Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Diary: Greenville, SC

" What about my ways
Makes you doubt
All these words from my mouth?"

Alright, so the motel in Greenville has internet access...very tight. And HBO too? I think there's some validity to the name "Quality Inn." Anyway, today has been crazy, and now that I have showered, I'm feeling a whole lot better. Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk to Gabe, which was really disappointing. Seriously though, if you didn't know he was the manager, you could easily confuse him for a player. I mean the guy's still got it. He was known for his physical prowess during his playing days, and it appears that he still keeps himself in amazing shape. What was interesting was that Gabe also coached third while the Pride (Greenville Pride, and they played the Augusta Green Jackets, which further suggests that outside of the Masters, there really isn't a whole lot going on in Augusta) were hitting. The funny thing about the game was that the Pride were running all the time. I mean Gabe, I know you're like two years removed from the Sox, but still, you have to know how we play, which is by beating the cover off the ball and not sacrificing ever. I'm just kidding on that though. It was actually kind of nice to see how Gabe runs his team. I figured it would be pretty much the way he played. Aggressive, balls out, stuff like that. Anyway, that was totally how it was. The game was tight for the most part, but Greenville eventually took control after Augusta removed their starting pitcher. That was something that took some getting used to. Teams are going to give their guys reps, meaning that a pitcher, no matter how well they are doing, are likely to be removed so that more guys can get innings in. The starter, Chris Jones, retired the last nine batters he faced in a row, and yet, he was removed after six in favor of Miguel Socolovich. Jones probably could have gone at least two more, but when you're talking single A baseball, it's totally different from logic. It's all about getting as many guys in there as possible. This is the reason Devern Hansack was just sent back down to AAA. I mean, the guy is going to be a starter in the majors, but right now, there's a logjam in the rotation (although if he had replaced Julian, I wouldn't have lost too much sleep over it), so the Sox sent him to Pawtucket so he could get more work in. So the minors is different than the majors in a lot of ways, but right now, the usage of small ball and the shuffling of the pitchers are things that are really standing out.

In terms of the stadium itself, you will be hard-pressed to find a better minor league stadium than West End Field in Greenville. This is the second year of its existence, and it really shows, because everything looks brand new. I love how spacious it is. Yet, at the same time, it's still a really intimate setting because it only houses around 5,000 people. Really nice, really nice. Another thing of note: All the dimensions are exactly the same at West End as they are at Fenway. I mean the walls are different heights, except of course for "The Monster," but other than that, exactly the same. The right field pole is 302' away, there's a triangle in center, a little wedge in left center...it's got it all. What I'm finding out is that there is actually a rule in state that says that if you build a minor league park and share an affiliation with a major league team, you have to make the dimensions of the outfield the same as the major league park. As said before, you can have different wall heights, but the distance and the little nooks and crannies have to all be the same. Very interesting...and you thought I wouldn't learn anything on this trip...shame on you.

I'm finding out that the definition of "business casual" is way too loose of a term, or that I just don't have a clue. I showed up today...man did I look out of place. Ok, first of all, the no shower thing seemed to be a common theme amongst my fellow "classmates" (I think every time I write in the diary, I'm going to quote class because...I mean come on now), so that didn't help matters to begin with. Next, I decided to only wear my slip-on Iversons for the trip, seeing as how there's going to be a lot of walking involved and what not. Everyone else had the presence of mind to bring another pair with them. See, this is why I think I'm not ready for the business world, and it's not ready for me either. These are the times I really think I'm in the wrong field. I don't like business at all...nothing there. Why can't I just do something I want to do? Money? I don't care about money, as long as I have enough to get by, what difference does it make? There's not going to be a family coming in the near future, so really, I just need to get something entry-level that I actually am passionate about, and then, move up the ranks, and with that, start saving and doing all that good stuff. Quick side note: Can you possibly imagine a little Mell-o? I mean really...another one of me? I think there's already one more than the world can possibly handle. Anyway, the business thing is not working, no matter how bad my parents may want that. So, this is my official outcry: No more business!!! I can't stand it!!!

Alright, that's all from G-Ville. Hopefully I'll get hooked up with wireless like I am right now so I can keep continually updating this. I'll be talking to you from Charleston. Later on kids. Peace.


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