7/2 An All-Star bath
So, what do you do to celebrate being named to your first Major League All-Star team after spending nine years in the Minor Leagues? Bryan LaHair took a long bath. LaHair finished second in the player balloting to the Reds’ Joey Votto, who was selected in the fan balloting as a starter.
“In Arizona, Willie Bloomquist came up to me and said, ‘Hey, I voted for you,'” LaHair said Monday. “He said, ‘Just keep swinging, keep hitting.’ I have the numbers. I know my RBIs totals could be higher. I think I’ve handled my role pretty well and been a tough out most of the time. Just the fact I got the respect like that from the players so soon and they respect my game and how I go about my business, I’m really thankful for that.”
LaHair, 29, has toiled in the Minor Leagues for nine seasons, making a Major League team’s Opening Day roster this year for the first time. Cubs manager Dale Sveum told LaHair and Castro they were going to the All-Star Game during a team meeting Sunday.
“[Sunday] was a really weird feeling,” LaHair said. “I went out in the dugout at the start of the game, and the first time the fans got loud, it kind of hit me — ‘I’m in a Major League ballpark right now and they just told me I’m going to the All-Star Game.’ You see Wrigley fans and the crowd and you remind yourself you’re in a Major League ballpark again. I was kind of like a little short of breath — I wasn’t sure how to feel or react.”
Once the Cubs arrived in Atlanta and he got settled into the hotel, he took a long, warm bath.
“I tried to breathe a little bit and soak it all in and just enjoy it and visualize it,” he said.
— Carrie Muskat