When I interviewed Alexi Amarista two years ago, his official height, 5-foot-7, appeared generous by 2-4 inches. Amarista joked about it, saying his fellow Angels farmhands called him the Spanish word for midget (ballplayers aren't known for the sensitivity gene).
Amarista later reached the big leagues. This month, the Padres acquired him along with pitching prospect Donn Roach in the Ernesto Frieri trade. I'm rooting for Amarista, a second baseman and outfielder. His teammates and coaches spoke well of his instincts, his drive, his fundamentals. And, he lost his father in a tragedy, as friend Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register wrote about here. As for Frieri, the Angels will be ecstatic with him if he continues to pitch like he did today -- five outs, no runs, 21 pitches against the Rangers. At some point, I'll write about Roach.