Monday, July 20, 2008. 99 games down, 40 more to go. For the Augusta Greenjackets, playing this many games even at a young age is tough.
"If you're an old man like me," said manager Andy Skeels, "you would think you should never tired at 18, at least from what I remember, I was never tired. But truth of the matter is, it can be difficult to concentrate for that long."
So how would you like to work 139 days in 5 months? Well, that's exactly the case for the Augusta Greenjackets and for many of the players, this is their first time going through a season this long
"Yeah, it's been a little tough but once you hit that second wind, you're good," said 1B Thomas Neal. "You just hope to put in enough work in the offseason"
"It's inevitable that people will get tired at this point of the season," said Skeels. "So you try to mix in a couple days off for some guys to keep them fresh. So far, our guys are doing alright."
And as if playing that many games in that many days is not hard enough, try doing it in tempuartures that range from 90 to 100 degrees.
"It's tough but at the same time, you have to be mentally tough," said Neal. "If you tell yourself it's hot, it's hot
"It's alright. It's humid in Georgia and the South," said SS Charlie Culbertson. "It's humid but it's fine. It's baseball. You have to change no matter what temperature you're in so it doesn't matter."
And that's a good thing to know because as the temperature gets hotter, the playoff race will intensify. No matter how tired these guys may be though, they have plenty of motivation to finish strong in the last 40 games
"I'm not complaining," saisd Culbertson. "We come out here and play baseball everyday and it's what I've been wanting to do. You just can't take it for granted because something could happen tomorrow. so play like it's your last day and have fun doing it because not that many people get this opportunity and I'm thankful for it."
"Everyday we come out here, we come here expecting to win," said Neal. "We want to prove to everyone that we're the best, even though we are a young team and win a championship ring."