Grace loses mind; wins games
Fantasy Camp gives people an up-close look at some of their favorite D-backs’ players. Wednesday, during Day 3 of camp, even those of us who have spent significant time around him over the past nine years saw a side of Mark Grace we’ve never seen before.
Grace’s teams have not had a lot of success in previous years, going winless at during at least one camp, but that has never seemed to bother him.
This year I am on his squad and we won our first two games Tuesday. Anyway, Grace apparently enjoyed those wins so much that his style has gone from laid back to well a little intense.
We took on Greg Colbrunn and Damian Miller’s team Wednesday morning and as well as we played the first two games we were awful through the first four innings of this one. I mean we — and by we I definitely include me — were throwing the ball all over the field on defense, popping the ball up at the plate.
In short, it wasn’t pretty and we were trailing 9-0. At that point, Grace stopped talking to us. Of course, Mike Fetters, who was coaching with him, was not done. Fetters stood in front of the dugout and gave whoever at that moment was misplaying a ball, that same stare that made him a fan favorite on the mound at Chase Field.
“If you’re not going to listen to a word I say I’m done talking,” Grace said as we trooped into the dugout for the bottom of the fourth inning staring at a nine-run deficit.
Mind you at this point after hearing him yelling at us from the dugout, tossing his hat around the silence was kind of welcome. There was some chatter amongst the guys in the dugout that while we knew we weren’t playing well, Grace had clearly lost his mind and was turning into Buck Showalter before our eyes.
My personal favorite was after I was unable to get to a groundball hearing Grace yell, “Gilbert doggone it (or maybe it was a wee bit more colorful than that) you’ve got the range of a traffic cone.”
Long story short we rallied for a 10-9 victory and at some point during that rally Grace went back to talking to us and after the game said he was never more proud of a win at Fantasy Camp.