As my close friends are well aware (and probably sick of hearing about), I spend a fair bit of time during the spring and summer at a minor league ballpark (yes, the rumors are true — sales of Red Ropes finance CSTB’s bandwidth bill), and as pleasant an environment the Dell Diamond affords on a 100 degree evening, not once have I ever considered the Round Rock Express’ venue a suitable place to crash. Mostly because I’ve got somewhere else to go, mind you (well, that and Williamson County jails don’t take kindly to male model types like myself). The same could not be said for Reno Aces second baseman Ryan Roberts (above), who confesses to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro, he’s been using Aces Ballpark as his own personal bachelor arms.
œYou just couldn™t let anybody see you, Roberts said. œAfter the game, I™d sit on the couch in my uni until Bugsy (Reno manager Brett Butler) would leave, so everybody would think I was just hanging out. Then I™d shower up and hang out with the cleaning crew.
Roberts decided that with his family staying in Phoenix, he had all he needed the Reno clubhouse. Why get a place when all he was doing was sleeping there and coming straight to the ballpark the next day? Besides, half the time he was on the road with the team. Then there were times when his family would visit and they™d get a hotel room. And staying in the clubhouse had its moments. Once some of his teammates figured out he was crashing there, they™d stay late and play PlayStation. There was plenty of bottled water in the fridge, along with sandwich supplies and snacks in the kitchen.
Still, there were times when being at the ballpark 24/7 was just too much. œIt was brutal, he said. œDefinitely not the year we expected. I hope I™m not sleeping in any more clubhouses.