One of the highlights of the season came tonight. It had nothing to do with the game (which we lost). It had nothing to do with the broadcast.
I got to take batting practice before the game. Didn't expect it to happen, so I was hardly dressed -- with loafers and no socks. But hey, when you're invited to take some hacks in the cage of a professional ballpark, you don't worry about equipment.
All I cared about on the first swing was making contact. I did, thank goodness. I whiffed on a couple others -- pretty much anything down and away -- and heard a few laughs from the players, as they stretched.
I pulled everything. Out hitting coach, Dave Hajek, who was throwing the BP to me, said, "well, we know where to play you." I did hit one drive pretty good to left. Hit it good enough to stop and see how close it would come to the fence. It missed the warning track by about five feet, but at least it rolled to the wall.
"That's all I've got," I declared, figuring I would beat our shortstop, Chris Nelson, to his standard punchline. Nelson's favorite expression during batting practice -- or pretty much at all times -- is to ask "is that all you've got?" after somebody hits a flyball. It doesn't matter if it hits the warning track, barely goes over the fence, or goes wayyyyyy over the fence. Nelson will say it, in his southern accent, "that all ya got?"
Bottom line, I didn't make a fool of myself. I hit some line drives. I pulled everything. At least I made solid contact most of the time. But I definitely proved I belong in the broadcasting booth.
Still, it was incredibly cool.