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09

jw04_postcardWesty for MVP 2006:  Part 1
PADRES recruiting trip
by Jim West

A lot of people ask me about the pressures of being an MVP candidate.  After my failed run for MVP in 2005 I have learned a lot of important wiffle lessons.  As a public service, I have decided to document some of my activities in a column to provide a glance into my 2006 campaign. Hopefully, the lessons I learn this year will help others. This is the first article in a season-long series leading up to the announcement of the Hopkins 2006 MVP.     

The week of April 2nd, began as many others in the PADRES camp.  During the PADRES' weekly meeting, team captain Shirls discussed adding a sixth PADRE to the team.  Unfortunately, since Ted "Costa Rica" Spilseth's sudden retirement after signing a league-record contract, the PADRES are over budget. After a heated debate about the future of the franchise, it was decided that one of us should fly out to California to try to find Ted and attempt to talk him into rejoining the squad.  I quickly volunteered.  Sacrifice and hard work are the hallmarks of a MVP. 

So-Cal:  Twice as big, 25% more fun.
So-Cal: Twice as big, 25% more fun.

After a long flight on the team jet, I landed in So-Cal on Tuesday and set out to find Ted.  I proudly donned my HRL 2005 shirt and began wandering the desert searching for clues.

Despite hours of looking I came up empty.  Fortunately, a PADRES spy satellite picked up a transmission from Ted's cell phone. The phone call mentioned a meeting at Dodger Stadium that day.  We finally had the lead we were looking for.

jw04_02
PADRES most wanted:  Ted "Costa Rica" Spilseth.

I rushed over to Los Angeles hot on Ted's trail. After purchasing an L.A. Dodgers hat to blend in to the crowd, I began scanning the stadium for signs of the ex-Brewer.  Thanks to an unusually large amount of rain, very few people were at the game and I was able to locate Ted easily. 

After a brief hello, I started explaining the PADRES desire to see Ted in back in Hopkins this year, talked about how competitive we would be, and began negotiations to get him to return to the rink.

jw04_03
Could Westy's sales pitch work?

Ted expressed interest in rejoining the team but explained that the relaxed atmosphere of L.A. was everything he could have hoped for.  I was getting ready to tell him about some of the new secret PADRE additions when he was suddenly called away by a phone call.

After 15 minutes of waiting in my seat I decided to see what was keeping him.  I found Ted in a concourse talking to former MVPs Sanchez and Chops who were trying to lure Ted to the Braves with nachos that had salsa AND cheese.  The 2006 MVP race had gotten off to an early start.

 

 

jw04_04
The Braves' top brass swoops in: It's ON!.

After a few awkward looks between Chops, Sanchez and me, Ted stopped us all and said, "In my time in Costa Rica I learned the benefits of slowing down my life.  I played wiffle ball because I enjoyed it.  Winning was fun, but the true winner is the person who enjoys the game.  I have found that same joy in surfing out here in California.  If you ride waves long enough and keep your eyes and heart open, you get it. Come back when you understand."  

Posted in: Phillies

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