Lima---fun caravan stop---I started the questioning asking Thom about what he felt about his dad ragging on him being on the "B Team" caravan wise. Thom knocked my softball out of the park by responding---"Look around at this huge crowd (which was probably in the 300 range) and tell me if this is the B Team. Noooo way." Walt Jocketty was asked about the lack of a big stick---he responded that the team will have to try to win differently this year--pitching, defense, moving runners (small ball).
Walt was also asked about Homer Bailey---he said he was told there was a difference in Homer's maturity during the second half of the season. The topic of a salary cap was also broached---Walt said it is being discussed; but the players union would probably go the route of a work stoppage if the owners tried it. Walt also brought up that the cap may affect teams like Florida and KC by making them spend more than they want by the cap's "floor" figure. The autograph portion went well--except for Thom chastising some in line about the autograph line setup---those seated were allowed to go first. Everyone was in good spirits and Phil Castellini seemed to make it a priority to greet everyone personally in line.
Dayton---more lowkey, maybe since it was at the Air Force Museum and the Q and A was in an auditorium. George Grande made some lengthy introductions of those in attendance (Dusty, Brantley, Dickerson) and a monologue about what he felt we should expect in 09. Hal McCoy was also in attendance and was surprised by being introduced by Grande on stage. Much longer Q and A session than Lima or has been reported from other stops. Dusty mentioned how he wants batters to work counts more and players to not be content with losing. Brantley mentioned how when he pitched batters working counts and runners moving drove him crazy. McCoy and Brantley both said the Reds should be ok---if "every thing breaks there way". I am editing heavily---Brantley and Grande love to talk and talk. The other highlight was a rather enthused older man who took the mic and decided to ask about the farm system and then go into a crazed praise for the Cowboy (Brantley) and having him added to the broadcasting team. Grande made gestures for the mic handlers to take the mic from him--but no one did. So Dusty responded by egging the guy on and Brantley asked the crazed fan to be his agent. Dickerson recalled his days in Dayton (smooching the fans up a little). Autograph session went ok, Dusty was engaging with the fans, Dickerson and Grande were friendly--but unfortunately the Cowboy seemed preoccupied with getting his flight out of Dayton and didnt really seemed to want to mingle much. Cant blame him---four days of travelling around gladhanding could get tiring after awhile.
Hopefully someone can fill us in on the Columbus stop---since I forsaked my hometown to do two caravan legs. Thanks...