12/05/2014 5:07 AM
This is our first installment of “A Minute with Mazz” for the 2014-15 offseason. “A Minute with Mazz” is an occasional post from T-Bones manager John Massarelli with his thoughts on the offseason, the upcoming season and any other random musings we can pull out of him. We lead off this installment with Mazz talking about his recent experience as a participant in the Canton (Ohio) Dancing with the Stars, which is a one-night fund-raising event.
Last year my wife and I were eating at a restaurant when the cast of the third annual Canton Dancing with the Stars came in for their post-wrap party. One of our doctors, Brady Steineck, came in with his wife Tiffany, who happens to be a dance instructor. I asked who her star was and she mentioned a reporter that I’ve known forever. I started joking around and said, “Him? He can’t dance!” She asked if I wanted to do it and I said sure. So, a year later, there I was.
My wife and I took lessons from Tiffany about five years ago, and I’ve known Brady, so there was a comfort level there. This was a little different than Kelly and I taking lessons. Tiffany and I worked about two hours a week on our choreographed routine.
The event was held on Nov. 15 in front of a sell-out crowd of about 1,800 people at the Canton Palace Theatre. I haven’t been that nervous since the first time I played in front of 50,000 in an exhibition game between the Astros and Rangers — with Nolan Ryan. I can walk in front of a sold out CommunityAmerica Ballpark crowd with no problem, but when I was coming up as a young player, your first game in front of a large crowd, your heart starts racing. Right before Tiffany and I performed, my heart started racing like that again. But I had a blast! It didn’t hurt that we nailed our performance.
The experience gave me an appreciation for dancers and theatre. It was interesting. I learned how to “exit stage left,” as they say.
More in my wheelhouse, we’re currently in the process of putting together our T-Bones roster for 2015. The biggest difference between now and a year ago, obviously, is that I have an idea of the type of players we have.
I’m not addressing any particular area, but I’m still looking for the ace of our pitching staff. Who knows, one of our current players could step up and be that guy, but ideally I want a pitcher who, from his track record, has been successful as a team’s ace. Otherwise, if we come across a guy who’s a good player and would be a good fit with the T-Bones, we’ll consider him. Defensively, I think we’re solid. Offensively, with the signing this week of Adam Bailey, we have a middle-of-the-lineup guy who has some pop in his bat.
Right now, as we look at 2015, we’re in a good situation. I’m looking for one or two guys and then, after the first of the year when the excitement of the new season rolls in, we’ll start nailing down contracts of players who were with us in 2014.
I’m excited about 2015 with the T-Bones! I hope you are, too. May can’t get here soon enough.