Altoona deals with long road trips the best it can

Choosing when a minor league team leaves for a road trip isn’t something most fans think about, but it can make for an interesting decision at times.

For instance, the Curve finished up their home series against Harrisburg at about 4:45 p.m. Sunday, and they are off today. They begin a series at New Hampshire on Tuesday night, and it’s more than an eight-hour bus ride to Manchester.

The team could have stayed in Altoona so that the players could enjoy Sunday night and most of today at home. Instead, the decision was made to get on the bus and make the trip to New Hampshire on Sunday night, arriving early this morning.

The players lose some extra time at home in that scenario, but they get an entire off day at the road site today, rather than being on the bus and having the off day cut in half.

“We’re not wasting the off day,” outfielder Bligh Madris said. “We’ll drive through the night (Sunday) and get there and be able to relax the whole day and not be cramped on the bus the day before we play.”

Madris said the players prefer that scenario.

“We’re able to relax and stretch out,” he said. “Usually on bus rides guys are really sore afterwards, hips are really tight, so we’ll have the chance to really loosen up before our game on Tuesday.”

Manager Michael Ryan felt like leaving Sunday was the best way to start off the grueling 11-day, 10-game road trip to New Hampshire, Portland and Trenton.

“If anything were to happen like the bus break down, then you’re stuck and not getting the correct rest if you get there late (tonight),” Ryan said. “And for a 10-game trip to start that way, I don’t think it’s a good thing.”

The Curve have played well on the road, going 12-8 so far. Ryan mentioned how the long trip to the northeast helped the club come together the past two seasons.

“It’s a feel where you get away from a lot of things and it’s just us, so you can come together closer as a club,” he said. “Because of this series (against Harrisburg) going so well, I think it will draw us that much closer.”

Ryan said a number of the players are bringing their bowling balls with them on the long road trip, and he noted that the coaching staff will have dinner together for the off night this evening in New Hampshire.