Texas Rangers' trucks heading west first sign of spring

Posted Friday, Feb. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

ARLINGTON -- Tanner Scheppers packed extra dog food, just as his wife recommended.

Not only is spring training two weeks longer because of this year's World Baseball Classic, but the Schepperses added a second dog two weeks ago when they adopted a Boston terrier.

Scheppers' dog food, as well as a few teammates' Pack 'n Play children playpens and three motorcycles, were among the many items aboard the Texas Rangers' moving truck that departed Friday afternoon from Rangers Ballpark en route to the team's facility in Surprise, Ariz.

For Scheppers, seeing the 18-wheeler loaded up signaled how close spring training is; pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 12.

"It's exciting, you get that baseball itch where you want to get back on the field," Scheppers said.

Said pitching coach Mike Maddux: "It's time to start that grind. It's always fun to pack the bags because it lets you know we'll be smelling leather and baseball bats pretty shortly. That's what we live for."

The Rangers' equipment crew, headed by Richard "Hoggy" Price and his nine assistants, has been prepping for spring training ever since the season ended, and it intensified in January. The past two weeks, Price said, has been crossing the t's and dotting the i's to make sure nothing is left behind.

The Rangers are taking 125 cases of baseballs to Arizona. There are six dozen baseballs in every case, which means there are 9,000 baseballs in all. How many will come back?

"None," Price said with a chuckle.

Among the other items are $4,000 worth of coffee, 30 cases of powdered sports drink mix, massage tables, an elliptical machine, two jerseys per player and four pitching machines. There are also cases of sunflower seeds and bubble gum.

Price said the team buys everyday items such as coffee in Texas rather than Arizona to support local vendors.

For Price, it was mostly a standard packing job. He's loaded spring training trucks dating to 1978 when the team only needed a U-Haul trailer to take to their facility in Pompano Beach, Fla., with room to spare.

Price had a first this year, however. The three motorcycles loaded in a separate truck are something he hasn't seen before. The bikes belonged to senior executive vice president Jim Sundberg, team physician Keith Meister and assistant athletic trainer Kevin Harmon.

"Been doing this quite a while and that's a first for me," Price said.

Maddux on camp

Mike Maddux is ready for spring training, and is just as eager as most to see who emerges to fill big leagues roles.

"We have some 'help wanted' signs hanging from our bullpen and for a spot in our rotation, so it'll be interesting," he said. "Last year at this point, we were wondering who this Robbie Ross guy was, and he made us know who he was. We're going to see who this year's Robbie Ross is."

Maddux said the team will have 12 pitchers stretched out to start in spring, including Ross, Martin Perez, Justin Grimm, Kyle McClellan, Nick Tepesch, Randy Wells and Cody Buckel, along with regulars Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando. The 12th starter has yet to be determined.

Number changes

The Rangers will have a few notable number changes this year. Jurickson Profar will be No. 13; Lance Berkman will be No. 27; Leonys Martin will be No. 2; and Jeff Baker will wear No. 15.

Profar switched to 13 from 2 because he wore the number for Curacao when it won the Little League World Series in 2004, equipment manager Hoggy Price said.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Francisco 10/21 8:07 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
Houston 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Miami TV: TNT, CSN-HOU
Indiana 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota 
Utah 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City 
Portland 10/21 9:00 PM ET
Denver 
Phoenix 10/21 10:00 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: TWC SN, D
LA Clippers 10/21 10:30 PM ET
Golden State TV: TNT
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Jose 10/21 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: TVA Sports, CSN-CA, NESN
NY Rangers 10/21 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: MSG, MSG+
Toronto 10/21 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: TSN4, MSG+2
Detroit 10/21 7:30 PM ET
Montreal TV: FSN-DET, RDS
Arizona 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-TN
Carolina 10/21 8:00 PM ET
Winnipeg TV: FSN-CAR, TSN3
Philadelphia 10/21 8:30 PM ET
Chicago TV: NBCSN, CSN-PHI, CSN-CH
Vancouver 10/21 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: SN-PAC, FSN-SW
Florida 10/21 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: FSN-FL, Altitude
Tampa Bay 10/21 9:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: SUN, SN-W
Full Scoreboard