Oct. 5, 2009
by FSU Sports Information Student Assistant, Ultima Rogers
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As the Florida State baseball team enters its third week of fall practice, the Seminoles continue to gear up for what should be an exciting season in 2010.
This week Seminoles.com continued its fall focus chatting with some of the student-athletes who spent the past summer playing in the northeast in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
Student assistant Ultima Rogers sat down with these players to get an idea of what life was like in Massachusetts over the summer. On Monday, junior southpaw John Gast shared his thoughts on his experience in the Cape Cod League.
Q: What made you accept the invitation to play in the Cape Cod League?
A: It’s probably one of the better leagues in the nation and I wanted the opportunity to throw to the best hitters.
Q: What was your first reaction when you received your invitation?
A: I actually was invited after my freshman year, but I had just come off of my surgery so I decided not to go. I was just grateful that the coaches invited me back the next year after my sophomore year.
Q: What team did you play for?
A: Harwich Mariners
Q: What was your team like?
A: It was pretty interesting. There were a lot of different personalities as you can imagine with people from all over the nation. It was pretty laidback. The coaches were real good about having that fun atmosphere especially for a summer team.
Q: How did it differ from your Florida State team?
A: Here, there’s a lot of pressure to win. Pressure we put on ourselves and the pressure we get from our fans. In the summer, there’s no pressure to win. You can just kind of focus on what you need to work on and get better.
Q: Did you live with a host family? And if so describe the experience?
A: I’ve lived with a couple of host families throughout my life but this one was probably one of the better ones. They’ve been hosting kids from the Mariners for 13 years, so they were used to having people and I was used to living with other families so we meshed real well.
Q: Did playing with a new group of people help excel your talent?
A: Yeah a lot, I picked up on a lot of different theories on the game. Kids that went to different schools all have different opinions about baseball so it was cool to hear what everyone had to say about the game. You really learn a lot by just listening to things other people have to say.
Q: Best taste of the Cape…what was the best meal you had while you were living in the Cape over the summer?
A: My host mom made steaks one night. I am a big steak fan.
Q: How did you spend your free time up there when you weren’t playing baseball?
A: Reading really. I read a lot of books. All the houses in Cape Cod have an older style and they have one TV downstairs. But upstairs in my room there is no TV or Internet so I read a lot of books and watched movies on my laptop.
Q: What was the best book you read?
A: Catcher in the Rye was pretty good. I decided to go with the classics.
Q: What did you take away from playing in the Cape Cod League over the summer that you can bring to Florida State this season?
A: One of the things I was focusing on was developing a change-up. Being there really helped me understand the effectiveness of a change up and how it can be utilized when your throwing to a better hitter as it can really mess up his timing.