Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked the same question approximately 49,283 times.
“So, where you gonna be this year?”
According to my built-in question counter, another query comes in at a close second.
“You ready for the season to start?”
I deem these legitimate questions, and never resent the number of times that they’ve been posed to me. I welcome questions of any type and even enjoy answering them.
The first question proves easy to answer, and generates a response such as this:
“I honestly have no clue.”
This is a truthful response, as I really do have no clue where I’m going to be this year. Most guys possess a reasonable idea of their destination, but spring training is a book of secrets that would make the Defense Department proud. A player doesn’t definitively obtain such information until just before the season commences.
The second question is more problematic. It always produces ambivalence, and such mixed feelings require elaboration. Everyone wants a one-line answer, but answering in such a fashion isn’t easy.
The life we live is never short of emotions, as both humor and pain define our days. As I enter this spring training, I know that a multitude of both emotions await me, and this is the cause for my ambivalence.
I know that I’m going to miss my wife. She will be working hard at her job in St. Louis, paying our mortgage, while I spend my hours doing PFPs and shagging balls in the outfield.
As my dad once stated, “Someone has to support his baseball habit.”
She resolutely accepts this role and I love her dearly. I’ll see her only a few times over the course of the six-month season.
I know I’ll miss my dog. I’ll miss throwing Frisbees to her and hearing her feet clicking the floor as I open the door from a workout. I’ll miss opening the jar of peanut butter, only to hear her running down the stairs five seconds later, licking her lips. Just like my wife, I could really use her unconditional love after a bad game.
I know I’ll miss my mom and my dad. At one time they never missed a game that I played, be it baseball or basketball. Now they almost never even see me, much less watch me play.
I’ll miss my sister graduate from college. She will probably graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA. (Thanks for showing up your brother!) Missing this will not come as a surprise though, as I also missed both my younger sisters’ high school graduations. I barely made it to my older sister’s wedding.
But I will be playing baseball, the game that I love. I’ll be competing near the pinnacle, with my sights still targeted towards a dream that has come to encompass my life.
I will be alongside my teammates, some of whom are like brothers: Ryan Sadowski, Steve Palazzolo, Osiris Matos, Dave McKae, and too many others to name in this article. I’ll be in the clubhouse, laughing at absurdities that can only be produced by a room full of guys in the possession of free time.
I had a good season last year, and feel that I am closer than ever to reaching this goal. Snared in a tar pit called Double A the last few years, I may have finally scratched and clawed myself out of this trap. Hope and eternal optimism still drive me.
There are enough pitchers in minor league camp to fill a small rock quarry. Most are younger, only a handful are older. Some of the young guys I have never even met. Many will not even survive the spring. All of them I’ll be competing against, but I’ll be doing so with a smile on my face. They’re all my teammates, and I love every one of them.
I miss my teammates, and I miss playing this game.
So, with a smile on my face but a tear in my eye, the answer is always, “Yes, I’m ready.”
Let the season begin.
Garrett Broshuis, who will be writing a regular Prospect Diary for us this year, is heading to Giants spring training this week. You can e-mail Garrett questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.