Desert first — then the Far East

Before this star-studded collection  of Major League All-Stars departs Monday for a fascinating trip to Tokyo, they have gathered here in the Desert for workouts this weekend. Sorry, you residents of Arizona, the gatherings are closed to the public.

1027061353For us media members lucky enough to get through the gates, there wasn’t a heck of a lot of excitement today, but it was hard not to marvel at the collection of stars sharing the field. Ryan Howard, David Wright, Andruw Jones, Jose Reyes, Jermaine Dye, mercy. Lots of studs.

Phoenix is a good, blissful place to kind of chill out before the electricity and frenzied excitement that will be Tokyo, and the other stops in Japan.

1027061639I must say, it’s kind of strange to watch Major Leaguers go through the paces of Spring Training in late October, when the World Series is winding down. The guys who didn’t make the playoffs have been off for the last month, and now, all of a sudden, they are starting it up again.

I suppose this tour represents the International coming out party of Ryan Howard. Do you think he can match the 515-foot homer that Big Papi hit in Japan two years ago? Don’t be surprised by anything this man does. He did swat 58 home runs this season, after all, and has the smile and the personality that will allow him to easily embrace the Big Attraction role that he will surely play during this tour.  Life isn’t so bad for Bruce Bochy right now. He became the Giants manager today, and, tomorrow, he comes out here to manage these All-Stars. Just FYI, i’ll be blogging regularly until this tour ends on Nov. 9. So come back here early and often for updates of the games and the sights.1027061506b


Good for you. Try and spot a talent that is not as blown up as Matsuzaka but will still be effective.

OK, i will make that my personal mission, brendan.

Ian, how are players chosen? Are the teams they’re under contract to agreeable to them taking the extra chances of being injured…or do the Steinbrenners et al try to either intimidate or strongly urge their players not to play? I could see their point.

I really believe Varitek should’ve been in camp last spring with our young and newly acquired pitchers(Beckett) instead of being away at the WCS. It certainly would have been more productive to his team!

It hurt Timlin, also. He had been healthy for years and was never on the dl in previous years, was he?

I don’t see the potential for the WCS EVER really benefitting anything, except MLB commercialism. And I guess that’s enough.

Of course, it DOES permit Ian Browne and et al to see the world WITHOUT joining the Navy. Having served in the Navy, believe me, Ian, this billet you have with MLB is better: (1) takes 4 years less of your life (2) pays better. think I got $79/month as a seaman recruit. wonder how i managed to “blow” all that money? also (3) no one is likely to shoot at you or the ship.

What charity would you like me to ask them to send your check to? A rhetorical question.

and since you’re over here, brendan. yeah, I root for the pats, but i like the giants, too. when they face off, i’ll generally feel a little guilty in abandoning one of them, but go with the team with the better record who has the best chance of going the farthest. teams i hate: steelers, redskins, eagles, chiefs, broncos, vikings, …probably forgot a few…plus anyone who beats the pats or giants this year. i especially like jeremy shockey, tiki, and eli–“the quiet manning” HA!

just checked out the pix. i didn’t know that was you. have you gained as much weight as i have in the past few months and dyed your hair? wasn’t it reddish…or are you in the shadows? at least your photo affords a more pleasant fellow than some may have bumped into. just sayin’, you know.

Ian – completely unrelated, but do you know that you share your name with the lead singer of one of the greatest bands of the 80’s? ie the Stone Roses. Quite an honor!

ybrenner – I go along with a lot of those unliked teams. I am not from the US and baseball was the first thing I got into (I took to the Sox straight away) but I am learning more and more about the nuances of football. I like the Patriots a lot. It’s very tough to call who’s going to do well this year. A lot of strong teams such as Bears, Broncos, Colts and of course the Pats but hard to know they all will fare come playoff time

if not from u.s., brendan, where, eh? right? canada?
1. canada

2. australia

3. england

4. scotland

5. ireland

6. greenland

7. nova scotia

8. iceland

9. swe(e)den

10. i know i’m lea…the bronx

is bobbie valentine still over there, ian? i would assume so. how did his team do this year?

Canada, ay? Not quite, it’s Ireland.

there are two versions of how our line of fagans came to america, brendan. one is we came here to escape one of the potato famines and to have the chance of a better life. another version is that my great-great-whatever grandfather escaped ireland and fled to american to avoid being hanged as a horse thief. i never had the confidence to try to find out which is true. i do know we didn’t come over on the mayflower. and you?

Interesting choice as to which it might have been. If you were ashamed of him being a horse thief, then you could always go with the famine line and noone would disbelieve you, seeing as 1 million people emigrated at that time. However, the horse theif idea if pretty unique. Personally I would being say ‘kudos!’ for ability to get out of being hung. As for me, I am from Ireland, born and raised

Well Ybrenner, seeing as you like numbers, I thought you may want to chew over this one:

U2 are on one side of a bridge. They need to get to the other side for a concertlks across the bridge at a different pace. It takes each person the following time to walk across the bridge:

Bono – 1 minute

Edge – 2 minutes

Adam – 5 minutes

Larry – 10 minutes (he must have a gammy knee or something).

There is one flashlight between the group. People cannot cross the bridge without the flashlight. Two men can cross the bridge at one time, and they walk at the pace of the slower man. When two men go across, one man must obviously return with the flashlight.

Your goal is to get everyone across for the concert starting in 17 mins.

There is no throwing of the flashlight or anything like that.

Example: Larry and Adam go across. It takes 10 minutes (ealking at pace of slower man). Larry walks back. That’s another 10 minutes and the mission has failed.

I am sure you will be able to find the answer on the internet but where is the fun in that?!

i’m not good at these things. but i’ll work at it maybe if i get in the mood and someone hasn’t already given the solution. one of my favorites was a farmer has a fox, chicken, sack of corn on one side of the river and has to transport all 3 to the other side without the chicken eating the corn or the fox eating the chicken. farmer can only carry up to 2 of them on the boat at a time, drop them on the other side, then come back for he other(s)(each may be on the boat more than 1 trip) so that’s what u get from me for giving me a riddle, a riddle back.

that’s not right. too easy. bring fox/corn over, leave, go back get chicken.

must be u can bring just 1 at time but each can be carried back and forth? who cares?

does it make any diff whether u like their music or not or would even go to their concert? how much are the tickets? a half-chicken?

2 pm sun ET/4 am mon japan-
japan 14 hrs ahead of us?

I’m packing right now to head to the airport… I’ll be at the first two games in Tokyo – very excited!! 🙂

time check/around 1700 ET

1700 monday oct 30

0700 tuesday oct 31


well … we’re not settin’ the world on fire over here on this blog. i’ve promoted the click on site address you gave twice, ian. so far…nada. plus, i think my riddle must have blown brendan’s mind…he’s dropped off the face of the earth, too……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… sayonara…or something like that………………………………



maybe this is what it’s like

when we die..and go to heaven

i know there won’t be any there…… altho it’s gonna’ be push ‘n shove to see if i make it there to find out for sure….

if i don’t make it….one of you fax me, will ya’?

well, this brings our posts up over 20 now. i’m doin’ my part, buddy. i’m going back overseas. see what’s goin’ on in america…..

wonder what all this was for?

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