Well not quite that far north. We just wrapped up a three-game set in San Jose against the San Francisco Giants’ affiliate and are set to head home. A trip that started at 6:00am Friday morning will end around the same time three days later. Fortunately, we have our second off-day of the second half tomorrow, an off-day nearly three weeks since our last.
We had a tough series with the first-half Northern Division Champions and current second-half leaders, dropping the first two games 3-1 and 2-0. However, we were able to salvage game three, winning an extended affair 5-3 in 11 innings (extra innings always seem to be a feature of getaway days).
This was only our second overnight road trip of the season, since most of the season is played within our division and all of those games are commuters. Some players like the lack of overnighters that are common in most of the other minor leagues; I, on the other hand, do not like this format. I see commuters as a lot of time wasted on buses, and I find the changes in scenery from overnight trips to be good from time to time.
You can learn about your teammates during road trips. You find out who has the least patience while waiting 15 minutes for your dinner check when the server has to split it into eleven separate tabs. You find out who insists on eating toast with grape jelly, and being appalled when the only choices are strawberry and blackberry jam, and orange marmalade. But, aside from these nuances, you also find out who has your back and who will pick you up when you are down.
As players, we spend half the year away from our friends and family (for those that still reside around their families) to pursue our profession and chase a dream. When we take the field every night, we are a family and we are all each other has that given night. When we battle the other team, the umpires, and the fans, we can only turn to each other for guidance and support. This long season is starting to near its homestretch, and we are banding together to grind our way through the completion of another season.