Our son, Lukas, is a scout for the Chicago Cubs, and he was here this weekend to watch the Beloit Snappers. He went to games Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. His task is to watch baseball games: it’s hard for me to call what he does a “job.” He files a report on each player on the roster, so he has to watch each game so he can see each pitcher and get a fulsome report on each position player.
You might be asking why he scouts minor league teams in other organizations. Good question. Simple answer: for trades. Reports are filed so if the Cubs get into a trade discussion with the Twins, they’ve got reports on each player. Luke will file reports on six different teams this summer. Mostly Twins and Tigers.
First off, I was surprised how well he dressed. Scouts don’t wear tacky shorts and T-shirts with beer guts bobbing out of the shirt. He wore dress slacks and shoes, a nice shirt, and he looked like he was going to work.
Second, it was odd to go to the game at Beloit. We remembered going up there to watch Lukas play against the Snappers three years ago. I remembered the park, and remembered that he got 3 or 4 hits that day. (It was a lot more relaxing, too!) Lukas was always into baseball, so it is really nice for us to see him now do what what he wants to do. We think his English degree comes in handy, because he does write reports.
It was fun to sit at the game in Beloit and watch him work at his trade. He made comments on players, knew little details about each one of them, knew their age, had seen some of them when they were in college, etc.. He “gunned” the pitcher, jotted down the speed of the pitch (he’s told me that “velocity” is not the right scientific term), and occasionally made a comment. Overall, he worked. We watched.
He told me to keep my eyes open for Robbie Thompson’s (former star for the SF Giants) 18-year old son who played 2B that night. The SS was Ron Gardenhire’s son (Gardenhire is manager for the Minnesota Twins). Thompson was impressive: young, slender, good arm and hands, and he got the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th.
Being around Luke is a life full of crazy comments, as that seems to be what baseball players learn to do — after all, when you are sitting in a dugout with 20-year-old males for six or seven months a year, you entertain yourselves with comments and pranks. When we are with him we hear some of them, but the insults they toss at one another are inappropriate for fans to use. Players respect one another, so anything said is “friendly fire.” Watching a game on TV, we saw a college player in the outfield get tangled in his feet and almost start running in circles, to which Luke said “Nice route Magellan.”
By the way, say a prayer to the Lord for Luke that the Cubs will find some good, young, healthy pitchers.