It is something I’ve written about before- seeing former members of the PawSox, now on other teams. It’s part of the game. It was somewhat unnerving though, to see former PawSox and Red Sox righthander David Pauley and ex Pawtucket pitching coach Mike Griffin in the powder blue practice uniforms of the Norfolk Tides. “Griff” looks great and reports that his wife Denise is doing well, daughter Kimberly just graduated from college and son Brad is thriving. After you spend so many seasons with someone, even if you haven’t seen them in a while, you get nostalgic. We spoke to each other using a false southern twang to try to sound like former manager Buddy Bailey, just as we used to do every day. We caught up on old times and reminisced about the laughs we shared with RJ. Griff seems happy and the young pitching staff in Norfolk would do well to listen to the man who helped develop pitchers like Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen and Jonathan Papelbon. David Pauley is reunited with his coach. Pauley was traded to the Orioles for current Pawtucket reliever Randor Bierd. David is enjoying his first run at fatherhood. He’s been a dad to a beautiful little baby girl for about three weeks. “Everything’s great. I’ve got a new family, I’ve got a new baby. Everything’s going well.” As a father of 2 daughters myself, I asked David about “love at first sight” with his daughter. “It’s one of those things you just can’t express. It’s a love that you don’t know until it’s there.” Getting used to fatherhood isn’t all that’s new for Pauley, he has to adjust to a new organization, as well. “It’s been different but the ability to come over and make new friends is one of the great things about this game. Then you also run into guys that you came up with and it’s fun.” Pauley admits that he does miss certain aspects of the Red Sox- “Mainly, it’s the guys I grew up with for 4 years. You build relationships. It’s your family. You’re like brothers, that’s what it’s about. To come back and play against them and hang out a bit, it’s fun.” David has maintained his relationship with former teammate, Charlie Zink. “Oh, we keep in touch, make sure we know what’s going on with each other.” Pauley has a great shot at being a good father. He is blessed with caring parents who support him wholeheartedly. “You couldn’t ask for a better set of parents. They’ve been with me through thick and thin. ” Carol and Dave listen to the PawSox broadcasts still, even though their son is with the Tides. Really the highest compliment they could pay to Dan and me. Pauley was once dealt from San Diego to Boston so he was prepared when he was acquired by Baltimore. “It’s one of those things that you have to prepare yourself for. You know there’s going to be a big change. I enjoyed every minute I spent with the Red Sox. That was the most fun I’ve ever had in baseball.” Pauley adds that it’s “big” to be working again with Mike Griffin- “It’s a situation where we don’t have to learn each other. He knows me and how I go about my business. He knows I’ll follow my routine and knows what works for me.” Pauley isn’t sure about his status with the Orioles- “I’ll just wait my turn”. His former catcher Matt Weiters, rated the number one prospect in all of baseball is now in Baltimore and he gets Pauleys’ seal of approval. “He’s really good already and he’s on the fast track. It’s scary to think of how good he is going to be.” The PawSox and Norfolk will play a four game series in August. Three games at McCoy and one at Fenway. David would love to take the mound in Boston again- ” To be able to go over there, whether it’s in the Big Leagues or the Futures game, it’s an honor to pitch at Fenway.” Pauley makes his next start Thursday at 12:15 p.m. against the PawSox. “They haven’t faced me before, but they’ve seen me. I’d like to say that I’ve got the upper hand, but we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out.” Hopefully, everything pans out for Pauley and his family. He is one of the “good guys.”
“AT BAT WITH NAT” Jeff Natale’s weekly interview with a teammate is available on pawsox.com, clicking on multimedia and “At Bat With Nat.” Enjoy!!!