Sunday, March 30, 2008

Niemann's airplane strategy

Jeff Niemann makes an impression at 6-foot-9 and I wondered how he deals with the Triple-A travel.

At the lower levels, travel is virtually exclusively a bus thing. In the majors, players have plush charter flights. In Triple-A, it's flying ... commercial. Imaging playing a night game and having a 4 a.m. wake-up call to head to the airport.

Before folding himself into a regular coach seat, Niemann does ask for exit-row seating or whatever accomodation possible for his size each time.

"Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't," Niemann said. "The first thing I do when I get to the airport is check."

One airline last year even upgraded him to first class, on three different trips.

"I guess they felt sorry for me," Niemann said.

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