Saving the day

While there have been many great individual performances at Orioles Dream Week this week, most of the participants know who the true MVPs of the camp are.

The three athletic trainers from the Baltimore Orioles who have covered Dream Week have helped keep guys on the field and made the aches and pains bearable.

“These guys have been absolutely amazing and treated us like pros,” said Dream Weeker Dave Besecker. “They’ve been helpful every step of the way.”

Dave Besecker of Chamberburg, PA has become a frequent visitor to the training room

Adding to the big league feel of Dream Week, several participants have been shocked to walk in to the training room and find Orioles Gold Glove outfielder Nick Markakis right along side of them as he recovers from off-season surgery.

During the summer months, Aaron Scott takes care of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, but this week, he’s making sure the Dream Week participants are able to have as much fun as possible.

“This is different than what we’re used to, but it is a really good time,” said Scott, who is working his fifth Dream Week. “The guys are really appreciative of the services we provide.”

Cal Tindal of Santa Clarita, CA watches as Aaron Scott tends to his sore Achilles tendon

Besecker’s list of ailments include a strained calf from trying to beat out a ground ball the first day, and a sore hamstring, elbow and shoulder from pitching on the second day.

“I’ve been coming in before games to get heated up in the whirlpools and the guys will massage the sore muscles,” said Besecker.

Dave Walker, the Orioles’ Minor League Athletic Training Coordinator says most of the ailments they see during Dream Week are pretty much what they expect.

“It is a lot of soft tissue problems because the muscles used in baseball are so different from normal life,” said Walker. “These guys might be in great cardiovascular shape, but baseball shape is different.”

Manny Lopez applies ice to the elbow of Mike Bitgood of Monroe, North Carolina after Bitgood pitched for the first time in 23 years (six strong innings for Chris Hoiles' squad)

Manny Lopez, who spends his summers working as the Orioles’ Latin America Medical Coordinator, enjoys his time working with the Dream Week attendees.

“It’s great to see guys playing for the pure joy of playing baseball,” he said. “It’s also interesting to see what I’m going to look like in 20 years,” he joked.

For Besecker and many others in the camp, there’s no question how important the training staff is for them this week.

“I probably would have been done after the first day without them.”

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