Some guys get ready for spring training by hitting the weight room; others swim with sharks.
And we're not talking about agents or reporters.
Relief pitcher Mark Melancon, just added to the Red Sox bullpen this offseason, took his wife with him on a dive with great white sharks in New Zealand last month. Melancon and his wife, Mary Catherine, were in the land of the Kiwi on an MLB-sponsored trip to teach kids about baseball, according to WEEI.
"Those Great Whites are pretty scary but with that said, it was really neat," he told the radio station. "It was kind of a 'bucket list' thing but the whole reason I was down there was to teach camps for New Zealand kids who are just learning baseball. That was just a fabulous experience.
Seeing Great Whites up close -- including the whites of their teeth, as you'll see in the video -- was an idea hatched out of romance.
"For a wedding gift, she had it written out [in calligraphy] and framed," Melancon told WEEI. "And one of those things was to go Great White shark diving. So, we can cross that off."
Melancon was acquired from the Houston Astros for shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland. If all goes well this season, the 26-year-old will setup new Boston closer Andrew Bailey. Melancon had an 8-4 record with 20 saves and a 2.78 ERA in his only season with the Astros. But that's inside baseball stuff; let's get back to this list of things to do before you die.
"We have the whole gamut on there. We didn't hold back," Melancon told WEEI. "Go on a safari. We've already hiked the Grand Canyon and biked the most dangerous road in Bolivia. It's not about thrill-seeking. It's more about just getting out and making sure we're active and not sitting on the couch watching TV."
You can credit the Golden, Colo., native's parents for his sense of adventure. The Boston Herald reports Melancon bungee jumped for the first time when he was just 7.
Facing down the Yankees in the Bronx can't possibly be that scary.
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