I think it’s remarkable how well Dan Hoard and I get along. Given the amount of time we spend together during the season, we genuinely like each other. That is not to say that we agree on everything. He likes to try new places for lunch and I could eat a tuna sandwich from Subway every day. Dan tries different imported beers when we go out and I drink only the “King of Beers”, Budweiser. One area where I believe we are in 100% agreement is when it comes to Jon Miller. The Giants announcer is second only to the great Vin Scully. This July, Miller will take his rightful spot in the announcers’ wing at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, for meritorious service to baseball broadcasting. Miller has a great voice, but that is only the beginning. There are lots of guys with good pipes, but Miller has substance. Come to think of it, I’d probably enjoy listening to him recite the alphabet. His timing is impeccable and his vocabulary is extensive. In short, he is just about the best. His partner in San Francisco is former PawSox announcer Dave Flemming, the man I replaced in Pawtucket in 2004. Dave is a super-intelligent guy to begin with, with degrees from Stanford and Syracuse. Imagine the Phd. he’s getting sitting next to Miller every night. I met Miller back when he was working for the Orioles, before he achieved his legendary status. I will never forget him parading through the press box at Camden Yards in bright orange gym shorts and a dress shirt and sandals, with a paper plate full of hot dogs. Beats the heck out of going into the office every day, doesn’t it? My guess is that he’ll wear a nicer outfit when he is enshrined. I can guarantee, however, that he will give the days’ best acceptance speech.
Joe Nelson has signed with Boston. The 35 year old reliever, who spent 2009 with the Rays, inked a minor league deal with the Red Sox and could spend time at McCoy this season. Nelson pitched for the PawSox back in 2004. There are two things I’ll always remember about Joe. 1.) His “Vulcan” pitch and 2.) He wound up marrying his surgeon. This signing will also cause some turmoil in my nephews’ house. Seven year old “Duke” told me he hated Nelson because he pitched for Tampa. The kid is already a Sox loyalist. I’m going to have to play the role of Henry Kissinger and set up a summit so the two “adversaries” can meet. Poor Joe has no idea what he’s in for.
It looks like we can take Joe Mauer off our wish list. The MVP catcher for the Twins is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2010 season, but reports out of Minnesota indicate that Mauer and the club are on the verge of a ten year deal that could be worth around 200 million dollars. It would be a departure for the Twins, signing one of their stars to a long term deal. He is just 27 years old so a ten year pact isn’t outlandish. Only Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are currently under such a long-term contract.