Hartford Yard Goats feel camaraderie on chronic road trip - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Hartford Yard Goats feel camaraderie on chronic road trip

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Players are getting used to playing away from home (WFSB). Players are getting used to playing away from home (WFSB).

The Hartford Yard Goats are coming together and forming close bonds as the team continues its perennial road trip.

The club has yet to play in its home stadium because Dunkin' Donuts Park is still under construction.

For now, the Yard Goats continue to travel the Eastern League. The rankings show the players are not only surviving, they're thriving.

As of Thursday, radio is the only way many families in Connecticut can enjoy most of the minor league team's games this season.

The players understand they are going to be spending plenty of time together, and some of them said they are developing a tolerance for the road and each other.

"It's a bunch of guys who have played together the last couple of years. We know each others families, girlfriends, wives. When you talk about that aspect, there is nothing to get used to," explained outfielder Dillon Thomas.

Infielder Ryan McMahon said he had been rooming with the same teammate all season but did not mind making a quick change.

"I switched it up for about a week because I got sick of him, but we are back to being roommates. We figured it all out," joked McMahon.

The Yard Goats, with help from its parent team the Colorado Rockies, are helping to iron things out too.

Their assistance is making the season as smooth and enjoyable as it can be.

"The Rockies and Yard Goats put is in hotels that are closer to the fields and paying for some outings for us during off days," said infielder Pat Valaika.

While the players acclimate to this unique situation, team management is dealing with domino effect from the stadium delay.

They are working with sponsors and season ticket holders who expected something out of this season.

"Whether we are talking to our season ticket holders about pro rating their package or applying something to next year. To taking care of the players. That the player has their family in town. To be able to make sure that they have a place to stay and that they can get access to see their players. All those things have come through, and I know as an organization, we will be stronger for it," said Yard Goats General Manager Tim Restall.

He added that the Rockies have been a gracious partner by stepping up with support from ideas to finances.

"They've been great to work with. We have scenarios that come up all the time that we didn't think about before with regards to hotel rooms, travel money and things like that," explained Restall.

The team and fans alike are wondering when the construction at Dunkin Donuts Park will finally end and when they will get to play ball at home.

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