Well, hope you guys have some time here...when I tell a story, I tend to go into serious details (ie. get comfy), and well, I'm gonna tell the story about this great opportunity I had. So go get an adult beverage, sit back, and live vicariously thru me
(NOTE: I am going to post this in 3-5 parts (posts). I'm doing all of this in one sitting, so if you read this and it's not finished, be patient, the rest will be coming in a few minutes. It's a long, but great story, IMO )
I almost forgot to mention, that I had spent the entire morning at work (hey, we had NOTHING else to do) organizing my questions for the three lads (I'm 28 and these guys are "lads" to me :MandJ: ). I encorporated just about every single question that was posted in the thread I had on here earlier and also the ones that were PM'd to me. Plus I added a dozen or so of my own.
The idea of trying to get some interviews started in spring last year. We have the Greenville Braves here in town (AA for the evil Bravo's), and I knew that Chattanooga would be making a trip here early in the season. I figured you never know unless you asked, so I'd see if I could. Well, Larry Ward, would be the place I would start asking (he is the voice of and traveling secretary of the Lookouts...and as I found out, babysitter too :mhcky21: ). Also, I figured you guys would love to hear some of the things we wonder about from the proverbial horse's mouth, so I emailed him.
To my surprise, he wrote back the next day and asked what media source I was representing...Redszone.com, of course. I sent him a reply telling him that I wasn't "media" perse, but just a fan of the largest and best fan-run forum for the Reds, on the net. He said sure, we can work something out. He told me to call him when they got into town the following week.
Well, Mother Nature, was apparently against the whole idea, as she rained out the first 2 games and the Lookouts played an abbreviated DH (morning/afternoon) and left town. So no dice there. That was their only trip to Greenville last season. So onto this season....
I had thought about trying it again and when I saw that Dustin Moseley (DMos from here out) and Edwin Encarnacion (EdE) were both going to be in Chattanooga, I was DEFINITELY going to try and get those interviews this season! So I contacted Mr. Ward again, and he was all for it. He told me to call Friday afternoon.
Noon Friday, I called. Nervous as all hell too He said they weren't in town yet, but to call back later...so about 3pm I call him back and he says that I'm hooked up with a press pass :rockon: and to pick it up around 4pm. Also, I had asked for DMos, EdE, and William Bergolla for interviews that day. He said they were all set up and that with the press pass, I had full access to batting practice, the press box, carte' blanche...WOOHOO!!!
So 4pm rolls around and I have butterflies something fierce...wouldn't you??? I should mention that my good buddy Dan Scott (writerdan33 on here) helped me with some advice on what I should during BP and such. He just told me to "look like I knew what I was doing"...hey, I can do that, right? Anywho, I pick up my press pass (yea, that's right, I'm media, BACKOFF!) and put the pass on my Cincinnati Reds necklace/badge holder thingy and walk on in. Keep in mind, this is also Opening Day for the G-Braves...so there were a few cameras and a big crowd expected. The Braves are moving to Pearl, Mississippi, after this season, so this was kind of a big deal (I'm still upset about us losing a AA franchise, but that's another story).
I walk in thru the gate and see the field open up in front of me...there is just nothing like walking into a ballpark for the first time each season. The green grass, smell of elephant ears, hotdogs, all the things you associate with a ballpark. *sigh*
So I start walking over to the visitor's bullpen where I see the Lookout's stretching and just hanging around. I try to walk with purpose, but I'm not sure how I did, because I couldn't remember where Larry said we'd meet. So I sit down in the corner of the bleachers, right near the BP, trying to get organized. I look around and see an older gentleman heading my way from the direction I came and I assume, rightly so, that it is Larry. I tell myself to act like this is "old hat" and to be professional. We introduce e/o and he asks if I'm ready. Sure am, I reply. He leads me over back to where I was right near the BP and he looks around, seeing who is not busy. I secretly pray that it's DMos first because I have no idea if EdE and Bergolla speak english well and I forgot to ask! As luck would have it, he hollers over to a clean-cut kid who is the only one not in a practice jersey. The young guy jogs over to us and Larry asks where his jersey is. He said he forgot to pack it and then proceeds to tell him that, hey, when your roommate does the laundry, this and that, blah blah, it isn't his fault. 2 things happen here...Larry gives me this look like "Damn CHILDCARE, I tell ya!", and some of the other fellas start giving Dmos crap. :MandJ: Anyway, Larry introduces us and Dustin hops the fence to come sit in the bleachers with me and we begin: