Mike B
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The Grind

The First Bus Trip

A baseball that was mostly likely once white

To make a beautiful baseball bat you slowly use a gouge,  whittling away at the wood as it turns. A baseball career tends to work in a similar fashion. You start as a raw player who needs to have his skills redefined after the exciting draft day occurs. The amount of whittling needed varies depending on age, skill, and IQ. This "whittling" or development all occurs in the same place, the minor leagues.

The time comes as one finds themselves in rookie ball or with a short season affiliate. You as a player are so excited to be playing professional baseball you are unaware that "the grind" has begun. You go in knowing full well you won't be buying your father a new truck on Father's Day, but you were making zero dollars before this (as a high schooler or college student) so anything is a step up. But there are so many aches and soreness you weren't prepared for.

The Ride

This thing, better known as a coach bus, will let you know you're a minor league very quickly. You usually have two individuals, at least 6 foot, sitting next to each other trying to grab some shut-eye. My first road trip included a couple Benadryl and very little sleep. I was sitting next to an individual, who measured about 6'3, 230 lbs. Myself being 6'1, 210 lbs, we weren't dealing with a plethora of air space between us. So following some advice, a pair of Benedyl was ingested, as I wanted to knock out for the eight hour bus ride. The heaviness of  my eyes slowly weighed on me. I began to drift off to sleep for what I hoped would be the entire ride. I started to adjust my body to get as comfortable as could be. I moved my neck trying to prop it against the window. I sprawled my legs as far under the seat in front of me as I could. I turned my hips slightly as I like to sleep on my slide. Nothing, nothing worked. My neck began to instantly ache, my knee injury from years before began to flair up as it can't be in a sitting position for too long, and my eyes are so heavy now I can barely open them. I just want to sleep. I was not in a good place. I urged my body to just relax, or at least just fall asleep. Nothing. Normally, I'd think, okay just go stretch your legs quick. No go, a large man is sleeping next to me and I would hate to wake him up. Okay, new plan, let's just keep adjusting until I get somewhere I can sleep. So there I am fidgeting in my seat in a near sleep coma at this point, trying to get some shut eye. Nothing. So I concede the fight, grab my phone to help kill time. Well now my eyes are still so heavy I can't keep them open to look at my phone! So I sit, I sit on the bus with my eyes closed, thoughts rolling through my head for the entire trip, just wondering if I will ever make it through the first season.  

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The Grind
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