Last night Wake was pitching and attempting to get his 200th career win. (that's alot of wins!) He ended up with a no decision because he got pulled when they were tied 3-3, dammit. Of course I do agree that he needed the hook but I wanted to see him get his milestone win.
The sox did go onto win the game thanks to a Jacoby Ellsbury walk off homerun. (and NO Hoy, he's not on the juice) He's damn cute too though but perhaps not the brightest bulb on the christmas tree.
A few years ago I was down in Fort Meyers at the minor league training complex which is at a different location that the City of Palms Park, where the sox play their games. Anyway, this was the spring before Ellsbury's rookie year with the sox. In work, we had a monthly newsletter where I'd ask a Red Sox trivia question and whoever got it right would get some sox memorabilia. (I have loads) I told the winner, my friend Nicole, that I'd get her an autograph of whoever she wanted while I was in Ft Meyers and she told me to try to get Jacoby Ellsbury's. I'd never heard of him at that point but she said he was going to be big.
Fast forward to the training facility. There were dozens of pitchers all congregated and I decided to find out if this Jacoby guy was there. I asked a few young things and they pointed me in the right direction. It was funny because he was really no big thing. Just a young cute kid running hard in the sun with a small parachute tied to his back. I guess they do that to make the run a little more challenging.
When he was done he was told that I wanted to meet him and he came right over. (so sweet) It was funny because there were fans around but NO ONE wanted his autograph so we chatted for quite a while. I told him that I wanted him to sign the ball to my friend "Nicole". And then he asks.......
"How do you spell Nicole?"
Um, really? LOL I thought it was a kinda
So I wasn't wasting a baseball on that kid. Dumb! Boy can Nicole pick them, huh?
As I was saying, I met Yaz. Yaz is a very unhappy and angry man IMHO. Every day he'd walk the perimeter of the training facility for exercise and no one was allowed to go near him or talk to him. You could go up to anyone else there though. As we were watching his morning walk the other fans were talking and saying how Yaz just does NOT sign autographs. He won't do it. Yesterday there was a fan in a wheel chair who dared talk to him and ask and Yaz replied that the handicapped man could wait and he'd be back in an hour if the guy really wanted the autograph. The guy in the wheelchair waited for three hours and Yaz never came back.
Of course, I was determined to get the autograph even more after hearing that story. There was only ONE opportunity. When Yaz finished his perimeter walk he had to cross over a common area to get to the showers and stuff. He had about 20 yards to cross where I had access to him and I was waiting. As soon as he came into the common area I started walking beside him and made my pitch....
"....I know I don't look old enough but I've been a fan of your since I was 10 yrs old. I was at the last game you played at Fenway. I know you don't give autographs but this would be special to me and I'd never forget it. My dad's a big fan of yours too and I want to show him your autograph. Can you sign just this one for me?"
All this garbled while jog/walking beside him. He stopped right at the door as he pulled it open and said "Okay give me the ball."
I did and a ton of fans behind us looked shocked, especially my buddy Brian. Heh. Yaz signed the ball and disappeared into the building before anyone else had the audacity to speak to him.
The ball lives in my son's room now and whenever I see it I smile.