Pitchers & Catchers Report to Spring Training
02-19-2015 / By:
Pitchers and catchers are in camp now and the 2015 MLB season is under way. Lots of movement throughout both leagues with many teams looking to improve their staffs over the winter. This the start of a lot of extra catchers catching a lot of bullpens. Teams extend non-roster invitee invitations to most catchers on their systems since there are so many arms that need work. These catchers are going to put those knees, ankles and backs through the paces catching multiple bullpens each day. Not much fun and the pitchers are the ones getting the looks from the coaches not the backstops.
We start our Tour de Florida and Tour de Arizona the first day the position players report and finish before the games start. It's a very hectic time for us but a very productive one. It's good to see old faces year after year and see who will be causing the buzz this year. We continue to marvel at the behind the scenes support staff. We have tremendous respect for the equipment managers and their staff. No doubt the hardest working men in sports. They are in the clubhouses by 5:00am and rarely leave before midnight. They are seeing to every player's needs- delivering mail and new equipment to their lockers, making sure their workout clothes, uniforms, shoes, hats, bats, gloves, etc. are cleaned, arranged in an orderly fashion, and organized the way each player likes them. The are picking up wet towels, sweaty shirts, shorts and socks and running every item back to and from the laundry. The laundry rooms put commercial cleaners to shame. They are spraying scrub n bubbles on the cleats and turfs as soon as players come off the field to clean the red brick dust off the white soles and trim. It's quite an operation.
The equipment managers themselves are out there coordinating their armies of support staff then in the office managing orders of everything from baseballs (big league clubs go through a half million baseballs each season!!) to uniforms, caps, jackets, t-shirts, then dealing with a host of vendors like us then arranging picture day and MLB events for the teams, etc, etc. It's incredible how much is involved in playing 200 games year in year out.