Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TRAVEL DAY FROM HELL

The worst thing about a Minor League season is without a doubt the travel schedule. After finishing a game, packing, and eating, you get into bed around 1 AM and have to be up in three hours to catch a bus to the airport. Two connecting flights and a few delays for mechanical issues later and it's time to head to the field. The good news is, in four days you will be doing it all over again. That is the Pacific Coast League in a nutshell. Lucky for me, I now play in the International League where we prefer 8 hour bus rides over plane flights. Some guys don't like the idea of long bus trips, but I will take those over 6 AM plane flights any day of the week.

Yesterday we were heading to Gwinett, Georgia for a four game series with the Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. It was one of those rare times in the IL when we were actually flying instead of busing. I walked into the parking garage of my apartment complex at around 5:45 AM to take the quick ride over to our stadium where the team bus was waiting to take us to the Norfolk airport. The only problem was, my car was no longer in my parking garage. Apparently, it had been towed that morning because I was "illegally" parked in a YMCA parking spot. I still can't get over the fact that I was parked in my apartments parking garage, that I pay for, but because I was in one of the 100 empty spots designated for the YMCA across the street my car gets towed.

Anyways, I was going on the road for an eight game road trip, and the storage fees over at the tow yard meant if I left the car there until I got back I would essentially be playing for free this week. I've been working non-stop (Laura's been working non-stop) the past 24 hours trying to get someone to head over and pick up my car in an attempt to save me the $750 dollars it would cost to pick it up when I return from New York. Luckily, I have someone going over today to pick it up for me.

The funny thing is, that wasn't my only problem. I had left my dress shoes in the car and was planning on changing into them when I arrived at the bus. Now I was stuck having to wear a pinstriped suit with my super stylish gray Puma sneakers, one of the worst looking things I've ever seen. I know you're probably thinking it's not that big of a deal, but having to answer the question of "Why the @#$% are you wearing sneakers with a suit?!?!" from 30 teammates over and over and over again for the next three hours was the shitty part. I still think some guys don't believe the "car towing" story and just think after I realized I possessed the worst dressing habits in the league I decided to come up with an excuse to make myself look like less of an idiot. Check out this sweet style.


A few guys actually took some candid full body shots of me, so hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of them and make it my Facebook profile picture. Anyways, here's to hoping my car is returned safely in the next few hours and I find a nice shoe store somewhere here in Georgia. Until then, I shall talk with you all later.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

NORFOLK

I have finally arrived in Norfolk, Virginia for the start of the 2012 season. This Spring Training was by far the fastest spring I have ever experienced in my six year career. I still feel like I just arrived in Sarasota a few days ago and it has already been seven weeks. Anyways, we open the regular season up tomorrow night in Charlotte, North Carolina against the Chicago White Sox Triple-A team. As I type this, we are on a bus making the five and a half hour trip down south. This is my first time ever traveling on a sleeper bus, which may just be the coolest thing I have ever experienced. We have a beautiful big screen television, outlets for our electronics, wifi that is actually going fast enough for me to browse the Internet, and beds that are more comfortable than the one I slept in last night at my apartment.

Speaking of apartments, I moved into my new place a few days ago. The first few years of my professional career I would chose low price over comfort when it came to my living arrangements for the summer. After realizing that when it comes to apartment living you definitely get what you pay for, I've changed my strategy over the last few years and now go with something that I will enjoy living in for the five month season, even if it costs me a little more money. Anyways, after walking into my new apartment I knew right away it was going to be a good summer. Comfortable sofa, nice size television, working appliances, and good water pressure. I was pretty damn excited, that is until I decided to go to sleep. I found out rather quickly that we have a light rail transit system that I swear passes directly through my bedroom. Starting at around six AM and repeating every five minutes until I wave the white flag and get out of bed, I listen to a mini train pass directly outside my bedroom window. I can't describe how torturous the sound is, but this should give you a good idea.



When we return to Norfolk on Sunday night I'm going to first try a sound machine app on my IPhone. If that doesn't work, I may go with a heavy duty fan or maybe some earplugs, although I don't know how comfortable that will be. If you have any good ideas please let me know!

For some positive news, there is a Chipotle about one minute from my apartment. I know it is quite sad, but the first thing I did when looking at apartments was to check how far the nearest Chipotle was located. If only they had some type of reward system similar to frequent flyer miles. I swear, if I ever become a Major League player good enough to be on a commercial, I will sign the first exclusive deal with Chipotle in return for a lifetime supply of burritos.

Well, I think I may take a little nap before we arrive in North Carolina so I will talk to you all later on. Take care!