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  • Bill Chastain

Minor League Baseball, Sweet Lou and More...

What’s the coolest thing you remember about covering the minors?

My friend and former work colleague Carter Gaddis read my recollection about my first baseball beat, the Single-A St. Petersburg Cardinals (the City Cards) and asked me the question above.

I wrote him the following:

A doubleheader between the Tampa Tarpons and City Cards at Al Lopez. My brother attended the game with me. I worked for an afternoon paper, the Evening Independent, so my deadline was like 7 a.m. We sat close to the field and drank cheap beer while we watched the twin bill. Classic rock music played throughout the night. Cards third baseman Larry Breedlove—a rocker, complete with long hair—played his Louisville Slugger like a Gibson. The game ended around 3 a.m. We were the only two left in the ballpark. I went home and wrote my story.

Does anybody else get put out at a concert when the featured artist stops mid song to have the audience participate? What, you don’t feel like working tonight? Drives me crazy.

Note to musicians: I don’t want to sing along, I paid to listen. If I want to sing, I go to a karaoke bar.

First a disclaimer: I understand that everybody hates the media.

Still, I find the view amusing that when an athlete elects to not talk to the media, he's somehow punishing the media. That’s not the case.

The media is the conduit between the athlete/athletes fans love and the fans. Thus, when the athlete/athletes decide not to talk to the media, they are essentially making the decision to not communicate with their fans.

Remember when you looked forward to shaving?

You were a man once you began to hack whiskers from your face first thing in the morning, right? I didn’t shave more than once a week until I got to college. I’ve since come to view the now daily act as a chore I’d rather not perform.

I loved the t-shirt worn by a laid-back dude drinking a beer. An upside-down Nike swish adorned the front. Underneath it read: “Just did.”

During Lou Piniella's tenure as manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he told a story from his days managing the Seattle Mariners. According to Sweet Lou, he would have conversations with Ichiro Suzuki — in Spanish. Imagine walking into the West Tampa Sandwich Shop and seeing Lou and Ichiro hunched over Cuban coffee talking baseball in Spanish.

Here's a Facebook post most can relate to: “If I can hear you chew, I’ve fantasized about your death.”

Looking for something unique to finish out your Christmas shopping? Check out Chip Weiner's book Burgert Brothers: Another Look. The talented Tampa photographer/artist "perused vintage Burgert Brothers photographs" then researched the history of the image and reshot it to show how it looks today. I ordered my copy this morning. Go to:

Finally, after 37 years of marriage, I’ve learned that I can do whatever I want–I just have to ask Patti what I want.

I invite you to hang out with me on my site at and read more of my blogs. You can also download FREE chapters from one of my novels: Peachtree Corvette Club, The Streak and Retrouvailles. Drop me a line at Asked and Answered. Let's talk about feel-good stories, fun facts, movies, food and, of course, two of my very favorite topics: sports and books. Whatever is on your mind.

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