One of the greatest things in the history of the world used to be Peter Gammons’ Baseball Notes column in the Sunday Globe. After a Sunday morning breakfast of wheatcakes and Coors Light, I could disappear to the restroom with that sucker and spend a good half-hour before anyone realized I was missing. Although Gammons is long gone, the Notes column is still a great Sunday morning bathroom read, and yesterday’s had this intriguing bit with Trot Nixon, who I still maintain should never be allowed out of the house in anything other than his baseball uniform. Is there another human being in the world who looks more out-of-sorts in “civilian” clothes?
What has the offseason been like for you?
TN: “What I’ve really, for the first time in my career, learned is how to play first base. I spent some time in Atlanta with an old friend of mine, Tim Hyers, who was a pretty good defensive first baseman at one time. I’ve been learning everything about the position, particularly how to make the throws from the infield and just needing to short-arm the ball more. There are coverage type things I’ve been working on, situations like cutoffs, relays. I think it’s something I could offer a team in addition to playing the outfield.”
Are you nervous about being an unsigned free agent at this juncture?
TN: “Well, it’s not easy, but I know there are a lot of unsigned players out there. A lot of outfielders. I don’t know what the reason is for that, but it’s not something I can worry about. I just go about my work and preparation every day in hopes I’ll get a call to help a team out. I know at this point I’m not going to be an everyday player unless someone gets hurt, and right now I’m willing to accept that. I’m willing to spend some time in the minors working on playing first base if that’s what a team wants me to do. I know I can still play the outfield at a high level.”
Did you ever think about trying to get back to the Red Sox?
TN: “Sure. I saw recently where they needed a lefthanded bat. Someone who can play first and maybe the outfield. That fits for me. I know my representative has contacted them, but I have no idea what their plans are and who they’re considering. I would always love to come back and play in Boston. I still have so many friends there. But the important thing now is to play again, no matter where it is.”
Also, today’s Herald has a bit on last night’s New York Baseball Writer’s Dinner, during which Johnny Damon was honored for his work with the Wounded Warrior Project, which assists injured servicemen and women. My favorite quote in this piece, however, comes from Joba Chamberlain:
Recalling his infuriating bout with those tiny midges at Cleveland’s Jacobs Field in the AL playoffs, Chamberlain glanced down the dais and found Indians manager Eric Wedge.
“Mr. Wedge, where you at? Next time we come, leave the bugs off,” the pitcher said.
Because it’s important to remind people that it was the bugs’ fault the Yanks dropped the ALDS. You got that, punk?
Lastly, Erik Bedard, who looks like he should be selling mowers at Home Depot but throws one hell of a baseball, is reportedly heading to the Mariners.