‘On The Road With psugator02′ – Spring Training Road Trip – Day 4
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15
Got a late start because I had some real-life work to do. Camelback — and all the camps for that matter — are now swamped with kids on spring break. None of the Dodgers signed on their way out to the practice fields. Note to self: next time spend the morning at another camp when the Dodgers are home. Seemed the Dodgers had an extra-late workout prior to their 1 p.m. game so I headed over to the Rangers’ bus, hoping I could pick off some players. Bus arrived early but I was able to snag one player who drove over in a rental car.
David Murphy: 2/2 (cards) in blue Sharpie
Nelson Cruz: 0/1…also drove his own car. Sort of shocked because he ALWAYS signs
Walked back to the entrance to the backfields. On my way spotted Chad Billingsley. He was his usual cool self.
Chad Billingsley: 1/1 (11×14)…Made the mistake of giving him silver and then not telling him where on the picture to sign.
I had already been in line for Don Mattingly. But when I walked to the Rangers’ bus I lost my spot. So I was now in the back. No matter, I still got him. He makes everyone line up along the fence and is very cordial, signing 1-per for everyone. Actually pressed for a second, but he insisted he was only doing one.
Don Mattingly: 1/1 (8×10 that already has Mark McGwire’s autograph). I missed Tommy Lasorda because I chose to wait in Mattingly’s line. Oh well. Lasorda’s graph has really deteriorated anyway, so no biggie
Really thought I could pick off some other Dodgers on their way back to the clubhouse. But there were so many people there that not many players stopped. A few scrubs signed (Jamey Carroll, etc.), but I didn’t care about them. Wasn’t planning on going to the game so walked to the minor-league complex to get prospect Dee Gordon. Didn’t realize I was going to have to wait back there for two hours in the desert heat. If you were wondering, the Dodgers chose not to install water fountains anywhere near the minor-league fields. Gordon finally finished the scrimmage and was as cool as could be, even remembering the tweets that he had sent me.
Dee Gordon: 3/3 (8x10s for bizarre, SS of ROMLB). Would’ve gotten the picwith, but I inadvertently left the camera at home. By the way, for someone who’s such a top-rated prospect, Gordon sure is small. During the scrimmage he lined an opposite-field single over the left fielder’s head. Maybe he is for real.
The Dodgers have a lot of coaches who used to play in the big leagues (Chuck Crim, Steve Yeager, Lenny Harris, Jim Slaton), but the only one I graphed was Darren Dreifort. I asked him his role with the Dodgers and he wasn’t sure. “I just do what they tell me to do,” Dreifort said.
Darren Dreifort: 1/1 (signature card) in blue Sharpie. One of the most beautiful graphs I’ve seen all spring
Walked back to graph the Dodgers’ parking lot and the Rangers’ bus.
James Loney: 1/1 (8×10) in blue Sharpie
Don Mattingly: 1/1 (11×14) in blue Sharpie. Signs a ton
Rick Honeycutt: 1/1 (card) in blue Sharpie
Hong Chih Kuo: 0/1 only signed five and I just missed him
Matt Kemp: 0/1 wouldn’t stop
Manny Mota: wouldn’t stop
Andre Ethier: 0/1 wouldn’t stop
Clayton Kershaw: 0/1 gor rocked so maybe that’s the reason he didn’t stop
Mike McDougal: great dude but didn’t need him
Ron Mahay: great dude but didn’t need him
Tony Gwynn Jr.: 0/1 wouldn’t stop
Dioner Navarro: great dude but didn’t need him
Travis Schlichting: good dude but didn’t need him. He rocks the mullet AND gets a smokin’ hot chick. Well done. Almost looks like a young Curt Schilling
Rafael Furcal: 0/1 wouldn’t stop
Juan Uribe: just missed him because I was getting a few Rangers
Matt Kemp: 0/1 wouldn’t stop
Jerry Sands: 0/1 wouldn’t stop
David Murphy: 2/2 (8x10s) in blue Sharpie for a member
Nelson Cruz: 2/2 (8x10s) in blue Sharpie for a member
Elvis Andrus: didn’t even stand near the visitor locker room because i was sure Andrus wouldn’t touch a pen. But sure enough he did and by the time I walked over I had missed him
Matt Treanor: signed but I didn’t need him
Mike Napoli: 0/1 wouldn’t walk over
Chris Davis: 2/2 (8x10s) in blue Sharpie. Still a great signer
Julio Borbon: signed but I didn’t need him
The entire Cactus League appears more difficult this year.