Ryan Garvey, who hit .404 with 46 RBIs and 35 runs as a junior, said he overcame the pressures that come with bearing his last name long ago. He even wears the same number as his father, a 10-time all-star who played a National League-record 1,207 consecutive games.
"I want to try to outdo him," the younger Garvey joked. "That's why I stuck with No. 6, to show him who's boss."
Trevor Gretzky hit .341 with two home runs and 33 RBIs as a junior, albeit with a target on his back because of his last name.
"I get a lot of trash talking," he said. "But you deal with it. It gets me going, it gets me focused. I try not to think about it - but when I see people try and compare me to him, there's no way that will ever happen. If I can be half as good as he was in hockey, I'll be happy. It's pretty much impossible to compare me to 'The Great One.' "
Wayne Gretzky, who played baseball in his younger days, couldn't be at the showcase because of his annual fantasy camp in Las Vegas, but the elder Garvey was there, looking like any suburban dad in slacks, a striped polo shirt and athletic shoes, snapping photographs as the players ran drills and took batting and fielding practice before playing in a controlled game with wood bats.
Also on hand: about 200 scouts and even New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, according to MLB.com.
So though Trevor Gretzky is slated to play ball next year for San Diego State under Tony Gwynn, and Ryan Garvey has committed to Southern Cal, those plans could change depending on how June's draft plays out.
Feelings, nothing more than feelings
At last it's here, that special day: Pitchers and catchers report for spring training, and our beloved baseball is back. (What? Valentine's Day? Is that here already? Oh - well there's a fern on that desk a few cubicles over, and there might be a card left at the convenience store downstairs. . . . Yeah, that'll do it.)
We all react differently to these things:
The Chicago Cubs' Mike Quade, after managing more than 2,000 minor-league games and serving as the team's third-base coach, running things on an interim basis for the final six weeks last season after Lou Piniella retired in August, and then beating out candidates that included Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg: "I downplay stuff. Somewhere deep in my heart, yeah, this is a big day to start this thing."
The 53-year-old did say that Friday, when the full squad reports in Mesa, Ariz., will be a much bigger deal. (By the way, Quade, who walks to work at spring training, will likely do the same in Chicago since he lives only two blocks from Wrigley Field. He's also been known to take public transportation.)
In Scottsdale, Ariz., Kirk Gibson, beginning his first full season as Diamondbacks manager, talked about instilling "the Diamondback way," explaining it as an attitude of unrelenting, intense competition. Anyone who ever saw Gibson play knows exactly what that means.
Gibson was at the ballpark about 5 a.m. Sunday to begin organizing the Monday workouts for pitchers and catchers. There it is.
Cubs, Marmol may make a deal
Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he expects to have a new contract for closer Carlos Marmol completed before a scheduled arbitration hearing Tuesday.
Marmol's agent Barry Praver, at the team's spring-training complex Sunday, agreed.
"I would suspect we will have a conclusion" by Monday, Praver said.
Marmol, 28, who made 38 saves with a 2-3 record and 2.55 ERA last season, had asked for $5.65 million in arbitration while the Cubs countered with an offer of $4.1 million.
"We've done a lot of deals with Barry Praver over the years," Hendry said. "We've been working on avenues on a multiyear deal or a potential one-year deal. Certainly I don't have any anticipation that something won't be done before the arbitration hearing date."
OK, then - wait, anybody ask Marmol?
Contact staff writer Michael Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.