PITTSBURGH — Although spring training isn’t officially underway until the first workout held on February 19th in Bradenton, Fla., there was a sign on Friday that it isn’t too much longer until Pirate City and McKechnie field begin to see the full-squad in action.
Scott Bonnett, who has been the Pirates equipment manager for the past 12 years, along with other employees and members of the clubhouse staff, began filling the equipment truck for spring training today.
Shortly after 9 AM, the truck will travel nearly 1,100 miles to Bradenton, Fla., where the Pirates train for spring training.
This year there is little weight and training equipment packed onto the truck. The Pirates decided to ship it directly down to Florida. Bonnett said some bats are here, and some are already in Florida.
What is loaded onto the trucks this year is personal items –shirts, jackets, pants, hats and the batting practice tops, along with some personal luggage, which included pink bikes, golf clubs and fishing poles. There will also be equipment loaded on to the truck that they will take down to Pirate City and then it will be loaded into a pod to go to the Dominican.
“It’s just all the ends and outs of my equipment room –shower shoes, underwear, it’s everything. I have to pack it all up and start down there,” Bonnett said.
The truck will arrive late Saturday night or Sunday morning and will be unloaded on Monday. Bonnett said it takes a couple days to get the equipment room set up and ready to go.
“It takes about three hours to actually unload the truck,“ he said. “It takes probably two days to organize it from where it’s supposed to go. Each box is labeled to whether it goes to Pirate City, or McKechnie Field, offices, Dominican. It’s about a two full day project. After the two days, it’s just another day to just tidy up and get it how you want it.”
“Within three days, I’m pretty much ready to go.”
The club will be ready to go shortly there after. Some players have already arrived in Florida. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Feb. 18, with their first workout set for next day. The first full-squad workout is held at Pirate City on Feb 24.