Put me in Coach, I’m Ready to Play
Last year, I wrote a blog titled “Pitchers and Bird Dogs Report to Spring Training,” which merged my love of upland bird hunting with my previous career in baseball. With MLB kicking off full squad spring training this week, I’d like to offer my thoughts on how winter free agency has impacted my team of baseball playing bird dogs for 2011. Yes, it’s a bit of an odd blog but grab that lever under your office chair, recline and imagine hot dogs grilling and fresh cut grass. Summer is a comin’!
Around the Horn
Pitcher: English setter – Coming over in a one-for-one trade that sent the Chesapeake Bay retriever to the Madison Mallards, this crafty veteran brings moxie, guile and style to my team of upland canines. Think Greg Maddux
Catcher: German wirehaired pointer - This versatile pup moves behind the “dish” from centerfield. Such a dramatic shift in positions may be perceived as a big move for some athletes, but for this grizzled veteran, it’s just another day at the office. Think Thurman Munson
1st Baseman: Clumber spaniel – The Clumber brings the lumber to my squad after signing a big free agent deal in the off season. What this pup lacks in range, he’ll make up for with a nose to dig balls in the dirt. Think Boog Powell
2nd Baseman: Brittany – This rangy midfielder continues to occupy the pivot on my double play combo with the shorthair. The Britt’s gold glove continues to vacuum up big ground. Think Bobby Grich
Shortstop: German shorthaired pointer – As a guy that owns a shorthair named after a former Detroit Tigers shortstop, there’s no way I don’t slot my favorite pup into her natural position on the diamond as “The Field General.” Think Alan Trammell
3rd Baseman: Boykin Spaniel – The newest sporting breed entrant to the Westminster Kennel Club and official dog of South Carolina came over in a three-way deal sending the Weimaraner to the Sioux Falls Pheasants and the Cocker spaniel to the Columbus Canvasbacks. Think Evan Longoria
Left Fielder: English Pointer – Last year’s season ticket holders demanded this fan favorite join the local nine, so after a long off season of negotiations, the big running pointer brings his skills out to left field. Think Ricky Henderson
Center Fielder: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon – After a cup of coffee with the big club last September, “Griff” makes the leap to the majors for good with his beyond-the-years maturity, speed and retrieving power. Think Ken Griffey, Jr.
Right Fielder: Golden retriever – Despite consistently picked last, the golden remains a fan favorite. When you need a big play in October, this pup is up for the big retrieve. Think Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson
Designated Hitter: Labrador retriever – Like Babe Ruth, the Lab moves from pitcher to the big stick in the lineup. Think Babe Ruth
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what breed would make a solid middle reliever, pinch runner, or closer. Remember . . . don’t take it all too seriously; it’s just a spring training game.
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.
Tags: alan trammell, Babe Ruth, baseball, Bobby Grich, Boog Powell, Boykin spaniel, Brittany, Designated Hitter, DH, English Pointer, English Setter, Evan Longoria, German shorthaired pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, golden retriever, Greg Maddux, Jr., Ken Griffey, MLB, Reggie Jackson, Ricky Henderson, spring training, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
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