August 11, 2006

Ever wonder what it would be like to travel with a minor league team???

This came to us from Jessica Morris with the Pensacola Pelicans:
Pensacola broadcaster Jay Burnham’s blog on ”On the Road,” is about Pelicans’ bus driver, James Bonds…you can figure the correlation.

Go to http://www.pensacolapelicans.com/news/?id=4402 or read below.

James Bonds- License to Drive… A Really Big Rig
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August 10, 2006 – El Paso August 10th –
James Bonds – License to Drive a really big rig –

At first glance the Pelicans bus driver James Bonds does not resemble the 007 character that his name so closely resembles. Bonds is not a Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore or Sean Connery (well maybe Connery in the film “The Rock). Bonds is less of a secret agent and more of a super hero.

In case you have not noticed the state of Texas is huge, over 800 miles across. James Bonds can cover it with relative ease and without any help from Red Bull, Blue Ox, Mountain Dew or even Coca-Cola. The man is a machine when it comes to hitting the road and he gets the team to where they need to be every time ahead of schedule.

If James Bonds had an action figure for sale at K-Mart he would have two major powers. 1. The ability to look like one mean dude, yet really be the nicest friendliest guy in the world with a smile and attitude that everyone gravitates towards. If you have a problem with James Bonds, you my friend are the problem.

His second power is the iron bladder. This guy is amazing, he never has to relieve himself or stop for a stretch which also means he has an iron backside as well. Iron might not even describe it.For all we know it could be titanium or some rare metal from the planet Krypton. From Corpus Christi, to San Antonio, through San Angelo and onto El Paso not a single stop.

In last night’s trip alone Pelicans trainer Cory Fox used the bathroom four separate times before Bonds managed to stop once. “By all accounts it’s beyond any type of medical condition I have ever seen in my seven years of professional experience.” Fox stated. “Only Camels and pregnant women can retain water the way he does, unbelievable.”
Some of the guys call it the “camel factor” where he stores it all up and can turn it into energy that keeps him up all night driving to the next destination.

The Pelicans ride in style on a sleeper bus that has individual beds that extend all the way from front to back with a TV and satellite on each end. Picture the Japanese pod hotels where business men stay for a night or perhaps Michael Jackson’s hypobaric chamber will give you a better idea as to how the team rolls along.

Standing in the front of the bus and looking all the way to the back looks like the scene from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” when Jones enters the catacombs below the church. Its pretty much like that except without the rats… usually.

The cab portion of the bus is separated by a door and it divides the driver Bonds from the team so no amount of noise can seep through and distract.
The front contains James Bonds and whoever has the stamina to sit up and chat with him throughout the night. Bonds has stories upon stories and will talk about his days living in Alaska with no electricity or trucking through the midwest and southeastern part of the U.S.

The back portion of the bus, can get messy. Take 26 guys, minimize space, and get dinner to-go from a fast food chain and the idea of cleanliness goes right out the window. Soccer moms would cower at the sight of what a team can do to a clean bus, house, hotel or any venue in a short period of time for that matter. It’s like a swarm of locust, but with the ability to hit a curveball.

Overall the Pelicans manage to travel pretty well in a league that mandates a ton of travel. A 12 hour trip followed by a doubleheader the next day is tougher on the body than some would think. The bus is
about as comfy as you can get for the circumstances and the Pelicans are lucky to have this luxury. Although there is not entirely enough space for everyone to have a bed so anybody can see the team hierarchy by ducking a head onto the bus and picking out the guys on the floor. Those spots are reserved for the less fortunate and first year players. Grab a spot on the floor ROOK


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