PORTLAND, Maine — Most fans only see the clubhouse when its covered in clear plastic during a playoff champagne celebration, or during a post-game interview with the player.
But what happens before, during and after the game when there are no celebratory moments or post-game interviews?
The clubhouse is a place of constant activity. It is non-stop hitting, scouting, discussions, treatments, eating, showering and just about anything else you can imagine.
For a team game, there is a lot of autonomy in baseball, and the clubhouse reflects that. Some guys are eating lunch, others are hitting in the batting cage or working out in the weight room.
With this being said, the clubhouse is simply a common space for everyone to come together from various areas of their workouts.
It is where we play music and get pumped up for the game. We have meetings with coaches about past performances and discuss other teams. It is where we prepare to go to battle each day with an opportunity to win a game and develop as a team.
In comparison to a typical workplace, it is a cubicle, break room, conference room and boss's office all rolled into one. We eat, shower, get dressed and occasionally sleep -- during the occasional rain delay -- there.
Often times, the clubhouse is a place to catch up, share funny stories and talk about what is going on in our lives. Your teammates become your coworker, your friend, your therapist and your support system when baseball, or life, start to wear you down.
It is a place we use and abuse each day but it is a place we respect. We know the limits and responsibilities of = each other and what the clubhouse represents to the team. There is an unwritten code that has to be upheld because we are in such close quarters together for so long.
Every day for five months, we are bonded together through baseball. We are neighbors in the locker room and roommates in hotel rooms on the road. Baseball can drive people apart or bring them together extremely quickly.
In Portland we have an unbelievable clubhouse. We give each other a hard time, crack jokes on each other and push one another's buttons but most importantly we live and breath for the game of baseball which brings us together. We call each other out, we pat each other on the back and we celebrate one another's success. It has been a lot of fun being on this team so far, on the field and in the clubhouse.
Mike McCarthy is a former CSUB pitcher now in the Red Sox organization. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mmccarthy35.