Nap quarters an extra perk to stay perky
Day-night doubleheaders. Cross-country travel. Rain delays and extra innings.
A baseball schedule can play havoc with sleep, but some majorleague teams are trying to combat the grind of the long season by giving their players a place to catch some shut-eye at the ballpark, away from their noisier teammates or any rambunctious kids.
Sometimes called “recovery rooms,” the areas near the clubhouse are just quiet, dark rooms with beds, but players and team officials hope they can reduce the fatigue caused by the long and often irregular hours of the season.
“Everybody in professional sports — especially baseball, with the travel requirements of the sport — feels like sleep is something that can be a competitive advantage,” Boston Red Sox athletic trainer Brad Pearson said. “We think we can win the sleep game.”
Once a place for players to change out of their uniforms and maybe grab a cigarette after the game, baseball clubhouses are now a second home where workers often spend more time than where they actually live. Teams have tried to make the long days at the ballpark pass more comfortably with amenities like Ping-Pong tables (Royals), a barber’s chair (Marlins) or cryotherapy and float pods (Cubs).
It’s not just about killing time: Comfortable, more alert players can be more productive, and teams are hoping the relatively small amount of money invested in these benefits could result in an extra-base hit or shoestring catch on the field.
The Red Sox nap room was squeezed into the century-old Fenway Park in a former storage closet off the workout room, up a flight of stairs from the home clubhouse. The team emptied it — almost — of boxes and added some insulation on the walls.
About 12-square feet, there are two full-sized, utilitarian bunk beds tucked under the air ducts running across the ceiling.
“Just a relaxing dark room, just to kind of relax and catch a blow, so to speak,” Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. “It’s nice. It’s comfortable. It’s small. You don’t want it to be big, so it’s very comfortable.”
Dancing with a star
Garbine Muguruza would like to cap her Wimbledon victory Saturday by dancing with Roger Federer.
Muguruza won her first title at the All England Club, and Federer will play for his eighth today against Marin Cilic.
The men’s and women’s champions used to share a dance at the Wimbledon gala at the end of the tournament, though that tradition officially ceased in 1977. Still, Muguruza was asked her preference for a dance partner at this year’s champions’ dinner.
“Oh, come on,” Muguruza responded at first, trying to brush off the question.
But she quickly relented, smiling broadly and finally giving in.
“Roger,” Muguruza said with a smile and giggle. “And I like Cilic, I have to say seriously.
“But,” Muguruza continued, shimmying in her chair as if moving to the music, “I want to see if he’s that elegant also dancing.”
Although it is no longer a tradition at Wimbledon, Garbine Muguruza would like to share a champions dance with Roger Federer.