The jump to AAA has brought a lot of added bonuses compared to my previous seasons of pro ball. The first and most obvious is the better stadiums in bigger cities. We play in such cities as Louisville, Indianapolis, and Columbus just to name a few. The stadiums are all fairly new and have top of the line scoreboards and facilities. The all have indoor batting cages and pitching mounds. The clubhouses are equipped with LCD tvs, couches, and a variety of games like foosball and xbox or Playstation. You can always find some teammate jamming out on Guitar Hero. This past weekend, we opened up Columbus' new stadium, which had one of the best clubhouses.
Playing in these larger cities makes it easier to find local eateries before and after the games. In some of the Single and Double-A leagues, the teams are in small towns that are run by mom and pop shops, which are closed on Sundays or close early in the evening. The post game meals are usually pretty good so that we don't have to go out and use extra money elsewhere. Either way you can grab a bite in the clubhouse or find some grub with friends and family in town somewhere.
As you get closer to the major leagues your clubhouse dues go up at each level. With that the treatment from the clubhouse staff goes up as well. Clubhouse dues per day in triple-A are $12 plus tip. Included in these dues are food, laundry, and any other concierge type service you may need. These "clubees" pack our bags prior to leaving for a road trip and unpack our gear and hang it up so it is ready when we arrive. We are fed two meals each day and have an array of candy, drinks, and snacks to chow on throughout the game. The hardest part for me is to limit the candy and soda intake because of my sweet tooth.
Games are displayed on closed circuit television throughout the locker room. This helps create a better look for charting games if you are not charting in the stands. This also makes it easier on my parents to follow the game. I know they defiantly like it better than just the radio broadcast. Friends and family can pull up milb.com and watch the games stream live. These videos can also be used as footage for hitters and pitchers to see what they are doing right or wrong after games.
Our travel options are also better. We usually will take two buses so that players can lie out and be comfortable. I noticed that most position players take their own bat bags, which makes for extra luggage and the need for both buses. I haven't experienced flying with the team yet, but I only know that has to be easier on the body than a 8-12 hour bus trip.
Finally the hotels we stay in are amazing. They usually are located near the opposing field, which allows us to walk to and from the park. In my past experience on the road we would have a gym bus in the mornings. Most of these hotels have a very nice gym within the hotel to get our work in. When we are on the road for seven days, we try to get in 2-3 lifts in. The team is currently 8-5. We hit a little road bump, but will be back on track and ready to get some more W's the rest of this home stand. Please feel free to email any questions you have and I'll be happy to answer them.
When Scot isn't striking out International Leauge batters for the 'Hens, he is the Director of Sales and Marketing at SuperKix.com.