Talking Shop with Ryan Shopshire: A message from the FSL
Well, hello readers!
These last two weeks have been filled with excitement. Spring training came to an end, cuts were made and teams were decided upon. I will be playing for the High single-A Dunedin Blue Jays. We are located approximately 30 miles West of Tampa, Florida. The league I am playing in is called the Florida State League and our stadium is called Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. This stadium is where the Blue Jays train during spring training. The facilities we have here are amazing. Our clubhouse is huge. There is plenty of space in it, with very nice lockers, leather sofas and three card tables, along with multiple flat screens hanging up between the clubhouse and cafeteria. The weight room is a great size, filled with all up-to-date equipment. I have not sat in a major league clubhouse yet, but I am guessing it is very similar. I am very blessed to have these facilities at my disposal.
During the last five days of spring training, I had to try and find a convenient and reasonable place to live before the season starts. There are a few people that have cars on my team, but, unfortunately, my roommates and I do not. As a result, we had just a few days to locate housing, sign a lease and get settled into a place that is within walking distance to the field. If this sounds chaotic … it was! It was not an easy task, all while still attending the long hours of the last few days of spring training.
All the players are pretty much on their own when it comes to finding a place to live. We ran into difficulties when it came to accommodating our walking situation, a short-term or month-to-month lease, budget, etc. Nevertheless, it all worked out, and we found a place that fit in our budget and all accommodations, just in the nick of time. I am currently living with two of my teammates in a duplex. The problem with renting a house, which I was never was aware of, is you have to put deposits down for everything! We needed a deposit for our place, then another to start up the water, to turn on the electricity and we even needed a deposit for the washer and dryer we rented. We had to make moves left and right in organizing and situating ourselves as fast as possible. We had one day off between spring training and the start of the season (which a day off comes once a month … if that) and let me tell you, I worked hard that day to get everything ready to move into a place. I could not be more blessed with how it all worked out in the end.
Finally — with making a team, renting a place and getting situated now under our belts — Opening Day was here! Our season-opener featured Brandon Morrow as our starting pitcher. He is currently on rehab assignment. It was good to watch and retain as much information as I could from a person like Brandon. One major thing I noticed about Brandon: He goes about his business in a professional manner which is exactly why he is very successful at the major-league level. We lost that opening game, and we still haven’t put up a W in the win column. Our team is off to a slow start; although I’m confident a win will come soon and get us moving throughout the season. We have a great team with tremendous talent, and we will get a winning streak going here soon. All we can do is continue to work hard day in and day out and victory will meet up with us soon.
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