Aussies to invade


Finally got to the Big D after a two-hour delay — something about radio communication issues with DFW air traffic control, never a comforting thought. But not to worry — I had a middle seat all the way (exit row the one consolation — thanks Suze)– and did a double take when I sat down next to Orel Hershiser. Actually it was the first runner-up in the Orel Hershiser Lookalike Contest — Bob Simmons, who works at Andover Controls Corp. and even sounds like Orel.

I got here just as MLB was announcing some details of the World Baseball Classic — Buck Martinez, the former Jays catcher and manager and Orioles broadcaster, will manage Team USA. One of his coaches will be Reggie Smith, who has been down the international road before. He was a coach on the ’99 U.S. team in the Pan Am Games and was on Tommy Lasorda’s staff on the US team that won gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.


Team USA will be in camp in Arizona March 3-6. Closer to home, the Australian team will be training in Fort Myers over those same dates, giving those Sox fans heading south another alternative besides Sox, Twins, golf, seashells and imbibing prodigious amounts of adult beverages. Jon Deeble, the former Lowell Spinners manager, will manage the Aussies.

I’ll give you an update on the rumor mill once I settle in.


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