I haven’t been covering baseball forever, only 12 years or so counting the time I followed around a minor league team.
One of the parts I like best is when you run into people you knew back in the day.
That happened today. I was standing on the field in front of the Tampa Bay dugout when I got thumped on the back by the handle of a bat. It was Ty Wigginton.
He now plays first base for the Devil Rays but I got to know him in 2002 when he got called up to the Mets. Wiggy is a blood-and-guts kind of player but he can swing the bat. I got to know him pretty well when I covered the Mets and we had lunch a few times in Port St. Lucie.
Wiggy has two kids now and he’ll make $2.7 million this season. Not bad for a guy who was once left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and didn’t get selected. “I got a new truck this winter,” he said. “It had only 70,000 miles on it. For me that’s new.”
I also had a chance to say hello to Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, who is a big Springsteen fan.