I’m going to keep this short.  This interview is with Brandon Boggs.   Boggsy is a very easy going guy.  So, he was really cool about the first question I asked.  It wasn’t my question.  And I apologize to anyone who is offended by the beginning of the conversation.  It invokes some racial aspects.  You see, Brandon is African American.  I am caucasian.  And Luis Mendoza is Mexican, which he proudly displays when we play with our respective countries in FIFA.  I encourage you to see this as it truly is, playful banter between friends.  This is how some guys are around each other. 

BV: Alright, Boggsy.  I gotta throw out the first question.  The first question is not from me.  It’s from Mendoza.  We were standing around in the outfield today, and I’m definitely putting his name on this.  Cause I know better, (Boggs laughs) than to get into racial (stuff).  So I’m going to pin this on the Mexican dude.
BB: I gotcha.
BV: He wanted to know.  Is Popeye’s your favorite restaurant?
BB: Uh, no.  Popeye’s is not my favorite restaurant.  Contrary to belief, I like Cajun food a lot better.
BV:  So, he just thinks you’re black, you’re from the south…
BB:  Exactly.  Exactly.  
BV:  That racist (starts with a ‘p’ and ends with a nickname for ‘Richard’)
BB:  But, you know, he’s from Mexico.  All he eats is tacos and rice and beans.  That’s all I know.  (And, at this point, Justin Smoak and Tyler Coolbaugh, son of Oklahoma hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, have stopped eating and are listening intently with their jaws on the table.)
BV:  Wow.  (Boggs laughs)  And just for the NAACP’s information, my phone number is…  Um, I got a question.  Born in St. Louis, live in Atlanta now.  Okay, I know you like rap, hip hop, all that.  So, I’m asking.  Who do you got?  Nelly in his prime, or T.I.?
BB:  T.I.  
BV:  Easy.
BB:  Yeah, that’s very easy.
BV:  Rank it.  Rank the Atlanta guys.  Where does Nelly, where do the midwest rappers fit in?
BB: Uh, I really don’t listen to midwest rappers.  It’s all basically Atlanta rappers, like Jeezy, T.I.  Uh, obviously YoungBloodz back in the day was my thing.  3-6, they were from Tennessee.  Let’s see.  Who else?  Wow, there’s a lot of rappers in Atlanta.
BV:  So, you’re abandoning your roots in St. Louis, and just saying Nelly was a fluke.
BB:  Well, I’m not abandoning my roots, per se.  I was only there for a couple years of my life.  Most of what I know is Atlanta.  That’s what I claim where I’m from.  That’s what I know.
BV:  Alright.  Fair enough.  Uh, oh, you’re up in the big leagues for a big chunk of the year last year.  You’re up there for a while this year.  What pitcher was the one guy you were like, ‘Wow, that guy is tough.  He is good.’?
BB:  I thought the toughest pitcher for me was Josh Beckett.  Because he can dominate a game with one pitch.  You know, his sinker.  You know, that’s pretty much tough for me.  Because if you know what he’s throwing, and he’s going to throw it there every time.  And you can’t square it up, that’s what defines a good… You know, a pitcher that’s untouchable.
BV:  How’d you do off him?
BB:  Uh, I think I popped up twice.  Yeah, I popped up twice.  It was on his rehab start.  He had just come off the DL.  He was throwing against us.  I think Milton (Bradley) had a hurt hamstring or something.  So I had to fill in.  And then I go out there and try to do my best.  And I think I popped up twice.  
BV:  Dude, I’m trying to set you up on this.  You got pick somebody else.  Like some other good pitcher.  You’re like, ‘Oh, he just came off the DL.  He wasn’t even 100 percent.  But he dominated me.’ (Boggs laughs)  No, pick someone else and be like, ‘Oh, how’d you do off him?  Oh, went yard on him twice.  Lit that (female dog) up.
BB:  Papelbon, you know, Red Sox closer.  He tries to pump heaters in there to me.  Uh, he gets me two and two.  Tries to sneak one up and away.  And I absolutely lace it into the gap, the other way, for a double.  Scored Marlon Byrd.  I got him in back pocket right now.
BV:  There you go.  I got drafted with him.  I know him.  So suck it, Pap.  (Boggs laughs) I’m just playing.  I’m just playing.  Um, (feces), I have like the worst memory right now.  Uh, what was I going to ask?  Oh, today, the big thing about today is the draft thing, with the deadline to sign picks.  And all that.  My question here is with draft rules, options, outrighting, blah, blah.  Whatever.  Anything on the business side of baseball.  I’m not saying anything’s broken or anything like that.  But if you could change one thing about the business of baseball, what would you like to see changed?
BB:  If I could see one thing changed, I’d give less options to people so they can move around a little more.  Three is a little bit too much.  Because, first, you have to make it on the 40-man.  And then, if you’re an older player, and you still have three options left, they can basically do whatever they want with you.  So, I mean, if you made it that far, and you’re an older player, I think they should only get one or two options.  Like if you make it there when you’re young, it’s really no problem.  But when you’re older, and you’re one of those players where it just hasn’t clicked yet.  Maybe one year it will, but still, you got three options.  That means it’s three more years where you have to either put up even better numbers and force the issue.  Or you do average.  And you get your runs.  You get your home runs and stuff.  And you stay down there.  And they can just pull you up and bring you down 30 times during the year if they want.
BV:  That’s good.  I like that.  That’s all I got, dude.  

BB:  Alright, baby.
BV:  Take it easy.
Personally, I’d like to see the draft done away with all together.  I don’t like the fact that American players can only negotiate with one team.  Where international players can negotiate with all of them.  For instance, the system will be greatly flawed if Cuban sensation Aroldis Chapman signs a significant amount more than Stephen Strasburg.  Both of these guys are supposed to be the next big thing.  But Chapman could potentially sign for a lot more than Strasburg did.  The reason?  Chapman can negotiate with all 30 teams, driving up his price.  And Strasburg was being labeled in the media as being an idiot if he passed this up.  It’s easy for us to say what we’d do if we were in these guys’ shoes.  I don’t know.  I just wanted to pass that along.
Big, big thank you to Brandon Boggs.  Hands down, one of the best outfielders I’ve had play behind me.  It’s easy for him to get overlooked in the Oklahoma City outfield.  Julio Borbon gets your attention with his speed.  Greg Golson gets your attention with his arm and his speed.  Boggs is no slouch in any of these areas.  But he gets your attention with his hustle and competitiveness.