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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Deadspin: I Was Tony Gwynn’s Bat Boy

Drop whatever it is you’re reading now, and go read this instead.

One day, one of the bat boys showed up wearing an earring. Bright gold and massive. The Giants were in town. During batting practice, Will Clark walked by and sneered, “Nice earring, faggot.” The words were stunning, but we knew we had to react like it was no big thing. News must’ve gotten around, though, because before the next game, Tony walked back to the locker room area with Bip Roberts and performed an entire routine for us. They had evidently practiced it during batting practice. They stood lecturing us, using every “how to talk like an older white guy” cliché in the book. “Now listen, son,” Tony started, stopping periodically to catch his breath, as he was laughing too hard. “You’re bringing down the team here, with that earring.” “Very, very unprofessional,” Bip added, haughtily. They walked away, howling with laughter, the point made: Will Clark was a dick.

Before one game, early in the season, I stood out in right field during batting practice, arms folded. Tony walked over. “Want to toss?” he asked. Trembling with nervousness, I said, “Yeah,” and tried to act like this was nothing to me. My first toss went about 30 feet over his head. He laughed and ran after it. Second toss, only 15 feet over his head. He jogged over to me. “How are you holding that ball?” he asked. I showed him my grip. “Well hell, that’s all wrong.” A 10-second lesson, and we were good to go. He fired a rocket to me. I fielded it cleanly and threw it back using my new grip. This time only five feet overhead. He laughed again, harder this time. I got myself under control, and we threw for 10 minutes, just us. At one point I stopped, realizing that some kids were watching. They were watching me. They were watching me playing catch with Tony Gwynn. I could read their thoughts: “That kid is so lucky.” I was. On my way back to the clubhouse, one of the kids, some poor 6-year-old totally overcome by the moment, asked me for my autograph. I signed his program. Tony watched. He laughed the whole time.

Esoteric Posted: June 18, 2014 at 02:23 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of class, hall of fame, obituaries, san diego padres

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

MLB: Tyrannosaurus Rex throws out first pitch for Padres, tries to eat Friars mascot

Headline says it all really.  Ian Malcolm was right!

Esoteric Posted: May 07, 2014 at 11:13 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: san diego padres, wtf

Monday, May 05, 2014

From No. 1 draft pick to prison inmate: The Matt Bush story

I interviewed Bush at Hamilton Correctional Institution in Jasper, Florida, close to the Georgia line. He has been incarcerated since the spring of 2012 and our crew represented his first visitors.

Bush was tired and moving slowly when he showed up in the room selected for our chat. We conversed intimately in an old, exceptionally hot, minimally ventilated, out-of-service infirmary. The prison staff had neglected to alert Bush of our impending arrival, he said.

An interesting jailhouse interview with Matt Bush. Kapler has been doing some really good work lately.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Pitcher Clay Hensley will retire from baseball

Hensley spent parts of seven seasons in the majors with the Padres, Marlins, and Giants, finishing his career with an even 4.00 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in 271 games and 517 innings pitched. He last played in the majors in 2012, and was most recently pitching for the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters.


 

 

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