He's the Juan
By Leigh Montville
I was at Tiger Stadium not too long ago on assignment. There is an old elevator at Tiger Stadium that runs from the street level to the press box. There is an elderly woman, Sarah, the sweetest woman on the earth, who runs the elevator.
She sits in this cramped steambox, maybe the size of a good broom closet, for an hour before the game, an hour after the game, and for all nine innings. Her only salvation is a small fan, mounted above her control board, that stirs the warm air.
"Well, at least management gave you the fan," I said to Sarah on a hot afternoon.
"Oh no, management didn't give me this," she said. "Juan Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers gave me this. He came to a game last year and came to the press box with his wife. We got talking and his wife said, 'It's so hot in here, you need a fan.' The next day Juan Gonzalez came back with this fan."
"He checks in on me every time he's in town to see if it's still working. Nobody else ever noticed."
Gonzalez is in the news these days, of course, because he is planning to skip next week's All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is upset that he wasn't voted to the American League team as a starter in the popular vote. Everyone else is upset that he is upset. He is being portrayed as the typical, selfish, me-first athlete, just another illustration of how money corrupts.
I don't know about that. I know he still has a least one fan in Detroit.