Roch around the clock


The Kickoff

February 13, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

During the last road trip of another disappointing season, Alan Mills had a pre-game encounter with B.J. Surhoff in the visiting clubhouse in Toronto. A small group of reporters was standing around, waiting for interviews or to speak with the manager, when Surhoff walked behind a teammate who was playing cards with Mills and made some sort of playful remark. It seemed innocent enough, until Mills got in Surhoff's face, the smile making it difficult to tell just how angry he had become. At one point, Mills shoved Surhoff into a locker, never letting go of his jersey, as Surhoff tried to remind him that the media were watching and this wasn't exactly the right time or place. In any other battle, my money would have been on Surhoff, but not on this day.

The incident blew over quickly, and players reminded us later that this sort of thing happens frequently over a long and stressful season. The media just aren't around to see it very often.

My lasting impression from that day: Only one player intervened - infielder Jeff Reboulet, who rolled his eyes, put his cards on the table and walked to the locker where Mills and Surhoff were tangled.

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