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A Conversation with Tom Garfinkel

Hotels book quick for Spring Training, so the best we could do for a hotel room here was a handicapped room at the Red Roof Inn in Phoenix. It's nice because it's close to the elevators, but I feel like I have to use the bars next to the toilet to stand up and get in and there are too many extra knobs and things in the shower.

We're headed over to the Spring Training facility and then home again. I don't think I have to eat again for a solid week. I'll probably eat some more though.

I've also developed a taste for date shakes, so I'm looking forward to that.

We'll have plenty of stories to tell, but one I'll tell you now:

We were sitting with Tom Garfinkel for a bit and he was ready to separate himself from us again. He casually and vaguely said, "OK guys, I gotta get back down to talk to some people. Get back to it." And then he waved somewhere in the direction of the seats below us.

JBox started waving and pointing in vague directions towards our seats two rows in front of us and replied, "Oh! Well we gotta get back down too. We have stuff to do too. Very busy. Very busy, Tom Garfinkel."

Tom just looked at him for a second and said, "You are the biggest smart ass I've ever met."

I quickly defended myself. "I'm not that big of a smart ass," to which Tom replied, "Not you. Him." Pointing at jbox. Though I didn't want to be called a smart ass at first, I felt a pang of jealousy when I realized I wasn't included. I can be a smart ass. My ass is smart.

Incidentally, if Tom Garfinkel, with all the people he's met, thinks jbox is the biggest smart ass he's ever met, then that's saying something.

Earlier in the conversation, Tom asked us what we want to do... like... with our lives. We both stared off in the distance for a bit, mumbling things about astronauts and being flat footed and having too large of a head, physically. The benefits and drawbacks of having a long torso compared to the length of your legs. All very dissatisfying to Tom.

Finally, jbox said, "Will you be our mentor?"

Tom nodded slowly, "I have been lucky to have had a lot of mentors. They've really helped get me to where I am today. You don't have a mentor?"

"We've been mentoring each other."

"Like in the Seinfeld episode? You're each other's protégés?"

"Yeah. It's kinda worked OK so far, but not really."

"OK. I'll be your mentor."

High. Five.

So Tom Garfinkel is our mentor now. I'm thinking you'll be noticing a few changes for the positive overall as Tom begins to mold us with his wisdom and advice. Already, we got his input on the water park in hot places idea and a movie script we're writing. There's a lot of work involved, but I'm confident having Mentor in our corner will work out for us.

So, too late Paul DePodesta! No such luck this time, Warren Miller! We would've grown beards for you, Jeff Moorad! Find somebody else to walk with you to the ends of the Earth, Josh Ishoo! You keep you grammar and nouns and verbs to self, Corey Brock and, to lesser extent, Dan Hayes!

Best. Mentor. Evar.