Rick the Roommate

Usually on road trips, I get my own hotel room. This trip, there was a shortage of rooms so I’m rooming with our strength coach, Rick SantaBarbara (note: his real name is Nick, but every strength coach in the world should be named Rick because it’s more strength-coachy). Strength coaches usually work out quite a bit, but Rick is out of control. He works out more than anybody I’ve ever seen. I run into him quite a bit since we both work out in the clubhouse weight room. Generally I call him fat, he says I’m skinnier than a fungo bat, I embarrass him by outlifting him despite my much-nerdier job as a radio guy, we laugh and that’s that. As a side note, Rick is leaving to “go back to school” in three weeks, but I think we all know he’s tired of me embarrassing him in the weight room.

Well, ever since we found out about this rooming situation we’ve been exchanging idle threats like “I’m going to put Icy Hot in your toothpaste tube,” or “I’m going to blast an air horn in your ear while you’re asleep.”

So, how is it actually going? Glad you asked.

When I got on the bus to go to Great Lakes, I walked up to Rick and acted like I was going to sit in the seat next to him. “We’re rooming together, don’t we have to sit together, too?” Which is ridiculous; it’s a proven fact that doubling up in a bus seat is the most uncomfortable arrangement of all time.

Once we got to Midland, Michigan, we went to Rick’s favorite restaurant of all time: Subway. As a strength guy, by law he must eat at least five sub sandwiches per week, and at least half of them must be the most complicated orders ever. I’m talking honey oat bread, banana peppers, dijon mustard, the whole thing. I immediately informed him he would be my nutritionist for the trip and he shouldn’t let me eat anything bad for me.

Then, as we sat there eating, Miles Mikolas and his killer mustache came walking over with a tray full of giant pizza slices, ready for some lunch talk. Suddenly, I felt like I was back in the high-school cafeteria. Also, Miles Mikolas is a cross between an eight-year-old and Cousin Balcki from Perfect Strangers. He’s always doing something weird and/or funny. Case in point: He told us a story about how three players plotted to keep moving in front of Dean Anna so Dean wouldn’t be on the video board during the National Anthem.

Once lunch was over, Miles mentioned how funny the movie “Twins”  was and how we should watch it on the bus sometime. Then he walked into the store that sells T-shirts with smart-alecky sayings on them for a while, just to check out the latest while Rick and I went to the bookstore. Next thing I know, I’m buying Shutter Island and Miles is standing about 10 feet away reading a “book with lame fishing stories.” Having heard some of his own stories, I actually believe him.  Our business finished in the bookstore, we left to go back to the hotel. Walking through the mall, someone tells Miles, “Like the mustache.” I turned around to see a girl with blue hair. Somehow, I wasn’t surprised. Then, as we walked by the kids’ play area near the middle of the mall, Miles started rubbing his mustache and laughing like the wicked witch of the west. What a weirdo.

Other notes on Rick:

  1. He does 100 push-ups every night before going to sleep. He once got to 80 in a row, but I only counted 60 in a row last night.
  2. Also, he just started singing “Party in the USA.” I pulled up the music video and he sang the entire thing word-for-word.
  3. He thinks the Bad Apple Dancers are hilarious.
  4. He’s still singing “Party in the USA.”

I’ll let you know if I have any updates over the next five days. Something tells me I will.

Now some baseball stuff:

  1. The trade deadline passed. TinCaps LHP Nick Greenwood got traded to the Cardinals. It’s a shame to see him go since he was such a good pitcher and clubhouse guy, but to grow up as a baseball fan seeing all these trades and then be a part of one must be crazy. It was the first time anyone on a team I’ve worked for has been traded. When our trainer, Nate Stewart, woke him up on the bus, Nick was a little annoyed. Once he figured out what was going on he was excited, but still a little bummed to be leaving his teammates.
  2. Daniel Meeley has been hitting everything for the TinCaps. A 4-for-4 game to finish the homestand, then a 3-for-4 game today against Great Lakes. He has a nice approach, keeping the hands inside the ball on just about everything. Haven’t seen a whole lot of home-run pop in a game situation yet, but he’s just out of junior college. I like his game.
  3. Jedd Gyorko, Matt Lollis and Matt Jackson have really helped the team since coming in from Eugene. With so many pitchers limited on their innings, Lollis and Jackson have taken some pressure off the bullpen. Gyorko has solidified the offense and can play third base or second. I like his approach at the plate.
  4. Jason Hagerty has reached in 47 of his last 50 games. While catching almost every day, which means his legs are probably sore, he probably has about 50 welts on his arms from foul tips and the bat probably feels pretty heavy. It’s like he’s getting better as the year goes on, which is incredible for a catcher, especially in his first full pro season.
  5. Great Lakes is out of control right now. The Loons are 71-33 and they’re still two games behind the pace the TinCaps set last year on their way to 94 regular-season wins. Makes you appreciate how good that team was, eh?
  6. Carlos Gonzalez finished hitting for the cycle by blasting about a 900-foot walk-off home run. Coolest ending to a game I’ve seen in a long time.

And now, musical guest, in honor of Rick being from Boston… Boston!

Take care,

DW

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