Category Archives: Nick Bequette

Just an MLB Star …Living in Van – Nick Bequette

MEET DANIEL NORRIS – Nick Bequette  252 ESPN Radio

It has been a busy MLB offseason with Heyward joining his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals rival, Chicago Cubs, as well as Johnny Cueto heading to the Giants, who are on pace to win the World Series this year. I say that because of there boom or bust seasons, every other year winning the World Series or not making the playoffs the next year. With all the moves around the MLB, including controversy amongst discussion of the Designated hitter possibly joining the National league, and a saga of gambling issues from Yu Darvish’s brother (Yu Darvish has been cleared from allegations of helping his brother), there has been a diamond in the rough, quieter offseason. Ironically this player’s desire to stay off the grid every offseason, is exactly why he’s making headlines. Blue Jays prospect, Daniel Norris, who pitched in the big leagues parts of last season, is living in a van down by the River every offseason…

The notoriously funny Chris Farley SNL (Saturday Night Live) skit has come to life. Okay, he isn’t necessary always living by a River in particularly, but he travels in a 1978 Volkswagen camper and lives off the land in various location across the United States, from beaches, woods, you name it. This is because to Daniel Norris, assimilating to society doesn’t fit where he wants to head in life.
When Norris was young, he grew up under beliefs that began 80 years ago from his grandfather who ran an independently owned bike shop. His family loved nature, living off the land provided and not taking anymore than they needed. He was a three sport athlete that was constantly outdoors, doing anything he could outside, from riding bikes to hiking trips. There family message? Simple. Live Simply. Play outdoors. Love the Earth. Something that everyone can take a lesson from in a world where we are constantly taking things for granted.

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His van’s name? “Shaggy,” from the iconic cartoon “Scooby Doo,” and some mornings, Shaggy doesn’t always start. His typically van set up is outside of a Walmart in the Florida suburbs. Locals near the Walmart have mistakened him for a homeless man, even offering to give him money. Little do they know this man is a 92 mph throwing left hander that was drafted out of high school in 2011, with a 2 million dollar signing bonus. Yet, to Norris, he feels this money can only interfere with his lifestyle. His financial advisor only puts spurts of money in his account a month. 800 dollars, the equivalent to minimum wage with standard working hours. Waking up in the morning, cracking eggs that he has to smell to clarify if they are good or not, is the way Daniel Norris wants to live.

Personally I think Norris is doing the right thing, and has great values as a man, always thinking economically, being extremely self aware of the environment and embracing how he lives. Whether you see him as the man that lives down by the river, or the man who is slowly enforcing his way into the Blue Jays starting rotation, one thing is for certain, he embraces himself as an individual. An individual mentality on the mound, (and this is coming from a former pitcher) is an extremely useful mentality to implement into your game because you don’t rely as much on your defense. Just yourself. So, maybe there is a method to “madness” of Daniel Norris’s unconventional offseason.

DH in the NL ? More Cons than Pros – Nick Bequette

Is the DH headed to the National League?
Nick Bequette – 252 ESPN Radio

A lot has been said over the years, whether or not the DH (designated hitter) should be implemented in both the National and American League. As of right now players like David Ortiz and Albert Pujols, aging power hitters, hold far more value in the American League as opposed to the National League. Players like Ortiz and Pujols replace the pitcher from the batting order, giving the lineup more power or just an overall better bat. (Now this can be for any position, but the Pitcher is DH for 99% of the time in MLB)

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photo courtesy of mlb.com

Now… me personally? I don’t care for the DH because it takes a lot of situational play out of baseball. The double switch, and matching up pitchers for situations aren’t as prevalent with a DH in your lineup. I like seeing double switches, and substitutions in the game because it implements a huge element of strategy. Do you bring in the pinch hitter for the starting pitcher, or do we leave the starter in and hope he can bunt the runner over and gives us one more good inning? That type of situation will never be seen if the DH gets voted to both leagues.

What’s the appeal?

The player union would most likely condone a DH in the National League because it would add another big name hitter in the roster to bargain. Also, the DH is used at every level of baseball besides the 15 teams in the National League. Ultimately more teams would vote for the DH rule then those voting against it. Teams don’t want to get in an unfamiliar territory when playing interleague match ups during the regular season, and especially the World Series. To vote for a DH amongst all clubs puts every team on an even playing field. Also it could leave a team in a situation that cost them the World Series. A National League team doesn’t want to sign a big name DH that will only play in a handful of games, so they are left to use situational players or their fourth outfielder.

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photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

What’s the verdict?
With the MLB playing an interleague game everyday this season, the issue is at a peak in discussion. I believe we will see this rule instilled in baseball, where both leagues have a DH in the next 5 years, if not the 2017 season. With this being said, it makes me sad that pinch-hitting for the pitcher and subbing in situational pitching matchups will be outsourced from the game as it evolves. I personally hope that since no one would vote to get rid of the DH, hope that the rule stays the same, so I can watch Mike Matheny and Joe Madden play chess amongst matchups. This is extremely hopeful thinking. As a fan of the Cardinals and the National League, I hope that coaches can stay true to the pitcher remaining in the lineup, so we can see a game of chess be played amongst managers more often. But to all other purest like myself, I am sad to inform you that the pitcher remaining in the lineup will most likely be a thing of the past in the near future. ☹