Jason Bay gets his first start of the season in left field tonight. This is unchartered territory for a guy who was a starting outfielder for the past decade.
Now, he’s in a support role and that requires an entirely different approach. So, two nights ago, he approached a fellow veteran for some tips.
Bay, 34 went up to Raul Ibanez, 40, and asked him how he stays fresh for potential late-game usage and avoids getting cold on the bench.
“It’s about being ready for late in the game, knowing that’s my role now,” Bay said. “It was all new to me, so I went up to Raul and he told me the best way is to develop a routine.
“So, what I’ve been doing is, I’ll come in every day around the fifth inning and ride the bike (in the visiting clubhouse) just to stay warm. So, then, when your time comes, you’re not going in there cold.”
That’s the plan for now, at least.
Bay realizes that once he goes to Chicago on the weekend and then to Seattle next week, the ballparks and the facilities will be different and he’ll have to adjust his timing accordingly. Still, he’s trying to get a reasonably set schedule of what to do at what point before and during games in which he isn’t starting.
“I’m just trying to get a template for what I need to do,” he said. “Once I have that, I can adjust it depending on the circumstances. But having the routine is the big thing. If you can develop that., then it helps keep you ready and focused.”