"Well, what would you like to be called?" I asked him.
"They always called me 'Big Papi Junior' at home."
See...that's the problem. They all want to be the second coming. No one wants to be the first coming. And being an original is so much more fun.
I mean, if we're gonna call him "Junior", we may as well stick with "Tiny".
The boys were calling Ivan "Big Papi" last year and he didn't like it.
Tyler Roberston's new nickname is "Socks" but we'll get to that in a bit.
The GCL Twins defeated the GCL Red Sox in an extended spring training game that Lee County Sports Complex, 4-1. Big Papi was not there, although I'm sure the Red Sox coach felt differently about it.
The only run the Sox (not to be confused with "Socks") scored was an unearned run off Elliott Biddle in the fifth inning. I'd just gotten done telling Jose "Cheo" Hernandez, catcher David Hernadez's father, about 3rd baseman D.J. Romero's lack of hands when he kindly demonstrated the problem for us.
Otherwise it was the pitching that carried the day, and the Red Sox never really threatened.
Matt Lawman hit a nice single in the first inning and was driven home by catcher Wilson Ramos who doubled out to center field. It was a nice hit by Ramos, who should be Elizabethton bound in another month.
Liam Hendricks pitched two strong innings to start the game for the Twins. My notes for the first inning are very garbled, but I recall Ramos caught someone stealing second, and I believe we ended that inning on an outfield fly, so I'd say he only faced three batters. He had one strike out in the second inning, which I Youtubed, and which I will put up shortly.
Carlos Garcia pitched a third, getting a groundout and two flies. Kevin Harrington hit a nice single to get on base, and J.W. Wilson laid down a nice sacrafice bunt to move him to second. Esterin De Los Santos smacked a double, drive Harrington home, making the score 2-1.
Mike Rogers, who I'd not seen pitch in about forever, thrilled me by getting out on the mound for the fourth inning. I was talking to Cheo and missed the first out when I said "Who is that on the mound? Please excuse me..." Rog allowed a single, got the next batter to ground out and took the final guy on a strike out (dropped 3rd K, Ramos tagged him).
Ramos singled to start off the fourth, and Romero followed in suit. Tiny singled as well, pushing Ramos across the plate. Rodolfo "Rocky" Palacios ground out, and Wes Conner reached on an error (which makes 3 of Wes' 6 base hits that I've seen coming on an error or a fielder's choice). For the seven games I've seen him in so far, he's hitting over .300. He also had a nice diving catch in the outfield earlier in the game.
Harrington got up to bat and they decided the roll the inning. "Kevin, what did you do? You scared them all back into the dugout!" Beware the Shag-master!!!
Elliott Biddle got up for the fifth inning. Biddle is on the roster from Victoria, Australia, and is "visiting" us for extended spring training. I understand he has another year of baseball academy to attend so he won't be here for the GCL season. So...I've been trying to get to see him pitch before he heads back down under.
He got the first two batters out handily, but then got a little flustered and allowed a pair of singles. It was on the second one that Romero missed the catch at third and what should have been a ground out, ended up driving in the lone Red Sox run. He got the following batter to ground out, ending the inning. I tried to get both video and film in one inning, something that's really hard to do, as I'm only one person, and which I probably didn't do very well.
Tyler Robertson would take the next two innings. Socks had his socks down today, but he tells me Dave Ringler is getting him some short pants so he can wear his socks up. This will also give me something else to tease him about - not being old enough to get out of short pants. I still like watching Tyler pitch though. He faced three batters in the sixth, recording one strike out and five in the seventh, recording another strike out, hitting one batter (and that hurt too), walking the next, and taking the next two guys on ground outs, one of which was a stretch and some nice work by Tiny at first base to make the play.
Shaggy lined out in to start the fifth, and the offense slumbered until the seventh, when Romero hit a single and stoled second. Tiny ground out, and Rocky and Wes both singled, which brought Romero home. Shaggy hit into a double play to end the inning.
That would be it for the Twins offense (batting line up to follow).
Brad Tippett finished off the game, striking out one in two innings, allowing one single, and ending the game on a nicely handled double play.
For those who like such things: DeLo was 1-for-4 (with the double), Lawmy was 1-for-4, Rene Tosoni was 0-for-4, Ramos was 2-for-2, Romero was 2-for-4, Tiny was 1-for-3, Rockey was 1-for-3, Wes was 2-for-3, Shaggy was 1-for-3, J.W. was 0-for-3 and catcher David Hernandez was 0-for-2. Interestingly enough, not one of the Twins walked today.
Notes: The Beloit Snappers placed left handed pitcher Jose Lugo, on the Disabled List with left shoulder soreness. Lugo is 1-2 with a 4.68 ERA and 28 strikeouts in seven games this season.
Brian Kirwan and Matthew Fox were added to the Beloit roster from Extended Spring Training. Pitcher Armando Gabino was transfered from the Snappers to the Fort Myers Miracle.
I knew Foxy had gone, Tom Stuifbergen told me about Kirwan. "Great now I have to tell the Betsy Babes and break their hearts."
"Why are you going to break their hearts?"
"They're all in love with Kirwan up there."
I can't figure that one out either.
"Hammerin' Hank" Sanchez has started taking batting practice as he recovers from a hammate bone injury. Cheo wanted to know what the story was on him. Well, I said, he came in here late, and he was having trouble hitting the ball because (supposedly) his contact prescription was wrong. Which made me wonder, you know, how he was playing baseball previously if he couldn't see. Then he gets up to Elizabethton and experiences something which Jim Rantz said he'd never seen before. It was called a curveball.
So now I'm wondering, what program did he play in that they didn't throw curveballs? He's from California and I'm pretty sure they know how to throw curveballs out there. On top of that, he plays the position bass ackwards (that's the only way I can explain it) and he's got a bad attitude. He's also a horrible athlete, something that was well documented in this scouting report.
And if you've not figured it out by now, I'm not a big fan of Hammerin' Hank Sanchez. Heck, I'll take Tiny or Tosoni at first over Sanchez any day of the week and as per my last blog entry, I think we've already got a much better first base prospect in Jon Waltenbury.
Joel Lepel is in town so we played on fields 2 & 3 so he could watch both games of the split-field double-header from the tower. The wind was a factor as it was blowing against us. We had quite a number of outfield flies that fell short, but then...so did the Red Sox.
It's time for Terry Ryan's annual trip, so I look forward to seeing him next weekend.
The GCL boys have tomorrow off, the Miracle take on the West Palm Beach Cardinals, who all wear their socks up and look like a bunch of elves (Tyler). And it's really embarrassing to be beaten by guys who look like a bunch of elves, so...I'm hoping we can get the High-A team turned around. Maybe Joel can make Bolesy behave.