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Asking Just the Right Question at Just the Right Time: A Red Reporter Apprenticeship

Saturday morning, the middle child (Tommy, 5) and I ate some toast and eggs, dropped some cake balls off at the church's bake sale and braved the little blast of wet snow to head north to Polaris Fashion Place. The Reds' Caravan was in town and we felt we needed to be there. Not sure why I felt I needed to be there but I told Tommy it was a "baseball party" and he was sure that he needed to be there so that was good enough for me.

We were a few minutes early and turnout was somewhat light so we were pretty confident that we'd be to able get around pretty easily and get what we wanted. The first thing we wanted was a picture with 2007 first round draft pick Devin Mesoraco. ..Check.

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As you can see, the kid is an absolutely gorgeous hunk of classic American boy. Give him a Sharpie and hold him up so he doesn't get stepped on and.. Boom! Autographs. He got the Reds' top prospect to sign one side of a little foam baseball and then got the Reds' perfect-game lefty workhorse to sign the other. I'm not usually one to ooh and ahh at autographs but I think Tommy had the coolest little piece of memorabilia in the joint and it wasn't even 10am.

Soon, that one mascot (FIIK!?!) was done warming up the crowd and Thom was bellowing about the great sports fans in the capitol city Buckeyes and introducing everyone for the Q&A session. About this time we bumped into the lovely Mrs. Charlie Scrabbles. Tommy chatted her up (piano.. waffles.. Mario.. Fellas, y'know how it goes, right?) while Chuck and I tried to catch any tidbit Walt was offering about Chapman not going to the bullpen or the awesomely top secret plan to sign Oswalt Thursday afternoon.

It all went by pretty quickly and before we knew it Thom was looking around and bellowing for "Any last questions?..."

Young Thomas Wesley has a lot to learn about baseball on the field but he's seen me spend enough time analyzing the league at Red Reporter to know that being a Reds fan is not all brushes with fame and shmoozing pretty ladies so he shot Brennaman a confident glance and headed right up to the stage where he could be seen and heard clearly took a cue from me and let Thom pick him up like the 36-pound jelly-mold of cute that he is.

"Mr. Castellini," Thom bellowed, "this young Reds fan has a question and he's taking it right to the top...What's your name and what's your question, big guy?"

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"Hi. Tommy. Umm... Can I have a balloon?"

It was a good day for at least two Reds fans in Central Ohio.

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