The Promise Land

MLB Correspondents The Promise Land
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Baseball and wrestling, wrestling and baseball. The two constants in my life since I could barely walk now become intertwined once again. Most would think the two would be about as symbiotic, (fancy word, huh?) as Donald Trump at a Lucha Libre show at Arena Mexico.

The fact is that more often than not the two have seemingly been intertwined throughout the course of my life, as well as professional wrestling career.

For those who don’t know, allow me to introduce myself – My name is Antonio “the Promise” Thomas. For over 15 years I’ve paraded around the world in spandex. I’ve globe-trotted to almost a dozen countries and damn near every state, although my win-loss record is more indicative of the Washington Generals.

I have lived in Japan, Italy, and for 18 months, the Suburban Lodge Extended Stay “resort” in Louisville, Kentucky. I’ve been suplexed by Daniel Bryan, choke slammed by Kane and Big Show and splashed by Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.

Through all my bumps and bruises, all my wins…well, a few of my wins and all of my losses, the one thing that has always been there with me was my love of baseball, and more specifically Fantasy Baseball!

Growing up there were only two things I ever wanted to be in life:

1) a professional wrestler and

2) a Major League general manager.

I have been fortunate enough to have lived one dream, all the while making a pretty good living, and since 1998 I’ve been able to somewhat live my second dream through Fantasy Baseball.

Now, thanks to my good bud “Leaping” Lenny Melnick, not to be confused with Leaping Lanny Poffo or Leaping Larry of Seinfeld fame, I get to bring my two loves together once again!

Once again you say? Yes, once again. As I stated earlier, wrestling and baseball have criss-crossed each other for decades. The connection goes as far back as 1911 when Frank Gotch tangled with George Hackenschmidt at Comiskey Park. It continued with Pete Rose getting pile driven by Kane

and also led to me getting pinned by Rocky, the New Britain Rock Cat as Justin Morneau and Luis Rivas were taking batting practice. Yes folks, I’ll explain at a later date.

Wrestling and our national pastime have been interwoven into the fabric of our culture and obviously into mine. Just as common as all the matches, bumps, bruises, and traveling I’ve done has been my desire for Fantasy Baseball. Throughout this journey, I will share with you how I’ve been pinned by minor league mascots, nearly beaten with foam bats by Johnny Damon’s kids while getting ready to go out for a match, and numerous other escapades and shenanigans in minor league ballparks around the country.

I will tell you what it’s like to get pinned by a wrestling midget on worldwide tv, given the DX “suck it” crotch chop by Wally the Green Monster, and told to get a life and a designated driver by utilityman Geoff Blum.

I have had encounters with A.J. Pierzynski, Bobby Abreu, and one of my all-time favorite players, “the Meathook” Dmitri Young.

I’ve had to manage and draft teams in Japan, on a 12 hour time difference, and still manage to win leagues and field successful teams. I’ve drafted teams from all parts of the globe, over the phone, and even picked my 2008 AL Only roto team from a hospital bed on Easter Sunday.

I am currently in leagues owned and run by Tommy Dreamer and Vince Russo and the number of baseball enthusiasts within the world of professional wrestling is far greater than you think!

I’m here to give my insights and observations and the way I see things, as skewed and off kilter as they may be. Over the course of 20 years I’ve certainly won and had success in my share of competitive leagues. Actually, I think I might’ve won more fantasy titles than I have wrestling matches! 😮 I’m certainly no “expert” or sabermetrician and I’m not here to spew about Babip, xfip, woba, swk, Fip, bpv, pvc, or BBD( although I will mention WWE, ROH, TNA, TLC’s and staring at the lights for the 1-2-3). I’m just a normal dude who has some cool stories and an infinite love for baseball.

Now that you’ve heard from me and what I want to share, I’d like to hear from you! Share your wrestling and/or baseball experiences with me. Share your teams, your thoughts, and any questions you might have. If you see me at a show, or have met me at one in the past please say hi, and chances are you might’ve even beaten me! As you can tell by now, I don’t take myself too seriously, but I take my Fantasy and Roto Baseball extremely serious. However, just like the injuries, politics and traveling of wrestling can mirror the bad trades, collusion, and poor finishes in fantasy baseball, the bottom line is that they both should be FUN. They are both businesses, but you should love what you do and this is why I’ve made these two unique interests a huge part of my life. That’s why I love Lenny, this website, and all of you…you’ve made baseball fun again for me and I want to add to the excitement that’s become Lenny’s Legion.

So say hi, send me a question, thought, or story, share your thoughts on your. Teams and I’ll share mine. Boo me, cheer me, throw beer at me, but let’s all have fun and share in this experience together!

And sparking of experiences, tune in next week when “the Promise” takes on the aforementioned Rocky the Rock Cat. See y’all next week and in the meantime send any questions, comments, boos or cheers to Antoniopromisethomas@gmail.com and Twitter @promisethomas.

 

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