Call it the Venezuelan Villa of North Phoenix. The five bedroom house where Elvis Andrus, Robinson Chirinos, Martin Perez and Rougned Odor live during spring training is not exactly a quick throw from the Surprise facility.
The four teammates, all hailing from Venezuela, leave at 5:15 a.m. in two cars every morning to beat the morning rush hour. It takes them about 35 minutes with Andrus and Chirinos driving.
“It’s not that far actually,” Andrus said. “That’s what I drive from [North] Dallas.”
Chirinos found the property and the others signed off. Andrus, with his seniority, claimed the master bedroom. He pays a little more, too, but the foursome divided up the costs.
“It was either that or that hotel [right by the complex in Surprise],” Andrus said. “We figured new year, new start.”
It’s nice to get away from the facility, Andrus said, but the long commute and the relentless stop lights and traffic on Bell Road, the only major route to the complex, can turn a quick trip into a 30-minute hassle.
“Bell is the one that gets you,” he said. “If it wasn’t for all the lights we’d be here in about 15-20 minutes.”
Of course, Andrus is jamming tunes on the drive to get him and Odor pumped for the day’s practice. Meanwhile, Chirinos and Perez are more likely to be having an in depth conversation on the drive to Surprise.