I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to get back on the blogwagon! It’d been a few days, but that’s the nature of this time of year in the world of Minor League Baseball. It’s always funny to me when people ask, “So what do you guys do in the off-season?” because there is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to put forth a good product for fans who come to the ballpark during a 144-game season (72 at home), and it certainly cannot happen overnight. Things like stadium and field maintenance, putting together a promotional calendar, deciding on ticket packages, finalizing corporate sponsorships, contacting business for company picnics and keeping up with our website are just a few of the items on the to-do list, and it takes many sets of hands to get it all accomplished. Operating or working for a professional sports organization definitely is a year-round job even though the season lasts, in this case, only five months.
In the past 48 hours alone, here are a few items that have been in my planner:
-Meetings with corporate partners to finalize their marketing campaigns with the Sounds
-Organizing my “office,” which is the home radio booth, for the way I like to have it during the season
-Testing our broadcast equipment (which I’ll describe in greater detail in a future post) to make sure all the appropriate ISDN phone lines are working properly and that we’ll have no issues getting connected to our flagship station, The Game.
-Since the Sounds begin the season on the road and I’m with a new organization compared to previous seasons, I’ve been going through radio equipment and making sure everything I need will fit into the travel case that I’ll be using. We’ll be flying to most of our road destinations, so I’ve got to make sure everything is packed well. As they like to remind us, “luggage may shift during the flight.”
-Getting my scorebook ready with the necessary information I’ll need to have handy once the season starts, such as the team’s travel itinerary, broadcast schedules, etc. (The scorebook will also be a topic in a future post)
-Continually reading various Brewers-related websites to stay up to date with what’s happening with potential Sounds players in Spring Training.
This morning, as some of you may have heard, I was in-studio at 102.5 The Game with Darren McFarland and Brad Hopkins, who host The 1st Quarter, to talk Sounds baseball. This was the second time I’ve been over to The Game studios but the first time I’d met Darren and Brad. They were both extremely friendly and welcoming, and I’m looking forward to future interactions with both of them, including PERHAPS some sort of batting practice contest. At the end of our segment I asked Brad, a former standout in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans (and a U of Illinois alum), if he thought he could hit a home run with a wooden bat. Darren laughed, so I’m guessing he doesn’t think Brad can do it.
You can hear the segment in two parts with these links:
Over the past few days, things have become a little clearer on some of the roster spots with the Brewers and, as a result, the Sounds. For example, the starting rotation in Nashville appears ready to include Wily Peralta, Mike Fiers, Amaury Rivas and Mark Rogers, all of whom spent time with the Sounds a year ago.
The other day Tom Haudricourt, a Brewers beat writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, had a live chat with fans from Spring Training. Several former and soon-to-be current Sounds players are mentioned. You can read the transcript HERE.
As I type this, we are 15 days away from the 2012 season opener — April 5 in New Orleans. Next week I will be in Arizona with a few other Sounds front office members to see some Spring Training games, meet the Sounds coaching staff and some players, and overall just try to get a better handle on how the roster is shaping up. I’m also aiming to do some interviews that I will post here and we’ll have over on the Sounds’ website. Guys like GM Doug Melvin, manager Ron Roenicke (also a former Sound) and players such as Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and Mat Gamel are on my wish list for a chat. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone to Spring Training, so I’m certainly looking forward to the trip and meeting some new folks. We’ll be going back and forth between the major league side and the minor league side because there will be 2012 Sounds players on each side at that point.
And finally, I want to give a shout-out and thank you to Mike Simonson, the Sounds’ stadium operations manager. He did me a huge favor yesterday by drilling some holes into the corners of the counter tops in my broadcast booth so that I can run cables and cords through them to outlets. This might sound like a silly and little thing to have done, but I, like most broadcasters, am very particular about how equipment is set up during games, and I hate having cords going every which way. It’s just a pet peeve. So, thanks to Mike, my in-game broadcast accommodations were upgraded yesterday by holes in a table. I know….I am, in the words of the late great Ron Santo, a “little different.”
Hey, look! A table with a hole in it!
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Thanks for listening! (On the Air…and Off)
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