Sunday, March 23, 2008


I'm hanging in the D'backs locker room during the 6th inning of their game against the Rockies (which they barely lost 12-11) to grab interviews with Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Orlando Hudson and a few other guys who were leaving early. Before I could ask Hudson for an interview, he runs out from the workout room and starts yelling.

"Man, no one else in the bullpen wants to go tonight!" Hudson says. He isn't talking to anyone in particular. "Hey sugar," he says looking at me. "I don't know who you are but you wanna come? We got an extra ticket."

"Um, sure," I hesitantly say. I still don't know what I am saying yes to but my other option is sitting in my hotel room, so I'm in. "What am I saying yes to exactly?"

"A bunch of the guys are driving up to the Suns game tonight but dude, don't you be kidding with me," he says seriously. "I've got one extra ticket so if you're not really gonna come -"

"No, I want to come," I quickly reply to Hudson who has started walking around he locker room singing the Backstreet Boys I Want It That Way.

"Where are you going?" ask outfielder Eric Byrnes who just walked in the room.

"Too late," Hudson promptly says. "She's already going with us to the Suns game. I only had one ticket."


After a couple more interviews and a two hour drive, I arrive. I'm about two feet away from Shaquille O'Neal looking at the sweat drip off his forehead as he elbows a couple Houston players while going for a lay-up. Such a clear offense foul but he gets the call and goes to the line to shoot his free throws.

"Yeah that's right baby!" screams Orlando Hudson from a few feet away.

"That was such an offense foul," I whisper to D'back right fielder "J-Up" Justin Upton sitting next to me.

"Oh yeah, I know," he admits.

I'm sitting courtside next to D'back players Hudson, Upton and center fielder Chris Young as the Suns pound on the Houston Rockets at US Airway Center in Phoenix. Veteran player Augie Ojeda and catcher Robby Hammock are a few rows behind us. "You my Southern boy, I got your back!" Hudson said to Hammock when inviting him earlier to the game.

"A big welcome to Arizona Diamondback's Orlandooooo Huuudson!" says the announcer during a timeout. The crowd goes nuts when Hudson's on the jumbotron waving. He's a regular here at the Suns game and the D'backs' Drake Stadium is just next door.

I was along for the guys night and I still wasn't quite sure why or how. It was just me and five of the Arizona Diamondback players and I wasn't about to question the situation; I was going to enjoy it. It was pretty ridiculous - security escorts, pictures, autographs, the whole deal. But there I was, just joking around with the guys.

No big deal.