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Scouts Honor(ed)

This week's stuffed burger is the Hamrahi Stuffed Hamburger (try saying that 3 times). It is named after our good friend Joe Hamrahi, formerly of Baseball Prospectus and now with 2080 Baseball, a company that offers insights into the minors, international and amateur scouting.

While this burger is named for Joe this week, we are really honoring all scouts. In fact, Joe was an associate scout for the Royals. So for each burger sold we will be making a donation to a scouting charity and Joe will match the donation. (Thank You Joe!!)

Anyone who knows me knows how much I value the relationship I have with scouts. I feel that they are the backbone of the sport, contrary to what a team that recently won the World Series might think.

Scouts work tirelessly whether it’s beating the bushes to find the next Giancarlo Stanton or Michael Conforto or trying to better position a player or find a weakness to help a pitcher get Bryce Harper out.

Scouts also have the best stories. I have been lucky enough to spend many quality times either at a game or over a club soda at Foleys listening to them. There are two I will share, but I will not be using real names to protect the (maybe not so) innocent.

The first is about a scout who had been on the road for about six weeks. As he’s heading home he gets redirected back out on the road. So he needs a haircut and goes out and gets on. When he does his expenses, he includes the haircut. A bean counter at the team refuses to pay for the haircut, saying he’s just being thorough.

So, in the scout's next expense report he itemizes every single expense for the entire period. What might have been two pages is now 20. When the bean counter gets the report, he calls the scout for an explanation. The scout says “well I was just being thorough too. Oh and by the way, the haircut is in there, find it!!”

Second story is about two scouts in spring training in Arizona. One has a reputation for never paying full price for anything. Well his buddy realizes he doesn’t have a hat so his frugal buddy takes him hat shopping. They find one but it’s $70."Leave it to me” the frugal scout says and takes the hat to the owner of the store.

The owner is looking at the hatless scout as if he knows him. So, the second scout asks him the owner if he’s a baseball fan to which the owner nods. The owner asks “is that who I think it is?” The scout says yes, the owner says “Wow that’s Harmon Killebrew, would he sign a couple of balls for me? The first scout says ”Sure, but can you do something about the price on this hat." The owner agreed. "I can do it for $25." As he hands a couple of baseballs to the scout he heads for the back for a fresh hat. Once he’s gone the first scout turns to the second scout and says “how do you spell Killebrew?”

So I dedicate this burger to all my scouting buddies,I love you all and respect the heck out of the job you do!

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