John Baker, a catcher with the Florida Marlins, is fighting for a starting job on his team. However, this is hardly the first scrap he has gotten in. He trained with Cesar Gracie's gym in California over a few winters, and for now, he's just fine sticking with getting bowled over by runners from the other team.
"Just getting beat up in there was enough for me at this point," Baker says with a laugh. "I think once I'm done playing baseball, I'll probably get into jiu-jitsu. Groundfighting. Martial art. That was what I enjoyed the most when I was training in it."
Though catchers are notoriously the scrappiest players on a baseball diamond, Baker does not have fond memories of being knocked out. In fact, he doesn't have any memories of it at all.
"I just had the overwhelming urge to sit down even though you're already laying down. That's all I remember. I remember throwing a left hook and then having somebody standing over me two seconds later."
So, there you have it. The day-to-day of an 162-game schedule was not enough to toughen up John Baker, so he had to go hang out with Cesar Gracie. Here's hoping that he won't have that urge to sit while laying down this baseball season.
Unless it's against the Cubs.