Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011
Start Your Engines
“What’s today,” White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper asked as he drove up in his golf cart. “NASCAR Day?”
“Looks that way,” I replied.
“Good, I like things that break up the routine,” Cooper smiled.
Today was indeed unofficially NASCAR Day at White Sox spring training with four members of Michael Waltrip Racing stopping by to suit up, take part in drills and take a little batting practice. The team is in Phoenix for this weekend’s NASCAR series (check out FOX for Sunday’s big race).
The drivers, Michael Waltrip, David Reutimann, Martin Truex and Ryan Truex, donned Sox uniforms featuring their car numbers and mingled with “Red Neck Row” in the White Sox clubhouse before morning practice.
“I’m not an athlete,” Reutimann offered to Mark Buehrle and John Danks. “I just wait five seconds and then turn left.”
Buehrle, Danks and Jake Peavy attended Friday’s race and planned to go to Saturday’s and Sunday’s as well. Danks grew up annually attending the race in Texas.
For manager Ozzie Guillen and others, the take was a little bit on the amateur racing side.
“I thought the one guy was Justin Bieber,” Guillen offered.
“You don’t do a whole lot of stretching before you drive?” Buehrle laughingly asked Reutimann.
With the drivers featuring their car numbers on their uniforms thanks to Sox equipment man Vince Fresso, Waltrip held court in the Sox clubhouse.
Once out on the field, Guillen offered advice.
“Where are you guys hitting,” the manager asked. After hearing the answer, “Oh, sheet.
“Don’t try to hit a home run, just try to get a base hit.”
After a few swings and misses and a few solid hump-back liners, Waltrip stepped out of the cage.
“I need a lighter bat,” he said.
“Do we have a wider one,” Reutimann asked as he stepped into the cage.
Look closely on Sunday and you will see a White Sox All In logo on Reutimann’s Toyota car.
Gone And Forgotten
So I dutifully called my wife last night after dinner to check in and say hello.
“We’re watching a movie,” she replied.
“Oh, which one?”
“Oh, what’s that about?” I asked.
“No, what’s the movie about?” I clarified.
“Denzell Washington. Can I talk to you later?”
To watch footage of Mark Buehrle and NASCAR’s David Rutimann film a promo for tomorrow’s big NASCAR race at the Phoenix International Speedway click here