So here we are in the last week of spring training. Not the funnest of all times for a pro. For starters, your seeing some guys get cut or sent down who you may never see again. One day they’re your teammate, the next day the lockers empty and it’s like they disappeared. If they got released, odds are your paths will never meet again. Not fun.
If you’re a bubble guy fighting for that last spot, this time is murder. Will you be traded, sent to the minors, or maybe grabbing a roster spot? Where should you tell the wife to send the boxes? Do you need to go out and buy a suit for the plane flights or a new pair of sweats for the bus rides? Pressure city.
The other thing about the last week of spring training is nobody really wants to be there. Regardless of if your swing feels perfect or crappy, everyone is ready to make it count. I had springs where I hit .500 and felt great going into the season. I also had springs where I felt like I was going into battle equipped with a pocket knife for a weapon cause my swing was so anemic. Either way, about now everyone wants to get the hell out of Arizona or Florida to test their acts under the bright lights.
Your also pretty sick of the early morning schedule. Ball players, (unless you play for the Cubs) are like vampires. We don’t like mornings. About now, guys are really looking forward to nights games, late nights, and sleeping in.
Another factor is baseball players have troubles staying in one place for too long. About now, that condo or hotel you’ve been occupying for the past five or six weeks during spring has gotten real old. Time to get on the road, do the traveling circus thing. You’re also completely sick of the crappy rent a car you’ve been using.
You’re done with the conditioning. Done with the B games, done with only getting a few at bats a game, done with the sandwiches after the game, done with getting stuck behind old people on your way to the ball park. Done being so close to the fans. Done having pitchers run in the outfield while you’re trying to hit. Done facing kids you’ve never seen before and have no idea where the balls going. Done with those goofy spring training hats. Done practicing first and third situations. Done with PFP. And above all, done with catching eight million bullpens a day. Done. Done. Done.
Geez, to be honest, the very best spring trainings I ever had were the ones that were affected by labor negotiations. The ones that went about 3-4 weeks. Perfect. In my opinion, that was the perfect amount of time to get ready for the season.
Either way, were almost there…another spring in the books. Let the games begin.