Saturday, November 7, 2009

RIDE EM' COWBOY

Spring training is always a great time of year. I remember as a kid getting all excited for the Red Sox to head down to Fort Myers, Florida, to start preparing for their upcoming season. As a player you can feel the excitement and energy that each spring training brings. Every team is once again tied for first place, and anxious to see what a new season will entail. My first spring training was in 2007 in minor league camp. Every player in the minor leagues reports to minor league camp each year around the first of March, while the major league team reports around the middle of February. The teams are separated, with the minor leaguers using four fields and the big leaguers using two. Each team has their own locker room, and the only time players from each team are around each other is during lunch, where both teams share the same cafeteria. Every year a few minor league players are given an invitation to major league spring training, where they will be able to practice and play with the big league squad for about a month. Every once and a while a young minor league player will make the team, but much more often than not they will be sent back to minor league camp a few weeks before the regular season starts. My first major league spring training invitation came in 2008, a little less than two years after being drafted. It is a great time to be around guys who have had success in the major leagues and learn from the way they play the game. Even though it is only spring training, you can gain an awful lot of experience in that month or two.

Every team in the league has a tradition where they have the rookies perform something to welcome them to the team. Our team's tradition is to make each rookie do whatever our manager decides, whether it is to sing karaoke to the team or give a presentation on a certain topic. My first year in camp I had to take three players with me to a bull riding competition in Scottsdale, Arizona. We were given a media pass for the event and had to take a camera and interview people involved with the competition. We also had to dress like cowboys. We each spent $100 on cowboy hats, boots, shirts, and jeans. I had never seen a live bull riding event so it actually turned out to be pretty fun. It was just a little uncomfortable in my form fitting jeans. The team's media guy took our footage and added some special effects to make everything fit together nicely. The next day they brought a DVD player and big screen t.v. into the locker room so the team could watch our masterpiece. Check it out.




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1 comment:

  1. Oh, man; that was great. I love how you guys ragged on the veterans like Peavy, Clark and Giles.

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