Dobbs Takes Memorable Journey to Tacoma

Even after getting a mere one hour of sleep on Wednesday night, Greg Dobbs made the most of his first day a Tacoma Rainier on Thursday. The 25-year-old started both games of the Rainiers' double-header and hit a homer despite the circumstances, then found time afterwards to sit down for an interview with InsidethePark's Joe Kaiser. Don't miss what he had to say about his sleepless trip from San Antonio to Tacoma.

A bleary-eyed Greg Dobbs stood in front of his locker last night in the Tacoma Rainiers clubhouse at Cheney Stadium, his mind still spinning from the events that took place over the previous 24 hours.

"I'm exhausted," he said, the first two words out of his mouth to since being promoted to Triple-A Tacoma. "It all started (Wednesday) night. I got the word that I was coming up here at 11 p.m. from (San Antonio manager) Dave Brundage. That was pretty awesome. I was pretty pumped. Then I was like, man, I've got a lot of packing to do."

Dobbs, along with his wife, wasted little time in beginning to move everything out of their apartment. Much of it went into the couple's car.

"It took us all night," said the third baseman. "We got about an hour of sleep and had to wake up early this morning.

"I just can't wait to get into a bed."

Dobbs left the heat of San Antonio at 9 a.m. and arrived in Seattle in the early afternoon. The fact that he was half asleep didn't matter – the Rainiers had a twi-night double-header and he was penciled in as the starting third baseman in both games.

Tacoma's addition of the third baseman forced the team to shift Justin Leone, the team's primary guy at the hot corner all season, to shortstop. Dobbs, in Triple-A for the first time in his career, didn't need long to adjust to his new surroundings.

In his first at bat with the Rainiers, facing Salt Lake right-hander Mike Brunet, he sent a deep fly ball to right field that just curved foul.

"I thought I had one but I hooked it a little too much," he said.

Dobbs, a left-handed hitter, ended up flying out to the warning track in right.

But in his second at bat, again facing Brunet, the results were a little better. Actually, a lot better. Dobbs got a fastball in and turned on it, sending it over the wall in right for a two-run homer. Not a bad way to make a quick impression.

"I got enough of it and put it over the wall," he said, fighting fatigue to describe the at-bat.

He ended the day a combined 2-for-6 from the plate, starting both games as was planned. Even still, it was apparent the promotion and big day at the plate still hadn't complete sunk as he talked in the clubhouse afterwards.

"Everything is just a whirlwind right now," said Dobbs, who'll turn 26 on July 2. "When I look back on it that's pretty neat that in my first game, second at bat, I hit a home run to put us on the board. When I hit it, though, it was just like another home run. I'm just so out of it."

Dobbs, who missed all but two games of 2003 with a torn Achilles heel, says he feels 100 percent healthy and he's put the injury behind him. If it weren't for media types like us constantly bringing it up, in fact, he says he wouldn't even think about it.

"It's gotten to the point where it's out of sight out of mind," said Dobbs. "If I can make it through the season without anything happening to it that'd be a big accomplishment. I'd be happy, no matter where I'm playing. Whether it is here or Single-A. Just to be out and playing again this year has been great. Being around the clubhouse with these guys is a great feeling.

"I'm just so happy and so blessed to be here, playing with guys I've known and played with. What a great group of guys to come up with in the organization."

A self-proclaimed line-drive hitter, Dobbs says he hopes to carry that approach over to Triple-A. It has worked wonders at each place he's played at prior, so there's little reason to doubt it can happen again with Tacoma in a hitter's paradise like the Pacific Coast League.

"I like to stay on top of the ball," said Dobbs, describing his hitting style. "I pride myself on being able to go to all fields, and not just slapping at it. I mean going in the gaps, going over outfielders heads. If I get a home run I get a home run, but I'm really just concentrating on hitting the ball hard every at bat."

So far, so good.

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