Dex, Jon, Sheona and I got an opportunity to get special passes to go to "The Backyard Makeover" post game reception. The event had a question and answer session with Luke Yoder the head Grounds Crew guy and Center Fielder Dave Roberts!
The reception was held in the Petco Park Auditorium. We found a secret stairway guarded by elite members of the Pad Squad. We didn't even have to show them our tickets for the event. Some how they just knew that we belonged there. Head Band Pad Squadder said "Follow me to the food!" We walked into the dining area with all you can eat Randy Jones BBQ. I quickly skipped the nachos and made my way to the Barbecue Sandwich. I stuffed it in my mouth and swallowed. I didn't need to chew because the meat just melted in my mouth. I quickly killed 2 sandwiches which woulda cost me $17 at RJ BBQ. Oh man they were good.
Then a mysterious Pad Squadder gave me the head nod and pointed behind me. It was Dave Roberts he had crept in the back door. Dressed in a brilliant aqua outfit. It's weird but my first thought was that the game only ended about 5-10 minutes ago and there is no way he had a chance to shower before he came up here. Wow! We might catch a whiff of big league B.O.
Luke Yoder was the first to talk. He told us that he majored in Grass in college. Dex said "who didn't?" under his breath. Anyway we sat there in awe as he talked about drainage and turf. Then the questions started. One lady wanted to get her husband a job on the grounds crew. Then this crazy lady asks if there is a rule of when to brush off home plate. Yoder trying to be polite but obviously thinking this lady is crazy politely says that is up to the umpire to decide when to brush the plate. There are a few more questions about the quickness of the grass this year and more drainage stuff. I've had a month to think up some sorta question for this thing and all I can think of is "Do sunflowers ever start growing on the field due to all the seeds the players spit out?" I tell my question to Dex and he chuckles but acts real nervous like I shouldn't get us kicked out of this place.
After Yoder left to a round of applause they bring up Dave Roberts. THE Dave Roberts. The questions start right away. This little fat kid says in a high lispy voice "Will you play catch with me Mr. Roberts?" Dave's like "Sure kid, but I don't have a left handed glove with me. If I had to throw with my right arm I would throw like a girl!" Sheona audibly gasps. Dex thinks about how mad Jess would be. Jon never happy, wishes he was on the field listening to Roberts instead of this auditorium. I laugh.
Oh no, it's the Crazy Lady asking another question. "Did you know that you can get a Home Depot credit card, and you can buy all your home supplies on that card. I myself have over $10,000 on my Home Depot credit card." The event was sponsered by Home Depot and MasterCard. But I have seriously no idea what this lady is talking about. Why is she asking Dave Roberts? Dave is thinking the same thing. "Uh I didn't know that." Looks over his shoulder to the event organizer hoping for someone to get rid of Crazy Lady. Later we guessed that maybe she was drunk, but really I just think she's nuts.
Uh oh, the fat kid and his friends are asking more questions. "Mr. Roberts I have a 3 part question." Ah dude. "Have you ever met Tony Gwynn?", "We're you MVP of the entire game?" "How'd it feel to hit that home run?". In short the answers were "Yes, we have the same agent", "No, probably Khalil", "Good".
Fat Kid with another question. "What type of pitch did you hit for the home run?" Dave replies "a fast ball on the inner half of the plate". I bounce up and down in my seat excited, "I knew it! I knew it!"
The whole time our crew sits there. We can't think of one question. Somebody asks "Are fans different on the East and West coast?" Jon a little upset says "I was gonna ask that". Dave tells us that there is absolutely nothing to do on the East Coast and it sucks. So fans over there have "a sickness" where they follow teams too closely and it eats away at them when they lose. Dave Roberts hates East Coast fans, just like me. You heard it here first. Suck it Boston!
Then Dave starts signing baseballs for all of us. Some 13 year old dude in line tells Dave that his little league team has won 17 straight games. Dave offers encouragement "Good job". I get to the front of the line and ask the only question I can think of "Who's the second hardest working player on the team?" Dave understands that I understand that he is numero uno, he grins. Then he thinks. Dave Roberts is a thinking man folks. He finishes signing my ball but says "Wait right here, while I think about that". He's going to give me a real thoughtful answer. A few minutes later he says "Jake Peavy... wait no Hoff... well Hoff and Peavy". I nod, it's obvious I approve of his answer. There is obviously a mutual sign of respect between us.
Jon and Roberts are loving each other!
Roberts goes on to sign Dex's game program with Roberts picture on it. Then he signs Jon and Sheona's balls. Jon asks "Where do you keep your World Series Ring?" The answer... "in a safe." Very interesting.
Some dudes are there for a bachelor party. They ask Dave to sign his Hooters shirt and advice on a pre-nup. I say "you shoulda asked him for a lap dance", they give me a weird look.
On our way out Dex made a plate for his wife with leftovers. He went on and on about how he's has to be a provider now that he's married and that Jess will get mad at him if he doesn't bring her RJ BBQ.
What a marvelous experience. I hope I didn't miss anything. Thanks Pad Squad Steph for the tickets!