Sunday, April 17, 2005

Real Baseball

"Real Baseball should be played in the daytime, in the sunshine" ~ Lou Gehrig

The Miracle got back into the win column with a 2-1 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays. All of the scoring happened in the first period and some good fielding, especially by short stop Jesus Merchan, kept the game that way through the end.

Nick Blackburn picked up the win, and Jan Granado and Jay Sawatski pitched some good innings of relief to help with the win.

The game time was a brisk 1:55 minutes, although I had some kid sitting behind me that wanted to leave before the game even started, so it seemed a good deal longer to me.

In any case, I was ready for some real baseball today, which did not include dancing bear-dogs, cute promotions and well...children.

(On a side note, the performer they had at the game who did mime/balancing and juggling routines was kind of interesting. I especially liked the bit where he stood up on an oversized baseball and juggled three baseballs.

Miracle catcher Kyle Geiger can juggle three baseballs, but I don't think he could stand on an oversized baseball while he was doing it. I kind of wanted him to watch that bit. Unfortunatly, he was catching at the time and needed to watch the pitcher. Darn it all anyway.

What are we to do for amusement for the rest of the year? I mean, if Joe Mauer can juggle a major league pitching staff with only one knee, these kids have got to do something special if they hope to advance...right?

REAL baseball turned out to a 6-4 in for the Twins over the Red Sox.

Evidently I lost an inning and I was blaming it on the boys who were distracting me. But in the end, it wasn't them. Somehow, I skipped scoring in the second and went onto the third. So now I'm blaming it on Moma Goose. In any case, some highlights from the extended spring training game:

Trent Oeltjen, on a re-hab assignment hit a double in the third, bringing in Yancarlos Ortiz and Jason Arenson to make it 2-1. Jose Leger lined out but it was enough to advance Dingo, who scored on a Juan Portes single.

Mark Robinson also gave us a double in the eighth, and Eli Tintor's deep single brought in Larry Jones and Robinson. Jones got on base on a walk, his second of the game, and singled in the fourth inning.

Kyle Edlich started the game, allowing only one run, followed by Javier Martinez. I believe Martinez gave up the second run but Jannio Guitierrez, who is on a rehab assignment came over to quiz me on the scores up and down the minors.

Once he left, I had Matt Fox (Shoulder) and Tim Henkenjohann (Elbow), Tim Lehay (who claims he has now switched from catching to pitching) and Kris Lankford (who says I may now call him "Lankie") came over to bother me. This also included a tri-lingual lesson in how to ask for sunflower seeds. Great. Like I'm ever going to want to ask for Sunflower Seeds in Mexico.

Travis Kalin started at first base and was 2 for the two I watched. I missed most of the fifth inning because of the boys asking me questions. One of these days I'll get to a point where I can score and talk at the same time. I am getting better at it.

I did see some good fielding out of Kalin as well, who is usually a third baseman. As mentioned in a previous post, Chris Brown, who was slated for Elizabethton was promoted to the Snappers.

Justin Jones also kept us company, but he didn't say much. When he did offer his opinion at one point I hold him to hush, as he hadn't pitched for us yet. This was backed up by the rest of the boys.

Allan DeSanMiguel did the catching honors through most of the game, and did a fine job. Eli Tintor took over the back four.

Greg Najac has been released. I've not sat down to look at the rosters to pick up the other releases. I am somewhat saddened though by Najac's release, as he was a nice kid. But it's a numbers game and I guess the Twins weren't happy with his numbers.

Of the pitchers today (Edlich, Martinez, Armano Gabino, and Jose Casillo) was most impressed by Brandon McConnell who pitch in the um...eighth? with two strike outs and a walk and a ground out. He was also hitting 88-89 on the clock, from what I could gather from the boys.

Gambino also put in a pretty good performance on the mound.

I did pick up a roster, so I'm working on getting that online. (Yes, I type it. No, I'm not putting Nelson' cell phone number online. I'm questioning the wisdom of putting up the phone numbers for the clubhouse and training room online.)

Meanwhile, Moma Goose and Scott Lucas parent's picked up my GCL website address, and the rookies are going to look it up on Google. So I guess I should get it updated. The big question too was why can't I get a night job and come out to watch the GCL boys all the time. Honestly, I wouldn't mind that, but I had to borrow money from my employers to pay for my last car repairs, so I'm now an indentured servent for a while.

Anyway, since I totally lost track of the game...I won't do a recap. But it was fun. I believe the record is now 3-1 after four in favor of the Twins for extended spring training (according to Jannio).

Also, thanks to Aaron for showing up as he knew where to send the boys for putting (putt-putt) practice. Fox is a bit of a South Florida boy and didn't like the local course, but he's played at Boomers and everything else is pretty tame after that.

· Who doesn't like Fireworks?

Evidently some people in New Britain don't. The Rock Cats are currently facing a fireworks crisis. A local group has sued the team to stop the Saturday night fireworks displays as they find the noise "annoying".

Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger has said he will make a decision on the case, after he has attended a Saturday game.

Saturday fireworks are a staple to draw fans for many weekend games in many minor league towns. The Fort Myers Miracle hold only a handful of fireworks games each year, the annual July 3rd game being sold out way in advance, but with the current build up around the stadium, it's become increasingly hard to get permits for fireworks.

This is akin to building a house next to the airport and then complaining about the noise from the jets. Yet some people do this as well!

· The Seventh Inning Stretch

It's not my intention to use this blog to complain about the Miracle productions of their games. On the whole I really don't give FIG about what you do each night. I just want to watch some baseball with a minumum of interuptions.

However, it used to be that we enjoyed the Seventh Inning Stretch. We'd get up, we sing, and sway to the tune (and Aaron and I being the knotheads we are would sway in opposite directions so we could bump into each other.) When Rutgers was injured I brought Faux Rutgers and tossed him up and he always did a backflip to finish off the tune.

We always root, root, rooted for the MIRACLE.

To me...that was FUN.

Now, in the name of "Fun is Good" we are treated to an unsingable version of "Take me out". Even if we managed to get to the "root, root, root" part we'd be overpowered by "the Hometeam" which is blaring over the loudspeakers.

Additionally, we get to watch -- in the words of a Miracle staff memember -- a "fat, trashy dog" dancing around on the dugout to the song.

So now the seventh inning stretch has become a quick trip to the rest room and the last call for alcohol.

I guess I just don't know what fun is, anymore.

However, given that "the boys" were, in my honest opinion, a riot at the game today, I did promise to get a tape recorder so we could do some "seventh-inning-streches" interviews. I was also telling them how to eat and drink cheap at the Miracle games, although I'm not sure telling them about cheap beer was a good thing, as most of them aren't over 21.

Lahey was the one interested in the cheap beers for the most part though, and he's 23, so I'm reasonable sure I'm not contributing the deliquency of minors.

Am I?

· Around the Farm

The Wings spit a pair against the Ottawa Lynx yesterday. Ottawa rallied for three seventh inning runs off Beau Kemp to take the first game 5-4. The Wings found their way to victory in Game Two, with a big second inning and an insurance run in the fifth. Travis Bowyer made his first AAA save in the game, enticeing pinch-hitter Napoleon Calzado to ground into a game-ending double play.

Juan Lorenzo got under a pitch from Jeff Randazzo and sent it high and far to left field to drive in the winning run in the 11th inning for the Harrisburg Senators.

The Cats are now 3-6 on the season and yes, Jannio my friend, they RoCk! Just as you say.

Dave Winfree, Deacon Burns, Luke Hughes, Jeremy Pickrel and Mark Zamojc all homered for the Snappers who took a 14-6 decision over the Lansing Lugnuts.

Remember, you can pick up the lastest news from around the farms at the Twins Minor League Forum. Even when I miss something, someone else will likely have posted it.

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