Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:02 pm
TEMPE, Ariz. -- He's just a glove machine.
Which isn't exactly what you would expect for a guy whose bat did all the talking last summer.
But once the Angels signed Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo went from AL Rookie of the Year runner-up to Man Without a Position.
The plan is to employ Trumbo at third base, but that's contingent on him learning the position this spring. There's always left field if that doesn't work out.
Strange transition, moving from the 29 homers and 87 RBIs of 2011 to collecting leather in 2012.
How many gloves has Trumbo stockpiled?
He pauses. He glances at the two by his feet. He wheels around to take inventory in his locker. He crinkles his eyebrows. Finally, he thinks he has it.
"Over 10, easily," Trumbo says. "I have a first-base glove, third base, outfield. Some are shaped differently."
Such as: For now, he's playing third base with an outfielder's glove, instead of a smaller infielder's mitt. He likes the size.
"I'm a proponent of the bigger glove," Trumbo says. "A lot of plays at third base are reactionary. You knock the ball down. You're not turning a double play. Things happen super quick."
As such, Trumbo is more comfortable with the bigger glove.
But the outfielder's glove he uses at third is different from the glove he'll use when (if) he plays left. The one he's using in the infield is broken in so it's more round and wide. The tips of the fingers are pushed down toward the glove's heel.
The outfield glove, it's broken in so it's more slender and narrow (almost like folded in half). It looks larger.
Since the Angels signed Pujols in December, Trumbo estimates he's added five gloves to his collection for test-driving and experimenting with. Options are good.
"It's an art form," he says. "What's comfortable for you, nobody else can tell you."
Biggest danger now as he moves across the infield, it appears, is Trumbo pulling the wrong glove out of his locker.
"It's getting a little cluttered," he says, chuckling.
Sunblock day? Another windstorm took the temperatures down to 60 degrees Wednesday.
Likes: The baby back ribs at Don & Charlie's in Scottsdale. Hadn't been there in several years, but it's a classic old baseball hangout during spring training. Was there the other night and saw George Brett, Robin Yount, Bob Uecker, Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson, former agent Dennis Gilbert, Joe Randa. ... Maxine Nightingale's old hit Right Back Where We Started From. Heard it on the radio today, and can't help thinking of the great flick Slap Shot every time I do. ... Very enjoyable watching Yu Darvish in Peoria on Wednesday. Particularly enjoyable the way he attacks hitters and doesn't dink around.
Dislikes: A stiff wind really made for a chilly day in Arizona on Wednesday. I'll take Florida's early spring weather over Arizona's.
Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Well, I don't know, but I've been told
"You never slow down, you never grow old
"I'm tired of screwin' up, tired of going down
"Tired of myself, tired of this town
"Oh, my, my. Oh, hell, yes
"Honey, put on that party dress.
"Buy me a drink, sing me a song.
"Take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long"
-- Tom Petty, Mary Jane's Last Dance
Posted on: December 3, 2010 2:10 pm
Few people get into the hearts of baseball fans the way broadcasters do. I wrote a Thanksgiving column about this, and primarily about the passing of legends Dave Niehaus (Seattle), Harry Kalas (Philadelphia) and Ernie Harwell (Detroit), and about the heart scare with Bob Uecker (Milwaukee), and the reaction follows.
Before we get to that, though, Cubs play-by-play man Pat Hughes, as a labor of love, has spent his past five offseasons producing CD audio tributes to several legendary broadcasters. The latest CD features Niehaus. Others available feature Uecker, Kalas, Marty Brennaman, Jack Buck, Harry Caray, Bob Prince and Red Barber. They're great items, and if you're interested, you can get more information here.
Great article, especially this time not only for the giving of thanks, but [for writing this while next season] is still a ways away. I am 33 and have been a Phillies fan for most of those years. Harry, as we call him around here in south-central PA, still holds the most memorable call in my many years as an avid sports fan: Mike Schmidt's 500th home run. When he passed away last spring, I, as many others were, was devastated. It was like losing a close, long-time friend. I have spent more time listening to Harry than I've spent listening to many of the friends and relatives I know personally. I still love to hear Vin Scully call a game, as well as Jon Miller on the radio, and Marty Brenneman. Some of the newer guys have promise, but Scully's voice flat-out IS summer. Thanks again for the pleasant cold-November-day read.
One more great thing about these broadcasters that come into our lives: Unlike certain relatives, they don't show up uninvited for the holidays!
Thank you for that great story on the voices of summer. I moved to Seattle in 1993 and I will always remember Edgar's double and Griffey scoring from first to beat the Yankees in the 1995 Divisional Series. It was the year after the strike, and Dave's call is the reason I love baseball again.
The great ones can do that for us, can't they?
Great article! XM radio is the best thing to happen to baseball and the MLB app is great with the ability to hear both radio feeds.
Love XM. What a perk it is to be able to sit on my back patio on a Saturday in the summer, Cheez-Its within reach, clicking around the satellite radio dial listening to broadcasts from each city.
I think you are right on with your column about the great baseball announcers. I became a big fan in the summer of 1962 listening to Harry Caray, Vin Scully and Ernie Harwell. I lived in Rapid City, SD. After dark I could pick up the various stations that carried MLB games. Sometimes it was not very clear but I could hear enough to know what was going on. My great grandfather & I would listen to Vin Scully on KFI out of Los Angeles. Happy Thanksgiving.
South Dakota, Michigan (where I'm from) ... one great thing about the Midwest is the flatlands allow strong radio signals to carry unimpeded for hundreds of miles. I could listen to the Tigers, Reds, Indians, White Sox, Cubs. ...
As a fellow broadcaster and Michigander, I was blessed as well to grow up listening to the National Treasure that was Ernie Harwell. I was lucky enough to do a 20-minute interview with him on my radio show a couple years ago and felt like I had lived some of the moments that Ernie described to me from an era that I was not even alive during. He just helped make you feel part of something special, and through the sharing of his experiences throughout his amazing career, I kept thinking to myself just how lucky we are to have had Ernie be a part of our lives and us a part of his. I think CBS is very lucky to have you writing for them and I would love to stay in touch and have you on my show in the future. Keep up the great work!
Very kind. Thanks.
Posted on: April 30, 2010 11:49 pm
SAN DIEGO -- Best news of the day for the Brewers on Friday came from back home in Milwaukee, where Hall of Fame radio broadcaster and beloved local icon Bob Uecker came through a six-hour heart surgery that was described by surgeon Alfred C. Nicolosi as having gone "smoothly."
Uecker, who had his aortic valve, aortic root and part of his ascending aorta replaced, is expected to remain hospitalized for approximately five to seven days, and a full recovery is expected in 10 to 12 weeks.
The Brewers were very happy when the news reached them in their clubhouse here before Friday night's game with the Padres.
"He's part of us, really," said infielder Craig Counsell, 39, a Milwaukee native whose father worked for the Brewers and who is in his fifth season with Milwaukee and 13th in the majors. "He's one of the guys. When he's not here, it's like a teammate is gone.
"We're hoping for the best and we can't wait to get him back."
Uecker, 75, is in his 40th season at the mike for his hometown team and in his 55th season of professional baseball overall.
"He gets around so good," Counsell said. "He doesn't really show any signs of getting older, ever. He just doesn't. He works out every day, swims."
The Brewers are not sure when Uecker will re-join them, but they're very happy to know that he will.
"On behalf of the entire Brewers' organization, we are relieved to know that Bob's surgery went as planned, and we look forward to his complete and speedy recovery," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said in a statement. "I know Bob appreciates just how eager Brewers fans are to hear his wit, passion and knowledge of baseball as well as all things Milwaukee -- since listening to him is such a big part of our summers. Get well, Bob."
Likes: This bit from Craig Ferguson on the Late, Late Show last week: "Airports from London to Warsaw are on their sixth day of shutdown. The airports are closed because a volcano is erupting. Smoke and ash are spreading over Europe. The smoke cloud is big and thick. Meteorologists originally thought it was coming from Willie Nelson’s tour bus." ... Friday afternoons. ... The Hold Steady on David Letterman on Friday night.
Dislikes: Nothing personal, because he's a solid guy, but man is it tough to watch Milwaukee's Doug Davis pitch. Talk about taking forever to throw the ball. And 100 pitches later, you're still in the fifth inning.
"There are people in your life who've come and gone
-- Don Henley, The Heart of the Matter