Life in the Minors Chapter 4: Living in New York
The Baby Bombers and Mini Mets have had to adapt quickly to their new life in the New York Penn League. (Nick Racioppi: WFUV Sports)
For the fifteenth consecutive year, WFUV talks to members of the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees in the Short Season Single-A New York Penn League about the trials and tribulations about being minor league ballplayers. The long bus rides, the low pay, 76 games in 80 days... This is Life in the Minors: How the Other Half Lives.
In the fourth edition of 2015, Nick Racioppi and Matt Brown take a look at how players have adapted to their new lives.
The Staten Island Yankees with Nick Racioppi:
Life can change in an instant and that is exactly what happened to many members of the Staten Island Yankees.
After being drafted, players traveled from all around the nation to get to New York. The team now lives in a hotel located near the field in Staten Island and have living arrangements that resemble those from their college lives.
Yankee center fielder Jeff Hendrix finds many similarities to his time he spent at Oregon State.
“In college I had some roommates and now I still have roommates," Hendrix said. "It’s nice in that aspect because you still get to make some good friends and spend some time with the guys.”
Even when they are off the field, the members of the Staten Island Yankees still spend most of their time with one another. Right fielder Jhalan Jackson views his new life as a drastic change from his time at Florida Southern.
“College is much different as you party in college but here is more of a job and I am more focused,” Jackson said.
These players realize the importance of their new lives and the need to adjust to this new way of living. Most of the players make a very minimal amount of money playing in Staten Island so focusing on playing baseball and not much else is a common goal for many.
The team is currently on a grueling 76 games in 80 day stretch that will extend to the end of August. Despite coming from all around the world, each member of the team is looking to play high level baseball over the stretch to help achieve their ultimate dream of playing in the Bronx.
The Brooklyn Cyclones with Matt Brown:
Life in the minors greatly contrasts the glamorous life led by those at the major league level. For the Brooklyn Cyclones, the adjustment to the minor league game is compounded by the transition to life in New York City.
The Cyclones, who live together in a hotel, shared some insight into what its been like moving to the city, and sharing a less than large living space with a teammate they recently met.
Cyclones power hitting catcher Brandon Brosher, who lays claim to the only grand slam at MCU Park since 2012, had this to say about the drastic change he has faced.
“Well life in the city is definitely different for me," Brosher said. "I’m a Florida boy, and where I live it’s a lot of country, so being in the city is very different.”
Second year outfielder Tucker Tharp is definitely used to changes in scenery. He was able to comment on not moving just once, but twice.
“I grew up in Boulder, Colorado so it was a transition for me from the front range out to Midwest to play for Kansas," Tharp said. "I felt at home in Kansas, and then the transition from there to here is a big one.”
As for the room situation, Cyclones second baseman Vinny Sienna isn’t looking to spend too much time in his room.
“It’s a little room, two guys to a room," Sienna said. "It’s fun. We are usually there to just sleep but I get up in the morning every day and grab something to eat. I’m getting used to the city life and everyone honking.”
While the Brooklyn Cyclones continue to grind through the bus rides and small living conditions, they will inevitably also grow accustomed to New York, honking and all.