Friday, May 29, 2009
Day of Rest
I am not on the trip, so no tears for me, but anyone who listened to our game broadcast from Wednesday night heard Hawk complain about playing getaway games at night, especially on the west coast.
As someone who travelled with the team for many, many years, you know what, he’s right. I understand a west coast team not wanting to have too many day games, but I can say from experience that playing that night game, flying all night and then arriving at 5 am in the next city wipes you out, often for more than one day (and I don’t play; I keep a scorebook).
You finish the game at 10. Bus leaves the ballpark at 10:45 ish. In LA, the drive to the airport is easily 45 more minutes. 30 minutes to load the plane, and you take off at midnight, which is already 2 am in the next city.
You arrive and bus to the hotel (in KC the ride from the airport to the city is ridiculously long) and then try to get to sleep. (Perhaps you were able to sleep on the plane a little but that often just screws your body up even more).
I heard our team got in around 5 am yesterday morning.
Twice in one season one year (they blur together), we played 7:35 pm getaway games in Texas on Sunday night and flew to Toronto (actually, since it is too late to land in Toronto, we flew to Hamilton and then bused in). I put my head on the pillow at 6:15 am and we played a game that night. I know professional sports figures deserve no sympathy, but that schedule just has to impact your ability to play the game.
One time, we arrived in Detroit very late. We were at the Hyatt near the Fairlane Mall (we don’t stay there anymore). I woke up in the morning and went down to buy newspapers (back when there were newspapers). I forgot my key and did not have my ID with me (it was in the room). I had no idea what room I was in or even what floor. The front desk was understanding and security eventually brought me back to my room. I was near comatose (which some would argue is the way I usually go through life … half asleep and comatose).
My point is that many times, travel for professional sports teams is not very pleasant and it does hurt your ability to win baseball games (often the jet lag is felt the day after).
So much for my complaining …