Fabiaschi knew it was time
Fabiaschi knew it was time
TORRINGTON – The Oakland A’s were honest with Mike Fabiaschi and Mike Fabiaschi was honest with himself. It was time to come home.
The former Torrington High baseball and basketball star ended his lifelong dream playing major league baseball recently, flying home Monday night after discussions with A’s Minor League Head of Player Development, Keith Lieppman.
Fabiaschi, 24, had asked for the meeting with Lieppman, having not played in a game since June 8 in which he went 1-3 with an RBI. He was currently on the DL list although he was not injured and has been on the DL list five separate times this season without being hurt.
The 5-foot-11, 185 lb. utility man registered just 25 at-bats this season and was hitting .240 with six RBI.
“Not playing as a back-up is one thing and being on the disabled list and coming to the park knowing you can’t play is another,” said Fabiaschi.
Fabiaschi said Lieppman was straight forward with him in assessing his status in the organization.
“(Lieppman) basically said anything is possible but it would take a serious injury or some kind of movement of players for me to get back on the field,” said Fabiaschi. “He said it wasn’t going to get better next year.”
If Fabiaschi wasn’t going to play and didn’t fit into future plans, why didn’t the A’s cut him? The decision to come home was Fabiaschi’s not the A’s. His status is listed as voluntary retirement.
“Lieppman told me that the A’s like having me around,” added Fabiaschi. “He said it was nice to have someone like me who could play a lot of positions and could back up if there were injuries. Basically I was what they call an organization guy.”
Fabiaschi was not surprised by what he heard. In fact, he credited the A’s with being up front with him.
“It was actually refreshing (Lieppman) was as honest as he was,” said Fabiaschi. “I think in a lot of organizations they just BS you.”
The A’s have offered to help Fabiaschi and offered to release him to see if some other team would pick him up. They also told him if they need a man they would call him back.
Despite the less than encouraging forecast for his future, Fabiaschi still took a couple of days to mull things over. It is hard to end the dream. He spoke with Lieppman who told him if he was in his shoes he would go home.
In the end, Fabiaschi got caught in the numbers game. The A’s told him he could be good enough to make it but in four years he got the number of at-bats he normally would get in one season.
‘’Basically, they have no money invested in me and hundreds of thousands and millions invested in other players,” he said. “It was a really hard decision to make. I think the right decision for me was to come home, see the family and see what I felt. It is one of the hardest things to do when you talk about a lifelong dream and decide to leave.”
Fabiaschi said he had not enjoyed the past week.
“You get so caught up in a dream and when you are living it is hard to step back,” he said. “When I realized that I was not enjoying it and I wasn’t happy that was a clear sign to me.”
What now? Fabiaschi isn’t sure. He is going to take some time to think to see the family, his brother, girlfriend and friends. He is going to evaluate every opportunity.
While not making any promises, the A’s indicated they wouldn’t rule out him coming back as a coach. He talks about maybe coaching on the college level. He may even try to hook on with an Independent League team.
A graduate of James Madison with a degree in finance that may be his future. Right now, he is going reflect with those close to him.
Fabiaschi does know this, however.
“Right now I don’t feel any regret,” he said. “This is a big weight off of my shoulders deciding to come home."
He knows he’ll miss playing and driving himself to do better but he won’t miss a lot of the minor league experience.
Fabiaschi was a 38th round pick out of James Madison. He played for Vancouver in 2010 hitting .234 in 34 games. In 2011 he moved on to Vermont in the New York-Penn League where he had his most productive season, hitting .282 with one home run and 20 RBI in 124 at-bats.
In 2012, Fabiaschi managed to hit just .180 moving from Vermont to Midland, Texas.
Fabiaschi has always done his family, his school, his town and himself proud. Nothing has changed. He chased the dream and then knew when it was time to come home and build another dream.