All-Star Media Day

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Checking back in from Anaheim, where just hours ago all National League and American League players were made available to the media. Right now, AL hitters are out on the Angel Stadium Field taking batting practice. The NL bunch will follow shortly.

Here are a few images I snapped earlier today…

ASG - Meek.jpgThat’s obviously Pirates All-Star Evan Meek as he was meeting with various reporters. Most of the reporters visiting with Meek were those who cover the previous organizations he was affiliated with (Twins, Padres, Rays), as they were interested in his journey from then until now.

I’ve written a handful of stories about Meek since he received this All-Star invite, so I decided to focus today’s largely on his 2008 season. Meek freely talks about how the events of that year put his career on course and has led to what he is experiencing this week. Here is that story if you are interested.

During his session on Monday, Meek shared one additional story that I found humorous. He was asked if in his contract there was any clause that triggered a bonus if invited to an All-Star Game. Not yet being arbitration eligible, Meek said he was given a list of awards before the season with the option of choosing one. If he wins that award then he’d get a bonus.

So Meek looked at the list this spring and started crossing items off, with All-Star Game being the first items he eliminated. Gold Glove and Silver Slugger followed. Eventually, Meek chose the Rolaids Relief Man award, thinking that was the only logical one.

When Meek learned that he’d be headed to Anaheim he phoned his agent and jokingly asked, “Is there any way we can switch?” Of course, no such luck.

ASG - Capps.jpg

Sorry that the photo isn’t spectacular, but hopefully it’s good enough for you to recognize Matt Capps, the Nationals’ All-Star rep. It was good catching up with Capps briefly — he had plenty of eager reporters waiting to talk with him, so I couldn’t monopolize the time. Capps seems genuinely content with where his career has taken him, and he reiterated that he has only good memories of his time with the Pirates’ organization. He has never expressed any hard feelings about the way things ended, either.

Interestingly enough, Capps and Meek were seated next to each other in the Marriott ballroom where all the NL players gathered. You could tell that seating arrangement had both a little more comfortable.

ASG - Bautista.jpg
Look really closely and see if you can figure out who’s taking cuts in the batting cage. OK, so maybe my vantage point wasn’t ideal, but anyways, it’s Toronto All-Star and former Pirates third baseman Jose Bautista. He was a part of the final group of AL hitters to take cuts this afternoon.

***

It’s not Pirates-specific, but if you’re interested in learning more about your 2010 Home Run Derby participants, this is your link. The Derby begins at 8 p.m. ET.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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