This past week was quite eventful. Since all
the extended-spring players departed for Yakima and Missoula, including my two
roommates, I had to either move out of my apartment or assume financial
responsibility for the entire rent. This decision was a no-brainer, so I spent
a few hours packing up my car in order to make the cross-town trek to my new
abode. I am now living in a house with a fellow rehabber and 3 triple-A
players. It’s funny how John Allender (the other rehabber) and I almost never
see the other three guys because our schedules are essentially polar opposites.
John and I are up early and spend the morning and early afternoon at the spring
By the time we return home, the other three guys have
already left to go to Tucson Electric Park to warm-up for batting practice.
After they get something to eat following the game, by the time they return
home, we are asleep since we have to wake up early. John has told me that there
have been times when he hasn’t seen them in a week or two, which is crazy
considering they live in the same house. My early bedtime (usually 10 or 10:30)
could be problematic when I am sent to a team if we are involved in an extra
inning contest. I might find myself dozing off in the 11th inning.
Luckily I’m a starter and not a closer.
That does remind me of how irregular a baseball player’s
schedule can be during the season. During last summer, we always looked forward
to Sundays because day games provided us with a more conventional meal
schedule. However, the majority of last summer, I would find myself eating
dinner at 11:00 p.m. 6 nights a week. The primary concern with such a late
dinner is that your options are very limited-it’s either fast food or a
late-night diner. I can’t say that baseball players would be the best role
models when it comes to eating habits. I guess that’s pretty obvious for anyone
who has spent time at a Little League park recently. It seems like every kid is
begging his mom for money to go to the concession stand to get a hot dog or
candy bar right before his game is about to start. I know I was definitely
guilty of this as a youngster considering I had about a 34 game streak
(stretching over a few years) of eating nachos before every game.
Matt Torra and I realized how food can be used as a bribery
to encourage kids to attend our pitching camp/clinic that we have been
conducting. This past week, we hosted the clinic on Monday, Wednesday, and
Friday. There were about 7 or 8 kids who showed up the first two days- the same
devoted players who have been coming typically every session. However, we
announced that we would provide slushies (commonly referred to as water ice on
the east coast) to all the kids on Friday. Would you believe that the number of
players at the clinic doubled on Friday? Word must spread pretty quickly among
these youngsters. Matt and I have discussed the possibility of bringing them
Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream, but if we do that, there might be kids showing up
who don’t even play baseball- I guess we have to draw the line somewhere.
On a contrary
note, I was a bit disappointed this past week to find out that I am shut down
for a week or two in order to allow soreness in my elbow to subside. The wear
and tear of pitching off of the mound has irritated my upper forearm muscle, so
the head trainer thinks that the best approach is to be cautious and not to rush
anything (hence the week or two rest). It’s frustrating because I want to get
out and pitch ASAP, but