This evening we have dinner and they announce the results of the draft and the coaches announce the rosters of each team. Here are the teams and the Pro Staff coaching each team.
"Warriors" - Coached by Bill "Soup" Campbell & Julio Becquer
"Bru-ski's" - Coached by Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky
"The Pack" - Coached by Frank Quilici & Dick Stigman
"The S.O.B.'s" - Coached by Juan Berenguer, Phil Roof, & Gene Larkin
"Wanna Be's" - Coached by Ron Coomer & Milt Cuyler
"Cuban Stingers" - Coached by Lee Stange & Tony Olivia
"Hammer Time" - Coached by Rick Aguilera & Eric Rasmussen
"Horse Racers" - Coached by Tim Laudner & Frank Viola
I was drafted by Frank Viola's "Horse Racers" team. I hate to make bold predictions but I think we have a real solid squad with a good mix of pitchers/catchers and some young legs in the mix. This year's camp is 'older' than last year so obviously our roster is not necessarily stacked up and down like our team last year. I am going to predict a top 3 finish for us as we have makings of a better team in camp. We will know more tomorrow -- the main thing is to have a good time and I hope I am a good teammate as well as having great teammates!
At the table Rick Aguilera was there and he told us a real cool story about his road to the major leagues. He received a full scholarship from BYU (but he is not Mormon) and was recruited as a 3rd basemen -- he ended up not getting much playing time so he was converted to a reliever. They ended up sending him up to Anchorage, Alaska to work on being a relief pitcher (yes the baseball hotbed that is Anchorage). The first game his team plays he enters the game in the ninth inning with his team down 9-1. The leadoff hitter drags a bunt and gets a base hit. (for those non baseball people....that's kind of a big no-no, borderline unsportsmanlike -- not much gamesmanship there....) -- so as Rick says, "I am was pretty pissed off about that." -- the next batter digs into the batter's box and Rick rocks and fires a pitch that hits the batter in the back and right between the numbers. Rick continued his story, "The batter throws down his bat, throws down his helmet and now is charging the mound," Rick admitted he didn't know what to do and also said "I couldn't run away" -- long story short Rick ends up on his back and the batter is getting some good hits on him. Later in the training room, with a bend nose, the trainer said, "That was really a stupid thing you did there," Rick replied, "Yea I shouldn't be throwing at the batter in that situation..." The trainer interrupts him, "That batter was Jack Del Rio! He is the All-American Linebacker who plays for USC!" Aggie said he had no clue, "But as he approached the mound he was looking bigger and bigger!". Well after they straightened out his nose he said he had a very average (if not below average) college career but the Mets organization drafted him after a scout has watched him pitch......and a couple of World Championships later ('86 Mets & '91 Twins) the rest is history. The Twins Camp is lucky to have a guy like Rick Aguilera as a part of the Pro Staff.
We play two games tomorrow -- 10:00 am and 1:10pm -- I will probably end up pitching one of those games (I presume), it is pretty nice when your coach (Frank) tells you, "Let me know when you want to pitch -- you get the ball!"
I do need to get some rest tonight....so hoping for more than the typical 5 hours I get in a hotel bed.
~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~