No crying in baseball, but wining is just fine

PHOENIX -- Down here the talk is all baseball. The other day, I was chatting with A's batting coach Chili Davis and we discussed hitting to the opposite field and the position of the top hand, stuff like that. But after a while, the vocabulary changed.

I introduced a new subject, introduced it while Davis and I sat in the home dugout at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Pretty soon, we were using words like "terroir" and "nose" and "vintage."

Chili Davis, you see, is a wine lover, a wine expert, an oenophile. I covered his whole career with the Giants, 1981-87, and he was one of the best switch hitters in history, and he always was outspoken and smart and funny. Who knew he also was a wine connoisseur?

Here's how it all started. Oh, I'll let Davis tell it:

"I always drank like white wines, chardonnay. When I look back, Mike Krukow was the guy who initially got me interested in red wine. I'd gone to his home for dinner. He and his wife cooked a nice meal and had a bottle, I think it was either a Grgich or J. Lohr cab. I remember saying, 'Krukie, I'm not a red wine drinker. You got any white wine?'

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