Just some guys.
















Kimball Crossley has a hard time remembering all the state capitals.

Improv! We all know what that is. It's everywhere, like Improv Everywhere. Most medium-sized cities have improv theater, even Providence. ImProvidence! (May not be an actual troupe.)

I am not sure there's currently improv theater in Providence. But ten years ago, there was! And a lot of people I know really enjoyed it and so I wound up attending a few performances.

I did not care much for it. I concluded that I did not like improv but maybe the Providence group just wasn't that good.

In 2003 I went to Fenway a lot. I did that in 2004 also. And a few games in 2002. In 2005 I went to a lot of Red Sox games. 2002 was the year I first went to Fenway, though. At that time, you could be dialed in to the internet and your sister would message you in this little box (that chime!) and ask if you felt like going to a game and you just went to the website and bought tickets.

For one game in particular, my two sisters and I got to Boston early so we went out for beer before the game. Me being me, I kind of overdid it. We were at the park and Vee said, "See that guy over there? That is Kimball and I know this because he does improv in Providence and I like that guy." Essentially she said that.

I think this was a day game and I remember we had box seats up front but Kimball's were better. For some reason I thought it would be funny to shout his name out. "Kimball!" I kept yelling until I was angrily shushed by my own kin. Kimball looked around a few times and then the game started. Boy, was I nauseated on the ride home!

Recently I search-engined this guy and he is a Blue Jays scout. I was surprised to learn that his name is not Something Kimball, but instead it is Kimball Something. And not even that (Anthony)! So because in many ways Kimball is my brother, I am going to explore his story. It's part of a series I like to call THIS RHODE ISLAND LIFE. (By the way, missed nickname opportunity: KimBaller!)

two things:
1. KC grew up in NYC, went to UNC, worked at the Providence newspaper where he was nowhere near as good as McAdam but hung out with scouts. This great article from 2005 explains everything.

2. "Professional scouts are the undercover cops of the scouting world, we know they are out there, we know they contribute to the success of our favourite team, but we don’t know who they are or what they do. If you go to games at minor league parks you can find the scouts behind home plate, busily managing their radar guns and their notebooks, but most of us have never talked to them." From the above article, written by Gerry McDonald.

3. “Scouts can get frustrated when they think the club doesn’t listen to their reports but its part of the business. I remember one time talking to Theo Epstein who said he couldn’t tell me how many times he had felt the same way. I had to tell him it was hard to sympathize with someone who went from scoreboard operator to GM in about four years.” Seriously Theo, go put on your wool cap and jam with Mookie Blaylock. Yeah, you're not a complete jackass. (same McDonald story)

4.  "Blue Jays professional scout Kimball Crossley... spoke of the importance of finding a balance between what the numbers show and what your eyes see. Crossley described the unique path he took to his current job, starting as a baseball writer for an afternoon paper, and taking advantage of his daily contact with players, scouts, and coaches to learn what he needed to see to understand the game and identify the players who could cut it at the highest level." - from 2012

5. Wookin pa nub?


7. Reasonably handsome in spite of his freakishly huge thumb.

8. Battle of the Sexes: A playlet? Crossley as writer? Warwick?

9. It appears that in the off-season, KC still works as an actor. Here's a review of Six Degrees of Separation, as performed by the Epic Theater Company earlier this year.

10. Maybe Kimball coached high school basketball?

There you have it! I was going to say "Looks like Toronto will let just anyone be a scout" but I would never be that impolite. I know people are only going to be excited to talk to me because of this Kimball post. But they talk to me for a while, and maybe people realize I have something to say.. And then one day... We're just talking.


The Last Game of the PawSox Season: Epilogue.

Here's a story you never asked for.

That last PawSox game, the one where they played the Durham Bulls and started Charlie Haeger. Bad idea, right? No offense, Haegs. But it didn't look good.

I invited someone to the game with me, but she called me and asked, "Is it okay if I don't go?"

Yes, it's okay, I usually go to games alone anyway. But that night I could have used a chaperone.

It started when Haeger started giving up runs in like the second inning. First inning, I don't know, look it up. I knew the game was going to suck so I started for real drinking. Stayed for the whole thing, decided I needed to talk to some of the players after the game so I headed down to the sawhorses.

Hanging out with the usual cast of Pawtucket 'graphers. Waiting. I am... Not drunk, but getting there. I can't help myself, I start talking to the dude next to me who I recognize as a) a season ticket holder and b) a friend of a friend and c) one of the most notorious McCoy Rats around. This guy has a bad reputation with both the players and the regulars and the staff but I am super-gregarious after a few drinks and I just cannot help myself. (In his defense, he was reasonably cordial.) At some point I give him my email and my phone number so he can send me some pictures of the players for my blog.

Waiting. Heiker Meneses comes out and I got inexplicably excited about this. And so, thinking I am clever, shout out something in Spanish that I think is funny. It is not something you should ever say to a stranger. Meneses looked confused and asked, "Why you say that?"

I told him I was half Dominican. As if that's an excuse. Also, I am not Dominican in any way. I lied. I was rude to Meneses and then I lied to him.

I also saw Hazelbaker but managed to keep my mouth shut. I watched as they loaded the Governors' Cup into a moving van and it seemed to be a real struggle. Rich Sauveur was one of the last guys to leave and he shattered my image of him as an asshole. "Thanks, y'all," he said, waving, friendly, smiling. Love will turn you around.

I got a bunch of players to sign my scorecard from both Pawtucket and Durham. I called over Jeff Levering to sign it as well, which he did, rather coquettishly. Oh, geez, he says. You don't really want me to sign this. I'm just a little ol' radio guy. He must get mad ladies.

I also saw Ben Crockett, Red Sox Director of Player Development. Crockett appears to be at every home game, which must suck all kinds of balls. It is a little weird that I know who he is, but I SEE EVERYTHING AT THAT BALLPARK I AM ALWAYS LOOKING AT STUFF WITH MY BINOCULARS.

"Crockett!" says me. And then I look away, act casual while he's trying to figure out who called him. Sort of like my Kimball Crossley experience that I'm going to tell you about in a couple of days.

At last, everyone's gone but I still want to party so I head to the bar where I am a member of the Beer Club. When I walk in I immediately see Crockett again, in a booth with a couple of people. I head to the bar and within seconds the guy next to me starts a conversation. This is because a bar cannot abide a solitary drinker. It's also because I am a Mysterious Stranger. The guy introduces me to his friends. One of them has just had his car stolen from the parking lot.

Et cetera.

"Do you see that bald guy over there in the green polo? That is Crockett and he is the Red Sox Director of Player Development." I mention this to the bartender who says it is interesting, this fact. "Not really," I contradict.

The bartender says I am right, it is not really that interesting, but he felt like he had to say something.

"Go talk to him," Guy at the Bar says. "Just go talk to him." I'm staring at Crockett who's standing up now, maybe getting ready to leave. I try to think of what to say to him. It doesn't help that I can't remember his first name.

"I know. I will go talk to him about Bob Dylan. Everybody likes to talk about Bob Dylan." I've been bragging about my Name That Tune expertise and my championship winning trivia team. But Dylan never comes up because Crockett's heading for the exit and instead I accost him as he passes me.

"CROCKETT HOW'S IT GOING MAN GOOD TO SEE YOU!!11!" followed by the weakest high five in six states. Crockett is clearly trying to remember who I am and how he knows me and he frankly looks a little nervous. Probably because I am Some Drunk Woman. He says something. He exits.

There used to be a pitcher on the PawSox named Marc Deschenes. You probably remember me talking about him. I was a fan of his. I talked to him at a McCoy Christmas party about Keith Foulke and some game in Rochester, Craig Breslow was there, this has all been documented elsewhere.

A friend of mine once stopped Deschenes as he was leaving the ballpark with some friends of his. He asked Deschenes to sign a baseball. My friend requested that he add "Bob Feller Award Winner 1997", like right in front of his friends. Which was excellent, because it likely impressed Deschenes' little crew. And then I went to Van Meter, IA.

I hope that in some small way Crockett's friends were impressed. Also I left my credit card at the bar and had to go back and get it.