First of all, we had some troops at the park the other day, special troops that had come back from Iraq and suffered some injuries. Twenty, twenty-one year old guys who have their whole life to live. The reason I bring them up is looking on the ChewMap here, following along, seeing who’s plugging in from all over, a lot of the people who are following along are troops from everywhere. They’re stationed in Somalia, in Baghdad, in the Philippines. Obviously we’re having fun around here and a lot of people look to us and how we perform out there on the field, following along. I just want to let them know, too, that we follow what they do and we look to them as our heroes. Being the son of a father who was in the Army for 23 years and was activated for Desert Storm, I know a little bit of what they have to go through — not in the trenches and not on the battlefield, but knowing what kind of demands they have. When we think we have demands here, what we have to go through is nothing compared to what they have to go through. It’s really encouraging and it excites me to see when we have troops plugging in on our website from all over. That’s something that they hold on to, you know? It gives them something to follow amongst all the times that they go through. Their safety’s always in question and what they have to do day in and day out. The biggest thing going through this, and obviously with the anniversary of Sept. 11 coming up and what kind of sparked a lot of what’s going on around the world, our hats are off to them. We appreciate what they do following us and what we do.
Other than that, touching a little bit on what’s going on with us as a team, where we’re at, how fun this month’s going to be. It all starts with pitching, obviously, with Kenny starting us off with the game he had starting us off this month, it’s helped our staff kind of follow suit as a whole. These games are going to be a grind, man. They’re not going to be easy.
More importantly, keep on brushing your teeth, because I know a lot of people are using a lot of gum right now. Tuesday night, my teeth and my gums were killing me. I brushed my teeth for about 10 minutes that night, right around my gums, just because I had so much gum around my mouth. Unfortunately we came up short in that game, but we’ve had some pretty exciting finishes. The one in New York was probably one of the most memorable. I told the guys again, you’ve got to stick with what got you here and what we’ve been believing in. I was one of two guys chewing some gum. Me and Bondo, we threw it in and Craig went out there and got ‘er done on the big stage. It was pretty awesome. Craig’s been that kind of a clutch guy. He’s kind of the one that’s keeping the gum rolling. He’s had some big hits.
Short and sweet one this time. We have a big series in Minnesota. A lot can really hinge as far as postseason outlook on what happens this weekend. I know everybody’s been following along and bringing out their packs of gum.
Also, there’s going to be a T-shirt coming out pretty soon that should be pretty legit. Fanatic U will be the one initially selling it, but it’ll kind of circulate around in other stores. Hopefully we’ll get it to the ballpark. It should be happening pretty quick.
Also, I saw that there was like seven fans along the right-field line the other night, and each one of them had one big letter, and each letter spelled out G-U-M T-I-M-E. I noticed it. Huge sign. It came out when we were playing against the Angels last weekend. It’s fun to see how much people are really, really taking to this team and following along. It’s a lot of fun.
It’s good to have Kevin Hooper come on board. He was a college teammate. He’s a scrappy player and he does all the little things. We’ll get him acclimated to Gum Time, too.
(Posted courtesy of my MLB.com friends before the game.)