The Most Annoying Sound in the World (and other things you learn on Photo Day)

We continue along today with my continuing journey of learning what actually happens during Spring Training.  If you missed our last edition, read it here, or here’s a brief recap:

As a kid Joel thought Spring Training involved games.  As he grew older he thought it was workouts and games.  As he grew older he realized minor league pitchers and catcher don’t report when pitchers and catchers do, that’s only the big leaguers.  He has also had the childhood belief dispelled that meals were like summer camp and involved all players coming into the mess hall, listening to announcements then going outside for the flag raising.  Well, the last one wasn’t much of a staple in my mind, but it had been fleeting thought when I was 12 or so, so there you go.

Today’s edition talks about photo day, which begins at about 7am.  This was early for me because I had been broadcasting a Pitt-Iowa college baseball game Saturday night and didn’t get to my hotel in Clearwater until about 12:30.  I woke up at four to ensure I could get showered, dressed and back to Bradenton by six.  While this may seem insane, it is, but I trained my body to learn to work on three hours sleep while in college (and cue my mother calling me concerned).  It wasn’t for bad reasons, I just worked a lot, but anyway.

So I arrived at Pirate City and took my position, swinging a bat to be used as a prop while waiting for players and coaches to arrive.  My job was to cross off the names of players as they came to the dining hall for pictures.  We all took our guesses at who would be first.  With Pirates Media Relations Director Jim Trdinich informing us it’s always a coach in first, I guessed hitting coach Gregg Ritchie.  Gregg let me down.  Actually it was Wally Whitehurst, 2010 Marauders pitching coach, that came through the door first.  Trevor Gooby, the boss, promptly changed his guess from whatever it was to Wally.  I guess he won.

As the morning went on my job grew to include “Hat Finder,” asking each player what size hat they wanted and then finding it.  There are a couple of issues here.  Hats are in sizes by the eighth inch but are reduced fractions (think elementary school).  This makes finding sizes much more difficult.  When you’re moveing quickly it’s hard to tell the difference between 3/8 and 1/2.  After all, three is bigger than both one and two and it’s just too much math in the morning.  Also of note here is that the most common size of hat is 7 and 3/8 inches.  It was also the hardest hat to find in our pile, causing Garrett Jones to yelp with glee when one was found in the haystack.  Yes, yelp, he didn’t want anybody else taking that hat.

Once fitted with hats the players go from station to station taking pictures for headshots, baseball cards and whatever else.  Some also stopped at the signing table and autographed I believe three dozen baseballs.  The authenticator was on hand to verify them all.  This was pretty cool because I’ve only ever read about this man (or his kind).  Now I know he does (they do) indeed exist. 

From there I toured around with Rule 5 Draft pick Josh Rodriguez and walked him into the board room where it looked like the dentist from Little Shop of Horrors had set up.  The photographers put Rodriguez in their chair contraption and took his picture with this funky looking column of cameras, slowly rotating him in a circle for the next shot.  I learned this was for MLB The Show.  They were shooting his 360 degree body shot so it can be perfectly replicated in the game.  And who said video games aren’t realistic?  Or maybe they’re too realistic haha.  Hey, soon will come the day when your video game will be rained out.

(PHOTO: Matt Diaz on the green screen)

diaz green screen.jpg

I then took Rodriguez upstairs where he shot all of his stuff for the PNC Park scoreboard.  We previewed this on last week’s Monday Morning Minute.  The two of us walked in on Aaron Thompson’s question and answer shoot.  While I don’t want to reveal too much I will say that Thompson was asked the following two questions back-to-back.  What is your favorite movie and what is the most annoying sound in the world?  He responded with Dumb and Dumber and, of course, this.

Some players were also asked about their celebrity crushes for the shoot.  I heard anything from Biel to Bullock and figured I would take the opportunity to tell GLEE star Diana Agron that she’s welcome to a Marauders game anytime.  Anyway, moving on.

I don’t want to reveal too many secrets, but some of the stuff they shoot for the scoreboard is really very cool.  And yes, it did involve fire, although it’s all digital. 

By the time photo day ended it was maybe 10:00.  All that in less than three hours.  File it away as another thing that goes on during Spring Training.

Till next time,

Joel

 

 

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About Joel Godett
Joel Godett is in his secod year broadcasting Bradenton Marauders baseball. His career has carried him from Syracuse to Buffalo, Roanoke, Cape Cod, Tampa and Bradenton. He is originally from New Jersey and somehow grew up an Atlanta Braves fan.

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