Many Tribe players split time at park with Daddy duty

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GOODYEAR, AZ – Moms and dads, rest easy: You have kindred spirits in many members of the Tribe 40-man roster.

Eighteen players in that group have children, and like you, face the day-to-day challenges involved with working a full-time job while raising young kids. That group includes starting pitchers Justin Masterson, whose wife, Meryl, had twins in the offseason, and Corey Kluber, whose wife, Amanda, also gave birth in January. Yan Gomes’ wife, Jenna, is expecting.

Those players are gearing up for another season, when the parenting becomes more complicated. During the season, players arrive at the ballpark around Noon or 1pm for home games, and stay until 11pm or later. When the team takes road trips, the players often are gone for 10 days or more.

That can stressed-out moms and dads who don’t get nearly enough time with the kids.

“It’s tougher for the wives,” said Kluber, who has two daughters, Kendall and Kennedy. “It’s challenge for them, because for the most part, they’re handling a lot of the duties with the kids for much of the season.”

Amanda Kluber and the couple’s daughters will move to Cleveland from their home in Jacksonville, Fla., for the season, but even that doesn’t offer much respite from mom duty, Corey said: The moms don’t get much alone time with their husbands at the ballpark.

Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and his wife, Meredith, have a 2-year-old son, Cutter, and are expecting another boy in April, shortly after Opening Day. And like Kluber, Chisenhall says it can be difficult to find a happy medium between work and family.

Not only do the players spend a lot of time away from their families during the season, but when they are at home, they’re tasked with getting enough rest so they can be in the best shape possible for the next day at the ballpark.

“It’s challenging at times, especially on her. You leave for extended periods of time,” Chisenhall said. “Hat’s off to all the wives and moms who stay home; Meredith has a 2-year-old boy who is … active. Sometimes he’s great sometimes he’s a handful.”

For Mike Aviles, who with wife, Jessy, has three daughters – Kyla, 9, and 3-year-old twins, Adriana and Mayia – he says at times he knows the other 24 guys in the clubhouse better than his girls.

“This is a great life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Aviles said. “On the outside looking in, I don’t think people realize how much we’re away from our families.”

The players’ busy schedules and lack of “us” time at home makes them appreciate the offseason even more, when they’re able to escape for a few months to enjoy more downtime with their kids – and give their wives a break.

The Klubers head back to Jacksonville, Fla., while the Chisenhalls are back to North Carolina and Aviles & Co. back to Utah. Family time commences.

“That’s how I look at it, a way to make up for lost time during the season,” Corey Kluber said. “I throw and work out, but I don’t have many other commitments, so I’m able to enjoy it more with (the kids).”

–Joel Hammond

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