The question I am most frequently asked (other than”what’s wrong with you?”) is “What do you do all day?” I figured I’d answer the question and from now on, refer anyone that wants to know, to this blog.
Point number one. It really varies from day to day. At home, I’ll do errands, blog, go to the gym, sometimes eat lunch with my brother, nothing really special. Probably exactly what you do when you have to work. I live in Newport, about 45 minutes south of McCoy, so I’ll sometimes stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for a “pick-me up” cup of coffee. (Large, a little cream and a sweet and low, in case you’re wondering) Usually at home, after a game, I’ll head right back home for some sleep. Occasionally, I’ll stop somewhere like “Cappys” for a beer. Friday nights are the best. My man, Joe Lalli is behind the bar. If it’s a day game, I might go to the “Brick Alley Pub” for dinner. I enjoy sitting at the bar, watching the Red Sox, eating and chatting. It’s my favorite restaurant anywhere.
On the road, things are a little diffferent. You tend to sleep a little later. I am not a fan of hotel rooms. I am a big “lobby guy.” I settle in, in a comfortable chair and take in the sights and sounds. After a cup or two of coffee and the morning crossword puzzle, there’s usually a van heading to the gym. PawSox players are required to go a certain amount of times per road trip. Mike Roose, the strength coach is always kind enough to let the old man tag along. I’ve been trying to rehab my knee since I had arthroscopic surgery in March. It’s much better, but still not 100%. There’s almost always playful banter and jabbing at each other on the ride over. One might be ridiculed for being stupid, weak a bad dresser, smart, strong or a classy dresser. It doesn’t matter. I have always said, you can’t have a thin skin and travel with this gang. I am not immune, despite my age (48) or number of years in the International League (10). Some days you’re the windshield, some days, you’re the bug. It is like my mother told me when I was a kid. “They only make fun of you if they like you.” They must REALLY like me. After an hour or so at the gym, we pile back into the van, head to the hotel and shower up. Lunch is usually next. 99.9% of the time, Dan and I eat together. We have diffferent tastes, but always manage to come up with a consensus. By the time we’re through, it’s about 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. I may head back to the room to do the blog (as I am now), or might hit the local mall for a look-see. Different towns provide different things to do. In Columbus, I spend the time with my daughters, who live there. In Syracuse, I visit with old friends. In some cities, you’re strapped to the hotel because there’s nothing around. In others, there’s plenty to do. One great addition to our travelling entourage has been Rick Medeiros. Rick is a retired cop who is head of security for the PawSox. Due to the high cost of shipping equipment on planes, Rick drives a Penske truck from city to city. He has become our third “amigo”, always joining Dan and me for either lunch or a post game meal. Having Rick around makes things much more fun and interesting. One time in Charlotte, he asked an 80 year old woman if she had any tattoos. Ya never know what he might say. I am really glad he’s around, though. It never fails, the day always goes by quickly. Usually around three o’clock or so, we head to the park assuming it’s a 7:00 game. “Why so early?” you might ask. The “magic” you hear us weave on a nightly basis, doesn’t just happen. There is always a pregame meeting with the manager. Torey Lovullo has been terrific to us and always has an open door. We pick his brain. Batting practice is one of my favorite parts of the day. Hanging around the cage, chatting with the fellas, trying to glean “nuggets” for the broadcast. Dan and I alternate doing the pre-game interview. You have to figure who to get. One of our guys, or an interesting opponent. Either a former star or a rising prospect is usually the case. Then it takes a little while to fill out the scorebook. Lineups, stats, notes fill the spiral style book. I use a couple of different color pens so thing jump out at me. We make contact with the radio station about 30 minutes before air time. Ordinarily, I spend the last half hour before we go on the air, on line checking out interesting baseball stories that I might use that night. I might grab a quick bite from the press box if it looks edible (McCoys’ is always great thanks to chef Ken Bowdish, on the road- not so much). I try to speak with my daughters on the phone, and then just settle in. Whether we win or lose, the broadcast is almost always fun, thanks to Dan. We’ve been friends a long time and have done the PawSox games together for almost 5 years. There’s usually a good laugh or two every night. If the pregame food in the press box is crummy. we’ll head out for a late night snack. Depending on the city, we have our favorites. It’s a chance to wind down tell stories and get a bite to eat. There are some I.L. broadcasters we hang out with regularly like Josh Wetzel in Rochester, Matt Swierad and Mike Pacheco in Charlotte or Jim Weber in Toledo. It’s fun to hear their war stories, we all go through the same stuff.
Folks tend to think I lead a glamorous life, living with the future stars of the Red Sox. It is far from that. Don’t get me wrong- I love it. You couldn’t do it this long if you didn’t love it. You miss your families, but hopefully they understand. It is rewarding, personally. I am one of the lucky ones that goes to a job he loves, every day!