People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ~Rogers Hornsby
Where do people get the list? You know, that list of questions that everyone is required to ask upon realization that you play professional baseball. It usually starts out with "So what, are you in like triple A?" No, I'm not in AAA. This is the equivalent of me asking someone starting out in sales, "So you're like VP right?" I'm in single A. There are 7 teams in the domestic side of the Mets Organization: 2 rookie teams, Short Season A, 2 long season A teams (A- & A+), AA, and AAA. So when I say i'm in single A, there's no need to sigh and say "oh...sorry." I'm halfway there, and I'm content.
The latest question from The List is "Where's Spring Training and when do you leave?" Answer: Port St. Lucie, FL. Leaving March 5.
Here's the brief explanation of Spring Training factoids...There are two places where MLB teams hold spring training, Florida and Arizona. It's about half and half of teams in AZ and FL. It's roughly a month long. Big leaguers go 2 weeks before minor leaguers because their season starts 2 weeks before ours. Every year a handful of minor leaguers are invited to Big League camp even though there is very little chance that they will make the Big League roster out of Spring Training. Organizations just want to give them a taste (motivation is important, because the minor leagues kinda suck sometimes). The minor league Spring Training used to be (from what i'm told) longer and more relaxed. It isn't anymore.
It's 28 days to showcase how you have improved over the offseason, improve your conditioning, and hopefully make the team you want without getting cut. It sounds kind of intense, and it is. I love it though! There's nothing like 230 guys competing for 40 Big League roster spots. It's your opportunity (probably the only one you'll get all year) to separate yourself from your teammates in front of all the "decision makers" in the organization. It separates the show horses from the battle horses. You will always have those guys that look good in a uniform, talk coherently and without an accent, and have $500,000 of the organization's money in their bank accounts...but can't play when push comes to throw, hit, run, etc. And then you have your battle horses. Those guys from East Jackson, Nowhere who can't complete sentences without using 5 expletives and "learnt" how to pitch from grandma when they were 5...but God can they compete! They have nothing to lose and the world in front of them for the taking. These are the guys you want with you. These are the guys you want to be (minus the illiteracy). There's something so motivating about nobody really expecting you to succeed. I graciously welcome this chip on my shoulder and plan to use it to my advantage. 2 weeks until I report and I am preparing to "Shock the World!!" (channeling Cassius Clay).
My Preparation. Keep the ball down. Don't overthrow. Stay healthy.