Saturday, March 5, 2011

Accelerated Normalcy

The first two days of camp are over and I feel like I've already been here for weeks. I think that feeling of normalcy can be credited to the Phillies. While completely exhausting, the first two days of camp are dedicated to getting all the mumbo jumbo out of the way and making sure that you are familiar with your surroundings and ready to go full bore by day three. This year, unlike any other year of minor league camp (as we've been told numerous times) pitchers, catchers and position players all reported at the same time. This allowed the staff to get all the medical testing and random meetings out of the way in a "timely" manner. The first day, from 6 AM to 12 PM, was dedicated to medical testing. Everything was covered including blood test, ortho exam, and general health. Then the meetings started. Head field coordinator Mike Compton went over all the organizational rules and made sure we knew that a "first division organization" follows rules to the "T". Then, after all of our backs had sufficiently stiffened from sitting on the ground for an hour, we stretched, played some catch, conditioned, and called it a day.

Day two was much more enjoyable because we got to do baseball activities first, before being mentally drained by another flock of meetings (do meetings travel in flocks or is it herds? I always get those mixed up, anyway). We began with what I now believe to be a run-through of how most of our days in spring training will look. Using all four fields at the complex we went through four stations of fundamental work (25 minutes at each station and on to the next). Today's fundamental work was basic, mainly just an explanation of how to do things the "Phillie way". I'll have more on how practices work in a later post. Then, after stations, we had another rousing session of conditioning, and lunch. Lunch was followed by nearly three more hours of meetings in the conference room upstairs. We went over drug policies, the mental game, and visual techniques (which is really just another form mental techniques, but I clearly don't decide what the Phillies spend their money on). And finally, after nearly all 80+ of us had lost at least one battle over the last 3 hours to nodding off, the day was over.

Were the last two days draining? Yes. Heck I'm even getting tired trying to remember everything that happened. But, I think these last two days were entirely constructive. Coming into Spring Training I had no idea what to expect. I had heard about Spring Training before on ESPN and seen videos of pitchers doing half-assed PFP drills. But, I really had no idea what it would actually take to be in camp. Now, after two days of meeting nearly every single person in the organization, and waking up at 5 AM, and listening to what seemed to be irrelevant blabber, I feel better. I feel like I know what it takes. And most importantly I feel comfortable.

My Phillie card- In case I get amnesia and forget I'm a professional baseball player. Also good for use in routine traffic stops.


  1. "I feel better. I feel like I know what it takes. And most importantly I feel comfortable."
    -Wish I had a "like" button.

    Can't wait for the games to begin! :)

  2. I like the word "comfortable", and I love your posts. Keep them coming!

  3. Love the amnesia and traffic stop comment. Made me laugh out loud!! Shades of your cuz Jason, with the writing...

  4. "Shades of your cuz Jason"

    Yes, live forever in the shadow of my literary genius.