SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT THE YARD
Some things running through my head as the PawSox get set for Columbus-
Travis Denker might be psychic. Saturday during batting practice, he began making up his own lyrics to a song playing over the P.A. system att McCoy. I think it was a song by the “Black Eyed Peas”. His words went something like this- “Tonite’s gonna be a good night, we’re gonna score like 13 runs…” Well, sure enough, Denker waxed prophetic. The PawSox scored exactly 13 runs in a 2 run win over the Clippers. Denker played a huge role, hammering a 3 run double late in the game. I thought maybe I had lost my mind when I asked him about his prediction during the postgame on field interview. He looked at me quizzically, not remembering his earlier prognostication. Sunday, when I entered the Pawtucket clubhouse, Travis grabbed me and said he suddenly remembered what I was talking about in the middle of the night as he was trying to fall asleep. At least I’m not completely losing my mind. I think I’ll ask him about the numbers for the upcoming Powerball drawing.
What a pleasure it was to greet the parents and girlfriend of my man, Jeff Natale on Saturday night. Tony and Barb Natale and Leigh Foster stopped up to say hello. Leigh brought us some freshly made whole wheat pasta from her company, Nella Pasta. Can’t wait to taste it. Of course, Jeff is affectionately known as the third member of our broadcast team. His weekly “At Bat with Nat” interviews are available on the “pawsox.com” website. For more pasta “info” check out “nellapasta.com”
As Jim Rice and Rickey Hendeson are being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I was asking RJ about his baseball heroes as a boy. “Johnny Bench was my guy. I caught growing up and I loved Bench.” Oddly enough,in all his years in the game Ron Johnson has never met his hero. He still thinks it would be a kick to meet Bench.
I am not an especially big fan of country music. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t listen to much music. RJ, however, loves country music. If there isn’t baseball on his office TV, it’s a pretty safe bet that CMT, the country music version of MTV, is on. Among RJ’s favorites, Johnny Cash, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts. I am soaking it in by osmosis.
For the time being, outfielder Chris Duncan is patrolling leftfield and hitting cleanup for the PawSox. Manager Ron Johnson isn’t exactly sure what Boston has in mind for the man acquired for Julio Lugo. “We haven’t talked specifically about it. We’re just going to get him some at bats, play him in left field and get a feel for what he can do at first base. Chris is going to be a nice addition to our organization and our team when the opportunity comes about for him to help. He’s got experience, he’s played well at the Major League level. He plays hard. We’re looking for some good things from him.”