WFUV explores what minor leaguers do on the road
For the 12th straight year WFUV is taking a look at what life is like in the Short Season Single-A NY Penn League...a close-up view of the Baby Bombers and Junior Mets as they attempt to climb the ladder to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. It's Brooklyn and Staten Island. It's the Cyclones and Yankees. It's Life in the Minors: How the Other Half Lives.
Nick Logerfo - Staten Island Yankees Beat Reporter
Traveling is as much a part of baseball as hotdogs and cracker jacks. In the minors there are no private jets, or limos, there is only the bus. The Staten Island Yankees will have their share of road trips this season with 18 road games in the month of July and only 11 home games. Some of these road games are as short as going to Brooklyn to as far away as Mahoning Valley in Ohio. No matter where these guys are traveling there is definitely a need to find something to keep them occupied.
Most Yankees turn to music or sleep to help deal with the bore of the long bus rides, while others are entertained by other means. Evan DeLuca and Wes Wilson have been known to entertain the guys on the bus with funny voices and a mock ESPN show after every road game. It certainly is something different, but all of the players enjoy sitting back and enjoying a little comedy to kill some time.
The Road is a tough place for any team to play, and the Yankees can attest to this idea first hand. Yankee pitcher Alex Smith told us this week that being the visiting team makes playing a little tougher with the mental and physical fatigue of traveling, and the jeers of hostile crowds. Smith said that on the Yankees most recent trip to Aberdeen the team was “booed and heckled” the entire game. It’s safe to say that the Staten Island Yankees are already getting indoctrinated into one of realisms of being a Yankee.
Even with all of the difficulties of playing on the road, there are still some positives the Yankees take away from being the road team. For instance Wes Wilson said this week the road trips and being in the hotels, really brought the team together and created chemistry between the players. Matt Duran talked about the road as a place to learn and said that when he is on the road there are fewer distractions for him. Duran certainly had a positive outlook about the road and didn’t seem to be phased by the long trips and hotel stays.
Traveling and baseball go hand and hand. After talking with these minor leaguers it’s clear that the traveling is as awful or as enjoyable as one makes it. In the end maybe it’s not so bad to be on the road again after all.