Tagged: Casper Wells

GOTMiLB SOLVES THE MYSTERY OF THE “MONKEY GUY WITH THE FLOATING THING”

Little Casper.jpg

  The mystery for the ages is solved. At least we think it is.

 

  “Monkey guy with the floating thing” = Reggy.

 

  At least we think it does.

 

  For those of you who are only occasional readers of GotMiLB, rather than those who constantly hit refresh in hopes of new and thrilling copy (and I LOVE all two of you who do that), let me recap.

 

  Last week, we ran this interview with Detroit Tigers outfielder Casper Wells (that’s him in the picture above). 

 

  When asked “What is the best minor league promotion or visiting act you’ve seen” his response was: “I like the monkey guy with the floating thing.”

 

  After a query to colleague Ben Hill, the guru of all things Minor League Promotion-al, came up blank as well, GotMiLB went back to Wells to see if he could shed any more light on this mysterious “monkey guy with the floating thing,” you know, ANYMORE details he could provide.

 

  His response: “I was at State College in the New York Penn League playing for Oneonta Tigers (in 2007). It was a guy who would have these blown up monkeys and chickens that would dance to different songs. For example, he blew up a monkey while “Brass Monkey” by the Beastie Boys was playing in the background, and the thing started dancing.”

 

  Because I am, if nothing else, a tenacious reporter, I started doing the homework. Luckily, Oneonta had only made one road trip to State College in 2007, so I was able to hone in on the dates July 11-13. Next, I went to the State College Spikes website and bless their hearts, it had an archive for all of their press releases, including one that alerted fans to the upcoming promotions for, you guessed it, that week.

 

  And voila, we bring you … REGGY, the Purple Party Dude.

 

  The brainchild of the folks behind the Phillie Phanatic, Dave Raymond and company (in fact, the name “Reggy” comes from Raymond Entertainment Group), Reggy has no doubt been described in many ways over the years but I am willing to bet that “monkey guy with the floating thing” is a first.  In fact, let me go Google that term … yup, as expected, it got one hit. GotMiLB. (OMG WE R ON GOOGLE, WE R TOTALLY BIG TIME!)


UDreggySpankysm2.jpg 

  But he’s the only “character” that appeared at State College in those three days (unless you count former American Idol finalist Vonzell Solomon, aka the singing postal deliverywoman, performing the National Anthem).

 

  And among his “routines” are this nine-foot blow-up monkey. So I think we have a winner.

 

Advertisements

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: GETTING TO KNOW DETROIT TIGERS OF CASPER WELLS

Despite having a pretty unique first name to start with, Detroit Tigers outfield prospect Casper Wells is a man of many nicknames, among them, Wellsy, Casps and “Casper-Pantsy.”

  That last one belongs exclusively to Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Tommy Hanson, however.

  “I call him ‘Hantsy-Pantsy,'” explained Wells, who was teammates with the Arizona Fall League MVP on the Mesa Solar Sox,” so he calls me ‘Casper-Pantsy.'”

  Wells’ baseball pedigree is an unusual one, having been raised in the upstate New York city of Schenectady and played his college ball at Towson State, right outside of Baltimore, Md. Neither is known as a baseball hotbed, but Wells’ quickly-rising status – he was just added to the Tigers’ 40-man roster last month – could change that perception.

  In the meantime, he’s certainly making an impression on his teammates (among them, Braves outfielder Matt Young, who appears in the background of this picture of Wells, flashing the peace sign).

Little Casper.jpg  Wells took the time to chat with GotMiLB about life in the Minors.

GotMiLB: Everyone has a “hidden talent.” What’s yours?
Wells: I’m good at impersonations. Whatever comes to mind, celebrities, people on the team. 

GotMiLB: Complete this sentence: It would surprise people to know that I …
Wells: I think you should ask someone else about that. J.D. (Phillies infielder  Jason Donald), how would you answer that?
Donald: Casper Wells is the funniest man alive.

GotMiLB: Do you have other hobbies or creative outlets aside from baseball?
Wells: I used to enjoy snowboarding but since I got drafted I haven’t really had a chance to do that. I don’t think my contract says “don’t snowboard” but I wouldn’t want to do activities that could lead to my getting hurt.

GotMiLB: Of what accomplishment, on or off the field, in your life are you the proudest?
Wells: Probably just what I’ve accomplished this year throughout the season, coming basically from nowhere and having a good year. Proving not only to everyone else but to myself what I’m capable of doing.

GotMiLB: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t playing baseball?
Wells: I think about that all the time. I used to think about it a lot more when things weren’t going well. I was a television/film major in college and would probably try to get involved in some aspect of that world and put my creative juices to work. See where that went.

GotMiLB: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?
Wells: For a rush, I went bridge-jumping with my buddies up in Lake Luzerne in New York. I think I was a junior or senior in high school. I jumped off a 75-foot high bridge with cars going under it.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors has surprised you the most, in comparison to what you might have imagined before you turned pro?
Wells: When I was playing in the Gulf Coast League, being down there with no fans and it was almost like scrimmage games every day with no fans. And when I got drafted I thought it would be okay to go play in Florida. I’d never been there and I thought it would be great to play there.

GotMiLB: What is the biggest misperception that people outside of baseball have about life in the minors?
Wells: That everyone that plays professional baseball is in the big leagues. A lot of people don’t know there are different levels of the Minor Leagues. And everyone thinks you make a million dollars and are on TV so when they don’t see you they ask ‘I thought you were with the Detroit Tigers and I watch them and don’t see you.’

GotMiLB: Who is the most unusual character you’ve met in your pro baseball career?
Wells: My hitting coach Benny DiStefano. He’s pretty unusual. He’ll just throw out some sound-effects on you when you’re hitting. Very animated and you’ll always have stories about him if he’s your coach.

GotMiLB: What is the one question you hope you never hear again?
Wells: When I was in Michigan they’d always ask me about being born there (ironically, Wells was born in Grand Rapids but moved to New York a year later) and growing up there even though I didn’t. No one asks questions about my name which is sort of surprising, I thought more reporters would ask about that. But lately it’s been more about where I came from after having had not much success to where I am now.

GotMiLB: Where have you played in the Minors?
Wells: Oneonta, NY; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Lakeland, Fla.; Erie, Pa.

GotMiLB: On your current or most recent club (Erie), what was your favorite thing about playing there? And is there anything you would change?
Wells: I like the stadium. It’s small and feels like the fans are right on you so it has a great atmosphere, especially when it’s family night. And on discount nights when beer’s involved a lot of the local college kids who come out and end up heckling the home team because they don’t know the difference, they just heckle whoever is closer to them. I wouldn’t change anything because it’s a hitters’ park so I like it.

GotMiLB: In your career, what has been your favorite road trip and why?
Wells: It was pretty cool when we played in Brooklyn and Staten Island last year because you had the Manhattan skyline there with the Statue of Liberty, that was the coolest.

GotMiLB: What is the best minor league promotion or visiting act you’ve seen?
Wells: I like the monkey guy with the floating thing (sorry, even GotMiLB could not figure this one out but is sure some readers will know what he’s talking about) and the crazy chicken guy (that would be the Famous Chicken).

GotMiLB: What has been your least favorite visiting act or promotion?
Wells: They’ve all been pretty good. But there was a clown there that kind of freaked me out. I wasn’t scared of clowns until I saw his performance.

 

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: GETTING TO KNOW FLORIDA MARLINS 1B LOGAN MORRISON

  They call him “Lo Mo.”

 

  The baby-faced sweet-natured hitting machine had a breakthrough campaign in 2008 for the Florida Marlins, winning Florida State League MVP honors with the Jupiter Hammerheads, hitting a league-best .332 with 13 homers, 74 RBIs and nine steals.

 

  He followed that up in the Arizona Fall League as his organization’s lone Class A representative and vied for the batting title right down to the wire, finishing third with a .404 average and tied for second with 29 RBIs as he helped lead the Mesa Solar Sox to the best record in the league (26-12).


Morrison,Logancopy.jpg 
A military kid (his dad was in the Coast Guard) who has lived all over the country, moving from Kansas City to Key West, Florida, to Virginia, to Wilmington, N.C., back to Kansas City before finally settling in his current home of Slidell, Louisiana, maybe that has contributed to his gregarious nature and ability to make everyone feel like his new best friend. I’m guessing he never suffered from the “outcast new kid” syndrome. In fact, his happy-go-lucky demeanor reminds me a lot of another big friendly first baseman with a live bat that I met back in his Minor League days in 1996 named Sean Casey.

 

  I suspect Marlins fans can look forward to seeing LoMo at first base in Miami in the not-too-distant future.

 

  And thanks to the amazing Camralady, Barbara Jean Germano, for saving my sorry butt with this picture of LoMo.

 

GotMiLB: Everyone has a “hidden talent.” What’s yours?

Morrison: I’m pretty good at alliteration.

 

Maybe she hadn’t had that second cup of coffee that morning, but for some crazy reason GotMiLB didn’t have the wherewithal to actually follow this answer up by asking him to alliterate for her.

 

GotMiLB: Complete this sentence: It would surprise people to know that I …

Morrison: … am a romantic at heart.

GotMiLB: Do you have other hobbies or creative outlets aside from baseball?

Morrison: I like to watch football and basketball and go to sporting events, so, no,  pretty much none.

GotMiLB: Of what accomplishment, on or off the field, in your life are you the proudest?

Morrison: Winning the Marlins’ Minor League Player of the Year award this year.

GotMiLB: What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done?

Morrison: Hitting a walk-off home run here (AFL) was pretty cool because I’d never hit a walk-off before.

GotMiLB: What do you think you’d be doing now if you weren’t playing baseball?

Morrison: I’d probably still be in school trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life.

GotMiLB: What one item have you found you cannot live without on the road?

Morrison: My computer. I need my laptop.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors do you find to be the biggest challenge and why?

Morrison: The daily grind.

GotMiLB: Which aspect of life in the minors has surprised you the most, in comparison to what you might have imagined before you turned pro?

Morrison: I’m surprised at how many people are willing to help out with your career.

GotMiLB: What is the biggest misperception that people outside of baseball have about life in the minors?

Morrison: That we have a lot of money.

GotMiLB: Who is the most unusual character you’ve met in your pro baseball career?

Morrison: Casper Wells (a Detroit Tigers outfield prospect who was his teammate on Mesa in the Arizona Fall League). He’s just an unusual character, you just have to know the guy.

 

GotMiLB fans will get a chance to do just that later this month when Wells is featured in a Beyond The Boxscore Q&A of his own.

 

GotMiLB: Which coach/manager have you had that you think should be in the big leagues?

Morrison: Brandon Hyde, my manager at Jupiter this year.

GotMiLB: What is the one question you hope you never hear again?

Morrison: “How’d you miss that pitch?”

GotMiLB: If you were commissioner for a day, which one rule would you change?

Morrison: I would make it mandatory that on a checked swing the home plate umpire had to appeal to one of the base umpires.

GotMiLB: Where have you played in the Minors?

Morrison: Jamestown, N.Y; Greensboro, N.C. and Jupiter, Florida.

GotMiLB: On your current or most recent club, what was your favorite thing about playing there? And is there anything you would change?

Morrison: In Jupiter, the lights are really good out there and you can see the ball pretty well. I’d change how big it is, maybe shrink it down a little bit.

GotMiLB: What was your favorite restaurant there?

Morrison: Jumby Bay

GotMiLB: If family or friends were coming in to visit, where would you take them on a day off?

Morrison: The beach and then go down to City Place (a shopping center and social mecca near Jupiter).

GotMiLB: In your career, what has been your favorite road trip and why?

Morrison: Greenville, S.C. is pretty sweet. The stadium is awesome and the area around it is pretty nice.

GotMiLB: What’s your favorite road restaurant?

Morrison: Domino’s! It’s not really my favorite but we get it all the time.


LittleSpecial Delivery for Special D kids.jpgGotMiLB
: What has been your least favorite visiting act or promotion?

Morrison: The one I never want to see again is in Jupiter we did one where little kids had to change into the player’s uniforms and race down and race back and I don’t really like that one.