So far, so good when it comes to my worst fear about broadcasting -- needing to badly use the bathroom in the middle of a game. The first thing I scout out, when arriving at a ballpark for the first time, is how far the bathroom is from the press box. You know, just in case.
I can make it, between innings, in Modesto and Lake Elsinore. San Bernardino would be close. No chance of making it in Visalia, Bakersfield, Stockton -- or this weekend, here in San Jose. So when I'm calling games solo at those four places, I do three things.
1. Hit the bathroom about 5-10 minutes before starting the broadcast. (I also call this my daily nervous pre-game pee.)
2. Avoid drinking lots of fluids.
3. Carefully watch what I eat before the game.
Now that the temperature is over 100 degrees, this is a challenge. The need to stay hydrated and keep the pipes from getting dry is important. A couple close calls this weekend. When the game ended Friday, the bladder was running out of patience with me. The game Sunday went 11 innings, and there were a couple moments when it seemed like it could go forever. That was another welcome end to the game.
At my father's house after the game, during a Father's Day BBQ with the family, my sister asked if I lost weight. Since she was the second person to ask in less than 24 hours, I weighed myself. Sure enough, I've lost about 20 pounds since the season started.
I have four reasons why.
1. No alcohol since the season started. (My longest stretch of sobriety since high school.)
2. The major-league press dining room is all-you-can-eat, and always has desserts. Now, I alternate between chicken fingers and a slice of pizza at home games.
3. The overall minor league lifestyle. It's hard to eat quality meals consistently. The small towns don't have many options, and not much is open after a night game. I've somehow continued to avoid eating any fast food burgers (or Taco Bell), a streak that dates back to December 2002.
4. It's now over 100 degrees in Modesto, and I simply can't eat anything hot when it's this hot. That means lots of salads and fruits and sandwiches. Who knew that hot weather could be so healthy?