It has been a week since we arrived in Brisbane and all of us have had an absolutely awesome time getting to know the city. We’ve got almost nothing but great things to say about our home town for the next four months. Our only complaint has been the cost of everything down here, everything here is twice (or in some cases three times) as expensive as it is back home. We’ve been told about a number of different factors that play into it and have started to understand why, but that doesn’t really make it any easier spending so much money on groceries every few days. We’ve started to settle into a routine, and have gotten into baseball mode over the last few days.
Panorama of Coolangatta Beach ….
This weekend offered us a Sunday off day which we took full advantage of. The five of us piled into two cars and made the 45 minute drive down the highway to Gold Coast, and more specifically Coolangatta Beach. Mark had lead the caravan and took us to this beach figuring it was close enough to Surfers Paradise, but far enough away that it would’t be impossible to park and insanely hectic. Surfers Paradise was hosting an auto race similar to our Formula 1 races back home. We spent the morning body surfing the waves at Coolangatta before we grabbed lunch. By this point Mark, Chad and Joel had left to go to their Windsor Royals double header. Joel left us with his car so we could get around, but we walked into a restaurant for lunch before we ever went to the car.
Gateway to Surfers Paradise Beach ….
When I ordered my lunch I got my receipt and it included a $2 credit for the gaming center, so I took it and cashed it in for some dollar coins to play in the pokies. I managed a solid $26 win which was pretty cool and covered lunch for me. I had some really good fish and chips for lunch, we watched the end of game 5 of the World Series (I think, maybe it was game 4?). After lunch we piled into the car and drove down to Surfers Paradise. It took us a while to find a “car park” or parking garage, but when we did we ended up no more than a five minute walk from the main drag and the beach. We quickly reapplied sunblock and headed right back into the waves. They were considerably bigger than any that I’d ever seen, and I had a blast swimming through them and over top of them. I had one mishap, I accidentally started swimming with it way too early and ended up going over the crest of the wave only to have it break on top of me and thump me into the sand at the bottom. I scraped up my arm a little and had more salt water up my nose than I wanted, but I was okay and so I laughed it off. We met up at the ballpark around 5:30 and found out that the Windsor Royals took both ends of a double header, so we headed off to a sports bar with a bunch of the guys and had dinner. We had steaks, ribs, and chicken, it was all great food and we discussed everything from how to play cricket, how to play keno and how to bet horse races.
Video board at Holloway Field with the World Series game on this morning!
Monday and Tuesday nights we had team practices at Pine Hills, a second ballpark on the other side of town. On Monday we just took batting practice in the cages, and Tuesday was a full practice. Monday we did an hour and a half long hitting rotation going through a front toss cage, machine cage, and a regular BP cage. I finally started to lock in with my swing, and I felt like I knew where I was in terms of my hands, my “move” (because Mottolla doesn’t like the word swing) to get to the ball and my eye. Tuesday night “Buff” and I did some early catching work with Brady, going through a whole bunch of different receiving drills off the machine. Buff is a catcher in the Indians system, so we spent time trading ideas about different things we do during the season. After our early work we stretched, played catch and took an infield. I had great timing and felt like my footwork was clean but my arm just couldn’t do anything right, and I was short on most of my throws. We finished our defensive work with our bunt plays, then I caught four bullpens before heading into the cage. Everything felt really good, really clean, and ready for Thursday’s Opening Night.
Today we got our uniform bags filled with hats, shirts, shorts, jerseys and all the other stuff we’ll need tomorrow night when we kick this season off. I’m starting to really get excited to play and to get this season going. We’ve got a good team, and have already started to build some of that friendly camaraderie that all great teams have. We’ve got a fun group, so it will always be a good time at the ballpark. I can’t wait for tomorrow!
Bandit Wear!! Can’t wait to rock that yellow uni!! OOOOOHHHH kill em!
Bandit Wear!! Can’t wait to rock that yellow uni!! OOOOOHHHH don’t do it to em!