Raptors Happy to be Their Own Grounds Crew

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Players on MC's baseball team condition their own field on a regular basis

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Players on MC’s baseball team condition their own field on a regular basis

 

To the players on Montgomery College’s baseball team, conditioning their field is just as much a task as the plays they make on it.

 

But Raptors manager Dan Rascher and his team prefer it that way.
“Every club does those things-on all levels of baseball,” said Rascher. “The guys know it’s their responsibility, and they like it.”

 

Baseball is certainly a sport unlike many others when unwritten rules are considered. To those inside the sport, baseball is more a culture than a game.

 

There are  many unspoken or unwritten expectations, which the players are expected to carry out: Hit the cut-off man. Don’t run too quickly around the bases after a home run. Shake your own teammates’ hands when the game is over, not the opponents. The list goes on.

 

Perhaps it’s due to a longer season, or even a longer history within the game. Whatever the case, the players understand this culture when they enter the sport, and if you’re a player of Racher’s, maintaining the field is one of your unwritten responsibilities.

 

“We like taking care of the field,” said relief pitcher Nick Ponafala. “We know it, we play on it, and it’s ours. It’s definitely just routine by now.”

 

The Advocate heard from an anonymous tipster who displayed a picture of a player operating a lawn mower on the field. The reader was concerned the players were doing work of another department.

 

Though the Raptors are comfortable with the grounds crew tasks, head manager Rascher does want help from the facilities department when needed. “If there is something bigger we need done, it would be great to have that happen,” Rascher said with a contrite look.

 
Factor in the Raptors’ usual preparation for games, such as scouting opponents, warming up, prepping equipment, and most of all, discussing gameplans with their coaches.

 

Aside from those game day routines, the players are expected to handle ‘grounds crew’ tasks on a regular basis, such as mowing the grass on their field, fertilizing the ground, and raking the mound. The facilities department at Montgomery College is responsible for the larger upkeep tasks.

Montgomery College’s Facilities Manager, Dewey Yeattes, said his department does their due diligence with the matter.

 

“The Facilities department is only responsible for cutting the grass during the mowing season.” Said Yeattes. “The Athletic department prefers to “manicure” the fields  (i.e. drag the fields, install base lines, set the bases, etc.). We support them with larger requests when they need us.”

 

It seems there is a careful balance regarding which field responsibilities lay whom. So long as each department maintains their own tasks, the conditioning of the baseball field isn’t an issue for either Athletics or Facilities.
Baseball culture may seem odd to some, but it’s clear the players hands are not being forced here. Maintaining their field’s conditions is a task, just like running out a play at first, or hitting the cut-off man when necessary.