THE (GROSS) ANATOMY OF A ROAD TRIP
Since I have the opportunity to travel with the team on this final road trip of the year, I thought I’d try and share as much of it with you as I can.
First off, during travel days, members of the traveling party are expected to dress nicer than usual. Thus, I wear a suit instead of Reds golf shirt.
We’re usually given 45 minutes from the day’s final pitch to the time we board the buses to depart for the airport. There is a staff bus for coaches/front office folks and there is a players bus. I sit on the staff bus.
More often than not, we don’t have to go through a security checkpoint at the airport. Rather, folks in the traveling party get wanded down and frisked at the ballpark before boarding the buses. It’s a convenient move and makes for quicker travel. I’m a big fan. Security is still in effect, though, no matter who you are.
When we get to the airport, the buses maneuver the tarmac and let us out plane-side, right next to the Reds charter. We simply walk the 50 feet from the bus to the plane and board. There are “unassigned-assigned seats” so newcomers have to remember not to sit in anyone’s seat. My boss, Rob Butcher sits in seat #13 right across the aisle from Mercury Marty. It’s the same spot where I sit when I’m traveling in place of Rob. Since Rob and I are both on this trip, I’m in aisle 12 for this go-around. Each person usually gets an entire row to himself (3 seats), unless the traveling party is big (like this time), then there are cases of doubling-up.
When on the plane, we’re pretty much treated like kings. Flight attendants make sure we’re well fed and well-hydrated. It’s a pretty fantastic way to travel. We also get to watch movies/TV on the individual ”touch screen monitors” at our seats. I made the mistake of watching The A-Team (movie) on the way here to Houston (don’t judge me).
When we arrive to our destination, it’s pretty much the same thing but in reverse. We get off the plane and right onto our buses and head to the team hotel. When we get to the hotel, there are envelopes waiting for each member of the traveling party. Those envelopes contain our room key card.
After that, we’re pretty much on our own until it’s time to go to the ballpark (I”ll cover that part tomorrow)…
The UC/NC State game from the comfort of my seat
Oh wait, I think I forgot to mention the best part!
Usually the last road trip of the (regular) season is a very important one for the rookies. Instead of explaining it, I’ll just show you. Enjoy….