Barmes is really a good guy and badly wants to come back next year. We talked briefly about our mutual admiration of Adam Everett's defensive prowess. When I mentioned that his bat was better than Everett's, he told me that he was really working hard to get better offensively. He came across as very sincere and very committed and very humble.
I did get to see and talk very briefly with the Corpus Christi triad (Martinez, Altuve and Paredes). I talked to Martinez and asked him why he didn't tweet any more and he said something to the effect that one bad tweet spoiled it all for him. All three seemed to be having fun and taking it in stride. Martinez seemed quiet and gentle, while Altuve in particular had a definite swagger to him.
Wallace was more relaxed than last year. Chris Johnson looked a little less uncomfortable with it than last year. And Brett Myers sped through the process as quickly as humanly possible giving off the impression that he would rather have a root canal, just like last year.
Jordan Lyles seemed a little shy. Bourgois and I became fast friends. Bud was his normal crazy charming self. Pendleton was thrilled to be back in Houston. Wesley Wright was shaking hands and introducing himself, "Wesley Wright, good to meet you," like a politician. Lee was very affable and good-natured. Fernando Rodriguez was very quiet and polite.
But there's always got to be one in the bunch. I took an instant dislike to Lindstrom last year. This year it was Schafer. He was too important to be bothered with going down the line like everyone else. He went up to maybe one in every 30 people and deigned to have his photo taken. You'd better be hitting more than .240 if you want to take that attitude son.
I got a laugh out of Clark when I told him, "Hold Lee; send Altuve." I talked a bit with Brocail, who I simply love because he makes me feel like a petite little flower. He is a big man with a huge head. From my conversation with him and another that I overheard, he really wants to come back next season, but he has to clear it with "Mom" first, referring to his wife.
I got pretty good reactions from Sosa, Shuck and Corporan when I teased them about their outfits for the rookie road trip. When I told Sosa that he looked pretty good in his outfit with his guns on display, he high-fived me. Carpenter wasn't as happy to have been seen in his ensemble by anyone outside the clubhouse. The word to use might be mortified, actually.
And everyone seemed upbeat about the Astros prospects. They know that they are better than they played this season and the coaches feel that too. They haven't let this year grind them down. At all.
Only caught brief glances of most of the rest, except for two. Wilton Lopez and Sergio Escalona were having so much fun together, clowning and laughing all the way down the line. And they were inseparable. No use even trying to get a picture with just one of them. They both had to be in the picture. They were like mischievous 10-year old best buddies, having fun and looking for trouble. It was enjoyable all around, but watching them had to be the highlight.