To get a Major League Baseball player to chat for a few minutes, let alone agree to do a blog, is a significant feat.
The uninitiated probably don’t know but when a reporter steps into a baseball clubhouse, it’s akin to fishing. You cast and maybe you’ll get a bite or well, maybe not.
After a NHL game, the stars’ names are on a board. They stroll into the locker room and one by one, they meet the press.
That’s not so in the world of baseball. Starting pitchers typically speak after the game, but there are no hard and fast rules. They normally don’t agree to engage in blogs, but Vance Worley isn’t like most starters.
It’s been an education hanging with Worley, who is as accessible, agreeable and intelligent as any player.
I thanked him for letting me have access to his thoughts, memories and aspirations for ‘Worley’s World.’ I appreciated that Worley wasn’t afraid to stir the pot.
He noted that he received a number of tweets after telling me that he believes the folks at Geno’s Steaks are rude.
Worley was good enough to take us to the mound with him and note what was on his mind when he was striking out Padre after Padre in San Diego in April.
It was a blast to hear how he finds personal battles with each team.
“There’s always someone on another team that I faced in the minors or admired when I was growing up,” Worley said. “I just have fun with that.”
Part of what is refreshing about Vanimal is that he is a big kid. It also helps that he is courteous and accommodating.
“I have no problem with this,” Worley said. “It’s been fun talking.”
It was so much fun for Worley that he spoke with me before games he started. It’s a big no-no for the media to chat with starters on their day.
“If I want to talk with you before a game, we should be able to talk,” Worley said.
Despite that, I avoided Worley on the days he started. Rules are rules. I knew I’d be able to catch up on the other four days. He was always up to chat about how much he hates the San Francisco Giants, or when he got food poisoning a half-hour before a start, or how he hit 94 mph on the gun. He was giddy after throwing that kind of flame.
His experience at the theater catching the latest ‘Batman’ sounded like a rejected ‘Seinfeld’ script.
But Worley had season-ending surgery with a month left in the season and now it’s time for healing. In no time, he’ll be rehabbing.
“I’m going to do all that I can to come back as strong as possible,” Worley said. “And we’ll talk again.”