Spring Training 2009
Many of you may have seen me around Kauffman Stadium last season. Well, I’m back, and now I have a blog. What better way to begin my blog and my 2009 season than with Spring Training…
A few weeks ago I was in Surprise, Arizona, for a total of eight days to do a little work for the Kansas City Royals. First off, the weather was incredible. Who am I, my Grandma? But…it was. I was brought out to shoot a few features with some players and to help out in any other way that I could.
I have to say, I love Jose Guillen. Last year when I told him one of the “clubhouse guys” wouldn’t let me in the clubhouse, he responded with, “Who wouldn’t let you in the clubhouse, man? Who? Show me where he is.”
Love the guy.
After I reminded him that he owes me a bottle of Cristal Rose from an event that happened last season, he assured me that when mama is in KC this season that she will cook us some authentic Dominican food, and I will indeed get my bottle of Champagne. We shall see.
A few other Highlights:
We shot a Miniature Golf “Tournament” with myself and a few of the pitchers for an installment of the “Who’s Got Game?” feature that we created last year.
We had Kyle Davies, Hoch, Banny, and Gil Meche join me on the links. These guys are hilarious. Banny and Davies showed up together all decked out to play Pebble Beach. They brought their own putters and balls. Meche showed up with his custom putter and Nike balls as well. My man Luke though…he’s old school. He said something like “when I show up to play putt-putt I expect to use a rusty iron rod and an orange ball.” Classic.
This pic is of the fellas “reading the green” of Hole 5. Note what the red sign says, clearly the boys missed it.
Another edition of “Who’s Got Game?” that we shot in AZ was a go-kart race. The participants of that race were myself, John Buck, Mike Aviles, Alex Gordon and Mark Teahen. Although I don’t have any pics of the race, I can assure you it was full of crashes and spin-outs. Relax…everyone is fine.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you any “winners” from those two events. You’ll just have to wait and see them on CrownVision out at The K. Needless to say, the guys are pretty competitive in all games. Not just baseball.
We also shot a new feature called “‘Major League’ Philosophy with Trey Hillman.” I think THIS is going to be awesome. We showed Trey some clips from the movie “Major League” and asked him how they related to his managerial philosophy. I chose the clips and some of Trey’s remarks are very insightful and almost everything is hilarious. Trey is awesome, and he, as well as just about everyone in the organization from Dayton Moore on down, have been very supportive and seem to genuinely like what we’ve been doing out at the Stadium. Speaking of Dayton, we’re hoping we can get him to make an appearance in one of our features this year as well. It’s all about timing.
In eight days we were able to shoot a lot of good stuff. Another feature we shot, that may end up being the most entertaining, is “Surprise! Behind the Scenes with Mike Aviles.” Mike took me on a tour of the Spring Training complex that included a trip to the weight room, equipment room, Team Kitchen and even into Dayton Moore’s office.
But for me, my favorite part of the trip was when we were invited to attend the first official Team meeting on Wednesday morning. That was cool. All the players seated by their lockers as Trey Hillman addressed the troops, “Gentlemen we are here with one goal… and that is to win the American League Central…”
I have to be honest… I mean, I know you’ve seen it dramatized in movies for decades, but just being there hearing the Skip say that, It gave me chills.