They are appropriately called Brock’s Bombers.
The Mets have the league’s top offense and are a threat to score inning after inning after inning.
Jared Braschler, the speedy centerfielder and pilot, and Chandler Veit, the glove relacing curveball pitcher extraordinaire, added their thoughts on GRBL Season V and the upcoming championship game. Jared has played in the league since its inception; Chandler’s played for three seasons. I’ve played catch with each of their sons. I expect to see them in the league a few decades down the road.
CV: This year has been my favorite, even though it’s been different with the way we have had to accommodate and make changes. It blows me away how fast it has come and gone. I am really thankful for the opportunity just to play this year.
JB: I’m glad we pulled it off, it was needed for us all to get away from the craziness of 2020. It’s been fun.
What is your favorite memory from this season?
CV: You make memories every single year. But, if I just had to pick one, it would be the outing I had against the Locos — pitching 5 innings with 7 strikeouts. For me, going 5 innings alone was going to be a stretch, but to do it and be effective was special. Even though I did get snubbed on player of the game that night…but we won’t talk about that.
JB: It’s not so much a memory, but one of the things I’ve noticed and enjoyed about this particular season is there is a lot more passion out there.
The passion is really what makes the league fun. It’s why there was a group of us practicing on Friday mornings all summer. It’s why Meza had Sunday scrimmages in 100 degree heat. It’s why we argue with umps on the field and run around celebrating walk-off wins. And it’s why we text teammates throughout the week, talking about that one call, that one play, even if it drives us a little bit crazy.
What’s it been like playing for Brock and the Mets?
JB: The environment has been awesome. Relaxed, lots of laughs, and Brock brings and invites baseball SWAG, so we are going all out!
CV: Playing for Brock and the Mets is hard to explain. It is hands down one of the most laid back dugouts I have ever been a part of. However, the smack talk in the dugout, GroupMe, etc., is never ending. If you ever get lucky enough to be drafted by Brock, you need to remember two things. First, you better be ready to go all out with equipment every single week. Second, you better be ready to talk a lot of smack and not be offended by anything thrown your way.
On first impression, it is hard not to be intimidated by Brock’s sheer size and baseball resumé. But when you get to talk with him and hear his stories, he’s a lot of fun, and has a wealth of wisdom to pass along. I love the way he incorporates the weekend themes into his gear.
How would you describe your team?
JB: Are we the bad guys? I’ve heard rumors, so I guess we are doing a good job of acting on that front.
CV: I would describe this team as culturally diverse. Having an infield speaking Spanish behind you is one of the coolest things to hear when you are on the mound. But having a team that is also willing to put it all on the line for each other and have your back is truly amazing. It is so much fun to watch how the game of baseball can bring guys from all types of different backgrounds, ethnicities, races together. Not just on our team, but in the entire league as a whole. But I would be lying if I said we don’t pride ourselves as the most hated team in the league.
Tell me about your teammates.
JB: Our pitchers have done an outstanding job. Matlock and Veit could share the pitcher of the year award this year in my book. Our guys can hit as well. Everyone as a whole has found a way to get the job done when we needed it. The team has jelled nicely, even with it being a shortened season.
CV: To tell you about my all of my teammates would take entirely too long. These guys are such a blast to be around. When you have the confidence of having the BEST outfield in the league behind you with Brash and Joe Emery along with guys on the infield like David Rodriguez and Jose Vargas along with Brock behind the plate, how can you not carry confidence on the mound? These guys are all around ball players.
Best baseball advice for Rob Neiss?
JB: Get back on the field. No one behind the dish will have deep life conversations during my ABs this year. Come back, please.
CV: Rob does a GREAT job with everything that he does. I would say my best baseball advice for him would be to move back and get back in this league. I love what he is doing and how involved he still is. But, as far as best baseball advice, I would probably have to talk to the “best ball player in my household” (aka my son, Rylan Veit) and get back to you.
What’s the best part of playing in the GRBL?
JB: Getting to play baseball again and making so many new friends who we share the fall with each year.
CV: The best part of playing in the GRBL has been the brotherhood. You become a part of a family that is one of the largest families you can be a part of. Guys that you end up training with, kids that play ball together. It is such a great opportunity to step on the field with your brothers to play the greatest game in the history of sports.
What is one thing baseball has taught you about life?
JB: Resilience and teamwork. When you’re young and playing ball, that’s all it’s about. When you advance in your career, the lessons learned on resilience and teamwork really help mold and shape you. It was just baseball back in the day, but it builds character for life.
CV: Baseball has literally taught me everything about life. But, if I had to choose just one thing, it’s the ability to know it’s ok to fail. No matter how good of a streak you are on, failure is right around the corner. The thing that separates average players from great players is what they do when they go through the failure. When you have the ability to work through failure you come out stronger on the other end. Just as in baseball when you are struggling at the plate and you put in the work to get better, you become stronger and know how to handle that situation when it appears again in the future.
What will you do this offseason?
JB: Order a fresh supply REUB bats — Chaffin’s new bat company (you should check them out) and try to patiently wait for next season.
CV: I will spend the majority of this offseason in the stands at a baseball field. Through the winter, I will be cheering on my 5-year old daughter at her cheer competitions and then, come January, it will be right back to baseball for my 10-year old. We will spend pretty much every weekend from March-October at a baseball field somewhere working, competing, and getting better.
* * * * *
Only three days until Championship Sunday, where we will Stand Up to Cancer on behalf of Jesse Hodge, cheer on the GRBL All-Stars, and see which team will raise the Howard Bell Trophy.