Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
February 26, 2008 10:10 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Just a quick note before retiring for the evening. Miguel Batista had a big night tonight. Some of you may remember this feature we ran on him last August, where he talked about learning to play the saxophone and how Kenny G. was his musical inspiration.
Well, guess who was playing in Phoenix tonight? Yes, none other than the G-Man himself. Seems Kenny G., a U-Dub alumn lest we forget, heard the news that Batista is a huge fan and learning to play his music. So, he invited him on down to the concert, where they were supposed to meet before he went on stage. Wonder if Batista got invited up on stage? I doubt it, but you never know. When I spoke to Batista about it, he wasn't planning on bringing his sax. Just on a handshake and a quick chit-chat.
"This is just like when I got to meet Sandy Koufax,'' Batista said, beaming. "I can't wait.
(Read our story from last summer if you want to know about the Koufax meeting.)
I don't think Kenny G. is a lefty. I'd also take Koufax and Don Drysdale as a one-two punch over Kenny G. and Michael Bolton. But it's still pretty cool that Batista gets to do this. He did get to see Kenny G. in concert in Santo Domingo a couple of winters ago, but there was no backstage invite. Batista isn't really the type to name-drop. So, hopefully it went well for him this time.
On the balls and bags in the infield...yes, to answer some reader comments, they probably should remove all errant balls when they can, but these drills are pretty quick-paced. As for the bags, they are off to the side. I agree that the drills do get a little carried away as far as the pace and intensity. Players probably shouldn't be tripping over their own stuff to catch pop-ups. But then again, if they were slower, some folks would be complaining that the players aren't working hard enough. And the obstacles do make the drills tougher. Maybe somebody should tell the players to leave the bags a little closer to the dugouts. Problem is, that's in the dirt. They are leaving them on the grass. It's only a problem when Adrian Beltre goes head-over-heels. Hasn't happened yet. But I'd still take the dirty bag over that scenario.
To answer another question, Tony Phillips is not getting paid to be a guest coach -- and he's supposed to be here for the entire length of camp. I'm pretty sure that Jay Buhner and Rich Amaral, due to arrive tomorrow, are also working for free. So, no cost savings in getting rid of them, other than a few sandwiches at lunch.
One of you pointed out that Adam Jones had a rough intrasquad debut for the Orioles. I wouldn't read anything into it. Sure, he's going to have growing pains. But I'll wait until he messes up in an actual game that counts for something before even giving it a second glance. This is an indication, though, of the scrutiny he's going to be under.