Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy pre-Opening Day

Well, it's been a hectic, whirlwind of a weekend ... and it's not even Opening Day yet.

Dot, dot, dot ...

-Big surprise, Fifth Third Field in Dayton was sold out for Saturday's Reds/Marlins exhibition game. Early this season, the Dragons will reach 500 consecutive packed houses - that's more than seven straight seasons.

-Think being a sportswriter is a cushy existence? Perhaps it is, until a foul ball shatters the glass window inches above your head in the press box at Fifth Third Field in Dayton. At least Dragons media relations guru Mike Vander Wood was sympathetic. "Good thing it's shatter-proof glass," he told me.

-If you go to a Dayton Dragons game, Brixx Ice house has a solid beer selection located just steps from the ballpark.

-Sunday's pre-Opening Day workout at Great American Ball Park was a hectic day for me, especially since I was chasing news on both the Cubs and Reds for But, it was also a chance to reunite with a few people I hadn't seen in months:

Old pal Steve Stewart is still pounding the pavement for broadcasting gigs. Steve tells me was a finalist for a couple of TV and radio jobs, including one in San Diego he felt was a lock. For the time being, he's doing around 30 pre-game shows for FSN Ohio and working in the speaker bureau at Great American Ball Park.

Paula Faris is in town covering the Cubs for her NBC affiliate. The former 9Sports favorite is doing well in Chicago. In fact, Paula and her husband, John, are expecting their first child in August. They are living in a neighborhood a few miles north of Wrigley Field. Paula told me today she's still getting used to the Windy City's blistering pace.

Passed by Joe Nuxhall in the tunnel leading to the Reds clubhouse on Sunday. The 'Ol Left-hander said he's feeling "better". It'll be nice to hear his voice on radio on Opening Day.

-In regard to the team, Wayne Krivsky admitted to us on Sunday he's going to pull the trigger on a roster move prior to Monday's game. Will it be made within the organization? Trade? Stay tuned.

-I'm not a conspiracy theorist by nature, but lower back spasms come at an awful convenient time for the Reds and Eric Milton. Eric, take some time off, get things worked out, help us justify your salary. In the meantime, can we have your roster spot?

-Bobby Livingston for fifth starter. He's earned it.

-Josh Hamilton has impressed me on many fronts. First, he's restored his life from the darkest depths. In addition to his breadth of skills, did you know Hamilton could be the fastest player on the team? Met him formally for the first time Saturday in Dayton. He's personable, polite and relates well with his teammates. Hamilton spent more than a few minutes signing autographs following Sunday's workout. A beat writer told me Hamilton did the same thing at spring training.

Play ball!


Jeff Gentil said...

Hey, Jeff, I think you're the guy I met at the Glen Este-Winton Woods football game this past fall. I was the guy sitting next to you covering for Am I right?

Jeff Wallner said...

If I recall correctly, the field that night was a sea of mud.

Good to hear from you.

Jeff Gentil said...

Yeah, the field was certainly a mess. I ran across your site the other day while I was bored at work. If you ever get a chance, check us ours out: Obviously, it's all Reds. Come argue with us if you want.