I keep wanting to write an analysis piece regarding the World Series (particularly while it’s still fresh in my mind) that will touch on how this may have been the first set of games that I can remember in which Tony actually managed in a way that suited my style: more in the moment and less from the stat sheet, and how Albert’s lack of production at the plate proved both that he is an incredible baseball player (not just an incredible talent) and that Prince Albert does not the Cardinals make. But I just haven’t had the right amount of time or brain power to get it done. It is, however, lurking in the shadows somewhere and may appear in the next few weeks. (Most likely when my picks and pans are no longer relevant.)
Of course, I blame (as usual) this untimely delay on work. However, all is not lost. The Super Top Secret project I’m currently working on (read: I signed a vast and encompassing confidentiality clause) has provided me with the opportunity to meet a few former MLB stars. So, I won’t be able to disclose anything about what we’re filming but I can tell you this: Though I’ve spent the past few days with Jose Canseco, the highlight for me came today when Vince Coleman made an appearance on the set. What a special day, indeed.
And, I am happy to report, that I do believe I did us Cardinals fans proud.
Upon his arrival I was the first to greet him and I took a moment to express my adoration. After all the welcomes and niceties, I said (and this is darn near a direct quote), "Vince, I have to take a second to tell you something. I know you played for other teams and you may have even liked them better, but I’m a Cardinal fan. I love the St. Louis Cardinals. And in my book, once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal. So, having you here is a real highlight for me. I am so glad you’re here."
To which, Vince put his arm around me and said, "The Cardinals were always my favorite. I bleed Cardinal red."
We went on to talk about the midwest and baseball. And all was gravy.
Later in the day I went to see Vince in his room and found that some of the Producers were also paying him a visit. When he saw me walk in the door he hollered something to the effect of (and I’m sort of filling in the gaps, here): Get over here and prove to these guys that they’re idiots. Being that these "idiots" were the producers of the show I’m working on and that they could fire me at their whimsy, I, naturally, obliged Vince and joined him at their table.
After asking the other men to pipe down, he asked me: Who is the only player to steal 50 consecutive bases? And I replied, "Other than you?"
That got a rousing response and he looked to the suits and quipped, "You don’t know, but she knows." (Personally, I was worried that suddenly I was going to become that prize daughter of some proud parent who insists on quizzing her on the States and Capitols while at the Thanksgiving dinner table to prove to the rest of the family that his child is smarter than the rest of the cousins. But, of course, feeling up to the challenge, I was willing to play along.)
Loving that I had gotten the first answer right, Vince threw another trivia question at me: He asked, "What is ‘The Call’?" I asked back, "Are you talking about the Cardinals?" He said he was. So I said, "You mean the missed call in the ’85 World Series." He rocked back in his chair laughing and whooping it up at the Producers’ expense.
Trying to defend their ignorance, one of the Producers cut through Vince’s laughter saying that these were all obscure facts. Then, thinking that he could prove his point by presenting me with what he viewed as the most ridiculous Vince Coleman trivia question of them all, he tried to stump me with: The Tarp Incident, in a tone and diction that was sopping with insolence and came complete with finger quotes and bulging eyes. To which I looked directly at Vince and said with a smirk (in a, ‘You and I can be amused that they don’t know this’ kind of way): "When you got rolled up in it?"
With a smile that had his face beaming, he pointed at me. Then he pointed at them with a knowing nod. And then he grabbed my arm and said, "Let’s leave these fools."
And so we did.
P.S. I got to shag for Jose while he took batting practice. Astutely, I positioned myself in the left field stands. Most of the balls I threw back into the mix. But I did keep a couple for myself– which he most graciously signed– and one feather from a bird that he hit in the rafters.