Thursday, February 24, 2011


Hey guys! I have successfully arrived in Viera, Florida for the start of Spring Training with my new team, the Washington Nationals. Yesterday I spent most of the day driving around town and learning my way around my new home for the next month and a half. Because I am such a picky eater, my first objective anytime I arrive in a new city is to make sure I find three or four "go to" restaurants for dinner. The first one I always look for is Chiptole, but unfortunately the closest one is more than an hour away. I did find an Outback Steakhouse, which was where I went for my first dinner of Spring Training. The over/under for dinners eaten at Outback over the next month is set at 12, and I'd definitely put my money on the over. I'll spend some time tomorrow looking for more places to eat out at.

I spent some time in the morning heading over to our complex and meeting some of the medical staff. It definitely felt weird pulling into the parking lot and having no idea where the hell to go. Luckily there was a player just getting out of his car at the same time as me that helped me find my way around. I had to fill out some questionnaires on my past surgeries and injuries for the staff. It was a lot more fun a few years ago when I just checked "No" on every question, but unfortunately after last year there are a lot more "Yes" check marks now. After that I received my uniform and equipment, and strange enough I received my favorite number 9 without even asking for it. I guess that's a good sign.

I finished off the day by driving to a local hospital and taking a thirty minute MRI on my hand. Our doctors here just want to make sure that everything is looking good before they let me get out onto the practice field. It was probably my tenth MRI over the past year, and boy do they suck. The hand is a really tough thing to MRI, so I have to lay on my stomach with my arm stretched out over my head. It may have been the most uncomfortable thirty minutes I've ever experienced in my life. I'm just glad I got it over with, and hopefully that will be the last MRI ever.

Finally, before I head out I want you guys to watch this video and witness one of the most amazing things to ever happen on this earth. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but I still thought it was pretty cool. For some reason it isn't allowing me to embed the video on here, but click the link below to see it.


  1. I have an MRI every 3 months for keep track of the head injury I got whilst in Iraq.

    Those g-d damn things are TERRIFYING.

    Audi keys are the same way.

    I once lost a key in my car and it took me like 3 hours to find it. Somehow it ended up INSIDE the seat.


    Oh well.

    Save me $500.

  2. And now the thing I forgot to say...

    When I was in Afghanistan in 2006, one of my friend and fellow USMC officer and I had our picture taken in front of a bombed out building. He sent the picture to his girlfriend, Kara. Now he had not been dating this girl for too long and had not yet met her parents but like 1 or 2 times before shipping out.

    He did not know that they had been civilian aid workers in Afghanistan back in the 80s.

    The logistics unit that we were with was rebuilding the structure to use as a regional headquarters for the Afghan National Army. The first day we scouted the building to make sure there were no booby traps or bombs that had been left behind by the Taliban when they retreated from the building.

    After determining that the building was safe, the senior officers in our unit picked out rooms for our quarters as we were going to be here for the next 3 or 4 months. Thomas and i decided to room together.

    Two weeks later, he received an email from his girlfriend. In it, was a scan of a photograph that looked real old. It was a picture of her parents in front of the very hospital that we were now making into the regional HQ for the Afghan National Army.

    Included in the email were instructions to go to a specific room on the third floor of this building and look on NW wall of this room and to see if there were names inscribed in the wall.

    Thsi was the very room that we had chose as our quarters. We went to the room, scraped off some paint and there were the names of Thomas's girlfriend's parents - Roger and Patricia.

    What this hinges on is s follows:

    Thomas joined the Marine Corps, went to Afghanistan to randomly get assigned to rebuild a former hospital that miraculously survived three wars and 30 years of bombing to take a picture of the concrete wall his girlfriend's parents had helped build all that time ago.


  3. You don't find that kind of customer service everyday (especially from a gas station). I have a story similar to 2007, my wife and I drove from Portland to Denver to see Game 4 of the World Series. We drove overnight, watched the game, and left right afterwards...about 28 hrs each way. Anyway, on the way back, we stopped at this giant rest stop in Wyoming and my wife went in to use the bathroom. She took off her wedding ring to wash her hands and left it on the bathroom sink. We drove about an hour before she realized what happened. It took another hour to drive back and I though the ring would be gone for sure because it was such a busy rest stop. Anyway, it turns out that someone saw the ring and turned it in to the cashier. We were both amazed.

    By the way, you got blown away by a Toyota Prius in your video...come on man, you got an XKR! :-)

  4. Yeah that is really I was upset about my keys you guys must have
    been super nervous about the ring...glad someone turned it in!

    Safety first lol. Last thing I need is to get pulled over while on camera