It is a bit ironic that the Spokane Single A team is affiliated with the Texas Rangers. Why? Because their moniker is “Indians.” Do you suppose, in the mythology of the Old West, the Rangers chased the Indians all the way to Spokane? Maybe so, and maybe the resultant fatigue explains the Rangers last place standing in the AL West.
But on to more relevant matters – like food. New this year (I think) is a mac & cheese hot dog. Add a little hot sauce and you’ve got a (baseball) gourmet delight.
Ron Tonkin Field is a nice venue, but for one thing – artificial turf. Come on, people. This is professional baseball. Yes, I know Tampa and Toronto have artificial turf, but this is Oregon – green is everywhere, but green plastic just doesn’t cut it. The ball bounces too high, sliding is risky at best and, most importantly, uniforms don’t get dirty.
The game was never in doubt. The Hops scored early and added on with a mammoth solo dinger by Francis Martinez (it cleared the 30 foot screen above the right field fence) and a later three-run shot by Jake McCarthy.
Here’s a shot of Martinez in his defensive position at first base. He’s a big guy, so in one way it wasn’t surprising to see him unleash that blast, but the program lists him as a 2013 Free Agent and I’m guessing that his .182 BA (substantially below his weight) is the reason he’s still playing Single A ball.
All this on the day when former Hop Brad Keller started for the Kansas City Royals against the Mariners. He performed well, but the M’s won their seventh straight, 1-0.
One other little irrelevance – this picture doesn’t show it very well, but the Hops Canadian catcher (his music when coming to bat was “O Canada”) most times took a one-knee down receiving position. Not like Tony Pena, who stretched one leg out straight and was clear down on the ground sometimes, but quirky nonetheless.
This was a family outing for us and after the game, the little ones got to run around the bases. We can only hope they didn’t catch anything lethal from that artificial turf.