Back in Blighty, on the currently much wetter side of the pond, we place great value in a pint of beer and in particular who you might share a pint with (that doesn't mean you actually `share' the beer, that would be ridiculous - half-pints are for ladies, tourists and the French - you share the time it takes to drink the pint and, often as not, several of it's friends) and we spend more time in the pub than would probably be considered healthy in Southern California - blame it on the rain. With that in mind I've been pondering who in the world of baseball it would be interesting to spend an afternoon with down the boozer, and equally importantly, who you couldn't abide having to spend the afternoon with. We do this from time to time with footballers and other sportsmen/women back here (though in the case of footballers it's a short discussion since most of them don't have the skills with which to wipe their own bum without careful supervision, let alone drink and talk sensibly for an hour) - I'm sure you do something very similar in the US. For example, I'd pay good money to spend an afternoon at the pub with Martin Johnson (World cup winning England Rugby Captain, for the uninitiated among you) and I'd pay vast sums not to have to spend any time with David Beckham (unless I had a garrote and had a universal get-out-of-jail-free card) or Tiger Woods.
So my question is this:
Who in baseball would you like to share a pint with and why? Angels or another team, playing staff, coach or executive...
I'll kick you off with a handful:
Scot Shields - relievers need a different mind-set than other players (I think). They usually come in when things have either gone south, or are threatening to, they could be called on at any time, and there is an expectation that they will fail occasionally when it matters most that they don't. It's not just about having an elastic arm, it requires an elastic mind-set. I think that's worth chatting about over a pint, and he seems like a cheery, phlegmatic sort.
Mickey Hatcher - been around the block a few times, must have some tall tales. I'd also like to understand his approach as a hitting coach better because he cops a lot of flak here and I'd like to see if it's fair.
Arte Moreno - the guy loves the team and wants to win, and clearly has an abiding respect for the importance of beer.
Tom Hicks - nothing to do with baseball though, total self-interest. I'd be pitching for him to sell the Rangers so he can invest his money more profitably elsewhere. Preferably in the North-West of England.
And one to avoid:
Gary Sheffield - a fine player but a complete fool on multiple levels. (N.b. it should be Barry Bonds here but he's a marginal 2nd because I'm bored to tears of the whole Bonds thing - it's repetitive, it's rubbish, and the sooner he's forced to retire the better. Billy Beane in 3rd - `Moneyball'? `Moneybollocks', more like)