Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Today's stupid question comes from

He writes, on the GCL Twins website:

"Do the players ever ask why you're at the ballpark so much? It could border on stalking!"

Actually no. Usually they ask me why I'm not at the ballpark more often. They "kind of" understand having to work, but still think it "sucks" that I can be there to watch them pitch on Tuesday.

Not to mention Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

I wasn't aware that being at one GCL game a week - usually on Saturday - constitutes stalking.

As for being at the Miracle games, well...I'm a season ticket holder. I'm pretty sure the Miracle want me there every game so I can spend my money on concessions and the like.

In fact, if I miss a game, someone -- be it a player, staff memember, or fellow fan -- always wants to know why. I feel like I need to bring a note from my mom that I was sick. Or perhaps my cat, since my mom does not live with me.

"I'm sorry, my personal assistant could not attend the game on Tuesday afternoon because she was busy feeding me." Or working to earn her food and those special little shrimp treats she likes so much.

Last year, Jannio Guiterrez wanted to know if I was coming on the road trip to Spacecoast with them. When I said no, he wanted to know why not. I was there in the 2003 season, so I should come this time as well.

The fact that Jannio REMEMBERED my being there in 2003 is a problem. It means he's been in High A ball for too long.

Do I rearrange my schedule to get to the games? You betcha. In fact, I got into the office at 7:00 AM on Saturday so that I could get my mandatory four hours in so that I could make the noon start.

So, we started at 12:30. Floyd "Sugerbear" Rayford says we always start at odd times when we play the Orioles.

How often do I bother the coaches? Generally never unless they bother me first or I have a question that needs answering, and then at the most maybe 5 minutes.

How often do I bother the players? They bother me more often. Especially during spring or extended spring training. They find this to be amusing. They all want to get on the website.

Do I have a life? Of course not. I'm a tax professional, it's tax season. I'm at the office 24/7. When would I have time for a life?

So, now I've answered all of your questions, I've got one for Mr. Mindbender. If it's a spectator sport, why wouldn't they want spectors at the game?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Spring Training Sunday

Tony Oliva watched part of the game with us today. Molly (Paul Molitor) doesn't bother me, but I find myself in awe of Oliva and it's really hard to watch a game when he's around. I think it's because I grew up watching Oliva. He's the only coach we have that flakes me out (totally) when he's around.

One of these days I'll work up the nerve to ask him for an autograph. I've got all the rest of the Twins' HOfers. But knowing me, I'll probably do something stupid like sink down to my knees, and say something like "Mr. Oliva, would you do me the honor of signing my poor, pathetic baseball."

I have to wonder if this is one of the reasons the guys don't pay a lot of attention to baseball history, because they know they're going to have to work with some of these great players sooner or later in their career and don't want to be over-awed by them.

We (Fort Myers) won 6-4 over Lynchberg. I think the funniest part of the game was when Kory's dad asked me the score, and I said, "We're two up but I'll tell you in a minute" as I grabbed my camera and bounced up to take pictures of Chris Brown.

When I sat down again, I explained. "Brownie played for our college team ("Florida Gulf Coast University" one of the players wive's supplies) and he's a bit of a local hero." They understood this, as their son is a bit of a local hero in Beloit.

Then I look at my scorecard and I say "6-4".

"6-3" the wife argues.

"No," I say, it's 6-4."

"He's 6-3," she tells me rather nastily.

I looked at her and said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought we were talking about the score, which is 6-4. Not how tall his is."

The media guide lists Brownie at 6'2" and I'll stick with that. I'm hoping he makes the Miracle this season, but...unless they cut Zamijc (pronouced as Z'amich) --which I wish they would, he's mostly useless-- we'll have Woody and Zamijc at first base.

On the whole, watching games with the wives/GF's is very annoying as they are all more interesting in how even their tan is, vs. how their boys are doing in the field. Some are my friends. Cassie got to a game late and I gave her the run down so she could "pretend" she was there on time, so now she's my friend forever. Some are just very annoying. Some I love more than the players. I don't care if Matty's on the team, but I want Robbie to hang out all year long. LOL. (Okay, that's not really true. Matty's my favorite pitcher, but I don't really care if he's pitching in New Britain, I think Robbie should hang out in Fort Myers.) Other ones, well...If one of "my" guys latch onto a girl I can't stand, I'm going to have to talk to them about it. So far, it's not happened.

Meanwhile, Tommy's mom, Anna showed up and sat down next to me. "He's not here," I say. "They went to Bradenton." She disagrees. He called her up and said they were playing at home, so he hurried over from church. Evidently, she was right. They (the Triple A guys) played a scrimage against the Double-A guys on field one. I didn't even look over there as I thought they were playing at Bradenton. ::shrugs::

In any case, she points at the field and says "Who are these guys."

"Fort Myers, you know, the local team your son played for for two years and that issued a bobble-butt for?" Oh yeah. She starts to take off and I say "Oh, yeah, be anti-social. Like we only like you for your son." She comes back and sits down cowed. I love Anna more than I love Tommy, and I know she doesn't quite understand that. I met her because of Tommy, but I would love her even if Tommy wasn't part of the picture.

Given a choice between the Wives/GF I'd take the parents as a whole as being the much cooler group. Too many gold-diggers amongst the the W/GF group, but then again, I'd have missed some meeting some tremendous people if I went by that rule.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I went to watch Fort Myers take on Lynchberg, although this is a preseason game and a lot of these guys won't be with the Miracle when the season starts.

Ah, but Eli Tintor has been assigned to the Miracle workgroup. I'd seen him last week for pitchers and catchers, but I got to talk to him today. I just adore Eli, I really do.

He comes bounding out on the field for practice, sees me, waves like crazy and is like "Hi, how have you been?"

"Good, Eli. It's good to see you again, buddy."

And it really was.

He comes down to the end of the dugout after drills and sits, so I went over talk to him.

I said "You had a really good year in Tennessee." He LOVED Tennessee. He loved the fans, he loved the stadium, it was so enthused about the whole experience.

I mentioned "his" website and he blushed, but he really loved it too.

I said "I really love this color shirt on you," plucking the sleeve of his blue pullover. "It would be nice if it stayed on your back."

He remains optimistic, but I think he'll start the year in Beloit and tell him so. "That catchers' meeting when Cliburn was telling you guys that there wasn't quite the log jam at catching that there was in the past," I say ryely. "I was wondering what organization's depth chart he'd been looking at."

He laughed and said "Yes, but good things come if you work hard." Ah, so he's bought into the program.

"Work on your batting, that's the key."

"I have that", he says. Feiner doesn't and much as I like Kory, I'd rather Eli behind plate because Feiner just doesn't not swing a stick well.

Strangely enough I ended up sitting with Feiner's parents behind me. But I think they saw me talking to Eli and understood why I was going crazy when he went up to bat.

It was just kind of weird as they're like "Well, of course we want them to all move up..." Do we?

Okay, granted, I'd like to pick my own players, but you've got to take the bad with the good. Not saying that Kory is bad mind you, he just needs to work on his hitting some (.188 at Beloit).

I really need to try to have Tint over for dinner before he gets shipped off to Beloit.

Anyway, Fort Myers defeated Lynchburg 6-4. David Winfree hit a home run to lead off the fourth. David Shinskie surrendered a home run in same inning. It was a bad move putting Shinskie in to pitch after Matt Garza got off the mound. It made Shinskie look really bad. Then again, rookie FranK Mata pitched a better two innings than Shinskie did.

Hibbing had a sac-fly in his first at bat -- on his first swing yet! So while he didn't get on base, he did get a RBI!

The second time around he struck out. (Feiner hit a double that also drove in a run.)

Alexi Casilla, who we picked up from L.A. for J.C. Romero hit two triples(!) and two singles and was very impressing for a little kid (5'9", 160 lbs).

Hibbing hits!

Eli Tintor

Eli Tintor

Eli Tintor