Thursday, February 5, 2009

'Rificos fall prey to Vegas distractions

The San Juan Crownrifico coaching staff isn't real big on discipline. Manager Javier James is best known as a fielding instructor has largely let the Crownrifico veterans set the tone in the clubhouse. Over the weekend in Las Vegas, they set the tone elsewhere. Lenny Ohman, in his 11th season with San Juan, is one of the clubhouse leaders. He's also quite fond of strip clubs.

Prior to the first game of the series in Las Vegas, Ohman and a group of about a dozen Crownrificos participated in what is being called the first ever "Vegas Cat Crawl." It's an initiation for new 'Rificos that calls for anyone new to the team to complete a Las Vegas Strip Club "road rally" where each club holds a stripper that will only give your next clue after you've paid for and received a lap dance. At that point, she gives you a clue to help you find the next club and the next clue. Each rookie leads a team of veterans on the race. The winning team receives a traveling trophy which bears the likeness of Crownrifico Traveling Secretary, Blaze Starr. The final destination this year (and probably every year) will be the Spearmint Rhino. As this year's winning team arrived led by rookie pitcher Dennis Wan, they found team owner wang35 waiting in a private room.

(Fremont street - they're hard to find but the entire Crownrifico rotation is in the shot)

It all seemed like a great idea at the time, but the team led by another Crownrifico rookie ran into some trouble at OG's, the 2nd to last stop. It seems veteran C Rico Lopez ran into an ex-girlfriend turned dancer. The two exchanged words, several bounces and one of the ex-girfriend's clients became physical. While no formal charges were filed, several Crownrificos spent part of the night bruised and in central lockup. They were released 2 hours prior to game-time, but needless to say, they were in no shape to play.

The raucous weekend continued in Vegas but the Crownrifico bats did not. The were swept by the scores of 3-0, 2-0, 5-0, and 6-1 and collected only 17 hits in the 4 games. The lone run scored on a homer by 3B Brandon Crawford who did not participate in the rookie event to a restraining order barring him from coming within 500 feet of a gentleman's club. Crawford has special permission allowing him to access the visitor's clubhouse at Cashman Field on game days only, despite the entrance to a VERY BAD (seen to the right) club just 2 doors away.

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