The spring training experience for rookies is typically full of surprises and ending up on the wrong side of practical jokes.
Unfortunately for Kansas City Royals pitcher Everett Teaford, his first surprise didn't end up being your run-of-the-mill hazing prank by veteran teammates. His Ford F-250 truck really was stolen from a Surprise (of course), Ariz., parking lot while he was having dinner with teammates on Sunday night.
“I walked out,” [Teaford] said, “and I looked at the spot where I was left it. I was so tired. I had to go home (over the weekend to Georgia) for a wedding, and I was exhausted. I get done eating, and here I am looking around in the parking lot.
“I thought, `Man, I parked in this spot. If I didn’t park in that one, I parked in this one. And there’s nothing there either.’”
I fully expected those quotes to be followed by a "and then his veteran teammate (fill-in-the-blank) pulled the truck around the corner while everyone got a good laugh at Teaford's expense." But it wasn't to be. His big diesel truck was really gone.
When his teammates began filtering out of the restaurant, they did offer their own unique brand of support. That continued Monday with Mike Montgomery(notes) asking Teaford if he locked his truck before entering the restaurant.
“No, Monty,” Teaford answered, “and the window was down. The door was open. The heat was on. It was nice and warm. And I had the guy’s favorite song on…”
It's good to see the 26-year-old can maintain a sense of humor and level head through a stressful experience. That could serve him well when he inevitably faces adversity during a make or break appearance later in the spring.
As for Teaford's concerns about the whereabouts of his truck.
“I guess if you see an F-250 with Georgia plates,” he said, “get the oil changed and bring it back. Or really … just keep it. At this point, I don’t even want to see it anymore.”
Suddenly Everett Teaford becomes a player of interest for me this spring training. Here's hoping he can turn this negative into a positive by using the incident as motivation to break camp with the big club. That way he can upgrade to any form of vehicle he desires.
Hopefully one with a better security system.