3:00 PM Eastern, kinda
The sojourn to Spring Training has ended, and the family and I are sitting here at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, getting ready to hop on a flight to our nation’s capital, at which point we’ll disembark, and hop on another flight that should get us home around 11:00 tonight.
It was a short trip south, no question, but the last day sure was eventful. Most of the assemblage hopped in their cars and hit the road to Disneyworld early in the morning, but I had other plans. I had a doctor’s appointment in Dunedin – well, in truth, an appointment with Doc. He said that he would have some time for me Thursday morning at around 8:30, and there’s not much of a choice when it’s between a solo audience with Roy Halladay or a pre-game chat with Cito Gaston at a random Grapefruit league game. I went to Dunedin Stadium and had a good, long conversation with Halladay – we did 10 questions, we had a long discussion about his love of aviation, all kinds of stuff. He told me that when his skin is pierced, he bleeds just like the rest of us. But only for a minute before some sort of dark lubricant resembling motor oil begins to seep out of the cut, which then immediately closes, leaving the appearance that the skin had never been broken.
OK, that’s not true, but we did talk about the ideal of Roy Halladay and the fact that several of his teammates are too intimidated to talk to him. This includes Dirk Hayhurst, whose artistic creation “The Garfoose” is a big hit among his teammates. There’s a story behind The Garfoose (I’m thinking it’s probably some sort of cross between a giraffe and a moose, having seen it, but I don’t know the whole story), and a few of the pitchers were raving about it. The other day, Jeremy Accardo came out of the trainer’s room to let Hayhurst know that Halladay wanted to see the Garfoose, so Hayhurst and a bunch of pitchers went in to show it to him. Hayhurst had told me earlier that Halladay terrified him, and that he hadn’t worked up the nerve to say hello to him yet. When he came out of the trainer’s room, his audience with Doc complete, I congratulated him on the fact that Halladay had beckoned him forth and asked what it was like to finally talk to him. He said that even in there, he still didn’t.
FREAKY AIRPORT MOMENT – Passengers Ron Woods and Carlos Perez were just paged to the gate. Cool.
Some advice for Doc stalkers, by the way – he digs Medieval Times.
You’ll be able to hear the Halladay interviews at various points in the season on The Blue Jays This Week, or maybe on one of the pre-pre-games that we’ll have throughout the year. And yes, there were a few times over the course of our conversation during which he actually smiled.
Problem is, after leaving Dunedin, I had to truck it all the way to Disneyworld, so I missed batting practice and with it, missed Cito Gaston finally telling the assemblage that he was concerned about B.J. Ryan’s lack of oomph. Brad Arnsberg said that if it keeps up another week or two, there’ll be real reason for concern. Cito told me he that that it was just “dead arm”, but usually dead arm comes after a few good, solid outings.
I haven’t seen a radar gun on Ryan yet this spring, nor have I on Ricky Romero, but he’s down at 82-83 instead of 89-90, that takes a lot away from the effectiveness of his herky-jerkyness.
Well, I started this at 3:00 in Fort Lauderdale, and it’s now 12:30 AM, I’m at home, and I can barely keep my eyes open.
Remember to tune in to the Fan for Jays-Astros Grapefruit League action again Saturday at 12:30 PM Eastern.
Tomorrow, I’ll have more thoughts on the Curtis Thigpen trade (good for him), the bottom of the rotation and a great Michael Barrett interview we did outside the clubhouse at Disneyworld. Many of you will absolutely love Barrett’s answer to the A.J. Pierzynski question.
Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!