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Altobelli, Sanders keeping Dust Devils loose

If you’re interested in who the pranksters might be on this year’s Dust Devils team, I’ll leave this one to Dominic Altobelli, who told me a funny story about what happened to a teammate during extended spring training.

I started by asking him if he knew who the jokers might be, and here was his response:

“Oh yeah, me and (Matt) Sanders. We have fun together,” he said. “He gets it going, though. He’s an instigator.

“In extended, he got (outfielder Nathan) Hines with Anbesol (an on-contact numbing agent). He put it around the lip of his Gatorade.

“Sanders told me he did it. I was sitting on the bench waiting to hit, and we saw Hines drinking it, and (mimicking Hines smacking his lips) started looking around, trying to spit, but it was dribbling out.”

Altobelli seems to be one of those great clubhouse guys because he’s easy to talk to and very friendly. That can be a big deal with some of the newer drafted players who literally just got off the plane from college and don’t know anybody. And I bet in a lot of cases, Altobelli is one of the first to shake the new guy’s hand.

He also appears to be the one who says what needs to be said at times. Take an instance during practice last week when the team was in the middle of a workout, but with the exception of the crack of the bat and some brief chatter, the place was dead silent.

“At one point, me and (Chandler) Laurent were hanging over by third base,” he said. “He was running and I was doing some defensive drills. We looked at each other and said at the same time, ‘Can we get some music in here?’ ”

Any type of music can work, according to Altobelli, a 6-foot-1 outfielder out of Oak Forest, Ill. At least for him, it can.

“Anything that keeps you loose,” he said. “Some guys hate country, but I like it all.”