Thursday, March 15, 2018

Notes from the field

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, Mustang and I scalped our way into yesterday's O's-v-Yankees game at historic Ed Smith Stadium (since 1989!) in Sin City, FL, known locally as Sar'sota. The hot dogs were spicy, the crab cakes overdone, the beer cold in fake aluminum bottles, with Yank fans out in force for their team's one Sota Town visit this spring. Some observational pithys...

1. Sellout or not, you can always score a ticket. Remember back when scalping was illegal? Today's cops are aware of StubHub. (Hell, I bet they wouldn't even bother to follow Pee Wee Herman into a porno movie, anymore.) Barely 100 feet from the box office, within spitting distance of a flashing gumball, two SRO tickets cost us a total of $35, though one guy was trying to squeeze $60 a whack for reserve seats. (This was 40 minutes before game.) Online, a ticket was running around $40. Go forth and scalp!  

2. Chance Adams looks like a weight-lifting bouncer from Tony Soprano's Bada-Bing softball team. Warming up, his fastball was sizzling, while Larry "House of" Rothschild watched approvingly, like Saruman savoring the birth of an Orc. Then came the reality of Major League Exhibition Baseball. The first long fly ball stopped at the warning track. The next one just kept going. These were not close calls and bad hop singles. Adams got pounded like the Second Coming of Hideki Irabu. Entering spring training, we had high hopes for this guy, based on past, overachiever performance. He'll probably get a shot at redemption. But right now, nope, he's not ready. Big disappointment. Scranton-bound.

3. Across the stadium, whenever Aaron Judge steps up to bat, time suspends itself. It's like a dinner cruise when a whale breaks the surface nearby, and the Eagles cover band stops in mid "Hotel California." The vendors set down their wares. People stand to take selfies with Judge in the background. He is the face of baseball. So what did Mr. Face of the Game do yesterday? Grounded into a 6-4-3 DP, struck out twice and lofted a lazy pop fly. Looked like an large version of Alfred E. Neuman. I'm not saying we should worry. But if Judge starts slowly, it will not go unnoticed.

4. Billy McKinney looks - how do I say this? - pensive, worried, lost... in left field. He reads fly balls like they are Thomas Pynchon novels. We're all rooting for him, but he better shore up his defense. If we go from Brett Gardner to him... wow, that's a big drop.

5. Best swing of the day by a Yankee was from Erik Kratz, a hunking 37-year-old who served as DH, a rather obvious sign that management's heart wasn't in winning this game. (Ninety minute bus ride from Tampa culled much of the veteran herd.) Kratz - listed at 6'4", 245 - gave an old-fashioned spanking to a ball, the lone Yankee highlight moment. Organizational lug nut in Scranton?

6. Yanks are now 11-7 in Florida, and while I'm not so idiotic - yet - as to assign meaning to spring standings, the team does seem in a transitional funk. What began as wide open competitions for various slots - 3B, 2B, 5th starter - has turned into a ho-hum sack race for the 25th roster position, and even that could change, depending on tomorrow's waiver wire. Didn't see anybody fuming after a strikeout, or pounding the glove especially hard in the field. Maybe that's good. It's a long season, and we probably shouldn't waste quality at bats in a place where scalpers only get $17.50 per ticket. Still, aside from eliminating Chance Adams as a viable starter (for now, anyway), I can't say the Yankees gleaned much from yesterday's trip down the coast. Just skip the crab cakes and stick to the dogs, and all will be well.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

AS KING GEORGE WOULD SAY, ADAMS "SPIT THE BIT."

EVERY OUTING IS A LOUSY ONE.

LAST SPRING TRAINING, I NOTICED HE KEPT GETTING BEHIND BATTERS, BALL ONE, BALL TWO ON THE FIRST 2 PITCHES TO ALMOST EVERYONE.

SORRY TO SAY, IT CERTAINLY LOOKS LIKE HE JUST DOESN'T HAVE IT.

IF COOP IS SMART, HOPE FOR HIM TO DO WELL IN TRIPLE A.....

THEN, DEAL HIM.

THIS IS SOMEONE YOU TOUT, AND RAVE ABOUT....THEN YOU INCLUDE IN A DEAL.

Anonymous said...

Alfred e. Newman. LOL. for real

Doug K.

John M said...

Judge is in hot water with MLB for his comment to Machado. Recruitment is a no-no.

Judge, a guy who has one season under his belt, is obviously rooting for the Yankees to sign a massively paid third baseman (Judge making about $650k this year, I believe) and make Andujar a useless rookie appendage.

There's a stereotype about big, hulking types being a little short in the cranial department, but I wasn't expecting it.

Alphonso said...

I have already informed you all that the Scranton pitcher with " bones" is Domingo German, not Chance Adams.

He won't come north in two weeks, but he will be a player.

Adams will not.

Let's get this thing going.

The players are tired of make-believe, and so are the fans.

ranger_lp said...

Austin......or Wade.........?

Yankee Shamus said...

Not sure I follow where this comment is going. So because Judge is big and muscular, he isn’t a genius?