By Granville Price, Palm Springs Semaphore
March 7, 2009
As fate would have it, on his way out of the stadium after interviewing Codgers GM Denny Hills, this reporter happened upon Miguel Soto in the parking lot with two female companions, loading items into his car.
Palm Springs Semaphore: Hey Miguel! Stealing some office supplies on your way out the door?
Miguel Soto: Ha ha... no, actually I stopped by to get my audio stuff.
PSS: Audio stuff?
MS: I didn't like the bass response of the system in our locker room here, so I brought in some subwoofers from home to put a little extra shake in everyone's booty.
PSS: Sounds like you're quite the audio freak.
MS: I guess so. I like to have the big bass everywhere I go, man! Especially in the car; that's what the chicks go for. Right, chicas?
Miguel's Lady Friends: We like Miguel's boom! (giggles)
PSS: Speaking of cars, that's a pretty sweet convertible.
MS: Yeah, it's a 1956 DeSoto FireFlite, with an "enhanced" sound system, of course. Not too many of them around!
PSS: Especially painted in Codgers team colors.
MS: Ooo, that's right – thanks for reminding me. I got to get this thing repainted in sky blue with bright red trim.
PSS: So what are your thoughts on that – playing for a new team?
MS: Well, I'll tell ya, the fans here in Palm Springs are really great and I liked all my teammates, so I will definitely miss them. But at the same time I'm excited to be getting a fresh start with a team who was really eager to have me.
PSS: I was just interviewing your old GM and he seemed very upset about losing you to free agency.
MS: Oh yeah? Well, he should've put his money where his mouth was, then. You know, I gave them plenty of chances all through the season, but they never made any kind of serious offer. Finally I just said, “Forget these cheapskates, I'll just wait and see what I can get on the open market.” And it paid off, too – Florida blew all of Palm Springs' offers totally out of the water.
PSS: Wasn't it tough to leave, though, considering the special bond you and GM Hills have developed?
MS: The whut?
PSS: He said that you two had a very strong emotional bond.
MS: Emotional bond!? No. (shakes head) You know, that guy is one weird dude. That's one thing I definitely will NOT miss about this place. He was always doing some kind of creepy thing.
PSS: Oh, like all the crying?
MS: No, that's not really creepy, just pathetic. I'm talking creepy. Let me tell you a story.
MS: It was after a game last June, I think. We had just killed Tempe, like 11-5. He calls me into his office and shuts the door and goes, "Oh Miguellllll... I have something for you," in this kinda weird, sing-songy voice.
PSS: What then?
MS: He handed me this black case with something written on it in, like, Romanian or something – I think it said "La Poutine". Then he just stared at me, all intense, without saying anything. Man, I got the hell out of there!
PSS: So what was in the case? Although I have a feeling I already know...
MS: What? Man, don't you get all spooky on me too! Anyway, I open up the case – and inside it's this fiddle! I was like, “Well, I'm not into that kind of hillbilly music,” but it was a nice gesture, you know?
MS: Then I looked a little closer and I saw the thing was super old. It looked like he had picked it up at a garage sale or something! He thinks he's all Mr. Big Shot giving me a gift, and he can't even be bothered to get something new.
MS: I know. It's actually typical of how the guy operates: even when it seems like he's doing something good, it's actually kinda half-assed and on the cheap.
PSS: Soooo... what did you end up doing with the, uh, fiddle?
MS: Oh, I gave it to my eight-year-old. Last I saw he was hitting rocks with it in the backyard.
PSS: Well, someone got some use out of it, at least.
MS: Ha ha, I guess so! Hey, we gotta run; it was nice talking to you.
PSS: Thanks, Miguel.
MS: All right. Tigra! Bunny! Let's go... time for some more of the boom!
Miguel's Lady Friends: Okay, Miguel! (giggles)