Franco’s Spring Training Wrap up post

Diamond Hoggers Nation- Thanks for adopting me last week and allowing me to drop my daily adventures on you. I’ve had an absolute blast and want to thank Mevs for giving me this opportunity. I fully expect to check back in with you guys from time to time when I have good stuff to share. Here is my wrap up from the crazy week:


Baseball Trip Stats

9 games in 7 Days. 6 different Stadiums.

Highlight of the Week– Hanging out in the Rays’ locker room for an afternoon.

Lowlight of the Week– Getting Big Leagued by Ryno Sandberg.

Best game I saw: Yankees v Red Sox. The Yanks played their big time starters and the Sox played their top prospects. It was great baseball on the field and great banter in the stands.

Favorite Stadium: Phillies Bright House Field in Clearwater

Rowdiest Fans: Phillies fans in Clearwater

Fans most likely to eat dinner at 4pm: Cardinals fans in Jupiter

Road Trip Stats

Miles Driven: 2,709

Cheapest Gas Fill Up: $3.29

Most Expensive Gas Fill Up: $3.89

Money Spent on Food (not including snacks and PB&J from my home cupboard):  $38 (I did have some very nice dinners picked up by Zobrist and Sutton.  Special thanks to them.)


A few extra stories that didn’t make it in the posts this week:

That’s Dedication

Sean Rodriguez of the Rays is known for being one of those guys that works hard, plays the game the right way, and takes care of his body. This reaffirms what I’d heard from other sources. He says that he normally goes to bed at 9pm every night of spring training (they normally play all their games at 1:05pm). It is also well known that he is usually the first to the ballpark, always arriving around 6:30am.

Manny and His Protein Smoothie

So I’m sitting in a Port Charlotte coffee shop doing some work and a guy who works at the Smoothie King next door came in for latte. I was talking to the owner of the coffee shop at the time and the smoothie dude came over and told this story. It went like this:

The other day, Manny Ramirez had come in and asked for a smoothie.

Manny: I’ll take (such and such) smoothie with extra protein.

Smoothie dude: So like one and a half scoops of protein?

Manny: How bout 4 scoops?

Smoothie dude: That’s a ton of protein, how about 2 scoops.

Manny: Nah man, I had a big workout today. I want 4 scoops.

Smoothie dude: You sure? Okay, coming right up.

Now, I don’t know exactly how much 4 scoops of protein is, but it’s a lot. I’ve read about Manny’s off season work outs and I’m sure he has monitors his protein intake to an extent. Anyways the Smoothie King worker is really stoked that Manny is in his store ordering from him.  When he finished making it he noticed that he hadn’t made enough to fill the cup. “Oh, well.” He put a top on it and gave it to Manny who then paid and left.

It wasn’t til a few minutes later the smoothie dude realized that he had totally forgot the 4 scoops of protein and Manny had walked out with a plain smoothie with 0 grams of protein.

Quick rant on the DO’S and DON’TS of scalping tickets

-DON’T take the first offer that a scalper offers you

-If you have a long walk to the stadium from the parking lot DON’T buy from the first guy you see. He’ll almost always be the highest priced.

-DON’T believe scalpers when they say that the game’s sold out. In my experiences they’re only telling the truth 9% of the time.

-If you have time and only need 1 or two tickets, DO hang out around the front of the stadium looking for regular fans trying to unload a few last minute tickets.  They’ll almost always sell for face value or lower depending on how you negotiate.

-DO check the tickets before you buy them to make sure they are where the scalper says they are. “Right down the first base line” can mean standing room in the back corner of the ballpark.

I think I could keep going on this for a while. Maybe I’ll write a post about it later… Good luck

Stadium Bag Check

All week, I would bring my trusty backpack into the stadiums with me. They were legal to bring in, but there were security guards at all the gates that checked all bags to make sure people weren’t bringing in things like, food, alcohol, weapons, and stuff like that. I noticed that they only checked the main section of my backpack, but never the front pocket. Not like I had any contraband in there… or did I.

When I finally got home from my week in Florida and unpacked my backpack, I found a few surprises in the front pocket.  Namely a miniature bottle of Jager and a butterfly knife. Now, let me quickly explain that the mini Jager was given to me by a friend months ago and had been forgotten about, and the butterfly knife was a groomsman gift from a few years back and I had no idea it was in there. None the less I dragged around a shot and an illegal weapon into every ballpark I visited. Whoops.

Best Pedroia Description Ever

This comes from a convo Drew Sutton and I had about Dustin Pedroia.

Sutton on Pedroia: “I love DP man. I honestly think that he believes he’s 6’4 240. I’ll say, ‘You going to hit?’ and he’ll respond, ‘Naw man, I’m going to FREAKING RAKE!’ If he makes an out, he’ll come back into the dugout and say something  like, ‘If that SOB throws me that inside fastball again I’m going to hit it out of the freaking stadium.’ He doesn’t just say those things, he believes them.”


It was quite a memorable week with a lot of experiences that I won’t soon forget. Many thanks to all my friends that gave me food, places to sleep, laughter, tickets, and good times. I’ll look forward to catching up with you guys later.  If you miss me that much you can shoot over to

And we want to give a special thanks to Franco for providing us with all of the great stories from down in Spring Training. He did a great job going above and beyond what we expected, giving us some of the most interesting material that has appeared on Diamond Hoggers in weeks. If it’s any sign of things to come, his main project over at the NLB is going to be a HUGE success! In short, bookmark his site to your favorites (and blogrolls) and stay tuned for more great, wholesome baseball material.