Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Little Davey Eckstein tours Petco Park

[David Eckstein arrives at Petco Park and is met by a member of the Padres' PR team]

PR: How are you, Mr. Eckstein? [extends hand] I'm Nathan. Nice to meet you.

DE: [gazes skyward, shakes hand] Nice ... to ... meet you, too. Wow, you're huge!

PR: I'm 5'9". So, you ready to do this?

DE: You betcha! I have my notebook ready and everything! So tell me, exactly what kind of topsoil is used on the infield? Is it a mix of desert sand, red clay and ground-up black granite?

PR: [confused] Well, I actually don't know that. You'd have to talk to Brian, our groundskeeper.

DE: Can do! What's his phone number, home address, email address, Facebook handle, favorite food, mother's maiden name, and one true love?

PR: [even more confused] I ... you know, I'll get you his number, or a card, or something later. [looks around for help] Hey, second base is looking good. Think you're ready to make the switch from shortstop?

DE: Oh, indubitably! I've been training non-stop for three straight months! As a matter of fact, I'm contracting my ab muscles off and on as we speak! You don't get to be 2006 World Series MVP on talent alone, I tell you what!

PR: Then do you mind if I ask what your hat means?

DE: [takes hat off, looks at it, puts it back on at adorably cute upwards-and-slightly-to-the-side angle] Oh, that just means saying NO! to settling for second-best! Always shoot for #1, that's what my pops always says! Hey, what's that?

PR: Oh, that's the Western Metal Supply Company building. It's a landmark here in downtown San Diego, and instead of demolishing it to make way for the new park, the architects decided to incorporate it into the design, and utilized the corner as the left-field foul pole. It's very unique.

DE: Wow! That's stupendous! When was it built?

PR: 1910, I believe.

DE: Neat-o! Does the brick facade have a standard structure bearing of 2,300 lbs. per sq. inch?

PR: [scratches his head, checks his watch] You know, I'll have to get back to you on that. Well, that's about it. Anything else?

DE: Actually, yes, Nathan! Would you be so kind as to distribute this for me? [pulls sheet of paper out of notebook]

PR: Sure. What is it?

DE: It's a list of all the terms or words usually attributed to players like me! It's basically just a footnote to all the marketing and research people in the organization, as well as the sportswriters, but hey - every little bit helps!

PR: [reads list] "Scrappy. Tough. Feisty. Gamer. Fundamentals. Persistent. Dirt Dog. Heart. Hustle. Plucky. Over-achiever. Blue-collar. Gutsy. Energetic. Catalyst. Old-school." Hmmm. [folds up paper, puts it in his pocket] Sure, David.

DE: Thanks! [takes a deep breath] Man-oh-man, I can't wait to hit here. Look how close those fences are!

PR: Actually, the ball doesn't travel well here at all. You've played here before, so you probably know that this is one of, if not the worst hitting parks in the majors. It's probably not going to be a boon to your .361 career slugging percentage.

DE: [bows head] Yeah, you're right. [whips head up, smiling] But look at all that room in the gaps for bloopers!

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