Downtime in Arizona during extended spring training, sure, there’s a lot of it. What do young players like Bubba Starling do with it?
“A lot of us are so tired and worn out that we just go sleep,” Starling said. “We don’t really do much because we’re so tired from being at the field.”
Even if the Royals didn’t have a 10 p.m. curfew, “99 percent of the guys would be in their room asleep anyway,” said Scott Sharp, Kansas City’s director of minor league operations.
A couple of guys have gone to see the Arizona Diamondbacks play. The malls in Scottsdale are nice. Sundays are off days, and Starling and his baseball-playing friends have talked about going fishing.
“We always talk about it, but then when it comes time to do it we’re laying around doing nothing,” Starling said.
Starling doesn’t get stopped at the mall in Scottsdale or at the convenience store down the street like he did in Kansas City in the offseason.
“No one knows me down here,” Starling said. “I love it. People don’t bug me. I can go out to eat, do whatever I want, and no one knows me. I’m just another guy.”
Being out of the spotlight isn’t the long-term plan, though. Not for Starling. Not for the Royals.
“It’s my first time here, and not a lot of people recognize me,” he said. “Hopefully in the future when I’m making it up, they’ll start noticing who I am. Everyone notices the Billy Butlers and Eric Hosmers out here. It’d be nice to be like that someday.” — Rob White
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