It wasn’t too long ago that Ross Stripling was producing his podcast as a hobby when he wasn’t taking the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over a month and a half later it’s still strange to think that he is no longer with the team. Instead, he is with the Toronto Blue Jays after a last-minute deadline deal.
While fans may be used to seeing players come and go, it’s always tough losing a fan favorite such as Chicken Strip. However, we’ll never get to truly experience the whole process of leaving an organization that had been home for over nine years. However, on a recent episode of the Big Swing Podcast, Ross revisits the story of being traded and shares it with listeners. He mentions how he found out about the trade during an off day and didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to his teammates in person due to him having to fly to Miami to meet up with his new team.
“It almost might have been nice for it to happen at the field because you can go by and hug each guy and give your goodbyes and all that kind of stuff. You know I had to do it through text and calls and hopefully I play against those guys and I get to see them. Some of those guys, there’s a chance that you never really see ever again and those relationships just end like that.”
He goes on to discuss the “mayhem’ of packing up his belongings and leaving LA. From talking with the Blue Jays GM, shipping his cars back home to Texas, to receiving floods of calls from family and friends. While players are paid large sums of money to deal with situations like this, it’s never easy to have your life uprooted in such a short period of time.
Stripling then goes on to discuss the emotions he had when retrieving his belongings from Dodger Stadium early the next morning.
“I remember packing up my stuff and walking out of the stadium and tears are in my eyes, and my wife who’s out there ready to pick me up and there’s tears in her eyes. We had this big emotional moment in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium […] and that moment it’s something that I’ll remember forever but it’s certainly an emotion that I had never really felt.”
While the Dodgers certainly didn’t want to let him go, Friedman told Stripling that he wanted to give him a better opportunity for his career. Ross of course was very grateful of Friedman and the organization. He mentions how he was lucky to have the opportunity to play with teammates he called the “greatest players that have ever played.” No. 68 will surely be missed, but fans can always tune in to his podcast to check up on him. At least fans will have the excuse to root for another team such as the Blue Jays who now hold two former Dodger pitchers, Ross Stripling and Hyun-Jin Ryu.