Let me first start off this post and say thank you to everyone who has been reading this! I thank you for the continued positive feedback. Please email me with more topics you want to see covered here and I will write about them.
I have been receiving a lot of emails about expanding on what we do during a typical day that we have a game. Let me spell out what a typical day has been like in Harrisburg so far. The day starts off with a lift for the position players and the pitchers that threw the previous night at a local gym starting at about10:30am or they can choose to do it at the field if they want too. The workout usually lasts about an hour to hour and a half, and after that you have to try and pick up some of the healthiest fast food around which tends to be Subway, Quiznos, or whatever else you can find around City Island. Putting you at about noon(ish) now, you can either choose to get to the park extremely early and sit in the clubhouse and watch some MLB network and eat, or you can try to go back to your your apartment and eat rather hastily and then go to the field. This poses a tricky situation because sometimes you don’t mind being at the field really early and sometimes you don’t mind it. If you are not lifting and are just showing up, I usually leave my apartment about 1pm(ish) and pick up some food and go to the clubhouse and eat and get the day started.
Getting to the field early (about 2pm(ish) the guys just kind of roam around and possibly get some treatment if they are banged up but this is just really a time to get your bearings and find out what you have to do for the day. At 3pm every day, like clockwork, the pitchers stretch on the field about 45 minutes before the position players. At this time we will stretch, throw, and get our individualized running in. Bullpen pitchers will do something different that the starting pitchers, who all do something different depending on the day we are starting. During this time as well, there will be a few pitchers that will throw bullpens to the catcher that is down that particular day. After all this gets done, if you are at home then you will hit batting practice right away for 45min or if you are on the road you go back in the clubhouse for a little bit waiting for the home team to finish for you to go out and hit. After BP we take it back into the clubhouse where we get a light snack. Various card games take place to pass the time and people will listen to their IPOD while we are waiting for the other team to finish their BP round, and for the grounds crew to the get the field ready for the game. The atmosphere throughout the day is fairly light regardless of whether we won or lost the day before, as everybody seems to have the mantra of a new day, new opportunity.
i know it seems like there is a lot of down time throughout the day, and it may seem that were not concentrating on moving up in the organization or being focused on our next opponent but that is quite the contrary. If you are constantly thinking about your last performance and what you did to the team the night before or your last start then you are going to drive yourself crazy. You cannot fixate yourself on something 100% of the time because you start to over-analyze things and things become too complicated. Baseball is already complicated enough without letting your head get in the way. I agree that you have to study tape and charts before a game to see how a certain pitcher pitched you in the past or how you did against a certain team but you cannot dwell on it. When the players get off the field, and when we are fortunate enough to have off-days we are encouraged to get away from baseball and just get our mind off everything. When you are at the park 11-14hrs a day for 7 days a week, it truly becomes a mental grind and no matter how mentally strong you are, every player begins to break down a little bit.
One of the biggest things that we all like to do for fun is to play XBOX, there are some heated tournaments and game playing that goes on. Since Harrisburg has quite a few golf courses that the guys love to play, yours truly is no good so I tend to stay away from the links although I do want to get better. Baseball takes up about ¾ our time throughout the days, and when you include traveling for away games, it can consume all of it, so any precious free time that we can get to not drowned in baseball thoughts is nice. The grind the people talk about is not as much physical as it is mental, our bodies have been trained for things like this, and our instincts usually take over when we are playing or doing anything that involves baseball, but it is our mind that starts to break down throughout the year. When you allow thoughts of going up, promotion, demotions, and how you are playing affect you it can become an extremely long season. Not only does getting away from baseball help you mentally, it also gives you a sense of “normalcy” and that is always a welcomed treat.
All this talk about an off-day is making me glad that we have one on Monday. Again I welcome all questions, comments and concerns to: Ryan.Tatusko@gmail.com.