Monday, 18 April 2011

Bus Rides

In the Major Leagues they travel everywhere on private charter flights, but down here in the Minor Leagues, we travel by bus. For us here in Extended Spring Training, our longest bus ride is only 90 minutes to Sarasota, which is where the Baltimore Orioles complex is and the shortest one being a 15 minute ride across town to the Boston Red Sox complex.

As you move up in the minors, these bus rides getting longer and longer. In many leagues the bus ride can be as long as 14 hours, and these trips are made right after you finish a night game, to make sure you're in the new town the next day to play another night game. I haven't yet experienced one of these long bus rides, but I couldn't imagine they would be much fun.

Firstly, there aren't assigned seats on the bus, everyone can choose to sit where they want, but everyone usually sits in the same seats nearly every time they get on the bus. Also, the seating is fairly segregated, with latin players usually taking up the back of the bus, and the American and other foreign players taking up the front of the bus. This may seems ugly and people may think that us and the latinos don't get along, but its just a case of wanting to sit with people who you can easily communicate with.

People usually tend to do the same things on every bus ride. Since our bus has Wi-Fi, I sit on Facebook for a little while and chat to people back home in Sydney before I put the headphones in, listen to music and hopefully have a quick nap before the ride is over. A few guys like to chat amongst themselves, and usually respect the other players who like to sleep by keeping the volume of their conversation to a minimum. Every once in a while we will travel on a bus that has tables in it, and you may see a deck of cards come out and guys would play any sort of card game for the entire trip. Also some of the guys just like to listen to their music and keep to themselves.

On bus rides when a lot of players have to go, and some people have to share seats, the starting pitcher for the day will usually have a seat to his own. There are some techniques you can use to get your own seat if you aren't the starting pitcher, one of this is to get on the bus early, and pretend to be asleep. This is pretty effective because no one likes to be 'that guy' who wakes up people that are asleep on the bus. Another one that works is having a whole bunch of stuff on the seat next to you, and once the bus starts moving, you move it all and stretch out.

You must beware if you fall asleep on the bus, as you may be prone to some pranks, such as finding an embarassing photo of yourself on Facebook when you get back to your hotel room that day. This happened today on the bus as one player was taking a seat next to players who were asleep, and was posing with them while another player took a photo. It's all in good fun though, as boys will be boys.

              A familiar scene on the bus, players trying to sleep in very awkward positions.


  1. I feel like I'm there and part of it with all these great insights. Nice work Todd.

    If you're hard up for reading material I can send a copy of some of my books to you. I have two baseball books and two books that are a bit...raunchy.

  2. Todd - message from Wesley ...until he figures out how to send a comment!!!

    "Awesome Cuz ... keep them coming! And keep that fighting attitude through tough times over there.... not many get their first shot so grab this second chance with both hands... we're behind you all the way."