My Night With Tepid
Omar, Bailey and I had been planning our next rip on an East Side Corner. I knew running with Omar was dangerous, but the way he looked at me always made me feel like somebody. Omar was handy with the shotgun and was great at the theatrics which meant me and Bailey didn’t have to do much to take care of business.
Us SDI guys and Tepid were situated 18 rows up from home plate at this Frisco v. San Antonio matchup that allowed us to see many nuances of the game I had never seen before. The size of the players, the movement of pitches and the approach to a grounder are all things that hard to pick up when you sit in the upper deck of a 48,000 seat ballpark.
Omar’s name carries a lot of weight on the streets. It doesn’t matter if it is East Side, West Side or wherever, those cats always yell “Omar’s comin’!” when they see the trench coat, gun and hear him whistling that familiar nursery rhyme. Such a scene always makes me smile which is why I used Omar’s name when I robbed Barksdale’s crew up in the projects. They never saw it comin’.
Tepid gave a synopsis on each player as they walked up to the plate for Frisco and even some on San Antonio. Each player had a story whether he was a prospect that had a ceiling of MLB player or an “org guy” that was there to teach the young kids how to be a professional. Tepid also pointed out San Antonio players in the stands tracking pitches, a San Francisco scout showing off his WS ring and Carlos Pimentel. We learned which tools players were equipped with and even found out about Hanser Alberto’s sixth tool.
Am I afraid of Avon Barksdale? Please. We’ve been hitting his crew for a long time and besides, Omar knows what he is doing. He is smarter than all of ‘em and will outlast them too. I’m gonna catch y’all later as I have a date with a pinball machine over at The Greek’s.
Each night, Tepid is armed with a pen and pad, stopwatch and a genuine love for the game. He liberally shares his knowledge with anyone he comes into contact with and each is person is better for it. We walked away from the field that night on a baseball high as we let the wisdom bestowed upon us seep into our brain cells.
Stat heads like myself sometimes get a bad rap from people who favor the old school approach because we don’t put stock in scouting. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I see the value of professional scouting, but don’t put much stock in the “eye test” of a regular Joe like me sitting in the cheap seats. There will always be room in the game for professional scouting who can share their expertise on seeing player’s firsthand.
Heigh ho the derry-o
The cheese stands alone