Aaron Bates might be considered a man for all seasons. Well, maybe not all seasons, but at least two seasons. Baseball and Hockey. We all know Aarons’ baseball resume. The 25 year old North Carolina State product is starting to really get into a groove for the PawSox. What people probably don’t realize is what a big hockey fan he’s become. Specifically, a fan of the San Jose Sharks. Bates’ girlfriend, Lacey is the daughter of Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson. Wilson was a standout defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks in his playing days. He now runs the Western Conference powerhouse. The Sharks skated to the best record during this past regular season. They suffered an early exit in the playoffs, though, losing their series to Anaheim. Bates said it was a bitter pill for everyone involved. “It was bad. Really bad. People were really down for a while.” While he lives in the Boston area during the offseason, he loves the home ice advantage the Sharks enjoy in San Jose. “The Shark Tank has an unbelievable atmosphere. They almost never lose there.” Bates has become friendly with some of the NHL stars and has a tremendous amount of respect for their abilities. “Hockey is such a hard sport. I can’t skate at all. What these guys do is great.” Bates gets an inside look at the operation. He says he’s become very close with the entire Wilson family, including Laceys’ brother, who plays hockey at Tufts. “A Boston/San Jose Stanley Cup Final would have been awesome. It was too bad it didn’t work out for either team.” Even though he is a professional athlete himself, Bates admits he is not above acting like a typical fan. “I sometimes find myself being critical of the hockey players…He should have made that save…they should have scored on that break. It’s kind of funny. I’m critical of them like our fans are of us.” He enjoys being around the sport and the men who play it- “Yeah, the guys are cool. I love the game.” Bates might not get to see as many NHL games as he’d like this offseason. He plans to play in a Puerto Rican winter league for the second straight year. He is of Puerto Rican descent, on his moms’ side. Last season, his teammates included Jose Vaquedano and Iggy Suarez. While he’s in San Juan, most of the ice he’ll see will be in his drinking glass.
Congratulations to Chris Carter. The PawSox outfielder was recognized as the team MVP in a pregame ceremony at McCoy Stadium on Saturday.
Outfielder Brian Anderson is trying out some new contact lenses. His vision is 20/30 without them and he says that would be good enough if he weren’t a baseball player. He feels that if his sight improves to 20/15 or 20/12 it could provide him an edge. As of Saturday, Anderson still wasn’t used to them. He planned to get some special eyeglasses from Nike, just in case.