May 2005

Astros Rookie Replaces Legend

Astros Notes

When Astros first baseman  Jeff Bagwell was placed on the DL, one rookie never dreamed he would be filling such big shoes.

Todd Self, the 26-year-old infielder from Triple A Roundrock got that call, and he is still pinching himself. Self

“The night I got the call up, I just sat there for two or three minutes to soak it in and was trying to make sure it wasn’t a dream and that it was really happening,” he said.  “It’s definitely the best feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life.”

Bagwell, 36, was placed on the 15-day Disabled List with a right shoulder sprain, retroactive to May 4.

Self was having a pretty good season for Round Rock, hitting .391 with two home runs and 15 RBI’s in 28 games.  He was originally selected by

Houston

in the 15th round of the June 2000 draft.  Self was a 2004 Texas League All-Star, and considered one of the better young hitters in the Astros organization.

For Self, he is enjoying his time in the majors, and hopes to stay a while.

“I wouldn’t say I’m taking Jeff’s place by any means,” said Self.  “Right now his shoulder is bothering him and they need an extra guy to come in and stay for however long, and I’m here to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

The Astros are currently in last place in the Central Division with a record of 13-23. 

Clemens, 42, has been pitching lights out for the Astros, with a 2-1 record with a 1.10 ERA and needs run support from his teammates.

Self agrees. He feels his greatest strength is just being able to put the bat on the ball, to make solid contact and try and hit singles and doubles and drive in runners.

“Everybody is working together to try and win,” he said.   

Dempster is a Jokester

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs on video.  Not only was he a lot of fun, he agreed to do some really cool magic tricks, some awesome card tricks and a really funny impression of Chris Farley from Tommy Boy.

The interview should be posted soon on the mlb.com kids web site.   It’s a must see!

I know Ryan had some struggles the last couple of years having to have Tommy John surgery and I am glad he is back and doing well. 

If you ever get out to the ballpark and have the chance to see him, let him know you saw his interview at http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/mlb/kids/index.jsp soon!

Here’s a secret.  When you watch the video, there is a part where he asks me if the card he is holding is mine.  I said yes even though it wasn’t, because I thought he had messed up and didn’t want to embarass him.  He looked at me puzzled, and said, "are you sure?"  Then he pulled out the correct card, and asked me if that was the card, and I told him yes.  I was so glad he really hadn’t messed up, and a little embarassed I almost messed up the trick!  Anyway, have fun watching it.  He was a great sport!

Cubs Fans – Loyal and True Blue

One thing about Chicago Cubs fans – they love their team.

There is such a history to the team, and along with it comes the mighty Cubs fans.  You never know what to expect when you see them!  They bring their signs, they paint their faces, Chicagofans they wear their jerseys, hats, bring their memorabilia, and know their team. 

What impresses me most is the amount of fans that turn up at a ballpark when the team travels.  Large groups of fans travel on weekends to where the team is playing, just to show their support, and be a part of the action.  And the team notices.

General Manager Jim Hendry always takes time to sign autographs and talk with the fans. Hendry  The fans appreciate it too.  He is very hands on with the Cubs fans.  He hangs out in the dugout and talks with the media, and can be seen on the sidelines chatting it up with fans as well. 

The players also know their loyal fans who travel.  They will wave at them, thank them for coming, and take time for autographs too. 

I have noticed that there is a huge bond and loyalty between team and fans.  And it is a lot of fun to watch. 

I can only imagine what it is like at a home game.  I hope that this summer I will be able to make it to

Chicago

and watch a game.  I have never been to Wrigley Field, and it is one stadium on my list of have to do’s.

With all it’s rich tradition, history, and of course it’s colorful fans, it would be a sight to see!Chic_fan_2