First of all, we cannot thank Lisa Braun enough for setting up this awesome experience. We (jch24, BK, FordhamRam, and myself) were invited by her to come check out batting practice and get a behind the scenes peek of a day in the life of GABP. We would also like to thank Michael Anderson, Rob Butcher, Jamie Ramsey, Slyde, and everyone else at the Reds who made us feel welcome.
Being on the field was a surreal experience. After being led through the bowels of GABP, we entered through the umpires tunnel attached to the visitors dugout, and were stationed in a roped-off area behind the batting cage. The team seemed loose and were having fun warming up before the game. I imagine the mood is a lot lighter when the team is in the middle of a winning streak. Chris Speier and Wilson Valdez both, at various times, showed off their dancing chops. Bruce and Votto were in the same BP group, and they seemed pretty chummy. They both spotted Michael Bourn when the Braves came out of the clubhouse and started razzing him for his 2-dinger game the night before. Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco were nice enough to take the time to come say hi to our ragtag group. I was struck by how much fun Frazier seems to be having. Maybe it is due to the fact that he spent so much time in the minors, but you get the sense that he appreciates the fact that he gets to do something that so many of us dream about, and he loves every minute of it. After the Reds finished BP, we were taken on a tour of the FSO booth, where our old pal Slyde now resides. We were then shown the WLW booth where Kelch and the Cowboy were prepping for the night's broadcast. And finally, the delicious icing on the slice of awesomecake was served by Goodroyo, Albertin and the Toddfather, in a 2-1, walk-off victory.
After the jump are some photos of RR's super awesome fun time at GABP.
Dusty and Little Joe watch the boys warm up. Fortunately for all parties involved, Mr. Morgan decided to keep his pants on.
Future Hall of Famer Mike Costanza gets busted Tebowing during BP.
We're all going dateless!
"Hey, Devin! Make a dinosaur face... Yes, just like that.
Wilson, bounce the ball up and down on your bat.
Perfect. I think I got it."
Votto shows Bruce how to hit the ever elusive really-low, really-inside cutter.
The Golem signs for some fans.
Red Reporter yaks with Snacks.
Larry Wayne lounges while the team stretches it out.
Even hours before the game, former Red David Ross has his game face on.
Dusty and Chipper had a long chat. Here, Chipper shows Dusty his open mouthed 2-seam fastball grip.
The view from Slyde's office.
Elvis is spotted in the WLW booth.
The windows of the WLW booth. It's kind of tough to make out, but the picture on the bottom right is absolutely priceless.
The Cowboy's private stash.
We had a nice view of Bruce's backside from our vantage point. Amirite, ladies?
Chipper made his last regular season plate appearance at GABP.
He drew a walk and was subbed out for a pinch runner. The crowd gave him a nice ovation, proving that Cardinals fans aren't the only classy ones in the NL Central.
Chapman came on in the 9th. Chapmania ensued.
The Toddfather honked his walk-off wanger, much to the delight of the RR contingent.
Victory beers were purchased, and then consumed. Not a bad little Wednesday.