A veteran move
Rockies left-handed reliever Alan Embree broke in with the Indians in 1992, so this is his 17th year around the game. Embree is playing on his 10th team. Needless to say, he’s learned a little something about getting along with new teammates.
So Embree pulled a veteran move on Sunday, the day before his first Opening Day with the Rockies.
“I saw a group of guys down at the tables at breakfast, and I picked up the tabs on all of them, just to kind of kick it off,” Embree said. “When you break with a new team, it’s kind of like, ‘Let’s get it going on the right foot.’ I want to let them know I’m not just here to pitch. I’m here to be a teammate.”
Embree has developed a tradition that goes a long way toward bullpen esprit de corps.
“I started something about six years ago, where I’d go around to each guy and hand him a $100 Starbucks card,” Embree said. “It’s a group of guys who will be together a lot.”
Right-handed reliever Ryan Speier said Embree reached out to him, even though they’re different pitchers. Speier said he enjoys hearing about Embree’s experiences.
“He’s been on a lot of teams, and some championship teams, so he’s got a wealth of knowledge,” Speier said. “I’ve talked to him a couple of times about the ’05 Red Sox. That was one of the most fun teams I’ve ever watched, so I enjoy hearing him talk about that.
“He’s made an effort to get to know everybody, and he can tinker here or there to help guys out.”