Ho, Ho, Kam! Merry Cubs fans!
MESA, Ariz.–It’s the first workout for the Cubs at HoHoKam Park, and everyone’s here today. While it’s just business as usual for the team, stretching, batting practice, bullpen sessions, it’s a big deal for everyone else. First off, the media. National writers Bob Nightengale, Jerry Crasnick, Alan Schwarz and Phil Rogers (he was at Fitch yesterday) are all here to check out our team. But more importantly, more than a handful of Cubs fans have showed up to hang out and watch the Cubs workout.
And everywhere you go–Starbucks, souvenir shops, stores or restaurants, people are talking about the start of Spring Training.
By the way, there was an AP photo in some of the local papers today showing Carlos Zambrano and Mike Fontenot doing their pregame ritual. LIke I mentioned in my blog yesterday, that was a photo shoot set up specifically for our 2009 gameday program CUBS2009. Here (right) is one of the authentic photos from the shoot.
Also, frequent photo contributor to Vine Line Chris Bernacchi added this perspective to photo day (below). Pretty interesting. I feel like I’m watching an old 70s episode of “Batman” with Adam West and Burt Ward. OK, I just dated myself really badly there.
Our “In the Dugout” session went extremely well, with Lou offering me 30 minutes of his time, which is a lot considering he had to fit lunch and me in between practice and a photo shoot with Aquafina. While the shoot was going on, we could hear the agency people and Lou yelling. But he wasn’t being cantankerous, they were simulating an argument with an umpire. But it cracked up media relations director Peter Chase.
And lastly, I conducted a roundtable discussion with Cubs beat writers Carrie Muskat, Paul Sullivan and Gordon Wittenmyer. It was interesting to get the perspectives from seasoned vets like them. We talked about travel, players, the journalism industry, the competitive nature of journalism, technology.
Tomorrow: The first Cactus League game. Like Lou said: “I got 39 games to figure things out. We got plenty of time.”