For the last Coach’s Corner before we arrive, I wanted to get a new voice into the mix. I thought having one of our other coaches who has never been to Alaska write about coming up would be interesting.
Below are the thoughts of Kyle Richardson. Kyle was our starting shortstop at Cal State Bakersfield the last two years and has just finished his first year of coaching at Sierra Community College. His responsibilities this summer will include coaching third base, running our defense and assisting with hitters.
I’m excited about the opportunity to coach Division I players at a high level. Having just been in the game as a player only two years ago, I understand the mentality of the players when it comes to summer ball. I hope to enhance their experience in Alaska as well as try to help them reach their goal of getting drafted by Major League Baseball.
As far as Alaska goes, I have no idea what to expect. I’ve talked to some people and all of them have said completely different things, so I’m clueless. I’m guessing a lot of sun and a little colder than what I’m used to for a summer.
I have no idea what kind of town Kenai is and am kind of excited to see how it is. I never really leave California for any reason other than baseball and have never had an extended stay in another state, especially one like Alaska. Machado has let me know a little bit about it, but he messes with me all the time, so I half-believe him.
For me personally, I feel that coaching for the Oilers will help bolster my resume. My goal is eventually to run my own baseball program at the college level and working with Machado and being in a good organization can only help me individually achieve that. Getting experience with players at this high of a college level also will help me in terms of understanding what needs to be said, when it needs to be said, and why it needs to be said.
Being new to coaching, one of my fears is messing everything up. There are a lot of expectations, and with the small coaching staff, I just don’t want to mess everything up for everyone. I’m confident in my abilities but have very little experience and don’t want that to be a negative factor on the team. I’m mainly excited for such a big opportunity so early in my coaching career and hope to be a big asset for this team and organization.
As you read this the coaching staff will be on its way up to Kenai, with the players following Sunday. The schedule for the next couple of days includes our opening meeting Monday followed by our first practice. We’ll work out Tuesday and Wednesday and open up on Thursday.
For our first series we will be missing seven pitchers and three position players — all middle infielders. I have no idea how we will make it through three games with seven pitchers — it should be interesting.
HOST FAMILIES: The Oilers are still looking for host families. This is a great opportunity to get to know some wonderful kids and help them through this journey called the ABL. If you are interested please contact the Oilers office. If you are not, you’re probably not reading this article anyway!
Lastly, I really do mess with Kyle all the time. Beer Garden — you need to make him feel welcome opening night in your own special way! And, how are those emails and voice mails going to Jim Beeson?