What It's Like To...

What it's Like to Be a Professional Baseball Player--Part 1

August 17, 2022 Season 3 Episode 8
What it's Like to Be a Professional Baseball Player--Part 1
What It's Like To...
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What It's Like To...
What it's Like to Be a Professional Baseball Player--Part 1
Aug 17, 2022 Season 3 Episode 8

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Lots of kids dream of growing up to become pro athletes. Joe Biagini actually became one.  He has pitched in the major leagues for the Houston Astros, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Chicago Cubs, and minor league teams as well.  He was even part of a pitching team that performed an historic no-hitter for the Astros.   In this raw, revealing, humorous interview (part 1 of 2) , Joe reveals the insecurities that have plagued him since childhood, and shares techniques he has used to battle them.  He also details how he ended up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon--a fantastical daydream from many years before.

In this episode:

  • Joe's childhood dreams (02:04)
  • How baseball helped him deal with his insecurities (05:55)
  • Mental techniques he has used pitching at the professional level (10:35)
  • Teamwork and chemistry in pro baseball (20:58)
  • How he ended up on The Tonight Show (24:43)

Want to know more about Joe?

  • Link to his appearance on The Tonight Show: https://globalnews.ca/news/3076825/jimmy-fallon-rights-wrong-with-blue-jays-pitcher-joe-biagini/ 
  • Funny moments from TV interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp4NV5DbIBg

Want to know more about The Experience Podcast?

  • Sign up to be on our Insiders' List to receive our newsletters and insiders' information! Go to theexperiencepodcast.net (sign-ups are at the bottom of the page)
  • Follow us on social media:

Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Lots of kids dream of growing up to become pro athletes. Joe Biagini actually became one.  He has pitched in the major leagues for the Houston Astros, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Chicago Cubs, and minor league teams as well.  He was even part of a pitching team that performed an historic no-hitter for the Astros.   In this raw, revealing, humorous interview (part 1 of 2) , Joe reveals the insecurities that have plagued him since childhood, and shares techniques he has used to battle them.  He also details how he ended up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon--a fantastical daydream from many years before.

In this episode:

  • Joe's childhood dreams (02:04)
  • How baseball helped him deal with his insecurities (05:55)
  • Mental techniques he has used pitching at the professional level (10:35)
  • Teamwork and chemistry in pro baseball (20:58)
  • How he ended up on The Tonight Show (24:43)

Want to know more about Joe?

  • Link to his appearance on The Tonight Show: https://globalnews.ca/news/3076825/jimmy-fallon-rights-wrong-with-blue-jays-pitcher-joe-biagini/ 
  • Funny moments from TV interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp4NV5DbIBg

Want to know more about The Experience Podcast?

  • Sign up to be on our Insiders' List to receive our newsletters and insiders' information! Go to theexperiencepodcast.net (sign-ups are at the bottom of the page)
  • Follow us on social media:

Support the Show.

Joe  0:00  

I didn't always love the sport of baseball. But the thing that I did love, I love the pursuit of perfection, finely tuning your craft and trying to make it work and trying to be smart about it and make the right choices and do the right things to get you to a place where you're like successful in something very difficult.

Elizabeth  0:32  

Being a professional athlete sounds like a dream to lots of people. But getting there and living that dream is a lot different than most of us probably imagine. I'm Elizabeth Pearson Garr, and on this episode of The Experience podcast, we go on to the pitcher's mound into the dugout and frankly into the mind of a professional baseball player. Joe Biagini has played for the Toronto Blue Jays, the Houston Astros, the Chicago Cubs and many of their minor league teams as well. Get ready for Joe's raw honesty, his dry humor, and how he ended up on The Tonight Show in this revealing conversation, part one of our two part interview. Joe, hi, thank you for making time to do this. I really appreciate you being on the podcast in the midst of your busy baseball schedule. So thank you.

Joe  1:22  

You're welcome. I have in my contract that I don't do podcasts. I thought this was just a regular interview. But I'll let it slide for you. Thank you, I had a bad experience. But I'm definitely been intrigued by the idea of this and just the whole format, since I first heard about it. And yeah, finally got around to making it happen.

Elizabeth  1:45  

Well, here's what I was thinking about. A lot of little kids have certain dreams, to be an astronaut to be a rock star to be a professional athlete. And there you are, you're doing it. You're you're living the dream. Were you that little kid who thought one day I want to be a pro ballplayer?

Joe  2:04  

Yeah, I mean, I would say I have this funny story of my dad, when he was driving me and my friend around. When we were younger, I was probably 10 or 12, or something like that. And he asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. And my friend said I wanted to I want to be a major league baseball player. And, and I guess I said, I want to want to be a major league baseball player. So it was already from the beginning. But it was kind of one of those things for me where I grew up kind of like not really having a lot of confidence and like self esteem, and just overthinking and stuff like that, that obviously I'm not immune to it even now being so old, but it was kind of that idea of like, I feel like I'm supposed to want this or supposed to do that. And just like not really sure if like oh am I going to feel guilty if I don't say the correct thing or do you know, whatever. So I was always interested in trains, planes, and automobiles, basically, a little bit of like, design and the kind of building blog, the foundations of that when I was younger, and sports, I liked watching, but I had a lot of like, worries about if I fail or not being good enough and stuff like that. So I kind of had a lot of guilt going into it. But I, I think I wanted to do something that was respectable, and like exciting and unique, and made me feel like I was accomplishing something like I was you know, special and different. And I can do this thing that other people can't or I am doing this thing that other people aren't and kind of that commitment that I make the sacrifice I make to work really hard and be proud of that and have other people notice it and a lot of it was external because there was you know, I think some insecurity and stuff. So all that is to say that I think I kind of chose baseball as kind of my means my avenue towards that. And I think I even kind of had that subconscious or slightly conscious thought even at a younger age where I didn't always like love the sport of baseball and I hope that that's not going to be like depressing to people or anything like that. But the thing that I did love and will maybe get into this more is that I love the pursuit of perfection the working on finely tuning your craft and trying to make it work and trying to be smart about it and make the right choices and do the right thing. things to get you to a place where you're like successful in something very difficult. And so baseball was the natural way to do that, because my dad played and he played professionally. And so he can always knew that might be a nice thing for me, I might have potential in that, because he knew it. And so it kind of just was, like, more obvious of like, here it is, you know, are you gonna take it or leave it? And I think I kind of chose to do it. Because I was like, I, I might regret not choosing that.

Elizabeth  5:33  

It's interesting that you're a pitcher. Because in baseball, there's so much pressure on the pitcher. I mean, I'm sure there isn't every position, but you said, you know, to feel some insecurity or like all eyes on you. Seems like that. It's just, it would be a tough position to be judged in. Do you feel that?

Joe  5:55  

Um, I've never felt that until this moment, actually. And now I'm gonna be really nervous. No, I think that with you? Yeah, definitely. I mean, there's an aspect of me. What does that word like masochistic? Or like, where you inflict pain on yourself? Where it's like, I kind of want to do that, not because it's painful or, or just the sheer difficulty of it, but because it's difficult because it feels like the ultimate like, self challenge. I think part of that is draw. But part of it, the main part, and probably 90%, you know, the biggest part of it is that it was only thing that I could do well, so I tried to be a hitter when I was younger as well. And and that didn't work out, although it wasn't going that great when I was younger, as a pitcher either. So I wonder if I you know, all pitchers think they can be good hitters? And of course, because they haven't done it in a long time. So I sometimes wonder, like, what if I would have stuck with the hitting, if I would have ended up being pretty good. And I do feel like, man, sometimes when you're out there, all by yourself on the mound, and you have to really focus or else you're gonna get caught up in the like, you know, I got the ball and I'm, it's all up to me kind of thing where you're like, Man, if I could just like hide in the lineup and be one of the nine, you know, and just kind of, you know, only be expected to be successful three out of 10 times, maybe that would have, but you always look at it from a perspective of like, I'm not in it, I'm not experiencing like the unique and subtle factors that contribute to why this would be hard, or that would be harder, you know, as grass is always greener sort of thing. So more directly back to your question, I think it has been a challenge for me, because this isn't the best reason to have stuck with it. But the guilt of giving up early kind of drove me and kept me going. I don't know if it's an end, justifies the means kind of thing. But I am glad that I stuck with it. Because I do think it taught me how to deal with some of those fears and some of those insecurities and challenge myself in that way. I do think there is a lot of that kind of individual, like, you're just exposed, you're out there. And you're just being tested. And like the success and failure is so distinct and obvious when you're pitching. Whereas like if you give up a hard hit ball, that's an out, I guess maybe you'd be considered successful, but anything else happens bad. It's like, where you can get out as a hitter and still do your job and do a good thing. Or, you know, well, here comes the next guy and he could get three four at bats. And again, that's a pitchers perspective, probably. But I do think that challenge of you're just facing head on like success or failure every time you're out there. Especially in a position where it's like kind of different from the rest of the game. It's like him and then everybody else playing working together and whatever and you are a part of the team but so that kind of idea of like the eyes are on me. You know, I'm being judged I'm being basically evaluated every every time you're out there is not necessarily accurate, but definitely like tempting to think that way.

Elizabeth  9:26  

Yeah, judged and celebrated. You know, when things go well, they can go now. And

Joe  9:32  

of course, the irony is that I'm never allowing myself to like be satisfied by something successful. Losing or doing bad is always more of an intense reaction than winning or doing good winning or doing good for me is always been like a relief. You know, so I've

Elizabeth  9:50  

heard so many athletes say that, like NBA champions and other people say the losing hurts so much more than the winning feels good.

Joe  9:57  

And I think that's part of why They're so good and what drives them? You know, I don't know, if you were perfectly healthy, you would like maybe enjoy the victories is equally as you are hurt or by the bad stuff. But I don't know, I kind of think there's got to be something wrong with those athletes, the best athletes in the world, you know, a lot of them are driven by this intense kind of fear of failure. And I think that there is an aspect of not being complacent by winning, that kind of separates people. For better or worse.

Elizabeth  10:35  

Can you walk me through kind of what your headspace is? When you're going to pitch a game? Before the game? Do you? Do you try to just kind of block other people out? And do you have to just get in a certain mindset? And then when you're going up to the mound, and throughout the game, are you? Are you even listening to the crowd? And the cheers and the booze and everything? Or how do you maintain none of the booze?

Joe  11:01  

The booze that never happened? Right?

Elizabeth  11:03  

Right, the Phantom because it was for other people. Right, right, for dropping the fly balls. And that's right. But you know, how do you like maintain your equilibrium? Throughout a

Joe  11:12  

good question? If you have any answers to that, let me know. But yeah, what's

Elizabeth  11:19  

your expert?

Joe  11:20  

I? Well, I mean, a lot of it is based in logic and based and just knowing yourself, and like someone who's mentally tough can handle themselves in a lot of different situations. But I think my experience growing up and lacking all of those things that you just mentioned, you know, kind of taught me the necessity of, or the importance of having a good mental game. It's been a really complicated journey in that area, probably just as complicated as the physical side. You know, it's kind of cliche to say, Oh, how important the mental game is, but probably cliche for a reason. I'm not a naturally like outwardly competitive person towards other people. Really, I will be if it's a certain scenario, you get into a certain unique situation. But it's not a big trash talking, like really like in your face kind of thing. It's more of a self competitiveness, like, challenging yourself competing with yourself. And so I've had a lot of times in the past, where I've been pretty tentative, when I've been playing because other guys looking at me mean, or he's better, and I don't select naturally, like, step up to that challenge. Like, I might be really intensely trying to figure out some problem on my own or trying to fix something or, you know, but when it comes to like some other guy, I'm like, Yeah, you go ahead, and you can win. And you know, don't worry about me kind of thing. And so that wasn't the most efficient way to be successful in a sport. And being kind of cerebral guy, not saying that I'm smart, just saying that I'm very like head over heart. I had to kind of like, come up with a strategy to employ when I was pitching and kind of like, learned that I had to build a habit of thinking a certain way. That's how depression you can get stuck in long phases of good or bad, be in a habit of, you know, going out and running every day. Because just just a subtle difference in perspective. Yeah, like, I can't do this, or I'm too tired, or I'm this or that, or like, you can switch it over, sometimes with inspiration that comes randomly. But most of the time, it's like through just forcing yourself to do it easier said than done. But it's not easy, but it's simple. So for me, when I first had my success in the major leagues, it was obviously coming from a place of like, I don't know if I can handle this. And that fear that like I need to come up with something kind of drove me to build this habit of specifically what I would do when I was in the bullpen for my first major league season. And this is when I was at the kind of the peak of my mental game. And it just was all big whirlwind. Obviously, I made the team by some mixup in paperwork or some miracle. Well, I had my first major league spring training, and then I made the team and so during that spring training and making the team process was like, I gotta do something different, something special. And usually in that case, that doesn't work. It doesn't work to try to be better than yourself, do more than you can just do just keep it simple and play your game and yourself. Sure and just do what you're supposed to do. But in this case, I think I said like I need to not be someone else. While in a way kind of be somewhat I'll be like a character caricature of myself, come up with like a way of thinking that I felt like wasn't really me and my kind of like cruising altitude But was me in that I am just a summation of my thoughts, you know, as everybody is, and all of those thoughts are who I am. So I'm going to come up with a bunch of thoughts that help support and kind of give me that confidence. So when I got to that place where I was in this major league spring training, and I was trying to make the team and then did, I thought, I have to kind of get the most out of my self, physically and mentally. And so I kind of did this little like mantra thing where I, I do like a prayer, right in the first inning of the game when we're all sitting down there in the bullpen. And, you know, the other guys are looking at cute girls in the stands and, and I might pause a prayer to to, you know, see what's going on. But that kind of thing. And then a little just kind of self talk. And it was pretty interesting, because I kind of got made fun of by a few of my teammates, because I would be off in the corner. Like, we're, you know, like spitting on the ground. And like, I wasn't even really realizing because I was kind of building up this thing. So you're vocalizing even she, you're being sure like, yeah, I didn't even know not. It was all inward, it was all internal. Okay. I wasn't like yelling at like a crazy person in the corner.

Elizabeth  16:19  

Maybe a little getting little work that but yeah,

Joe  16:23  

yeah, getting worked up. And it's just really was not me in the sense that my natural state, but it was me in the sense that I was creating this for myself, this kind of character that I would take in the game with me, and I didn't know if it was going to work. And that was part of the motivation was because I needed to do something you know. And so I kind of came up with this character, some of the colorful language wasn't exactly appropriate for like the public, but it was just something, it was just kind of a desperate attempt to get me kind of going, basically, and just say, like, I'm fearless, I'm coming after you, and I don't care who you are, and I'm just going to attack and sure, hit it 500 million miles for get out. Because I thought, I'm gonna probably get you out. Nothing personal, but it's just kind of, I think my stuff is my pitches are really good. And so sorry, but I'm coming after you and I don't care, you know, and I have nothing to lose. And so it's kind of that that was so foreign to, you know, what I had always kind of believed about myself. The necessity out of that desperation to like come up with it was kind of the thing that led me into that way of thinking. And the funny thing was, you know, this has taught me a lot about life and how things work and how I think and how people think, is that it was a nice thought to have one once. But it was really the habit of doing it every day. And I think it was the perfect scenario when I was in the bullpen, I wasn't sure when I was going to pitch and stuff. So I had to do it every day, whether I was going to play or not. And I got in the habit of thinking that way. Because I was just doing it every day, just like you practice your juggling or practice some skill, music, anything, if you drove a car once and then did it again, like five years later, or something like it's probably not going to be as effective as you get comfortable with thinking that way. And so that was kind of a way that I would really prepare myself. And it's funny that I would take all of that. And then I had one little phrase that I would repeat to myself in the, in the game to kind of like, represent all of that and take it with me into the game.

Elizabeth  18:40  

One word change, or was it the same word,

Joe  18:43  

it was the same kind of phrase, but just subtleties of like, sometimes if I would get a little complacent, or it would get a little stale, I would like, color it differently, liven it up a little bit or changed, like kind of perspectives about different thoughts about all the different reasons why I shouldn't be nervous and shouldn't be, you know, but that phrase would kind of just be what I would do in the game. And so it was really interesting to just learn that I was capable of that.

Elizabeth  19:13  

So you're sort of speaking in the past tense about it, you don't do this anymore, or are you just talking about that's when you

Joe  19:19  

started? Yeah, so that was kind of when I started it also, I've gone through different phases. I've been a starter and I'm like right now I'm kind of just struggling with my physical mechanics. And so I'm kind of like focused on that. And this goes way deeper than just that statement. But elements of it that I do believe helped me are things that I kind of still have in my tool belt, and that I would use, but right now I'm kind of in a different phase, where I'm kind of just trying to get to the place physically where I can then employ that because when you're not doing the right things physically, it doesn't really matter what your thinking or how confident you are. And vice versa goes the other way, too. So it's kind of like a skill that I have, but haven't like been practicing recently as much, because I'm more focused on just trying to hold together my pitching mechanics basically, right now. So it's a little bit different phase, obviously, not having that working well together with the pitching mechanics kind of might give you an insight into how things are going at the moment. But it's just kind of a struggle to kind of get that in the right place. And then I believe that I need to kind of have this act of mind that is really on top of kind of a healthy mental habit that I would use while I'm performing. Right now. It's more of a like, testing and fixing and adjusting phase right now.

Elizabeth  20:58  

Yeah. One thing I've wondered about professional sports, because I've seen it just in youth sports and high school sports and things is the importance of teamwork. And when you're continually switching teams, how do you gel as a team easily? Or do you

Joe  21:19  

just being honest, I think baseballs may be a little bit less important in terms of the chemistry of the team. It's a team sport, but very individual. And guys know kind of how to play the game. There is a lot of subtlety, as there is in every sport, in terms of like how different players play together. pitchers and catchers working together infielders how they flip the ball to each other and outfielders who's going to come in and who's going to go behind and all these different things, and a lot of stuff like that. But I would say like, it's probably less than, like basketball or something like where you see like a super team come together, and they just don't get long, or it just doesn't work out. Even though there's a massive talent, I would say that baseball is still a sport where it is important to have good chemistry, especially more in the in the clubhouse. And that is a subtle thing that goes a lot farther than what you might think. But in the sense that like, the chemistry needs to be good. Players kind of learn how to connect with other guys. And they all kind of know, like the framework of like, what are the things that we need to understand about each other? Like, it might be subtly different if like, I like to throw this pitch in this situation, I like to do this. But everybody knows, they kind of have a thing like that, you know, What signs do you use when there's a runner on second? Or, you know, what pitches Do you have? Okay? And then like the catcher's caught so many guys, and they're like, Oh, does it sweep more? Does it go down more? Does it when do you like to use it, and they're, they're pretty good at getting to know each other quickly. It's funny, like, sports are such an intense and unique environment that people really can get close really quickly, especially in the minor league level, because everybody hangs out with each other all the time, the bus trips, and, you know, stuff like that college environment. But like, you make these friendships, you know, and you make these relationships that last forever. And like, you might never find other people like that in the real world. So I would say that, it is important, but I also say like, I think good players can figure out how to, like, make it work with other people, people they don't like or people that are different with them. And but there are a lot of subtleties, where it is important. I think a lot of times it starts with the coaching staff, if they're kind of likeable, and kind of feel like you can trust them, they're on your side, you know, they're not just trying to like make themselves look good, or just like, don't care about player's performance, because a lot of times in the professional game, it's about money. And so if there's kind of a another level there besides that, or even if they say, Hey, we want you to make a ton of money, because we know that that's what it's about. You know, there's kind of a little bit of the trust there. And I think it starts from there. And then I think, if a couple of the like really good players are approachable, and that kind of like brings the whole group together a little bit. So I think it just it's the responsibility of guys who are good, because when they're good, they're respected. And then everybody kind of is like, they're the ones that we're kind of looking towards. So luckily, I've never had to be in that role, but I think that's kind of where it comes from.

Elizabeth  24:43  

So what's this tonight show story? How did you end up on The Tonight Show?

Joe  24:49  

So, my girlfriend who is not my wife, I don't have a girlfriend right now. Previous ex ex girl offer him.

Elizabeth  25:01  

Prior to Becca, you did your girlfriend. Yes,

Joe  25:04  

I had a girlfriend. I was cool. She was living in New York. And this was after my first season. I decided to go stay in New York for a couple months in the offseason, just for fun, and she was there and whatever. So she knew that I kind of liked those kind of shows, I liked the production value of it, I like I always watch, you know, comedians, and variety shows and things like that. So she knew how to, like get the tickets for him, and she got tickets for me for like a Christmas present or something like that. And so we went to the show, and they bring in, and they have like, their employees come around, and like feel you out and figure out like, you know, what kind of vibe you're gonna bring. And so I was kind of just goofing around with them as I do. And she was pretty lively, you know, energetic person. So they ended up putting us I think they put like the, like older people or people they say think you're not going to be as like excited, and in the back. And they put like the younger people in the front. And so we got sat down, right near the front, and I was on the aisle, which I requested, because it's hard to fit in those seats. So we were just in the audience at the end of the show, my buddy Jimmy, as you know, I refer to him. But he goes up to like, in down the aisles, giving high fives with people. So well, I'm going to preface it maybe I shouldn't say this. But I'm just going to say that I have this kind of embarrassing fantasy. Don't worry about before even like making it to the major league. This is part of the weird, like, motivation to like do all of this stuff as shamefully, I will say, you know, I wanted to have a lot of money, I wanted to be famous, I wanted to be respected and stuff like that, and maybe a little bit too much as compared to like the honorable reasons of like, you know, taking advantage of the gifts that God has given me or whatever, but anyone's honest. Oh, well, it's nothing if it's not honest. But I remember even before getting to that point, I would dream about like, I had this one specific. You know how, like, when you have this like, fantasy about something happening to you really cool, really great. Oh, if I meet this celebrity, and I say something funny to them, and they, they we hit it off, and then we get married and we you know stuff like that, like ridiculous. Yeah, ridiculous things that never would happen. So I had this, and I've had more of those. I have those thoughts like other people, I hope wood or else this is really embarrassing, but I think so. Thank you for the golf reference. I like, by the way, so one of the many fantastical daydreams I had, was specifically about, like being in the major leagues going to one of these shows, getting recognized, and then having them bring me back onto the show because I did something funny or whatever. And this was like years before. And then that like actually happened, which was really crazy, because I've had a bunch of other ones. I wish I had, like, done my lottery fantasy, more intensely than this one. But it was like one of those things where I remember thinking about it afterwards. Like, I can't believe like, I really, very specifically thought about this scenario. And it happened, like, visualize this through. And so anyway, it is it's kind of embarrassing, but whatever. So he does the high fives and he goes up the aisle. And he like missed my hand. And I did my I just kind of my natural, like reaction was just like this awkward like, and then I noticed the camera. You know, the light was on the camera following up the stairs. And I just thought like, yeah, that'd be funny if somebody like noticed that and watching the credits or whatever. And, and sure enough, somebody did. And they were blue jays fan and they were like, is it that Blue Jays guy. And so they like sent messages to a couple of my teammates and they responded and I didn't know about this until our like PR person called me and said, I heard you went to the Tonight Show. And I remember thinking like I didn't tell anybody about that. Why that's strange. Not quite connecting the dots yet. And then they're like, they want to bring you back and do a skit about bad high fives and I was like, I can't you know, so. I didn't believe I roll or something. I mean,

Joe  29:51  

I think I don't know. I mean, I don't think so. I just think it some people saw it. And they like brought me back because they were like, Oh, he's a pitcher on the Blue Jays. And that would be funny to us that video of him, you know, reacting that way and then whatever. So they had a script. I was originally supposed to do this dance with them at the end of our skit. And I was really nervous about that, because it was gonna be embarrassing, but I practiced it for like three hours the night before in the apartment. And then I got there the next day, and they're like, oh, yeah, we cut the dance. And I was happy. But I was also like, I spent all that time practicing this stupid dance. But hours of my life. Yeah. But I got to go rehearse in like, the studio, I got to meet the writer who did the whole thing. And we actually stay connected afterwards a little bit. And it was such a weird, I got makeup, which was necessary. And I had the green room. A couple of friends were in town visiting. So they brought us you know, they had a Escalade come pick us up and bring us over. And it was such a surreal, far more surreal than making it to the major leagues and pitching in the major leagues was this experience, because it was just like, this doesn't have you know, this is crazy. So backstage at the tonight show. Yeah, speaking of backstage, I was pretty nervous. Because I was like, I'd realized I didn't think about it until like, right before I was like, this is like national TV kind of stuff. Like, what am I doing here? Like I don't, and so what? Sure, yeah. But like grunting and sweating and not thinking about that, because I'm just so you know, this one was like, this is the whole point. It's like, it's like a performance, you know, like, I'm not going to as good as I am a tap dancer, I'm not going to get up in front of people and do my tap dancer team. And I've practiced for years. But this was like a, it's literally just the camera. And so I remember like, I need to, like shake it up a little bit. Like I'm nervous. And I'm, I was backstage in this like, stage manager guy was like, really intense. And he was counting down the jokes. He was doing the monologue. My buddy Jimmy was out there doing the monologue. And so he was like, three more jokes. And then you and I was like, kinda like, I don't know. So I pretended like I was sick. And I was like, Oh, I don't feel so good. I need to go to the bathroom. You know? And the guy was like, No, he can't do that to me. And I was like, Oh, I'm just kidding. And he's like, Oh, you're okay, you're on. So kind of helped me just kind of like, you goof with him and loosen up. And so yeah, it was such a,

Elizabeth  32:35  

you met Jimmy already? Had he come backstage? And yeah, he,

Joe  32:39  

you know, he paid his respects to the star that I wasn't. Yeah, we got to meet him and talked about like what we're going to do, which was totally different than anything that I had rehearsed with, of course, but was kind of funny. And he met a couple of my friends and, but the funny thing was, is they were all excited about me being a baseball player. And I was like, That's dumb. Like, I'm all excited about the showbiz thing. And they're like, No, that's dumb. We want to talk about baseball.

Elizabeth  33:06  

So how did it go on stage? You were nervous? Well,

Joe  33:10  

let me send you the video that I definitely don't have ready to show anybody who asks. No, I

Elizabeth  33:16  

seen it. Oh, yeah. Okay, from your perspective, how did it feel

Joe  33:21  

it very quick. And it's kind of hate to put it in baseball terms. But that's kind of what I only think I understand. But it's kind of like when you're out there pitching. You're, you're just kind of like, have this tunnel vision of like, what's going on in the moment. And it just, you know, happens. And then it's just like, all of this kind of noise around and you're just kind of like, I mean, I'm standing on the stage with makeup on talking to Jimmy Fallon. And we do this skit, and it's just like, just do it and just own it. And so, yeah, it was I luckily held my vomit in until after I got off. So yeah, it was a really, really strange experience. And then I had a connection with them for I could bring some friends and family into the show for free or for just like, whenever I wanted to, and I did that a couple of times, which was cool, but then I eventually I was like, it probably need to, like, stop showing up and Hey,

Elizabeth  34:17  

it's me again. So any more showbiz in your future?

Joe  34:21  

I'm glad you asked. Because I'm working on a project. I'm doing a method acting film, but no, I, I don't think that's gonna be I have a hard enough time kind of being, you know, if I'm on like a major league mound, and I'm just like, Are you sure you know, I'm the guy you want, you know, kind of thing. So like, trying to pursue that like, nothing against anybody who does all the, you know, tries to do the viral videos or tries to get on TV or something like that. I'm just like, I don't think I don't have the audacity to like, assume that people think I'm interesting enough to like, be on there. producing content. You know, I'm just like, so

Elizabeth  35:04  

a lot of athletes do go on to

Joe  35:07  

that they do. Screens, they're all idiots. No, I'm just kidding. But they're No, but I think that maybe if I had the confidence or just self belief that like, yeah, I should do it. I think it'd be fun for like, a short time and then I quickly realized, like, I don't think this just doesn't feel natural.

Elizabeth  35:30  

Joe had so many interesting things to say that I split his interview into two parts. The second half will be available in two weeks, we talk about the differences between playing in the Major League and minor league. What day to day life is like playing pro ball. Joe's history making experience pitching a no hitter while playing for the Houston Astros, and a lot more. I was so impressed by Joe's combination of introspection, ambition, accomplishment, honesty, and humor. Here are some of my takeaways from our conversation. Number one, don't shy away from a challenge. You may learn interesting things about yourself and even overcome some fears or insecurities. To repetition can lead to healthy habits. Get in the habit of telling yourself you're fearless, you're capable. It's not easy, but it's simple. Three, if you don't feel confident to do something, think about trying on a new persona. Make yourself believe you can do it. And then maybe you can for take care of your mental game or your mental health as much as your physical health. And finally, number five, sometimes those fantastical Daydream wishes we have about what we want to happen in our lives actually do come true. Huge high five, get it to Joby a genie for taking the time to be part of my podcast. Remember to come back in two weeks for part two of our conversation. In the meantime, go to our website, the experience podcast.net For more information about this episode, including a link to the clip of Joe's appearance on The Tonight Show. And if you're enjoying this podcast, please tell some friends about it. I'm Elizabeth Pearson gar thanks for joining the experience.