Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles certainly understands that notion. On the night before his notable homecoming to Kansas City –– the organization that drafted him and where he played for four seasons –– on May 7, Aviles made an effort to get enough sleep.
"I [was] excited," Aviles said. "I had good sleep because I wanted to make sure I would be extra hyper for [Kansas City] because I like coming there and I always like playing in the park."
While the Red Sox dropped the series against the Royals, Aviles still collected four hits in the series. In the series opener, following his night of good sleep, the shortstop finished 1-for-6.
The offensive results weren't exactly perfect in that road trip, but Aviles still manned the fort well defensively like he has all season. That energy on defense — or extra hyper vigor — is a byproduct of strong sleep.
"He's made all the progressions," manager Bobby Valentine said about Aviles' defense. "He's learning to move with hitters and position himself properly. He always knows the speed of the runner. He's been huge. The stability of him has been huge for our defense."
But Aviles isn't the only Red Sox standout to prioritize sleep. When there's a day game after a night matchup, especially at Fenway, it's not uncommon for some players to speed through their postgame interview sessions so that they can bolt home to sleep.
There have been times when games have ended around 11 p.m. and players, like Aviles, would plan to be back at the park at 9 a.m. to get in some extra work before the early game time.
It's a testament to Aviles' ability to allocate time to sleep and recharge for the grind of a 162-game season.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) is offering 100 healthy tips to celebrate Fenway Park’s centennial. Visit 100pitches.org to learn more.
Photo via Flickr/Keith Allison