Day 20: A little Grapefruit traveling music, please.
Yes, the Grapefruit League is a little different from the Cactus League, both to cover and to play in. All you have to know about the difference is this:
To show the layout of all the camps in the two locations, MLB’s Spring Training Media Guide has a map of Phoenix … and a map of Florida.
It’s the Grapefruit “Are We There Yet?” League.
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I got a clarification of the proper way to pronounce young left-hander Joely Rodriguez’s first name: Hard “J” and neither vowel is silent.
So turns out years ago Rickie Lee Jones sang about him … “Jolie, Jolie … all I want you to do is just be happy.”
If Joely keeps pitching as he has been, both he and Clint Hurdle will be happy.
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Before today’s game in Lakeland, Hurdle spent some time behind the batting cage with Jim Leyland, as usual.
Except, this time Leyland was not in uniform and was not about to manage the Tigers against the Pirates. And Hurdle had never seen the former Buccos skipper happier.
“He’s happy. He’s in a good place,” Hurdle said. “That man worked his backside off for 50-some years, he deserves to be happy, he deserves to catch his breath. He’s enjoying what he’s doing [consulting for the Tigers and their new manager, Brad Ausmus] and what he’s getting into, so good for him.
“He looks good. Of course, I was told the same thing in September ’09 [when Hurdle was unemployed, having been fired by the Rockies], how good I looked. Makes you want to ask, ‘Well, how did I use to look?'”