Mike Roose is a Pawtucket native, born in the shadows of McCoy Stadium on the night of the longest game in professional baseball history. He served 4 tours of duty with the United States Air Force, in Iraq and Afghanistan. For two seasons, he was the strength and conditioning coach for the PawSox, and now serves as the coordinator for the entire minor league system. His “office” is a gleaming, state of the art facility at jetBlue Park in Fort Myers. Recently, Roose joined the PawSox on the road and we had the chance to catch up.
Roose is grateful for his new opportunity. “It feels great. It makes me realize that working hard and putting the extra time in taking care of guys, eventually pays off. I’m working on a larger scale now, but a lot of people had my back. Arnie (Beyeler), JJ (Trainer John Jochim), the coaches. They all put in a good word for me. They are the ones who thrust me into this position and I appreciate it.
Instead of working with 24 or 25 players, Roose is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the whole system. “I work with all 7 affiliates. 4 are playing right now. I’ve got a bunch of guys in Fort Myers, It’s a great responsibility, but I’ve got a lot of good people that do a great job. All the trainers at every level are really good at what they do.” While the workload is greater, Roose fondly recalls his years with the Pawsox. “It was great. I was near my family and got to spend time with my buddies. It was a lot of fun.”
Roose says his military background has been integral in helping him with his career in coaching. “Oh Yeah. It was the biggest experience of my life. The discipline. Learning to work in some less than ideal environments, you make adjustments. Pushing guys, motivating them, even when they’re tired…that all came from my military background.” Roose will try to relate his experiences to his players. He knows that a 7 hour bus ride or the heat of Fort Myers aren’t the worst things that can happen to you. “That stuff is luxurious compared to being in the desert. I know it’s a long season, but there’s definitely worse places to be than on a bus going to play another baseball game.”
The Red Sox spent a lot of money on their new facility in Fort Myers and with Mike Roose running it, they’ll get the most out of it.