I wake up everyday, alright maybe not everyday but most days, and think to myself ‘I wish I could sleep for another half hour’ followed by ‘what am I gonna eat for breakfast?’ Unlike millions of people, I don’t ever have the thought cross my mind that, crap, I have to go to work today. Why is that? Well it’s because I have a wonderful job, that’s why.
As part of my job for Fanball, I’m heavily involved in helping the team put together the myriad of magazines that we put out for football, baseball and basketball (I’m trying to convince the “powers that be” to do a hockey one too for those of you that are fans of the ice). To that end, when the calendar roles around to November that means it’s Arizona time. Why Arizona? The staff gets together, spends all day working, diligently mind you, putting together our multiple baseball magazines and our strategy for in-season baseball coverage. We also try and catch a few Arizona Fall League games at night, and all the while sprinkle in some fun and general merriment. So as we prepare for Arizona this weekend, here are some of the things that I’m looking forward to.
(1) Seeing Stephen Strasberg pitch. After all, the guy is supposed to be the second coming, and I’d love to see that after studying theology in school (what, you thought I was just some meathead?). I touched on he magnificence of Strasberg the other day in The More Things Change. You can also read Seth Trachtman’s blog on Strasberg for some additional thoughts on the man with the gifted right arm.
(2) Speaking of Mr. Trachtman, if you haven’t heard the guy is one hell of an athlete. If you run into him on the street ask him to demonstrate his amazing kicking ability. He’ll know what you mean. Can’t wait to get a gander at that kicking action in Arizona.
(3) I gotta see this Grant Desme character swing the lumber. A farmhand of the Athletics, Desme had a terrific season hitting .288 with 31 homers and 89 RBI in 486 at-bats. If that wasn’t enough of an effort to garner some serious interest, how about his amazing work in 17 games in the Arizona Fall League: .386 average, .857 SLG and a 1.320 OPS. How has he produced those numbers? How about on the back of an astounding total of 10 homers in 17 games. Looking forward to seeing that power stroke.
(4) I’m looking forward to getting a few laps in at the pool. We might be knee deep in fall if you look at the calendar, but it’s still 90 degrees in Arizona, so don’t think I’m gonna miss the chance to flaunt this sublimely toned body of mine for all the ladies poolside. Oh, don’t think it will be all exercise either. After swimming those laps I’m pretty certain I’ll find someplace that offers fruity drinks, preferably those with the little umbrellas, and pull back on a couple of them.
(5) I’m fairly certain we will be doing a few mock drafts for the magazines, and I gotta tell you all that the best part of my job just might be getting the chance to do copious amounts of drafts. Nothing beats the rush of the clock running down to your selection as the anticipation builds as you draw ever closer to rostering that “sleeper” candidate that you are certain will make your team a winner. OK, there are a few things that might beat it for sheer thrills – something that combines fruity drinks and a workout with a beautiful woman certainly would – but it’s still great fun.
So there it is, my rough approximation of what the next five days will be like. Don’t worry, we’ll all police each other and make sure that no one ends up in the clink, and despite what will certainly be some truly funny moments, don’t think for a moment that you could ever find a group of guys who are more dedicated to their craft than our assorted cast of characters. We’ll manage to get plenty of work done for sure, and those of you who are looking for something to read in front of the fireplace come the holidays, rest assured you will be mighty thankful when our first baseball magazine hits the newsstands in December – even if some of the work was done while I was sipping a pina colada poolside.
By Ray Flowers