Archive for category Fantasy Camp 2009

Game One Against the Pros

So the games against the Pros go in order of the Championship team first, and then follow it down the line from there.

Gedman’s Bombers were the lead off team, they played well but managed to lose 1-0.

We then played the second game and lost 4-0. We pitched ok, and we fielded ok but the Pros are just that much better. We were lucky with the first inning we kept them to only 1 run. Butch Hobson scored on a bloop fly into right that I stumbled slightly while running in to get it before throwing it in, I think if I hadn’t stumbled I might have been able to throw him out at home.

That was when I felt the first twinge of pain in the elbow again.

Next batter was Chad Epperson, he never played in the major leagues but he is one big guy with a lot of power. He launched a high fly into right field where I was playing, I had to back up about 15 feet or so but I managed to reel in the hit to get the 3rd out of the inning.

I am not sure if it was being tired or sore or being dehydrated, which I still am even a couple days later, but my depth perception was all kinds of screwy on that catch, there were no clouds in the sky at all and the ball was kinda shimmying as it sailed through the air, I kinda prayed I would catch it and I was fortunate to do so and make the out.

Second inning came along and I was back in right field, they had a couple guys on base and U.L. Washington came up to the plate. So I shifted to closer to the line since he is a lefty hitter(toothpick and all). I then thought to myself, “Maybe I should be 10-15 feet back from here” but then as soon as I finished that thought there was a crack of the bat and I was right, I should have been about 15 feet back from where I was.

I took off running as best i could and with an outstretched arm I missed the ball by about 2 feet, it then bounced and rolled to the wall in right field. I ran, got the ball and chucked it in to the cutoff man and then let out a scream, both because I was annoyed for not being in the right position, but also because the pain I felt in my elbow radiated all the way up my arm and it made me wish I could just cut my arm right off to kill the pain.

They scored their 3 run maximum and the inning was over.

I was the lead off guy for the 3rd inning and I was in so much pain I had an absolutely horrible at bat against Walter Miranda who was pitching for the Pros. I swung 3 times and missed 3 times. Fortunately for me, all 3 were actually strikes so I didn’t feel too bad, but I just couldn’t get the bat around fast enough because of the pains in my elbow, hips, and groin.

I am 30 but I felt like I was a 90 year old guy who could barely walk.

Joe then grounded out, and then so did Steve to end the game.

I then went up into the visitors clubhouse and changed into street clothes after getting a nice big ice wrap for my elbow which was throbbing, unfortunately it wasn’t doing the complete job of soothing the pain, so I popped 2 advil, and then Phil was kind enough to give me 6 tylenal with codine. I took 2 and saved the rest for later if I needed them.

I watchehd a few of the following games because there were no shuttles back to the hotel until after noon, so me and some of the guys sat down on the first base line and watched the games while snapping some photos and meeting some of the wives and kids of our teammates. I also met Bill Lee’s wife at that point, a very nice woman.

It was at this point that the gift shop was opened and I thought about going to buy something for the players to sign, but I realized I left my wallet back at the hotel. Joe had already gone and gotten an oversized Red Sox License Plate, and he was having the players all sign it. I liked the idea and he was nice enough to spot me the money to go get one, and then I had the players sign it. I managed to walk through the dugout to get them all, and then got Joe Castiglione’s signature as well as Joe Morgan’s on my way out.

When I was getting Joe C’s he complimented my team again on the job we did in the Championship game even though we did not win. He couldn’t stop talking about how we made 4 double plays during the 7 inning game, and how we just missed making 2 more.

I don’t think it is a stat they track, but they might start to next year, we averaged almost 3 double plays per game for the week, we ended up the week with at least 20, probably closer to 25 by my estimates.

So then it got to be about 1, and I headed out to the shuttle and went back to the hotel, I was tired…

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Camp is Over….

Well, camp is now over. I was so busy that past couple days that I just haven’t had time to update this at all.

We spent a better part of the morning on Saturday over at City of Palms Park. When Joe and I woke up, we didn’t realize the schedule of the shuttles to get us over to the PDC and then to CPP, so we went downstairs and found out that shuttles were going over at 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00.

It was now 8:00 and our game was approximated to be at 9:30, but we are supposed to be at the park an hour before the game.

Hmmm, Are we going to get there on time? lemme shake the magic 8 ball…. “Outlook not so good”

Fortunately, while Joe called Bryan about the shuttle, I talked to the hotel shuttle and he said he could squeeze a trip directly over to CPP for us, which is good because me and Joe cleaned out our lockers at the PDC the night before and did not have to go back there at all. The other two guys in the lobby did though, but there were shuttles running from the PDC to CPP constantly, just not to the hotel.

So we get over to the game and get ready.

More to come later…

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Day 4… Short Summery

Short summery because I am tired and heading to bed.

We started the day tied with Lee’s Lefties, if we both won or both lost our first games today then we were going to have a playoff game which picked up right where our last game left off with the tie, then this would determine who would go to the championship game.

We won our first game against Valintin’s Vikings.

There was no playoff though, Lee’s team lost their game so that put us into the 2009 Red Sox Fantasy Camp Championship game against Gedman’s Bombers.

We played then starting at 3:30 over at the big field at City of Palms Park, unfortunately we lost in a 2-1 game.

We didn;t hit and when we did it went right too them, we gave them too many free runners with walks and hit batters, and it cost us the game.

The loss was disappointing, but the fact that we played so well overall was great and I don’t think I really could have had any more fun or any better of a time this past week.

Tomorrow we play the pros, and I will consider it a success if I can foul one off…

We took Monty out to dinner tonight as a team, and the stories and such were great. I will get to this more soon, same with the pictures, more of those soon!

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Day 3 of Camp

So today was a big day, we played Hobson’s Hornets in the morning and Miranda’s rights in the afternoon.

Same early morning training regimen as yesterday, only we had pancakes instead of eggs cuz the eggs had green things in them that I was incapable of identifying, so I skipped em and had pancakes with bacon and some fruit.

Game one against Hobson’s Hornets was over at the little field at the big park, we helped them keep their perfect record going, and they were 0-5 when we were done with them. We beat them 6-1 missing our starting second baseman and me feeling pretty rough, my hand was kinda sore on the fatty part of the palm by the thumb, But I went 1-3 and scored a run. Bill Lee’s team the Lefties also won their morning game so it put us still tied atop our division with a 4-0-1 record.

We had lunch and I got Mike Greenwell’s autograph on the helmet, the bat, and 3 of his cards. His 1987 rookie card, his 1988 All Star Card, and a 1989 Sport Illustrated for Kids card. Super nice guy that told a few hilarious stories about playing so I can share those later when I have more time to type them out. I also got to hear a couple good stories from my coach Monty about some of is experiences while playing.

So I also spoke with Frank Malzone today, turns out my mom emailed me and asked me to say hello to him since she was apparently the babysitter for his kids in the early 1960’s. Well, he actually remembers here, which is neat.

So then we go into the afternoon game. I was sore, I was really sore. I ended up sitting on the bench and did not play the field, but I did bat. I went 1-3 but man did it hurt and I looked like a 80 year old man running down the line. I need to do some work tomorrow morning to not let that happen.

We were fortunate though, we beat Miranda’s Rights who were 4-1 coming into the game. We beat them 9-3. So that puts us at 5-0-1 for the week so far!! I think you can technically say we are undefeated!! Lee’s team also won though. So we are still tied with one morning game tomorrow and then the championship game is tomorrow afternoon, along with the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th place games. The championship game is over at City of Palms Park.

I think we can do this, I just need to be stretched out real well tomorrow so I can run and play defense, I may take it easy in the morning game so I don’t risk screwing anything up for the afternoon game.

I am pretty confident we are gonna do well tomorrow, our morning game is against Valentin’s Vikings who I think are 1-5 so far, and we are going to have the coaches pitching as well, and we tend to hit pretty well against Victor our coach, we put up 17 runs with him pitching on Wednesday.

After the game there were 2 options, either playing Whiffle Ball over at the City of Palms Park with a BBQ, or going to a cigar bar with open bar and pizza and such. I chose the cigar bar, even though I don’t smoke at all. It was a great time, I got to talk to a bunch of guys, saw a total whore walking with her boobs almost hanging out and also got to chat with Luis Tiant, who’s personal cigar aficionado opinion of the cigar bar was “You don’t want any of these, they are crap”

Good times, good pics and good time to go to bed… big day tomorrow!!!

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Day 3!!

Day # 3

Well, Day number 3 came around and it came early. One of the member’s of our team “Fletch” has his car here so he drove us over early to the PDC in the morning. This way we could get in and warm up, get stretched and then spend some time with Victor in the cages before we got going for the day. As a team who wants to win, we would be foolish to not take part in getting personalized hitting instruction from the guy who is in charge of instruction for the entire Red Sox minor league system!!

So we get over to the park and I went in to warm up on one of the bikes, and then got stretched out by the trainers. Now I stretch pretty good on my own, but my quads were really tight and so were my hamstrings, I just wanted to get a good warm up done, and WOW, no amount of stretching I could ever do on my own could match that stretching routine by them. The trainers know exactly what needs to be done to stretch you out just right.

So After that got done, we went over to the cages to work with Victor. Everyone, the entire team, got to hit, we used a tee because it gave victor the ability to watch our swings much better. My problem was mostly not turning in with my hands.

So we got done with that, and then it was time to go out and stretch and get going with the games.

We started out the day on field 5, which was fine from my point of view as an outfielder, since it meant the sun was to our backs and not in our eyes. I started out the game on the bench for the first couple innings and then went in in the 4th inning to right field.

The game started off rough, the other team picked up 2 runs early to take a 2-0 lead, but we rallied back and got a some runs, and went ahead after some awesome baserunning and hits by the guys on my team, and then on a rocket of a drive to right center by me. It was caught by the center fielder but with less than 2 outs it drove in the much needed run.

We then lost the lead when I was out in center and somehow missed a catch I totally should have had. While no runs scored on that, it should have been out #2, and then the next batter grounded out to 2nd so we should have been out of the inning, but we weren’t and they ended up scoring 2 runs to take back the lead, 4-3.

We have some great hitters on our team, and we then managed to get another 3 runs that game to beat Gedman’s Bombers 6-4. They were 2-0 after the first day of games, so we handed them their first loss.

Back to the clubhouse for fajitas, and Dwight Evans time. He was there just like Jim Rice and Frank Viola, and I was fortunate to get 2 cards, the mini-helmet and the bat signed by him, no photo but he is a really really nice guy who talked to everyone. he was also kind enough to sing “Happy Birthday” to one of the campers who had cake and cookies for everyone.

Then we headed out for the afternoon game.

We played Treul’s Trolls over on field #4.

Victor pitched to us, and Oil Can pitched to his team. Joe is almost in blissful happiness since he has been the catcher for both Bill Lee and Oil Can Boyd, a thrill that beats many other thrills. It has however put him behind the dish for a total of 28 innings so far, so his legs are feeling it, but things are going well.

This game was a big one for us, Victor slightly adjusted his pitching to us by throwing a little faster and straight instead of the slightly slower pitches with arc to them like the day before.

We played good defense in the first inning and held the trolls to 0 runs. We started off hot with the bats with 3 runs in the 1st inning to set the tone of the game from our side.

We held the trolls scoreless til the 3rd inning when they put up 3 on us to tie the game. We didn’t score in the 2nd or 3rd innings ourselves, but then after holding them scoreless again in the 4th we opened up the game with a 4 run inning by some great hits by our team. We are really clicking at the plate and as a team as a whole. Our double plays are running about 75% success when we have the chance for them, along with some great play by our centerfielder, and third baseman as well who has napped a few hot shots down the line to take away extra bases, or even any base sometimes.

We actually held the trolls scoreless the rest of the game, but managed to add 4 more runs in the 5th, and then we hit the slaughter rule 6 run per inning limit in the 6th inning.

While we won the game 17-3, we did lose a couple of guys. Kenny is having some groin troubles, and then Fletch went out when he was on the receiving end of a hard slide into 2nd while trying to make a double play. His ankle was hit and he went down hard. he rattled off a whole bunch of stuff to explain what it was, but I have no memory of exactly what it was, but basically he thinks he ripped something and possibly dislocated it and then it popped back into place. he is an ER Doctor back ome, so he knew what he was talking about so I just nodded and “mmmhmmm’d” as if I knew exactly what it was, while I don’t really know, I just know he hurt his ankle and may or may not be playing tomorrow.

As it stands now, we have the best record in camp. 3 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie. It ties us with Lee’s Lefties who are also in our division at 3-0-1.

Game over, headed back to the clubhouse for a nice ice bath, hot shower and then changed to go over to City of Palms park for the Home Run Derby context, and a BBQ. The contest was great and Joe Yastremski(no relation) was the winner against Chasse in the final round. Then it got COLD for the BBQ so everyone kinda ate quickly and then we headed back to the hotel.

I came upstairs and after an unfortunate problem with some icy-hot I ended up taking a nice hot shower and followed it up with a nice hhot bath to help the muscles.

Joe then went downstairs and saw some of the players and the coaches in the bar. I am told of some interesting stories about the Can holding court. Including a 20 minute tutorial on how to get laid, and how if you were consistently drunk by the 6th inning or had smoked some weed, you should be in the hall of fame. Or so I hear anyway, I have no way to truly verify any of this information.

great day and tomorrow looks promising too. I am having an awesome time and wish I could do this every year.

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More Photos

Also, these are photos that are being taken by the FanFoto people who are here, so this should let you see other stuff other than what I am putting up to see.

I am probably going to copy some of them because they want like $15 for a 5×7 photo, maybe 1 or 2, but not that many will be bought, but nice to see em, even with the big “PROOF” across them.

There are a few of me in there along with a few of Joe in there too.

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Day 2 – The “Real” Games Start


So we got up early and were on the first shuttle again this morning. Tiny bit sore but nothing major.

Had breakfast, same as the day before, banana, scrambled eggs, home fries, some bacon and some melon. They also have cereal, yogurt and fruit like blueberries, apples, oranges and bananas. It’s enough(same and lunch) to keep you fed, but not fill you up completely, which is a huge advantage since no one really wants to see someone ralph out on the field somewhere.

So then we head out to take the group photo, that was a total mark of confusion to get a whhole bunch of people all together and organized enough for a picture, total mess, but it gone done. Then it was individual teams which went smoother.

Then it was off to morning stretching with Bill Lee wandering amongst all the campers and entertaining us with stories and goofy comments while we try to maintain our balance.

Then off to our field, we were on field #3 for the first game, all the minor leaguers were taking up Fields #1 and #2, so we got shifted to fields #3-5. We were up against “Thomas’ Tomahawks” coached by George Thomas and Al Bumbry.

We were the Home team so we took the field first. They sort of just divied up positions to start based on volunteers, I lucked out and got to be the Centerfield – Cue the Fogerty Put me in, Coach – I’m ready to play today; Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Top half of the first was pretty easy going, I think we got one strike out and a few other quick grounders to finish off the inning with no problems.

Bottom half of the first we got some runners, and we scored a couple runs. I was batting 4th and grounded out to end the inning. Makes you wonder how we got a couple runs right? Well it’s because of the unique rules they play by here at camp. If a player walks(or gets hit), then a substitute runner goes to first base and they stay at the plate and get a clean 0-0 count. It the hitter walks(or gets hit) a second time, then they will go down to first base and a new batter comes to the plate.

Second inning was my inning, I was back in centerfield and feeling pretty good. First batter is up and cracks a high fly ball to left center field, closer to center than left so I get over and under it. I almost completely lose the ball in the sun but kinda remembered where it was and had my glove where I thought it would end up, and then at the last second I was able to see it as it came out of the sun and made a small adjustment to catch it. One down. Next hitter comes up and gets a walk. Hitter stays at the plate and a pich runner goes to first(see above). Then he hits a small blooper over second base into centner field. I charge the ball, pick it up and do a quick snap to second base, runner is out by way of the force play.

We had been told to play in more than out due to wind that was blowing at 10-12mph consistantly, and gusts were getting up to 20mph or so, and it was blowing in from right center, so any hits weren’t really going anywhere and were dying pretty quickly in the air. So I am playing in and shading to left center because it is a right hand hitter at the plate. CRACK fly ball to left centerfield. I misplayed the ball by taking a step in first instead of back and had to turn around and run to try to catch up with it, the ball drops in behind me. The grass on these outfields and the infields is some of the most beautiful grass I have ever seen, I will get a close up picture of it at some point, but it is pure perfection from one who appreciates Agrostology(you like that $10 word?).

So the ball sails over my head and hits the ground, fortunately the wonderful grass has a soft base and the ball doesn’t roll very far. I run, pick it up and turn to throw it back in. I am yelled at to throw it to second to keep the guy to a single. I ignored the yells and ripped a throw to third base since the runner from first was trying to stretch it to a 2 base advancement.

Our third baseman was 10 or so feet down the line towards home, I threw the ball and my aim put the ball about 5 feet down the line towards home, so he has to move towards third to catch hit, and he does and ends up tagging the guy coming from first base, that’s the third out! Innign over!!

The rest of the game was pretty uneventful for me in center, a few bloopers here and there, and I think 1 or 2 other catches, but we had some pretty good pitching and infield work on our team. They managed to turn 2 or 3 double plays and keep the other team to a total of 5 runs for the game. 2-3 of those runs were just because of miscommunication by not having played with each other ever before, but we got some of the kinks worked out in the first game, and we managed to win 11-5, with somewhere around 16 or 17 hits.

I had 2 more at bats in the game. I struck out my second time at the plate, I had picked up a bat that was 34in instead of the one I had been using before that was a 33in, I think the extra inch was slowing me down just enough to mess with my swing and it’s why I struck out. In my third and final at bat in the 6th inning, I fouled off the first pitch, took the second pitch as a ball, took the thrid pitch as a ball, and then ripped a nice long drive into righth center field and took off down the first base line. Theh right fielder was still running towards the ball when I rounded second base and Victor Rodriquez was yelling at me to “take two take two”, so I took too and moved my ass to second, I was thinking 3 but took a quick glance towards right and the right fielder was just picking up and throwing the ball in when I was about 15 feet from 2nd, so I held up with a 1 out stand up double. The next batter struck out leaving me at second. Then the next hitter(kenny I think) came up, fouled off a couple and then looped one just behind the first baseman and it dropped in, with 2 outs I was off with contact and headed around third base with Bob yelling at me to head home, so home I went and was able to slide in and make it safe, I am not sure if the throw got all the way in or if it was cut off, I was just concentrating on theh slide and picking myself back up.

I gotta say, it felt great to get that hit, I was 0fer in the evaluation game, and then 0fer my first 2 in this game, although the ground out to first felt good, I just didn’t get enough on it to poke it through down the line. I did score a couple other times in the game as a sub runner for people who walked. We had one guy who actually got hit with a pitch, right on his elbow so he was out the rest of that game, but he was able to play the second game with only a little trouble while hitting, but played some good first base.

So we finished up that game and headed in to the locker rooms for lunch and Jime Rice. Lunch was pork loin, roasted potatoes, green beans and then salad. I skipped the green beans since I won’t eat them under almost any circumstances. The salad is pretty decent actually, they have this dressing which is made from olive oil, a hint of vinegar, chives, scallions, cilantro, a hint of red pepper flakes and some garlic. Yes, I asked what it was made from because I liked it the day before and needed to know what it was. Threw that back with a couple small gatorades and a water.

Prior to getting my lunch, I got in line for autographs with Jim Rice, I got my bat and the mini-helmet signed by him, then went and put them in my locker and took off my game shirt and went to go get lunch. We were reminded that we were limited to 2 items to get signend while we were in line, but I grabbed 2 cards while I was back at my locker and put them in my pocket. When I was down getting my lunch I looked behind me and there were only 3 people in line, so I took my lunch with me and walked over and got back into line. I joked a little when I got up to Jim and held out my lunch and asked him to make out the pork to Ned, but he didn’t look amused so I just put down the cards, he paused, looked at them and then signed them and gave em back to me with a small smile, but no words. He didn’t really talk to many people, other than the pros who he already knew. This was a stark contrast to Frank Viola from the day before who would talk to anyone about anything and liked to share stories.

So our afternoon game was our “Big Game” over at City of Palms Park on the “Big Field”, meaning the main field where the Red Sox play their Spring Training games. It was so cool, to walk onto the field, thru the players entrance, past the bullpen area and down the warning track to theh dugout. We were theh home team so we were on the scoreboard as “Red Sox” and the other team was listed as “Visitor”. They announced our name and number over the loudspeakers each time we went up to bat.

The afternoon games are pitched by the coaches instead of by the players. So we had Victor pitching to us, and then the team we were playing(Lee’s Lefties) was pitched to by their Coach, Bill Lee. Joe has been our catcher so far, and he was incredibly excited because he got to catch Bill Lee for 7 innings this afternoon. Granted the pitches being thrown to his team while they were at bat were basic straight down the middle batting practice fastballs, he was throwing some wild and crazy curves and such during warm up, so Joe informed us that we were in for a lot of strike outs and maybe foul or ground balls when we play against the Pros and Lee is pitching.

This was a tough game, we ended up playing the game to a tie and had to end it with a 2-2 tie. To mock Tom Hanks from A League Of Their Own(in a whiney, exasperated sounding voice) “THERE’S NO TYING IN BASEBALL”. I wasn’t very good at the plate. Fisted one off the handle at my first at bat and popped out to sort, and then another one off the handle down to first base

I played Right Field in this game instead of center. Joe has a theory that I might be our best outfielder, and there were a lot of lefties on “Lee’s Lefties” so right field was going to be important. It turned out to be the case when I made 2 catches in the first inning for 2 outs. I also made a couple more random catchehs, as well as having a few balls go over my head because I keep stepping in first instead of out first, but I was able to make some pretty good throws into second to hold the runner to third, and even to first once. I then sat out the 5th and 6th innings and someone else went into right field. The right fielder then had some trouble in the 6th inning because of position & sun which made him miss a fly ball, which allowed them to score the tying run.

We couldn’t do much in the bottom of the 6th and then went into the 7th and the right fielder excused himself and asked me to go back in. I went in and we got a solid 1, 2, 3 inning and then went in to bat. Joe led off the inning with a great double, but he ended up stranded at 3rd base when a batter struck out, got a single, and then hit into a double play.

Close, but no cigar. It was a great game though. We were talking to our coach Victor who is the roaming hitting coach for the entire Red Sox Minor League System, so he travels all around to all the different minor league teams and helps out the younger guys learn to bat better. We are planning on hitting the cages first thing tomorrow morning with him nice and early to see if we can work on a couple of things to help our hitting get a little better. Although, on a positive note, we ended the game with 15 hits to the other teams 5, so we were getting the hits, we just couldn’t get the guys in and accross the plate, so it is promising for future games.

So we hit the bus and headed back to the PDC. When we got back we were at the lockers and someone came and mentioned that Jim Rice was still there and was taking pictures with people. So we grabbed our cameras and headed down to the conference room to get em, I took them of Joe, while he took them of me. So I have a picture with Jim Rice. He really wasn’t into it though, and was talking more with Monty who was sitting next to him, but who cares, we got the pictures.

Then I headed down to the locker, got changed out of my uniform and put on some shorts, walked out and picked up a gatorade, a couple granola bars and then headed to the training room. My groin and my quads were aching, along with my shoulder a little bit too. I was headed to the ice bath. I had to wait in line about a half an hour, but it was well worth it, I submerged myself in the 45 degree water up to just over my waist for about 10 minutes, while sitting on a milk crate – they are pretty high tech here with things. Fortunately it wasn’t an ice bath like in Major League with the outboard motor going in it. The training staff was even nice enough to dump a bucket of ice into the tub to make it colder while I was in it. Then for the last 5 minutes in the tub I submerged myself from the neck down so my shoulder could get some of the cold on it. It was really only cold for the first 2 or 3 minutes and then it really started working itself into my muscles. I would call it pure heaven really, especially if you know how much I actually enjoy the cold most of the time.

So from the ice bath to the hot shower and then off to do the final pack up to head out. Got UL Washington to sign my mini-helmet while talking to him about random stuff, asked him about Terry Francona since he played with him up in Montreal in 1985. Also got some info about Barry Bonds from him as well since UL was with him for 2 years in Pittsburgh. I won’t go into details, but he isn’t a fan of Barry to say the least.

So we got bqack to the hotel and sorta hobbled in after the van ride and tightning up, we dropped the stuff off at the room and then decided to just go downstairs again and get something simple for dinner. We got to witness “Free Bingo” night at the hotel restaurant, with the intermission entertainment of the 75 or so year old guy playing his harmonica for people.

Then joe headed upstairs and I headed to Walgreens. I got some Advil, some Mineral Ice, and some Icy Hot.

Then I wrote this blog entry… now I am off to sort through 300 or so pictures for some to upload…

yes, I am sore, yes it hurts, yes I really should have prepared more, yes I totally use too many commas and have poor grammar, but for what I was expecting to be a 8 or maybe a 9 on the 1-10 awesome scale, this is by far a 14 or a 15 on that scale. Especially the game over at City of Palms, I am still trying to figure out what the awesome scale is going to hit later this summer when I go and play a game at Fenway Park.

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Event During the Draft

When Oil Can was listing off his team, there was a power failure and the room went totally dark and then the emergency lights came on, then 30 seconds later the regular lights came back on.

To role with it he had this as a comment “Ok, that better not happen again, and if it does, some of you are gonna be missin some wallets” and then he pointed at a couple people who were lawyers and doctors.

The combination of Lee and Oil Can is absolutely hysterical, and them together is even funnier the way they interact together.

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Draft Results!

So I was picked by Monty’s Maverick’s with coach Bob Montgomery and manager Victor Rodriquez.

I am on the same team as Joe, and we play at the PDC for the first game tomorrow, and then for our afternoon game we get to go play on “The Big Field” at City of Palms Park.

We also play the Thursday morning game at the City of Palms Park, but on field #2 instead.

We have what appears to be a nice young team, and hopefully we can do well. The plan is to win it all so we can get our fancy rings given to us before a game at Fenway.


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Day One – Evaluations and Drills

Today started early, we were up at 5:30 and down in the lobby waiting for the shuttles at 6, and got on the first shuttle at 6:30. It was pouring out though!

We got over to the Player Development Complex(PDC) and went in through the back player’s entrance into our locker room. Everything was laid out perfect, all in rows like you imagine a pristine locker room looking when all setup.

Took a few pictures, then started to get changed. We were in Away jersey’s today so they could tell who was who based on the names, since away jerseys have the name, but home don’t. Just like aways say Boston, and home say Red Sox.

We then got some breakfast, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, cantaloupe, honey dew, and some granola with some orange juice.

After breakfast we had our player meeting to give us the lowdown on how things go, as well as telling us how the “fines” work. Everyone will get fined at some point. All fines are $1 except for major fines. They do this cuz it is fun and the money goes to charity, but they also use it to mock the MLB system of fines. A bunch of guys had their fines announced from the early bird game, most of them for having their back pockets hanging out while out on the field or at bat.

Well then we got divided up and sent out to one of 5 stations; BullPen, Infield, Outfield, Hitting, and Base Running.

I started out with the BullPen with Bill Lee and Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd, then infield with Lou “The Framingham Kid” Merloni and John Valentin, then over to outfield with Butch Hobson(Who seriously looks like he could still play) and then over to hitting with Bob Montgomery and Al Bumbry, and then into base running with Rich Gedman.

Overall it went pretty well, and I got a nice compliment along with advice while over hitting in the cages when the batting coach said “You got some hella good hand/eye co-ordination, you just need to use your back foot more so you can get more power. Pretend you have a roach under your foot, and let him out when you are halfway through your swing”

Then we had lunch, broccoli and salmon, with some salad and peanut butter & jam sandwiches. While at lunch we also had the chance to get things signed by Frank Viola, I got a couple cards signed, along with my Fantasy Camp Souvenir Bat, and the Mini Helmet I got from Joe. They also had the Hooters Girls there who were giving us 25% off coupons. I didn’t get my photo taken with anyone though, even though the option was there.

Also during lunch, I bumped into Kevin Youkilis by my locker while he was talking to John Valentin and Bill Lee, both he and Lee were trying to convince the other whether VT(Where Bill lives) or NH(where Youk has family on Lake Winnipesaukee). Youk was there to work out, gotta give him credit, they don’t report for another 2 weeks and he is in the area early and already working out. I thought he was taller, but he is about my height, but he looks in real good shape. I think he is gonna be a real force this year!

Then after lunch we went out for a group stretch, and then there was a short Q&A with Frank Viola who shared a couple interesting stories about his playing days, including the College game he pitched with Ron Darling who pitched an 11 inning no-hitter before losing the game 1-0.

Then we got to play, I ended up over on field 5 with Truel and Boyd, I sat out the first inning, and then played first base in inning 2, then for some freakish reason I ended up as the catcher for innings 3, 4, and 5 to give Urbanski some rest and he went to first. We had a pitcher(Yorkal I think) who was throwing HARD and I remembered at about the third inning to take my index finger outside the glove to make it a little easier on me. My ankles and thighs(front and back) got a total workout from that!! Then inning 6 I went to third base and Urbanski went back to catching for the last inning.

I had 2 at bats in the game, our team was pretty terrible, but it was only evaluation game. I struck out both times at the plate, the pitching was pretty poor and tough to pick up, first time was looking(which will probably be a fine tomorrow) and the second time was swinging. Live pitching really is a lot different than anything else.

I will probably get another fine because I just stood and watched as the pitched came into foul ground 10-15 feet from me to try to catch a foul ball, and I just stood there and watched. I totally should have gone after it and caught it. BAD NED, but I won’t(I hope) be playing catcher any more, it was number 10 on my list of preferred positions. I hope to end up an outfielder, with some 1B thrown in.

Then we went into the clubhouse after the games, I got some ice for my hand, and then a couple granola bars and a few cokes. They had beer there for people as well, but well, you know me and beer so that was rules out for me. I also managed to get a few autographs at the end of the day too.

Total Autographs:

Bill Lee
Lou Merloni
John Valentin
Butch Hobson
UL Washington
Kevin Youkilis
Bob Montgomery
Frank Viola

UL Washington
Frank Viola

Frank Viola
UL Washington

B&W Glossy:
Lou Merloni

UL is like 3 lockers down from me, and then Bill Lee is down the other end of my locker row. You always know when he is around, he’s a combination of King and Jester while he holds court.

Time to head downstairs for the reception, and then to find out the draft results from today, they hold the draft in private and it started about 15 minutes ago at 6:00.

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