The Stuntman

March 10, Tucson – The stuntman is the individual willing to the dirty work. The man who, while the star is in his trailer, is willing to fall off the roof, get run over by the horses or mix it up in a brawl scene. Stuntman In 2007, Edgar Gonzalez was the stuntman. Randy’s not ready, Edgar will go. Team getting blown out, Edgar will eat some of the innings for you.

On June 13 at Yankee Stadium, Livan Hernandez took one on the chin, three homers, seven runs allowed in just four innings of work. Edgar grabbed the ball and went three shutout innings in a blowout saving the bullpen for an upcoming series against the Orioles at Camden Yards. In that series in Baltimore, Edgar again took the bullet. With Randy Johnson unable to make his start, Edgar made himself available on two, that’s right two days rest and answered the bell in Randy’s place. In that start, he went five innings, allowed two hits, and just a single run, outdueling Daniel Cabrera and pitching in a win as part of a three game sweep of the O’s.

Edgar_gonzalez_1In his seven starts from April 21 to September 16, Edgar went 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA, allowing just one run in five of those seven starts.

Here is a guy that could have packed his spikes out of frustration several years ago. In his first 15 big league starts went 1-13, while allowing 3 earned runs or less in 8 of those starts. In his next 14 starts, including last season, he is 6-4, with a 4.04 and has allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of those assignments. What makes it a bit more challenging is that he isn’t always quite sure when those assignments will be.

Edgar_gonzalez_2I would imagine teams might call with interest in Gonzo as injuries occur and starting pitchers are needed, and if he were to go, his shoes would be tough to fill. Yusmeiro Petit, Billy Buckner and Juan Gutierrez are all capable candidates to step in, but here’s hoping that they could handle a New York/Baltimore in three days type of assignment.

Every team needs a stuntman to make their stars look good. No stuntman, no box office hit in October.

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New Daddy Dan

January 10, Phoenix – Happy New Year! I got caught up in the Christmas rush and never dropped in the Dan Haren interview I enjoyed doing just before the holidays. This takes you beyond his numbers and standing in the big leagues and will allow you to get to know Haren a little better. He seems like a great fit beyond the obvious reasons.

Dan_haren_2 Download dan_haren_interview.WMA

Joe’s Holiday Blend

December 19, Phoenix – Happy Holidays everyone. Here are the third and fourth parts of my memorable conversation with Joe Garagiola.

Download joe_garagiola_interview_3.WMA Joe_garagiola_5 Download joe_garagiola_interview_4.WMA

Just_play_ball_2 Don’t forget that Joe’s book "Just Play Ball" carries that same kind of optimism and heart surrounding the game of baseball as was heard in those conversations.

Dan_haren I had the chance to have a quality conversation with new Diamondback Dan Haren on Tuesday. It will be posted in a few days. In the meantime, many wishes to you and those important to you at this time of year and let the countdown to pitchers and catchers begin.

P.S.-Do you see Joe in this pic?

Joe_polo

Several Cups of Joe with Joe

November 29, Phoenix – Shortly after the World Series wrapped up, I had the honor of spending an afternoon with Joe Garagiola. We spoke about baseball, broadcasting, history, family, faith and friendships. I even pulled out a recorder to capture some of the thoughts of the man we have welcomed into our living room for many years, only this time we got to visit his. They are unedited, so forgive the beginnings and ends, here are the first two parts of the four part conversation:Joe_g_and_vin

Download joe_garagiola_interview_1.WMA

Joe_garagiolagerald_ford_1 Download joe_garagiola_interview_2.WMA

Joe went into the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster in 1991, here’s hoping legendary and classy Blue Jays voice Tom Cheek gets his call as the Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence this time around. Cheek passed away in 2005 and was taken from all of us far too soon. Tom_cheekTom was best known to Canada’s baseball faithful as the man who had a streak of 4,306 consecutive games called. To me, he was a friend, a colleague and a mentor..and one incredible game caller. Let’s celebrate Tom in Cooperstown in the not so distant future.