Each road series we hope to bring you a blog from a different Smokies player to hear their thoughts on the season and life On the Road. The first post in this series comes from Smokies centerfielder Tony Campana, who is hitting .382 in his first season in Double-A.
We have gotten off to a really good start. We do everything really well. I like the team because we have guys that can run. We have guys that can hit home runs. We can pitch. So, right now everything is working really well together.
Everybody, right now, is getting along really well. We all kind of joke around. There’s not really anybody on this team that is really serious, I don’t think. (Jake) Muyco is probably the most intense, but he’s still not that serious. All the older guys joke around like (Blake) Lalli and Ty Wright…all the guys that have been here.
The road trips have been fun, the first bus trip to Mississippi was a LONG one. Being a first-year guy and being small, I had to double up on the way there and the way back. Not getting a seat to myself stinks, but you are on a bus for a long time with all these guys for a long time and you get to know them and get to like them.
We’ll usually sleep in. I room with Jake Opitz. We sleep in until 10:30, sometimes 11:00. Some days, we’ll get a lift in, some days we won’t. Then we go get lunch. When we were in Mississippi, the only real place to get lunch was either at the hotel or by going to the stadium and getting something there. And then we would go back, relax for a bit until we had to go to the field. Mississippi was nice because we could walk to the park from the hotel. We could just go over there whenever we wanted. Hang out before the game and get ready to play.
I am very excited to be in Double-A; that was my goal coming into Spring Training. I actually got there early in January so I could train in the warm weather instead of being in Ohio, so that I would have a shot to start here. Last year, I started in Peoria and I did pretty well and got moved up real quick, a few weeks, and went to Florida State League and it was fun down there. I got to be in Florida and all those short bus trips, warm weather. Had a pretty good year; better than my first year. In my first profession game (in my first inning) at Boise I broke my hand… and I had to go to Rookie Ball to rehab and I played 19 games there.
Growing up Tennessee, I lived in Nashville for nine years. I went to UNC-Asheville for two years and have been here a few times, so I kind of know what the area is like. I like the Smoky Mountains. I like all the people here; they are all really nice. It’s Southern hospitality.