Daily Archives: March 25, 2007

March 25, 2007

Photos of Griffey in Right Field

Ken Griffey Tossing with Adam DunnWe rode into town for a monumental game. It was Ken Griffey, Jr.'s first game of the spring, and he was starting in right fied.

When it came time to warm up with some long toss, Griffey threw with Adam Dunn. In left field. From right field. He made Ryan Freel warm up with the ballboy.

Why did Griffey do such a thing? Perhaps he was demonstrating that even though he's not in center, he's still calling the shots. Perhaps he was easing in to his position change. Perhaps he was giving Freel the cold shoulder, or was confused about what he's supposed to do in right. Most likely, he thought it was funny.

For the first pitch of the game, Jr. was straddling the right field foul line, all the way back at the fence. When the first pitch didn't head for the right-field wall, Griffey gave a shrug and headed back toward a more neutral position. He's still working on the logistics of his new position.

Ken Griffey's first game in right field

March 25, 2007

Bubba Crosby Strikes a Pose

Before the game, the photographer had a couple of the players out to take some of those posed pictures that they use on the big board when the player comes up to bat. One of those was Bubba Crosby.

Get the bat off your shoulder!
Since the photographer was taking advantage of these poses, the CTS, acting as Crack Photography Staff, figured we might as well get them as well.

Big bat
This one will be very intimidating on the big board when he's at the bat.

I'm very serious about my swing
It's like he was posing just for us. Except for the fact that he's looking down a little bit.

Look at my arms
Considering they were taking these photos yesterday, it was surprising to find out later that he'd been outrighted to Louisville. I would imagine, though, that if he stays with the organization that they know they'll be using them before too long.

March 25, 2007

Friendly Players Signed for the Kiddies

I don't know if it's Bob Castellini's influence or if everyone was just in a good mood yesterday, but everyone we interacted with at the stadium was friendlier than in previous years. The woman at the souvenir stands was a character, the people selling the pizza and nachos were chatty, and the players were anxious to give the autographs.

As if they somehow knew that I'd be in attendance on the right-field line, Red after Red came up to the wall to sign autographs. Since we were sitting just beyond the end of the tarp, they all came up right in front of us. If I were an autograph collector, it would have been a great day for me.

Adam Dunn signs for the kiddies
When Ryan Freel took the field and came over to sign some autographs, I wasn't too surprised. Now that Sean Casey's gone, Freel's the one known best for his willingness to sign for the kiddies. But when Adam Dunn came over, I was pretty surprised. What a nice guy, I thought.

Edwin Encarnación signs for the kiddies
I was standing in an interminable line for an ice cream cone when Edwin Encarnación came by to do the autograph thing. Three starters giving autographs in the same day? Amazing!

Brandon Phillips signs for the kiddies
I was still away when Brandon Phillips was giving his autographs. Phillips was flashing the smile all day, especially after a great double play maneuver. That guy's got some an energy, I tell ya!

Josh Hamilton came by to give autographs before the game as well, and during the game came over to start his stretching before taking over in the field. He was chatting with the fans in the stands. One guy in the second row says, “You gonna show that old man in right field what it takes to play the game?” Hamilton turned around to look who was in right (as if he didn't know), turned back, and smirked. Very cute.

Perhaps the most impressive of the autographers to come by was the Sarasota Reds Gator. He actually plopped down in a seat in the row in front of me to interact with the kiddies. One kid asked for an autograph, which was cool, but that set off all these other kids who would get an autograph, run back to their seat, grab something else, and come ask for another one. It degenerated fast, and soon they were asking for multiple autographs on pieces of trash. Empty water bottles, peanut wrappers, cardboard cup holders. Most of the trash he refused, though he did autograph a napkin.

And you wonder why people grow weary of signing autographs.

March 25, 2007

Reds Lookin’ Good in Warmup Photos

We arrived in Sarasota well before we could check in to our condo for the week, so we headed straight over to Ed Smith Stadium. However, we were also a touch early for the game. Thank goodness Mr. Castellini changed the schedule to have the stadium open two hours before game time instead of 90 minutes, or we would have been chillin' in the parking lot for a while.

The early opening time seemed to be very popular all-around. There were lots of people already at the stadium when we arrived, enjoying batting practice.

We recently got a new camera, and the Crack Photography Staff has been diligently practicing. Even more recently, we got a zoom lens to let us take even more obsessive-fan-type photos. Dude, you can see the sweat on these guys' faces.

David Ross: lookin' good in front of a billboard
When you're not zoomed in all the way, though, the zoom lens gives sort of a halo effect. You can almost hear the chorus of angels sing about David Ross and the orthopedic surgeon advertised in the billboard behind him.

Adam Dunn: lookin' good standing around
Here you can see Adam Dunn looking trim. I even like the hair.

Ken Griffey, Jr: lookin' good in the line-up
What luck! We were there to see Ken Griffey's first game of the spring. He looked just fine to me, though, to be fair, I was nearly delirious with exhaustion at the time.

Bronson Arroyo: lookin' good finally getting ready
Bronson Arroyo was our starting pitcher, and here he is with his favorite catcher. How nice. Ross was out getting ready WAY before Arroyo. Bronson's preparation routine must involve some inside time.

Clydesdales: looking good with all that beer
The Budweiser clydesdales were in full effect. And you thought Arroyo was a workhorse!

Do the Cardinals know they're showing up to Reds' spring training?
Outside the stadium we were able to walk fairly close to the beasts, which my five-year old thought was cool. I've never seen such a large horse.

And all of this was before th first pitch! More photos to come.