Last Friday night, I had the privilege of taking part in the 2nd (annual?) Bloggers Takeover with Fox Sports San Diego. During the takeover, they give the bloggers a chance to chat about blog-gerly type things for a couple of innings during a Padres Spring Training game. Last year I was joined by 3 fellow Padres Public members Geoff (Son of a Duck), Mike (Padres Trail) and David (Vocal Minority) and also Brady from Lobshots. This year I was the lone Padres Public representative and was joined by Brady, once again, along with Dex from Gaslamp Ball and Steve from Friarhood.
Join me on our journey!
Friday March 21st
8:00AM – We all meetup at the Clear Channel studios, home of 1360AM to board the Fox Sports San Diego Fan Express bus. 6 hours on a bus doesn’t sound too appealing, however this bus was pretty comfy and made the trip fairly enjoyable. I decided to scope out the digs and realized there were a ton of snacks on the bus, including gummy bears. Unfortunately for me, upon his arrival, jbox of Gaslamp Ball took a quick sniff to the air and had already imprinted himself on the gummy bears, so I was disappointed. We were then lined up in front of the bus and told to cheer for the camera. Dex kept on prematurely woo-ing, so it took a couple takes. He eventually got it right and Brady, Dex, jbox, Wonko, stephzilla, Judson Richards from 1360’s “The Drive”, the Fox Sports Girls Katie & Brie, Intern Rich and about 7 other fans boarded the bus driven by “Fast Eddie”. We then started the trek.
Between 8:30AM-3:30PM – Some highlights of the bus ride?
-jbox’s sciatica was acting up. So you’d randomly see him get up and walk around the bus, creepily leering at people as he walked by, while eating gummy bears.
-I told Judson the story about how last year the Bloggers Takeover gang walked into the Press Box before the game. We all see Peter Gammons standing there chatting with someone and are in awe because….it’s PETER GAMMONS. Next thing we know Brady is all of a sudden face to face with Gammons. “Hi Peter. Brady Phelps of Lobshots.” are the first things that come out of his mouth. We all crack up, just like Judson does after hearing this story who immediately starts ribbing on Brady, which led to this tweet….
— RJ's Fro (@RJsFro) March 21, 2014
-When we got to Yuma we all ventured to Chipotle for lunch. Knowing that I was going to spend a considerable amount of time still on a bus with no bathroom breaks, I ordered light with 2 very simple tacos. Dex on the other hand ordered the biggest burrito I have ever seen in my life. Chipotle burritos are big enough as it is, but this one was so big that they couldn’t roll it and had to add another tortilla (and possibly use duct tape) to close the thing. While everyone sat and watched, Dex immediately regretted his decision, blamed the burrito makers for getting his order wrong and proceeded to only eat half of the burrito, disappointing us all.
3:30PM – We have arrived! The bus stopped at the hotel first and we check in. It was an extremely nice hotel, where I got a room all to myself. This isn’t the Spring Training experience that I am used to. I’m used to wallowing in filth with a bunch of dudes who all have the foulest smells coming out of them at all times. I think this was a slight upgrade.
4:00PM – 7:00PM – We board the bus again and head to the Peoria Sports Complex. Once we get there we go to the production truck and meet the fine folks who will be yelling in our ears later that evening. After that we venture over to the Padres offices where Josh Ishoo gives us a quick tour of the new facilities. It’s a huge upgrade to what they previously had there. I didn’t take any pictures, but I did take 1 piece of bubble gum (that I asked nicely for). Towards the end of the tour, we ran into Corey Brock and Dennis Lin on the basketball court, presumably after they just waged war on the court to determine who will break the news of the Josh Johnson injury first. Corey was wearing Rambis glasses and Dennis was hardly recognizeable. The group then goes to Salty Senoritas, while Brady & myself stay and chat with the guy who would be wrangling us up later that night, Jesse Agler.
7:05PM – It’s gametime! I am relived to see the sun down. After last years Bloggers Takeover I don’t think my skin can handle another beating like that. We do our sound checks, pick out our seats and prepare for the 5th and 6th innings.
Around 8:30PM/9:00PM – Some highlights from the broadcast? I haven’t watched it yet but here are some things that I remember…
-I studied hard this year and finally realized the difference between: this symbol # and this symbol @.
-Jesse, like Megan Olivi last year, did a great job of keeping the troops in line.
-Every time I tried talking about Austin Hedges I was interrupted. How dare the actual game interrupt my swooning 🙂
— RJ's Fro (@RJsFro) March 22, 2014
-Overall the response was positive. #BloggersTakeover was trending in both Peoria and San Diego that night.
-I had a great time and felt my phone absolutely blowing up in my pocket the whole time we were on air. Thanks for all the kind words and sorry if I didn’t respond to everyone.
Saturday March 22nd
The next day was a fun one as well. Brady left early that morning and Steve returned home so it was just me and Dex and jbox. We went to the backfields where we ran into Dex’s brother-in-law, and most likely third baseman for the El Paso Chihuahuas, Brooks Conrad. You can read all about that in the link below. I just so happened to be wearing my Chihuahuas hat that day and he noticed and was very pleased to see that. Do you know who wasn’t pleased to see the hat? New Padres relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit. He laughed and shook his head when he saw it and asked “fear the ears?” repeatedly to me. I saw a few innings of both the AA and AAA games on the backfields. Not much stood out for those innings except for Rymer Liriano is a very strong individual.
Liriano is still hitting the ball hard https://t.co/pUkVSrYomH
— RJ's Fro (@RJsFro) March 22, 2014
We then went back to the major league game and watched a few innings before having to board the bus and head back to San Diego. I slept for most of that journey so that is where this story ends.
I’d like to thank Megan, Jacquelyn, Jeff, Henry, Rich and everyone at Fox Sports San Diego for allowing me to do this again. I had a great time and definitely won’t forget this moment.