What a week!

Well obviously by now just about all of you know what has happened to me in the last week of my life. It has been truly amazing and all I can do is point up to the sky and thank the Man for granting me the opportunity after 11 minor league seasons. I also have to thank my family, especially my Wife, Mom, and Dad for the support they have all given me from day one.  So many people who I have never met in my life have expressed their well wishes and support. Many people have called my journey inspirational and amazing.  Thanks but I also would like to remind you that there are thousands of people out there who work hard and persevere every day. I am no different than anyone else out there, the only difference is that my story gets played out for the world to see. I have a ton of stuff to write about but I felt it more important to say a sincere Thank You to everyone. 

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.

Here we go Again!!!

On my flight to Spring Training this year I couldnt help but chuckle a few times thinking about some of the stuff that I used to say when I was a really young player just starting out in professional baseball. The first time that I have to repeat a level I am going to shut it down.  My personal favorite was If I am not in the Big Leagues by the time I am 30 then I will retire for sure!  Now fortunately I had enough sense not to really say these things to other people but they definitely rattled around in my head.  Well I went to Double A twice and I have been in Triple A since August of 2003 and I am still playing so that statement is out of the window. Obviously the title of my Blog suggest that my other statement is null and void as well.  I continue to play because I love this game and I really do think that I can contribute to a Major League team.  Honestly it is really that simple.  So yeah, here we go again on another six month journey, who knows where it will take me.  One thing I do know is that I am going to ride this thing until the wheels fall off!!