Updated: June 23, 2020 11:32 PM
Created: June 23, 2020 09:17 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — With all of the optimism surrounding the likely return of Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball has been rarely if ever mentioned.
Along with the Red Wings, our area has a number of players spread across different levels of the minors. Like millions of people across the country Cleveland Indians prospect Ernie Clement is a baseball fan, and that's a big reason why not having the sport for so much of the summer hurts.
"It was such a good opportunity to be at the forefront of sports and it was a huge opportunity missed for them,” says Ernie, “they should have put the egos aside and done it for our country as a whole, would have given a lot of people hope to see baseball back."
It has, however, allowed him to participate in another sport: golf.
During the baseball pause, Ernie has traded turning double plays to avoiding double bogies as he's registered to play in an area golf tournament on Wednesday morning.
"I've been playing a lot, I have a lot of free time over the past couple months,” says Ernie. “[I've] gotten a ton of rounds in, lots of practice, got my handicap down to around a three."
Ernie says that he's made sure to put plenty of time in practicing baseball, but that hasn't been able to replicate live competition.
"I had to get back into that mindset and try to kick somebody's butt. I think I can go out there and compete and use my experience in sports and competing to help me out there, I'm the kind of guy who loves to be up with the bases loaded and with the game on the line. If I'm standing over a 4-foot putt I'm going to embrace that pressure and have some fun with it."
While golf is fun, baseball is still the career for Ernie, and with the strong possibility of expanded rosters for Major League teams in this shortened season, it's all about staying ready for him.
"[It] would be really cool to work with the big league club," he says. "I'm going to stay ready, I play a bunch of golf but at the same time I'm staying ready on the baseball side of things because if they need me, I have to help them win."
Clement tees off Wednesday in the first group of the district qualifier from Reservoir Creek in Naples. He says that is good for two reasons: the first group allows him to play as fast as he wants, and it's a course that he's played before
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