Comforts of spring: Players' must-have items in camp

February 19th, 2016

As Spring Training gets underway, asked several Major Leaguers about the must-have comfort items they bring to Arizona and Florida:
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus
"My speakers and my boom box. I need my music. And my Apple TV. I need to watch my series. Right now I'm watching 'The Blacklist,' so I need my Apple TV."
Royals infielder Christian Colon
"I would say my Apple TV -- I can watch all kinds of shows from Netflix, Hulu and HBO, too. And also my wife, so I can eat good dinners."

Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart
"Pack a swimsuit and headphones, and [I'm] good to go. The headphones of choice are Beats by Dre, which are good for blocking out all outside noise. Yes, golf clubs are a must, and so is having a picture of family, and a few books to read."  
Reds pitcher Rookie Davis
"This offseason, I got into sensory-deprivation tanks. It sounds weird, but I enjoyed them. It lets you shut everything out for about an hour and relax. There's one in Phoenix I've already been in touch with. I'll probably spend a couple days a week doing that to get away from everything.  
"It's about a thousand pounds of Epsom salt and they put it in a tank of water, about 10 inches. They match the temperature of the water and the temperature of the tank with your body temperature. You can't see anything, you can't hear anything and ultimately, can't feel anything once you float in there a little bit. I'm in there for an hour. It gives me a way of relaxing, to think about other things and process things. There's no gravity. When you're in the tank, you let go and not think about things. It's an hour, but it feels like 15 minutes. I'll do it in Phoenix, especially with how hectic Spring Training gets. On the other days, try to not lose too many balls on the golf course."
A's pitcher Sonny Gray
"Golf clubs, because it's always a nice break from baseball, and [Arizona] has some of the best golf courses in the world. I also take a little book my mom got me the first year I signed and went to pro ball in 2011. The title is 'A Son Is God's Gift to Earth.' It has traveled with me every trip since. And a baseball. Last year, when [my son] Gunnar was born, [my fiancée] Jessica made me a baseball with Gunnar's footprint, so a little bit of him will always be with me on the road."
Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett
"Mine would have to be my Matthews bow. You never know when I might get a quick hunt in."
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon
"Spring Training days get long, and you get hot being on the field all day. So a must is a Dyson fan, a refreshing break when you get back to the room. A second must is a toiletry bag. Don't forget the basics, and make sure to pack the essentials."

Pirates pitcher Jared Hughes
"I could never make it through Spring Training without an eye mask and ear plugs. After waking up so early every morning, those things really come in handy if you ever want to go to sleep before the sun goes down."
Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier
"An Apple TV and a keyboard/piano."
Giants pitcher George Kontos
"I have a picture of my brother, sister and I on a family vacation, we were all very young; and on the other side is a picture from 2012 when we went to Alcatraz, so Alcatraz is in the background. That comes with me wherever I go. Next would be my game glove. And third, I would have to say [my] cross. I wear this cross all day, every day, no matter what."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny
Matheny made sure to pack his guitar for Spring Training this year. He's not the only one in the organization likely to strum some chords in Florida, as starter Adam Wainwright became a self-taught guitarist while recovering from an Achilles injury in 2015.

Reds pitcher Jon Moscot
"Besides golf clubs and fishing gear, it might be an Xbox. But one of the guys with us has a Jeep Wrangler and we absolutely love to take it off-roading in the off-time. There are some crazy trails in Arizona."
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor
"My PlayStation. We play FIFA soccer, but we play NBA a lot, too. Also my dominoes. We used to play a lot last year, Hanser Alberto and me against Elvis [Andrus] and Adrian [Beltre]. We're good. Sometimes we win, sometimes Elvis and Adrian win, but we play a lot."
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale
"I bought a ping-pong table a few years back and store it at the Camelback Ranch facility. My greatest competition comes from Jesse Crain. I also bring along the PS4 FIFA game. We used to play NHL, but switched to FIFA mainly last year."

Angels pitcher Hector Santiago
"Xbox, because of our downtime and off-days. It makes the days go by faster. Golf clubs, because I like clearing my mind after starts and on off-days. It gives me a mental break."
Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs
"I bring my PlayStation and laptop so I can stay up on new shoes and new music. I also bring my pillow; can't have a stiff neck, and I need a good night's sleep."
Brewers pitcher Will Smith
"Golf clubs and the Xbox are important, but I would say my acoustic guitar. It's my third time trying to learn because I keep getting frustrated, but I'm really going to try to see this time through."
Tigers pitcher Drew VerHagen
"A nice mattress pad, because I take a nap every day during spring."
Royals pitcher Chris Young
"I really only have one must-have item -- my iPad. It serves as a book, a computer and a TV for me. I usually download a series or two and finish it by the end of camp."