Media day is always a kick.
Everybody's in uniform. Everybody's available to talk.
Basically, it's about 35 players, coaches and staff milling about while all the television crews and newspaper guys (well, me) pull guys aside for one interview at a time. I think it's probably more fun from a social studies standpoint to watch the players who aren't being interviewed to see what they do.
Mostly, it's a lot of guys doing circle drills — kind of like pepper, but without a bat. Sometimes, when I was interviewing a guy I'd notice a baseball would get away from a group and roll toward me. Kept me on my toes. I guess that's the purpose of the drill, though.
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Found out some interesting things, though.
For starters, there are a lot of really smart people on this team.
Seth Willoughby had a 3.7 GPA at Xavier University while majoring in Management Information Systems.
Brook Hart went to Yale and competed in football AND basketball. ("It's all about time management," he said)
Benjamin Hughes was a double-major in political science AND economics at St. Olaf (Minn.) College. So I asked him if he was the most opinionated person on the team. (I've known a few poly-sci majors in my time and not a one of them wasn't opinionated)
He told me that wasn't necessarily the case, but then again, it depends on who he's hanging out with at the time.
"Chris Dennis is a finance major at (University of Portland). We went golfing yesterday and got into it a little bit," he said with a wry smile.
Then I asked what he'd be doing if he wasn't playing baseball.
"Probably going to graduate school," he said.
You want nicknames? The best one of the day is Big Kahuna, which was given to Josh Slaats by former Dust Devils pitching coach Joey Eischen.
"It's because I went to (University of) Hawaii," he said. "He thought it was pretty clever."
Of the nicknames he prefers, Josh said he likes it when people call him by his last name. It's easy to remember, plus it's got a nice ring to it.
"Most players just go by their last names, anyway," he said. "Half the time, I don't even know people's first names until the end of the season."