Familiar faces around me

Aside from today's shift in scenery from the complex to the ballpark, the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the arrival of Rapid Robert Feller. It's an annual rite of spring.

 

As was the case in Winter Haven, Feller will be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch and signing autographs at each and every home game at the Goodyear Ballpark.

 

You might be surprised to hear Mr. Feller has an opinion on some things. Shocker, right? He came into the media workroom and said, "Are you guys going to write about steroids this season, or baseball?" Hopefully baseball, we responded. "I'm sure Bud and A-Rod hope that, too," he replied.

 

When told Jeremy Sowers is starting tomorrow's Cactus League opener, Feller said, "If he got some upper body strength, he could do it. He reminds me a lot of Scotty Bailes."

 

Feller also told us scribes, "The last thing I want to hear is that we have great players in the Minor Leagues. I don't care. How about some great ones, right now, winning a ballgame?"

 

I guess he's not all that interested in my Nick Weglarz feature.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • If you're in the Cleveland area, SportsTime Ohio will be broadcasting tomorrow's opener against the Giants, which begins at 3 p.m. ET. If you're not, fear not. MLB Network will be picking up and airing the STO live feed.
  • Feller was far from the only special guest at the complex today. This place has become a tourist trap. This morning, former closer Joe Borowski rolled in to take a tour and catch up with some old friends. Not only was Borowski, who lives in nearby Scottsdale, wearing the standard-issue Affliction T-shirt, he was also carrying his trademark cup of Starbucks. "I can drink as much as I want now," he joked. If you remember, Borowski's major complaint about Winter Haven was the lack of Starbucks availability.
  • Cubs GM Jim Hendry and Padres GM Kevin Towers also toured the complex this morning. And on Monday, Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd (a former Indians assistant GM) rolled through. The Rockies have to be considering a move from Tucson. Only two teams (the Rockies and Diamondbacks) remain there, so their travel schedule is brutal.
  • Not a great deal to report off the five-inning intrasquad, because, well, it's a five-inning intrasquad. But Josh Barfield started a double play on the only ball hit to him at third, and he also cranked out a three-run homer. So a nice day for him.
  • Bad day for Masa Kobayashi, who had a rough third inning in which he faced eight batters and gave up three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Trevor Crowe took him deep for a solo shot, and Beau Mills added an RBI triple to the left-field corner. Eric Wedge said Kobayashi was flying open on his delivery. After Carl Willis talked with him on the mound, he tightened it up and got better action on his breaking ball -- and got out of the inning, to boot.
  • Carlos Santana put on a display in batting practice during the morning workout, and he showed off his strong arm behind the plate in the intrasquad. Santana is catching (no pun intended) attention down here.
  • The real star of the intrasquad was the ballpark itself. The plaza beyond foul territory near right field contains a Wiffle Ball field for the kids. The 8-year-old inside me is just dying to try it out.
  • The park has an incredible sound system. Some of the players are already talking about starting a petition to have the system installed at Progressive Field (they hate the sound there).
  • Then again, the people operating the system here could stand to make some tweaks. You've no doubt heard a small sampling of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" played after strikeouts in many a ballpark, and Goodyear Ballpark is no exception. It's a tired act. And the lone time it was broken up, the replacement, bizarrely, was a short dose of Blessid Union of Souls' "I Believe" when Wes Hodges went down swinging in the fourth. I'm struggling to make the connection there.

 ~AC

10 Comments

Strike one for STO this year already…
Intrasquad game not televised. Instead, we get reruns of Tee It Up Ohio. AWESOME.
If Bruce Drennan can be there televising live, why can’t we add two more cameras and have a VERY simple 3 camera broadcast of the Intrasquad or other spring training games?

Good to see Joe Borowski is living the dream and getting fat.

How is Santana on the guitar?
I know, bad joke, but I had to.
-Ellie
http://mrmetbro.blogspot.com

Looks like Joe Borowski has decided to retire, according to Hoynsie

A.C. good job on your blog as allways and I am looking forward to the indians 1st spring traning game tommrow on STO vs the S.F. Giants and also I will be listenig to the game on XM Radio and the cleveland indians radio network.

“Are you guys going to write about steroids this season, or baseball?” Hopefully baseball, we responded. “I’m sure Bud and A-Rod hope that, too,” he replied.

“And JoeBo!” someone said walking by with an Affliction shirt and a cup of coffee.

I love that transition of Feller saying reporters should focus on baseball, not steroids, then saying Jeremy Sowers needs more upper body strength…

Bob Feller wants Jeremy Sowers to use steroids!

Can we get Affliction to design an alternate uniform jersey for the season, for those games when the players need to kick up their inner bad *** a notch? I think the homestand May 8-10 versus the Tigers might be a good place to start.

I heart Bob Feller – keep it real Rapid Robert, keep it real!

AC,

Here’s a link to help you feel more connected with the teams new dress code.

http://store.soliscompany.com/aft.html

I fully believe that if there were a way to track the number of autographs signed, Bob Feller would lead the universe by at least 3.4 million.

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