The Diary of Clint Barmes

Editor's Note: Colorado Rockies rookie Clint Barmes has been keeping a regular diary throughout his standout 2005 season. Among MLB rookies, the 26-year-old shortstop from Indiana State ranks near the top of the leaderboard in almost every major offensive category. In this Yard Work exclusive, we are pleased to bring you excerpts from the diary of this budding superstar.

April 16. I had a great game last night, going 4-5 with two homers, but we still got blown out by San Francisco, 13-6. I thought I did my part, but I guess it wasn't enough. But after the game, Preston Wilson came up to my locker and said "hey rookie, why are you making the rest of us look bad? You're supposed to stop trying when we're down by ten runs, squirt". I apologized, really I did, and he said I could make it up to him by helping him move the next day.

They made me do a lot of work. At one point, I was walking from room to room carrying a huge oak cabinet strapped to my back. We'd get to one room, Preston and his wife would argue over where to put the cabinet and I'd have to stand there holding it while they had their discussion. Then we'd walk to the next room and the same thing would happen. After 25 minutes of carrying this 200 lb cabinet (including twice up and down two flights of stairs), I tripped over their dog and fell flat on my face. Preston's wife started screaming but fortunately the cabinet didn't get a scratch because it landed on me and I braced its fall. I got a little smushed but I was OK. Preston bought me a slice of pizza at the ballpark to thank me for the help. It had pepperoni on it and was pretty good. But all this work is worth it in order to earn the respect of the veterans on our club.

April 29. I'm hitting .430 after another two-hit game, but we lost again, this time against LA in Dodger Stadium. After the game, a few of us decided to head out for dinner. Well wouldn't you know it, our rental car broke down on the drive there. I told the guys to take a cab the rest of the way while I took care of the car. The vets always make the rookies park the car anyhow, so I figured I might as well volunteer. I put the car in neutral and started pushing. The restaurant was sixteen blocks away -- it's a good thing the weather is so nice in LA! Then, about halfway there, the car got rear-ended. Lucky for me, I'd just gone to turn on the hazard lights (I'd forgotten to put them on all that time -- oops!) only a few seconds before the car was hit. The rear bumper was knocked off completely so it's a good thing I wasn't back there pushing the car at that moment or else I could have bruised a knee or something. Well, by the time I got to the restaurant more than two hours later, the vets had already left without me. That's OK, I wouldn't have wanted them to wait and ruin their dinner on account of me. But I was hungry by that point, so I hailed a cab back to the hotel and had a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats in my room while watching a late-night rerun of "Fear Factor". Yum!

May 26. I got three more hits last night, but we lost 8-6 to St. Louis. I really wanted to go home and relax, but I'd already promised [General Manager Dan] Mr. O'Dowd that I would bring the new photocopier up to his office in Coors Field. It didn't have any wheels and the service elevator was broken so I had to carry it up the stairs. Then I had to meet a delivery man in the parking lot and bring Keith's [Dugger, Rockies head trainer] new massage table into the trainer's room. It was over ten feet long so balancing it on my shoulder was really hard, and getting it through the doors was even tougher.

This morning I had to wake up early and drive into the city to pick up the vintage 50's pinball machine for our clubhouse. It's a gift from the rookies to the vets. In return, they promised to stop putting yogurt and week-old mashed potatoes in our gym bags after each ballgame. The pinball machine was really big so I had to strap it to the roof of my car using bungie cords. I got into the car and was about to turn on the ignition when suddenly, the roof caved in! A shard of metal scraped my ear and I had to get a band-aid for it, but otherwise I was OK. Good thing I wasn't in the passenger seat -- I would have been flattened because the pinball machine tumbled into that side of the car! I'll need to replace my car but the worst part was that some of the paint got chipped on the under side of the pinball machine. The vets were none too happy about that so they said they'd stop with the yogurt, but would continue to use the mashed potatoes. Now the vets AND the rookies are angry with me. Jeepers! Fortunately, Todd Helton said he'd forgive me if I went hunting with him next week. He likes to hunt deer but he needs somebody to carry the dead deer back to his house afterward. He said if I behaved myself then we could ride ATV's after he finishes hunting. Golly, life in the big leagues can be so unpredictable sometimes!


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