There are plenty of superstitions & pre-game rituals in sports, especially baseball. Players constantly get up to the plate and do the same thing every single time. I mean the same. Exact. Thing. Every. Single. Time. Adjust their wristbands the same exact way after every pitch, latch and un-latch their gloves uncontrollably, etc. Some call it habit, others call it crazy.
If you're a Kansas City Royals fan you may have noticed a recent increase in their quality of play. If I gave you 100 guesses, though, you probably wouldn't be able to guess the driving force behind their winning streak. The motivating force behind this surge?
An espresso machine!
That's right, the addition of an espresso machine in the locker room has been credited to the recent success and win streak.
Meet Peter Moylan, team barista. Peters pre-game responsibilities include providing his teammates with a perfectly constructed "Sledge-iatto". Oh yeah, Peter is also a pitcher for the Royals.
“It’s a little bit of a secret weapon,” said Whit Merrifield, the Royals’ second baseman.
What's a Sledge-iatto you ask?
Peters own invention consisting of espresso & chocolate milk served over ice! The drink has taken the clubhouse by storm ever since the espresso machine arrived in April.
No need for a grinder as the barista express contains its own.
While it's rare to see coffee being consumed by players before game-time, let alone espresso, caffeine is certainly no stranger to the sporting community. Whether it's Red Bull or some other energy drink, athletes rely on that extra jolt both before and during the game to perform at an optimal level. Here at Cliff & Pebble, we love this from Moylan. It's great to see him actually making the drinks himself - the guy clearly has a passion for quality coffee, otherwise you'd just see a much cheaper Nespresso machine in there. I wonder if trips to the bathroom during the game have increased as well?
So, how does Royals manager Ned Yost feel about all this?
"I stay away from coffee," Yost said. "It gets me thrown out of games." We feel you, Ned. Espresso can have that effect on some although I'm sure he doesn't mind the espresso machine being in the locker room so long as the result keep trending in the right direction! I'm sure the pleasant aromas of espresso help with the stench that is 30+ sweating grown men!
Moylan is an Australian native where the coffee culture is a tad more serious than here in the United States. We applaud him for teaching his teammates the ways of espresso and the wonders it can do. The one quote we especially love (and agree with) from Moylan?
"You'll never see this at Starbucks," Moylan said. "Because they don't do it right. They don't froth the milk properly." We agree, Mr. Moylan. Starbucks is poor quality and overpriced, as reviewed in our recent Starbucks article - "Will a Rocket Espresso R58 really save me money?".
Keep up the good work, Peter. When you're ready to upgrade, come visit us and we'll set you up!
Closeup of Moylan's setup, as seen on Instagram: