Arriving in Ft. Myers for Spring Training
What was I supposed to expect going into my first Spring Training? As my report date neared, I decided I had no clue what to expect. And as I thought more about it, that is how it seemed it should be. Where would the fun in life be if we knew everything that was going to happen? So I embraced the surprises at every turn and figured the less I plan (outside of waking up in time for the bus) the better it would be.
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Arriving in Ft. Myers for Spring Training - Tim Shibuya
As I got off the plane in Ft. Myers on Tuesday, bag after bag with the Twins logo was pulled from the carousel. Some groggy faces, some smiling faces, some lost faces, yet everyone had something in common, we were going to chase our dream. The ever present headphones kept the conversation to a minimum as everyone tried to get their bags off the baggage claim and into the waiting vans. Surprise number one came as I walked outside and found Corey Williams waiting to pick up myself and Matt Koch. I had lived with both of them last year in Elizabethton, but as it turns out Matt already scheduled the pickup and when we found ourselves on the same flight, he added me to Corey’s chauffeur list.
A quick dinner in the banquet room at the hotel lead me to start unpacking and try to relax enough to get some sleep before our first day at the complex. We arrived at the stadium around 7:15AM just in time to hurry up and wait. It was physical day and no matter how you tried to work the system, there was no way to make the lines shorter and move faster. Many of the players caught up with each other and learned about any interesting off season endeavors, mostly just small talk trying to keep their minds off of one or two things, the blood draw and the giant needles, or the pending Mile Run test.
As the test loomed, we all just wanted to get it over with, but just to add to the fun, the order of testing started at AAA and went down a level every time, so I had to wait a good bit before I got to start my laps around the field. After everybody had finished the test we had lunch and then shuffled into the conference room for a quick meeting with our mental game coach and were allowed to head back to the hotel to rest up for the shuttle test the next day. What else would be in store for the next few days? I’m not sure, but whatever it may be, it will all be part of the fun ride of Minor League Baseball.