D-backs’ Archie Bradley on traveling, crowd noise, mask accountability
Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley spoke with the media on Thursday after an intrasquad game at Chase Field.
As the D-backs get close to wrapping up summer camp and depart for Los Angeles to play the Dodgers in an exhibition game before the regular season, Bradley discussed with the assembled reporters some of the biggest changes to this season.
Some of Bradley’s answers have been abbreviated for clarity.
On the fake crowd noise being elevated while he pitched Thursday
“This is an honest answer: I didn’t even notice. You definitely feel the crowd. Before, getting ready today with them playing the crowd noise all game, I definitely noticed it and it helped with the awkward silence, but I went in to play and things started rolling, I didn’t even notice the uptick.”
How many days he could pitch during a 60-game season
“I think that’s the biggest question for the whole bullpen is what is realistic for us to expect? What is the number of games we can expect to throw in/want to throw in/can our bodies handle, and then on top of that, being smart and taking care of us.
“I think if you were going to tell me I was going to pitch in 30 games, that I was going to pitch every other day. Like, pitch, day off, pitch, day off — I think realistically I could do that, I think my body is ready to go. But we all know that during a season I may pitch in three in a row, four in a row sometimes. It’s all really going to depend on the luck of the draw.
“I would like to sit here and tell you I’m gonna throw in over 30 games. In my head, that’s what I’m thinking. If I could pitch in half the games, I think that would be phenomenal. What’s realistic? I don’t know. I think the 20-30 game (mark) would be realistic.”
How leadership changes during a season like this
“Not only five times more important but five times harder. I’m not gonna shy away from the things that are going on: wearing a mask, not wearing a mask; what we’re asked to do, what we’re not asked to do.
“Even little stuff. I’ll give you a story today. I walked in the training room, and I’m not calling a player out, but he was in the training room and he wasn’t wearing a mask. No big deal, he had just taken one off, but I walked over and I handed him one.
“From wearing a mask to not having visitors come in to the check-in to the testing and protocol.
“For the three months we have to play, we have all already kind of sat down together in the bleachers, talked with (general manager Mike) Hazen, talked with (manager) Torey (Lovullo), (owner) Ken (Kendrick), Roger, and not with signing any papers or anything, but we’ve all made a verbal commitment to do the right thing.
“And whatever that right thing is, is staying accountable to it. Now more than ever, myself, Robbie (Ray), some of these older guys that have been around are really gonna need to step up and lead by example in terms of baseball and in terms of protocol because it’s really easy to get lax in this stuff and fall back into the baseball routine. We have to stay on top of our protocol.”
How traveling will go during the season
“We’re having those discussions now, but really we are trying to put ourselves in our own bubble. We’ve all determined that we’re allowed to hang out with each other, teammates and coaches and stuff. We can do that, but even then, we’re trying to practice our distancing, our mask-wearing.
“We’ve already had a few meetings about it. About our protocol, about what’s expected, about the rules and then it kind of goes back to being a leader and being accountable.
“This first trip to LA is going to be new for everyone. From the check-in, to the hotels, to the way we travel, and eat and prepare. So I think the first two games and first two days of travel are going to be a very big orientation and welcome process for what the season’s going to look like and how we’re going to handle not going out to eat, not going to the mall, not going out to restaurants and stuff after games.
“I think behind the scenes they’re trying the most they can so we have places to go that are quarantined and safe and follow the protocol that we need.”