34 Hours on the Road, and Early Mornings
After Thirty-Four hours and about 2,155 miles of driving from Clearwater, Florida (Instructional League), to Mesa, Arizona, I have arrived here, ready to get underway. The drive was one of the most amazingly confusing rides ever. For anyone else, it should have been one of the more boring rides ever due to the lack of scenery for over a thousand miles in Texas, New Mexico, and Western Arizona; yet with the mountains, the cactus and in some places, the thousands of wind mills along the ridges; I was kept entertained for hours on end.
With my dad as co-pilot, I made stops in Niceville, Florida for a night, had lunch in New Orleans at the ACME Oyster House, and then stopped for a night in Houston. I then drove him to San Antonio, where we had awesome Mexican food at the Riverwalk, and then dropped him off at the airport in town. From there, I drove to the middle of nowhere near Van Horn, Texas, and spent the night, leaving myself only 8 ½ hours for my final day of travel. No speeding tickets, no accidents, no close encounters, thankfully – but I did go through lots and lots of gas. But it is invaluable to have a car here in Arizona, so I made the trek.
My teammate TK and I moved into our apartment on the first day we got here because the hotel option the Sox gave us wasn’t very nice. It was in our best interest, even though rent would go up a little bit to move in early. It was a great idea now, because for the playoffs, we have an awesome TV in our living room and a great kitchen (among other things) so we can eat and watch the games at the same time–for much cheaper than going out.
First day of workouts, on the 7th: We woke up early… and by early I mean 7:30, for our 9 am meeting, to go over logistics, and the expectations of the coaching staff for all of us. We then did the basics: stretching, throwing and running, making sure we are all in game shape when games start on Tuesday the 12th.
I’ll be starting on October 14 (to answer your question phan52), the third game of the AFL season at Surprise, which I recently found out is the farthest drive of the season (only about 90 minutes). But that’s ok, because in the South Atlantic league this year, we routinely drove 8+ hours every four to eight days.
I’ve always liked starting, because it’s easy to prepare for your next outing that way. As a reliever you have to prepare mentally every single day just in case you pitch, but as a starter, you can have a schedule in place that can create consistency. BUT, I don’t really care what I do–I love the adrenaline rush of closing as well. My main goal is to play professional baseball one day. Everyone’s dream is to win a Cy Young– mine is to make it to the Majors and be successful in whatever I do. So whatever that role is, I will do it to the best of my abilities.
I throw to hitters tomorrow, so I will update you tomorrow on how that goes, and I will also give a brief rundown of some of the “activities” we have been up to so far. Where we’ve eaten, the places we’ve gone out to (American Junkie, Shotgun Betty’s and Jack Rabbit), and how many times we’ve gone out to the Pool in October (I was born in Connecticut, so this is still so new and very awesome to me).
If anyone has any requests on what they’d like to hear about, feel free to ask, and I appreciate all the comments!