Spring Training truck escapes winter weather
Rangers load equipment for Surprise, Ariz., as flurries fall in Arlington
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers loaded up the equipment truck on Friday and sent it off to Arizona. Pitcher Matt Harrison was there to make sure one personal item got loaded.
"Yeah, hopefully a healthy season," Harrison said. "I put that on there."
Harrison is returning from back surgery, and the Rangers are sending plenty of equipment ahead to Surprise, Ariz., for him to use. Among the equipment were six new exercise bicycles and treadmills. If Harrison wants to add a few pounds to what he lost during his long rehabilitation process, the Rangers also loaded up a new barbecue grill to fix all those delicious lunches outside the clubhouse.
They have plenty of room for everything because there are no motorcycles going to Arizona this year.
"We're in the baseball business," Rangers equipment manager Richard Price said. "We're not in the motorcycle business anymore."
It was 31 degrees in Arlington on Friday as the moving crew finished loading the truck. There were still scattered pockets of ice and snow around Globe Life Park from Thursday's winter storm, and a few flurries came down as the door was finally shut.
The truck is scheduled to arrive in Arizona on Tuesday, where the weather is forecast to be 77 degrees and mostly sunny in the desert. Back in Arlington, it could be back down to 38 with more winter weather possible. Rangers pitchers and catchers report on Sunday, Feb. 16, and the forecast calls for mostly sunshine with a high of 86 degrees.
All the equipment will be there waiting for them. Price and his assistants expect to have everything in place on Friday.
"Along with a whole new set of fresh hopes and wishes that 2014 will be better than 2013," Price said. "We have the same number of bats and balls, just different names on the bats and the uniforms."
That includes No. 84, which will be worn by Prince Fielder. His uniform is a size 58.
"I don't know what size Frank Howard wore, but that's four sizes bigger than we've had around here before," Price said.
Each player gets two dozen bats shipped. The Rangers still have Nelson Cruz's bats lying around, but those aren't being shipped to Arizona. For now, those will remain in storage at Globe Life Park.
But the Rangers are sending 400 pairs of white pants, 400 pairs of blue pants, 12,000 baseballs and 2,400 pods of coffee. Those will be on the same truck as the Xbox 360s, 10 sets of golf clubs and 84 cans of Scrubbing Bubbles. Those help add a nice shine to a player's shoes on an Arizona morning.
Not everybody had something for the truck. Shortstop Elvis Andrus said he had nothing to add.
"New year, I'm getting all new stuff," Andrus said. "I'm not putting any old stuff on the truck."
Not even a razor blade for his new Abraham Lincoln beard. But the Rangers have everything else needed to conduct Spring Training, and it all headed west as the snow flurries dusted Globe Life Park on Friday afternoon.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.