First Full Day

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Something Special

There is something so very special about the first day of spring training when the full squad has reported.

"This is a special day," said new third base coach Jeff Cox as the day began.  "For me, it’s like Christmas, New Year’s, Easter or your birthday.  It’s just a special day."

No matter how many spring trainings you attend — 17 for me — this day brings a special excitement.

"And you take it for granted until you don’t have it anymore," Cox noted.

I remember growing up as a kid and what it meant to read The Sporting News as camps opened in February.  As I grew older, we would trek to Florida for spring training, spending our time in ballparks in Cocoa, Fla., or St. Petersburg. 

Once when my cousin and I returned from our March trip to spring training — 13 games in 12 days — my aunt asked to see our vacation photos.

As she looked at shot after shot of Cal Ripken, George Brett and the 1983 Cardinals, she asked, "Didn’t you guys ever go to the beach."

Why in the world would anyone ever go to the beach when there was a baseball game to watch?

Clubhouse Confidential

Sticking to the old adage of what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse, I’ll leave Kenny’s and Ozzie’s speeches to the troops to your imagination … you won’t be far off.

Suffice it to say that a couple of themes continued to be repeated, and they’re themes we’ve talked about publicly …

Last year was no fun for anyone.

We don’t want to go through that again.

We’ve been in a bad mood about it since last July.

This team has the talent to win.

We need to have one focus each and every day — preparing to win a championship.

Cough, Please

The day started with my annual physical.  Nothing like needles, blood work and fingers to wake you up at 7:30 am.

After proudly carrying my urine specimen into the office (where exactly do you put the specimen jar as you drive down from the Foothills to the complex?  The beverage holder?  I opted for the trunk, driving down curving Campbell Road thinking, "What happens if it tips over?  How do I explain that to Avis?"), I checked in with Brian Ball, our assistant trainer.  Herm Schneider and Brian do a terrific job of running an efficient Physical Day, and they are kind enough to add an aging PR guy to the list.

Having done many of the tests and the eye exam during the week, my first stop this morning was at the EKG machine.  Everything seemed to check out OK, although they used me as a Guinea Pig for a new nurse learning just how to stick on the alligator clamps.

"Gosh," she said.  "It would sure hurt if I pinched your skin."

Gee.  Sure would.

Then, it was on to the BP table … which, let’s just get it straight, the BP cuff and I aren’t friends right now.  The number is high, but not as high as two days ago.  I take it as a victory.

Then on to the immunization table.  No tetanus for me.   Another small victory.

Then bloodwork, which was a piece of cake.

Final stop this morning was to be weighed and measured.  At 5-11, somehow I’m two inches shorter than my high school basketball program height.

Last night my loving spouse, after telling me I was indeed, fat, challenged me to see who could lose the most weight this spring.  I stupidly (or not), bragged that I would be closer to 180 pounds than 200 by the end of March.  So as I stepped onto the scale, I told the trainer, "Here’s 20 dollars.  Inflate my weight so I get a head start on her in pounds lost."

And the digitial read out was:

200 pounds.

Ouch!

Earlier, I met with our internist to have the one test every man over 40 years of age dreads.  As he snapped on the rubber glove, I prepped myself mentally and physically.

Imagine a 10-second pause that felt like 25 minutes.

"Hmm," he said, in deep medical thought.  "It’s really small."

He was talking about my prostate.  Really, he was.

Double ouch.

(I just read this to my wife before posting.  She laughed, said I was crazy to post this because of the TMI rule and reminded me that women and children read my posts.  "Take out the prostate thing," she advised.  Awww.  It’s all in fun, I replied.  Then go ahead, she answered, it’s your life.  Isn’t it great to have such wonderful support?)

The last stop — one I skipped — was the ortho table.  When you have very little physical ability, some might even question whether any ability at all, you don’t really have to worry about how your muscles and joints are working. 

After all, any idiot with a computer and a key pad can keep a weblog nowdays.  Just ask my wife.

15 Comments

LOL Your wife is right..that was TMI. But that’s why blogs are cool.

Lets go go-go white sox..

Lol. Way TMI, Scott. :P
It made me laugh, nonetheless.

I can’t wait for the games to start!

Oh, my. Forgive us if we poke fun at you on this one, Scott. You’re sure to be the butt of many jokes to come.

Scot was funny, but Maria, my dear friend, your remarks hit just a bit too close to home. i just had my 60 year check-up ( yep, 60 glorious years on this earth). anyway, it’s one thing for a GUY to joke about certain fingers of doctors and all, but you lovely ladies simply must show a little respect. you don’t see us guys discussing personal female check-ups (we’re usually too busy discussing personal women’s appearances to be concerned about anything else).

okay, okay, i’m not put out about your comments Maria, i just wanted an excuse to post and i guess i picked on you a little. sorry about that, it won’t happen again, but then i AM sad you won’t be here for spring training. What’s an old man to do now? Oh Tom…….

TMI: too much information? today’s medical illusions? Thursday must improve? Tuesday means icecream? Thome mostly incredible? this (is) mostly imbecillic? hey, what do you expect, i’m 60, i ramble……. later all. go Sox ’08.

After a long day at work, you all made me laugh… who cares if it’s tmi.. we all have dad’s or brothers or significant others that have or will have to go thru it… you poor fellows don’t have a clue to what we womenfolk go thru… lol! :o) Thanks for the giggles tonight!

It was too much information, but it was worth a good laugh. And I know how Scott feels because when I had to give a man a prostate exam it was not much fun for me in the least! Yes, as a nurse, I had to do one on a guy who was old enough to be my father. Keep me laughing Scott! And just remember, it only happens once a year!

Here’s a fun fact for any Mike MacDougal haters out there. Today he beaned Joe Crede during ST, hitting him in the hand. Crede was sent to a nearby hospital because they thought his hand could be broken.

Luckily for Ole’ Redbeard, Crede’s hand was not broken, yay! But this could be a minor setback.

Hey, Scott, great post, even if TMI! Gave us all a giggle, plus some insight into the first day.

Can’t wait for this season – I feel good about our team!

That was awesome. That’s why I keep coming back to this blog everyday despite being a Mets fan.

Scott, check out this from one of the New York writers….good pub for Ozzie…

http://blogs.trb.com/sports/baseball/blog/2008/02/the_best_managers.html

I think you mean prostate! Though “your prostrate thing” makes a much better joke, especially in the context of the tale around it. Tee hee. (Sorry, gents. The Midol made me say it!) Cheers, Scott. Enjoy Spring Training for all of us who can’t be there!

I cannot wait to see how things shake out with our starting pitching this year. I’m hoping something can be done to get Colon since I think it might be a lot to ask of Gavin Floyd and John danks to carry 2/5ths of the rotation. Plus, I’m not sure which Contreras will show up this year, but the lineup looks better. I hope for the best.

And it took a woman to catch that one! Of course, many people call it the “prostrate”, it’s just one of those funny words we mix up. I just can’t believe MacDougal hit Crede already…wait a minute, maybe I can. Picking up where he left off last year, not being able to find the plate. Hit the GLOVE, MAC! How is putting Uribe at second going to help? It was his BAT that disappointed the last few years. BUT, maybe all of this will wake him up, who knows. Although I’m being a little harsh on Juan, I’ll always remember those two great plays he made at the conclusion of 2005…AWESOME!

To Ms Wegener and the rest of you…
I can (painfully)go along with what Mr R was writing…

All I can (get away with saying)is…

The last time something like that occured…at least I had a cigarette afterwards…

Now,as to Tucson…

Kepp “Space Mountain”(Mac Dougal)away from any of his teammates…he is a serious threat…

I read in the World’s Greatest Newspaper that Tome lectured Swisher about the ballparks in the AL and how to approach them…

Don’t get me wrong, Jim…I’m sure he appreciated the words of wisdom… but I think he has had the same vision as you’ve had about what to do in certain parks…So he has his own views…

As to “Son of Swish”(anyone out there remember his daddy as a backup catcher for the Flubbies in the early ’70’s?)

bering perhaps someone who may “rub his teammates the wrong way”…wasn’t that what was written and said about AJ?…

So far, I think that has worked out…hasn’t it?

Maria,I apologize for my “senior moment” on your last name… It’s been a while since I messed it up like that…

Great post Scott – I love all the behind the scenes scoops. This post was really “behind” the scenes. Keep it coming!

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