Dean Padar didn't sound anything like the harried president of a baseball tournament that begins its 40th anniversary edition this morning at NorBrock Stadium.
That's because he wasn't harried.
"I anticipate a good tournament," Padar, the long-time president of the Kamloops International Baseball Tournament (KIBT), said. "It's a good feeling having eight teams confirmed."
In fact, those teams - the Kamloops Sundevils, two-time reigning champions Seattle Studs, Everett Merchants, Kelowna Jays, Northwest Honkers, Red Deer Riggers, San Diego Barona Stars, and Thurston County, Wash., Senators - have been confirmed since early in the new year.
There have been times, most recently in 2010, when the approach of KIBT has been accompanied by at least one crisis. Two years ago, you'll recall, the San Francisco Seals had some problems while in Kelowna and Vernon in the days prior to KIBT. They went home and never did show up in Kamloops, resulting in a five-team tournament.
"We've run it with seven . . . with six . . . with five . . . to be able to run it with eight and to know that everything is settled . . . it's a nice feeling," Padar said.
So relaxed was Padar that he was able to spend a couple of days early this week in Vancouver on non-baseball business.
Upon his return, one of the first things he did was check in with KIBT treasurer Jan Harper, who had only good news.
"I spoke with Jan and everyone is confirmed," Padar said.
He also checked the weather forecast.
"Things are a lot warmer than they are on the coast, that's for sure," he said, adding that he would rather have this heat "than the rain we had last year."
The tournament kicks off this morning at 9 o'clock when the Sundevils meet the Honkers, who play out of Bellevue, Wash.
As excited as Padar is to get the tournament going, he said he's really fired up for something that is running in conjunction with KIBT.
"The big thing I'm excited about is the Sandpipers reunion," he said. "I haven't seen some of those guys for a long time and it's going to be interesting to see what it's like to get those guys together again."
Asked if he was anticipating some noise or if his former teammates - he was an outfielder from 1985 through 1992 - may have grown quieter with age, Padar laughed and said: "I don't think a lot of them have probably grown up. If you played ball at a high level . . . we had a good time back then so I don't think . . . they've mellowed a bit but they probably get it going pretty good if they get a couple of pops in them.
"I spent a few years on the road with those guys."
The Sandpipers' reunion is to begin this morning at the opening game. During the weekend, they will play some golf at Mount Paul, hold a Friday pub night at Frick and Frack, and take part in a game with players and family on a diamond beside NorBrock Stadium on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
JUST NOTES: A complete KIBT schedule is in Scoreboard. . . . Last year, the Sun Devils went 1-2 and didn't qualify for the playoff round. . . . San Diego tuned up by playing games Monday and Tuesday against the host Trail Orioles.