SURPRISE, Ariz. (CBSDFW.COM) – The Rangers’ home away from home while in Surprise, Ariz. runs like a perfectly executed bunt.
That’s because equipment manager Richard “Hoggy” Price and his staff ensure that players from superstars Josh Hamilton and Yu Darvish to lesser known guys like Luis Martinez and Connor Jackson have all the equipment, bubble gum and coffee they could ever need.
On a tour of the clubhouse with Price (or “Hoggy” as everyone affectionately calls him), I learned that the Rangers brought 350 pounds of powdered soap, 15 cases of bubble gum and the team’s favorite coffee to Arizona from Arlington.
They make the Surprise facility the team’s home away from home for seven weeks so that players have no distractions, can focus on doing their jobs and prepare for the season.
Baseball players, by nature, are particular creatures of habit.
Some guys like their uniforms to fit a different way or will only eat a certain flavor of sunflower seeds. Price attempts to accommodate their requests but also tries not to let them get too out of hand.
“Here we try to have a standard line that everyone gets treated the same,” Price said while making a motion with his hands to demonstrate said line.
I joked that some guys must drive them crazy with out-of-this-world requests.
“Are those the headaches?” I asked.
“Those are the challenges,” he responded with a smirk.
Needless to say, he refused to mention the names of any of those headaches.