Padres In Town
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Owens, CF; Cabrera, SS; Thome, DH; PK, 1B; Dye, RF; AJ, C; Crede, 3B; Quentin, LF; Uribe, 2B; Danks pitching.
Also throwing: Wassermann, Ohka and Linebrink.
Talk of camp today was Alexi Ramirez’s appearance in center field yesterday at Milwaukee where he more than held his own.
Jim Thome remained in Tucson where he played in a Class AAA game against the Dbacks. The weather was raw (52 degrees) and windy with rain showers off and on around Tucson.
Thome went 4-8 with a home run off Doug Davis. According to Jim it was one of the three longest of his career, although he admitted this one was wind aided.
His longest? Came one spring off Alex Fernandez over an apartment building. Bart Swain, famous Cleveland PR Director, measured that blow as travelling 600 feet.
Blog Night III
I need your vote. Since I never seem to pick a good date for Blog Night at the ballpark, here are five. Pick one that works best for you and reply by posting. Whichever date seems to "win" will become Blog Night III in 2008.
Vote early and vote often.
The end of spring training always means one of the toughest days of the year for general managers, assistant general managers and managers: roster cuts.
Third base coach Jeff Cox told an interesting story this morning.
Cox was released three times before he played in a big league game.
The first time was with the Kansas City Royals. The next two were by independent league teams … "and there were only two independent teams at that time," Cox said.
So at age 19 and released three times, he called his dad.
"My dad was a brilliant guy, a college professor," Cox explained. "When I told him want happened, he said, ‘There are always setbacks on the way to success.’"
Cox told his dad he had heard of a tryout the next day for a short-season A’s team.
"Do you still have the money I gave you?" Cox’s dad asked his son. "Then get on a plane and go try out."
So Cox shows up along with 88 other guys. After workouts that day, he gets asked back to play in an "intrasquad" game that night against the regular A’s team.
"I hit two home runs and went 4-5 with a triple," Cox recalls like it was yesterday. Tom Treblehorn, the manager of the team, pulled him aside. The next day, he signed a contract with the A’s and played first base that night.
That was 1975.
In 1980, Cox reached the big leagues with Oakland, appearing in 59 games.
It’s probably a good lesson for the hundereds of minor league players who are going to be released in camps from Florida to Arizona over the coming 10 days.
"And you know," Cox added. "When I finally get a Topps baseball card, they make a mistake and put Steve McCatty’s photo on it. But Donruss, Donruss, made one with my photo on it, and I have it to this day."