It had been more than two full seasons since reliever Steve Geltz had been on a major league roster, and after a bus ride back from Norfolk, all the right-hander wanted to do was get his bag in his apartment and get to sleep. However, Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo had other plans.
"He said 'Hey, you staying here?' And I was like 'Charlie, I've been here all year, what do you mean?'" Geltz laughed. "And he said, 'Well, you're going to the big leagues. Congratulations.' I said, 'This is a mean joke, if you're playing a joke.'"
It wasn't, and Monday, when the major league active rosters expanded, Geltz found himself in the Rays clubhouse at Tropicana Field getting prepared to possibly get in to the game against the Boston Red Sox.
"I was extremely surprised. Caught off-guard was an understatement."
It's been a roller coaster year for the righty, one that has seen him successful again on the field following trouble off it. The 26-year-old went 3-3 with a 2.38 earned run average, with 60 strikeouts in just 41 2/3 innings of work, but also spent 50 days on suspension starting in May for a second violation for Minor League Baseball's policy against drugs of abuse.
"It was a mistake that I made in the offseason. Just having a little bit too much fun with my friends, and I paid the price," Geltz explained. "But that's in the past. Time to move forward, and that's what I try to do."
However, he also said he did have thoughts of whether he'd get back to the big leagues again because of the suspension.
"It's never a good thing [being suspended]," Geltz admitted. "But I think they understood the way I took it, the way that I moved on with it, and just kind of went forward."