Wife to Elliot Johnson
Editor at The Life of the Baseball Wife
Spring training is right around the corner. Every day, I see countdowns on my news feed that pitchers and catchers are reporting soon, and everyone is ready for the break from this dreary January.
Hopefully you have your spring training rental booked, or maybe you're still waiting to hear what team you'll be with.
The news stories about what big name your team has acquired or traded are popping up, and blogs are starting to talk about who they see on this year's 25 man roster.
Maybe your husband is always on that list.
Or, if you're like we were, maybe your husband is always on the cusp, always in competition for that 25th spot.
It's hard going into spring knowing that your husband is competing against another player and that the way he plays for just 6 weeks could mean the difference between the big leagues and AAA. That's a lot of pressure, and I get it.
But you can't let it get to you.
I know you're laughing at me right now. Easier said than done, right?
I remember one year, I lived on diet coke for a week because my stomach was too sick to handle the stress. Elliot ended up being cut that year, going through waivers, clearing and heading back to AAA. Another year, he got the spot over a friend's husband and that was hard to deal with too. I've seen both sides.
One year, I sat at a spring training game with Julianna Zobrist, talking about who knows what, and just hanging out. A fan asked us who we were related to. We told him, and his response was "is it hard being friends with someone when you know your husbands are competing for the same job?"
I remember responding "you just can't worry about it."
If I had let that competition eat at me, I wouldn't have had the friend I had when we were with the Rays. And to be honest, the Rays probably already had their roster set. While teams say it's an even competition, usually the roster is already heavily weighted on one of the players anyway.
I wish I could offer you some magic knowledge that I have for you in how to deal with the stress and competition that comes with spring training, but I don't. I know it seems like every single outing, every single game, every single play feels like it's going to define your future, but it isn't. Looking back, there was nothing I could have done about the way things were going to work out. All I could do was show up to games, enjoy watching Elliot play, and enjoy the friendships I was making with other women in the same boat as me.
I hope you do the same. Good luck this spring. Enjoy your time with your husband as you take in the last few date nights and dinners before they become a thing of the past and the season begins. No matter where you start the season, it doesn't define where you will go this year or where you will go in the future.