Reunion to end all reunions
OK, I am positively dizzy from the morning reunion that took place on the lawn of City of Palms Park this morning. How can you keep track of all these intertwinements?
Nomar is in the house, and some folks were very happy to see him. David Ortiz bear-hugged him. Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield also had conversations with Boston’s former favorite son.
No. 5 also had a nice moment behind the batting cage with Captain Carl Yastrzemski, who made his first public appearance in camp.
Oh, and did we mention Grady Little is here? Grady has a big smile on his face and held court with all kinds of old friends. Jim Rice, Wakefield, Johnny Pesky, et al.
Bill Mueller strolled on the field in casual street clothes and a laptop case. Yes, Billy Ballgame
is a full-blown executive now, serving as Ned Colletti’s special assistant. Mike TImlin and Doug Mirabelli, in particular, were pretty excited to see the 2003 American League batting champion.
Mike Easler is also here. He’s now a coach in the Dodgers system. It was interesting watching him and Rice. Remember that Rice and Easler were teammates on a relentless Red Sox lineup in 1984. Remember how good that lineup was? Boggs-Evans-Rice-Armas-Easler-Buckner-Gedman-Barrett. That was a lineup and a half that year. Anyway, before I digress any further, Rice replaced Easler as the Boston batting coach in the mid 1980s.
Still, there are more connections. Rudy Seanez and Matt White — a pair of former Sox relievers — are here. Seanez was booed out of Boston last year.
White, a Rule 5 pick from 2003, has recently landed a fortune, thanks to 24 million tons of mica rock. Estimated fortune? Somewhere between $1.2 and $2.4 million. There’s another angle to the story though. White is sick of talking about his pending fortune and more worried about winning a roster spot in the Dodgers bullpen. Oh well, hey, at least if he doesn’t make the team, he won’t go hungry.
Don’t forget that Damian Jackson is also with the Dodgers. You remember Damian Jackson. The guy who had the crash to end all crashes with Johnny Damon in the 2003 playoffs. My other recollection of Damian Jackson is the throwing contest he once had with Gabe Kapler before a home game at Fenway. Standing behind the first base line, both men were aiming baseballs over the Green Monster. As I recall, Gabe won the competition handily. But Damian is still spry as ever. My pal Rob Bradford informs me that Jackson ran up to Varitek during pre-game drills today, put his hands on ‘Tek’s shoulders and leaped over the Captain.
More crossovers? Dave Jauss, who lives in my hometown of West Roxbury, is Grady’s bench coach. Jauss was a very valued advance scout for the Red Sox during October of 2004.
Also, there’s the J.D. Drew factor. J.D. caused some resentment in Los Angeles when he opted out of his deal with the Dodgers to come to Boston. And one more worth mentioning. Alex Cora played most of his career with the Dodgers and is just one of those guys who looks like a Dodger. Alex enjoyed some reunion time as well.
All this makes me long for my next reunion.