PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As delays wreaked havoc on New York City airports on Tuesday, and plenty of others across the country faced winter travel issues, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud must have been pleased with his more innovative route to Spring Training.
"I knew it was going to be a short offseason, so I wanted to do something extravagant, something exciting, something new," d'Arnaud said. "I came to the idea that we should rent an RV from California and drive all the way here."
And so they did. Following a month of planning, d'Arnaud, his brother, his best friend and their significant others drove from California to Florida, stopping at the Grand Canyon for a New Year's Day sunrise; Austin, Texas, for a trip to Lake Travis; Panama City, Fla., for some beach time; and points in between. Highlights included d'Arnaud's first-ever beignet in New Orleans -- "knocked if off the bucket list," he said, laughing. Lowlights included an unscheduled stop in New Mexico to repair a broken wastewater tank.
Now stationed in Port St. Lucie for the next six weeks, d'Arnaud is ditching the vacation lifestyle for hard work. Goals for this spring include staying healthy, improving his throwing and becoming a valuable steward for one of the game's top pitching staffs.
"We're picking up right where we left off," d'Arnaud said. "Everyone's having fun, cracking jokes, being basically little kids in old-man bodies. So it's going to be a fun and exciting time here."