Father’s Day, getaway day and life on the road

It’s Father’s Day, so first and foremost, I’d like to wish all the fathers out there a happy Father’s Day. I finally realized how much this day really means after my wife, Anna, and I had our first baby in February — February 7 — a little girl named Rylyn Mae.

The responsibility that goes with having a little girl is huge and it’s something I’ve been realizing more and more and more because they’ll tell you the way your little girl views men the rest of her life is predicated on the father. That really amps up the pressure. You really want to be sure you’re doing the right thing for her by your values system. You want to raise her with the values she’s going to carry the rest of her life. It’s not a joke and you don’t get any do-overs.

With Father’s Day, it used to be that my wife always had to prod me to call Dad and make sure I wished him a happy Father’s Day. I did that because I felt like I had to, but now I see how special that phone call is. For me, it’s the best day. It’s the best day. I would rather celebrate Father’s Day than my own birthday if you gave me a choice. It’s a proud day for all the fathers.


During the Father’s Day game against the Astros, we wore blue wristbands and a blue ribbon on our jersey to promote prostate cancer awareness (Major League Baseball did the same thing, too, on Mother’s Day, only it was to raise awareness about breast cancer and everything was pink. Very cool). Anyway, a few of us decided to wear these, too. What can I say?

And it’s getaway day. Getaway day, in the big leagues, is a long day. It’s better when we play a day game on getaway day, but it’s a long day, starting with the night before when I’m trying to spend the last little bit of time with my family before I go on the road. And I’ve always got to finish packing, which can be a pain sometimes, I think everybody knows that.

The morning of getaway day, I’ll get up, go work out, come to the field, go through our pregame routine, whether we’re hitting on the field or not (a lot of times, for a day game after a night game, we won’t take batting practice on the field. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t). Then we have the game, and you’ve got to be in to that, obviously rooting your team on and hoping for the win. After the game, we deal with the media, eat dinner and then it’s time to take the bus out to the Kansas City International Airport.

Now when we get to the airport, everybody has to go through security. For commercial flights, they may randomly check 10 to 12 people, but for our flights, they check 100 percent of the people on that charter. I mean everybody goes through the wand, the bag search, all that. And then it’s into the plane and on to the next city.

Plane rides are pretty fun. We’ve got a good group, obviously. The veterans sit wherever they want, whether that’s in the middle of the plane, the back of the plane, wherever they so desire. Then the young guys fill in from the front and work their way on back.

Our flights are pretty sweet. We have a reconfigured plane so there’s a little bit more room. As you move toward the back of the plane you get a group of guys who are the card players. The first thing they want to do when they get on is start playing poker to pass the time. I’m not been much of a card player. I’m more of a sit-and-relax type of guy. I’ve never been much of a card player, not much of a gambler.

I’ve never been much of a gambler but I went on vacation in the Bahamas to Atlantis (and I actually kept track of this because it was so pathetic), and over a four-night stand, I sat down at the $25 blackjack table and played 33 hands. That may not seem like a lot over four days but the reason I only played 33 hands was because I won once, I pushed twice and I lost 30 times. I had back-to-back nights when I sat down, cashed in $200 and lost eight straight hands of blackjack.

And, oh, by the way, I know how to play. OK? I’m not a hit-on-18 guy, it’s not like I have no clue how to play. I know how to play blackjack … and I stank. But it was probably a good thing because I also have an addictive personality, so if I’d have had a lot of success, who knows? That ruined me of gambling. After that, I had no interest, no interest, in gambling. Some people might say, hey, look at that money as entertainment and if it lasts you all night, well, you had fun. For me, it was a debacle. And it was no fun laying down that money and watching it go away in three minutes.

So, no, cards do not appeal to me on the plane.

Then you’ve got the movie watchers. Midwest Express, our airline that flies us everywhere, they provide little portable DVD players — a lot of guys have their own — and some movies.

I’m a movie watcher.

Actually, no, I’m not a movie watcher. What I do on the plane (and what I’ve been doing since the beginning of the year), is trying to convert our team to “Arrested Development” watchers. I ran into that show this off-season, got the first season on DVD for Christmas and it is, hands down, the funniest show on TV. There’s not even a close second.

So I’ve been touting that show all through Spring Training and one by one, guys have started to come over. Jeremy Affeldt wanted to watch it with me (I have an open seat next to me on the plane and guys come back, they sit next to me, we throw it in and we watch the show), so it started with Jeremy, then it went to John Buck, who knocked out the entire first season with me on one road trip, and now Tony Graffanino is the guy. That’s become our team show.

In fact, when USA Today ran a “Save Our Shows” campaign, I wrote a letter to them explaining that it was the team show and I got everybody to sign it. I even overnighted it so it would come in a big envelope and they would take a look at it. USA Today did nothing with it. They didn’t give it the time of day. I guess they didn’t appreciate it.

Anyway, the show got renewed for a third season, so I’m pretty happy about that.

Then you get to the next city, get on the bus, take it to the hotel, get to your room — sometimes later than other times, depending on how long the flight is — and it becomes a very long day, so there’s no question that on getaway day, you want to win that game. You want to win them all but losing on a getaway day makes for a really long flight. Hopefully, we can win today on getaway day.


  1. goatwax@yahoo.com

    Should be a short flight then! Congrats for winning on getaway day. I’m really glad you guys salvaged that series. Hey Brian…How does it feel when you go head to head with a pitcher like Roger Clemens???

  2. schnauzer182@msn.com

    Hey Brian i really like reading these it is very interesting knowing what you guys do when your not out there playing i have been to almost every home game this year and can’t wait till the day i see you back on that mound will that be any time soon? i miss watching you

  3. kevin-ditzfeld7@hotmail.com

    Hey BA,
    I’ve been reading your thoughts the last couple of nights and decided to fill you in on my favorite story. This concerns my father and because of it being his day I felt it was appropriate. The year is 1985 (Cards Royals WS), I’m 8 yrs. old. My dad is a firefighter in a mid sized town making somewheree around $18,000 a year and somehow got a hold of two tickets for the seventh game. I can remember like it was yesterday watching the infamous call at first base, Jack Clark dropping the foul ball, and Dane Iorge’s base hit. I was bouncing off the walls with excitement that I was going to the 7th game. My dad, God bless him, came home the next morning from his shift and told me he had sold the tickets. Imagine my heartbreak for a second.

    What’s funny is that although it was a huge disappointment in my life being the Royals fan that I was (still am), I never held any ill feelings toward my dad. I knew he gave me all he could, and still does.

    Now, almost every year since I’ve grown up, I try to take him to at least one game a year.

    Thought you’d appreciate the story. Good luck in Chicago. Happy dad’s day.

  4. mobailey@hotmail.com

    Hi Brian,
    Congrats on your new daughter! I hope you keep up with the blogging…we all know you have a lot to say! My comments on Father’s Day – not that you asked! – cherish your dad while you have him. I lost mine 3 years ago and miss him every day.

    You are my favorite ML player…not really because of your performance on field but because you just seem to be a really NICE guy off-field. You set a really good example for the kids out there. I met you at MMS back just before you left for AZ…you were so nice…Anyway, Tribe is on a winning streak…Go Tribe!!

  5. frankandbeans22@hotmail.com

    Hey Brian,
    Please relay this message in the clubhouse: Keep playing hard!! There are fans who love you and will never give up hope. You guys are fun to watch and things will turn around if you just believe! Go Royals!

    (get well soon BA!)

  6. baseballlover31@msn.com

    Hey Brian,
    I have a message for you as well as the others on the team. I know you haven’t been here for all of the last few years (referring to your trade here in ’03) but I just want you guys to know how much fun it’s been watching you guys play the game of baseball. I will always remember the summer of ’03 as one of the most enjoyable summers I’ve ever had, and this one is shaping up to be fun as well (we’ll just try and forget about ’04). Also, I wanted to tell you about something a buddy of mine and I created in 2003. We figured that since the Angels had the rally monkey we would create our own rally animal, so we came up with the rally penguin, and he goes to every game with me. If you ever want to meet him I’m usually at the games early enough to hang out by the dugout before I have to go to the upper deck (real fans sit in the cheap seats). His name is Mike and since 2003 he his 38-27 at games (and yes that includes 2004, and even opening day 2004, which by the way was the best baseball game I’ve ever seen in my 18 years of being alive). So I just want to thank you guys for playing hard everyday and creating many memorable moments for me to enjoy as not only a fan of the royals but as a baseball fan in general. My buddies at school always joke with me that I’m “that kid that loves the Royals” and I like being that kid. I’ll always stick by you guys, and I know one day you guys will win the division and go to the series. Best of luck the rest of the year, Go Royals!


  7. wyzburro@comcast.net


    Just realized today you were blogging – keep up the great work! Enjoyed you on RSTN the other night – since those of us who don’t live in KC don’t get the pleasure of hearing you on the occasional radio interview, it was fun to get to hear your comments.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, and keep up the fight for “Arrested Development”!


    KC Native and die-hard Royal in Maryland

  8. blatter@ksu.edu

    The second I read the words “Arrested Development” in your blog, you immediatley became my all-time favorite player. But on that note, does anyone ever cruise the clubhouse on a Segway? You should call that thing a “Gob,” guy. Keep up the good work, I’m off for a Bluth frozen banana…


  9. chiefelle@aol.com

    Hey Bri, loving the blogging! And by the way, I have never seen an episode of Arrested Development but will start checking it out in its third season. I trust since you like it so much it must be good! Well, much success to you guys on the road! And much success to you in getting back to the mound where you belong. Can’t wait to see you back in the rotation! Thanks for always going to extra mile for the fans! Good luck on the road and I will see you in right field when you guys get back to KC! You’re the best!!!

    P.S. Hope you had a wonderful fathers day!

  10. ajazdude@yahoo.com

    Hey Brian
    Thanks for the blog and the great commentary. One thing the Royals have ALWAYS stood for, is CLASS. The Royals have always been a class act, no matter how good or how poor the team was doing, they never blamed others or did things to distract from the mission – playing the game and representing Kansas City. I’m a long time fan, went to my first game in 1973. More important, when I was overseas with the Air Force during the 80s, those baseball games on AFN were a God-send and very important to the troops across the ocean. No matter how tough things get on the field, think about the guys putting their butts on the line overseas, and how sometimes the only taste of home they get is being able to listen to a game on Armed Forces Radio. BTW, I was at the game in Arizona when you guys put it together over 12 innings and won – that’s the Royals of old! Puttin’ the hits together, never giving up. Kick butt this year!

  11. durandal38@hotmail.com

    Hey Brian!
    Just wanted to say I checked out your blog today for the first time and I like it alot. It’s nice to know what you guys go through when getting ready for a road trip. I’m in the Navy and currently stationed in Bahrain but I’m coming home in about 10 days. I’ve been here for 18 months so I missed last season and some of this season. We don’t get to see alot of Royals games out here (AFN mostly plays games of big market teams) but I have gotten to see some and I read the Royals web page religously. I’m excited to come home and catch some Royals action in person! Keep up the good blogging!


  12. brc@runbox.com


    This blog is a terrific idea. My dad and I caught your comments the other night and both of us agree it adds that inside and positive element to the overall broadcast. I hope you can do this with the guys on radio as well. I really enjoy all of our broadcasters. They have a way of keeping things informative and interesting aside from what is going on during a game.

    We don’t get together as often as we would like (he was (and still is) recuperating from surgery), so we tuned in as he rested and had about as much fun as if we were there at the K – which we were on the 14th celebrating Father’s Day a bit early knowing he would be in bed the rest of the week.

    Now that I am also a dad, she’ll be 4 on 7/17, I cannot agree more with your comments. It helps to have a supportive wife – don’t know how I’d get everything done without her. It is an awesome responsibility, and I love it!

    She’s just came in here wanting me to make a snack, asked what I was doing, and I opened up the link


    on the side here to show her who I was writing to, and she grins and said, “He pitches!”.

    I think you just made another fan. I am loving this. Keep us posted when you can. Hope to see you on here and on the mound again soon.


  13. bethany.ayers@washburn.edu

    I just wanted to say that you are right about fathers day. It is very important for a father to be involved in his daughters life. I believe it makes a difference on how a girl grows up to be a respectful, strong woman with good morals. My father was very involved in my life and introduced me to so many positive things. At 20 years old, he is still my hero. It is also true that the way a girl views men, is predicted on how the father raises his daughter. People say women always end up marrying men like their father! My father is a huge baseball buff, so I have proof that that saying is true, because the only guys I’ve dated have been baseball players. Oh, and they were good guys too. 😉

    Kauffman stadium is a place where I have gone with my father since I was a month old. It’s a wonderful place to spend time with my dad. I’m glad that you realize how important your role as a father is, because not many girls are as lucky as I am, but I know your daughter will be.

    God Bless,


  14. chiefelle@aol.com

    I just wanted to write a little comment about my dad cuz I have read a few others. My dad is the one who got me so into sports, football and baseball being my favorites. He gave me my best memory thus far in my life. He took me to games 2 and 7 of the ’85 world series and I will never forget that. I am daddys little girl, though I am 33 yrs old, and I will always be daddys little girl. So, having just had a baby girl as you and your wife just had, she will be your biggest fan and you will be her biggest hero, as my dad is to me! There is nothing more precious than a dad and his little girl! God Bless! Go Royals!


  15. dnmaloney@aol.com

    Brian, Taught you business ethics at Wright State in ’92 or ’93. Following your career since–and happy I came upon your blog site–was wondering how your rehab was coming–good you will be starting on Wed. You write well–humor and some great thoughts on fathering. Have wondered where Denny Bleh is these days.
    Still teaching, and moving to Okinawa in Oct. Wife is in last tour with USAF.

    Hope the new pitching mechanics will save your arm for a few more seasons. All the best to you and your family.

    Don Maloney

  16. davidemerson@swbell.net

    Brian – I found it interesting that no one commented about the picture? I am 44 and I have advanced Prostate Cancer. I really like what MLB is doing to support the cause and raise awareness of the disease.

    My dad had it and know my two brothers are at high risk of getting the disease (well over 50% chance)

    Go see what we are doing at:


    and lend us a hand if you can!!!

  17. lavida2011@aol.com

    In order that people may be happy in their work, these things are needed: they must be fit for it; they must not do much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it. Do you think so? jordan

  18. lavida2011@aol.com

    He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: general Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars. Do you think so?


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