04/08/2008 3:47 PM ET
Garland: Back in Southern California
Pitcher faces added commitment, more comforts
I knew the White Sox wanted to make some moves this past winter -- they wanted to open up some money to do a few things. But I was still surprised it was me who got traded, because of my age and what I had accomplished in Chicago. It was a big shock.
Going to Chicago, which is one of the best cities in the country, and having the chance to play in a sports town like that was a great situation for me, but I'm very excited to be playing for the Angels now.
When you get traded, nothing about the game on the field changes. Spring Training is Spring Training -- you're doing the same things. The regular season is the regular season.
The real adjustment comes in getting to know the guys and the guys getting to know you, especially on the field. As some infielders and outfielders see the ball come off the bat when I'm pitching, they'll get a better feel playing behind me. That comes in time. Beyond that, guys have been great here in the clubhouse. They've embraced me.
Getting traded to the Angels also brings me close to home. There is no real downside to playing for your hometown team. There might be some challenges as far as taking care of tickets, but I'm going to embrace that. It means I get to be around my friends and family more. When I played in Chicago, I didn't have to give tickets out, but I didn't get to see my friends and family, either. I'd much rather deal with the tickets, because it means I get to see them.
Some might say playing at home creates distractions. To me, it doesn't matter where you play -- if you want to find distractions, you'll find them. You can pick any city, any state, and if you open yourself up to being distracted, those distractions will be there.
I also get to pitch at Angel Stadium, where I made my first playoff start in 2005. To be able to do that at home, in Southern California, is amazing. Family and friends were able to make it down, and then the outcome was just the whipped cream on top of the sundae. So I'll be playing in a place where I already have some great memories.
I think I'm going to really enjoy playing for the Angels.
Jon Garland was traded by the White Sox to the Angels in November for Gold Glove Award-winning shortstop Orlando Cabrera. Garland was an All-Star in 2005 when he helped the White Sox win a championship.