Hello friends. It's time again for me to share a tale and let you live vicariously through my stupid, drunken eyes.
Last night I got to take part in Mighty 1090/XX Sports Radio's Beer Summit with Mat Latos, Darren Balsley and special guest/hanger-on Mike Goff. They were all wonderfully awesome, keeping the conversation fun and giving everyone a little peek into what they know about their respective games. I got to spend a little one-on-one time with Latos and Goff, and had a great back-and-forth with Mr. Balsley at one point as well. Notes on the evening, broken down by conversation partner, are after the jump.
Let me start off with a brief summary of the night's events.
I got to the bar/restaurant and asked to be pointed into the direction of the XX1090 Beer Summit. "We had those the last two nights, but there's not one tonight", said the hostess. I pull out my iPhone and show an e-mail from Marty Caswell, from 3 hours earlier, that said "See you at 7!" The hostess tells me Marty must be wrong, which makes me chuckle, and I head upstairs anyways to see Marty sitting there with a group of Padres fans and one gigantic dude at the end of the table.
I say hello, and am checking out the giant in my peripheral vision. Is this guy a Charger? Could this be what Mooch looks like with a beard and a ponytail? No, I don't think so. What about Ryon Bingham?!? I never met Bingham! All I have to go off of is a 5 year old photo of him in my mind. This could definitely be Ryon Bingham. Crap, how the heck do I introduce myself as a Chargers blogger without making myself look terrible when I ask who he is? I'll stare some more, that'll do the trick.
Finally I just go for it. Shake his hand, "Hi, I'm John." "Hi, I'm Mike Goff." Holy crap, it's Mike Goff. Mike Goff who I always praised as one of the biggest keys to turning the Chargers around (he finally gave the line some consistency). Mike Goff, who, last year I told Chiefs fans was "done". I hope he didn't read that.
Just then, Latos shows up and takes center stage. Surrounded by about 10 guys, Mat goes right into hilarious story after hilarious story. At some point, I drift back over to Mike (what can I say? football's my first love) and we start chatting about his time in Kansas City (details below). This is when I realize that I'm doing that thing where I'm matching the drinking pace of the person that I'm talking to. In this case, it's someone who is about a foot taller and about a hundred pounds heavier than me. Still, I can't stop myself, and the fast-pace drinking continues for the next few hours. Oh boy.
After a while of that Darren Balsley shows up, hair still wet and teasing Mat about some people having to do work every game instead of every fifth game. I migrated back over to the crowd and a rousing baseball/Padres discussion that would last the rest of the night (for some) had begun, with Balsley and Latos in the center of it (obviously). This is when I got the majority of my semi-baseball questions in ("What happens when CY comes back?" "Doesn't MLB have a rule against forearm tattoos for pitchers?", etc.) before ending up at the bar, with Mike Goff, watching the end of the Lakers/Suns game.
And this is where things get really fuzzy. I know Mike bought me a beer (so, big thanks to him and XX1090 for how I feel today). I know we talked for about an hour before we decided to be more social (and at that point Latos was gone). I know that on the way out I talked with Darren Smith and confused Philly Billy Werndel with Billy Ray Smith......that's how drunk I was.
Anyways, it was a great night and I will never again say a bad word about Mike Goff, Mat Latos, Darren Balsley, Marty Caswell or Darren Smith. They're all good people. Great people. Notes below.
- He is now a San Diego native and loves it here. He wants to spend the rest of his life here.
- He thinks, in the right situation, Matt Cassel could be a hell of a QB.
- As you would imagine, he has really mangled hands and fingers. However, Marty Caswell cares more about Shawne Merriman than she does Mike's mangled fingers.
- If you put a pizza in front of Mike Goff, it will get eaten. There is not a scenario in which that statement is not true.
- He has gotten offers this offseason from three teams, although I won't say which. He didn't say this, but I think he's waiting to see what happens in San Diego's training camp/preseason before deciding his next step.
- Mike loves to read, and he would love some sort of career in broadcasting or a radio show so that he could say what he really feels about the people he's played with/for/against.
- When he finally hangs them up, Mr. Goff is going to go get his degree in Sociology. Because, as he put it, "people interest me."
- Mat has a tattoo inside his right forearm that says "Love Me or Hate Me". This bothered me until we talked for a while. Then I realized that I love his personality, and could see why some people hate him.
- Mat talks....and talks.....and talks. He could've held court for 3 days without stopping.
- Ladies take note: he's a very attentive boyfriend.
- He has a tattoo of Stewie from Family Guy on his leg.
- For one day, Mat was a better fisherman than Darren Balsley. Apparently, Chase Headley is a terrible fisherman.
- Mat is an excellent home run hitter when the wind is gusting out. He hits about .430 in batting practice.
- Mat: "I would love to go out drinking and have a good time, but there's too much risk in doing that. I could get myself in trouble. I'd much rather just stay at home, cook a good meal and hang out with my girlfriend."
- Apparently Buddy Black will only respond to Mat when Mat calls him "Skip". Calling him Buddy will get Mat a strange look and no response.
- I'm going to avoid telling all the great Balsley stories I heard yesterday, but I will say this. Darren is a soft-spoken guy who you learn....when you're around him for a long enough period of time....is a TOTAL BADASS.
- He is against the idea of a 6 man rotation, unless you have "6 studs". I asked what this meant for when Chris Young came back, and he said "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." I don't know that he has high hopes for Young coming back any time soon.
- He thinks that maybe the Nationals should keep Strasburg in the minors all year as a way to better control/manage his innings, then let him come to spring training next year as a member of the Nationals. When I said I disagree with him, Balsley gave me a look that said "Oh really? Are you an expert who gets paid to know and manage these types of situations? Yeah, didn't think so." His look was right. I am not.
- He thinks that in a few years Latos will be known for his devastating curveball.
- He thinks Sean Gallagher is a "heck of a pitcher" and thinks that you naysayers should stop paying so much attention to stats.
- He is one of most positive people I've ever met. About everything.