July 2005

Hanging Out With Grimsley and the Orioles

Hello again baseball and Alter Bridge fans. Mark Tremonti here. I know I promised some David Wells stories in this installment but I had a surprise visitor last week and I thought I would talk about that since it is baseball related.

Oddly enough, less than 20 minutes after I finished my last blog entry, Jason Grimsley called me up out of the blue and told me he would be in town for the weekend because the Orioles were playing the Devil Rays. The games were on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and he told me he was arriving on Thursday so I invited him and his family to come up to my house in Orlando. I had not seen him since we played a show in Kansas City a few months ago so I was very excited to see him again.

He and his family arrived late afternoon on Thursday and his kids made a beeline for our pool. It was not long before Jason and his wife, Dana, were in there with them laughing and having a great time. I couldn?t help but to watch and smile. My wife and I recently had our first child only two months ago and watching his family splashing around in the pool had me thinking of my future with my son, and I hope that I can be as good of a father as Jason is to his children.

After that Jason came with me to our practice facility and we tried out some new material on him. We cut the session short because we all wanted to go out to dinner but when we got back to the house Myles(our singer) and I had a song idea so we sat at the kitchen table with acoustic guitars and jammed out for about an hour. Jason sat and watched the whole time. I kept asking him if we were boring him but he said he loved watching the song writing process. We all then grabbed our kids and had a great time out at dinner.

Next, it was my turn to be Jason?s guest on Sunday as the Orioles played the Devil Rays. I went with Myles, his wife Selena, my brother Michael and my friend Vince. Jason told me to call him as soon as we reached our seats but before I could, I looked down towards the Orioles dugout and he was down there waving for me to come down. As I was making my way to him I was greeted by none other than **** Vitale. I shook hands and had a nice conversation with him and then continued over to Jason.

When I got there Jason proceeded to introduce me to a bunch of the players. It was a real thrill meeting Rafael Palmeiro.Ph_120191  I know that he just reached the 3000 hit plateau and he has always been one of my favorite players to watch in this last decade. Rafael was very kind and accommodating. I also met Sammy Sosa and Miguel Tejada for the first time and both were very cordial as well. It was pretty cool talking to three future Hall of Famers. I feel that both Palmeiro and Sosa are locks for the Hall and I think that if Tejada stays consistent he will make it as well.

We all had a great time at the game itself. The highlight, for me, was being able to see Jason pitch again. He pitched in the ninth and although the results were probably not what he wanted he gave it his all. As I said before, the guy is an absolute warrior. I don?t think too many people have come back from his surgery in that quick of a time. It just shows his guts and determination.

I stopped by the clubhouse to see him after the game and I could tell he was not happy. It made me sad to see him like that and I did not know what to say. It turns out I did not have to say anything. He said, ? I?m going to stay in this mad zone for about another 45 minutes till I get on the plane and then I am going to forget about it and concentrate on the next game?. That?s why I admire Jason. I think he shares the same outlook on life that I do. Do your best each day and when the day ends, concentrate on making the next day your best. That?s exactly why we titled our first cd One Day Remains. That?s how we all live our lives.Dsc03110

Well, that?s it for now. Johnny Damon called and said he will be in town this week as the Red Sox are playing the Rays. I?m sure we will probably cross paths at some point. I?d love to make it to one of the games but I am not sure if I can because I do not want to miss another night of songwriting. I?ll check back with you all later in the week.

Mark Tremonti

Jason Grimsley and getting yelled at by Joe Torre

What’s up, Major League baseball fans! Mark Tremonti here from the rock band Alter Bridge. First off, I want to thank MLB for letting us play the Home Run Derby (we had an incredible time) and for letting me share my thoughts with all of you in this blog. Since this is a baseball site I thought I would share some of my baseball stories with all of you.

The first memorable baseball experience in my life that really brought me into the baseball world as far as knowing some of the players happened in New York at Yankee Stadium. I was on tour with Creed at the time and we were asked if we would like to take batting practice. We all were very excited and said yes right away. If I remember correctly, it was set up by one of the trainers but not ok’d by the higher ups, as I will get to later.

So, we are getting ready to walk out on to the field and as we walk by the managers office I see Joe Torre peer out of his office with a look on his face like "who are these guys waking through my clubhouse". We continued to walk out on to the field and watched the guys take batting practice. It was awesome. When it got to be our turn Jason Grimsley Ph_115169_1 walks over and starts talking to us. He was actually on the disabled list at that time but we did not know that.

I began to talk to Jason and he told me that he was a big fan of the band and that he would like to pitch batting practice to us. I said, **** yes, and away we went. I think Scott was the last one up when suddenly Joe Torre comes steaming out of the clubhouse, screaming at Jason at the top of his lungs. He was saying…"I don’t give a bleep who these guys are, get them off of my field." I think we got Jason in some pretty big trouble and it turns out we were ok’d to do it but no one told Joe apparently. He was pretty furious about it but the bottom line is that we got to do it and I’m glad we did. Hey, I’m a Red Sox fan anyway. Haha.

Jason and I still laugh about it to this day. He told me he got reamed pretty good by Joe because he was pitching to us while still on the DL. Jason Grimsley and I became very close friends and we are still close, in fact, he is one of my best friends in the world, baseball or otherwise. Anyways, it was a very unique experience and I am still glad we got to do it and by the way, I came within three feet of jacking one out to center field! Just kidding.

Also, Jason has just gotten off the DL this week and pitched for the Orioles. The guy is an absolute warrior. He had the Tommy John surgery and came back in half the amount of time it takes most people. He is happier than he has ever been and pitching in the mid nineties again. Kick some ***, my brother, you know I am rooting for you!

I’ve got to run because we just got off a two week festival tour and all our gear is getting dumped here in Orlando at our practice facility. I’m on my way there right now to get together with the band to write some new material. We are going to do that for the rest of this month and most of August. We are going to begin touring the states again in late August or early September. Check alterbridge.com for the latest dates. Also, sign up for the forums on alterbridgeband.net. It is a site run by fans that is awesome. My brother updates the forums with all the late breaking news. They also have a wealth of pictures and live video that you can check out.

See you all soon and maybe next time I’ll tell some of my David Wells stories. Or at least the ones that are fit to print!

Mark Tremonti

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Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti at the Fields Of Rock in Holland.

Photo by Stijen