Padres Take A Jokester In Decker

A couple of issues ago I profiled Jaff Decker, the Arizona prep outfielder taken 42nd overall by the Padres, and his coach was sure to point out that he is quite the prankster. Decker enjoys hiding equipment and pulling fast ones on his teammates and even coaching staff. But he’s still an enjoyable athlete to talk to and he’s elated about his recent success.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Decker said. "It’s an awesome feeling and it’s finally here. I’m having a party and the house went crazy."

However, after our conversation, Decker was sure to get another joke in that can’t go untold. He didn’t think twice about zinging me for a previous mistake. For whatever reason, I had tabbed the Sunrise Mountain High coach as Mike Gardner in the article, when in reality his name is Eric. Call it an oversight or whatever you want, Gardner politely called me to point it out a couple of weeks ago and Decker continues to give him a hard time. Well, after I hung up the phone with Decker, I got a call from Gardner saying that Decker said to remind me that his name is Eric and not Mike.

So, Eric, congratulations on your season and having one of your players taken early in the draft. I apologize for renaming you.

Decker also set a state record by batting .565 this year and made it to the state finals, but came just short, losing 2-1 to Scottsdale’s Horizon High.