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View Full Version : Just Got Back from Tucson


MarySwiss
02-25-2006, 04:54 PM
First things first--if any WSI'ers are planning to drive down from the Valley for any of the weekday games, CONSTRUCTION ALERT! About 20 miles outside of Tucson on I-10, for about 10 miles. Both directions. The signs specifically said Monday-Friday, and I had no problem at about 8:00 on Saturday morning, but there was a lane closure and reduced speed. So you might want to allow some extra time.

For me, the 2006 baseball season officially began today. It was great seeing the guys up close, and based on what I saw, the AL Central has reason to be concerned! I managed to get my "Dedicated To..." book signed by Paulie, Joe, Scottie, and Rob Mackowiak--and I narrowly missed Jim Thome. I also managed to pimp the "Dedicated To..." book to some people who asked me where I got it. I told them what the story behind it was and that they could order it from WSI (of course!) or Amazon. One guy seemed computer-illiterate (some lucky souls still are!), so I suggested that he go to his local Borders, and they could probably order it for him.

Some observations and fun moments:
o Joe stepping into the batter's box, only to hear A.J. yell from the adjacent diamond, "Cree-Dee, ya got nuthin'! Ya got NUTHIN’, Cree-Dee!"
o Ozzie zipping around in his golf cart and exchanging pleasantries with the crowd. I wasn't close enough to hear what he said, but you could see how upbeat he was.
o Paulie signing autographs. He was very accommodating and pleasant. But while we were waiting for him to sign, people kept saying things like, “Thanks for coming back, Paulie” and “Thanks for last year” and it seemed to me that he looked really uncomfortable, almost like he was embarrassed by the attention. I remember I got that same impression when I watched the rally and people were yelling “Paulie, Paulie. So I guess he really is as down-to-earth as people say he is. Good for you, Paulie!
o Talked to a guy from Palos Hills who winters in Tucson. He told me he was at the Cubs/Sox game last year, and his seats were in the middle of a nest of Cubs fans. He tried to be polite and said, “Maybe we’ll see each other in the World Series.” Of course, the Cubs fans said there was no way the Sox were going to the Series. (Heh-heh-heh!)
o And I did a good deed. There was a kid about 8 or 9 waiting to ask Joe to autograph his baseball. Obviously a nice, polite kid, he was waiting patiently—which meant he had no chance! So I got behind him, strong-armed a couple of (so-called) adults out of the way, and pushed him into the front row where he got his autograph. After Joe signed, the kid politely said, “Thank you, Mr. Crede.”

I left about noon because I was beginning to char-broil despite all the SPF3000 sunscreen, but what a great day! Perfect weather, a scenic drive, and the World Series champs at the other end!

PLAY BALL! :bandance: :bandance: :bandance: :bandance: :bandance:

The Racehorse
02-25-2006, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the report. :cool:

Just reading it has me pumped for ST games, let alone Opening Day... awe yeah! :bandance:

michned
02-25-2006, 05:22 PM
Mary, sorry I missed you there. Another funny moment: during a pop fly drill Uribe (who just got to camp) dropped one and Buehrle yelled, "If you would have gotten here two days ago you would've caught it!"

I wish my son was near you when the big boys were autographing. He was just too small to muscle his way to the front and he is way too shy to do that anyway. All was not lost though, because Chris Stewart, the third catcher, came from out of nowhere and gave my son his broken bat.

Spring Training offers you a perspective on the game you just can't get during the regular season.

Ed

MarySwiss
02-25-2006, 05:26 PM
Thanks for the report. :cool:

Just reading it has me pumped for ST games, let alone Opening Day... awe yeah! :bandance:

Thank YOU, Racehorse. That was my intent. I think I was kind of just biding my time, treading water, waiting for ST. I am really glad I decided to make the drive this weekend. The atmosphere at the workouts was very different from what I've experienced at the ST games; much more loose.

BTW, if there is anything still wrong with Jim Thome, it was certainly not apparent. He looked completely relaxed and very much at home. Seeing Jim and Paulie standing around and chatting as they waited to take their rips had me grinning that WS grin all over again! :D:

WCCMIKE
02-25-2006, 05:35 PM
I'm glad that cubs fan is eating his own words after the Sox won it all last year.:D:

MarySwiss
02-25-2006, 05:38 PM
Mary, sorry I missed you there. Another funny moment: during a pop fly drill Uribe (who just got to camp) dropped one and Buehrle yelled, "If you would have gotten here two days ago you would've caught it!"

I wish my son was near you when the big boys were autographing. He was just too small to muscle his way to the front and he is way too shy to do that anyway. All was not lost though, because Chris Stewart, the third catcher, came from out of nowhere and gave my son his broken bat.

Spring Training offers you a perspective on the game you just can't get during the regular season.

Ed

Yep, sorry I missed you too, Ed. Let's see if we can't chat awhile at the Sox/Cubs game on Mar. 18. We're in Section 113, row 14, seats 9-10, behind home plate. I'll be wearing my Konerko WS Champs Road jersey, but all you have to do is look for the short, pale redhead with the 1983 cap who is completely covered in sunscreen!

Nice that your son got a souvenir. And good for Chris Stewart! I have never been one for autographs, but how often does your team win the WS? However, I really hate it when the "grown-ups" basically muscle the kids out of the way. That is low.

SOX LA Mikey
02-25-2006, 10:15 PM
Was there Last weekend and it was an amazingly awesome feeling to have baseball back again. Wasn't really happening yet, but they had WORLD CHAMPION banners all over sox HQ next to TEP. wasn't all that easy to
get autographs in camp, but I followed the Sox to two seperate golf events
and got 10 different guys on my topps world series set, and WS team photo.
plus all the coaching staff. going back in 2 weeks. I can't wait

KRS1
02-25-2006, 10:47 PM
Missed you Mary, what attire were you wearing. I had I Scotty black Sox tee(Iknow black out there kills, but I had sweat rings the last week in me grey and white stuff so I figured it would be better).:redface: Anyway, did you go where I said to get auto's? Crede's swing is looking rather smooth huh? Like I said yesterday, He really ditched the loopy hitch after his load. Did you spend most of your day around the hitters, b/c it sounds like it? If you go back be sure to watch some of the young guys too if you get a chance, Liotta and Broadway really have gone beyond all expectations make-up wise to me this last week. Even when Borch took him deep yesterday, Lance just kinda giggled it off after he stared it down in awe. Speaking of LTP, he looks like he's trying like a mad man to make this squad. Everything he has done these last few days have been at a seemingly max effort(for such a laid back looking guy). I can't wait to see him and Gload duke it out over the last bench spot, but I hope we carry them both for the first 10 days of the season, b/c of the layoffs between that set of games.

To Mich, Chris Stewart has been a favorite of mine in our system since we drafted him, and how cool the guy he's been all camp has only upped his stock in my book. Honestly, there might not be two cooler guys in the system than him and BA. I hope he hits again this year and at least makes us give him a look for AJ's back-up. His D and arm look major league ready now, and it wont hurt to watch AJ and Widge call games this spring. He seems like a sponge out there in terms of trying to be around the older guys to pick up some tricks. I know his bat has been behind his D and game calling until last year, but if he continues to mature and achieve at the pace he set for himself last season I can't see why he can't be an everyday catcher in the bigs down the road, and his attitude would be welcome on any team.

Deebs14
02-25-2006, 10:58 PM
Good work my fellow Sox fans! Being many miles away, any news is greatly appreciated..thanks for the updates!

itsnotrequired
02-25-2006, 11:35 PM
o And I did a good deed. There was a kid about 8 or 9 waiting to ask Joe to autograph his baseball. Obviously a nice, polite kid, he was waiting patiently—which meant he had no chance! So I got behind him, strong-armed a couple of (so-called) adults out of the way, and pushed him into the front row where he got his autograph. After Joe signed, the kid politely said, “Thank you, Mr. Crede.”

:thumbsup:

We need more peoplw like you at Spring Training.

Beer Can Chicken
02-25-2006, 11:42 PM
I just flew back from Tucson. Boy, are my arms tired.

California Sox
02-25-2006, 11:44 PM
Liotta and Broadway really have gone beyond all expectations make-up wise to me this last week.

Good news about Liotta. Haven't seen him in person, but the way things went down with Tulane, I was afraid he might not be a high-character guy. As far as Broadway, he's going to give up some shots. He's around the plate and he doesn't throw that hard. As long as their solos, he'll be okay. (Maybe like a Radke?)

Speaking of LTP, he looks like he's trying like a mad man to make this squad. Everything he has done these last few days have been at a seemingly max effort(for such a laid back looking guy).

All winter Joe has been talking like he is going to make them notice him. There is playing time available with Dye, Pods, and Thome each usually being good for a 140 games, BA being a rookie, and Mackowiak being a backup in the infield as well as outfield. I'd love to see Joe make the club.

To Mich, Chris Stewart has been a favorite of mine in our system since we drafted him, and how cool the guy he's been all camp has only upped his stock in my book. Honestly, there might not be two cooler guys in the system than him and BA. I hope he hits again this year and at least makes us give him a look for AJ's back-up.

Stewart's a great story.

I have to cut my usual ST trip short this year. (#$%$#! job!) but I'll see a Cubs/Sox and a Sox/Brewers. Hope to see some of the youngsters you mentioned.

KRS1
02-26-2006, 12:01 AM
As far as Broadway, he's going to give up some shots. He's around the plate and he doesn't throw that hard. As long as their solos, he'll be okay. (Maybe like a Radke?)

1. Lance had thrown like 4 of the same pitch in a row before Borch yacked it.

2. He wasn't throwing close to 100%.

3. From the looks of it Lance doesn't ever throw a true 4 seamer, which could be the reason his velocity sits 88-91. Every fastball he's thrown so far looks like a sinker or 2-seamer. He gets really good late run on the later.

EDIT:Maybe some of you guys who have seen him more often can shed some light on the above. His scouting tape also shows what I said, so that and a few bp sessions are all I have to go on.


4. He looks like he's over 200 lbs. now, and there is much room for growth on his frame despite people's claims that he has reached a peak in retainable weight. So don't be shocked when he's throwing harder over the next few years, if not this season. He has great mechanics and polish, and a strong frame for more filling out, and my guess is that he'll be in the 90's much more consistently in the future.

MarySwiss
02-26-2006, 09:03 AM
Missed you Mary, what attire were you wearing. I had I Scotty black Sox tee(Iknow black out there kills, but I had sweat rings the last week in me grey and white stuff so I figured it would be better).:redface: Anyway, did you go where I said to get auto's? Crede's swing is looking rather smooth huh? Like I said yesterday, He really ditched the loopy hitch after his load. Did you spend most of your day around the hitters, b/c it sounds like it? If you go back be sure to watch some of the young guys too if you get a chance, Liotta and Broadway really have gone beyond all expectations make-up wise to me this last week.

I got out there around 8:30 only to find they were in a meeting until 9, so I went and grabbed some breakfast and got back around 9:15. I was wearing my white WSI Totally Biased Sox fan golf shirt, my 1983 cap, my Starter jacket, and my Sox sneakers. I got most of my autos where you said, right when they broke for lunch, but I caught Scottie on his way back from a "break." :redface:

And yes, I spent most of my time following the group with Paulie, Thome, Crede, and Widger. Crede's swing does look much smoother, and he was hitting ropes. Funny thing, at one of the stations, Paulie looked like he was not happy with his last couple of swings, and as he walked away from the cage, there was this plastic drink cup laying on the ground--and he got all of it! As for Thome, I know it was just batting practice, but WOW!

I'm really glad I went; it was fun. But I won't be able to get there today, so I guess the next time I see them will be at Diablo on the 8th, then against the Flubs on the 18th. Then at COTC. I am sooooo pumped!! :gulp:

kevingrt
02-26-2006, 11:43 AM
Great story, I can't wait to hear some games on WSCR. I unfortunately cannot make it out to spring training this year due to money, but hopefully next year.

caulfield12
02-26-2006, 12:04 PM
1. Lance had thrown like 4 of the same pitch in a row before Borch yacked it.

2. He wasn't throwing close to 100%.

3. From the looks of it Lance doesn't ever throw a true 4 seamer, which could be the reason his velocity sits 88-91. Every fastball he's thrown so far looks like a sinker or 2-seamer. He gets really good late run on the later.

EDIT:Maybe some of you guys who have seen him more often can shed some light on the above. His scouting tape also shows what I said, so that and a few bp sessions are all I have to go on.


4. He looks like he's over 200 lbs. now, and there is much room for growth on his frame despite people's claims that he has reached a peak in retainable weight. So don't be shocked when he's throwing harder over the next few years, if not this season. He has great mechanics and polish, and a strong frame for more filling out, and my guess is that he'll be in the 90's much more consistently in the future.

This was the situation with Jon Garland, and I hope it holds true for Honel (has anyone seen him and how he looks, Corwin Malone or Jason Stumm?), Broadway and Brandon McCarthy.

Someone mentioned Chris Stewart...not sure he is ever going to be a starter in the bigs, but he definitely has an advantage in that this has always been one of the weaker positions in the organization. I think Widger has one more year in him at least, then maybe we will see. Obviously, with AJ's deal, he is not going to be starting with the Sox.