Mar 7, 2012, 7:51 AM EDT
After I left the ballpark yesterday afternoon I came back to my hotel and placed my health first among all other things. First, I moved into my new non-smoking room, which was good for my lungs. Then I went to the fitness center and ran on a treadmill for 45 minutes which was good for my heart, body and soul.
Then I went to In-n-Out Burger and ate this followed by a trip to a dive bar called TT Roadhouse where I hoisted the moist with a friend of mine. No, I don’t think it’s safe to say that I’m in the best shape of my life after all of that. Hell, I’m not even in the best shape of the bloggers on this site.
The friend of mine was a former sportswriter and former blogger named Connor Doyle who I met back in the Shysterball days. When I was here last year, as some of you may remember, I had beers with him and DIPS legend Voros McCracken and nearly started a race riot. Last night wasn’t quite as scary, but it definitely turned strange.
We had been there a little over an hour or so when a man with a gigantic head wound came up and sat down at our table and began talking to us. He began in mid-sentence as if he had been with us all night, and took up the political conversation Connor and I were having. Well, OK then. He did pause long enough for Connor to ask him what happened to his head. Seems he was walking with a girl last week when a man ran him over with a car and then drove away. He treated the explanation as though it was bothersome and unimportant and continued on with his political monologue. Well, OK again.
The substance of the monologue: if he had a time machine and could go back and change one historical event, it would be to prevent women getting the right to vote. Really: that’s when he believes all of our country’s problems began.
“The 50s were great,” he said. “Everything was going just fine until women got the vote.”
“You realize that by the 50s women had been voting for over 30 years,” I said.
He just kind of stopped for a second, considered the thought, ignored it and moved on. And to be fair to him, he did expand the point: it wasn’t just women voting that was the problem. It was all racial minorities, homosexuals and “children.” I thought I’d comfort him by telling him that children still don’t have the right to vote, but I couldn’t really get a word in.
From there we moved on to evolution (“So you believe we came from monkeys? That it went ooze-fish-monkeys-man? Really?”) and then on to religion (“I’m not one of those crazy people, but religion has done more to disprove science than science has to prove evolution”). He noted at one point that he got a concussion in that hit-and-run last week. I nodded.
Eventually our friend — who would not let me take his picture sadly, because I believe that by that time he realized (a) I was a writer; and (b) I was taking mental notes — mentioned that three women were coming to meet him there and implied that, if we played our cards right, maybe Connor and I could get lucky.
I figured that was his tallest tale of the evening but I’ll be damned if three women didn’t eventually show up. One had a boyfriend with her. None of them seemed like people who would hang out with our friend, here. Indeed, when he went to use the restroom, one of the women said that she didn’t know the guy’s name and that they just call him “the guy who got hit by the car.” I am still unclear on why they would all meet him out at a bar.
I was likewise unclear why I was still talking to him, but eventually he disappeared into the night. I’m still not 100% certain that he existed. It’s possible someone spiked my Double-Double animal style or slipped a mickey into Moose Drool brown ale. But if he did exist, just know that people like him walk the Earth. Well, sort of stagger the Earth, but still.
Freakin’ Arizona. Drink here at your peril. Or maybe just don’t go out with Connor Doyle, because for as great a guy as he is, he seems to attract the weird ones.
Back to baseball this morning. I’m heading to the Peoria Sports Complex where I will witness the debut of Yu Darvish. A man who, until last night, I figured would be the most interesting person I’d meet in Spring Training.
Reports from the ballpark later, my friends.
May 23, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
Kelvin Herrera was one of the best relievers in baseball last season as a 22-year-old rookie, throwing 84 innings with a 2.35 ERA and 77/21 K/BB ratio while leading MLB with an average fastball velocity of 98.5 miles per hour. He’s struggled this season, mostly due to serving up eight homers in 20 innings, but…
May 23, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
I said this morning that I’m a bit uncomfortable with the legend-building surrounding Evan Gattis. I think I’m not alone in thinking that it’s starting to get a little ridiculous. From an Atlanta radio stadion: Unless that’s a straight-up homage and I’m just reading in the satire.
May 23, 2013, 4:19 PM EDT
While pitching at LSU and in the Orioles’ farm system 2012 fourth overall pick Kevin Gausman’s game-day routine involved eating one powdered mini donut before taking the mound and four powdered mini donuts between each inning. Apparently he gave that up recently on the advice of nutritionists, but here’s what was waiting in Gausman’s locker…
May 23, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Carlos Zambrano pitched an extended spring training game today and wasn’t half bad: Carlos Zambrano’s extended spring training line today vs PIT at Carpenter Complex: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 64 pitches — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 23, 2013 When he was signed and I laughed about…
May 23, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
Here’s a little twist to the news that the Mariners are going to send Jesus Montero back to Triple-A: Michael Pineda, whom the Yankees acquired for Montero only to watch him get hurt, is almost ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment. General manager Brian Cashman told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that…
May 23, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Been staring at this story all day. Thinking I wasn’t gonna link to it. Thinking I had higher standards. But then the crowd thinned out, the bartender said it was last call and the only two of us in the place was me and it, so … The Yankee shortstop was spotted yesterday leaving one…
May 23, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Remember all those offseason quotes from general manager Terry Ryan about how the Twins were focused on improving last season’s terrible starting rotation? Their actual moves didn’t quite match the talk, as they signed Kevin Corrreia (who’s been decent) and Mike Pelfrey (who’s been awful) and traded for Vance Worley (who went from Opening Day…
May 23, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT
Derek Lowe, who was designated for assignment by the Rangers earlier this week, has been released after passing through waivers unclaimed. This could be the end for Lowe, who hasn’t posted an ERA under 5.00 since 2010 and allowed 13 runs in 13 innings in a low-leverage relief role for the Rangers at age 40.…
May 23, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
Craig Robinson lives in Mexico. And based on when he tweets, I get the sense that he stays up late nights after going to Mexican baseball games and stuff. And I’m guessing he also has a lot of conversations with friends that start with “so, like, what if — seriously, now, listen — what if…
May 23, 2013, 1:18 PM EDT
Earlier this week Adam Eaton suffered a setback in his recovery from a sprained elbow ligament, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage. That’s obviously good news for the 24-year-old outfielder, although according to Piecoro he’ll still take 2-3 weeks off before resuming his rehab. Eaton…
May 23, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Not a ton going on today, so Kay and I talk about the pitchers in the mix.
May 23, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT
As you might expect considering he hasn’t played well for two years and is an impending free agent the Red Sox won’t try to negotiate a long-term deal with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury before he hits the open market. General manager Ben Cherington revealed that on WEEI radio in Boston, saying: “We agreed before the…
May 23, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT
Jon Rauch passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week and the Marlins released the veteran reliever two months into a one-year, $1 million contract. Rauch was terrible for Miami, allowing 14 runs in 16.2 innings, but he had a 3.59 ERA with good secondary numbers for the Mets last season and…
May 23, 2013, 11:31 AM EDT
So, if Michael Pineda makes an appearance in New York in the second half, do all the folks who said the Mariners won that trade have to eat crow? From the Tacoma News-Tribune: On the heels of a six-game losing streak and a 2-7 road trip, the Seattle Mariners will make an expected and needed…
May 23, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT
Despite being less than impressive in four minor-league rehab starts John Danks will come off the disabled list and rejoin the White Sox’s rotation Friday. Danks had a terrible 15/13 K/BB ratio in 22.2 innings while rehabbing from August shoulder surgery and failed to make it out of the fifth inning in his final start…
May 23, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT
Last month Amanda Rykoff noted that the Yankees’ “craft beer” section at Yankee Stadium was anything but. They’re continuing to have problems with basic beer identification, however, as now Patrick Wall of DNAInfoNY spied Goose Island listed as an “import.” Which, no, it’s not. It’s a Chicago beer. Wait, no it’s not. It’s actually brewed in…
May 23, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Angels reliever Ryan Madson was finally making some progress in his rehab from last season’s elbow surgery, but he’s suffered yet another setback. Madson felt soreness in his elbow after a one-inning rehab appearance at Single-A last week and hasn’t pitched since. As you’d expect Madson sounds…
May 23, 2013, 10:33 AM EDT
The Mets first baseman is having a train wreck of a season thus far. He’s hitting .147/.236/.245, which is horrible even on a horrible Mets offense. And his poor hitting seems to be infecting his fielding too. See, yesterday’s non-play on a ball he though was foul but which he turned into a game-killing double.…
May 23, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT
Francisco Liriano was terrible for the Twins and White Sox last season and then lost out on a ton of guaranteed money with the Pirates when he broke his right arm trying to prank his kids on Christmas morning. That all led to a whole lot of jokes at his expense and caused Liriano to…
May 23, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT
Good news, Miami! Pretty soon all of those Marlins shutout losses are going to turn into losses in which the Marlins score one on Giancarlo Stanton home runs: On Wednesday, slugger Giancarlo Stanton took live batting practice at Marlins Park for the first time since straining his right hamstring on April 30. Redmond tossed the BP session…
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