headline now, “O’Farrell is Opening Day Starter for Atlanta Braves” on ESPN’s “bottom line” ticker.

Yes, I will be at the top of the Brave’s rotation. I’ll be the ‘ace’ on the Braves staff. I will face the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field next Monday 1 April 2013. I’ll bet you think I’m crazy, but I am way beyond confident that I will perform well when the pressure is on. You can go ahead and put the Braves down for a win on opening day.

BTW, you may have seen or read that Tim Hudson is the opening day starter. That’s just because Fredi Gonzalez and Roger McDowell haven’t seen me pitch yet.

No, I’m not crazy. Here’s why:

  1. I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. My grandparents took me to games to see players like Hank Aaron, Joe Torre, Felipe Alou, Eddie Mathews and Phil Niekro when I was a kid.
  2. I watch as many baseball games as I can on TV. Many times the analyst is a Hall of Frame pitcher like John Smoltz, Orel Hersheiser, or Don Sutton.
  3. I paid close attention when my son received pitching instruction several years ago. Our favorite coach, Estaban Maldanado, played in the Houston Astros’ farm system.
  4. A friend gave me a video produced by the National Pitching Association; it’s hosted by Doctor Tom House. He’s coached Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Mark Prior, to name a few.
  5. I have the history of baseball from PBS on video: “Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns.” I’ve watched all 14 two-hour episodes.
  6. I’m a member of several baseball communities on LinkedIn. I read the discussions and ‘like’  or ‘comment’ on a few each week.
  7. I follow a lot of teams and players on Facebook.
  8. I read blogs about pitching all the time.
  9. I went to a free two-hour class on pitching.
  10. I have a collection of 722 baseball cards with 68 autographs, including many pitchers.
  11. I’ve read several books about the mechanics and strategy of pitching.
  12. I have authentic Braves’ jerseys (in all five colors) with my name and number on the back.
  13. I’ve read Greg Maddox’ biography. When he was 15 a coach taught him how to throw balls (not strikes) to get the hitter out.

You may be wondering why I’ve been at JobSeekers each Friday instead of being with my teammates in Orlando for spring training. They’re just practicing down there. It’s not the real thing. Why would I waste my time practicing when I can be in Peachtree City helping you guys get jobs?

Even better, I won’t miss many JS meetings because when the Braves see how good I am, they will allow me to continue my job at O’Farrell Career Management and my volunteer work with JobSeekers. I’ll simply fly in and out of town on game day. Since pitchers only have 16 starts per year on the road, the time lost in Peachtree City will be minimal.

Of course, we will be the playoffs…

One of my clients read a draft of this article and pointed out that I haven’t thrown a single pitch in the off season – much less a pitch in a real game. He thought I should practice. Practice? And waste my time and money on training? I’ve got better things to do. When the Braves find out how many blogs I’ve read about pitching, I’m sure they will hire me.

You probably want to write and wish me good luck, but that’s really not necessary. Luck isn’t necessary. I am prepared, and preparation beats luck every time.

– Dave O’Farrell, #13, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Copyright © 2013 / Dave O’Farrell / All Rights Reserved