|Steroid Suspension Count: 2005|
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|2005 Major League Baseball Season Predictions|
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|Spring Training 2005 — #2|
Ed Barnes journals his experience at the Padres spring training camp
|2005 MLB Preview: AL East|
Predictions for the 2005 season and a review of each team in the division.
By Ed Barnes, Staff Writer
ContractBud.com Staff Writer Ed Barnes also works for Channel 4 San Diego on Padres television broadcasts. He will be in Arizona for spring training from March 19th through the 26th and will be sending updates from Arizona about the goings on at spring training.
Spring Training 2005 #1
Sunday March 20th – Cubs vs. Padres in Peoria, AZ
Go to March 22
I'd really look for a different lead. Give the reader a sense of being at Spring Training. What's it feel like? What's the park like? Let the reader feel like he's vicariously there. The "I was trying to think of what to write…" lead has been done too many times. For the second straight year I've made it out to the Arizona to witness Cactus League action in person. The differences from a major league game are obvious as soon as you walk into the ballpark. The Padres complex in Peoria looks more like a carnival with a baseball game in the middle of it than a true baseball stadium. Various vendors have their booths set up all over the park and lemonade vendors have their own distinct cries and even fan followings. Families crowded the grass beyond the outfield wall and the stadium was packed for the Padres Sunday game against the Cubbies. Even on a beautiful, if not slightly chilly for Arizona, spring day, nothing would be more memorable to me than what happened in our broadcast booth.
Laurel Prieb, former Vice-President of the Milwaukee Brewers and husband of Wendy Selig-Prieb, came into the booth and asked if we wanted the Commissioner to appear on our broadcast. How could I not be completely amused and excited? I write for ContractBud.com! Bug Selig would be here.
Since I was working, I figured it wouldn't be the best time to talk about my affiliation with ContractBud as Channel 4 might not appreciate the reaction it could bring. Still, I was going to be in the booth with the Commissioner, I had to do something to document it.
In the top of the fourth, I saw Selig settle down in the Padres radio both next to Jerry Coleman. They talked for a solid inning as I repeatedly looked over, wondering if I'd get a chance to interact with Bud Selig. If nothing else, I figured that I needed a picture.
Finally, Selig headed out of the radio booth and headed to ours. With two outs in the top of the fifth, he arrived. I immediately asked to take a picture with him and I must say, no matter what you think about the man as a commissioner, he is extremely polite and accommodating. He agreed to take a picture and draped his arm over my shoulder like we were old friends. He even took a second picture when the flash didn't go off the first time before heading down to the broadcast area to go on the air.
I thanked Selig and sat down at my spot in the booth trying so hard to contain my amusement with what had just happened. Listening to Selig repeat much of what he had said in his press conferences and congressional testimony the previous week was strange as I looked down at my camera to review the two pictures.
As I mentioned, Selig stayed for a full inning while the Padres television broadcasters, Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant, asked him about the previous week. He mentioned that he wishes the penalties for steroid use could be harsher now. He said he truly wants to clean up the game of baseball so the public knows that all the players are competing on a level playing field.
It was strange to finally get a chance to meet the man who has been the subject of so much controversy during his time as commissioner. While there are positive things that Selig has done with steroids in baseball, including his minor league testing program, he needs to be a stronger leader and stand up to Donald Fehr in order to truly keep the best interests of the game in mind. Not all of the blame for the problems that baseball has can be placed on Selig's shoulders, especially with the asinine actions of Fehr, Selig has no excuse for being as uninformed as he sometimes seems to be.
It is hard for me to believe that Selig didn't know about players using steroids and his saying so is an insult to the intelligence of baseball fans and the general public. In the end, I don't doubt that Selig is a very nice man and a huge baseball fan, but he simply is not the right man to put baseball back on the right track, especially after the recent steroid hearings and the fiscal inequality in the game today.
Someone who is willing to actually put the best interests of the game at the forefront needs to be installed as commissioner to address not only drug related issues but the more pressing economic issues of baseball.
After the inning, Selig left the booth and I went back to paying attention to the game. There were many interesting things to see during the game. Nomar Garciaparra showed that he might just be completely back offensively as he belted solo home runs in his first two at-bats. However, Nomar gave Cubs fan a reason to worry as he committed three errors. The shaky defense of Nomar and Todd Walker in the middle of the diamond could be magnified with the absence of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and all the strikeouts those two pitchers bring.
For the Padres, the bats are really starting to wake up as Khalil Greene, Brian Giles and Mark Loretta each hit their first home runs of the spring. Woody Williams was a concern as he wasn't fooling anyone in his work on the mound and gave up a couple home runs and several hard hit balls.
The split squad Padres eventually overcame the Cubs A-team 9-5 but nothing on the field could overshadow what happened in the press box. My meeting with Commisioner Bud Selig.
Go to March 22
File last modified May 15, 2011
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