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World Series: Game 1 day diary of St. Petersburg Times Rays beat writer Marc Topkin

We're all busy these days. But maybe because the boss wasn't sure I was busy enough, he asked me to put together a diary of what my Wednesday was like as the Rays beat writer on the first day of the World Series. Couldn't be worse than Tuesday, when at least 15 radio stations from around the country called or e-mailed wanting to talk about the Rays.

7:45 a.m. — Too early to wake up on a day the game starts at 8:30 p.m., but my wife, Sue, wants to talk about the day before she leaves to teach school.

8:45 — Still early, but my daughter, Carlyn, who attends UCF, wants to talk about going to Philadelphia for the weekend.

8:51 — First e-mail of the day, from a reader suggesting we do a better job covering the Series.

8:52 — Done shaking my head, I realize that I hadn't gotten any e-mails overnight. Must have maxed out the file space over the past couple of days. Thirty minutes later, I have cleared out enough space to proceed.

9:11 — E-mail asking about scheduling a 6:15 p.m. phone interview for ESPNews. I'll be on the field during batting practice, but at this point, hey, why not.

9:20 — Really good friend from high school, whom I haven't talked to in years, calls to catch up and eventually asks whether I have extra tickets. (I don't.)

10:20 — Very casual friend from high school, whom I haven't talked to in years, calls to catch up and eventually asks whether I have extra tickets. (I definitely don't.)

Noon — First ESPN interview of the day, a phoner with ESPNews.

12:15 P.m. — Boss calls to review Wednesday's paper. Says we'll talk again. I know he means it.

12:45 — Leave for downtown St. Petersburg, stop for gas, hope to time it right to get lunch at the new Five Guys Burgers place before a 1:30 phone interview with XM Radio.

1:20 —There's a line at Five Guys. I order anyway.

1:27 — XM calls to start interview.

1:29 — The smiling woman behind the counter calls out my order number.

1:30-40 — Eat while doing XM interview.

1:51 — Boss sends an e-mail to review plans for Thursday's paper. Says we'll exchange e-mails again soon. I know he means that, too.

1:53 — Get to the Trop parking lot. Need to be on the field at 2:05 for ESPN Outside the Lines interview with Dick Vitale.

1:55 — Park in about the farthest spot from the media entrance.

1:56 — Someone else from ESPN calls to see what my travel schedule is for Friday. I try to remember.

2:00 — Get to the field, get hooked up, get drowned out by the Backstreet Boys' extended rehearsal of the national anthem.

2:05 — Vitale answers first question.

2:11 — Vitale finishes answer to first question. (Just kidding!)

2:18 — What's probably the 10th e-mail of the day pitching something about the Series rolls in.

2:20 — Get set up in press box; first pitch is only six-plus hours away.

2:30 — Mom and Dad call. They've driven up from Pompano and are at my house with my son, Ben, and they want to know where they should park at the stadium. As if I know.

3:13 — Boss sends another e-mail for further discussion of Thursday's paper. I spend most of the next hour trying to transfer files from the laptop I've used all season — which now conveniently has a jumping screen — to a new one that, of course, is slightly different.

4:18 —Rays' lineup is posted. Time to blog that on The Heater.

4:45 — Group interview with Rays manager Joe Maddon in his office for the local beat writers.

5-5:10 — Blog a little bit of news from Maddon's session.

5:15 — The first of a half-dozen questions from fellow writers about the team. "Where did Andrew Friedman and Matt Silverman first meet?"

5:20 — Go down on the field to wait for and talk to Rays as they come out of the dugout.

5:50 — Pregame radio interview on the field with Rays announcers Andy Freed and Dave Wills. Funny thing is that it's hard to find space on the field.

6:15 — Forgot about that ESPNews interview, but luckily they call back after I missed them the first time.

6:30 — Time to talk to people that are actually involved in the game.

7:30 — Head back up to the press box to get started writing; by rough count, have gotten 162 e-mails and text messages for the day to this point.

8:37 — First pitch. Finally. The most relaxing moment of the day.

8:45 — Filed my first story, the initial part of this diary.

10:21 — Filed the Rays notebook.

10:37 — Filed the "plugger" story that runs in case the game isn't over by our first deadline.

11:55 — Filed the bottom three-fourths of the game story.

12:01 A.M. — Filed the top of the story as the game ends.

World Series: Game 1 day diary of St. Petersburg Times Rays beat writer Marc Topkin 10/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 23, 2008 11:29am]

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