Turks: Rafts, Beaches

7/28/05 – Daily News Record

R&R For Turks By MARCUS HELTON Daily News-Record With two days remaining until their playoff opener, the Harrisonburg Turks wasted little time getting a head start on some rest and relaxation. After Tuesday’s 10-0 regular-season-ending win over Waynesboro, many Turks scattered for some rest and relaxation before kicking off their best-of-three first-round playoff series with Staunton at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. With the team not practicing again until Friday night, several players took the opportunity to get away from the game – and the city – for a while. "It’s definitely much needed, because a lot of guys are starting to get tired," first baseman Jeff Carroll said. "I know [today], me and six other guys on the team, we’re going whitewater rafting in West Virginia. I think we’re going to the New River." The trip offers a welcome respite from a schedule that saw the Turks play 22 games in 26 days this month, including 17 straight. "Even the guys in the big leagues, they’ll play like six days a week," Carroll, who plays for Ohio State, said. "We’ve been playing like seven days a week; I think my last off day was July 4th. It’s good to kind of freshen up a little bit before the playoffs. It’s also good that it’s not a real long break. It’s only a couple of days, so you can take time off and get rested, but you’re not really losing touch with baseball." Accompanying Carroll on the rafting trip are Tony Thomas, Brett Munster, Jason Seefeld, Kacy Bruce, and coaches Jeff Gregory and Matt McCaleb. "We’ve been talking about it all season," Carroll said. "It’s pretty much something that we’ve wanted to do on one of our off-days all season, and ever since pretty much around July 4th we’ve been talking about it and it’s just never really happened where we had an off-day." They aren’t the only Turks taking trips this week. North Carolina-Charlotte pitcher Brett Butts took some teammates with him to his beach house in North Carolina, while another group of players went to New Jersey. "I think it’s great that they’re going to get away for a couple of days," Harrisonburg manager Bob Wease said. "When it was raining here a couple of weeks ago, they said we couldn’t get the field ready. And I worked my butt off all day long getting the field ready, and I said, ‘Guys trust me, at the end of the season, this will come in handy,’ and that’s exactly what’s happened.… Hopefully, the guys will have a couple of good days of fun and they’ll come back here and they’ll be ready to roll." Not all the Turks left town, however. Pitchers Brad Mills and Sean Jarrett used the downtime to catch up on some much-needed rest. "It’s nice," Mills said. "We were both getting used to playing every day. It’s pretty nice, acting like it’s pro ball, it’s a pretty good experience. But it’s always nice to have a day off where you can just relax and get your mind away from the game for a little bit." Well, not totally away; the duo had planned on driving to Baltimore to take in the Orioles’ game with the Texas Rangers, but bad weather in Maryland thwarted their plan. With the majority of his players choosing to travel before one of the year’s most important games, Wease was sure to impart some words of wisdom before they split up Tuesday night. "I told them, ‘Keep it clean, guys,’" Wease said. "‘Take care of your health, make sure you don’t party too much, because when you come back I want to be ready to play.’"