Rios in, Thigpen out

SAN FRANCISCO – Greetings from the pressbox at AT&T Park. After downing a surprisingly edible boxed lunch that they gave to us starving scribes, I’ve been taking in all that is the Futures Game. Justin Upton homered a little while ago for the U.S. — a club I handled some of the pregame coverage for.

It was a throwback to my days covering Minor League ball in Lansing. There’s definitely a difference between interviewing big leaguers, who are accustomed to dealing with reporters on a daily basis, and speaking with some minor leaguers, who are still learning that part of the game as much as the one on the field.

During the game, it was learned that Blue Jays right fielder Alex Rios will test his luck in tomorrow’s Home Run Derby. Originally, I was down to cover Rob Schneider, Justin Morneau, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana and others duking it out in a Nintendo Wii home run contest, but it appears as though I’ll be back on the Toronto beat tomorrow with Rios competing in the actualy Derby.

Rios joins an AL foursome that also includes Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels, the Twins’ Morneau and Magglio Ordonez of the Tigers. Those four will square off against reigning HR Derby champ Ryan Howard of the Phils, St. Louis’ Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder of the Brew Crew. The fourth NL spot isn’t finalized. Honestly, I like Rios as a darkhorse in the Derby. He puts on a show during every BP session with the Jays.

In other Jays news, catcher/firstbaseman Curtis Thigpen was optioned back to Triple-A today. Like with Adam Lind, this was a foregone conclusion. First baseman Lyle Overbay is scheduled to come off the DL on Thursday, and the Jays don’t want to keep Thigpen on the bench when he can get regular ABs in the Minors.

Last night, after dinner down at Fisherman’s Wharf at a place called Scoma’s (where I was repeatedly made fun of by my fellow dot-comers because I don’t dig on sea food and ordered a burger), a few of us headed out and saw Evan Almighty.

If you liked Jim Carey’s Bruce Almighty, you’ll enjoy this flick, too. It was pretty entertaining and Stevel Carell was hilarious as always (I’m a huge fan of The Office — even the British version). Wanda Sykes had supporting role and had some of the funnier lines in the whole movie, though. Anyway, it’s worth a look if you’re into that type of comedy. Being a PK, I’ve really enjoyed the humor in the two Almighty movies.

Well, that’s all for now. More from All-Star week later on…

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