Sportsman of the Year
Life of Reilly
SI for Kids
SI Customer Service
SI Media Kits
Get into College
Downpours afford chance to hang with a saint
Posted: Monday March 05, 2001 4:12 PM
Throughout spring training, CNNSI.com will feature regular dispatches from
Sports Illustrated staffers assigned to scout camps in the Grapefruit and Cactus
By Jeff Pearlman, Sports Illustrated
WEATHER: Pouring rain, gray skies, low
PLAYER I SAW WHOM I REALLY LIKED: 1B Mike Sweeney. There are
many nice guys in baseball, but there are only two patron saints of pure
goodness. One is Sean Casey, Cincy's remember-everybody's-name first
baseman. The other is Sweeney. Simply put, there is nobody better. Sweeney
carries a small Bible in his back pocket. He'll shake any hand, sign any card.
In a quiet Royals' clubhouse around 2 p.m., Sweeney's singing voice was the only
sound. Can he carry a tune? Not especially, but who cares? It's the tune of a
AROUND THE HORN
Manager Tony Muser spent a good chunk of time during
Sunday's press gathering praising non-roster reliever Doug Bochtler,
who gave up the game-winning homer to Glenallen Hill in Kansas City's
8-7 loss to the Yankees on Saturday. The day before, Bochtler learned that his
wife Darcy has skin cancer. "I talked to him before the game and
he had tears in his eyes," Muser said. "I sent [pitching coach
Brent] Strom down to ask Doug if he wanted to pitch. He showed a lot of
courage, going out there. To me, winning people show themselves by much more
''It's a weird thing," said Bochtler. "They asked me if I would take
the ball. If there's one thing I'll do, it is take the ball regardless of how I
feel or what's going on in my life. These guys pay me to pitch. The fact that I
had three hours of sleep didn't help my athletic performance, I know
Although rain canceled the Royals' exhibition against Houston, two
pitchers were able to throw simulated games, with mostly positive results. No. 1
starter Jose Rosado, who missed all but five games last season with a
sore shoulder, spotted his changeup well and had good movement on his fastball.
However, his location was only so-so, and his velocity remained in the low- to
mid-80s. Also throwing was Mac Suzuki, the team's best starter (8-10,
4.34 ERA) last season who is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left
shoulder. His velocity was 85-89 mph, and he says he's about 85% of his regular
self. "Mac's performance was very encouraging," said Muser. "He's
Third baseman Joe Randa, a free agent at season's end, sat
by his locker during the heavy rain pour, signing cards and talking future.
Although he could likely make more money elsewhere, Randa says it is his wish to
remain with the Royals. "I don't know what their plans are," he said.
"But I came up in this organization and my family lives here. I'd like to
Muser is searching for a centerfielder to back up Carlos
Beltran. Among the leading candidates are super prospect Dee Brown,
ex-Met Joe Nunnally and ex-Mariner Raul Ibanez, none of
whom are naturals at the position. Don't be surprised if Kansas City jumps at
the chance to sign Rich Becker, who is in camp with Florida but is
facing an uphill battle to make the Marlins'
Sports Illustrated senior writer Jeff Pearlman will check in periodically
with reports from his tour of spring camps.
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
|Search our site
||Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
||Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.
Copyright © 2001|
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.