Season Begins Tomorrow
The Durham Bulls had their “First Pitch” luncheon yesterday and I was lucky enough to attend. It was fun to chat with a couple of the players and shake their hands.
Pitcher Brian Baker and catcher Craig Albernaz were in the room even though they don’t show up on the Bulls roster. Seems early in the season for doing the Hudson Valley roster paper shuffling routine, but that appears to be happening.*
Everybody looked very fit and tan and I had one of my blinding glimpses of the obvious — these guys have been playing baseball in Florida for the last couple of months...of course they look fit and tan.
When asked about the competition, Charlie Montoyo said that he thought that Gwinnett is going to be the team that will give the Bulls the most trouble.
Unusual for Montoyo, he stood still for a long interview. Worth a watch.
Ray Olmedo seems to be happy to be back with Durham. He said that the biggest difference between the Pacific Coast League and the International League was the distances teams have to travel. He mentioned routine 4 A.M. flights and then having the play the same day. He remembered starting off the 2009 season with a bunch of home runs. He didn't promise to do it again.
Dirk Hayhurst on being a starter instead of a reliever: “I hope I don’t suck.”
For more on the luncheon, check out Steve Wiseman’s story in the Herald-Sun.
* The Hudson Valley Renegades are a team in the Rays minor league system that plays a “short season”. Since their season hasn’t started yet, their roster provides a place to park players that the Bulls want to keep close, but don’t have room for on their own roster.