Last Sunday, I had the privilege of attending the Blue Jays-Mariners game with National Post baseball reporter, John Lott. It was a truly remarkable experience.
The day began at 10 a.m. at the media sign in gate, where John had arranged for my media credentials. This was where I met Lott for the first time.
A long time reader and admirer of his work (Lott began reporting on baseball for the Post in 2000), I was excited to get a first hand, up close look at how a professional baseball writer does his job. I was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with Lott throughout the day, which allowed me to dip into his vast well of baseball reporting knowledge.
After dropping our stuff off in the press box, we headed down to the Jays locker room. Needless to say, this was quite an experience.
Blue Jays were scattered casually about the large open room. Music blared. The atmosphere was extremely relaxed.
Unfortunately, I was unable (read: unwilling) to snap any pictures in the locker room. It seemed inappropriate considering players were changing all around me. I was, however, able to get some audio clips.
The first player I encountered was J.P. Arencibia. Lott asked Arencbia a few questions and introduced me. Lott described Arencibia as “the media darling,” and it was easy to see why. Arencibia is even more charismatic and well spoken in person than on a television screen. He seemed confident, but not cocky, and gave well thought out, interesting responses to Lott’s questions.
Next up was Brandon Morrow.
Morrow was fresh off a fantastic start against the M’s (Sat. April 28: 6 IP/0 ER/9 K/5 H/0 BB). Lott asked him about his pitch selection and strategy this season.
I was surprised at how engaging Morrow was. On TV, I have found Morrow to be a bit stiff, and often monotone in his dealings with the media. In person, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. Morrow is clearly very analytical, and extremely intelligent.
Our next stop was John Farrell’s office, where about 10 reporters gathered for the managers’ pre-game media scrum. After Farrell finished answering questions, Lott was kind enough to introduce me to Farrell, who for his part, was quite friendly. I felt silly shaking Farrell’s hand, as it dwarfed mine. He is a much bigger man than I had previously realized.
From there, Lott and I headed to the Jays dugout, where we watched players stretch.
Distracted by all of the action surrounding me, I almost didn’t notice Alex Anthopoulos sidle up beside me on the bench. AA was quick to introduce himself (as if I didn’t know who he was!), before the media members in the area gathered around us. AA then answered questions for about half an hour, before Lott and I made our way back up to the press box.
Here is a short clip of Anthopoulos: Alex Anthopoulos: 4/29/12
The press box is a great place to watch a ball game. The view in nice (straight behind home plate), there are televisions for watching replays, a desk and internet hook ups for your laptop and an array of well known and respected reporters around. Here is a pic of my view.
After the game, I followed Lott down to a media room where Farrell briefly addressed a number of reporters. We then went back into the locker room where several of the games key players were scrummed (Brett Lawrie, Henderson Alvarez through an interpreter and Jeff Mathis).
And that was that. I headed home with an extra jump in my step from all of the day’s excitement.
I am extremely grateful to John Lott for generously agreeing to bring me along. I really couldn’t have asked for a better host, and I really learned a lot from just watching him do what he does so well.
Hope you all enjoyed my account of what was an incredibly memorable day!