Hey everyone, this is Jeff Francoeur, and welcome to my first post as a guest blogger on delta.com.
As an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, one of 30 teams in MLB, I’m looking forward to taking you on a journey through the 2008 season, posting from my travels with the team this summer as we criss-cross the country playing for the NL East title. Throughout the year, I’ll be updating you on my travels across the country, including my favorite restaurants, hotels, and trips from Delta’s network.
On Spring Training in Orlando
Today I write to you from Orlando, Florida, at the sight of our Spring Training complex. Along with about half of the teams in Major League Baseball, we spend about six to eight weeks here in the state of Florida (the other teams are in Arizona) getting ready to start the season. Each team is located in a different city around the state, and the Braves make their home here in Orlando at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex.
I actually love coming to Orlando for Spring Training because there are so many different things to do for my family and friends. Sure, it would be nice to train at a city by a beach (I know other teams train in places like Jupiter, West Palm Beach, and Clearwater), but the great thing about being here in Orlando is that there is so much entertainment for everyone that comes down here to visit me.
When I wake up every day, I know that I can go to the complex and train, while my family can go to Disney World, they can go golfing, they can go to any number of great restaurants, etc. I eat with my friends and family every night here in Orlando, and it’s great to listen to them talk about all the different things they did during the day while I was at the ballpark. I’m also a big golfer, so that’s another reason why I love coming down to Orlando. There are just so many good golf courses in the area. As many of you know, Florida is a great destination if you are looking to get a few good rounds of golf in during February or March.
The 2008 MLB Season Kicks Off Today
The Braves’ season starts next week against the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C. It’s going to be quite a thrill to open up the season at the Nationals’ new stadium.
Like many of you business travelers out there, our trip to Washington, D.C. for one game is a pure business trip. Usually, we may spend three or four days in a city. But with this trip being just one game, I’ll probably wear a suit on both flights and might take a very small piece of luggage with me, literally just a fresh set of shirts and some other small items. With President Bush in attendance, and with the game being shown on national television (ESPN), it’s a great opportunity to play on the big stage. That means I’ll probably take it easy that day by just hanging around the hotel. Just like many of you who come into Washington for a day of business, I won’t do much sight-seeing this time.
Quick Update on Last Sunday’s Injury
Some of you may have seen that I was hit in the face last Sunday during a game against St. Louis. I’m totally fine, and I’m already back and playing with the team. In fact, my first game back came against Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander (who consistently throws 100 mph) and then my next game back was against 2007 CY Young Award winner C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians. Just my luck, right?
Once you get in the box to face those guys, you realize that when you are facing pitchers who throw as hard as they do you have to look for a certain ‘spot’ to swing at and not a certain pitch. Unlike facing a guy with some off-speed stuff where you might be looking for a pitch in a certain count, when those guys throw every pitch at 98 mph you have to basically swing at a certain spot over the plate and hope to make contact. It’s tough.
I’m excited to interact with you all, and I look forward to checking in with you right after the season starts.
What topics would you like to hear about this season?
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