SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Doug Bernier is an outstanding defensive shortstop, but life can get complicated when they start asking you to play other positions, both in the infield and outfield.There are bunts to defend and cutoff systems to master, and Bernier even pitched twice during his 15-year professional career. So
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Doug Bernier is an outstanding defensive shortstop, but life can get complicated when they start asking you to play other positions, both in the infield and outfield.
There are bunts to defend and cutoff systems to master, and Bernier even pitched twice during his 15-year professional career. So Bernier, a utility infielder in Major League camp on a Minor League contract, decided to do what any conscientious student would do: He started taking notes.
"I just wrote it all down and had it in a notebook," Bernier said. "In the offseason, I put it all on the computer and my wife said, 'Why don't you start a website and let others learn, too?'
"It all happened by accident."
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That was four or five years ago. ProBaseballInsider.com is now a thriving website produced by the Berniers offering instruction on every aspect of the game: hitting, pitching, baserunning and defense.
His impressive list of instructors includes Angels pitcher Garrett Richards, Blue Jays third baseman and former American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson and former All-Star closer Billy Wagner. Retired first baseman Wally Joyner, outfielder Juan Pierre and Rangers catcher Matt Treanor are also on the long list of contributors.
"I'm logged into his [website] so I learn from him," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I've been a member since the inception."
There are over 100 pages full of videos and links on the free website that range from baseball leadership to what scouts are looking for in a prospect.
"It's been fun," Bernier said. "I enjoy interacting with people, answering a lot of questions and emails. It's a way in the offseason to stay involved in baseball and help people. It's nice to have answers or know people who have the answers."
The real pro in the operation is Sarah Bernier, Doug's wife, who taught herself how to put together a website and keeps it running while her husband tends to his day job.
"She does a lot of the work," Bernier said. "She has been amazing."
The website shows Bernier's love for the game. He was a star at Oral Roberts University but went undrafted in 2002. He signed with the Rockies as a free agent when another of the club's Draft picks opted to go to college.
Bernier is in his 16th season. He has appeared in 46 Major League games: two games with the Rockies in 2008 and 44 with the Twins between 2013-15. He has been with five organizations and spent the last 10 seasons in Triple-A. He joined the Rangers organization before last season and became the first Triple-A Round Rock player to hit for the cycle on July 27. Since the start of the '07 season, Bernier has played in 939 Triple-A games.
He is in Rangers camp strictly as infield insurance and will most likely head back to Triple-A for the start of the regular season. He is 36 but not ready to become a full-time webmaster.
"I enjoy the game, I really do," Bernier said. "I feel like I'm getting a lot better in certain aspects. It's fun to put the work in and then have a good season or a good stretch. It's rewarding. If I felt my body was falling apart or I was regressing, age was taking over, I'd do something else. But I love the game."
If he regresses, there is a good website that can help.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.