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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Friday, July 22, 2005

Former Dirtbag Adam Heether Is Featured...

in this piece in Florida Today:
Heether heats up Manatees

Third baseman's big bat helps Brevard stay in first


VIERA - Adam Heether smiled as he talked about the stabilizing effect his new bride has had on him this season, how she makes sure he eats right by cooking regularly and even packs a lunch for him when the situation warrants it.

That, of course, begs the question of whether Heether can actually cook or if he is, well, a lot more handy at third base for the Brevard County Manatees than he is in the kitchen.

"I don't think he can (cook)," Heether's wife, Jennifer, said. "I wouldn't eat it if he did. He is good at barbecuing."

Fortunately for the Manatees, Heether has barbecued his share of pitchers this season.

He took a .314 batting average into Thursday's game -- ranking fifth in the Florida State League -- while also sporting a .396 on-base percentage (second in the FSL).

Heether's play has helped the Manatees roll to a 16-9 record and first place in the FSL's Eastern Division for the second half of the season.

"He plays the game hard and he's a very knowledgeable player," Manatees manager John Tamargo said, "plus he's got good talent."

Tamargo is impressed enough with Heether that he expects him to play in the big leagues one day.

Heather, the Manatees' cleanup hitter, has only five homers in 220 at-bats, but Tamargo is confident the power will eventually come simply because of the way the ball jumps off his bat.

Playing in what has long been considered a pitcher-friendly league, because of its spacious stadiums and heavy air, has in fact helped the 6-foot, 200-pound Heether's development at the plate.

Instead of trying to hit home runs, Heether concentrates on spraying line drives to all parts of the field.

"If I go up there and try to put the ball in the air, I'm not going to do much of anything," the 23-year-old California native said.

Heether's success can in part be attributed to the comfort level he has achieved.

An 11th-round draft choice of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2003, he starred at tradition-rich Long Beach State until leaving after his junior year.

But he struggled with the transition from aluminum to wood bats in his first professional season, as well as the grind of playing every day.

Playing for the Brewers' low Single-A team last season, Heather still grappled with the reality that he would fail much more often than he would succeed.

That caused him to think too much about the at-bats when he didn't get a hit. Now, Heether said, he quickly pinpoints what he did wrong after making an out, erases the at-bat from his mind and starts focusing on the next one.

"That's knowing I'm dealing with 500 at-bats and can't really judge myself by one day," Heether said.

He doesn't accept failure so much as he is philosophical about it in a game predicated on it.

But he burns to win -- his wife said if she beats him in the card game "Texas Rummy" he won't let her stop until he wins -- and also to succeed.

Consider the tattoo that covers the left side of his chest. It says, "All or nothing," and it is nothing if not a daily reminder to Heether.

"I've got one shot at this," he said of playing pro baseball, "so every day I try to get a little better."

posted on 7/22/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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