He has been told more than once: Catchers make the best baseball managers. But Darrin Fletcher, a backstop in the majors for 14 seasons, isn't interested.
"Occasionally I'll play the 'what if' game in my mind," the former Illini and Oakwood High star said. "But I have no regrets."
Fletcher is headed to Florida soon — but not for spring training. He will travel to Gainesville to watch his son, Casey, play for Illinois during its trip to the Sunshine State.
Every MLB team Fletcher played for — Dodgers, Phillies, Expos, Blue Jays — trained in Florida, a state he knows his way around.
"Best part of spring training was the weather — it's Florida in February," he said. "The worst part was leaving spring training and heading north to play in the cold."
With pitchers and catchers reporting, here's more from the '94 All-Star:
Strangest spring training story?
"When I was with the Phillies, we were going to take a small plane across the state to play the Dodgers and the weather was terrible. John Kruk, who was my teammate at the time, says 'I'm not flying unless I see Dale Murphy on the plane. God is not going to take a Mormon, he's not going to take Dale early. He's got more good works to do.' Well, Dale got on. So Kruk did, too."
Brush with greatness
"Tom Selleck decided to play a few games with the Tigers. He played first base and I got a chance to talk to him after getting a hit. Let's put it this way: Thank goodness he made some money acting."
Team he'd visit this spring?
"The way the Cubs have been hitting maybe I should see if they need a pinch hitter. I'm 47, I might be able to make the cut. I think it'd be the Cardinals so I could say hello to (former teammate and friend Mike) Matheny. He still owes me some poker money from '99."