Going batty


BRADENTON, Fla — Photographer Chris Horner is stationed with me here at the Trib’s Bradenton bureau (a six-room condo on 59th Avenue). He provides all the photos of workouts and games that you see in the paper and on the Website. He’s also taping the video snippets on the Web (check out the latest here).

The other day, Chris made an interesting observation: “What is it with managers and bats?”

Practically every time Chris peers through his lens to get a shot of John Russell, the Pirates skipper has a bat in his hands. Same goes for many of the other coaches, both on the Pirates’ staff and on other teams.

And they don’t just carry the bats around. They swing them, twirl them, tap them on the bench, point with them, stretch with them, pound them into the ground for emphasis. Saturday morning, coach Ray Searage was walking around with one sticking out of his back pocket.

It’s amazing somebody doesn’t get accidentally whacked in the noggin and knocked out every day.