Like many things in life, this event wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. The team photographer called me earlier in the day saying, "Come tag along with me and we'll hang out in the clubhouse." So I went, but for the most part we were hanging out OUTSIDE the clubhouse while the team sat inside eating. Not what I was hoping for, but that's ok.
I did get to help take mugshots of every player (for the scoreboard and newspaper). I was able to shake the hand of every player and tried to generate some small talk. The new Crawdads seemed really excited to be here and were pretty pleasant to talk to--most of the guys that are here for a second year seemed highly disinterested in talking with a dork like me (which is cool, I get that).
Some quick observations...pretty bland stuff, I know:
-Watched Neil Ramirez throw live batting practice to the outfielders. He was all over the place and Miggy and Christian Santana each hit balls out of the park.
-Miggy V is a big dude and a nice guy.
-I asked one of the coaching staff (no clue what his name was) if Clark Murphy was coming back. The coach said that Clark isn't ready yet and that "They think this Mike Ortiz guy could be special." Interesting I thought.
-Joe Wieland was doing all the interviews with the local papers and TV crews. He's Hickory's FOTF apparently.
-Luery Garcia is super nice. I joked with him about wanting sunglasses like his. He actually hung out with the camera dorks for a few minutes before going back in the clubhouse. Has the same kind of appeal that Elvis has. Big smile, funny guy. The dude has the body of 13 year old though. I think I could beat him up blindfolded with one arm free. Gotta root for a guy like him though.
-I took a few pictures, but there really wasn't a lot to look at. After waiting an hour and a half for the team to come back out and finish practice, I decided to go home. There's a pic of Font looking right at me in a very annoyed fashion...he was giving me dirty looks all day. Anyways..... http://picasaweb.google.com/mawelge/OpenPractice#