CANCEL THAT CALL
Wow, is my cyberface red. As pinch-hitter for Jonathan Mayo this week (and for the coming two weeks) on the Futures Exchange beat, I singled out a pair of players who could be getting “the call” in coming weeks, and suggested that the Cleveland Indians might finally be able to bring up much-ballyhooed right-hander Adam Miller who was coming off a start a few days earlier of five-inning two-hit ball and had a pretty nifty 1.88 ERA in six starts. Since he had had a good-year/bad-year tendency (read: healthy year/injured year) it seemed like this might be one of those good (read: healthy) years.
Not so fast there, Johnson.
Turns out that even as that article was going up on the site, Miller was undergoing surgery that might end his 2008 season. Oy.
Hopefully not everything I’ve written this week on MiLB.com will result in guys on the DL, however.
I was glad to have a chance to give some love to the California League catchers in my current Perspectives column, most notably Pablo “Pablito” Sandoval.This is a guy for whom the words “tearing it up” in the Cal League would be an understatement right now.
Prior to this season, I was assigned the job of writing the weekly Cal League notebook which means I now know more than I ever thought I’d know about a league 2000 miles away (and hey, guys, any time you want to send me out there on a road trip to see these guys up close and personal, I’m there!!!). And I couldn’t help but notice that it seemed like every time I singled out a guy who was raking, he turned out to be a catcher …
But Sandoval has been a favorite of mine for awhile anyway and I’m really looking forward to, I hope, seeing him in Myrtle Beach on June 24 at the Carolina-California League All-Star Game. Back in 2006, my first year with MiLB.com, I was at the All-Star Fanfest in Pittsburgh and doing a show on air with my partner Jonathan Mayo, where we had a few of the Futures prospects on hand to chat with live and in person.
I can’t remember who we were supposed to interview, but there was a last-minute change and Sandoval offered to come on with us on very short notice … such short notice that we didn’t know he’d be out guest until he sat down in the seat between us on stage. Luckily I recognized him and knew his story so we kind of winged it.
Just 19 at the time, the Venezuelan-born Sandoval had MLB’s Sylvia Lind with him to serve as interpreter but I noticed that he definitely understood everything I was asking him in English, even though he was responding in Spanish, because he was answering immediately without waiting for her to translate my questions INTO Spanish.
He had a great sunny personality and I am definitely looking to following up that interview next month. Maybe this time he’ll even answer in English because my Spanish is pretty non-existent (that is the one thing I really want to rectify … I would LOVE to go to a Spanish immersion program this coming off-season. I’ve been trying to use the “Spanish for Gringoes” CD in my car but it’s not quite enough to enable me to interview baseball players).
Finally, I just want to add in one more plug for a fantastic new blog on our pro side, Behind the Lens which is written by producer/cameraman extraordinaire Joe Cronin (no, not that Joe Cronin). I probably spend more time on the road with him than I do with most members of the family (and the fact that he has yet to kill me without actually being related to me says volumes about what a great mellow guy he is). But aside from his talent as a multi-media god he is also a hilariously funny writer. And maybe if I continue to say enough nice things about his blog he won’t post any of my video bloopers.