Pacific Coast League Travel

First of all I would like to thank all who responded to the last post that I made a couple of weeks ago. I was rather blown away at the response for the simple reason that I didn’t figure that people would actually care what I had to say. Since some of you do,I appreciate the interest and today I have some thing else for you.

One of my good friends who lives in Albuquerque came out to a game last week and asked me a question. ”How do you guys travel?” I guess at this point of my career I just take it for granted but clearly the majority of people have no idea, so here you go. On a getaway day, (a day where one or both teams are leaving and traveling to different cities); the day goes as follows:
2:30pm arrive at the ballpark
3:45pm position players stretch for batting practice
4:00pm batting practice begins
4:45pm batting practice ends
5-6pm down time just hanging out in clubhouse
6:15pm cage work to get loose for the game
6:45pm head outside to stretch for game
7:00pm game
9:45pm game ends
Now usually after a game I take a few minutes to just sit in my locker and unwind. Once I do that I usually grab something eat and shower up and get out of the clubhouse between 10:45pm and 11pm. After the drive home, that would put me back at the apartment at about 11:15pm. Now that isn’t really that bad, but remember it is “getaway day” and we have to be on a plane going to another city in just a few hours. When you are in Triple-A there are no charter flights right after the games like the boys in the Show. We fly commercial flights just like everyone else traveling for business or pleasure and with that comes long security lines, fees for excess or overweight bags, and all of the regular stuff that goes along with flying. Not to mention I am a normal sized guy (6′ 190lbs). I have played with guys 6’9″ tall and leg room can be an issue.Now none of that stuff is really that bad except for the fact that because we have to play in the evening and that means we always have to take the first flight out every travel day. The travel day schedule usually goes as follows:
4:30am bus to the airport
7:00am flight to next city
8:30am connect to the next flight (very rarely do we get non-stop flights)
10-12pm arrive in next city (of course it all depends on where you are going and time zones)
1:00pm check into hotel (hopefully, if you get there too early sometimes rooms aren’t ready)
Here is the kicker, we play on almost all of these travel days as well. So if you put the flight itinerary on top of the regular game day schedule,that is what make for such miserable travel/game days. Not to mention the day I just mapped out for you was a perfect day and usually none of them go this well. There are flight delays, missing connecting flights, buses that aren’t at the airport to pick us up on time, hotel rooms that aren’t ready because we arrived in a given city too early, and oh yeah weather problems. I have a thousand stories of travel days gone wrong!!! As they say in our business “if you don’t like it, then play better!” Get to the Big Leagues and stay there and there is nothing to worry about, right! It is definitely difficult but that is just part of the job, but for me it is all about perspective. I have this day once every four or eight days. There are people out there working doing jobs they hate and have days much worse than this every single day. I will take a tough travel day here and there.

21 Comments

Interesting peek behind the scenes of life in Triple A. Travel routines are somewhere between buses through the bush leagues & first-class charters around the big circuit…

Always wondered how you guys travled. I live in Des Moines and love going to watch you play, you and the rest of the guys keep up the good work!

Looks tough, but that’s the dream! I would love to be torturing myself like that :)

Great post!

But come on, we want to hear about your day yesterday – your trip to Wrigley.

Great to hear from you, Bobby. Keep up the good work.

Hey Bobby,
My buddy Steve rented you a condo in Ft. Myers when you were with the Red Sox. I have been keeping up with how you have been doing since. I am a die hard Cubs fan. I think we would all like to hear about your experience last week when you got called up, only to go back the same day. But hey,Congrats on getting called up today!! I hope you can show these guys what you can do and stay there. See you at Wrigley in July.

Congratulations on your big league debut Bobby! Good Luck!

Bobby- Congratulations on your debut! I was so excited for you when I heard the Cubs were calling you up, especially since you’ve been in the minors for such a long time. Wishing you the best of luck!!!!
~Elizabeth

BScales,

You getting called up to the show is something that I have been looking for since I saw you doing very well for the Portland Beavers. You were one of the best teammates I ever played with b. We had so much fun playing for the Aloha Knights. You gundy drew And I. When I took you to the airport I told you I would see you again. Even though I live in Alaska now I can turn on baseball tonight and see you on the big stage. Thanks for making my day bscales. I know you are busy but when you have a second try to email me so that I can talk to you in person.

Tom DeLand

Bobby! Hey man its Trey Burdette from Milton High School class of 96- just wanted to say congratulations. Many of us have been watching and praying for you! It’s been a long time coming!

Bobby,
Just read interview you had with Nick Friedell on ESPN.com. Congratulations on your debut and first hit today. Long time comin’. I’m a teacher and a true Cub fan; it was really cool to hear about how you have substitute taught in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but I’m hoping that you open the eyes of the Cubs’ brass and don’t ever have to go back to the school system. Good luck in the The Show.
Tom O.
Dunlap, IL

Bobby,
First off, congratulations. I have been a die hard baseball fan since I was 5 yrs. old and now I’m 34 coaching my 7yr old son’s baseball team. I first read your story in yahoo sports and I wanted to tell you that you are a class act & an inspiration to young ball players everywhere. Your story reminds me of Jim Morris (the rookie). Everytime I see that movie it makes me a little emotional because I think about people like yourself who have always worked hard & never quit on your dreams. I wish you & your family nothing but the best & I hope you have a long & rewarding career in the “SHOW” because you my friend, have earned it. Take care and GOD BLESS!!!!

Bobby congratulations!!! I am so happy for you. Big Al and I have been trading articles all morning. Good luck buddy!!

Chris Agel

Bobby, first off, congratulations on your call-up. I wish you much success, and I hope this won’t be the last time that we see you at Wrigley.

My name is Damen Jackson, and I’m operator of a Cubs blog called Cubbie Nation (www.cubbienation.net). I caught the game yesterday from behind the photo well, with professional camera in hand. I’ve got a rather nice shot of your first big-league hit, and after showing it to some other other bloggers, they thought it might be a good idea to forward you a copy as well.

If you’re interested, it’s downloadable from my website here.

Take care, and good luck.

Damen

Bobby,
I would just like to say congratulations on your first Major League hit and run!! I bet that day was very special after all the hard work you’ve put in. Keep up the good work and I look forward to watching you play in the bigs for some time to come.
Best of luck,
Tim

Congratulations on your major debut, its been a long time coming. Great work getting a hit and some good defensive plays, I love seeing people who still play for the love of the game and someone you can really pull for. Im around Alpharetta/Roswell all the time you need to let me get a signed baseball! Congratulations again,
Mike

Bobby,

Congratulations on the call up, nice defensive play and hit against the reigning NL Cy Young winner!

I’m a Cubs fan in Pittsburgh, and hope I get to see you play when you guys are here in June.

Joe

Bobby -
A Cubs fan, I heard your story when you got the start against the Giants. You’ve got a story and an attitude that command respect. Then you get a knock off Lincecum which must have been awesome. I’ve got Gamecast on right now and look up to see your name next to a PH triple when I’d heard you were being optioned back to Des Moines. That’s simply outstanding. Well done and best of luck bringing it in the Bigs.

Kevin
Santa Fe, NM

MR. Bobby Scales!
I’m your age, and you are truly an inspiratioin to me to keep trying my best and to do what I love doing in life. Welcome to The Big Show!
Have fun man! Forget there are a million people watching you now, forget the tradition, nevermind the expectations. Play baseball. Have fun. You know how to do that! I’ll see you at Wrigley in October MR. Scales!

Bobby Scales with a bomb! Boo Ya!!!!
Nice job Bobby, keept it up.

Hey Bobby, I’m from Des Moines and ticket holder for the Iowa Cubs. I can’t say enough how happy I am for you. Your success now is a testament for hard work and a love for what you do. I must admit that it’s not the same without your old school music being played before your at bat at Principal Park. But you deserve all of what you have worked for and keep it up. Congrats on your 1st home run!!!

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