Friday, March 21, 2008


I hang around after the game for a bit hoping to score another interview or two. Garrett Atkins, Matt Holiday and Ryan Spilborghs have stuck around to get a few more hits in. Those guys have been here since 8am, practiced, worked out, had meetings, played a game and it is after 4pm now and here they are, hitting away, taking advantage of every second they can to improve.

Fifty or so fans who aren't crowded around the Rockies locker room door hoping to score an autograph or a picture, have stayed behind to watch the trio practice. Their hands are tightly grasped around the metal fence as they stare in awe. A few girls are taking pictures, others families are sprawled out in their plastic stadium seats while I sit in a chair on the field next to a security guard and a very peculiar looking boy.

The young teenager has light brown moppy hair, John Lennon sunglasses and he is holding a baseball and pen. He and the security guard have hit it off. "Don't you have school?" asks the guard.

"No, its spring break!" the boy says. "I have close to eight hours of homework though, but it's spring break." Who gives homework during spring break, I wonder? Evil teachers, that's who.

"I just want Matt Holiday's autograph," the boy says. "That's all I want."

"Do you have his jersey?" asks the guard.

"No, but I have a piece of his jersey right here."

I'm a bit confused as to why he has a piece of his jersey as opposed to the whole jersey but this probably isn't the time to butt into the conversation I've been over-hearing. The ushers start to kindly tell the lingerers, "It's time to go" just as Holiday, Atkins and Spilborghs start to head in. I grab Spilborghs for an interview.

"Ryan!" I shout as he jokingly pretends to run away and make a dash for the dugout. (At least I'd like to hope he's joking).

"I'm kidding, I'm kidding," he laughs. "So what's up?"

"I promise this will be fun," I assure him. "I know you want to get home. You guys get here at like 8 in the morning."

"Yeah, we have long days!" Spilborghs says. "Nobody realizes how long our days are. If I said I get up at 7am and I leave here - what times is it - 4:20pm right now? We've been here for a long time."

"You guys are the good players, what are you doing staying later?" I say.

"That's how we get good," he says smiling.

Ah, cheers to the over-achievers. After the interview I look for my peculiar teenage friend but he's nowhere in sight. I can't help but wonder if he ever got that Holiday autograph. Well, he still has the jersey - a piece of it.