It’s always fun and somewhat special when a Major Leaguer spends some time with your club. This year alone, the PawSox have rehabbed Julio Lugo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Rocco Baldelli and Mark Kotsay. They leave an indelible mark for the fans, teammates and even the broadcasters. Although I have known Kotsay for a very short time, I come away incredibly impressed with the type of person he is. Kots scheduled an outing at a Louisville bowling alley for Monday night, after the day game against the Bats. The 11 year big leaguer made sure I felt welcome, including me in the festivities. When you’re the broadcaster, you’re an auxiliary part of the team, an insider, but not really. RJ does an exceptional job making sure for the last 5 seasons that my job is as easy to do as possible. The guys pick up on that and in turn, treat me very respectfully. I think they learn who they can trust through word of mouth and their own experience. Kotsay was a genial host, making sure everyone had fun. I think everyone did. Almost the entire team turned out and even if they didn’t bowl, they socialized and added exspert analysis of everyone’s bowling form, etc. I was teamed up with Javier Lopez, Jonathan Van Every, Hunter Jones and Trainer Greg Barajas. The three leftys- Javy, JV and Jonesey all bowl differently, Jones bowls righthanded while Lopez and Van Every roll it lefty. Clay Buchholz was there, relaxing after his dominant effort earlier in the day against Louisville. The alley itself, was in the heart of Fourth Street, a booming, bustling area filled with restaurants and clubs. The alley featured giant tv screens, some right at the bottom of the lanes (a little distracting, but very cool), fluorescent lighting, music food and a bar. It was a tremendous way for the guys to blow off some steam and enjoy some team-building camaraderie. Mark Kotsay is a class act in every sense of the word.
We are staying at an enormous hotel called the Galt House. The other day I saw it promoted on “The Price is Right”. (Yes I do like Drew Carey) They were giving away a trip to the Kentucky Derby and billed the hotel as the “luxurious Galt House”. They lied. It probably was a showplace when Billy Shoemaker was riding in the derby, but today it is OK by International League standards. Not bad, but if I ever get on “TPIR” I hope Rich Fields tells me I won a new caaaaaaaaar.
I realize in this day and age, that every dollar counts, but the Louisville Bats, might have gone a little far. Before the game, they were promoting a physician named Dr. Bradley Wolf on their giant video scoreboard. Dr. Wolf is “the official hair transplant surgeon of the Bats.”
Pitching Coach Rich Sauveur had better start sleeping with one eye open. Monday, he thought it would be a good idea to hide my briefcase and the radio equipment while I was in RJ’s office. You do not want to awaken a sleeping giant. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Richie-BEWARE !!!