Aug 08

Player personalities: Dyson, Moustakas, Lucas and more

Federico Casteneda throws sunflower seeds at least as well as he throws baseballs (details toward end of post).Note: This is a busy time for me, with two different jobs in two different cities intersecting, but I will try to MAKE some time for blogging. We’ll see how this goes.

Some dugout stories from Friday:

Long before Friday’s game started, only a few Royals players were outside. Most game days at this time, I carry my stuff past the dugout, put it down and head back to our supply room to work on more stuff. At most, I’ll exchange a quick ‘hello’ with a player or two, but usually it’s a very quiet time.

But on Friday, Luis Mendoza and Mike Moustakas were outside in each other’s shoes – figuratively speaking. Mendoza had a bat, and Moose was pitching to him and fielding his grounders. It was like watching little kids play ball in the yard – just a cute little baseball moment. [I could, and probably will, write an entire post about how much I love Mike Moustakas. Dude is a joy to be around!]

Later in the same pregame, something in the outfield caught my eye: Jarrod Dyson was doing a standing backflip! Only a few people saw it, because it was long before the game started and the stands were only starting to fill up.¬† Those of us who saw Dyson’s acrobatics clapped and cheered for him, and encouraged him to do it again. Well, Moustakas wasn’t going to let his buddy do a trick without a big enough audience, so he ran around, getting fans’ attention and made sure everyone was watching and cheering for Dyson, who then landed another flip successfully.

ALSO during that pregame, Ed Lucas was walking around the dugout wearing¬† a jersey with the number 7 on it. Problem is, that’s Marc Maddox‘s number. My mind started racing as I wondered if something had happened to Maddox (a favorite of mine) and Lucas had pounced on his jersey number? Or maybe there had been some switching for some other reason? Ed disappeared before I could ask him about it, but when I saw him come out of the clubhouse about 20 minutes later, he was back in his usual #4.

The answer to my number-switching questions? A simple clubhouse prank – someone wanted to see how long it would take Lucas, with his Dartmouth pedigree, to notice he was in someone else’s jersey.

Jordan Parraz has come up with a new way to mess up the on-field promotions team’s efforts. During ‘Hurl the Pearl,’ when people try to throw softee baseballs into a moving truck to win prizes, we have to run on the field to pick up the missed shots. A few of the players LOVE to pick up stray softees that get into the dugout, and throw them at my girls and me. For years, they’ve just aimed for heads and butts, but Parraz decided to take it to a new level. He chucked a ball at the bucket my coworker was collecting the softees in, and the bucket flew out of her hands and spilled on the warning track.

Parraz looked more proud of that moment than he looks after home runs.

Point is, one thing I’ve noticed about this team lately is that the usual ‘cliques’ you see in baseball aren’t as evident here. The usual divisions in the dugout are: pitchers hang out with pitchers, position players hang out with position players, and then those groups are divided up by language.

Not our guys, at least not lately. I’m sure it may not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the Omaha players all mill around, everyone talking to everyone for parts of the game, regardless of position or nationality. For example, outfielder Parraz teamed up with pitchers Victor Marte and Federico Casteneda to engage in an innings-long sunflower seed war with…someone outside of the dugout.

Again, maybe this is all meaningless. After all, the team has slid in the standings lately. But right now, Omaha is filled with more prospects and other intriguing players than I can ever recall, and they’re all the types of guys whom fans should love. Lots of autographs, chatting with fans, handing out baseballs, whatever.

So if you come out to any of the remaining 17 home games, come early and bring something for our boys to sign. Odds are better than ever that people will sign autographs, and they’ll be people you’ll see in the Majors when the Royals become a winning team again.

Related posts:

  1. Ed Lucas’ big night wasted in loss

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