Long Road Ahead: Kenny Long’s Pro Journey
Card Games and PhysicalsContributed by Kenny Long
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — My first full day at spring training can be best compared to a first day of high school. The day started early in the morning to fill out a bunch of paper work and the get through the line of physicals. We were drilled with team regulations and new rules similar to receiving class syllabi. This was also a day of catching up with old teammates and meeting new ones. Having played for two teams in my first pro season last year I knew a bunch of guys but there was also many guys still for me to meet and get to know. Remembering everybody’s name will take awhile. It will become even harder to sort out everybody’s names once the rest of the position players arrive on Wednesday. The same goes with meeting new coaches and catching up with old coaches. Today was one of the longest days that I will have until we start playing games in a few weeks.
Today was an early start. I had to wake up and get going for the bus for physicals by 6AM. After finishing the physicals and some testing we had a few hours time until we started baseball related activities. I showed up to my locker and I was welcomed to an orange #47 jersey with my name stitched on the back. After settling down into the locker room and opening up some new equipment we had some time to kill to eat and relax. To pass the time, baseball players have to find ways to entertain themselves. A common downtime activity that we do is play cards. Playing cards are a staple around the locker room. Today we caught up on our favorite card games which consist of 31, Golf, Spades, and Pluck.
Finally we got to baseball. After a short meeting, introducing the coaching staff and going over the daily plan, we headed out side to get to action. The groups of about 70 minor league pitchers were split into six groups to spend about 15 minutes at stations. Each station focused on several different fundamentals. Some guys threw bullpens and others just played catch (I am scheduled to throw my first bullpen tomorrow). Finally, once we got through all of the stations, our day outside was finished. Many of the guys got to head home after this but a group of 20 guys and I had to stay afterwards to have a one-on-one meeting with minor league farm director and a few other coaches. This meeting just consisted of where they see us in the system and things they feel we should work on. By time these meeting finished it was 7PM. It was a very long day full of many things to do but it is just the start of a very exciting spring training