Spring Training Behind the Scences & My Take on the Latest News

Spring Training.JPG

I’ve told you all what my first two Spring Training games were like– in the “reporting” sense that is. I gave you some scouting reports (if those even classify as scouting reports), my projects, and a couple of cool stories. One of the most fun parts about a baseball game though, is the people that you meet and the conversations that you have. Baseball is baseball, but that entire experience of going to the ballpark is so special for a reason. It’s not just the game, because you can just watch that on TV. There’s that special tunnel experience, the bad overpriced food, and the people. Can you imagine what a baseball game would be like without the people? 

Every game you go to, no matter who you are– you talk to someone. You talk about baseball, and nothing else. So I thought that I would share with you what happened behind the scenes in Spring Training– the conversations. 
Before the second game, I was down near the dugout with a bunch of other fans. We were all trying to get autographs, so me and this nine-year-old girl were looking through my program, trying to find the numbers of players that we didn’t know so we could call their names. I became the official yeller, and I didn’t mind at all. 
Karen and Kathleen were down there too, and we were all just talking about the Red Sox and what we thought about this year and what we thought about last year, and more. Somehow, a fire drill started to go off. 
Fire Drill.jpg
There was no way I was leaving. Kathleen declared that we should all “report on the field in an orderly fashion”. Hey, that’s how they do it at my school. Thankfully, we weren’t forced to leave. Believe me, I would not have gone easily. 
Once the game started, Papi got on base, and we were talking about how we think that we may have seen him steal once. It sounds mythical doesn’t it? “Did the space-time continuum stop or something?” Kathleen asked. I do remember seeing Manny steal last year (we’ll get to him later), and if anything, Papi probably stole on a passed ball. 
judges.jpg
One of the funniest moments came when Wes Littleton was pitching. One of the Reds hit a ground ball to second base, and I guess he “fell” and rolled down the first base line a bit, got up and continued running. As Jimmy would say, that would have been my “rare moment of the game”. Kathleen put it best when she classified the move as a “roundoff back handspring”. We, the fans, gave him a 6.5 
I have a question for you all. How the hell is Justin Masterson 250 pounds? I was looking through my program, and when I came across my former project, I had to stop. Granted he is 6’6″, but really, 250 pounds? He does not look that… he is so lanky! That’s bigger than Big Papi! 
My Take on Baseball News 
Manny Ramirez 3.jpg
Starting off with the biggest news, Manny. Well, well, well a two-year $45 million deal. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Kind of like the same offer that was on the table four months ago? This is yet another piece of evidence that Scott Boras overestimated the market this year. The only people that I can recall right now that got more than one year deals were AJ Burnett, CC Sabbathia, and Mark Teixeira– well, those are the must substantial deals anyway. So Manny wanted six years, in the “A-Rod range”. 
Two things wrong with that expectation:
1. No one in their right mind is going to give Manny six years. After what he pulled in Boston? He even got an opt-out clause in his contract after one year. We all know Manny has commitment issues. He hasn’t even expressed interest for playing the second year. 
2. I know that Manny is good– I know that he is Hall of Fame caliber. But no one deserves that kind of money. I don’t care how good you are, $27 million dollars a year is absolutely ridiculous. 
So as I was reading the article on this, one of his quotes really hurt me:

“I’m in a great place where I want to play. I am happy, my teammates love me, the fans love me. Sometimes it’s better to have a two-year deal in a place you’re happy than an eight year deal in a place you suffer” 

I would have been alright if he had just said “I’m in a great place where I want to play.” He should say something like that. I’m glad that he is happy, I really am. But, I’m pretty sure that the Red Sox players loved Manny until one point. He was just being Manny. And let me tell you something, us fans LOVED him. I’m sorry, but that statement implies that the fans didn’t love him. Let me tell you guys something, I loved Manny to death, and that statement just plain hurts. Don’t take me for granted, Manny. 
And was he really unhappy in Boston for eight years? I don’t think so. I think he liked it for sometime. I have to say, I feel a little betrayed. 

A-Rod injured
So A-Rod has a torn hip labrum that will require surgery, and he’s not getting it yet. I’m pretty sure that’s what Mike Lowell had, and that was not good. It limited his range (and we already know that A-Rod is not the best defensive third baseman) and Lowell said it felt like a “knife” every time he swung. 
According to Brian Cashman, they’re going to delay surgery until after 2009. After all, the surgery would take at least four months out of A-Rod’s season, and that’s a lot. We all know how he contributes to that lineup, just not in the clutch. A-Rod has put up some good stats thus far in Spring Training though. But as it worsens throughout the season, it could definitely have a detrimental effect. 
Red Sox 
Brad Penny didn’t start today against Puerto Rico like he was supposed to. I guess the shoulder strength wasn’t where it needed to be. Well, I’d rather take it slow with a guy coming off an injury like that than rush him into anything. That’s what Spring Training is all about. Better now than during the season anyway. 
JD Drew went to Boston a few days ago to get a shock in his lower back beca
use he has been feeling stiffness. I’m not too concerned though, I mean, he did say that once he gets loose that he is fine. Lowell is also saying that he feels better, not feeling the knife anymore. His first start should come soon. 
I’m really enjoying this battle for shortstop. Both guys are looking great thus far. I think that Chris Carter would make a great addition to the bench too. 
**Update: I am no longer going to the game this weekend. It’s too risky to drive all the way to Port Charlotte and not get anything– I mean, it is a Red Sox vs Rays game. Next week against the Orioles though, I’m there. Much closer too! And Jenn has been kind enough to teach me how to put photos in here. I’m excited… Here is one now, the most artsy shot of the day:
Nick Green.JPG
-Elizabeth

25 Comments

Great entry! It’s always cool to hear about what happened “behind the scenes”! And I’m so glad you get to go back this weekend! I hope you have a great time, take lots of pictures, and bring back more wonderful stories! Also, great job on the Timeout. That was really good.
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

It is fun talking to people at the ballpark. It seems that conversations with strangers flow more freely than they do outside the ballpark. I often go to ballgames by myself, and I always end up talking to the coolest people. Great post!
-Kathy
http://redbirdchatter.mlblogs.com

There is no way Justin is bigger than Ortiz. Just no way. lol
http://darion.mlblogs.com/

I loved you blog Elizabeth! It’s sounds like you have a great time – and how weird – A fire drill! Have a great time this weekend – and look forward to hearing all about it! Oh – and can you tell the guys that HAVE to win the weekend series against the Yankees April 24-26? I have a wager with Scott – a Yankees blogger. All the details are up now on my blog – and I need all the help I can get! I don’t want to be a Yankees Pro Blogger! Thanks!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Kaybee: Thanks so much!! I’ll definitely bring back pictures. And I hope you can go to all your games too!

Kathy: It’s easy talking to people at the ballpark because baseball is so easy to talk about. It’s great isn’t it?

Darion: Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julia: Oh my, I will definitely put a good word in! Lol.

-Elizabeth

I’m with you, Elizabeth. NO ONE is worth THAT much money! They need to pay the President of the United States (ANY President, not just Obama!) and teacher MUCH more than they do before ANY athlete is worth that much $$!!

Greg: They do need to rework the system huh? The question is how!

I’m sure the Masterson thing was just a type-o. Then again Red Sox.com says he is 250 pounds. I have no idea.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Bob: But it is weird right?

Glad you’re going to Ft. Myers and hope you can swing by Tampa this weekend. But if not, have fun and take lots of pix!

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I’m with you on Zazu (the one who shall remain nameless). I loved him, too. In the end – it’s like a bad breakup – you wonder how someone you loved so much could say such nasty things. Then you realize you were in love with a big jerk. LOL

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

Hey, Elizabeth …

Nice behind the scenes descriptions of your time at the ballpark … It is always enjoyable watching and talking to other fans at baseball parks !!! … Great that you experienced a “rare moment during the game” of the Reds player rolling down the first base line !!! [I'm sure it was exciting to see] … Also, the “fire drill’ before the game … Now, what was that all about? … That drill could have caused a panic, with everybody heading for the exits of the ballpark … [certainly very rare, and that's the first I heard of such an event] !!! …
.
Elizabeth, I feel your pain about Manny’s comments yesterday !!! … It really was a disgrace the way Manny acted in Boston, just giving up on his teammates, the manager, coaches, the Boston organization, and Red Sox fans … Everyone in Boston always put up with his “Manny being Manny” act, and supported him — until he gave-up on everyone … It all is really a “shame”, and the main reason why Manny did not get offers from other teams then the Dodgers !!! …
.
Finally, not very good news about the A-Rod injury !!! … I think this injury is much more serious than everyone in the Yankees organization is saying right now … It looks like A-Rod will have to have surgery at some point, and the recovery will take some time [up to four months] … So, I guess it’s wait and see as to what happens !!!
.
Nice post, Elizabeth … and, cool picture at the end of the post !!!
.
– Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”
http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Jane: Doesn’t look like I’m going this weekend. Don’t want to take the chance of driving 3 hours and not getting tickets.

Jen: Yeah, I guess so! Blinded by my love for him I didn’t see the real, ungrateful him.

Jimmy: I mean, A-Rod should just get it over with so it doesn’t get any worse. I’m not just saying that so he’ll be out for four months, but if he waits any longer, it could be longer. It was painful to watch Mike Lowell struggle through that.

-Elizabeth

A-Rod’s torn labrum is fairly serious, he should probably get to sooner than later – that’s the surgery that Utley had which he “may” be ready for Opening Day. That’s still a 4 1/2 month recovery time… can someone say Beltre?
-Brian
http://legentil.mlblogs.com

Elizabeth – I forgot to say before – Great job on the blog you wrote about Hyun Young over on Tom’s blog! And sorry to see that you won’t make it to Ft. Myers!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Hey, Elizabeth,

I agree … If A-Rod still experiences stiffness in his right hip area over the next week or so, he should def have the surgery “now” !!! … The recovery time will be about four months, but if A-Rod continues to play with the injury, he may do more damage to his hip — so, having the surgery at this time makes the most sense !!!
.
By the way, excellent interview with Hyun Young on Tom’s “Timeout at the Plate” series on his blog !!! … That interview will get you ready for when you interview Jacoby Ellsbury, or other Red Sox players !!!
Take care, Elizabeth !!!
.
– Jimmy [27NYY],”BY&L”
http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Poor JD Drew. So much potential when he was coming up through the Cardinals’ system, but he just cannot shake that injury bug.

I have a good friend who’s a Red Sox fan. I took him to a Cards-Dodgers game not long after Manny joined the team, and my buddy continued to cheer him like he was still a member of the Sox. I hope Manny knows how loved he was in Boston; if not he really is delusional. We went through a similar thing here in St. Louis when Jim Edmonds ended up with the Cubs (ack!). He had issues with Tony LaRussa and some of the media guys here, but he kept that separate from the Cardinal fans. I think he knows how much he meant to these fans for 9 years.

Chris

http://bird-brained.mlblogs.com

Brian: Lol, we’ll see how it affects his season.

Julia: Thanks, I’m glad that you enjoyed it!

Jimmy: Thanks, I can’t wait to interview them.

Chris: I hope Manny realizes it as well.

-Elizabeth

Masterson’s gotta have muscle…lots of it. Muscle weighs much more than fat.
And a fire drill? At a baseball stadium????
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Hi Elizabeth,

A great blog! I agree with you about Manny. He’ll never match what he had in Boston with the Dodgers, and they’ll never win a championship. If he would rather be in the midst of mediocrity, so be it. So, as the saying goes, what goes around, comes around.

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Caroline: You’re probably right! Lots of muscle. And yeah, a fire drill! We didn’t have to leave though.

Scott: Speaking words of wisdom there.

-Elizabeth

Isn’t it interesting that A-Rod has really brought nothing but curses everywhere he lands. Hopefully in 2009, this “curse” will continue.

Manny is all about being Manny. The Dodgers just hope it puts “fannies” back in the seats. I just find contracts like these hard to take especially since so many are hurting in this economy.

Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

Elizabeth,
Great job on the interview for Timeout at the Plate! I think you will be a very good sportswriter, if that is any indication. As far as Manny goes, is it just me or does it seem as though the Yankees were the only ones willing to give Boras and his clients what they wanted? All the players you noted: Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira were all Yankees’ signings. Everyone else had to settle for whatever they could get, even Manny.
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

Aaron: What goes around, comes around right? It is a bit ridiculous the kind of money these guys are making during this economy. Hope you’re enjoying the Spring!

Erin: Thanks!! I think the Yankees are the only ones capable of giving Boras and his clients what they ask for.

-Elizabeth

Actually the Sox I think can give Boras what he wants. At least they did this year. Well keep up the good work! Have a nice day by the way.
http://lorcanmccormick.mlblogs.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: