The last time the Rays came to town, I had tickets for the Friday night game before the USSM/Lookout Landing Q&A with Jack Zduriencik. I went with my friend Nicole, and it was the same night that Ryan Langerhans hit a walkoff homer, and I had to leave early because Nicole was tired (the only time I’ve left a game early, I would like to add).
Sometime toward the middle of the game, as Grant Balfour was taking some hard hits from the Mariners, the two of us wandered down to the bullpen area, me with slim hopes that maybe, just maybe Chad Bradford might be there, and might be sent into the game. Brian Shouse was making pre-warmup preparations in the visitors pen. I got plucky enough to grab his attention and ask him if Bradford was even there. It was a Friday, and there were a lot of drunk people around us. A lot. Shouse could have ignored me, could have pretended he didn’t hear me as if I was just another drunk person that was preparing to give him hassle, and just gone about his business; but instead he paused long enough to let me know that Bradford was on a rehab stint in the Rays minors, and wasn’t with the team that weekend.
And that was kind of cool of him.
Chances are very high that I won’t get to see Bradford, who is now off the DL after being plagued by injuries this season, over the next few days. My schedule is such that with games at 4pm, and the fact that the Rays, just like other teams in September, are trying to get a look at their newbie call-ups, I may not get to see Bradford pitch again this season. But I’ll be paying attention to where he winds up in the offseason, and even though it’s a small sample size, I can say that right now I think Brian Shouse (also a sidearmer!) is pretty neat.