Contreras: The do’s and don’ts of a pro clubhouse

From SABR member Kim Contreras at on February 5, 2014:

Spring training is just around the corner, and soon Papago Park in Phoenix will be filled with the future stars of the Oakland A’s organization. Our Arizona correspondent Kimberly Contreras has been around the game for 20 years. She offers advice to all of the players heading to the desert on the do’s and don’ts for being a professional baseball player in the public eye.

Spring Training is so close we can almost taste it!

The trucks from each Cactus League team are on their way to the Valley of the Sun from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Chicago, etc. … but the ones that you and I are most excited about, are on their way in from Oakland, right now! The long off-season is almost over. We fans (and by fans I mean those of us who would self-destruct if the off-season lasted one more day) cannot contain our excitement; and the ball players are excited, too … kind of like the first day of a new school year. And, just like the first day of school – after a long summer off, there are basics that need to be reviewed before putting the pedal to the metal on a brand new season.

In the interest of supporting the farm system of the AL West champs, I thought I would help with the review process: by taking a page from the annual MLB Rookie Development Program held in January for several of the top prospects in the game. Each winter, the young men are counseled in important areas of development that have nothing to do with pitching, catching, or hitting.

The MLB program addresses smart, basic, common sense information; Social Skills, for lack of a better term. As one who has spent a decade at the rookie level of development, these skills/ reminders are vital to all; not just the top prospects.

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Originally published: February 5, 2014. Last Updated: February 5, 2014.