We made it to Lake Buena Vista today and visited with former New Market Rebels, Chris Masters (’07) and Blaine Sims (’10). Both are southpaws and both are making their way through the Atlanta Braves system rather quickly. Our boys are working hard and look to be in great shape. They certainly have the mental toughness to go far. We spent 90 minutes watching them and other Braves hurlers work on fielding drills. (Yes, we can spend 90 minutes doing that because that’s the way we roll.)
Now, if you ever intend to watch the Braves minor leaguers work out, be advised that their camp is located in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex that is part of the Walt Disney World Resort. In other words, you are at the most corporate minor league facility in the world. You also may have to pay $15.50 to get in. I say “may” because we sure had no intention of paying, and rather than take the long way around the complex to see if there was a way to get in legitimately for free, we took the road behind the baseball fields on which was posted a sign that read, “No Unauthorized Vehicles.” Well, we didn’t have a vehicle, unauthorized or otherwise, so we walked up the road. A guy in a golf cart looked at us suspiciously, but since we had on matching Rebel hats, he must have figured that we left our authorized vehicle out in the parking lot. We then came to a bullpen gate that was open and there was no sign that said, “Do not enter.” So, we entered. We also found a baseball taking this route.
Now, what did Al and I learn from our adventure? We learned this: Don’t take your wives on a Spring Training sojourn if you might be sneaking into a ballpark. Ours interpret signs broadly and would have kept us from going down the “No Unauthorized Vehicle” road in the first place, whereas clearly these signs needed to be taken literally.
Tomorrow, we spend the night with high school friends in Jacksonville and then we start the journey for home. Please make sure that it’s warm when we get there.