Sorry it has been awhile since I have last written, but things have definitely slowed down here in Arizona since Spring Training ended. It's crazy to think that it has already been almost two weeks since Spring Training ended and we have already played our first week of Extended.
Extended is much different than Spring Training. The locker room is now much quieter, as most of the lockers stand empty and the ones that are being used are all close together on one side of the room. Where almost 200 players used to change and get ready to work a week go, now there are only around 40 of us using the locker room.
There are other differences between Extended and Spring Training. The days now start a little earlier as breakfast is from 6 – 8 and stretch is at 8:30 for pitchers, while position players lift weights at 7 every morning – another reason I'm glad I'm now a pitcher. Stretch and throw is followed by two hours of fundamentals and a game that starts at 10:30.
As a pitcher, I lift weights after the game and once I'm done with that, I'm done. For those of you keeping track at home, that means we are completely done with our day around 2:30. I don't know what I would do with myself if I didn't have a car down here; not that there are a ton of things to do in Surprise, but I would go crazy if I had to spend every waking hour either at the field or cooped up in my hotel room.
I heard a lot of bad things about Extended from buddies who experienced it in years past- that this would be the worst two months of my life, maybe even of my entire baseball career.
I can sort of understand where they are coming from; the weather is beginning to heat up and in a couple of weeks I'm sure we'll be flirting with 100 degree weather, and it's not the best atmosphere in terms of fan support during the games. But so far I can't complain.
Saying that, I would love to get out of here and to a full-season team as soon as possible. Many of my friends were sent to Hickory and I would love to be out there with them. But obviously there is a reason I, and the rest of the guys, am down here.
It sounds clichéd, but in an environment that is a daily grind like this, I have to remind myself to take it one day at a time and work hard to get better each and every day. If there is one positive about being down here, it is that we have all the resources and time to get better and improve our skills so that we will be ready to compete and contribute for an affiliate when we get a chance.
Follow Tim on Twitter at @TGSteggall3!
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Tim Steggall's Blog to be Named Later (4/11)
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