Too much time spent with Bud Heavy, not enough time spent working out!
We weren’t aware that Andruw Jones was in camp with the Texas Rangers. For those of you who don’t know Jones, he was once one of the premiere players in baseball, but almost overnight dissolved into a catastrophically awful hitter. He just couldn’t hit the ball, which is a hell of a problem to have when a team is paying you about 18 million dollars expressly for that purpose. He is a hulking individual covered in tattoos who wears a determined, vaguely menacing air about him. Around 11 am one morning he was getting ready to play in a AA practice game against the Royals.
I walked up to him, remembering all the times I had booed him at the top of my lungs from the upper deck of Dodger Stadium last season, and held out one of the full, cold cans of Budweiser that I had been carrying around for him to sign. The look on his face at this moment was cold and indifferent, but for a flash there I saw in his eyes a burning desire to ask me what the hell I was doing making a 10-time Gold Glover sign a beer can at 11 in the morning… but years of experience kicked in and he realized that the quickest, easiest way to dispense of me was just to sign the damn can and let me be on my way. The disdain he wore for me as a shoeless, gangly morning beer drinker was more than apparent.
“Thanks Andruw,” I said. I then went over to the Royals’ side of the field to watch the practice game. Andruw was the first batter up and I wanted to wait for a quiet moment during the at bat where I could crack the can and he would be sure to hear it being opened. He didn’t hear it and fouled out down the right field line.